Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:05 pm

KJ4VOV wrote:Also, stop by anytime and I'll show you how easy the FT-60 is to program from the keypad, then hook you up with a freeware programming app for it.
Give me a couple days and I'll shoot you a PM. Thanks.

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by CitizenZ » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:27 pm

Tater Raider wrote: Nearest repeaters are about 20 miles from my house. I do go to towns with repeater networks in them 1-3 times/week, so there's that.
I've not programmed the radio yet, though I tried to program in the nearest repeater. I've got time to mess with teaching myself to manually program it but if that fails I'm bringing it and a manual to the next club meeting and seeing if I can get a hand with learning to manually program it (something to learn for worst-case scenarios). It's one of those things I need to be walked through for whatever reason and while that makes me uncomfortable I've gotta start somewhere so I'm good with that.
Once I've learned to do that, then I'll go ahead with getting some software and the right cabling for the radio to do the job from the PC.
Once the HT's are up to snuff we'll start working on an antenna system for the house and another for the Jeep so we can remove the HT antenna and plug it into the system, giving up QRP mobile and base stations. It looks like the base antenna system is going to be a May-June project and the mobile will be an August-September deal. After that it will be a couple accessories to ensure we've got the HT's fully kitted for E-Coms.
Next year I'll see about getting a used dual band mobile for the Jeep at a hamfest and then something like a Yaesu 857D or something similar for a base station. Once that's in place I'll feel good about focusing the COMS budget on the ham shack and moving equipment around (like putting the 857 in the Jeep and the second hand dual band in a portable set-up).
If that doesn't make sense, please feel free to guide me. I feel like I'm trying to get a sip of water from a fire hydrant on this stuff but at the same time I'm very excited and wanting to learn more and plan 2-3 steps ahead so I can avoid missteps.
Thanks beforehand.
There are probably more repeaters in your area that you haven't found yet. The books and charts online are helpful but not 100% accurate. Learn to program a scan for the parts of the band where repeaters are supposed to be (skip the part of the band for CW, SSB, sats, simplex, etc). I run my mobile on a scan mode frequently and find new repeaters regularly or when I change antennas or adjust my antenna. I keep a log of local contacts I hear, both repeaters and individuals on simplex. I store the repeaters in memory, which adds them to the memory scan. Scanning every frequency on the band is slow, but scanning just the useful portion is much faster; and a memory scan of known contacts is just 2 seconds, but yields the most hits. It also lets me know how changes in my antenna is working. Did I lose contacts I used to receive, gain new ones or no change?
Plugging into an external antenna is the best way to increase your performance.
I suggest you search online how to make a ground plane, 3 element Yagi for 2m and a roll up j-pole antenna. These can be made from scavenged parts (from old antennas) or a few dollars from the hardware store. Even just holding the yagi in your hand or throwing a short line up a tree to hold the j-pole a few feet off the floor will dramatically increase the performance of your handheld. You may be able to hit that repeater 20 miles away for the weekly emergency net, or find other interesting contacts to test your set up and ensure that you can make a contact if you need to. Right now it doesn't sound like you can. You should fix that ASAP. Ideally, permanently instal a yagi that will allow you regular contacts to the local emergency net. A simple ground plane antenna can yield impressive results, and can be further improved by using a taller mast and better cabling.

Without at least some basic programming of a few memory channels of known contacts, scanning edges, and a memory scan that radio is almost useless. One of my biggest complaints of that radio is how hard it is to program. That is an obstacle you must overcome. At least the most basic functions to get you started and find some local contacts.

I made a roll up j-pole antenna from about 5 feet of 300 ohm twin lead antenna wire (old style flat tv antenna wire) with a short length of coax attached. It rolls up to store in my backpack or trunk. I have a few feet of paracord attached to the end so I can throw it up into a tree or any overhead support and attach the coax to my HT (or my mobile).
I also made a 3 element yagi from an old tv antenna that a neighbor was throwing away. It was a large vhf style tv antenna. I was able to just unbolt a short section of the main boom, as it had been assembled from 2 sections bolted together. Then I drilled out the rivets holding the elements and selected the elements that were the correct length, for a director, driven and reflector elements. I didn't even have to cut anything. I then used new bolts and nuts to arrange them into my new yagi. Just drilled 2 new holes and attach the coax. Now I have an all aluminum portable yagi that is more powerful than a linear amplifier.

