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Author Topic: Removable face 2 meter suggestions  (Read 7840 times)
KD0RXO
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« on: June 03, 2013, 01:44:53 PM »

I'm fairly new to ham and looking to purchase my first 2 meter mobile radio.  I'm looking for something with a removable face due to space constraints in my vehicle.  The radios I've found so far with a removable face have all been dual band and not just 2 meter.  I'm not completely opposed to dual band but doubt the 400 mhz will see much, if any, use by me so I prefer not to pay for it if I don't have to.  Does anyone know of a 2 meter only mobile with a removable face?
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KB1LKR
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 08:07:42 PM »

None that I'm aware of.
Only 2m/70cm dual banders.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 05:47:20 AM »

Not that I'm aware of either.  That's not to say that you can't make your own, though.  I saw an article (I looked for it again but couldn't find it--if I do I will post the URL) where a 2 meter rig--I believe that it was the Icom V8000--was modified for just the purpose you want by making an extended connector cord to connect the rig and the face.  The challenge is to find such a 2 meter rig--one with a single connector cord--and then to modify/fabricate a suitable cord for it.  One other possible stumbling point is that sometimes the face has to be electrically connected to the body for the rig to work correctly.  Although that's rare, it may have to be considered.

Of course you'll have to fabricate a cover for the rig itself and also the mount for the face, although either some quality (read 3M) double stick tape or sticky type velcro mounting tape connectors could be used with reasonable success.

Oh, and don't forget that you either have to fabricate a mike cord extension (if the mike plugs into the rig body) or make sure the face itself is well supported if the mike plugs in there, as it does with the Icom V8000.

Good luck and 73!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 06:01:48 AM by K1CJS » Logged
K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 06:39:14 AM »


If you've come up with a plan to fit a radio in your car that you like and will work for you, the fact it has a 2nd band on it is secondary.  Routing the power and feedline, getting the antenna mounted and everything to fit/work right is the real effort.  If you never use the second band or if it sits on NOAA weather forever won't hurt you or it a bit.  As a new ham you may not see a need or want for it today but some number of months or years from now you just might.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KD0RXO
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 07:37:40 AM »


If you've come up with a plan to fit a radio in your car that you like and will work for you, the fact it has a 2nd band on it is secondary.  Routing the power and feedline, getting the antenna mounted and everything to fit/work right is the real effort.  If you never use the second band or if it sits on NOAA weather forever won't hurt you or it a bit.  As a new ham you may not see a need or want for it today but some number of months or years from now you just might.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Great point Mark.  I'm not opposed to the 2nd band and wouldn't mind having the 2nd band honestly for exactly the reasons you stated.  My only reason really for looking toward a single band is more of cost than anything.  I'm trying to do the setup as affordably as possible to begin with.  For some reason every hobby I have is quite expensive - ham, photography and firearms.   Cheesy

Eric KD0RXO
Lebanon, MO
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 08:49:32 PM »

Have you looked at the FT-7900.  Dual-band but not dual receive so it is less expensive than most.
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W4KVW
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 12:59:18 PM »

PLENTY of used dual band options for reasonable prices.I see plenty for $175 & some for much less with this option all of the time & that's VERY reasonable for a dual band mobile. Grin   Cheesy   Smiley  {:>)  }:>)

Clayton
W4KVW
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SMAUG
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 04:19:59 AM »

I looked for the same thing, to no avail. With all these HT flavors, some with only minor differences, I'm wondering why they missed this critical segment in mobiles?

Here's what I envision:

* Something along the line of the Yaesu FT-2900 as a base. A heatsink model would be fine, and no worries about getting clogged with dust/dirt from being mounted under the seat
* Make a detachable face with remote mounting kit using velcro or duo-lock
* Don't go nuts with bells & whistles; keep it under $250.

But you know, I'm scared to mess with my nice new car to put the wiring through the firewall to the battery anyway. So I'm leaning toward an HT with external accessories as a mobile rig.

Another idea, along that line: Why not make an HT that has contacts for a docking station, like laptop computers have for business use? To the docking station would be attached the external antenna, 12 V power supply, and speaker/mic. Build in a filter so it could be plugged right into the 12 V power socket, instead of having to hard-wire to the car's battery. I think I will suggest this to Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood. Who will profit from my fruitful brain first? I should patent the idea before putting it here, but I'm too lazy. Wink  Heck, I'm too lazy to even write them an email. I 'm just going to link to this thread, hehehe.
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Jeremy (KC9ZHE)
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln
VA3WXM
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 09:35:36 AM »

If you *really* want a 2M mobile radio with removable face there are commercial radios out there that will do just that.  Off the top of my head I know the Kenwood 90 Series can.  Acquiring the gear and getting it to work is a little more involved than buying a ham radio off the shelf, but it is doable.

