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Which Hand Held...Advice Please

In reply to M1EYP:

Agree, I have one as a back-up and they are built like the brick … house.

The main rig is the VX-8 with APRS. Has the advantage of being shower resistant. Also use the Yaesu FT-911 superb.

In reply to G3RMD:
Whole heartedly agree with Frank, 817 is streets ahead, but whatever you choose pick one that has 2mtrs ssb and tip it over sideways for the 2mtr ssb chasers, or better still plug a horizontal dipole or small beam into it!!!

John M0JDK

In reply to M0JDK:

In reply to G3RMD:
Whole heartedly agree with Frank, 817 is streets ahead, but whatever
you choose pick one that has 2mtrs ssb and tip it over sideways for
the 2mtr ssb chasers, or better still plug a horizontal dipole or
small beam into it!!!

Well, in my neck of the woods, apart from SOTA ativations, SSB qsos on the 2m band are as rare as rocking horse manure. Without digging the log books out, I’m almost certain, I’ve managed “one” in the last year… As for 70cms, there’s more chance of finding the Holy Grail.

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

SSB qsos on the 2m band are as rare

Perhaps you have too narrow a beamwidth antenna Mike? Although activity is way down on 25 years ago.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:
I think what John is implying Mike is that the SSB mode is the far superior mode when it comes to SOTA! I whole heartdly agree! In terms of effciency and reliability SSB wins hands down. We have relaible chasers like Don G0RQL in IO70, Roger G0TRB in Tamworth and the Cheltenham Mafia etc, all of these guys put out fantastic SSB signals!

It says it all when I hear you 5-6 on SSB and about 5-1 on FM (Even when you use your vertical anetenna)

I suppose the main reason for FM is its lack of weight! 2m Handheld and a dipole is dead easy, having siad that you will have more fun with 2m SSB and 3 ele beam IMHO!

Anyway 817 is the way forward for best hand portable, if it is more Handheld thenit really is Horses for courses!

73

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to G3NYY:

However, has anyone else noticed that with both the Wouxuns, there is
a significant battery drain even when they are switched off? If you
leave a battery in a Wouxun for a couple of weeks, without using the
radio at all, you will find the battery is almost exhausted. Spare
batteries, stored separately, do not lose their charge.

Hi Walt

Yes, I have the Wouxun 4m handheld (great radio for the money) and yes, mine drains down over a period of a week or so. Sometimes it seems very sudden, I can switch it on one day for a quick listen and it has what seems like a full charge and then next day - dead!

I usually just leave mine stood in the charger (switched off) when it is not in use. Mine is fairly new too, bought at Xmas and has not had that much use.
No such problem with my FT-60 though, which keeps the battery charge really well when not in use.

73
Jonathan
M6HBS

In reply to M6HBS:

There are many ways to lower the cost of an item. One way is to use cheap labour (China), not worry about environmental legislation (China), use lower quality components and build standards (China), clone other peoples R&D (China), or fix your exchange rate (China). The other is to do more naff engineering (everyone).

I’ve lost count of the number of radios I’ve seen where the on/off switch controls nothing more than the exciter/receiver and PA bias. It’s common to find the PA runs from unswitched 13.8V. On a 100W HF rig this saves on a 20A plus switch or relay. The CPU is often powered all the time and on spotting the power button it drives a FET or 2 that power up all the lower current circuits. Works great for anything where the power source doesn’t run out, i.e. a PSU.

Likewise, handhelds will have a variety of CPU controlled power circuits (more FETS) so they can do auto power off and power save features. If you want to switch everything you need a FET (or FETS) that can handle all the load. If you want to save money, then you simply leave more of the set always powered and then you can use a smaller FET. Smaller FET is cheaper so you pass the savings on to the customer or you make more profit.

My Yaesu VX1 will flatten the battery in a few weeks of standby use. If I pull the battery out then it will stay charged for 9 months. The VX170 has a big switch and that seems to switch everything off. My old Icom X21 would total the battery in 2 weeks standby off and then you needed to muck about with the CPU reset before it would power up at all!

It’s not a big problem if you know about it. Easiest is to pull the battery as long as the memory/options backup is reliable.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

SSB qsos on the 2m band are as rare

Perhaps you have too narrow a beamwidth antenna Mike? Although
activity is way down on 25 years ago.

Since I took the X-510 off the roof for Saturdays GW/NW-043 activation and I couldn’t be asked to replace it with the X-300, I don’t have any antennas up for 2m. However, as I found water ingress in the joint between the top and middle sections of the X-510 due to a failed seal, it was somewhat fortuitous, I did take it down.

Indeed, I’ve been told how ten years ago, in the mornings, it was just about impossible to find a clear frequency on 2m fm.

Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Well, in my neck of the woods, apart from SOTA ativations, SSB qsos on the 2m band are as rare as rocking horse manure. Without digging the log books out, I’m almost certain, I’ve managed “one” in the last year… As for 70cms, there’s more chance of finding the Holy Grail.

