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  #1  
Old 01-18-2012, 06:48 PM
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Default Does anyone use 70cm while wheeling?

I'm getting ready to order my mobile rig and am looking for some advise. I've been perusing the forum here and on Mud trying to determine if a dual band rig is worth getting. I currently have a FT-270 which I've been listening to for about 4 months. (I'm taking my test the last week of Feb!). My primary reasons for having a vehicle mount rig are for trail use and emergencies. 98% of my time is spent in Colorado or Utah west of the continental divide. I've narrowed my options down to two and would like your input.

FT-2900R: It's 2M only, I like that the buttons are big and I won't get lost in the menu. I like that I have the option of 75W transmit in the event of an emergency. I like that it is very simple in construction.

FT 8800R: Has all the bells and whistles as well as 70cm. Does anyone really use 70cm around here? How bout cross band repeat? I don't really have a need for the remote faceplate.

Antenna options would be appreciated too. I think I plan on mounting the antenna to the Slee rear bumper in the upper position.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:22 PM
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I have both and while I like the simplicity of a 2m only I prefer the independent 2 channel operation like the 8800. I have the FTM-350 for APRS. I haven't used 70cm much at all. Most wheeling is 2m.

I wouldn't buy the 8800 for just for 70cm though. Good thing is if you buy either one and decide you want the other they both hold their value and you can sell em here or mud no problemo.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:39 PM
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I use 70cm a fair amount. On commutes I've been hanging out on 449.450 and around the house/neighborhood we use 70cm simplex. I've also used the cross band repeat on my FT-8800 70cm in and retransmit on 2m. I wouldn't say it's necessary, but I like having it. Plus the more hams that use it the better, the lower UHF spectrum is constantly under threat of being reallocated as it's quite valuable for a lot of stuff.

I'm very interested in the FTM-350 and have been kicking around the idea of selling my FT-8800 and FT-1500 to roll the mobile and APRS into one radio and maybe eliminating an antenna off the truck.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
I'm very interested in the FTM-350
This is what I have in the truck. Great radio but I'm still learning my way around it. I haven't spent too much time on 70. Most of the big repeaters here in the SD area, at least the ones I can get to, are pretty much 2m.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by smslavin View Post
This is what I have in the truck. Great radio but I'm still learning my way around it. I haven't spent too much time on 70. Most of the big repeaters here in the SD area, at least the ones I can get to, are pretty much 2m.
There's no doubt on the desire to get one, I'm convinced with the recent firmware updates (the radio can do NMEA0183 now) that it does everything I'd like. But the $600 price tag is steep. I guess if I got $100 for the FT-1500 and $300 for the FT-8800, maybe I could swing it tho. Can't forget the 'extras', GPS module and programming software...
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:55 AM
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Dave, you're selling your 8800?

As of several years ago, I would only be able to reach 70cm repeaters in the Western Grand Canyon area, nothing on 2m, so I appreciated the option of both.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pskhaat View Post
Dave, you're selling your 8800?
Just kicking ideas around. I'd definitely have to sell it to get a FTM-350. I have a second radio for APRS, an older FT-1500 with a TinyTrak4 and Garmin GPS thanks to KD0FDS, and 3 antennas (2 x VHF and 1 x UHF). It would be nice to eliminate an antenna and have a single radio.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
There's no doubt on the desire to get one, I'm convinced with the recent firmware updates (the radio can do NMEA0183 now) that it does everything I'd like. But the $600 price tag is steep. I guess if I got $100 for the FT-1500 and $300 for the FT-8800, maybe I could swing it tho. Can't forget the 'extras', GPS module and programming software...
I'm a rev or 2 behind on the firmware. I need to update. The extras floored me when I went into HRO to pick it up. You want how much for that cable? But, it gives my wife piece of mind when we're out in the boonies with the kids so it's all good.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:15 AM
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Well, let me know on the 8800. I had my 8900 head unit stolen out of my vehicle some time back. I'm debating either replacement or picking up a used radio (nearly the same $) but don't honestly need 6m & 10m FM ...
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:19 AM
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Well Thanks for the replies.

The one reply stating that 70cm is sometimes the only repeater available (dependent on the area) is making me lean towards the 8800. That's going to make me change my antenna choice as the firestik is only for 2M (liked the idea of matching antennas but function is more important than form). We do a fair amount of traveling and I do end up in AZ, NM and NV a fair amount also. I should have stressed that a primary concern for me is safety, I want as many means of communication as possible. We often travel solo to areas that only get a few vehicles annually so having flexibility might be worth the increased complexity.
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