Before you spend money on more radios, I suggest you invest in antennas, good cabling, tall masts or towers, permanent instal with proper grounding, lighting protection , power supplies, 12v car battery back up, power distribution, portable and mobile installs and a computer interface for digital modes. There is a lot you can do with just that little radio. Learn to maximize it before you invest in another radio that you will still have to do all these things for to maximize that radio.
"Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck"- The South Pole, Roald Amundsen - 1912

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:51 pm

Corrected date of Skywarn classes to March 24th a previous post. I'm repeating it here in case folk missed it.
CitizenZ wrote:Before you spend money on more radios, I suggest you invest in antennas, good cabling, tall masts or towers, permanent instal with proper grounding, lighting protection , power supplies, 12v car battery back up, power distribution, portable and mobile installs and a computer interface for digital modes. There is a lot you can do with just that little radio. Learn to maximize it before you invest in another radio that you will still have to do all these things for to maximize that radio.
I quoted this specifically because I think it's worth stressing that I should learn to use what I've got, kit it out, squeeze every bit of performance I can out of it, and know it backwards and forwards before I move on to the next piece of kit. Having said that, putting in antennas on the house and Jeep should be done so that upgrading is just unplugging the old radio from the system, plugging in the new one, programming it, and tuning the antenna (Yes, I know feedline and antenna didn't change but it's good to check the system now and then IMHO).

As for programming, I will see what I can pull up on YouTube later tonight and try again to self teach. If that fails I'll take VOV up on his offer.

Great tip on the scanning to check performance when you change stuff. I'll be sure to remember that.

For me, this is the year of the HT so things to be done, in this order and before year's end (again, please correct me if I'm off):
  1. New antenna for the Baofeng, turn dummy load antenna into backup (mic already purchased)
  2. Mic for the FT-60 (new antenna already installed)
  3. Backup batteries for both
  4. Household J-Pole and 2m Yagi or 2m/70cm dual band log antenna for HT to replace the TV antenna not in use on roof (cannibalized for the unidirectional antenna? maybe...), both home brewed, plus all that entails
  5. Car charger
  6. Jeep 2m/70cm dual band antenna for HT
  7. Programming cables and what-not
  8. AA battery packs for both radios (if possible)
  9. Bonus points: CB radio installed in the Jeep
  10. Double Bonus: handheld directional antenna, either 2m Yagi and 70cm Yagi or a 2m/70cm log antenna
I'm open on the log/Yagi antenna thing if there is better out there.

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by CitizenZ » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:42 pm

Sounds good. Everyone's priorities are different, only you can know how you plan to use it... but have a plan, test it, then improve upon it. IMO, first do what ever is necessary to make your first contact from home, now. = Basic manual programming and improved external antenna. A portable high gain antenna is probably going to be the easiest and cheapest to implement now. Then you simply walk outside and use it when needed. Or a simple ground plane installed on the roof (elevation always beats everything else). Either way, but I would put that at the top of your list of priorities. Ideally to hit at least one repeater, the local emergency net repeater would be best of all. ASAP. Or at least one local ham who monitors simplex a lot. (second) Program that as your "Home" channel, and program a memory scan of that channel, simplex calling freq and other known contacts. If you do get a chance to talk to your local Hams (in person or on air) ask what antennas, simplex channels and repeaters they use or recommend. Are they mostly on 2m or 440? Which emergency net are you most likely to contact? I'm not a member of ARES/RACES, but I check in to the official county emergency weekly net (about twice a year) as a guest to test my system and lets them know who I am.
You can make an antenna in an hour of scrounging and an hour of building. Or they are cheap to buy new. Portable antennas only need a short length of cheap coax, but an installed antenna will probably need a longer length of more expensive/heavier coax, lightning arrestor, mount, and legal grounding scheme.
Your local repeaters are probably on towers on top of mountains so hitting them may be easier than you think. Especially with a directional, high gain or elevated antenna.

