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eHam Forums => VHF / UHF => Topic started by: AK4YH on July 04, 2017, 12:00:44 AM



Title: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on July 04, 2017, 12:00:44 AM
Hello,

I just want to share my new venture into 2m SSB, and I am quite pleased :) I should have tried it a long time ago. Amazing how far you can go with just 10W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuKBNZ_JXSk

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N8EKT on July 04, 2017, 06:23:46 AM
yep!

Most people mistakenly think that the 2 meter band is a line of sight band

Likely because their only experience has been with FM

Back in the 80s I ran a 21 foot long KLM long boom yagi with a Kenwood TR 9000 10 watt radio

I eventually added a 80 watt amplifier with a preamp and
I had great success talking hundreds of miles away from a QTH that was surrounded by hills hundreds of feet higher than my antenna



Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AF5CC on July 04, 2017, 12:09:08 PM
Last Friday I worked Arizona and Idaho from here in Oklahoma!  I am using 50 watts from a Yaesu FT100D to a Jetstream dualband yagi-it has 3 elements on 2 meters. That was sure fun! 

From this QTH I have worked 40 states on 2 meters using 160 watts or less, to antennas with a boom length of 15 feet or less.

73 John AF5CC


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N2RRA on July 04, 2017, 01:03:40 PM
Hello,

I just want to share my new venture into 2m SSB, and I am quite pleased :) I should have tried it a long time ago. Amazing how far you can go with just 10W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuKBNZ_JXSk

Gil.

I've been tryin to encourage activity on this band for years, but the repeater nay sayers detour operators from exploring with their fake news and discourage folks with high expense tales so they don't loose activity on their membership repeater groups. With very little you can get started. Doesn't matter if there's no e-skip. Its still a great band to utilize and enjoy.

73 and have fun. 


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W8JX on July 05, 2017, 07:51:04 PM
yep!

Most people mistakenly think that the 2 meter band is a line of sight band

Likely because their only experience has been with FM

Airmass bending/ducting is not unique to SSB. When I lived in Texas in mid 70's, I remember working Florida across gulf on 2m FM in a mobile with 15 watts and a 1/4 wave on roof many times.  I can remember watching UHF analog TV from deep in Kentucky and into Tennessee coming in to area north of Dayton Ohio where i live during big frontal shifts in weather patterns in spring and summer. The problem is though without this there are a lot of dead days on band. You can push reliably a bit beyond line of site with good antennas and some height but 300 to 500 or more miles is not gonna happen without some help from weather patterns.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: VK3YE on July 08, 2017, 02:16:49 AM
2m SSB is great fun. Like HF it's you, not a repeater, doing the work.

Because signals can be so near the noise level you can become aware of subtleties that raise signals by a few dB and make unworkable signals workable.

A couple of highlights from my portable operating (all with 5w to a 2 to 4 el yagi)

1. Aircraft enhancement - long distance with a 2 el yagi (and a good station at the other end)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWbzveak-ug

2. A VHF Field Day - contact made with a station over a difficult path by resorting to CW and bouncing the signal off a hill 50km away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYOBxUYq8JM

3. A spontaneous outing after hearing of enhanced propagation - Even if you're only at sea level some good contacts are possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC3F4wv04RE





Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on July 08, 2017, 02:31:33 AM
Thank you Peter, great stuff! I always enjoy your videos  :)

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: ONAIR on July 09, 2017, 01:41:08 PM
Great videos Peter!!  Love that 2 element beam made out of two sets of $1 rabbit ears that one can find at dollar stores!!!  :)


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N3HKN on July 10, 2017, 03:40:57 PM
Antennas seem reasonable but equipment costs appear to be high. The reason often given is the limited market for quality VHF/UHF gear. Even transverters look to be close to $500. You have to compare that to HF where $500 can get you a decent transceiver. Because of a very high HF noise level I am forced to now take a serious look at VHF/UHF. My impression is that older gear has not come down since I looked a few years ago. Being stuck with now useless HF stuff I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.
Dick  N3HKN


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W8JX on July 10, 2017, 04:44:21 PM
I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.

