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Author Topic: Current options for a radio  (Read 15278 times)
W2RWJ
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Posts: 329




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« on: August 25, 2016, 04:03:48 PM »

Looking for a new mobile radio for satellite work.   

What  are the options for current production radios that are computer controllable?  Hi stability or 10 MHZ input a plus. 

73 W2RWJ

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K6LCS
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 04:38:53 PM »

"Mobile" as in a vehicle? Or for portable ops? (Or both!?)

It is more of a case of how/which antenna system(s) you will be using ...

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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
W2RWJ
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Posts: 329




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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 06:02:26 PM »

"Mobile" as in a vehicle? Or for portable ops? (Or both!?)

It is more of a case of how/which antenna system(s) you will be using

Mobile as in not an HT, here's the antenna system



73,
Martin
W2RWJ
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W5PFG
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Posts: 148




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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 11:04:55 PM »

Looking for a new mobile radio for satellite work.   

What  are the options for current production radios that are computer controllable?  Hi stability or 10 MHZ input a plus. 

73 W2RWJ

New, on the market today, there are two options:

Kenwood TS-2000 (old)
Icom IC-9100 (new)

Lots of satisfied owners of both.  I personally use and prefer the IC-9100.
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KD6RF
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 05:46:36 PM »

Not new - IC706MKII - 30MHz system clock, locks easily to 10MHz with fairly easy addition of homebrew link coil.
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VTenn Antennas
Bay Area Technical Equip Rental and Test Range
http://vtenn.com/Blog/
VE3WGO
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Posts: 111




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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 06:00:16 PM »

A year later and the list of all mode duplex radios for satellites hasn't changed.

I own a very old TS-2000X and a new IC-9100, but neither of them is what I would call "portable".   Sure, I had taken the TS-2000X as carry-on luggage on several flights as recently as 2007, not sure about it being allowed as carry-on these days though.  I banged it up a bit, but it's still ticking.

What I really would like is a small, lightweight portable duplex all mode HF/VHF/UHF radio.  50 watts would be enough, and it would take less power and be lighter than the usual 100 watt rig.  Perfect for any band, as well as any of the satellites we have now or are planning.  Neither Icom nor Yaesu reps at recent hamfests had any info to share when I asked about whether they will have anything like that on the drawing board in the future. 

I like to travel with my radio.  So perhaps it has to be something like an FT-857 plus an RSP2 to get full duplex, and some kind of pc/tablet/laptop.  But then that's less compact and portable than I am hoping for.

73, Ed VE3WGO
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KD7RDZI2
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 03:29:37 PM »

I would try anything able to make an uplink in 70cm, even an old 40years tx, a duplexer and a receiver for  2m and a single antenna such as the arrow. It would be nice a full duplex HT that had ssb but seems no brand is interested in the business.
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 05:55:54 PM »

A year later and the list of all mode duplex radios for satellites hasn't changed.

<snip>

What I really would like is a small, lightweight portable duplex all mode HF/VHF/UHF radio.  50 watts would be enough, and it would take less power and be lighter than the usual 100 watt rig.  Perfect for any band, as well as any of the satellites we have now or are planning.  Neither Icom nor Yaesu reps at recent hamfests had any info to share when I asked about whether they will have anything like that on the drawing board in the future. 

I like to travel with my radio.  So perhaps it has to be something like an FT-857 plus an RSP2 to get full duplex, and some kind of pc/tablet/laptop.  But then that's less compact and portable than I am hoping for.

73, Ed VE3WGO

Radios are still permitted on flights as carry-on items. You're correct about a TS-2000 or IC-9100 being large and not very portable.

If portability is the overriding factor in your choices for a portable all-mode satellite station, something like two FT-817s would be the way to go, along with a handheld/portable antenna like an Arrow Yagi or Elk log periodic (or homebrew equivalents of those dual-band antennas). An FT-857 gets you more transmit power, but in most cases 5W will be sufficient - especially on the linear transponders (non-FM satellites). You can substitute a receiver in place of one of the FT-817s, which could be any number of options...

1. An FT-817 with fried finals. The receiver should still work fine, and some satellite operators use these as a downlink receiver. FT-817s, like their larger cousins the FT-857, FT-897, and FT-991, can be controlled by a computer over the CAT port.

