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Author Topic: FT7800R - Decisions,decisions, decisions.  (Read 1008 times)
KE5EYI
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Posts: 22




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« on: June 06, 2005, 08:07:09 AM »

New Tech.  needs a radio - see previous post.
I think I have about made up my mind, almost.  I am about to purchase the Yaesu FT7800R and a Larsen NMO270B (black).  HRO has the best price so far, $255.95 for the FT7800R - incl shipping.
I have based my decision an awful lot on the eHam reviews  - the FT7800R has 76 reviews with 4.7 rating, the NMO270 has 15 reviews and a 4.6 rating.  My area has 2M and 70CM repeaters active, no 6M or 1.25M.
If anyone has any comments on my selections please respond now.
I hate to spend my hard earned $$ THEN findout there is a major flaw or draw back to my selection for my application.    
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N3JTN
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2005, 09:18:21 AM »

Hello, I just order FT 7800R from HRO to day 6-6-05 going to use larson 2/70 also , i will let know howe it works out,,

Larry N3JTN
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KE5EYI
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2005, 09:23:07 AM »

PLEASE DO!  I will appreciate very much your evaluation.  I wait with baited breath. HL
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KC0SOG
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Posts: 68




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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2005, 06:12:23 AM »

This is a good choice. I use the FT-7800R and the NMO 2/70 antenna for my mobile. I also have a FT-7800R as a base radio with a Diamond X50 antenna on the roof abt 25 feet up.  

73, Doug
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KE5EYI
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2005, 09:56:19 AM »

Sounds like I am in good company.  What kind of range do you get - mobile? base?  How does this set up compare to others you've used or know about.  Thanks for the reply. HL
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KG6ZLA
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2005, 07:30:29 PM »

Hate to muddy the waters a bit, but have you ruled out the Kenwood TM-G707A?  Last time I checked, they were the same prcie.  I needed two mobiles and could not decide, so in the greatest tradition of amateur radio, I bought both.  They're both excellent radios and I don't think you'll make a mistake with either.  The 707 has become my primary FM mobile bacause of the design of the remote kit and the visiblity of the button labels.  On the 7800 the remote cable and the mic attach to the head and the head snaps into the cradle. You have to disconnect them to take the head with you.  On the 707 the mic attaches to the base unit and the remote cable is connected to the cradle.  The head pops in and out, without having to mess with any cables.  I find the labels on the 7800 buttons a little less legible than the 'softkey' labels on the 707 which display on the LCD.  This could just be my aging eyes or the way I have the radios mounted.
Again, for basic mobile transceivers, they're both great.  I'm keeping the 7800 since it fits very nicely in the vehicle its mounted in and from a performance standpoint, gives up nothing to any radio I've heard.
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KE5EYI
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2005, 08:00:13 AM »

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have considered the Kenwood TM-G707A and it is still in the running but the 7800 has more memory and a few other thing over the 707. BUT several post I've read give the ease of  programming to the 707 - which might be a real advantage for a neophyte at this stuff.  Now that you've had experience with both which would you buy if you were in my situation - only need one mobile, funds very limited, and don't really know much about whats out there or where my interests or travels will take me?
(You didn't muddy the waters you have added greatly to my knowledge base for decision making.) HL
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KC0SOG
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Posts: 68




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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2005, 09:21:17 AM »

To answer your question on range.   It is dependent on many factors.  For mobile I would say the quality of your antenna installation. The radio won't matter much. The best is drilling a hole on the roof or trunk to get a good ground plane. But I just stuck the antenna on a L-bracket on the front fender like you see in many CB installations.  This achieves my goal of reliable communication for area repeaters and it hears as far as 50 miles away. For base station operation it will be the height of the antenna both for line of sight and to clear obstructions. Mine is up about 25 feet and I can talk 50 miles to the west with a good signal on high power and work all repeaters within 20 or 30 miles with ease.  I can talk simplex around 15 miles. Good enough for me.   Also don't buy the marketing hype of dB gain of mobile antennnas.   You won't know the difference unless you are very picky.  A unity gain Larson 2/70 1/2 wave will be good enough.  
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KG6ZLA
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2005, 09:32:37 PM »

If I had to keep one ... it would be the 707, but it wouldn't be an easy decision.  I REALLY like the remote mount set up. If you don't need to take the head with you all the time, this might not matter.  I take mine out at work and it only took a couple of days to appreciate the design of the Kenwood in this respect.  Programming is a wash for me.  I put five or six new repeaters into each last night and didn't have trouble with either.  
As I said in my previous message, you won't go wrong with either of these.  When both your choices are highly rated, the differences come down to personal preferences.
73s - Dave.
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KD8CIP
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2005, 10:36:21 PM »

