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KI5CHJ

KI5CHJ

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Finally got my ticket after years of pursuing it and having life obstacles get in the way. Looking forward to learning and gaining more experience and being able to upgrade when the time is right. Currently working on getting my 2M mobile set up, just haven't decided whether to make this one a mobile or a base unit yet. Still considering a dual band for my mobile. Any advice?

Edited by WI5CHJ

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Having a dual band mobile is always nice for when you're stuck in traffic or taking trips. I once drove from Norman to Colorado Springs and talked to people on both 2M and 70cm the whole way there.

 

There's tons of fancy things you can do radios like digital modes, APRS, Wires-X (a form of IRLP), and more. I used APRS on that drive and tracked my total distance, route, and reported speeds the entire way. In addition, my APRS beacon reported the frequency I was on and I had people contacting me simplex on those frequencies.

 

There's a ton of fun stuff you an do with mobiles. Although base stations are good for being comfortable and talking... I can't say thing though as I still don't have a base.

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W5DIL, so just out of curiosity are you running 1/4 or 1/2 wave antenna?

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Other than price, there are a lot of factors to consider when you choose your new dual band radio.  As John mentioned, do you want just FM capability or do you want to have digital radio capability as well (DMR, Fusion, D-Star, etc.)?  Do you want to have cross-band-repeat capability?  Do you have to have a removable front panel to facilitate mounting in your vehicle.  Do you want to buy new or used?

For good coverage in a vehicle, you will want to select at least a 5/8 wavelength.  A 1/4 wavelength antenna will work to some extent if you live very close to the repeater you plan to use.  If you go with a dual-band radio and antenna, you will want the UHF section to have higher gain than the VHF part.  Most mobile antennas offer this higher gain on UHF.

The optimal place to install an antenna on a vehicle is the center of the roof.  Every other location is a compromise to some extent and will provide an unequal radiation pattern.  Mag mounts are okay for temporary use, but are less than ideal.  BTW, mobile 1/2 wavelength antennas do exist.  They are often used for fiberglass vehicles or motorcycles, as the 1/2 wavelength antennas are less dependent on having a ground plane.

Dave de WD5G

 

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Thanks Dave! I currently have a 5/8 wave 2m/70cm mag mount antenna from years ago when I bought my first two ICOM db’ers, like I said it took some time for me to finally get to pursue this. Picked up a used Yaesu ft-2600 along with a power supply and got everything hooked up in time to tune into the net this evening. Tried checking in four different times on three different power levels from Newcastle, someone heard the last three of my call, but net control could not hear me. Figured out I’m having a mic connection issue and was losing connectivity in the jack, and also appeared to be getting higher than desirable SWR (1.8). I was hoping to get a confirmed contact but enjoyed listening in all the same! Got some work to do this weekend to the base rig and hope to be on the net next week!

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