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Author Topic: Dual Band Mobile Pros Please Respond  (Read 615 times)
WD0DHT
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« on: March 17, 2008, 06:30:35 AM »

Folks, I'm looking for a new dual band dual receive mobile.  I'm out in the sticks where I don't get to go to a store and look at radios, so I have a question.  I want one that easily allows turning ctcss decode on and off.  Or at least a monitor button on the mic.  Guess I'm leaning towards a Yeasu FT-8800 or a Kenwood TM-V708A.  Probably the Yeasu if it allows easy monitoring.  Any comments or other options I should look at?  Thanks.
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KA1OS
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 09:25:50 AM »

1) If you can't visit a store, visit your local ham club and ask around.

2) Manuals for new rigs are available online. See if the features you want are accessible in the way you'd like.

To answer your question (partially): The FT-8800 has four 'reprogrammable' buttons on the microphone. You can set one to toggle through CTCSS and DCS operation. You can also set one to open the squelch. You'll probably find the latter function more useful to monitor simplex or the input of a repeater (along with the repeater reverse function).
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K3GM
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 05:55:02 PM »

I own close "relatives" to the radios you mentioned; an FT-8900 and a TM-D700A.  

The'8900 is feature loaded, but requires constant referencing of the manual.  Leave it home, and I'm lost. It's use involves lots and lots of menus, and I find it impossible to quickly QSY to a "foreign" repeater due to what's involved in setting up tones.

The Kenwood, although not as feature packed is intuitive in it's operation, and setting up to operate on a new machine is fairly quick, and easy.

Although they're intersting, I don't find I use all of the features that attracted me to the Yaesu in the first place.  My vote goes to the Kenwood.
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AI4NS
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 08:36:51 PM »

I just program my radio for tones whether the repeater needs one or not. Since they are all the same here, no problem and don't need to change anything.
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KF6RDN
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 11:54:35 PM »

I was looking at the 8800, at the time the 8900 was only a 50 buck upgrade, so I got it.  Great radio, yes you have to do menus, and no you cannot/should not do them while driving, but it's quite easy to figure out & get done what you wish, as mentioned there's 4 buttons you can program with typical functions.

Jury's still out on where the 10/6 meters is worth 50 bucks, not something I use on an FM rig, I would rather they would have put 220, 1.2 or some higher band in it. But who knows, 6 might be cool for some local groundwave stuff.
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N9ZMO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 11:43:07 AM »

I have the 8800 and am pleased with it. I believe you can add a short cut to the mic to take you to the tones sub menu if needed. It's a bit more involved to program it but I have found I don't need the manual to add a new repeater after working through things once.

But just in case I develop a brain cloud, I did download the manual from their website and print it to keep in the truck.

Good Luck in your purchase,
73, Kurt
N9ZMO
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KC7YSF
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 02:20:11 AM »

Even though I am able to read owners manuals without difficulty, it seems like I have problems programming every radio I have owned.  But some are better than others.  And personal preference plays a big part in your decision making process.  For instance, a friend of mine who is maintains repeaters in the area prefers Yaesu over all others.  If you ask the members of my local ham club, none of them would recommend Yaesu, because they are too difficult to program!

I would second the suggestion that you download manuals of the radios you are considering for purchase to see if the functions you find most important are easily accomplished.  

Having said all that, here is what I did.  I purchased the Kenwood TM-V71A.  I looked at the menu system of the Yaesu products and listened to my friends who said you need to keep the manual with you in order to operate the features easily.  Instead I went with the free programming software that is a download from Kenwood.  The software is not the best in the world, but it does link with the Repeater Handbook put out on disk by the ARRL.  So if you travel a lot around the country, it would be so much easier to change frequencies using the computer, rather than inputting by hand.  

I picked the TM-V71A because I didn't like the huge control head.

Good Luck on your purchase.

KC7YSF
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N0XMZ
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 05:39:44 PM »

I bought a used IC-207 on ebay that does just what you want. All features are available on the mic and it goes for about $200.
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