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post #1 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question HAM Radio

Wanted to pick some brains to see what you guys know about 10-12 meter radios. I have an opportunity to pick up a Ranger AR2000 (at least I think that's what it is) that's been modified tx/rx on 11M, too, as well as boosted from 5W to 20W and can be modded to include SSB as well. I've been wanting to get into HAM radio anyway since it goes with my college major (Emergency Management), plus it's better than CB anyway. Being as this radio would repalce my current CB, a Cobra 29 LX LE, I'm trying to get as much info on it as I can to see if it's worth picking up for $75.

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post #2 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 08:44 AM
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Don't know much about ham radios but ham sammiches are good to eat. Lol sorry bro couldn't resist


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post #3 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Don't know much about ham radios but ham sammiches are good to eat. Lol sorry bro couldn't resist


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post #4 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 03:19 PM
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10 and 12 meters are HAM bands yes, but very few HAM operators use them because they have the same, or nearly the same characteristics as the CB band (no repeaters, limited transmitting distance). One thing these bands are popular for, is shooting skip. There are some who practice Morse Code on them, but few.

The radio itself is a good buy for $75 as long as everything works. You will rarely use the other bands unless you have a friend with a 10 meter in your group. The higher watts won't get you into trouble, they will make you stand out a little in your group, but not by a lot. With the higher watts, it is even more imperative that you tune and maintain your SWR's so you don't burn out your finals. More watts will burn them out faster if you have high SWR'S. All of these bands use the same antenna.
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post #5 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 04:02 PM
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I am looking into a HAM radio also. Mostly for off roading in the middle of nowhere. I am currently looking at 2M radios. Maybe the Icom IC-2300H,the Yaesu FT2800M or the Yaesu FT-7900R. I think the Icom might be better because of overheating with the 2800.

For as cheap as some of these radios are, why not get exactly what you need new? I am still learning exactly what that is for my needs.
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post #6 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 05:07 PM
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My buddy has the Yeasu FT-857D wich is HF 6 meter but you can unlock it to do 10 meter on the CB band. It also does 2 meter and 440MHz. Pretty cool rig. I run the Yaesu FT-7900R which is 2m and 440 and run a seperate CB for the chicken band.

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post #7 of 45 Old 09-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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A 2 meter can't be modified to use on CB channels. A modified 10 meter can make a very solid CB.
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-14-2012, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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As far as I know, everything works on it. And if not, I've got a great radio guy that can fix it. I know my buddy is the original owner and had it in one of his 'Yotas before he got out of wheeling....something he really regrets now. He now drives a tug pushing barges and such up and down the Houston ship channel while playing with 3 VHF radios at at time. So he really has no need for the Ranger. I need to know more details about it, though, before I commit.

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post #9 of 45 Old 09-14-2012, 01:05 PM
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Anyone I meet on the trail with a ham radio is running 2 meters. I run the FT-2900 because it was so easy to mount.


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post #10 of 45 Old 09-16-2012, 12:07 AM
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As mentioned 10 & 12 meters aren't going to be of a lot of use to you so if you buy the radio what you're really buying is a tuned CB. That said generally speaking the electronics in a HAM radio are usually of much better quality than what is in most CBs so I would still say it is a good buy for the money. If you are truely interested in HAM radio though most people use 2 meters on trail rides. 2 meters also gives you acess to a huge repeater network in most metro areas. If you're interested in real long distance you probably want to look at an HF radio with 20 and 40 meters being the most popular. One thing to think about with HAM radios in a JK is RF interference; the electronics in JKs don't much like higher power radios and can lead to a lot of work bonding (grounding) to get rid of it.

All that said its worth the trouble (to me anyway). Picture of my rig




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post #11 of 45 Old 09-16-2012, 09:25 AM
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2m vs. 10m

For wheeling, a 2m rig is your best bet. I have the Yaesu FT7800 dual bander, does 2m and 440cm. You can run thru repeaters and many of the larger runs setup a base station to manage traffic and issues on 2m. You can also run it simplex for more of a CB type operation and it will always be better than a cb due to quality of components and quality of people using ham vs. cb.

