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Author Topic: HT or mobile rig?  (Read 14070 times)
N1LUL
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Posts: 3




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« on: May 07, 2010, 09:48:26 AM »

Currently using APRS for general tracking and rocket tracking/recovery with a Big Red Bee GPS.  My current set up is a Tiny Trak 4  w/ display and a FT-470. This set-up is working well for my currrent needs.

But...

I want to expand my APRS experience with active usage while mobile and have a way for voice communication also.  I was sold on the Yaesu VX-8GR  HT and thought I would use this as my all around rig, but when I think about it, a real APRS mobile rig makes more sense.

I have read that having a HT for my primary radio is setting me up for disapiontment.  What are the other views out there.

73

n1lul
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1378




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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 11:30:29 AM »

I have the VX8-DR and am quite pleased with it, I use it for 144/440 when out and about. I use the APRS functionality and it works decently enough in the rural areas where I live.

The DR has 6, 2, 1.25 and 70 cm. The 6 meter performance is poor as the radio does not support SSB. The 1.25 M (220 MHz) band is at a significantly lower power (I do not even know if the GR has 220 any more). I have worked a few 220 repeaters in Dallas but that is about it.

I agree that as the "sole" radio to own any HT is a compromise that will probably leave you dissatisfied unless your primary VHF/UHF desire is to chat on local repeaters and you have a good line-of-sight path to those repeaters.

My suggestion is to keep a base/vehicle radio that has a decent receiver and more power than any HT out there. If using it as a base radio get a decent microphone.

Tisha, AA4HA
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
KD5KFL
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Posts: 55




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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 04:27:10 PM »

I use HTX202s for APRS and a separate mobile. set and forget the HTX202.
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KC8AHN
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Posts: 108




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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 05:24:36 PM »

Myself, I suggest a mobile rig. I had a VX8DR with GPS, as an HT, it was great. My problem was that with 5 watts, even with a 5/8 wave ground place, I could not get the digipeter that was only 15 miles from me, and that was the closest. I basically had to go about 5 miles from my location to use APRS in any way. Same antenna and 10-15 watts and I was golden, that was a test radio and not one of my own. I only own HT's for VHF and I do want a mobile rig. Since I am on HF now, I hardly turn on the HT, but I feel as an only rig, it would be a disappoitment.
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N3YZ
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 08:23:51 AM »

I have owned a VX-8R for about a year. My APRS use is incidental. That is, the HT allows me to drive down Interstate 81 from Maryland well into Tennessee, with APRS and a small mag mount antenna, and hit most digipeaters enroute; hike the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, and stay in APRS and VHF connectivity; and soak in a hot tub in Santa Fe listening to a repeater and FM radio. Its a good multi-use HT for the active ham, and fills a certain product niche very well. 73! John, Annapolis, MD
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N1LUL
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 05:50:00 PM »

Thanks for the info all.  Still have not made up my mind.

N3YZ, I am actually just down the road from you in Lusby  and I used to live in New Mexico (Los Alamos).  I'll keep my eyes open for you.

Ray, N1LUL
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N8JQJ
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 07:08:44 PM »

Well this begs the question: Does anyone (besides Alinco whose ratings are not very favorable) make a 2M mobile with built-in APRS?  I see several 2M/440 rigs out there, but in my area only 2M is used with any regularity.
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KE6SLS
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 10:51:19 PM »

I think Yaesu is making a mobile rig with an APRS option.  I THINK it's 350 something rig.  It was on the cover of QST.  I haven't looked at it yet but plan to study it this weekend.  That would be a good choice since you'd have good power on both bands and free up your HT for portable use.

I have the VX-8GR HT with build in GPS/APRS.  The unit is good, bugs but serviceable.  I took a 2 month motorcycle ride and used this with a 5/8~ antenna.  My family/friends were able to track me through all states but I did find a few APRS dead zones (my qth, Bozeman, MT etc)--not the fault of the ht but local infrastructure.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.  Having some power while mobile makes a big difference.

73 om, gl on your decision.

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KB2HSH
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 09:12:36 AM »

I whole-heartedly agree with the guy that mentioned the HTX-202...only I use the IC-2AT and occasionally a (micro)u2AT.  They are REALLY cheap at hamfests and on eBay, and the 2AT is easy enough to repair yourself.  Since you only need one simplex frequency, they're perfect.  (And my micro2AT was $10 on eBay).

John
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