More like 75 to 100 miles or a bit more reliably with good antennas on both ends. If you want good range focus on antenna and height first. Even FM does well with height on both ends. 


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W4KYR on July 11, 2017, 12:03:34 AM
I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.
Dick  N3HKN

I can easily get over 50 miles on 50 watts and a 3 element beam on a daily basis on 2 meter SSB


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on July 11, 2017, 02:57:02 AM
Quote
I can easily get over 50 miles on 50 watts and a 3 element beam on a daily basis on 2 meter SSB

Thanks, I am mostly interested in reliable communication... We'll see what 10W can do... I am waiting for the PAR loop, omnidirectional, but no gain... The antenna gets good reports, and it will help me map my RF surroundings. I'll make a video. Don't forget to subscribe.

Quote
I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.

I think it is more than a few times a year, but certainly not all the time. The $200 I paid for the IC-251 isn't too expensive, and there are often sub-$100 2m all modes transceivers on Ebay.

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W4KYR on July 11, 2017, 04:28:37 AM
Quote
I can easily get over 50 miles on 50 watts and a 3 element beam on a daily basis on 2 meter SSB

Thanks, I am mostly interested in reliable communication... We'll see what 10W can do... I am waiting for the PAR loop, omnidirectional, but no gain... The antenna gets good reports, and it will help me map my RF surroundings. I'll make a video. Don't forget to subscribe.

Quote
I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.

I think it is more than a few times a year, but certainly not all the time. The $200 I paid for the IC-251 isn't too expensive, and there are often sub-$100 2m all modes transceivers on Ebay.

Gil.

Another thing to consider is to sell your HF rig and getting a used  FT 897 or IC-706MkIIg. They put out 50 watts on two meters, plus you also have 6 meters and 440 multi-mode.

At minimum I suggest getting a three element  2 meter beam, they take up little space and very manageable. They are easy to put in the trunk or back seat so you can take them to a remote location, hilltop or mountain and operate from there. Another plus is that you don't need a rotor to turn it, put it on a pole on your back deck and turn it by hand. That's what I did.

On the used market a 3 element two meter beam often sells for $40 and up. If you buy one of the multi-band, multi-mode radios that I suggested. Then go for the 2 meter/440 beam. I think new they run a little over $100...

Now If you can get a 5 element or larger, all the better and remember to use horizontal polarization for SSB.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on July 11, 2017, 07:05:31 AM
Quote
At minimum I suggest getting a three element  2 meter beam

Well, I made this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6quIk_X3QIE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6quIk_X3QIE)

I plan on making a Moxon too...

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: VK3YE on August 07, 2017, 04:00:38 AM
For those doubting what VHF SSB can do, here's compilation of videos of contacts over various distances.

All contacts were made with 5w to simple antennas (no more than 6 el)

http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/gateway/vhfssb.htm


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 07, 2017, 10:33:56 AM
Thank you Peter, I am one of your subscribers. 2m SSB indeed turns out to be a great local and beyond mode/band. Actually, I mention your channel (again) in my upcoming video tonight...

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W1VT on August 07, 2017, 06:01:44 PM
When I first moved to Connecticut I made 2M SSB contacts of several hundred miles via tropo ducting using just 10 watts to an HF dipole fed with open wire and a tuner.  It was a great antenna considering the fact that I was living in a cheap  2nd floor apartment. I also used that open wire fed dipole get my 6M VUCC with 3 watts.  ;D


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: ONAIR on August 08, 2017, 02:02:56 PM
Had loads of fun on 2M SSB, using just a small portable ELK 2m/440 beam!!  www.ElkAntennas.com


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: K3GM on August 08, 2017, 09:12:25 PM
....Back in the 80s I ran a 21 foot long KLM long boom yagi with a Kenwood TR 9000 10 watt radio