The FT857 series is a great little rig that will do both. I've owned a Kenwood TS440s-AT in the past and it was a DX (distance) rig but I did run it mobile. DX rigs that do 6,10 and up bands typically use skip to bounce signals around the world so you can talk to folks in Japan and other points East from the US west coast as well as all of North America, Latin America and if the skip is good folks in Europe. Different antenna working this bands than you would use for 2m/440.

The small dual banders like mine and others mentioned here can be had of $200 +\-. Checkout www.eham.net and go to the review section to see what others say about the rigs you are looking at. Great info on this site.

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post #12 of 45 Old 09-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Anyone I meet on the trail with a ham radio is running 2 meters. I run the FT-2900 because it was so easy to mount.

When you remote mount your head unit like that, does the mic still plug into the side of the head unit or is there an option to plug into the radio itself?
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post #13 of 45 Old 09-21-2012, 08:51 PM
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When you remote mount your head unit like that, does the mic still plug into the side of the head unit or is there an option to plug into the radio itself?
Most radios it plugs into the radio. The remote kit includes a long cable for it

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post #14 of 45 Old 09-22-2012, 01:42 AM
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An amateur radio license does not authorize operation on the CB frequencies. However, many people have illegally and unethically modified Ham radios to transmit on those frequencies. Such a violation of Federal Regulations, however, may subject the operator or possessor of these modified transmitters to penalties from the FCC. Could be fines, or even loss of Amateur privileges.

From wireless.fcc.gov: "The maximum legal CB power output level, in the U.S., is four watts for AM and 12 watts (peak envelope power or 'PEP') for SSB, as measured at the antenna connection on the back of the radio."

According to the specs you gave, because of the stated 20W power output, the radio in question could not be legally used on the CB bands because it is over powered, and may in fact be illegal to buy, sell, or possess in the U.S.

The regulations further state, "Users may not raise the power output of their CB units. . . You must not attach a "linear," "linear amplifier" or any other type of power amplifier to your CB unit, Moreover, you must not modify your CB unit internally. Doing so cancels its certification and you forfeit your authorization to use it."

Of course, the radio you're considering is an Amateur Radio and not a CB, but it has been modified to transmit on the CB frequencies. I know that many people do exactly what these regulations prohibit, and never get caught, but one thing which has always set the Amateur Radio community apart from the "Children's Band" is our compliance with the regulations governing our use of the various radio services in which we participate. So far, this self-regulation has served to preserve our fragile and too-often-threatened privileges to use the service for our own hobby purposes.

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post #15 of 45 Old 09-22-2012, 05:26 AM
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I would highly recommend the Yaesu FT7900R. It is dual band 2m and 440. It is compact and comes with a remote kit to mount the body away and just have the faceplate if you want. It is crystal clear and holds up well to use in and out of the Jeep. Don't buy a rig that has been modified to run in the CB band. It is illegal and unnecessary for your needs. I have a little CB unit that works well for trail use and I use my Ham for regular commo on the road and everywhere. By hitting repeaters it goes a long ways and picks up folks that can and will have great conversations with you. You can use it to assist with all types of races (bikes, runners) and emergency use.

Not a great pic of the unit but it shows that I run the aux jack in the back and have my Ham radio on my Jeep speakers so I can hear on the trail or running down the hwy doors off. I do this with my CB also on the trail so I can hear it when I'm out of the Jeep standing around waiting. I've lived an interesting life but my ears haven't enjoyed it all. (heavy equipment, Harleys, lots of guns, helicopters...) Yup, I'm old



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post #16 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 07:10 AM
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The FT7900R has jumped to the top of my list for radios. The removeable face plate with reomte mount is great. I can mount it on my sport cage windshield bar and no wirry about banging my head on it and the light from the unit will not be in line of sight for night driving.

4x4x4 what antenna set up are you using?
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post #17 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 02:17 PM
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For what it's worth, I have the FT8800R. Very similar in the 7900 except it's true dual recieve. The 7900 is dual band, but the 8800 is basically two radios in one.

With dual recieve, I can have two different freqs. tuned in at the same time. The left side and the right side of the radio work as two seperate units. What this means is I can have one side tuned to the repeater, and the other side tuned to simplex and be able to listen to both at the same time. This works great when on big runs where multiple groups are running all over. The repeater allows me to listen to the leaders coordinate when they may cross paths on the trail, and the simplex is used within the group.