Third, I would get the car charger (assuming you have a wall charger). Spare batteries are usually very expensive. If your battery fails you can plug into the car even if the power grid goes down. You can then also use it to get power from a spare 12v battery in your home on a trickle charger. Either a car type or SLA. Big SLA's are so expensive I just bought a spare car battery and charger I use in my shack instead of a traditional power supply. I can use it to run all of my radios and charge all my hand held devices even if the local power goes out.

IMO, you should;
1. Antenna solution to hit local repeater (portable, directional, high gain, elevated, whatever is needed)
2. Basic manual programming to open local repeaters and fast scan known or likely contacts.
3. Car charger (cigarette adapter)
4. 12 volt car battery and charger for home radio shack
5. Programming cables and software
6. Car mounted antenna
7. Additional portable and/or installed antennas
8. Make or buy quick reference guide for your model of HT
9. Sound card computer interface and cable
10. Mobile 2m radio from Icom, Yeasu or Kenwood
"Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck"- The South Pole, Roald Amundsen - 1912

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:53 am

Sounds good and I'll make sure at every step of the way the hitting the local repeaters (I live in a flat area in a bit of a slight depression) is done when I go for the home antenna system. If that means working and reworking it then that's what I'll do.

I'm holding off on the software programming so that I can get good at manually doing things. If I can do it manually then I'm in better shape if the computer/grid crashes and I need to rework something. I'm not a glutton for punishment though so that's still on the list, just further down.

The Jeep has a built in inverter so the DC charger is a lower priority there but still important so that's why it's where it is on my priority list.

I'll add the quick guide. ARRL has them for both radios so I'll spend a couple bucks and get them as priority 1a and 2a. You sold me on them being important.

I hadn't considered a computer interface with the HT's, although I am considering it when I get a dedicated base station. Emergency household power is on the agenda too, but not the radio agenda, as an emergency generator powering a few essential circuits or charging a small battery bank that is powering the same select circuits, so at least I'm looking into it already for whatever that's worth. I mean we've got to be able to power the well and rest of the water supply plus the furnace at the very least already so adding the care and feeding of the HT's to that isn't adding a whole lot.

There's some reference library stuff we're glossing over here too, like an antenna "Bible" and other stuff that will get purchased as needed provided it's not a "one and done" type of need.

In the meantime, LT having the Baofeng and myself having the Yaesu FT-60 is, I think, a good deal. There are a couple cross compatibility issues on hardware (antennas and battery packs aren't compatible) but learning the manual programming of both radios may help me understand a bit more of what I can do with an HT, if that makes sense. Bonus, we can at least talk to each other when one is in the house and the other gardening, for example, to practice those "good engineering and good amateur practices" that we need to learn as second nature. Yeah, we have the licenses but in my experience, life experience - I have none with amateur radio yet, I've found that being able to test and being able to do things in the real world aren't quite the same thing - testing is just the start.

Speaking of testing, I'll be starting on my Extra Ticket next month and LT will be starting her General studies either later this week or next. I'm already finding the more I learn the more I want to learn on this stuff and I don't see that ending soon, so there's the reference library again. Related: antennas are endlessly fascinating to me and figuring out how to work with the 45'x60' machine shed the ham shack is eventually going in (metal roof for a ground plane?, also away from the house so 3am radio contacts don't disturb the YL, installing an insulated room inside the building, and running the off-grid emergency power from the building too) will be fun. Well, working out the game plan for this is fun so far anyways.

Maybe I am a glutton for punishment after all. :D

Thanks for the help and guidance. It's much appreciated.