I eventually added a 80 watt amplifier with a preamp.....
Ran the same exact setup.  I used a Lunar 80W amp with a Janel Labs preamp.  That KLM 3.2 wavelength Yagi was longer than my Philly rowhome was wide.  I mounted it 90 degrees to my HF tribander so I could park it with everything within my house width.  Great antenna.  The '9000 was somewhat a brick though.  My recollection was that you had to hold the PTT in on the mic in order to put the rig into transit for CW.  Great memories though.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N5XO on August 09, 2017, 02:55:13 AM
Hello,

I just want to share my new venture into 2m SSB, and I am quite pleased :) I should have tried it a long time ago. Amazing how far you can go with just 10W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuKBNZ_JXSk

Gil.

Welcome to the world of VHF/UHF SSB operating. I got hooked on this mood about 10 years ago now and am passionate about it......It is a very exciting mode and what you can accomplish can be amazing in the way of communications. Some good high gain antennas and 200 or 300 watts and it will open up an huge world of operating potential.

www.144200.net


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N5XO on August 09, 2017, 03:07:36 AM
Hello,

I just want to share my new venture into 2m SSB, and I am quite pleased :) I should have tried it a long time ago. Amazing how far you can go with just 10W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuKBNZ_JXSk

Gil.

I've been tryin to encourage activity on this band for years, but the repeater nay sayers detour operators from exploring with their fake news and discourage folks with high expense tales so they don't loose activity on their membership repeater groups. With very little you can get started. Doesn't matter if there's no e-skip. Its still a great band to utilize and enjoy.

73 and have fun. 


We actually have been very successful in promoting SSB operation on 6 meters through 23cm here in San Antonio and the area and our club www.144200.net the HAMster Group has grown to over 150 members. We promote it and have been invited to a dozen or more clubs in a 300 mile radius to give talks on weak signal operation and the advantages to it. Work with your local clubs,  not as a replacement for repeaters but as another mode and form of communication and you will be surprised how many will invite you to speak at meetings, etc.

The activity level has gone from just a couple of experimenters 10 years ago, to a few hundred SSB enthusiastic in the region....


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N5XO on August 09, 2017, 03:17:54 AM
Antennas seem reasonable but equipment costs appear to be high. The reason often given is the limited market for quality VHF/UHF gear. Even transverters look to be close to $500. You have to compare that to HF where $500 can get you a decent transceiver. Because of a very high HF noise level I am forced to now take a serious look at VHF/UHF. My impression is that older gear has not come down since I looked a few years ago. Being stuck with now useless HF stuff I do not want to risk a bundle on something that will make longer than 50 mile contacts only a few times a year.
Dick  N3HKN


for almost 40 years I never ventured about 15 meters......I got on 2 meter FM to communicate from the car with local folks in mid 2006 and while I enjoyed the operating with friends...I found it boring....I got hooked on SSB and later started expanding to include 220, 432, and 1296 and recently just added 900MHz and it's in my view point the most fun I have had....I still get on HF for conversation and to chase DX now and then...but VHF/UHF is my passion.

My home station is not in a good location elevation wise.....with many hills, etc to my north....but I am able to communicate 150 to 250 miles daily with no problem and our club members are separated by 50 to 250 miles...and we not only carry on conversations daily, but have a large weekly net. I added SSB with a K5VH Omni antenna to my truck....160 watts, single Omni and I've worked 75 to 140 miles with out conditions on a regular bases....with my best contact over 700 miles with good tropo a few times. We out talk strong regional repeaters in the area....and we do it daily direct antenna to antenna...

If you like a challenge, can deal with periods of down time...it's well worth it.

My station changed dramatically over the years......from a simple HF multi-radio station...to the beast it is today....

Reminder...you have a lot of modes on 2 meters Weak signal....from SSB Phone, to CW, and a host of digital modes....With new digital modes meteor scatter, EME are all in reach of small modest stations.....I am not a fan of digital....preferring to make contacts Phone or CW.....But for many the digital modes are a big deal.....

