Finally after months I took the plunge and bought a new handheld, i would of liked the kenwood d74 but at £550 I can not warrant that and the colour screen on the ft3d I have been advised not great in the sun .
What useful accessories for sota has people find useful? I have ordered a sma to so239 and a sma to bnc adapter.
I know I need a high gain antenna for quick activations .
Main interest is the Aprs side but going on digital side is there a sota room on fusion ? Or whatever it’s called as never used digital yet . Once o suss out if I can get on a gateway or need a hotspot when at home .
Congrats. I’ve got an FT-1D, veteran of many SOTA expeditions. Great radio.
Check out this video:
We have a YSF repeater here in Seattle that I’ve used a few times. I have never used it from a SOTA summit, but that might be entertaining. None of the QSOs would count for the activation, but it would be fun to chat with other SOTA folk while on a summit.
I’ve used my FT-1D to spot via APRS many times - works great!
I don’t know how good the antenna that comes with the FT2D is but if you want some more gain a simple (cheap) option is an RH-770 vertical - order with the correct connection (it comes in all the options), so you don’t need to use any of those adapters.
“If you don’t know how good antenna A is, how can you be sure that antenna B is better?“
Technically accurate; but I think Ed (no doubt speaking from experience of other handhelds) is offering good advice. lockdown pedantry Richard?
Matt - my advice would be to get a simple headset/mic. I use the ear bud design with an attached mic (similar to those supplied with mobile phones). When you’re on top of a hill, the ear bud helps you hear above any wind noise, reduces any disturbance for other walkers and the remote mic allows you to hold the handheld radio up higher (both for better Tx/Rx and also to allow you to hunker down in shelter!)
My experience with various handhelds including yaesu the stock antenna needs improvement but then it’s small so not knocked or get tangled up in trees etc . I typically use coax built antennas slim jim , end fed 5/8 and a colinear . But for the quick activations a higher gain antenna be useful.
Regarding speaker mic , I have one for my yaesu ft25 with the jack output for the ear buds, which i have never tried . Great idea .
One more vote for a speaker mic.
My other addition is a battery box that takes standard cells.
Currently used as a back-up, but it will ensure the radio can still be put into service long after the supplied rechargeable has expired.
I suggest you get a protective cover/case for it, in “genuine imitation” leather. It will protect it from the many scratches and grazes it will otherwise suffer on SOTA expeditions. Get it now before they are no longer available.
I have been trying to find one for my VX5 without success.
I wonder if the case sold for the VX6 is suitable? They are still advertised. The layout seems similar.
Based on my previous experience with Yaesu UK, I would strongly suggest you give them a ring and ask them. Every time I have contacted them they have gone above and beyond what I’d expect.
Yaesu (UK) Ltd
Sun Valley Business Park
+44 (0)1962 866667
They may not be too keen to ship to VK (not allowed to sell outside dealer region etc.) but if they have one in stock, you can ship it to my QTH and I can post it on to VK for you. PM me to arrange stuff should they have one.
for SOTA, I got myself 2 Diamond antennas: A RH770 (higher gain for activations) and a RH771 (flexible quarterwave for 2m, for APRS while hiking to the summit, which is a challenge with the stock rubber duck.
I also have both a handheld microphone (the one without camera) and an earpiece, both come in handy depending on the situation.
Still on my wishlist: A SOTABEAMS 2m bandpass filter. I usually don’t focus on VHF activations since my favourite is HF CW. Having said that, I once made a trip to a summit with visitors where I sneaked my SOTA gear into the backpack. It was so windy up there that it was impossible to set up any HF antenna. And on that ONE summit where the FT2D was my backup, there was so much RFI from the communications tower on that summit, that I didn’t get a single QSO done
VX7 - tried making my own audio break-out. No joy because it takes a special screw-in 4-way 3.5-mm connector.
FT3 (so, same as FT2) doesn’t have the screw-in feature, so this time it should work fine, right? Wrong! It still needs the first bit of the body to keep down to about 6mm dia. I should have looked more closely.
Of course my old CT-91 splitter works, but I was hoping to reduce the number of cables I carry. At least the cable I made is useful to pull off the speaker connection from the MH-57 speaker mic.
By the way that’s another part you can look for Matt. I don’t know what difference there is, if any, between that and the MH-34B4B. Maybe right-angle vs. straight plug?