Monday, September 15, 2014

More new gear

I've been playing with my new Yaesu FT-60R HT a bit. Works great at home. And works fine in the mobile. I have ordered a headset to use with it while I'm driving. But even without the headset I was able to use it while driving with the top down on the freeway today. Although it was a little hard to hear. However the audio is quite good.

My involvement in ham radio has dramatically increased since getting the new HT. Mainly as a result of trying harder. Rather than simply tossing out my call sign and hoping someone will come back to me (which they rarely did). I am now attempting to come back to others who come on the air wanting to talk. Really, for that to work I just need to be willing to talk to anyone. And honestly, that's great practice for life in general.

As a result of my renewed interest and increase in activity, I decided to go ahead with my initial plan to replace my ICOM base (IC-208H) with the Yaesu equivalent shown below (the FT-7900R). I'll be running it on low power (5 watts) using a 1/2 wave mag mount stuck to my metal desk. This is a setup that I already know works quite well for the local repeaters.

I figure I'll use new FT-7900R for my base unit at home, and my HT for mobile use... with a mag mount and a headset. I've decided that I'm definitely a Yaesu fan.

One of the issues I've been wrestling with is the idea that an SMA connector on an HT is not designed robustly enough to withstand repeated and frequent swapping back and forth between antennas. So my thought was that I need to stick with either the normal HT whip, or a pigtail for connecting to an PL-259, but not normally switch between both. So that means if I default to using it for mobile/base use with a pigtail, then I generally won't be using it as a portable.

While this is a little bit of a disappointment, considering how nicely the FT-60R works as an actual "handheld". The idea of having a radio that is strictly for handheld use is not that feasible either. Because it would rarely get used. Although it's hard to anticipate my usage habits. As I get more involved, my past habits are not necessarily useful for determining future usage.

I have thought of the idea of perhaps getting a second FT-60R. I already have all the accessories. But how doofy would it be to have a second radio just so I don't have to swap antennas. I will continue to ponder this.

The eBay auction where I was selling my old ICOM IC-208H closed yesterday for $282. That should cover the new radio. I like the top-facing speaker. That means I might get away without having to use an external speaker on my desk.