THINK OF VHF/UHF/SHF WEAK SIGNAL OPERATING as going fishing.....a lot of down time, relaxing...but some big rewards.

Greg
N5XO


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N5XO on August 09, 2017, 03:20:03 AM
The other day, I was busy on a project and just casually listening to the repeaters and Ed and Terry were talking, Ed mentioned an e-mail I had sent out about some contacts I had made that week on 2 meter SSB and Terry made the statement that I really pushed that mode and tried to get everyone to go that way.
Terry was and is 100% correct, I am fanatical about VHF/UHF/SHF Weak Signal Operating. It is the entire purpose of the HAMster Group, and why our club exist to promote and encourage weak Signal activity
Why?
Weak signal VHF/UHF work can be one of the most addictive, rewarding and frustrating aspects of amateur radio. It is addictive because the thrill of making a contact right at the noise level, by reflecting your signal off the ionized trail of a meteor, catching a sporadic E opening or by bouncing your signal off the moon just can't be beat. The reward can range just from the satisfaction of working a new station/grid/state/country, from earning one of the many rewards, or from seeing that new piece of equipment you spent countless hours designing, scrounging and building finally on the air and making contacts. And frustrating too after spending hour after hour listening to noise wondering if the other stations aren't all just parked in front of the TV watching football.
Think of Weak Signal Operating along the lines of hunting and fishing. You need patience, quality equipment and skill to be successful. Very little is as exciting as working another country, or state on 2 meters, 70cm or 1296. The day I made my first long haul contact on 1296.100MHz with 10 watts to Florida and followed it up with two more contacts in Florida that morning and then Georgia got me so excited, I woke up Ruth {needless to say she did not share my enthusiasm, specially at 5:am}.
I have been a HAM for 49 years now, during this time radio became part of my life professionally as a Navy Radio Man, serving for COMPHIBRON 5 on board the U.SS Tripoli, later on the Bellwood. Never once did I venture above 15 meters until 2006. For many years 100% of my activity was on 40, 20 and 15 meters {17/12 did not even exist for many years}, in 2006 I purchased a new TS-2000 Shack in the Box type of radio, I started playing on 2 meters and simply put I considered it a pretty lame band for some time. To me 2 meters was not good for anything beyond local conversation on repeaters, which other than staying in touch with local friends I found boring. The radio supported 6 meters, and couple of guys in KCOMM were talking about the fun on 6, I thought what the heck, put up a 5 element cushcraft and for 4 or 5 months I heard NOTHING. I thought what the hell, this has to be the worst band around. I made plans to take down the antenna and replace it with a 2 element 40 meter yagi, when just for the heck of it one day I turned on the radio to 6 meters and to my shock and surprise hundreds of voices were pouring from the speaker.
Over the next two hours, I made 100 or more contacts, learned about grids, and experienced from others the passion and thrill of 6 when the band is open, over the next coupe of months I was able to experience 13 or 14 more band openings and I became hooked. I started reading, learning all that I could about 6 meters, got hooked up with some folks up in Austin and Houston that were 6 meter fanatics and met Bill W3XO who has written more and forgotten more about 6 meters then most of us will ever learn. Over the next few years, I had developed my station to be a power player on 6 meters and was becoming a well known contact around the country and through out the South American countries.
In 2009, I decided to work my first contest ever in my entire life and jumped into the June ARRL VHF/UHF contest, I worked strictly 6 meters and won 2nd place for single operator South Region which I thought was very cool. During this contest I worked N0IRS in Kansas city and he suggested we try 2 meters, I thought he was freakin nuts, 2 meters from San Antonio to Kansas city? No way in hell, but he was pretty positive. So off to SSB 144.200 we went, and with my stacked 13 element yogi’s {vertical, so handicapped} I worked J.D in Kansas, over 790 miles and then followed that up with almost another dozen contacts on 2 meters to that area.