Thanks, guys! I'm going through exactly the same decision and you have really helped me out here. At first, I was going for the Yaesu FT-8900R to get the cross-band repeat function and quadband capability. Now, I'm not so sure that's as important as some say. After all, how long can you leave your car in accessory with a 50W radio operating in cross-band simultaneously receiving and transmitting? You will either run the battery down or heat the radio up so you can cook breakfast on it. Then, there is the issue of IDing the mobile radio while in crossband mode. If I find myself really needing a crossband set-up for some reason, I can upgrade later. Right now, i just want a workhorse 2m/70cm radio for permanent vehicle installation and I don't want to spend more than necessary. In my area, southeast Michigan, all of the repeater action is on 2m and 70cm. I wouldn't expect to get much use out of the 6m and 10m bands in a mobile radio around here. Besides, a 1/4-wave antenna for 10m is 8 feet long and I don't want to install anything like this on my minivan because I don't want that much attention from thieves or anyone else. I like to go as stealthily as possible.

That started me looking at the Yaesu FT-7800R. It seemed like a good value and it had all of the features that I really need and maybe a few that I will seldom use, but not the ones I would never use. I looked at the ICOM IC-208H and IC2720H and Alinco DR620T, DR605TQ and DR635T, but somhow, I'm not so impressed with these. I have read a lot of negative feedback on the IC-208H, but I suppose the other products are good, but they don't stand out as the best choices when I compare specifications, features and price. These products cost from $60-$110 more than the Yaesu and Kenwood models and I can't find a reason why. I haven't had anyone claim that these radios are superior, so why the higher prices?

Also, I have a Yaesu VX7RB for my HT and I know how cumbersome the Yaesu user interface is. I like the Yaesu performance and features a lot, but they have some real issues in the user-friendliness department. It would be nice to have a user-friendly mobile radio since I will be using it on the road.

That's why I'm looking at the Kenwood TMG707A. I like what KE5EYI said about ease of programming of the Kenwood. Actually, I don't know how any radio can be more difficult to program than a Yaesu. Even with a background in software engineering, I took a while to get used to the twisted logic of the keystrokes.

I really liked what KG6ZLA said about the ease of taking the faceplate off the TMG707A without disconnecting cables. This will go a long way towards preventing theft of the radio, a problem that I wrestled with. I don't want to have to throw a jacket over the radio every time I get out of the vehicle.

With the price of the FT-7800R and the TMG707A being essentially equal at $270, it boils down to comparing specifications, features and quality. I'm going to assume that the quality of the manufacturing, materials and electronic components is the same for both since they are both made in Japan with similar technologies. Nothing different here.

Specifications Comparison:

Wide Receive: Yaesu FT-7800R comes standard with wider receive, but the Kenwood provides documentation on how to modify the TMG707A for wide receive. Why don't they just do it at the factory? Even with this mod, the Yaesu still has wider Rx. I won't repeat all the data here, but you can just download the spec sheets and user manuals.

Memories: FT-7800R has over 1000, TMG707A has 180. Yaesu has hyper memory, Kenwood has quick memory, a similar feature.

Output power: Yaesu has 50W on 2m and 40W on 440. Kenwood has 50W on 2m and 35W on 440.

Power Levels: Yeasu has 4 levels, Kenwood has 3.

Receiver Characteristics: The selectivities and sensitivities are comparable.

Kenwood's accessories are generally more expensive. Their remote separation kit sells for $40 more than Yaesu's.

Yaesu has the knack of offering kick-butt features that make it hard to resist, in spite of its user interface idiosyncrasies. I like the Yaesu weather alert feature and Kenwood doesn't have it. If it sounds like I'm leaning toward the Yaesu, I am. I like what Yaesu offers and that's probably the one I'm going to order unless I discover something else to change my mind in the next few days.

There were some good antenna options discussed in this thread. I'm going to investigate all, but I'm leaning towards the Comet UHF-4 antenna although I still have to do some comparisons. I don't want to bore a hole in the roof of my van because I like to haul my canoe and other gear up there. Besides, I don't want to develop any rust or leakage. Yeah, I know, I can use urethane sealer and gaskets, but sooner or later, rust will develop. Remember, I live in Michigan, a state with salted roads five months of the year. I like the idea of having a solid piece of sheet metal over my head. I think I'm going with the fender bracket like KC0SOG mentioned.

Well, I wrote quite a bit, but when I get to thinking about gear selection, its good to put my thoughts down on paper. It helps me and maybe it can help someone else, too. That's what it's all about, right?

73 from James

P.S. I referred to the AES web site for my price comparisons.


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KD0EXI
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 01:15:12 PM »

you would find this to be a fine radio and I think its made more for the new ham opt, its easy to program and use has good power out put and last forever I had mine for three years with no problems
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