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Old 12-22-2009, 09:04 AM
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RockRunner RockRunner is offline
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Default So I am finally ready to go for it........

I have been reading the book and taking the online tests and am feeling pretty comfortable.

I have a few questions for all you pros out there.

I want a system that has the detachable face so I can mount it in the 4Runner and take it out when needed. What models do you suggest (med budget used is fine)

Is there a long enough cable that goes between the radio and face plate so that I can leave the system in my 4Runner on the trailer and bring the faceplate into my tow rig? Kinda like double duty.

If not what is a fair HT to buy just to communicate while driving to our wheeling spots?

Money is an object in this exercise since i will only be using them on club events.

Lastly if any of you are wanting to upgrade to a newer system and have what I am looking for please let me know.

Merry Christmas Tom
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Last edited by RockRunner; 12-22-2009 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:15 AM
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Red_Chili Red_Chili is offline
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I have a Yaesu FT-7800. The faceplate is detachable, and they sell a $pecial kit designed to relieve the pressure in your butt from that wallet. No way. So the first option I used was a cable off of Fleabay. For the faceplate mount, I actually ordered a replacement part front faceplate for the radio rather than the $pecial part for remote mounting... thinking that, heck, all I need is something to hold the faceplate, and the radio front does that. It was a good idea, I just modified it and put a 1/4" screw mount on it for a RAM mount mini ball mount on my dash. I think it cost $3-4 or so, shipped. The radio is under the driver's seat. The 1/4" ball mount is pretty cool but after a while the rubber ball squishes; I may convert to a larger ball or something else.

Then I ended up damaging the Fleabay cable. I got a female to female telephone adapter and a regular 6-conductor telephone extension cable, and used the short cable the radio came with, then the adapter, then the telephone cable. Much cheaper and easier. The function of the short stock cable is to reverse a couple of the pins. Simple deal, that is the way you should go. Cheep and you can put it back pretty far if you like.

I am working at home until 3 today if you want to come by and see it. Call me if so. I may be free after 6 too.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2009, 09:21 AM
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FJBRADY FJBRADY is offline
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I am in the same boat as Tom. I am preparing to take the test and I have two rigs.

My thought:

Can I buy one Ham unit, two mounting brackets, two power supplies, two antenna's and simply transfer the Ham unit back and forth between the two vehicles?

Please advise.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:29 AM
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FWIW, Yaesu tech support and parts can be reached at (714) 827-7600.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FJBRADY View Post
I am in the same boat as Tom. I am preparing to take the test and I have two rigs.

My thought:

Can I buy one Ham unit, two mounting brackets, two power supplies, two antenna's and simply transfer the Ham unit back and forth between the two vehicles?

Please advise.
Easier to just buy two cheap radios.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:45 AM
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It's fairly simple to move any radio as long as you have duplicate cabling and antennas in place.

Probably want to buy a second mounting bracket. Then undo the two screws that hold the radio to the Mounting bracket, disconnect and move

Hand helds work much better than CBs if you would only use it in that vehicle while wheeling with buddies. They don't have the power and range of mobil units.

So, If most of the times your in your other vehicle you will be on a club run, the handheld will work fine. You can always swap like I mentioned above when driving long distances

On the way to Moab is the Colorado Repeater System, which makes driving along I-70 pretty good with a handheld, but still not as good as with a Mobile Unit

I have both Mobile and HT units as the HT provides another option when you are hiking or walking around camp, etc.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:49 AM
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moving a radio is a pita. Also I don't like the hand helds for trail use. It's nice to get out of the rig and take it with you. It's just an all around PITA to use a hand held for mobile use.I have an 8r I use primarly in my wife's 80 for trail runs and even she hates it. She wants a mobile installed. I'd buy one mobile radio for one rig you use the most then watch craigslist or other online forums and get a cheap 2nd mobile for the other rig. you can get 2 1900's for the cost of of 1 7900 but you won't get some of the other features like detachable faceplate or dual band.