Still, the easiest solution is buy something like a Yaesu FT-7900 (which is a dual-band radio but only displays one band at a time).
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K5LXP
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 08:22:37 PM »

I'm scared to mess with my nice new car to put the wiring through the firewall to the battery anyway.

It's dirt simple.  Best way to learn is by doing.

Quote
So I'm leaning toward an HT with external accessories as a mobile rig.

You will quickly learn the folly of this idea.  HT's make terrible mobile radios for long term use, for numerous reasons.
 
Quote
Why not make an HT that has contacts for a docking station,

Motorola has had those since the early 1970's called Convertacoms.  They were awful.  Yeah, they were a step above having an HT with cables hanging off of it but came with their own set of issues that made you wish you had a real mobile.

Buy a mobile, drill the holes and check the box.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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SMAUG
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 11:32:55 AM »

Thanks for the in-depth reply Mark. I installed an older Yaesu (FT-2000?) in my old Honda CRX back in the 90s. I did all that installation stuff. I had to run the power cable through a rubber boot in the firewall, and didn't feel good about it.

Drilled mounting holes; didn't like that either, but the car was already old and rusty at that point. I don't want to do anything that is going to decrease the value of this new car, in case I decide to sell or trade it later. Drilling holes to mount aftermarket radios decreases the value of the car; no question about it.

At this point, I'm not a dedicated enough ham to de-value the car. Maybe at some future point? We'll see.

How do the remotely-mounted dual-band mobils mount? The power unit still has to mount under the seat, with screws or bolts, right? Drilling holes in the floor is even worse than in the dash, as those will be the points where rust will start 5 years from now.

That said, I have this nagging feeling that you're right Mark. I've been through it before, but since it was in 1995, maybe I've forgotten the lesson. At that time, it was a Radio Shack HTX-202. It performed well enough, with 5W and the 5/8 wave mag mount antenna. I could hit 90% of the repeaters that I could hit with 50W and the same antenna, and with a good signal too; but the cables were a pain, to be sure. The BNC jack loosened up as a result of it.
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Jeremy (KC9ZHE)
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln
K5LXP
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 03:11:02 PM »


You see drilling holes as devaluing the vehicle.  If it was a 1955 corvette you're probably right, I wouldn't drill holes in that either.  A contemporary daily driver?  I don't see why it would matter.  People "enhance" new vehicles with hood air deflectors, satellite radio antennas, ground effects, custom stereos and who knows what else.  The greatest depreciation you'll ever see is driving the thing off the lot, the rest is incidental.

The way I look at it is you're making the vehicle something you'll enjoy operating your radio in while you drive.  Anything done neatly and professional looking enhances *your* ownership, who cares about the next owner.  This is your car today, so might as well make it into something you want. 

Your observations are correct.  An HT isn't up to the rigors of a mobile environment physically or electrically.  OK to do once in a while but there's a reason they make mobiles and HT's.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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SMAUG
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 10:51:21 AM »

Well-said, Mark. I think you won me over. I just put a bunch of watches and a couple leather bags on ebay and will raise money for that nice dual-band Kenwood ....-710 rig. I have until then to ponder the vehical mutilation enhancement. Wink
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Jeremy (KC9ZHE)
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln
K1CJS
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2013, 04:57:58 AM »

Just a side thought here.  Wiring a car can be a piece of cake for some, and a nightmare for others--and that's not taking into account the car itself.  Some cars are easy to get wires run through, and some are a real pain in the you know where.

If a person isn't comfortable drilling and running the wires, it's best to have it done for them.  Better to pay a little for a simple wiring job--than pay a lot for a repair or a rebuilding of part of the vehicle.
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AG6WT
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 10:29:43 AM »

KD0RXO

As others have said, it seems the only mobiles with detachable face plates are dual-banders. However, even if you only want 2-meters a dual bander can still be quite handy as many have V+V/V+U/U+U capability. If there is only 2-meter activity in your area, you can set the radio to monitor 2 frequencies simultaneously, say one for your favorite repeater and another for the FM simplex calling frequency.

Ray KJ6AMF
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