Well I have activated in Scotland, (Edinburgh summits) on 2mtrs ssb, got contacts in the midlands, Devon etc, from home,(East Midlands,)I have Worked activators on summits in the Channel Islands, Scotland, Cornwall etc. I have done a lot of activating and chasing over the years, 2mts ssb is the way to go, there’s always chasers looking out for contacts, it just depends how much effort your prepared to put in, h/held FM radios (the easy option) are not for me!!

Aside from SOTA, the weekend just gone, I activated 72 WAB squares on 2mts ssb from the car, travelling from York to Hull then hugging the coastline all round to Lincoln, Norfolk and Suffolk, using a Halo and small beam when needed, had chasers following me from the midlands, London and Devon, loads of activity, Easter weekend, 94 Coastal Squares from Bristol, all along the coastline to Lands End, then back along the South coast to Exmouth before returning to to the East midlands, again, midlands chasers worked me on EVERY square, I guess rocking horse manure must be popular!!, or you can grap a rubber duck radio (FM h/held) and say there’s no activity.

John M0JDK

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike
Icom IC-E92D 2m & 70cm with D Star inc - Dreadful for Sota. Front end like Tesco’s front door…

In reply to M0JDK:

I guess

rocking horse manure must be popular!!, or you can grap a rubber duck
radio (FM h/held) and say there’s no activity.

Hi John,

I’m convinced the reason the lack of SSB activity at my QTH, is everyone congregating on GB3VT. Since work was carried out on the repeaters antenna about 4 or 5 months ago, the footprint is enormous.

Following the forums I do, there seem to be plenty of Amateurs who would be happy to see the back of repeaters.

My activation of Gun on 16 May, produced 3 contacts on 2m ssb, despite being spotted and me calling and calling, the best being G3XQE Ken, in Coventry.

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to M0TUB:

Front end like Tesco’s front door…

Does the door on yours revolve or open automatically?

Thanks for sharing that Mike. I just need to clean the coffee of my monitor.
Don’t you just hate it when it goes up your nose?

Steve GW7AAV

In reply to 2E0YYY:

produced 3 contacts on 2m ssb

Polarisation loss not a factor?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

produced 3 contacts on 2m ssb

Polarisation loss not a factor?

Yep, almost certainly.

I normally state that I’m working vertically on the alert and this does bring out other chasers onto ssb who are vertically polarised, especially at weekends.

Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to MM0FMF:

Polarisation loss not a factor?

36 - 20 = 16dB. Slightly more gain than you might get from a box of 4 x 6 element Yagis.

In reply to G3CWI:
Also chucking away the 9db, or so, receive gain from my horizontal 9ele Tona, which you can avail yourself of free of charge, without having to carry it up the hill. A bargain!

In reply to G3RMD:

Also chucking away the 9db, or so, receive gain from my horizontal 9ele Tona, which you can avail yourself of free of charge, without having to carry it up the hill. A bargain!

In practical terms, I worked 2E0YYY on Gun the other day, 5/5 on his vertical on ssb, that summit from here is an easy 40+ over 9 on horizontal ssb for me, and as Frank says,the free gain to be had from my horizontal antenna is 13db, so anyone activating on ssb without a beam/dipole, just tip the antenna over horizontal and soak up some free gain!!

John M0JDK

In reply to M0JDK:

…just tip the antenna over horizontal and soak up some free gain!!

I activated a very crowded Sugar Loaf Mountain in a howling gale using just the 817 and its rubber duck held so it was horizontally polarised and had a very successful activation. Where needs must!

With regards to the original question, to my mind the most important part of the spec for a handheld is waterproofing and secondly power out. Just ask yourself which rig and antenna you’ll be using if the weather has turned to horizontal driving rain when you arrive at the summit! Mind you, having said that, under such conditions I’d still deploy the main rig, but that’s just me!

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG:

the most important part of the spec for a handheld is waterproofing

I have never had a waterproofed rig, but some of our Raynet group invested in them and always the same problem - Very weak audio due to the waterproof membrane. Which had to be solved either by removing the membrane, punching a hole in to (both of which destroyed the waterproof properties or using an external mic.

I personally would keep the rig inside my jacket or rucksack and use an external mic and then there is no worry if it is waterproof. In really wet conditions I have eaten my sandwiches early and popped the mic in the thin food bag with a rubber band around the lead.

and secondly power out.

Not usually much difference in handhelds with regards to power out, but some of them that say they are 5w are only 5w on a 12v supply. My Kenwood G71Es are only 5w from the two larger battery pack you could buy and they came with the smaller ones. I seem to recall a friend buying a Yaesu to replace a similar one he had owned and he was shocked to find it was only 2w whereas he was expecting 5w like his older model. From a hill that should not be an issue but he could no longer make the local 70cm repeater from home and was forced to put up a huge (6 1/2") 70cm 1/4 wave antenna to compensate ;0)

In reply to GW7AAV:

Just announced is the new Wouxun UDV1P/L which is a 2m/4m handheld.

Choices… choices…

Andy
MM0FMF