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Discussion Starter #41
Thanks AE5PT and welcome to the forum. We can always use more radio operators for sure. The use of Ham is slowly spreading through the off-road community. Have you seen the 4X4 Ham Radio Operators forum? Several of us here are members there too:

4X4 Ham Radio Operators - Off Road and On the air!

73
 

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N5MUD,

I am new to FJ. I just picked up my 2007 Black Cherry 6 speed yesterday. I saw your article about Ham Radio. Good article. We need new blood in the hoby. I am very active in emergency comm in our community. I am also very active in CERT in our local community. I am about to go out to the garage to reinstall all of the AR equipment I removed from my previous vehicle. The critical issue is the seperation distance between my TM-D700A and my AvMap Geosat 5 for APRS. That cable length is the critical item.

73

AE5PT
Welcome to FJs! Hope to see some pics of the radio stuff installed in your FJ. I'm studying for my General license now and hope to install a Yaesu 8900 son. For now I have a FT-60R that I use with an antenna on the roof rack. Works okay, but would like more power. Also when at a checkpoint during local stuff that the totah radio club supports, I can see where i could use a radio with cross band repeater function.

Again, welcome. KE5WRH here.

Thanks AE5PT and welcome to the forum. We can always use more radio operators for sure. The use of Ham is slowly spreading through the off-road community. Have you seen the 4X4 Ham Radio Operators forum? Several of us here are members there too:

4X4 Ham Radio Operators - Off Road and On the air!

73

Ya, that seems to be a good site. Really nice people. Hope to wheel with some of them soon.

73s

B
 

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Great artical. I have wanted to go take the test for some time now, however just have not gotten out there and done it.

I just took the practice test and scored a 74.3 % with no studying so maybe a should do a little reading and go take the test :)

73's until then ;)
 

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great write up..

several of my buddies all run the Yaesu 2800m including me..amazing radios, features, and ridiculous range..and, simple to operate. can't beat the price either at 125 bucks for the radio
 

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Any recommendations for a good 2meter antenna for the fj ?
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I just took the practice test and scored a 74.3 % with no studying so maybe a should do a little reading and go take the test :)
Just take a few more practice tests and go for it! The Technician test is not difficult and 74% is a "pass".


several of my buddies all run the Yaesu 2800m including me..amazing radios, features, and ridiculous range..and, simple to operate. can't beat the price either at 125 bucks for the radio
I agree, I have two of them. The price has been reduced since Yaesu came out with the 2900, which is only slightly more powerful.


Any recommendations for a good 2meter antenna for the fj ?
The top of the roof is a fantastic ground plane; if you can punch a hole for an NMO mount in your roof or even just use a mag mount, just about any brand of 5/8-wave steel whip will give you range that is hard to believe sometimes. Comet, Larsen, Diamond, and Hustler all make good ones. If you use an NMO mount, you can easily swap it out for a short 1/4-wave antenna any time clearance is an issue.

If you are using a Bandi-mount in the rear or a bumper for a mount there is not enough ground plane to tune a 5/8-wave antenna well. In that case, a 1/2-wave antenna is a better choice and will usually tune right up. I have this problem on my FJ40, and after some experimentation trying (and failing) to get some existing 5/8-wave antennas to tune, I bought a Larsen 150 in 1/2-wave and it tuned right up with nearly perfect SWR. I really like this antenna. If you get one, be careful to order it in the 1/2-wave version because they use similar part numbers for the 5/8-wave and 1/2-wave versions, and they look nearly identical.
 

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I bought a Larsen 150 in 1/2-wave and it tuned right up with nearly perfect SWR. I really like this antenna. If you get one, be careful to order it in the 1/2-wave version because they use similar part numbers for the 5/8-wave and 1/2-wave versions, and they look nearly identical.
Are you using the Bandi mount with the Larsen ?
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Are you using the Bandi mount with the Larsen ?
No, the Larsen 1/2-wave is on a home-made mount on the spare tire swing-out of my FJ40 bumper, though it is a similar location to the Bandi mount on an FJC (just behind the body):







On my FJ Cruiser I'm running a Hustler 5/8-wave on an NMO mag mount on the roof:



 

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Any recommendations for a good 2meter antenna for the fj ?
I'm running a diamond NR770HA on the Bandi mount, just had to enlarge the hole a bit.



Works slick, I can get into our area repeaters as well as anyone.
 

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Thanks 1911 and Bryan F, I just got my Tech ticket this weekend and am looking at a Yaesu 7800. I was really having a hard time figuring the antenna piece out since most have either an NMO or PL-259 mount. It looks like Bryan F has my answer though on widening the bandi mount for a pl-259. Maybe I'll catch you on the air 1911!!

