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Unread 10-06-2011, 08:32 PM   #1
chris142
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2 meter radio help

My girlfriend is buggin me to get our ham licenses.

I've always been a CB guy. Screaming loud audio,clipped audio limiters, illegal channels, linear amps etc so this doing it legal will take some getting used to.

I know nothing about 2 meter radios. Looking on line I'm finding 2 major brands.

Icom and Yaesu(spelling?). I'm seeing many radios that look like a hand held walkie talkie. I don't want that. I want a radio that I can permantly mount in the Jeep like a CB.

What do I look for in a 2 meter radio? Brands? Options etc?

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Unread 10-06-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
commodore_dude
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I just got my ham license and am currently researching mobile rigs myself. I wanted an Icom IC-706 to just do absolutely everything, but it seems like a 2 meter would really be sufficient around here. Kenwood also has a few mobiles, as does Alinco. Wouxun is the only other brand I'm aware of outside of specialty base station equipment, but I think they only make HTs so far (been hearing a lot of chatter about them in my week on the air so far). The biggest two bands in north Georgia seem to be 2m and 70cm, so I'll probably get a dual band rig for starters. Honestly I've spent more time pondering an antenna setup than the radio itself - just don't have a way to go about 3 feet (MAYBE 3 1/2) for an antenna and make it into my garage OK. Once you get into all-band radios the antenna situation becomes way too complicated, seems like a dual bander is about as crazy as you want to get unless you don't mind a big honkin' antenna. Not looking for anything fancy as far as APRS, DSTAR, etc, since I don't really understand all the things you can do with options like that yet and they seem to as much as double the price of a radio.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
chris142
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Why do they put the buttons on the mic? Looks like a major pain to do things. Have to use 2 hands? One to hold the mic and another to program it?

Seems a lot easier to push a button or turn a knob when the button or knob is mounted on the radio.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
Sccafire
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If the radio is only going to be used when you just use the Jeep, I would stick with just a 2m radio. Most 2m radios are approx. $200. If you plan on going any farther with the hobby I would get a dula band radio (2m/70cm). Dual band radios are $300+. I personally have the Yaesu FT-8800. That is a dual band radio. Here is a link to my radio install.

Yaesu FT-8800R Install

As far as antennas go, most fold over. I have a Diamond antenna and it folds over. I installed the antenna on a Tera Flex mount behind the passenger side tail light.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
Sccafire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris142 View Post
Why do they put the buttons on the mic? Looks like a major pain to do things. Have to use 2 hands? One to hold the mic and another to program it?

Seems a lot easier to push a button or turn a knob when the button or knob is mounted on the radio.
Using the radio is a pain to program it. You can buy programming software and cable to use your computer to do the programming.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 10:27 PM   #6
mylt1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris142 View Post
Why do they put the buttons on the mic? Looks like a major pain to do things. Have to use 2 hands? One to hold the mic and another to program it?

Seems a lot easier to push a button or turn a knob when the button or knob is mounted on the radio.
the buttons are for direct freq input to the radio, programming the radio or for sending DTMF tones. programming through the keypad isnt that difficult as long as you read the instruction manual. the radio will also have a dial(VFO) to change the freq or change the ch if they are programmed.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:06 AM   #7
chris142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccafire View Post
Using the radio is a pain to program it. You can buy programming software and cable to use your computer to do the programming.
I'm not that good with computers to do things like that.

I was listening to my scanner last night. Nobody was talking on the 144-149 range. Lots of locals jabbering in the 449.xxx area though. What band is that?
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #8
commodore_dude
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That's 70cm. This is a really good chart for reference, I know people that have had it printed out poster size to go in their shack and I may do the same - http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf
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