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Author Topic: Overseas Travel, Equipment Suggestions  (Read 660 times)
KJ4LNL
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Posts: 4




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« on: May 17, 2009, 06:14:51 PM »

I know this sounds so cliche on this site but what the heck!

Here's the proverbial line " I am new to HAM radio and I need some advice"...LOL

As mentioned above, I just passed my General level and finishing up my Extra class next month. I plan on traveling overseas (Asia) and will be bringing radios home with me. I've already decided 2M for home base and vehicle communications along with 2M HTs for personal local use.

I have also checked with my countrys HAM operators and will have to have a Reciprocal Permit in order for me to operate back home, not to mention that I have to let the government there know what gear I am taking home with me (or it would get confiscated).

I know folks have their preferences with certain manufacturers - Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom etc. I passed my Tech last month, my General yesterday and still yet to pick a radio so I am doing my homework.

I will be operating in a tropical region that has a rainy season 6 months out of the year. My system requirements are as follows:

- Reliability/ Ruggedness
- Easy operation but have useful bells and whistles
- Portability
- no more than 100 watts amplifier
- priced no more than $1,200
- Frequency of interest - 10,20,40,60 meters

I also have to mention that I do not have the luxury of transporting Yagis or any long verticals with me which would lead me to either build or carry a wire antenna with me.

I am very technically inclined having an audio engineering background and great with troubleshoot and repair(hopefully not much repair).

To phrase it another way, which radios should I avoid knowing my requirements. Any input is highly appreciated.

Rey
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2086




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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 07:23:04 AM »

...It would be best to get in touch with the radio organization in the country you are from. Many years ago while in Thailand, the Radio Amateur Society (RAST) assisted me with all the red-tape. In Thailand only certain radios were allowed so check ahead of time. It is fun to be the DX!

73 de Lindy
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K8GU
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Posts: 718


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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 02:51:25 PM »

Kenwood TS-50S or Elecraft K2 would be good choices.  The Yaesu FT-100 actually has a pretty good receiver; but, the PA is a little bit fragile and parts are hard to find these days.

It appears that you are a U.S. citizen; but, if you are a citizen of the country you are visiting, you may not be legally allowed to operate under a reciprocal permit from another country.  Be sure to check this.

Details about which country would be helpful as far as knowing what you can bring in and how.  It's usually pretty easy to travel with ham gear if you keep it hidden but accessible and have lots of documents with official-looking stamps and logos on them.
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KJ4LNL
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 08:36:26 AM »

I was actually glad to have checked with George, the president of the HAM Radio group back home. He said that their organizations have helped others like me to get the reciprocal permits and be able to bring equipment home AND operate there, the permit allows me a year which is more than enough considering I'll be there no more than a month.

I have not however sure about equipment model limitations, but he did mention as long as no ex-military radios- kinda sums it up.

I've recently ran into the Buddipole, it is looking to be a excellent choice for my purposes as far as antennas.
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KI4QBP
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 02:57:02 PM »

The Buddipole is an excellent choice, and it breaks down into a travel friendly size.  While living in England and putting 20 watts SSB into a Buddipole, I had a QSO with a station in Bermuda.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2009, 07:22:40 PM »

Get whatever licenses are required months in advance of traveling anywhere: Some governments are very slow to issue anything.  I've waited as much as 9 months for a permit from some countries.

WB2WIK/6
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W3TUA
Member

Posts: 66




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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 01:26:22 PM »

I carried an Icom IC-706MkIIg along with a Samlex power supply in my rucksack in Iraq for a year. It worked flawlessly and saved plenty of space since it covers HF, VHF, UHF. Also, my Tentec manual tuner went along for the ride. I picked it because I didn't want an electronic tuner that could fail when I most needed it. Keep it simple.

As for antennas, I used the good old half-wave dipole made of whatever wire I could scrounge up. At one location, I gutted an extension cord and constructed a 160m Windom. That baby was killer on the bands.

Good luck and have fun.

73,

Korey--W3TUA
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W3TUA
Member

Posts: 66




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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 01:26:53 PM »

I carried an Icom IC-706MkIIg along with a Samlex power supply in my rucksack in Iraq for a year. It worked flawlessly and saved plenty of space since it covers HF, VHF, UHF. Also, my Tentec manual tuner went along for the ride. I picked it because I didn't want an electronic tuner that could fail when I most needed it. Keep it simple.

As for antennas, I used the good old half-wave dipole made of whatever wire I could scrounge up. At one location, I gutted an extension cord and constructed a 160m Windom. That baby was killer on the bands.

Good luck and have fun.

73,

Korey--W3TUA
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KJ4LNL
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 02:01:54 PM »

Thanks for the input Korey, we have that ICOM 706MkIIg as our main radio in our hospital. I recently received my General class and volunteered to be one of the Ham Radio Operators in the event of a catastrophe, surprisingly, no one in such a HUGE hospital (in Nashville) volunteers to be one.

I'll probably end up spending some lunch time over at the radio room and get acquianted with that particular radio, it is amazingly compact.  
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