WITH THOSE CONTACTS AND J.D’S ENTHUSIASM AND PROMOTION OF WEAK SIGNAL, BOOM I WAS HOOKED AND A VHF/UHF/SHF FANATIC WAS BORN THAT DAY!
Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s to weak signal on VHF/UHF.
The negative to it, is if you are a 2 meter or even 70cm FM operator and are used to the clear voice and audio quality, then it will take some time to get used to operating VHF/UHF on SSB, and signals tend to be lower on the scale. For example, I can work a friend of mine on 2 meter FM simplex and he is full scale and nice audio, we switch to SSB and he is 4 to 5 S units and not as wonderful sounding audio. So there is a getting used to it scale.
One thing most HF guys will tell you, it takes a little time to develop your SSB ear. But once you get used to it, you will find you can hear and copy much much weaker signals then you could even hope to work on FM.
Positives to weak signal, you are going to work much greater distances then even a repeater can cover. My two main repeaters have excellent coverage areas, but many conversations we have on 2 meter SSB mobil and fixed station would be impossible on the repeaters.
For Example: Dale KA5YEU down in Alice, is out of repeater range, J.D could get into the repeater but not talk to Dale. Tom K5VH in Dripping Springs can some times hit the repeater and some times not, Tom in Austin is out of repeater range, Rafael XE2OR is out of repeater range unless there are excellent conditions, Jerry KB2WDM can hit the repeater. So under normal circumstances all of us could not carry on a conversation day to day
Yet on a regular bases we get on SSB and carry on a conversation with each other in a large round table. A few weeks back, we were demonstrating to some folks the advantage to SSB, I was operating mobil with a single omni loop on my truck and 50 watts, J.D was operating mobil with 300 watts and a single loop, Dale in Alice, Tom in Dripping Springs, Jerry in Schertz, Tom in San Antonio, Dave in Pipe Creek, Larry in Dripping Springs were able to carry on a conversation with me all the way to Falfurious Texas, a distance of 205 miles for Tom in Dripping Springs as the crow flies.
Another example: Sunday night on our 2 meter Weak Signal Net, we have regular check in from Kerrville, Alice, Austin, Dripping Spring, Canyon Lake, and through out the region, this week we had the fun of working J.D W1DVZ mobil as he drove to Atlanta Georgia. We all worked him all the way into Houston, and Ed W5EDS was able to work him just outside of Houston. This was Ed’s first 2 meter SSB long haul contact and working a mobil added to the challenge.
What makes this example even more valuable is the fact we had NO CONDITIONS Sunday evening, this was just working normal bands. So Ed was 193 miles straight line contact with out band conditions with a single yagi and 50 watts to a mobil. This demonstrates highly the thrill of 2 meter SSB operating.
You can not do this except under rare circumstances on FM, nor can you do it with a repeater.
True Emergency communication ability, plus the challenge and thrill of communicating antenna to antenna on bands 80% of the ham population will tell you is useless with out a repeater.
I invite anyone to try out Weak Signal Operating and learn more about it.
I am very passionate about it, and like all hobbies and passions you want friends and folks with similar interest to join you and try to instill that same passion for it. So unless you tell me to shut up and go away, I will always be preaching the thrill and challenges and fun of VHF/UHF weak signal activity.
To wrap this up…….If you do not already have our up coming lunch and learn on your calendar, I really would like to invite you to join us June 17th 2017 at the American Red Cross for our Free LUNCH and LEARN event. This event has grown quickly to the point that FLEX RADIO is even supporting us with some training classes this year.
So join us….See attached flier.
Just an example of what you can do……From my personal logs:
6 Meters over 7000 contacts, 50 states, 5 countries.
2 Meters over 4400 contacts, 28 states and 2 countries
1.25 Meters over 700 contacts, 4 states
70cm over 1,000 contacts, 5 states and 1 country
23cm over 140 contacts, 4 states


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 09, 2017, 11:19:45 AM
Thanks Greg, very interesting. You should write an Eham article on it.

