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Author Topic: What is the cheapest way to add HF mobile? (low budget)  (Read 6951 times)
AG5T
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« on: January 15, 2013, 04:35:01 PM »

Is there a way to add HF mobile and still stay within a budget, say $150 (maybe $200 at the most). Does not have to be digital, but that's preferred. Size could vary as unit could be taken in and out of the vehicle as needed. In the past I used my Yaesu FT-747 as a mobile rig, but it's my only indoor hf rig and it's been repaired so many times I'd hate to take it back outside. I know there used to be some radios called Ten Tec Scouts but I hear they are quite rare and may not be what I need anyway. I would like to know if anyone sees a good HF digital rig in the $150 range. I usually don't see less than $300, so maybe someone can tell me to just wait and save my money instead of trying to fit into this budget. Thanks.
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WN2C
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 04:41:24 PM »

Saw a Scout on QRZ just a day or two ago.  Might have been on here too.  OK I'll be the first to tell you...save your money and wait til you can afford a better radio than the Scout.

Rick  wn2c
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W5DXP
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 05:33:27 AM »

Is there a way to add HF mobile and still stay within a budget, say $150 ...

I haven't checked into such lately but at one time changing the XTAL in the phase-locked loop circuitry would shift an SSB CB radio from 11m to 10m. Here's a newsgroup dedicated to such.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CB2HAM/
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
W9MMS
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 11:08:12 AM »

   >>> so maybe someone can tell me to just wait and save my money instead <<<

Lets be realistic here now.

1) Radio  - $???.00  {one that will fit in a vehicle}
2) Antenna  - $??.00
3) Misc Accessories - $??.00 { coax, straps for bonding, etc.}
It all adds up pretty quickly.

$300.00 subtract $???.00 = Wait and save some more.

PS; Doing it right the first usually cost a whole lot less!

(((73))) Milverton.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 12:17:12 PM »

Look around for a cheap radio that you can use in the vehicle. I use an ft 857 in both the car and the pick up. ( along with others )  It works well. I am using a ATAS 120 for the antenna on HF, but  in the car I usually have a 2m/440 mhz antenna on it fro around town, on the local repeaters. In the truck I have 5 radios 4 of which are multiband and I have 8 antennas on it.  I use the truck for hill topping, mobile contesting an such. an FT 857 or an IC 706 MIIG would be an option, or even a IC 730, 735 or such will work.  you can start with a hf rig and a couple of ham sticks, the work up from there. Google ham radio and mobile and see what you see. go to a local club and see how folks there do it, or even start with a 2m mobile as a test platform.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 07:28:45 PM »

Is there a way to add HF mobile and still stay within a budget, say $150 (maybe $200 at the most).

Unless you stumble a very good deal on a rig you are dreaming here.  300 "might" do it but not 200.
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N6SBN
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 10:19:50 PM »

  Getting the antenna right would be challenging.   Finding a Yeasu FT 8900 would get you on 6 and 10 meters.  The antennas would be reasonable.
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KI4DYA
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 06:03:24 AM »

Echoing the 'save up more' comments.
There are some really good deals to be had lately on the Icom 706 series, especially if you don't want/need the II/g models.

Antennas aren't necessarily a big expense, get a few Hamsticks and manually swap them out while saving up for a screwdriver maybe.
Remember, there's a big difference between 'cheapest' and 'functional'.
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KJ4OBR
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 08:04:52 AM »

Used 8900's are running between north of $300. I have one, great FM rig, but if I had to do it again I'd save for a good all band rig. Around here there is very little activity on 6, and 10 FM tends to be a deserted land even when the band is open. Everyone is down lower on SSB.

73
Dave

  Getting the antenna right would be challenging.   Finding a Yeasu FT 8900 would get you on 6 and 10 meters.  The antennas would be reasonable.
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KI4DYA
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 09:17:06 AM »

Also, you specified 'digital', what is it you want to accomplish?
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W9MMS
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 03:59:38 PM »

Also, you specified 'digital', what is it you want to accomplish?
Go back and reread the comment on digital


(((73))) Milverton
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K8KAS
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 07:27:02 AM »

Find a nice Kenwood TS50 or a Icom IC706 MKII and a magnet mount and a good Hamstick would do it. I have used Hamsticks for the last 30 years and on 40 meters and up it is hard to outperform them, and they are cheap. IC them at hamfests for $5 and $10
all the time. The TS 50 and IC706 are going for the $300 to $500 range used. Your going to have $400 at least in a package thats worth a darn, for $200 or less just use the cell phone IMHO Denny K8KAS
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AC4RD
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 09:22:34 AM »

I hate to be a spoilsport, but I agree with the others: putting a rig in your car for $150 is a REAL challenge.  If you know a lot of local hams, you might talk to some of them about options--maybe a loan/purchase arrangement or something.  Once you get up into the $300 range, it becomes easier to get some gear that will work for you.  Those Alinco HF rigs are occasionally on the used market at nice prices.   I'd also agree about Hamsticks--that's an easy inexpensive way to get going.  GL!
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WE7H
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 10:19:01 AM »

Howdy,

If you don't care about having all the bands, one option would be getting a Radio Shack HTX-10 or HTX-100 and a 10 meter mag mount whip and throw that in your car.  There was a guy selling one with an antenna for 85 bux on QRZ or QTH within the last week or so.  Might also find one of those Rangers that does 10 and 12 meters cheap.  Could add a couple hamsticks to that cheap and when 10 and 12 are open could provide some good mobile fun while this cycle is still on the high end.  Meanwhile you could save up for a multi-band rig to buy later.

Just an option worth thinking about.  I still have my HTX-10 I bought for about $40 some years ago and still have fun with it.

Good luck and 73,

WE7H
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ZENKI
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Posts: 916




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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 12:58:25 AM »

Look for a old Atlas 210. I sailed around  the world twice on a 35ft  yacht with a Atlas 210. I then used the same radio in my mobile for 10 years.
Its a reliable  radio thats easy to fix, I have seen them for sale for 150 to 200 dollars in good condition. 

Is there a way to add HF mobile and still stay within a budget, say $150 (maybe $200 at the most). Does not have to be digital, but that's preferred. Size could vary as unit could be taken in and out of the vehicle as needed. In the past I used my Yaesu FT-747 as a mobile rig, but it's my only indoor hf rig and it's been repaired so many times I'd hate to take it back outside. I know there used to be some radios called Ten Tec Scouts but I hear they are quite rare and may not be what I need anyway. I would like to know if anyone sees a good HF digital rig in the $150 range. I usually don't see less than $300, so maybe someone can tell me to just wait and save my money instead of trying to fit into this budget. Thanks.
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