So new that I won't get my call sign until today!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Maybe I'll catch you on the air 1911!!
When I've got a radio on, I usually hang out on the Azle repeater (147.160 MHz input, + offset, 110.9 tone). It's up on a 500' tower and will reach all over the metroplex. There are several active 2M repeaters in Fort Worth also. Be sure to post your call sign when you get it.
 

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On my FJ Cruiser I'm running a Hustler 5/8-wave on an NMO mag mount on the roof:



What's been your experience at places like BMRA with lots of overhead limbs? The 5/8 whip looks very flexible. Does the magnet still get unseated from time-to-time or do you swap on a 1/4 wave for such places?

BTW, is that an MX-2?
 

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Discussion Starter #53
What's been your experience at places like BMRA with lots of overhead limbs? The 5/8 whip looks very flexible. Does the magnet still get unseated from time-to-time
The Hustler mag mount is very strong and has never unseated on me.


or do you swap on a 1/4 wave for such places?
Yep, that's exactly what I do; the beauty of an NMO mount. I have two 1/4-wave antennas, a Sti-Co Flexi-Whip (2M only) and a Comet SBB-1 (dual band). The Felxi-Whip is extremely flexible, you can tie it in a knot. It has surprised me with it's long-range performance too. The Comet SBB-1 is rubbery and short but thick and not near as flexible. It also cannot be tuned. The Flexi-Whip must be cut and tuned for 2M (it's actually a cop radio antenna) but it's easy to do and it tuned up almost perfectly.


BTW, is that an MX-2?
It is. Made in Mineral Wells, not that far from my house. It has been an excellent 2M antenna after tuning it for length. I just got back from a trip to Colorado; I beaconed APRS the whole way on only 10 watts of power and there were very few places (mainly between tiny towns in the Texas panhandle) where my signal could not reach 40-50 miles to an I-gate or other APRS station/digipeater. If you have a good ground plane like the middle of your roof, this is a great antenna and it only cost about $40.
 

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Lee,

Thanks for the replies above!

What is your opinion of radio programming software? Do you manually key in your info or do you use one of the software tools with a USB link?

I took the test this morning and have ordered a 2m Yaesu. Just wondering whether the programming software would be a big help or maybe just a nice-to-have. (Programming at the Radio doesn't look difficult, I'm just wondering about... well... reprogramming.)
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Lee,

Thanks for the replies above!

What is your opinion of radio programming software? Do you manually key in your info or do you use one of the software tools with a USB link?

I took the test this morning and have ordered a 2m Yaesu. Just wondering whether the programming software would be a big help or maybe just a nice-to-have. (Programming at the Radio doesn't look difficult, I'm just wondering about... well... reprogramming.)
Ron, on my Yaesu's, i borrowed a friend's software and cable to program them initially, and since then I just add additional repeaters that I want manually. They're kind of a pain to figure out how to program manually, and the owners manual isn't a tremendous help, but you can figure it out. One thing I don't like about Yaesu is that they make you buy both the software and the cable, and they're different for almost every different model. I have yet to buy either.

On my Kenwood mobile, I bought the cable and the software is free from Kenwood. The software is easy to use, and it interfaces with the ARRL repeater directories on disc, so you can plot your travel path on a map and it will automatically upload all the repeaters along your path.
 

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Thanks. I think I'll pass on the software for now.

There is about a dozen of the TTR folk that have pledged to get a license this year. (My work is about to get crazy hectic so I needed to get the exam behind me quickly.) If two or three of us end up with the same rig... the SW might be more useful.

BTW, this Primer & Buyers Guide is a great resource. Excellent!
 

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This forum just gets better'n better.....

I think I've decided on the Yaesu FT-8900R. Mostly because of 10m. Do you know if it's easy to unlock for 27 Mz? I think I'll go get my 2m and get it over with.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
I think I've decided on the Yaesu FT-8900R. Mostly because of 10m. Do you know if it's easy to unlock for 27 Mz?
You probably already know that this is illegal, but making no judgment on my part (and having never done it myself), I have heard that some Yaesu radios can be opened up to transmit on wider bands than intended. Besides being illegal, you will also void any warranty on the radio.
 

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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer

You're welcome Steve; I patterned it after your excellent CB write-up.
:rofl::rofl::rofl:

BOTH are good reads. Thanks for the insight, Lee. Well done.:bigthumb:
 

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You probably already know that this is illegal, but making no judgment on my part (and having never done it myself), I have heard that some Yaesu radios can be opened up to transmit on wider bands than intended. Besides being illegal, you will also void any warranty on the radio.

Yeah, I hear you! It's a pretty harmless crime as long as the operator has half a brain, though. I simply want a radio that is as versatile as possible.
You're right about the warranty, though.
It would be a bummer to have a problem & not be able to have it repaired gratos.

Thanks for the input!
 
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