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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Ramsey FX-146 Help

Reviews Summary for Ramsey FX-146
Reviews: 4 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $$99
Description: Kit built 2 meter transceiver
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Ramsey FX-146.

KA4DQJ Rating: 3/5 Jun 11, 2009 20:34 Send this review to a friend
I Built One Too! FX-146  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yep, I built one too when they first came out. I am/was an experienced kit builder and noticed immediately that the instructions for the FX-146 were not Heathkit quality. I made a list of corrections and sent them to Ramsey... don't know if they ever implemented 'em or not, but remember that I built this thing a long time ago... I'm sure the instructions are different now in any case.

The FX-146 is NOT a beginners kit. It's rather advanced. Not a HW-101 level kit, but it's still a big job.

I had no problem with the diode matrix frequency selection, and with a 12-pole selector switch I had plenty of frequencies. I even programmed one for the NOAA VHF weather frequency at 162.55, and the FX-146's receiver worked fine that far out of it's intended band range.

I had three beefs with the finished product. One, the intermod interference is atrocious... again, this is an earlier kit; it may have changed. Second, I never could get the advertised 6w output... the best I could manage was 1.5w. Over the years I've looked at it, and had technicians look at it. 1.5 watts it is.

Last, the speaker and mic are one piece... one of those universal speaker/mic (Icom?) rigs that has especially low volume and tinny audio. In the car, I had to keep the mic clipped to my collar just to hear over the noise. I've used the FX-146 in both mobile and base arrangements.

I also used the FX-146 as a dedicated packet rig back when the craze first started. The little rig has a DIN plug in the back and it worked fine as a packet transceiver. I usually used the rig with a 2m h/t 30w amplifier which helped my signal quite a bit.
WD8AQS Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2007 16:58 Send this review to a friend
A fun kit to build and use.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built my FX-146 when they first came out. Was fun to build, didn't really have any trouble with it & it fired right up. Still in use today, I added a CTCSS board so I can get into all the repeaters. I also made a little switch box for one channel position so I can program any 2 meter frequency I want plus shift for that channel. Would love to build the computer control interface for it but the parts are very hard to find this late in the game. FAR circuits has the board. I wonder why no one has a simple computer controlled 2 meter rig out there, I bet it would be a big seller.
N8AUC Rating: 4/5 Apr 23, 2001 08:54 Send this review to a friend
Fun Radio!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is just plain fun. It's not the best radio on the market, but bang for the buck you'll have a hard time beating it.

Assembly - the directions are excellent. If you carefully follow the directions, you can't miss. Make sure to do the helical resonator mod for the receiver though. After doing that, the receiver is bullet-proof with regards to intermod and such. The printed circuit board is nicely done, and a quality piece of work. High quality G-10 glass epoxy with plated through holes, and the silk screening is very good.

Operation - Turn it on and go. 12 channels (of your choice - diode programmable), 3-5 watts output is plenty for an urban area but if you need more then add an amp. This radio will drive any HT style amp. Lots of audio output for overcoming road noise while mobile. Transmit audio reports with a Radio Shack speaker-mike are always good. The most common report I get is that the transmit audio is crisp and clean. It would be tough to have an easier to use radio.

Design - as supplied it's kinda bare bones. For mobile use though, that means there are fewer distractions while driving. Front panel controls are a squelch knob, 12 position channel switch, and an on/off/volume control. A bright red LED illuminates when transmitting. An S-meter would be nice. Easy to tinker with after assembly, and computer controlling this radio is far easier than one would expect. Case is very rugged, steel with a black powder coat finish. The front panel is rather small - nice while mobile but when you want to add bells and whistles there isn't enough front panel space. The unit includes a well designed choke input filter on the DC power lines, which totally eliminates alternator noise while mobile.

For a $99 kit, you can't beat this thing with two sticks. Fun to build, fun to tinker with after building, makes a good rig for the car or at home. I'd highly recommend this to anyone. In fact, I like it so much I will be buying another one.

WD8DBY Rating: 4/5 Jul 16, 2000 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Good product...not for beginners!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is well designed kit product reminiscient of Heathkit. The manual is very informative and teaches as you build. The layout allows you to test your kit as you build. There were a couple of discrepencies in the manual but were easily worked through. The radio is a good performer that comes in a small package. This is definitely not for beginner kit builders...there are some SMT components with this unit. Highly recommend!

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