When I bought my Yaesu FT-3d, I thought it was the bees knees. It took me a while to realise it wasn’t as good as it should be on the air, and it look me even longer to do some back to back testing in a strong RFI environment. Here are the results:
Thanks for the excellent video, Fraser, which I watched a couple of hours ago. Very interesting results!
I’ll have the FT-60 if you don’t want it.
My favourite handheld!
Excellent test, thanks for sharing.
Another good one is the old Icom IC-V8. That one seems to handle all but the worst interference and runs on AA batteries as well. They can be found on ebay for very little (I bought one a couple years ago for $50).
On summits where my VX-7r is deaf, I can hear signals with the IC-V8. My Kenwood TH-D74 is in between the two in practice.
Thanks for the interesting and clear tests Fraser. Glad you decided that the VX-7R with Sotabeam filter was the best of the lot as that is what I use all the time when I’m having mast problems. Particularly pleased that it works on Brimmond Hill as I intend to be up that very hill near the start of our Aberdeenshire expedition (I refuse to call it a ‘holiday’!) from 13 - 20 May to be folowed by a week amongst the distilleries near Aberlour. The only question is whether I can hire your friend who lives nearby so that he will be listening out when I’m up that hill (and the others around) as I know it will be tough getting any 2m fm contacts on 5w. Perhaps we should have planned the trip the other way round so I arrived near Aberdeen with some bottles in stock!
73 Viki M6BWA
PS I hope the snow will have gone by then!!
Well that’s the hill I see from my office window. Also, the locals hang about on 145.550 Mhz. It took me a while to realise that and it helped massively when I did!
It was my almost failure to have a QSO with you the last time I was on Brimmond Hill that made me go back up there and do some testing. To be fair, @MM0RFN Hibby was only a couple of miles away. A weak portable station would have been a much tougher test.
Hi Viki. I remember listening to that tricky exchange between you and Fraser @MM0EFI when you were on Carn a Gheoidh. I was fortunate to work you /P on 70cms that day though. Sadly, I will be playing IOTA on Coll and Tiree when you are here but there should be enough local 2m activity to make the trip worthwhile. If not, just relax and enjoy the distilleries. Slainte! 73 Mike
Good testing, Fraser, and a good video recording the process and the results. I particularly liked the demo of the one that was totally silent and did not hear your testing signal. That illustrated well the difficult issue of receiver blocking that occurred with that radio when using the larger antenna. Many users misunderstand interference as something where you hear an additional signal or something distorted on top of the desired signal and can mistake a silent receiver for a situation where there is no interference. But receiver blocking silences the receiver completely and nothing comes through.
I’m really glad the sotabeams bandpass filter worked so well.
I have one of them too but luckily there are not many summits I activate where it is needed.
My HT collection is an FT60R, a VX5R and a ICV85. I think the v85 is the most resistant to blocking.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA
Edit: i also have an Anytone 878 HT but it doesn’t allow me to open the mute on weak signals, it’s useless. Yes I’m old school.
Thanks for the video, Fraser, most interesting. Yes, I remember your struggles last year on Brimmond Hill with Viki & myself when I was on Hill of Fare nearby.
The Sotabeams filter looks a useful bit of kit-there’s a couple of hills I’ve been on where I’ve had problems, namely Brown Clee Hill on the Welsh Borders & Cyrn y Brain, N Wales, where the filter would be useful. 73 John.
There’s a V2000 atop my house at a high point in Aberdeen city and my day rates are comparatively low, just don’t tell my employer!
There’s nothing in my calendar for those dates so I imagine I can be around - worst case, I’ll be at my office, which is 2 miles from Brimmond Hill so an HT is easily doable.
I may well be around and can listen out for you on 70cm (or more DC bands if you prefer!)
Big beam, many watts, almost line of sight!!!
I was trying to give it to Simon to make our summit to summits easier, but he’s not a hand held kind of guy.
Thanks Fraser for all the information and I certainly hope that you and others will be able to listen out for a rather weak signal on 2m fm (and 70cm 433.475 if I can persuade anyone to try - even a handy and rubber duck may succeed from the garden!) as I desparately hope to get one 2m contact on as many of the local little hills as possible (4 would be lovely but I don’t expect miracles). On my few summits on Mull I was delighted to hear from one or both of the only 2 amateurs who apparently lived within range.
Oh dear, I am sad to see Mike MM7WML that we have chosen exactly the period (13 - 20 May near Aberdeen, 20 -27 near Aberlour) when you are on Coll and Tiree (best of luck) as even I realise that a 70cm contact would need a rather large miracle!
Thank you very much Hibby/Dave MM0RFN for telling me you will be around with reasonable day rates! I will certainly be listening out for you and saving hard!
Thank you also to Barry GM4TOE (gosh it is a long time since we last talked…) and I am glad to hear you have many watts and beams. I think you may also be useful when we explore round the Dufftown/Grantown area. As you may have gathered we are not going for the highest hills but will be looking for relatively easy hills with some chance of 2m take -off. On my rest days M0JLA may try something more ambitious - or on hills unlikely to be answered on 2m as they are surrounded by higher summits (Ballater direction).
Thank you all for the help you have offered and, all being well, we will put up alerts probably the night before, but we do have a bad habit of usually being a bit late - usuially underestimating the terrain difficulties on Scottish hills and, of course, the weather!
Nearer the time, drop me a line with your number and I’ll add you to our whatsapp group.
Thanks for the testing Fraser, was disappointed that you didn’t have the correct adapter to test the bowfang as it would have been an eye opener for most to see the poor performance these cheap radios have in a high RF environment. Was surprising that it even worked at all, but every dog has its day I guess!
Here in VK1 we have a couple of drive up summits in the middle of town that are popular, particularly for visiting hams. Unfortunately they have very high RF levels being in close proximity to our local TV and FM broadcast site (plus many other transmitters) and all too often activators are calling away and not hearing the responses. Most of the time it is bowfangs that are the problem - radios like the FT60 seem to be far better - and of course commercial radios (i.e. Motorola) are almost immune to it, but at many times the cost, you would hope so!
Not as disappointed as I was. I completely forgot that they have the opposite connector until I removed the whip.
Yes, annoying that the chinese seem to have adopted the opposite gender SMA to the rest of the world. I have a number of Anytone HT’s, so the pack always has an SMA double female adapter in it to allow for connections to different antennas if needed.
I believe Motorola uses the same. More of a case of it not being a ham standard than it being totally at odds with the rest of the world.