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Author Topic: Equipment Recommendations  (Read 13285 times)
CARLOSDANGER
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Posts: 2




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« on: January 12, 2015, 11:30:00 AM »

I am joining the Army MARS and I am looking for equipment recommendations. Right now I have a Kenwood TH-D72A and a couple Baofeng UV-5r pro units, so I am in need of new equipment. I currently am using a friends radio on an as needed basis, but would like my own. If any other MARS folks have some recommendations for this newbie it would be greatly appreciated.
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AFA6MD
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 10:05:12 PM »

Hi Carlos,
Do you have an HF rig? What is your budget? I have heard many a good thing about the Kenwood TS-480. The HX version is supposed to be better for cooling during longer transmission, but you won't get a tuner with it.
Your State MARS Director should be able to and is most likely very willing to guide you.
73
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N9KWW
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 12:12:41 AM »

Depending upon your budget the hf rig you want should have the ability to operate in the  full hf spectrum 2-30MHz continuously. Second it should have an aux port to run digital modes without have to unplug the mike. A nice feature to have is the ability to have some computer control. Some programs can run digital modes and run the radio at the same time. This is nice but not a must have item.  I would recomend equipment that was made from the 90'S or later. Hope this helps.
Ron
nnn0vag/n9kww
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K8MTR
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 11:00:06 AM »

The Icom IC-718 is a pretty good HF starter rig and is still being sold. You can probably find a good used one somewhere, that's how I got mine. When I was in Navy-Marine MARS that's what I used for MT63 mode during training.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 11:02:47 AM by K8MTR » Logged
W3JKS
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 12:20:42 PM »

Seriously consider a rig with a high-stability crystal oscillator.  You will be operating on discrete HF channels and being off-frequency is not appreciated.  Having a decent filter in the radio is also useful - it is not unusual to have other nets running 3 kHz away from yours.

john
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N0PQK
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 05:01:05 PM »

These are the radios the used on USAF MARS over the years.

1991 - 1996 Yeasu FT-747

1996 - 2003 Icom 746 (Not the Pro)

2003 - NOW Icom 756 Pro 2

Any "Modern" radio should be fine. The Kenwood TS-590 is an excellent choice.
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CARLOSDANGER
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 02:12:36 PM »

Thank you all for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated.
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KC2QYM
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 07:26:43 AM »

How come the DoD doesn't provide some of their surplus radio equipment to MARS partcipants?  I have to assume that milspec grade equipment which is designed to stand up to some abuse during MARS field exercises and deployments would help fulfill the mission over commercial equipment.
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NW7N
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 11:59:06 AM »

How come the DoD doesn't provide some of their surplus radio equipment to MARS partcipants?  I have to assume that milspec grade equipment which is designed to stand up to some abuse during MARS field exercises and deployments would help fulfill the mission over commercial equipment.

They do, under the Surplus Equipment Program.
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WI9MJ
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 07:44:59 AM »

There is extensive digital operation in MARS, so interfacing with the computer is a consideration.

The Icom 7200 has a built in USB port, so you only need a USB cable to interface with the radio. No Rigblaster or other interface box is needed. The radio also has very good DSP capabilities, making weak signal work possible in many cases.

A good antenna tuner is a must, as you eill be operating on multiple frequencies, many times shifting 1 or more times in an hour net.

A multiband antenna is also a must. Research NVIS antennas, most are easy to homebrew wire antennas. an 80m OCF dipole works well. Long wires and non resonant dipoles fed with ladder line also work well.

You will have a communications system when you are set. Radio, tuner and antenna, and a computer set up for various soundcard digital modes.
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WI9MJ
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 03:11:50 PM »

Almost forgot, with the digital operation you need a radio with a 100% duty cycle on RTTY, the 7200 meets this requirement.
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