2. A portable all-mode receiver. This can also include the all-mode receiver an a Kenwood TH-D74 HT (it really is a good performer with satellite downlinks!).

3. An SDRplay or FUNcube Dongle Pro+ with a laptop or tablet (I have an SDRplay I use with an 8-inch Windows 10 tablet this way). Some of the SDR software can be controlled by programs like SatPC32, just like you would have the program control a "real" radio.

My go-to station for portable satellite operating, whether I drive or fly to a destination, is two FT-817s and accessories in an old laptop bag, along with an Elk log periodic. I don't use a laptop or tablet to control the two radios, since I can do that manually. I also bring along the SDRplay and small Windows 10 tablet (using HDSDR), but in bright surroundings the tablet is almost impossible to see. The TH-D74 is normally used for ISS/NO-84 packet, and sometimes on FM, but I have used it many times as the receiver for working the SSB satellites. It is a big improvement over the all-mode receiver in Kenwood's former tri-band HT, the TH-F6A (or the dualband TH-F7, for those outside the Americas). I sometimes have other radios with me, like a dual-band FM mobile radio for the FM satellites, or other HTs, that get used. I had a lot of this with me in May when I went to Dayton, followed by a road trip into Ontario before returning home to Arizona.

73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/ - Twitter: @WD9EWK
KJ4HVL
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 05:30:16 AM »


My go-to station for portable satellite operating, whether I drive or fly to a destination, is two FT-817s and accessories in an old laptop bag, along with an Elk log periodic.

Seconded, except I have an Alaskan arrow (which was a mistake, far too heavy).
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VE3WGO
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Posts: 111




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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 07:08:36 PM »

Patrick, thanks for your detailed list of ideas and suggestions!  It's got me thinking now.

Does anyone want to comment if the Arrow antennas can be assembled then knocked down for transportation repeatedly and reliably, or are they made to be assembled once and left that way?

73, Ed VE3WGO
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N4UFO
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Posts: 502




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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 08:56:08 PM »

They are DESIGNED for repeated assembly & disassembly. In fact, you can even get a roll up pouch that carries all the individual parts for ease of re-assembly.  73, Kevin N4UFO



http://arrowantennas.com/main/bag.html
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2017, 07:51:49 AM »

Patrick, thanks for your detailed list of ideas and suggestions!  It's got me thinking now.

Short of taking one of those larger satellte-ready transceivers along, we have to be creative in using different radios for this purpose. I've tried the options I listed, including a few different all-mode receivers beyond what is in the TH-D74. Some are easier to use than others, but we can put together stuff for a portable satellite station. Too bad some manufacturers like Elecraft can't make an HF/VHF/UHF radio to compete with the FT-817, which has been on the market since late 2000...

73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/ - Twitter: @WD9EWK
K2AR
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 09:10:50 AM »

Another option is the Yaesu FT-847 and someone makes a frequency reference board for it (when production resumes);

http://www.vk3hz.net/XRef/XRef_Home.html
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »

Another option is the Yaesu FT-847 and someone makes a frequency reference board for it (when production resumes);

http://www.vk3hz.net/XRef/XRef_Home.html

The FT-847 is a nice radio that many use for satellite work, but it has been out of production for many years. When VE3WGO recently restarted this thread, he asked about current production radios made for satellite work. We only have two at the moment, neither from Yaesu - although Yaesu rigs like the FT-817, FT-857, FT-991, and FT-897 make good building blocks for all-mode satellite work. The FT-817, and to slightly lesser extent the FT-897 (larger radio than an FT-817, with larger and more expensive battery packs), can also work portable without any need for external power.

73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/ - Twitter: @WD9EWK
VE3WGO
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Posts: 111




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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 06:54:09 PM »

it's not a current radio, still just a show concept model at the moment, but Icom recently displayed a prototype IC-9700 at the Tokyo Ham Fair last week.  No word on when (if) it will be put on the market.

It is a 2m/ 70cm/ 23cm triband all mode radio.  Looks similar to an IC-7300, but has dual receivers, and report I found mentions that it will have satellite mode.....  http://www.fbnews.jp/201709/news04/news_en.pdf 

On one Japanese video blog I saw, it said this radio will have 50 watts output on 70cm.  I couldn't translate most of the audio so I don't know what other nuggets were in there.  There are also some other video reports and blogs online that Google catches, in case you are interested.

73, Ed VE3WGO
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