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by NT2C » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:28 am

Tater Raider wrote: The Jeep has a built in inverter so the DC charger is a lower priority there but still important so that's why it's where it is on my priority list.
Unless it's a true sine wave inverter you may have some issues. Most inverters are modified sine wave (square wave usually), and not all electronics are happy with that. I'd still make a 12vdc charger a priority. The good news is, you probably won't have to buy one.

Most drop-in chargers (like the one for your FT-60) simply want 12-16vdc (the wall-wart is usually 16vdc), so if you simply make up a power cord for them with a cigarette lighter plug you'll be good to go. What I've done with mine is I've cut the wall-wart cords about a foot from the wall-wart, then put Anderson powerpoles on. Now I can simply unplug the powerpoles and plug right into the lead from my 100aH AGM, or the power strip in my truck, or any 12vdc source that has powerpoles. And I have a short lead with powerpoles on one end and a cigarette lighter plug on the other that I keep in my kit, so I have maximum power flexibility at minimal cost.
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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by CitizenZ » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:22 pm

ARRL's RF Handbook is the best all in one book for this subject. Lots of antenna projects, theory, electrical fundamentals and related subjects.
"Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck"- The South Pole, Roald Amundsen - 1912

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:26 pm

Okay, it took 2 days to assemble my list of repeaters to program in and I've still got a bit of work to do on it to consolidate it down further, but I'm sitting on about 100 stations in areas I drive in off-and-on including the entire Iowa Skywarn Network.

I'm embracing the suck. I brought it on myself.

The good news is today I manually programmed the first 5 repeaters on that list into the radio, assigned them a memory slot, and then named each slot according to what city that repeater is in. It's not much but it's a start and I'm going to do some more tomorrow, 25 more stations minimum. I'm learning the radio now, finally.

Once that is done I'm going to assign slots to memory banks so all my Skywarn Repeaters are in one bank, local (relative term, that) in another, travel to Des Moines in another, and so on. National Calling Freqs will be programmed into all the banks except the Skywarn Bank so they get scanned on a regular basis as well.

Some repeaters I thought existed locally don't because the repeater trustee had their license expire years ago or other stuff like that.

Lady Tater's radio should arrive by Friday, weather permitting, and I get to figure out how to program her radio. My station list + Nat'l Calling Freqs + NOAA Weather will come close to filling her memory. Good times.

TL;DR - I'm getting somewhere, but I'm not there yet. :D

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by NT2C » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:50 pm

Tater Raider wrote:Okay, it took 2 days to assemble my list of repeaters to program in and I've still got a bit of work to do on it to consolidate it down further, but I'm sitting on about 100 stations in areas I drive in off-and-on including the entire Iowa Skywarn Network.

I'm embracing the suck. I brought it on myself.

The good news is today I manually programmed the first 5 repeaters on that list into the radio, assigned them a memory slot, and then named each slot according to what city that repeater is in. It's not much but it's a start and I'm going to do some more tomorrow, 25 more stations minimum. I'm learning the radio now, finally.

Once that is done I'm going to assign slots to memory banks so all my Skywarn Repeaters are in one bank, local (relative term, that) in another, travel to Des Moines in another, and so on. National Calling Freqs will be programmed into all the banks except the Skywarn Bank so they get scanned on a regular basis as well.

Some repeaters I thought existed locally don't because the repeater trustee had their license expire years ago or other stuff like that.

Lady Tater's radio should arrive by Friday, weather permitting, and I get to figure out how to program her radio. My station list + Nat'l Calling Freqs + NOAA Weather will come close to filling her memory. Good times.

TL;DR - I'm getting somewhere, but I'm not there yet. :D
When you're ready for it, here's a link to what I use to program my FT-60s:

http://www.kc8unj.com/ft60.html It works just fine with any of the $4.00 FT-60 programming cables you can get from China on eBay.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:58 am

Bookmarked. Thanks.

EtA: Lady Tater and Ryder358 got their licenses assigned today. Now my birthday is complete. :mrgreen:

Congrats to both!