That and you could start off with 2 single band. If you want to move up later you can probably get 100 bucks or more for 130 radio.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:09 AM
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Mendocino Mendocino is offline
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I bought a THF6a (HT) before getting an 857d (mobile). for the HT I added an external antenna (SBB-7) and an external mic. This worked well because I had gain on the external antenna and a mic and could take the HT out and walk around with it if I attached the rubber duck antenna.

I do have an external power supply, antenna tuner, cabling, and antenna to make the 857d a base station. By doing this I can just pull it out of the 40, and attach it to the power supply. This is the same set up Groucho has.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2009, 10:48 AM
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That is awesome you guys are getting into this! you're going to wonder why you waited so long... A good antenna and good ground plane is key- really consider that, and don't be afraid to experiment with a couple. The worst place to mount a 2m antenna is probably your back bumper, second worse your front bumper. Next best would be lip mount on the hatch or hood, absolute best is smack dab in the center of a steel roof. This can all vary depending on your truck and whatever stuff you get, but I think is a pretty good general rule.

here's my HT vs. mobile rig rant: It all works (HT's & mobile rigs) good on the trail when you're within CB range. It will all hit the 145.145 repeater from your house... the real difference is can you catch the Colorado Connection on the Glenwood repeater from Parachute, or can you catch the guys on Steelbender from Metal Masher, or heck can you talk from Highlands Ranch to Broomfield, or do you want to talk to folks as they drive in to Stevenson before meetings, etc. You'll quickly learn the difference between HT's with mag mounts, compared to mobile rigs.

HT's, IMNSHO, are cute & fun for around camp, hikes, and out spotting on a trail. They are not good in the truck on the highway, and even worse on the trail- by the time you add an external antenna, hand mic, speaker.. man you've way surpassed the cost of a quality mobile rig that would still out-perform your clugy assortment of HT accessories. If I were to do it again I'd get a VX-3r handheld.. it's all the HT you really need. Just like there are the "bad" CB's on runs, there are now the "bad" Ham rigs- the ones that are quiet, scratchy, not readable. Those tend to be the HT's.. Then there are the ones that are crystal clear, CD-quality "full quieting." Those are the well set up mobile rigs. My favorite example of this is Ms. K0IGE, her rig works excellent and did not cost a lot-

FT-7800 is a great radio. FT-8800 is even better, IMHO... both detachable face plates. I think we've about beat the dual band debate to death so I will instead just invite you to search here and read through the discussions. I'll also invite either of you guys to sit in one of my trucks and play with the 8800, even compare to someone else's 7800. Tom you could conceivably do a 8800 in your 4Runner set to cross band repeat, then use an HT in the tow rig- giving you the portability of the HT and the range of the mobile? but that would get annoying as you'd have to pull over every time you wanted to change channels. Better to just put a cheap mobile rig (2800) in the tow rig.

And I will also agree it would be lame to try to swap radios between trucks. If budget is tight, get 2 $150 rigs instead of 1 $300 rig. Do a homebrew antenna if you want to save some there.


edit: wow, you can get a brand new 2800 for $120 http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...xvrs/2800.html
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Last edited by nakman; 12-22-2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: found a typo
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2009, 12:14 PM
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Hulk Hulk is offline
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Tom and Steve,

You're welcome to try out my 7800 radio when you're ready to compare it to Nakman's 8800. It works really well but lacks one nice feature (the ability to monitor 2 freq. at the same time). It's a nice feature, but if I had to do it again, I'd probably still go for the cheaper 7800. It's plenty of radio for everything I do. The only reason I purchased it over the 2800 was for the remote faceplate.

Moving the faceplate is easy. Depending on where you mount the radio itself, moving that could be a real PITA. Many of us have mounted it in a remote, protected location that keeps it clean and out-of-sight. I would buy another entire radio before moving the big assembly out of its secure location.

Could you get a long enough set of cables to temporarily mount the head unit in your tow rig with the cable running all the way back to the actual radio in your wheelin' rig? Probably. The only consideration would be that you might drain the battery in your wheelin' rig, since it would be powering the radio. Ham radios do draw a good bit of current, esp. when broadcasting.
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