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Author Topic: In a big rig.  (Read 3058 times)
KB0WZH
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Posts: 5




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« on: October 25, 2011, 04:24:16 AM »

Hi all, I am a General class op and I will be going OTR (over the road), I also want to talk on HF (I quit using CB as a teen). My question is what is a good rig that is easy to use (and see) and is small, I will be using a LDG or MFJ auto tuner also. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

73,
N. Lee Greger
KB0WZH
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WX7G
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Posts: 5920




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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 06:04:35 AM »

I prefer the Yaesu FT-857 with the Yaesu ATAS-120 autotuning screwdriver antenna. Change bands, hit the tune button and you're ready to go. No tuner required.

With the bands being hot all the way to 10 meters frequent band changes to follow propagation can make for a fun day on the radio.
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W1ASA
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 06:20:02 AM »

The Yaesu FT-857 is about the size of the Cobra 29 ltd CB. It's the smallest & lowest priced (little over $800) HF rig out. It can also be programmed using software with up to 200 Alpha Memories which would made easier when driving a Big Truck. But the display is rather small. Icom IC-706 no longer made has a better display. Or the IC-7000 a little pricey over $1200 new. I would not recommend the Yaesu antennas because they don't hold up to well compared to some others like Tarheel.

73
Israel
W1ASA
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KB0WZH
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 05:08:05 PM »

Thank you gentlemen for the advise, it looks like it is the 857! I was going to use my DX 70TH but it is old and has some issues. Thank you again.
73, Lee
kb0wzh  Grin
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K0BG
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 05:31:07 PM »

One thing to consider. The Ft-857 is about 10 a ten year old design. The Icom IC-7000 is about 6 years old. The Kenwood TS-480 is about 5 years old. While I'm partial towards the Icom, I certainly wouldn't limit my choices to the Yeasu, just because a few folks told you about it. If I were in your position, I'd go to my nearest dealer, and plan with them all!
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 07:28:32 PM »

I've used several mobile rigs in an 18 wheeler over the years(38+) and the
easiest to see in varying lighting conditions, that i have found to date, is the
Kenwood TS-480 series of radios (SAT or HX). It is larger than the ICOM 706, Yaesu 857,
or the ICOM 7000. But, depending on the truck you are driving, that may or may not
be an issue. And the remote face is different from the others as well. For one thing,
the microphone does not connect to the remote face like the other radios do.
Instead, it is like your Alinco and connects to the body of the radio. And has to have
an extension (depending on where you mount the body) to extend the microphone to
a convenient spot in the cab of the truck. I have my 480 attached to a home-made
removable mount that is strapped to the top of the dash of my truck. (2007 Kenworth
day cab) That way, It is easy to remove and yet, everything is right there and easy
to use.
  One thing to check for on any of the later diesel rigs is RFI generated by the electronic
fuel injectors. Caterpillar engines seem to have the worst RFI issues from the injectors
as the wiring harness to them is not shielded.
  I have used a LDG Z-11 PRO auto tuner and a 102" whip mounted behind the cab
on a pedestal style mount to help it clear the trailer better. (belly dump) And while
that worked, it didn't work very well. I could tune 20-10 meters OK, but, 40 was
mediocre at best and 80 not at all. I replaced that setup with a Little Tarheel II screwdriver antenna mounted on the driver's side mirror. (used the mount sold by
Tarheel for the antenna) Proper bonding of different parts of the truck to the frame
has helped a lot of things. And this setup tunes nicely from 40-10 meters with the
supplied 32" whip. I also carry the 54" whip and use it once in a while too.
I could use an auto Controller (not to be confused with an auto tuner) to control the
antenna, but, the simple up/down switch supplied with the antenna works fine and
I can retune it when stopped pretty fast. The Little Tarheel II is better than the auto
tuner/102" whip combo I was using , but, it is not as good as the full sized, Tarheel
100A HP that I use on my pickup. But, overall, I am happy with it and have had a
lot of fun using that setup.
  You might even try using your Alinco at first. Depending on the truck you will be
driving, it may surprise you at how well it works!
Have fun and hope to meet you on the air.
james
WD5GWY
   
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G8YMW
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Posts: 192




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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 02:21:43 AM »

I have seen somewhere (A UK CB forum) someone had trouble with noise from his diesel car.
It seems that the injectors are controlled by electrical impulses. What this lad did was to wind the wires around ferrite rings close to the injectors which knocked the noise down well.
Wish I could find the thread!!
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N6AJR
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 12:10:48 PM »

another vote for the ft 857 and the ATAS 120
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KB7QOA
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 02:22:35 PM »

For one thing, the microphone does not connect to the remote face like the other radios do.
Instead, it is like your Alinco and connects to the body of the radio. And has to have
an extension (depending on where you mount the body) to extend the microphone to
a convenient spot in the cab of the truck.    

While I don't use it mobile, I have the FT-857D mounted on my desk in my house.  I have the faceplate at a comfortable operating position, and the main body mounted a little farther out of reach.  The faceplate does not contain the mic connector, it has to be run directly from the main body as well.  The mic connector is behind the faceplate, so if you are only looking at pictures of the radio when it is not separated I can easily see how that could be confused.

I've had mine for almost 2 years now, and have been extremely happy with it.  There are some functions that don't really make sense why they buried them in a menu, but I've helped brand new ham set up an Icom IC-7000 and it is just as bad if not worse.  I'd feel much more comfortable trying to take my 857 mobile than the 7000 any day, but I may say the reverse if I'd had the Icom for 2 years instead of the Yaesu.

73 de KB7QOA
Jeremy
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AB4D
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 06:24:17 AM »

In regard to an HF antenna, a few OTR drivers who have posted about their experiences on the net, indicate for ruggedness in environments from 30+ below in Canada to 110 degrees in the desert, they like the GS 3 or GS 4 antennas from GS Mfg.  Each one is hand built, with no external moving parts on the coil, which IMO can be a big plus for an antenna that will see all kinds of different weather.

73
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M6GOM
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Posts: 876




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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 05:15:41 PM »

The FT857 has a rubbish tiny screen with tiny text and the controls and menu system will drive you mad. You certainly can't really use them whilst on the move. The ATAS 120 is the biggest stinking pile of rubbish of an antenna this side of a wet piece of string. The only thing good about it is that you can use a FT857 to control it. However any antenna outperforms it, even a hamstick.

The Icom 7000 is the best of the HF/2m/70cm mobile radios. The TS480 is the best for HF+6m. The TS480 has the biggest clearest display of them all and all most used things on buttons on the front panel. The Icom 7000 uses a menu system but it is a whole load easier than the FT857. Either of the aforementioned radios work well coupled with a Scorpion or Tarheel screwdriver antenna tuned using a Turbotuner or Better RF control unit.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 10:45:54 AM »

Having now owned both an 897D (larger version of 857D) and now the ICOM 7000 my clear choice without hesitation is the IC-7000.  If the price difference scares you, then the 857D is still a nice radio.

Just one opinion though, research your options well before you take the plung!
NI0Z
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W8QZ
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 06:41:51 PM »

Can't speak for the newer radios, but I've had some pretty good times with my DX-70 mobile. The biggest negative with that radio is the noise blanker - only works so-so (no threshold adjustment). If cost is an object, I'd go with that first, if it 's working OK. You can pick up one of those, used, for around $300 or so. In my opinion, a good antenna, along with grounding / shielding, are much more important than the radio. Otherwise, it's just a radio choice for operating convenience.
If you've got the room, an Outbacker antenna has worked well for me. Only downside with that is needing to move a tap to change bands.
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