Friday, July 18, 2014

A Couple Of Yaesu Radios I Was Considering When Looking For My First Base

  When I was looking at various Ham Radios when starting out in the hobby I had a fun time trying to decide what to choose. As I have said before I received different catalogs in the mail from Universal Radio, DX Engineering, AES Electronics, Ham Radio Outlet and R&L Electronics. I also scoured the internet looking for any information I could find. I was looking at various youtube videos on various Ham Radios. I was also going to the websites where the catalogs came from and I was looking for reviews. I was also going to Eham.net and reading all the different reviews. Checking for good or bad information.
  The few Ham Radios that I was considering were made by Yaesu. They were Ham Radios that can be used in a base situation in the Ham Shack or in a Mobile situation in the vehicle. The first one I was looking at was the Yaesu FT-897D. It is a High Frequency (HF), UHF and VHF Transceiver. It was indicating that it will put out 100 watts total power from 6 meters to 160 meters. This was a good point, because my budget did not have the room for a HF Amplifier. It carried a 4.6 out of 5 point rating on Eham.net, which is not bad at all. There was also the optional battery pack that could be used while in the field, which was another good selling point. Well my search continued at that point.
  
 
  • Transmit Range on Amateur Bands from 6-160 Meters, Plus 2 Meter & 70cm!
  • 100 Watts Output From 6-160M, 50W on VHF 2M, 20W on 70cm 440Mhz. (FM-SSB-CW)
  • Receives 100 kHz-56 MHz; 76-154 MHz & 420-470 MHz All mode.
  • Bar-Graph Meter for Output Power, ALC, SWR, Modulation, Dual VFOs, Built-in CW Electronic Keyer and Semi-Break-In, VOX & More!
  • Alpha-Numeric, CTCSS/DCS, RTTY, PSK31-U, PSK31-L, APO, TOT.
 
                                   
                                  A video on the Yaesu 897D that may give an idea of the radio


 The next Ham Radio I was considering was the Yaesu FT-857D . One selling point that interested me was the fact that it was a small radio packed with unbelievable features. I was watching a number of videos on youtube and could not believe how well this radio functioned. I checked the reviews out on Eham.net and found that they were from 4.5 out of 5 points, which once again were very good. The radio itself covered all the frequencies I was interested in. I really like the fact that I could use it in a base situation and in my vehicle as mobile situation. It also put out 100 watts total and I figured that down the road when I could buy a amplifier for the ham shack or maybe an amplifier in the car it would be enough to drive it. Here is link to check it out at Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W .
  • Receives 0.1-56Mhz, 76-108Mhz, 118-164Mhz and 420-470MHz - AM/USB/LSB/FM/CW
  • Transmits The Amateur Ham Radio Bands 160 thru 2 meters, plus 70cm UHF too!
  • Output is 100 Watts on 6-160M, 50W VHF & 20W UHF, FM-AM-SSB-CW (25W AM HF carrier)
  • Built-In Digital signal processing, 200 memories, spectrum display, ctcss (PL).
  • Includes microphone & power cable. Requires 12-13.8Vdc @ 22 Amps minimum for power. Requires Optional suitable antenna(s).
                               
                                      This will give an idea of the size of the Yaesu FT-857D

The third Ham radio I was looking at was the Yaesu 450D Base Station. This Ham Radio also fell into that Base, Mobile or Portable type of Ham radio. The price was a little higher that the previous two Ham Radios, but it was not that far away in price. The reviews at Eham.net were at 4.6 out of 5 points, which once again were not bad at all. I did watch whatever videos I could find on youtube to give me a good idea of how the radio functioned. I was actually quite impressed with this Ham radio and was giving it some good consideration. I myself although thought it was a little big to fit into a vehicle. Maybe it it was in a mobile home it would not be a bad fit. Here is some information on the Yaesu 450D below.

  • Yaesu FT-450D Deluxe HF All-mode Amateur Band Transceiver with built-in DSP signal processing.
  •  Features include CW beacon function, 500 memories , ctcss, & Built-in Automatic Antenna Tuner.
  •  Output is 100W CW-FM-SSB, & 25W AM carrier.
  •  Includes hand microphone.
  •  Receives 0.30 - 54Mhz, Transmits on the Amateur radio bands between 6-160 Meters.
  •  Requires 12 - 13.8Vdc at 22 Amps minimum for power hookup. Use an Optional regulated 13.8Vdc 25A or 30A Power supply for Home use.
  •  Requires Optional suitable antenna.
  •  Replaces FT-450AT & FT-450 models.
  • Approx Size = 9" x 3.3" x 8.6" ( 229 x 85 x 218 mm ).
  • Includes Hand microphone & Fused DC power cable
                                   
                                                        A video I found on the Yaesu 450D

  These three Ham radios were the radios in the Yaesu brand that I was taking into consideration in my quest for my first Ham Radio. Although I finally ended up with the Kenwood TS-2000 I am still am taking into consideration one of these as a back up radio in the future.
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Need A Boost get An HF Amplifier For Some Extra Wattage To Get Through That Pile Up