Anyway, I personally think this feature alone is reason enough to pay the bit extra for the 8800 over the 7900. Other than that, they have very similar features. The face of my 8800 is mounted right above my drivers sunvisor.

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post #18 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
For what it's worth, I have the FT8800R. Very similar in the 7900 except it's true dual recieve. The 7900 is dual band, but the 8800 is basically two radios in one.

With dual recieve, I can have two different freqs. tuned in at the same time. The left side and the right side of the radio work as two seperate units. What this means is I can have one side tuned to the repeater, and the other side tuned to simplex and be able to listen to both at the same time. This works great when on big runs where multiple groups are running all over. The repeater allows me to listen to the leaders coordinate when they may cross paths on the trail, and the simplex is used within the group.

Anyway, I personally think this feature alone is reason enough to pay the bit extra for the 8800 over the 7900. Other than that, they have very similar features. The face of my 8800 is mounted right above my drivers sunvisor.
I looked at that unit too. I love the concept of this radio and it has a remote mount option as well. What I don't like is that the buttons are not back lit. Major turn off for me.
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post #19 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 04:20 PM
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I thought about that for a moment, but the only real buttons you use are the volume and channel buttons most of the time, which are easy enough to find without them being backlit. Not to mention the light from the display is enough to see those knobs. Also, the mic has buttons on it, which are backlit, that allows control of most functions anyway, so it's really a non-issue.

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post #20 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
I thought about that for a moment, but the only real buttons you use are the volume and channel buttons most of the time, which are easy enough to find without them being backlit. Not to mention the light from the display is enough to see those knobs. Also, the mic has buttons on it, which are backlit, that allows control of most functions anyway, so it's really a non-issue.
Ok cool! Good to know. I have just read a bunch of people complaining on HAM forums about the back lighting. I guess it's just HAM weenie too sensitive complaints. So you would definitely pick the 8900 or 8800 over the 7900.
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post #21 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 04:39 PM
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so to jack your thread Shortbus! I hope all of this info helps out.
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post #22 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 04:44 PM
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Both of the Yaesu radios you are looking at are great. You can't go wrong.
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post #23 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTrail741 View Post
Ok cool! Good to know. I have just read a bunch of people complaining on HAM forums about the back lighting. I guess it's just HAM weenie too sensitive complaints. So you would definitely pick the 8900 or 8800 over the 7900.
I did chose the 8800 over the 7900 so yeah, I would recommend that. Like I said before, the dual recieve makes up for the lack of backlit buttons. The 8900 is more or less the same radio as the 8800 but is quad band capable. The memory functions are also a bit more confusing from what I understand. For whatever reason, the software just isn't as easy to use as the 8800. Lastly, to take advantage of the quad band functionality, you'll need either multiple antennas or one of the few that are quad capable, but they are pricey and not very flexible and wouldn't stand up to much offroad abuse. Besides, as stated earlier, 2m is what is mostly used on the trails, so those other bands aren't really needed. Mine rarely leaves 2m except to listen to police / fire/ ems traffic.

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post #24 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 07:28 PM
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The thread is going to cost me.... Thanks guys.

I have been eyeballing 7900 for a few months. Time to go get that license and order one of these Yaesu rigs up.

What are you guys running for antennas?

Last edited by steed77; 09-23-2012 at 07:36 PM.
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post #25 of 45 Old 09-23-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
I did chose the 8800 over the 7900 so yeah, I would recommend that. Like I said before, the dual recieve makes up for the lack of backlit buttons. The 8900 is more or less the same radio as the 8800 but is quad band capable. The memory functions are also a bit more confusing from what I understand. For whatever reason, the software just isn't as easy to use as the 8800. Lastly, to take advantage of the quad band functionality, you'll need either multiple antennas or one of the few that are quad capable, but they are pricey and not very flexible and wouldn't stand up to much offroad abuse. Besides, as stated earlier, 2m is what is mostly used on the trails, so those other bands aren't really needed. Mine rarely leaves 2m except to listen to police / fire/ ems traffic.
Thanks! Very helpful. And as the OP questioned, what antenna are you running and where do you have it mounted?
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