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Author Topic: VX-2 How far can it go?  (Read 1304 times)
VDOSPEC
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« on: April 07, 2008, 07:07:55 AM »

I just got my license in March and wanted to know about a VX-2 that I have had for years given to me by a freaind so I would take my test. I live way out in the country, and about 27 miles from a local repeater. I can reach teh repeater on my FT-817 at 5 watts, but my VX-2 seems like it receives when someone talks to me on my FT-817, my wife can hear the full conversations from both party's. Now when I am in town, I cannot get a response from anyone with the VX-2 I haev all the settings correct 146.910 for teh Eau Claire, WI. repeater at 110.9 and it trasnmist on 146.310 and receive on the 146.910 I am thinking about going to the Yeasu FT-60R to get teh full 5 watts and selling the Vx-2 or FT-817 as I am not into QRP but have that radio also. If you want to buy contact me. Any info on what I am doing wrong..please help, it is at 1.5 watts, I did not get a cig light plug, as i will be on my motorcycle traveling this summer with my HT.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 09:38:08 AM »

The difference in performance of one receiver over another has more to do with the antenna than anything else. Higher output power won't buy you anything on receive, a good antenna will, however.

Modern FM transceivers, handheld or otherwise, have about the same sensitivity albeit selectivity varies widely. Part of the problem of adding an exterior antenna to a handheld is overload as most are designed for small antennas and have a lot of front end gain as a result.

It's sort of a double edged sword. You're better off changing swords, rather than dulling one edge.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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N3CJN
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2008, 11:23:19 AM »

The fact that you can hit the repeater with your FT-817 is a hopeful sign.  Meaning that you may not need a huge improvement over the VX-2 with stock antenna to get into the repeater in question.

Before I go any farther, I see that the VX-2R will transmit 3 Watts using the optional EDC-21 cigarette lighter adapter and a 12 Volt power source.  So that'd be one way to double your power on the HT for a modest investment.

Note that the stock rubber duck antennas sold with HTs are notoriously inefficient antennas.  You might check the eham reviews of aftermarket HT antennas and consider purchasing a better one. (If your VX-2R and the FT-60R share the same SMA connection for their antennas, this investment would still be usable if you do decide to switch HTs. With the right adapter, you could even try out the stock 2m antenna that came with your 817 on the VX-2, since you already have that antenna. Would give you an idea if a better HT antenna would help or not.)

Connecting your HT to an outdoor 2m (or 2m/440) antenna
would definitely improve your ability to hit the repeater from home.  So, that's another possibility.  If you plan on talking on that repeater from home often, consider the investment in an base antenna.  Maybe a directional one, since you are most interested in putting your signal in a single direction.

All that being said, if you don't mind the bigger size and weight of the FT-60R - and the loss of some of the general coverage receive range, you might be better off with the FT-60R.  It'd be a shame for you to give up your '817 to get the cash for the other HT, IMHO.  For all its limitations, the '817 is a nice rig to have when you want something portable for "all band" use. But we all have to make trade offs...
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N4LI
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 04:37:51 AM »

>stock rubber duck antennas sold with HTs are notoriously inefficient antennas.

Yes, they are.  And the antenna on the VX2 is especially bad.

But, I do find the unit works well with another antenna.  When I have a rental car, with a very small mag mount and the external DC, it works all over town.

Peter, N4LI
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AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 06:16:16 AM »

Going from a rubber duck inside the car to a mag mount on the roof will make a huge difference in both transmit and receive. Far more difference than you will get from a few more watts or any normal receiver sensitivity improvement.

With most any station setup, its about 90% antenna and 10% radio.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
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