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Author Topic: Suggestions for a new Ham on good dual band mobile  (Read 4217 times)
KJ4JXE
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« on: July 19, 2009, 08:15:39 PM »

Hell eHam,net! this is my first post.  I am a new ham (got my ticket a few months ago) and I am loving it!
Currently I am working some of the local repeaters with my Handie talkie VX-170.  But, I am really wanting to install a mobile dual band rig in my f-250, so I can work stations and repeaters a little further away while driving to an from work.

Heres what I am looking for. I would like a good dual bander (2m and 70cm or 440) that has a seperable head, so it is easier to mount.  Dual recieve would be excellent, as a bunch of the locals talk on both 2m and 440 repeaters, which there are in an abundance in this area.

Another thing that would be nice, but not really a deal breaker is the ability to "easily" dock and undock the radio from my truck to the house so I dont have to buy a station for my house.

Some of the units I have looked at are the Icom 2820, and the Yaesu 8800.  

I would love to go with one of those Icom 706mkIIg units which would give me plenty of growing room when I earn my General and Extra, but Im kinda worried that it may be a little over my head.

Can you folks give me some suggestions for a good mobile unit?  Should I go ahead and spring for the 706mkIIg?
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 06:57:05 AM »

The best place to go is to your nearest dealer and play with the models you're interested in. If you rely on someone else's opinion, most of the time you'll be disappointed.

That said, I think you should consider the IC-706 of the Yeasu FT-857, and they have both worlds so to speak. After all, FM only operation get old quickly.

The only other advise is to buy a decent antenna. The Larsen NMO2/70BK is the most popular dual band mobile antenna sold in the world. And, it will out last and out perform almost everything else. The one thing you don't want to do, is get caught up in the Gain Game, as you'll always lose in the end.

If you want help with the install, visit my web site.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 07:01:14 AM »

What can your budget afford?  A simple 2 mtr/70 cm fm rig is easily affordable to most everyone, and if secondhand, would be even more inexpensive.

If you have the extra to spend, an Icom 706 MkII would be a really nice rig to have as a mobile.  AAMAF, I'm going to be getting one soon for my mobile.

To the 'easy dock and undock', there are reasons why it isn't common.  The need for good antenna and ground connections is one, security is another.  Say you went into a convenience store and were in there a few minutes.  If your radio is well bolted in, you can be sure it would still be there--but if it were in a 'docking station', could you say the same?  Any type of 'easy removal' feature compromises security.
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KJ4JXE
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 09:35:33 AM »

Thanks for the replies! Keep'em coming!

I think I will go with the Larson antenna, I have heard alot of good things about them.

Im not really sure where my budget is at.  I would like to pick up a 706mkIIg, but I really wish it had a dual recieve so I could monitor U/V at the same time.

Right now theres a couple of the 8800Rs on ebay that I may try to pick up one of them at a good price.  I just dont know if the 706 is going to be in the budget.

I dont know if there are any local ham shops in my area. I am in zip code 37307.  I picked up my VX-170 at a HamFest, but the folks were from Atlanta, and that would be about a 2 hour ride to get there, and 2 hours back.
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AJ4FJ
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 11:31:39 AM »

If you can make the Huntsville, Al hamfest next month, you'll be able to play with pretty much every dualbander in production now.  The "big three" will be there as well as a ton of vendors.  It's a long drive, but worth it for the boneyard alone.

-Greg
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KJ4JXE
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 01:06:58 PM »

NICE!  I may make a weekend out of it.  Havent been to the space center in a while, and I have always like that place.  I'll ask the misses and see if we can make a long weekend trip to Huntsville, visit the Space center, and then do the Hamfest.

Is there a website for it?
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AJ4FJ
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 08:20:52 AM »

Try http://www.hamfest.org
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ISSAQUAHWA1979
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 11:49:43 PM »

I have the ICom 2820h in my Ram 3500 and although the radio is great IT SUCKS as a mobile radio in the cab of the truck in bright conditions.  The display is very directional and VERY hard to read unless looking dead on.  Again the radio is great just hard to read in situations you don't want to have to fiddle to able to use it.
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KJ4JXE
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 12:16:03 AM »

Thanks for the replies! I ended up getting a Yaseu FT-8800R.  Its a dang nice little radio, and having the dual band, dual receive with the 6 hyper memories is really nice.  

I have one hyper memory setup for V/U and another hyper memory setup to monitor my home repeater on the left side and the right side is scanning all my memories...which is nice, because I have the local fire, rescue, ems, and police frequencies programmed in as well as all the local repeaters.

Now, I am going to install a good Larsen dual band 2m/70cm antenna using an NMO mount on the roof of my F-250.  I ordered an Antennex NMO hole saw and an NMO kit online.  Hopefully I will have the radio off my bench and in the truck by this weekend!
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 04:58:10 PM »

Look at the Yaesu FT-7900R.  It does not have dual receive or cross-band capability (two functions I find of little use in a mobile environment).  I got mine from HRO for $250 including the separation kit and free shipping.
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KJ4JXE
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 05:04:56 PM »

I bought my FT-8800R on ebay for $220.

heres the link:  
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230357103261

I love the dual receive in mobiles.  It lets you use one side for talking on your common freqs, while using the other side to scan.  And the cool thing about the 8800R is that it has a fairly decent wideband receive, so I was able to program in all the local EMS, fire, police, and rescue frequencies in, so I have them scanning on the other side of the radio.  So essentially Its like having a full time HAM radio on one side and a full time scanner on the other, all in one chasis.

I highly recommend the 8800R.
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SXHARR05
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 02:58:09 PM »

A year in, what's your opinion of the 8800? I'm looking for a dual band mobile for my Ram and it's either the 88 or 7900r. The 79 is a bit more within my budget, but the ability to run it as a scanner AND ham makes the 88 VERY appealing.

KB3USY
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K0BG
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 06:28:33 AM »

I'm not particularly a Yaesu or Kenwood fan, but I'd sure look at the Kenwood D710. With a couple of extras, it does APRS as good as anyone, and better than most.
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N2IK
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2010, 07:36:22 PM »

Keep in mind that you can download the operators manual for all of the alinco, Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood FM dual banders in consideration and see how you react to how they work. Go through how to program a repeater into memory, add the alphanumeric tag, go into crossband repeat, program and use the supermemories, and so forth. Notice what is easy to do and what is deep into the menus. Visualize how you would set up the radio for what you will use so that it is easy to use when driving. When driving you basically need everything preset so all you do is hit the up/down buttons or supermemory buttons and change main bands. If it is more involved than that, pull over to do it. Put the display head where you can see it easily when driving. See K0BG's website on mobile radio installation.

With today's radios and lots of memories you could put all of the 144 adn 440 repeaters in several states and have memories left over. Using the repeater directory and programming software I have done just that.

I have personal familiarity with the FT8900 and D710 and the D710 is easier to see and use, but it costs a lot more.

Read the manuals, and see if you can find someone using the radios you are considering, or visit a ham candy store. Buy what you think is best.
73 de Walt N2IK
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 05:43:35 AM »

The 706MKIIG has been discontinued by Icom, probably because it was so similar and less expensive than the IC7000. Cry
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