I can only agree with not relying on repeaters... 2m USB and CW is used in France for emergency communications, but few "regular" hams use it. DMR seems to be the big thing right now. I did find a handful of locals who monitor 144300. Sometimes I get England, a couple hundred kilometers away, with 10W. Using an omnidirectional loop has allowed me to find the locals, but my 6el. Yagi-Uda does the heavy lifting. I operate portable only. Between 2m SSB/CW and NVIS on 80m there aren't many times I can't make regional contacts. I think I will eventually get the MFJ-9402, since my IC-251 is a bit heavy to lug around. It certainly is much easier to set-up a small 2m antenna compared to a 135ft wire. I'm not ditching 80m, it works too well, but 2m SSB/CW is my new pet band/mode.

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N0YXB on August 10, 2017, 07:55:27 AM
Thanks Greg, very interesting. You should write an Eham article on it.


+1


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N5XO on August 10, 2017, 03:16:43 PM
Thanks Greg, very interesting. You should write an Eham article on it.


+1

I would need someone on a staff full time correcting my grammar :)


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W4KYR on August 11, 2017, 03:48:14 AM
Thanks Greg, very interesting. You should write an Eham article on it.


+ 1 too


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: K0UA on August 11, 2017, 09:43:40 AM
yep!

Most people mistakenly think that the 2 meter band is a line of sight band

Likely because their only experience has been with FM

Airmass bending/ducting is not unique to SSB. When I lived in Texas in mid 70's, I remember working Florida across gulf on 2m FM in a mobile with 15 watts and a 1/4 wave on roof many times.  I can remember watching UHF analog TV from deep in Kentucky and into Tennessee coming in to area north of Dayton Ohio where i live during big frontal shifts in weather patterns in spring and summer. The problem is though without this there are a lot of dead days on band. You can push reliably a bit beyond line of site with good antennas and some height but 300 to 500 or more miles is not gonna happen without some help from weather patterns.

Don't forget meteor pings.  With the new digital mode of MSK144, meteor scatter contacts are an everyday thing now.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 16, 2017, 12:47:46 PM
What digital modes are used on 2m? I'd like to try but with something that allows chatting, not just exchanging call signs...

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N6YFM on August 22, 2017, 10:36:35 AM
Does anyone know of a place we can find a list of rigs that can be used
for SSB  (all mode)   VHF/UHF etc?  While I know about the Kenwood TS-2000
and the Yaesu FT-991a, what others are good options for this?
Also, when you all mention 1296 Mhz in this thread, I assume you are talking
about using transverters for an all mode lower frequency rig?   Or did someone
make an actual all mode transceiver that included 1296?

Cheers,

Neal


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: HAMFESTS on August 22, 2017, 11:29:45 AM
Hi Neal,

You could go to http://www.rigpix.com/

Then click on the Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom links and scroll down to see what was made.

Current rigs are some of what you mentioned, TS2000, FT991A, and the Icom 9100. Mobile ones are Icom 7100, Yaesu FT857. The mobile rigs are basic but don't have the performance of the larger more expensive radios.

Older rigs are the FT847, Icom 706 MKIIG, and others. I won't give ratings on any of these, you can look at the reviews section or any comments from other hams.

The TS2000 and IC9100 have 1.2G options.

73


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W8JX on August 23, 2017, 06:15:16 AM
Hi Neal,

You could go to http://www.rigpix.com/

Then click on the Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom links and scroll down to see what was made.

Current rigs are some of what you mentioned, TS2000, FT991A, and the Icom 9100. Mobile ones are Icom 7100, Yaesu FT857. The mobile rigs are basic but don't have the performance of the larger more expensive radios.

Older rigs are the FT847, Icom 706 MKIIG, and others. I won't give ratings on any of these, you can look at the reviews section or any comments from other hams.