    It seems like there are a lot of Ham Radio Operators that are running a good bit of power on the High Frequencies. I hear some operators running up to 1500 Watts. Sometimes you can tell they are driving that SWR up there, because they have that tell tale nose pinch sound. The problem is if they do not get that under control with some serious tuning they will eventually burn out their transmitter. A long time ago I remember someone running a 250 watt amp  into a pdl II beam antenna.  I knew other people that were running 500 watts from their vehicles. Other people were running 1200 watts from their base stations. It was funny that the person running 250 watts sounded better that the person running 1200 watts. The key was that he kept the swr down and the power flowed properly.
  Since I have had my General Ham License I have looked at different Amplifiers. So far Ameritron Amplifiers are out of my budget. I think the only way I may be able to afford one is to either win the lottery Hi Hi or find one used through ebay. I have been looking at some from RM Italy. They are generally a mobile amplifier. I have seen some you tube videos where the person is using a power supply to power the amplifier and the radio has plenty of watts to drive it. For the most part the reviews I have seen have not been bad. The problem is they are not regulated in this country and may cause some splatter on the bands. The only thing that catches my attention is the price. It Should be noted that from what I understand they are not legal in the united states by the FCC.
  I think for now I will keep saving my pennies. I will also keep watching the used equipment for some good deals. There are plenty of very good amplifiers that are used and do a very good job. You also have choices between all solid state amplifiers and amplifiers with tubes in them. If I decide to go with the used department I will make sure to check out who the seller is. With an item that expensive I will take no chances. What I would like to see is companies like Ameritron make some Hf Amplifiers in the 250 Watt range for a decent price. Maybe we could see some amplifiers made in the USA for some good prices.
  Well for know I will just work with the 100 Watts my Kenwood TS-2000 puts out. Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Comunication Receiver Would Be Nice For The Ham Shack

  One piece of equipment I have been looking at to add to the Ham Shack is a nice communication receiver. I have looked at the various communication receivers in my ham radio catalogs. I have looked at the specifications and looked at the reviews on eham.net . For the most part they can be a little expensive, but maybe one of these days I will be able to save up some money and buy one. I do always keep my eyes open when I go to garage sales and flea markets. You just never know when you are going to come across a deal.
   The Yaesu VR-5000 seen above is one that had caught my eye. These are the types of equipment that may be cheaper or for a good price when used. If you do go with the used variety I would check the reviews on the particular seller. I have seen some Ham Radio Operators get either a dead piece of boat anchor with no way to return the item. The other problem is sending the money only to never receive the product. So always remember it's better to be safe than sorry. Here are some specifications on the Yaesu VR-5000 below.

  • Wide Frequency Coverage
  • 2000 Memories
  • Dual Receive
  • Program/Alarm/Sleep Timer
  • Real-Time Spectrum Display
  • Radio Controlled Band Search
  • VFO/Memory Scan
  • Smart Search™
  • Attenuator
  
  • 10.7 MHz IF Output Jack
  • Tone Control
  • Squelch Control
  • Display Dimmer
  • PC Port
  • Password Lock
  • Optional FVS-1A Voice Synthesizer
  • Optional DSP-1
  • Audio Wave Meter
  The AOR 8600 MK2 is another well built communications receiver that I would definitely recommend to anyone. It is a well built piece of equipment. I would love to have one of these in my shack some day. It has a frequency range from 100Khz to 3000Mhz, which is a very good range. Everything I have read about it has always been good. Here are some interesting specifications below on this unit.

  • Frequency range: 100 kHz - 3,000 MHz
  • Operating mode: AM / NAM / WAM / SFM / NFM / WFM / USB / LSB / CW
  • Memory channels: 1,000 channels
  • Twin frequency readout with bar signal meter
 If you are looking for something in a little cheaper price category I would suggest a Grundig Satellit 750. I own one of these Radios and I love it. I have never had a problem with it and would definitely recommend it. I bought mine when my Kenwood TS-2000 was out for repair. I was able to listen to many of my favorite Ham Bands using a wire dipole antenna. The price of these are in a good range as well. Here is a picture of the radio below and some specifications on it.
   
 


  • AM, FM, Aircraft Band (118v-137 MHz) and Shortwave (1711-30000 KHz)
  • Set 9/10 KHz AM tuning; set FM tuning range
  • Single Side Band (SSB)
  • 360-degree rotate AM antenna
  • Auto/Manual/Direct frequency key-in and station memory tuning
     

There are many other different communications receivers that are out there for sale. There are many good deals whether in the new or used categories. So I would recommend to do some searching and read as many reviews as you can.

Thank You for reading and have a nice 4th of July from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Field Day 2014 and Propagation

  I have been listening to 14.300Mhz on the 20 meter band. I heard the Ham Radio Operators mention about someone needing to move to a different frequency. Apparently field day is going on today. Signals tend to be coming in pretty strong, but they had faded out for a short time. This is most likely due to how the sun is acting. I came across this video below and I figured I would share it on my blog. It is a bit lengthy so you may want to get something to drink.


             

   Here is a link to a pdf file for field day from ARRL http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2014/Field%20Day%20Packet%202014%20v2.pdf . Here is another video below on how to prepare for field day. It is getting late in the afternoon here in Rochester New York, but out west it may be 3hours earlier at least depending on how far you are from here. So if you want get out there and have fun.
             

  Thank You for reading and watching from Dan KC2YTI 73s.