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:44 pm

Ryder358 and I were able to test our HT's over the weekend during a mock bug-out. I was barely able to hit a repeater tower with the whip while Ryder was able to get great signal using a slim jim on his radio.

With him having a slim jim and my radio inside the Jeep, 2.5 miles was the edge of range - noise began at 2 miles.

Just thought I'd give y'all a report that backed what's been said: it's all about the antennas.
Last edited by Tater Raider on Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by NT2C » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:30 pm

Tater Raider wrote:Ryder358 and I were able to test our HT's over the weekend during a mock bug-out. I was barely able to hit a repeater tower with the whip while Ryder was able to get great signal using a slim jim on his radio.

With him having a slim jim and my radio inside the Jeep, 2.5 miles was the edge of range - noise began at 2 miles.

Just thought I'd give y'all a report that backed what's been said: it's all about the antennas.
And elevation.

Making a slim jim is easy. Let me know if you want the plans and I'll send them to you.
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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:38 pm

And elevation.

I'm thinking one might work for the home omni antenna, but the J-Pole seems to be the antenna of choice in this thread. If performance is close then I think I'd prefer the slim jim for the bang-for-the-buck factor but...

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by NT2C » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:03 pm

Tater Raider wrote:And elevation.

I'm thinking one might work for the home omni antenna, but the J-Pole seems to be the antenna of choice in this thread. If performance is close then I think I'd prefer the slim jim for the bang-for-the-buck factor but...
Why not both? They are both very easy to make and you could then use the J-pole for the home QTH and keep the slim-jim and some fishing line and a weight (for hoisting it) in your kit in Dusty. If you need plans for either I'll be happy to supply them.
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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Purple_Mutant » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:31 am

I would suggest NOT using a BaoFeng for emergencies. I have a UV-5r dropped and the battery popped out. On top of the battery is a plastic hook thing. It's the only thing keeping the battery attached to the radio. It broke off when I dropped the radio. Now I have to use duct tape to keep the battery on. The BaoFeng is great as a play/backup radio, but a good sturdy radio is recommended as a primary. The FT-60 is a great radio, it's replaced my UV-5r as my EDC radio. You should consider getting lady tater an FT-60.

As for antennas I HIGHLY recommend the Ed Fong J pole. You can get them for $30 on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-Band-VHF-U ... 19e9b80a9a

If that link doesn't work search for "Ed Fong J pole on ebay" look for the seller antennas_iqn

It's an absolutely fantastic antenna for the price. I have one mounted above the line of the roof of the house, that I keep hooked up my 50 watt mobile. I have another with a paracord loop that I hang from the eve of the house. I use that one with my FT-817 for local repeaters. It's also easy to take down for use out in the field. The lack of radials on the antenna makes it easier to mount. If you mount one nice and high, you might be able to hit the repeaters. With the Fong above the roof line; running 50 watts I was able to hit a repeater 31 miles away and I was full quieting! :clap: Of course as they say, your millage may vary. But for $30 I would say it's well worth the experiment. Don't forget that the Ed Fong doesn't come with the pipe. You need to get class 200 PVC pipe. It's the thing wall stuff. Ed Fong also has a roll up version of the antenna. I have one of those too but haven't done much testing on it yet. I imagine it works just as well as the other one.

For the HT's something other than the stock rubber ducky (dummy load) is a must. I currently rock an MFJ-1717S on my FT-60. I don't know how it compares to other brands, but it seems to work well enough and seems sturdy.
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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:18 pm

Purple_Mutant wrote:I would suggest NOT using a BaoFeng for emergencies. I have a UV-5r dropped and the battery popped out. On top of the battery is a plastic hook thing. It's the only thing keeping the battery attached to the radio. It broke off when I dropped the radio. Now I have to use duct tape to keep the battery on. The BaoFeng is great as a play/backup radio, but a good sturdy radio is recommended as a primary. The FT-60 is a great radio, it's replaced my UV-5r as my EDC radio. You should consider getting lady tater an FT-60.
FT-60 is mine. When I upgrade she will get the Yaesu as a hand-me-down and the Baofeng will become backup.