The TS2000 and IC9100 have 1.2G options.

73

The 2000 is a 18 year old design and I would not spend much money on one as even new ones are same as old ones and not best radios for serious VHF/UHF SSB. I would use a current recently released model if you are serious.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 23, 2017, 09:42:22 AM
There was a time when 2m SSB must have been all the rage. eBay still has a flurry of old 2m SSB radios, some portable, the list is fairly long. Why this has changed, I don't know. It is certainly regrettable. People prefer to rely on repeaters, which is fine only if you don't practice radio for emergency or prepping purposes. I really like my IC-251, but for portable operations, I might get the MFJ-9402. I wish there still were rigs like the FT-290R and IC-202 with built-in telescopic antennas.

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: ONAIR on August 23, 2017, 10:45:09 AM
There was a time when 2m SSB must have been all the rage. eBay still has a flurry of old 2m SSB radios, some portable, the list is fairly long. Why this has changed, I don't know. It is certainly regrettable. People prefer to rely on repeaters, which is fine only if you don't practice radio for emergency or prepping purposes. I really like my IC-251, but for portable operations, I might get the MFJ-9402. I wish there still were rigs like the FT-290R and IC-202 with built-in telescopic antennas.

Gil.
  Good point!  2 meter AM was also the rage once!  I think there would be a lot more activity on 2 meter SSB (or even AM) if manufacturers just included those modes in FM mobile rigs.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 23, 2017, 01:40:26 PM
Quote
2 meter AM was also the rage once!

I even think they should remake the Gonset Communicator!

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N6YFM on August 23, 2017, 07:13:21 PM
So after 3 pages with this thread, it seems like the only serious suggestion is
the Icom 9100, but to stay away from the 18 year old design of the Kenwood TS-2000?
The feedback is that the Icom 9100 is a more recent design/technology, includes USB port
for control/digital/sound-card, but the Kenwood TS-2000 is an ancient design, lacks USB port
or sound card, and therefore is not worth the money?

Any comments on how the Yaesu FT-991A stacks up for all mode use against the above?

Are there any current users of VHF/UHF SSB that want to comment?

Cheers,

Neal


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on August 24, 2017, 03:25:51 AM
Hello,

You can find much cheaper used rigs online. The MFJ-9402 works great. No need to spend more than $300. Radios that have VHF SSB on top of all the other bands usually aren't as good as dedicated 2m all mode transceivers. I paid $200 for my IC-251 and it is an awesome radio.

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AA2UK on September 20, 2017, 09:41:23 AM
I'm not a fan of the TS2000 even though it's an older rig Jeff, K1TEO has managed 1st place SOHP wins in almost every ARRL VHF contest since the year 2000. Jeff uses a pair of these rigs. As with most VHF, VHF/UHF or HF/VHF/UHF combo rigs they are only as good as the antenna(s), low loss cables (hardline), LNA's and amplifiers hooked up to the RF connector on the rear of the radio.
SDR's w/ transverters seem to be the present day top of the line rigs, but they are only as good as the system components such as the antenna and support systems mentioned above.
Using either example I've given with a poor antenna and you'll get poor performance.
YMMV,
Bill AA2UK


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: HAMFESTS on September 21, 2017, 12:23:16 PM
All valid points brought up.

AK4YH, the IC-251 is a beautiful radio.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds with Icom's IC-9700.

The only thing that might be a sure thing is that it will be expensive. (I hope I'm wrong)

Neal,
Depending on your interest and funds older radios can be good sources for cheaper alternatives to the newer technology. The newer radios offer newer tech and more features. Evaluate your needs and then go for it. Good luck.

73


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: N4UE on September 21, 2017, 02:58:21 PM
All good things to ponder. Here's one I thought of today.....
The 9700 is a higher frequency clone of the successful 7300. I have one and it's a great radio.

