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Author Topic: New Ham question  (Read 6290 times)
KT4DLB
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Posts: 76




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« on: February 10, 2013, 09:35:16 AM »

I'm a new ham just recently getting my Techncian class in January 2013. I'm looking at the Yaseu FT-897D that has HF, 2 , 6, and 70cm bands. I live in the lower part of Alabama. I'm womdering if this should be my first rig or maybe something else. There are four rigs that I'm considering. The Icom IC-718, IC-7200 and the FT-450D. I'm also studying for my General class and hope to take the test in April. Any comments or info will be greatly appreciated.

73 Lamar
KK4NZO
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W8JX
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Posts: 6093




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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 09:55:23 AM »

I would place the 897 first or above your other selections.
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N0YXB
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Posts: 322




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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 10:54:36 AM »

I like the FT-450.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12899




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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 01:30:05 PM »

I find it often nice to monitor 2M/440 FM while operating on HF/6M. That means two transceivers, one for HF/6M and one for 2M/440 FM. It may not be that much more expensive to purchase two transceivers rather than have an "all in one", but that decision depends on your circumstances and how you choose to operate.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1066




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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 03:57:43 PM »

I have the FT-450AT. It is an excellent radio, but it is HF thru 6. If I could afford it I would opt for the FT-897D. It covers all the bands from 160 thru 70 cm. This radio will allow you to operate on the Technician, General and Extra bands as you get these licenses, you will not need to have two radios like I do to cover the 2 meter/70 centimeter band.Congratulations on becoming a new ham operator.

Hope this helps,

73s

K2OWK
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K0JEG
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Posts: 670




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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 06:17:35 AM »

FT897d with the built-in power supply. Simple, complete and not very expensive. Save up for IF filters down the road. Menu operation is a little fussy, but using it with a PC helps.

I have one, without the PSU. I bought the internal battery packs thinking I would be operating portable more often, but they really aren't very good. Much better to use a gell cell or other external battery if you want to go out in the wilderness.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6045




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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 07:54:30 AM »

It really is personal preference.  If all you're wanting for 2 meters and above is FM, then a six meter to 80 meter--or 160 meter rig may be right for you, combined with a VHF/UHF rig for 2 mtrs. and 70 cm..  If, however, you're considering getting into the other two meter modes such as 2 meter DX, EME, and others  then a 70 cm to HF rig would be your best choice.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20612




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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 08:36:27 AM »

I'd say "antennas" are much more important than the radio equipment, and would allocate/invest in those first, using whatever's left over for the station gear.

No need to have a rig that covers 13 bands if you only have antennas for two.
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WB0UPD
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 10:16:56 AM »

I'd say "antennas" are much more important than the radio equipment, and would allocate/invest in those first, using whatever's left over for the station gear.

No need to have a rig that covers 13 bands if you only have antennas for two.

  You beat me to the post.  A HF rig will do no good without a good antenna.  160 M band is a tough one to put up, unless you live in the country with lots of room.  I'd get the 2/70cm radio for now and there are used ones out there. If you get too old a one like I did a few years ago, it did not have the repeater tones, $$ for a add on tone board.  If you find you hate the local VHF/UHF, then you can move to HF.
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AC4WY
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 03:52:32 PM »

I'm a new ham just recently getting my Techncian class in January 2013. I'm looking at the Yaseu FT-897D that has HF, 2 , 6, and 70cm bands. I live in the lower part of Alabama. I'm womdering if this should be my first rig or maybe something else. There are four rigs that I'm considering. The Icom IC-718, IC-7200 and the FT-450D. I'm also studying for my General class and hope to take the test in April. Any comments or info will be greatly appreciated.

73 Lamar
KK4NZO

Is this the rig you really, really want? What I council against strongly, Padawan, is buying this one mostly for its VHF/UHF coverage. Down here in L.A. (Lower Alabama, y'all), there is precious little activity on these bands day in and day out. If six meters is open, cool, but most of the time it isn't, and there isn't much going on here even on the repeaters. If you like this rig, sure, go for it, but, again, I wouldn't buy it just because it covers VHF/UHF... A cheap little FT1900 will get you on 2-meters while you study for your General. Wink
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WB0UPD
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 04:41:22 PM »

I just purchased a HT  VHF/UHF and I am finding that good old 2 meters has activity, but in spite of several 440 repeaters I have never heard a soul.  At least scanning the ones I have programmed.  I think your advice is good, stick with 2 meters and the rig you suggested has enough power to work simplex with a good antenna over a wide area. 

 Heck I used to have an old Heathkit HW-2036 with a full 10 watts out, on a good day.  With a Ringo Ranger up at 50 ft I could work at least 50 miles.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6045




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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 08:03:58 AM »

....A cheap little FT1900 will get you on 2-meters while you study for your General. Wink

Please realize that there is far more to 2 meters than just FM.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20612




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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 09:19:59 AM »

....A cheap little FT1900 will get you on 2-meters while you study for your General. Wink

Please realize that there is far more to 2 meters than just FM.

There sure is.

I was on 2m AM and CW, and then tinkered with SSB (very new mode on 2m in the late 60s) before ever using 2m FM other than just messing around modifying commercial Motorola and GE rigs ("taxi" radios).

2m is a huge wonderland, and FM is probably the most boring part of it. Wink
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KJ6UPL
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 08:10:21 PM »

Hi Lamar,

It looks like you're getting a lot of good advice, but I didn't see any mention of 10 Meter sideband.  As a Technician I bought a Yaesu 450D and put up a homebrew 2 element 10 M yagi.  Since November I've worked about 30 countries and maybe half the states just being on the air a few hours a week.  That experience has taught me a lot about HF operating and has really made the hobby exciting for me.  With a little luck I'll have my General very soon as well.

Bob
KJ6UPL
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12899




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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 07:25:36 AM »

While 2M offers more than FM repeaters, you won't find much activity on the other modes unless you have a good antenna (tower/Yagi) or a mountain top location. You'll generally have to wait for the "occassional" band opening.

10M on the other hand, offers a whole lot more distance capability using simple antennas - especially in this part of the sunspot cycle.
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