I destroy things pretty easily so wanted something that could take some mild abuse while Lady Tater is careful with stuff. Coming off Christmas, when LT got me the Yaesu, things get tight and I wanted her to get up and playing ASAP instead of waiting a year like I did. That's how and why we got what we got. One of those, "It is what it is," deals.
KJ4VOV wrote:
Tater Raider wrote:I'm thinking one might work for the home omni antenna, but the J-Pole seems to be the antenna of choice in this thread. If performance is close then I think I'd prefer the slim jim for the bang-for-the-buck factor but...
Why not both? They are both very easy to make and you could then use the J-pole for the home QTH and keep the slim-jim and some fishing line and a weight (for hoisting it) in your kit in Dusty. If you need plans for either I'll be happy to supply them.
Purple_Mutant wrote:As for antennas I HIGHLY recommend the Ed Fong J pole.
Alrighty, I think what I'm doing is going with the Slim Jim setup because I can move that from a home antenna to a portable easily, then go with the mobile antenna (I have one in mind including fabbing up my own mount), then get the J-Pole and move the Slim Jim to the Jeep EDC for use as a portable per VOV's suggestion. So new to-do list:
  1. New antenna for the Baofeng, turn dummy load antenna into backup (mic already purchased)
  2. Mic for the FT-60 (new antenna already installed)
  3. Backup batteries for both
  4. Slim-Jim Antenna (temporary household antenna)
  5. Car charger
  6. Jeep 2m/70cm dual band antenna for HT
  7. Programming cables and what-not
  8. AA battery packs for both radios (if possible)
  9. Household J-Pole, move Slim-Jim to Jeep EDC
  10. Bonus points: CB radio installed in the Jeep
  11. Extra Bonus Points: 2m Yagi or 2m/70cm dual band log antenna for HT to replace the TV antenna not in use on roof (cannibalized for the unidirectional antenna? maybe...), plus all that entails
  12. Hat Trick: handheld 2m Yagi

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by NT2C » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:48 pm

As soon as my body stops really hurting (not doing so good today), and I can get out to the garage and build one, there will be an open stub J-pole in the mail for you. All the raw materials are on my bench, I just need an easy on the body day or two to get out there and build it. Been meaning to surprise you with this for months now, just have not been feeling well.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:49 pm

I know what that's like so take your time. And thank you very much. I'm humbled and grateful.

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by CitizenZ » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:45 am

For home base antenna I recommend a simple ground plane antenna on a tall pole or Yagi aimed towards the local repeater. Either one with the best coax you can get. Lmr400 or equivalent.
1/4 wave for the hand held. 1/4 wave, 5/8 wave or dual band for the car. Use a real mount not a magnetic.
I've been reading a lot of bad things about the jpole from very knowledgeable people. Basically because of its very bad feed point issue it winds up with less gain than a ground plane despite being physically much larger.
"Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck"- The South Pole, Roald Amundsen - 1912

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Re: Tater's Ham Thread -Yaesu FT-60R, The Journey Begins

Post by Purple_Mutant » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:48 pm

CitizenZ wrote:For home base antenna I recommend a simple ground plane antenna on a tall pole or Yagi aimed towards the local repeater. Either one with the best coax you can get. Lmr400 or equivalent.
1/4 wave for the hand held. 1/4 wave, 5/8 wave or dual band for the car. Use a real mount not a magnetic.
I've been reading a lot of bad things about the jpole from very knowledgeable people. Basically because of its very bad feed point issue it winds up with less gain than a ground plane despite being physically much larger.
I like the Ed Fong J pole for it's simplicity and cost. It's housed a length of PVC pipe and has no radios. Makes it easy to put up. Also, it's a dual band 2m/70cm. Not a bad deal for $30 plus the cost of the PVC pipe.

I will have to take a look a the quarter wave ground plane. I like building antennas, so I may have to make one and see how it compares to an Ed Fong.
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