Now, picture a VHF/UHF clone to match the highly anticipated 7610. I have a 7610 on pre-order and would buy a higher frequency companion to it in a heartbeat. That way, I could sell my 271/471 radios.

ron
N4UE


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AA2UK on September 22, 2017, 05:46:13 PM
All good things to ponder. Here's one I thought of today.....
The 9700 is a higher frequency clone of the successful 7300. I have one and it's a great radio.

Now, picture a VHF/UHF clone to match the highly anticipated 7610. I have a 7610 on pre-order and would buy a higher frequency companion to it in a heartbeat. That way, I could sell my 271/471 radios.

ron
N4UE
Ron, the 7610 and 9700 look like really nice rigs
Bill, AA2UK


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: WA8UEG on September 25, 2017, 03:23:24 PM
I use a IC-551 with a 100 watt amp and 11 element beam at 70' and have a ball on 2. I did add CTSS to it so I can work a friends repeater about 180 miles away but it is primarily a FM simplex or SSB rig and does a great job.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on September 26, 2017, 12:10:58 AM
Hi, where did you inject the tone?

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: WA8UEG on September 26, 2017, 05:31:10 AM
Gill,

I will pull the schematic then copy and post, it's been a few years and I forget but am sure I marked it on the schematic. I ran the wires to a miniature connector and purchased a PIEXX digital encoder and just plug it in. Works perfect and the PIEXX encoder is small, simple to use and has it's own case, I think it was around $70.00.

I'm traveling but will be back later tonight and will post the info.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: WA8UEG on September 26, 2017, 10:36:17 AM
Gill,

I did not mark up the schematic but do have detailed instructions, I have posted the instructions and a picture of the rig with the PL attached on the following link. You can enlarge the writing to make it easy to read.

http://wa8ueg.wixsite.com/pictures (http://wa8ueg.wixsite.com/pictures)


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on September 26, 2017, 10:16:58 PM
Great thank you!

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: AK4YH on October 02, 2017, 11:59:14 AM
https://youtu.be/LaRsBtT52kc (https://youtu.be/LaRsBtT52kc)

Gil.


Title: RE: Venturing into 2m SSB territory.
Post by: W2WDX on October 06, 2017, 01:42:38 PM
What I am about to say is purely anecdotal, so take it for what its worth. I have always used a Yaesu FT-221R (with the Mutek Board) for SSB. Not the best receiver, but I get out there.

Here's the thing. It's not really about the radio for 2M, it's about gain and loss. Antennas and feedline. I have operated 2m SSB at sea level (literally) for years. Recently, I moved into a 24 story co-op in the hills in the northern Bronx of New York City. After much negotiation with the Board of Directors and the City Buildings Department, I was able to get permission and permits to put up some antennas on the roof. One HF dipole, a few VHF/UHF verts, and a VHF/UHF Yagi setup. I was careful what I chose in terms of directional antennas, since access to the roof is limited. Even though I am the only occupant with a key, I still need to be "escorted" by building management employees.

I ended up with a 22 el loop fed Yagi for 2M SSB. I use a mast mounted LNA. The feedline (268') is Times Microwave LMR-1700. Here's my experience. At a total elevation of 434' above sea level (I can see the ocean from the roof), the extreme low-loss of the feedline, and the 20dB gain and low-noise Pre-amplifier, the silence on my old FT-221R was such that I thought I had a problem with the radio. Unplugging the antenna lead on the back of radio produced only a slight decrease in noise. So most of what I thought was atmospheric noise all these years in other situations, apparently was actually just combined noise from feedlines, poor antennas, poor grounding, and such things. The radio is actually quiet and sensitive. I was clearly hearing stations drifting in from the Carolinas over the ocean, likely tropo propagated.

The point being in my case, I learned even an old radio benefits from one simple basic fact; on 2m SSB make sure you have gain and low loss, on transmit of course, but more importantly on receive. Simple things like mast mounted LNA vs. one stuck at the transceiver means the difference between amplifying feed-line noise or amplifying actual signals.