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Acer0001

Ham And Backpacking

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I'm looking for a lightweight HAM radio (hope to get my license soon) that I can use when cell access is nil. I've heard that HAM has higher reach and if it can hit a repeater, phone service is possible. I do need one that is somewhat lightweight, since I have to carry it with me, my GPS and my gear on my back.

 

Thanks!

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Well I'm pretty happy with my Yaesu VX-7R that only weighs 9.8oz with a Diamond 1/4 wave antenna. (The rubber duck doesn't do too well in the back country).

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Well I'm pretty happy with my Yaesu VX-7R that only weighs 9.8oz with a Diamond 1/4 wave antenna. (The rubber duck doesn't do too well in the back country).

 

I agree! Use the same radio myself. Another good choice would be the Yaesu VX-6R. Not as many bells and whistles but water proof is a big plus on the trail. Having a Twin lead J-pole rolled up in the pack is a good thing to have also.

 

73, KCØUYK

Edited by Dr123d

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Ditto on the VX-7R, it's a sweet radio. The only thing going against it for backpacking is non-standard batteries. This is true for most handheld ham radios though. Maybe if you had a solar charger... :lol:

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I have a VX-5R, similar to the VX-7R but cheaper.

 

I also have a AA battery case thqat allows low power operation. I have used it extensively whiel hiking, and in Southern California the repater coverage is pretty complete. You may have to go to a high point, but there are a lot of wide coverage repeaters. Coverage varies in other parts of the country.

 

Yaesu's collection of handheld tranceivers (HT)

 

Dave_W6DPS

Edited by Dave_W6DPS

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How does the AA battery case work? I'm guessing that it doesn't take the place of the current battery.

 

--Marky

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How does the AA battery case work? I'm guessing that it doesn't take the place of the current battery.

 

--Marky

 

Its an insert that takes AA batteries so that if your reg battery runs out you have a back up. They will not run the radio on full power or last very long on TX but nice to have in an emergency if you can hit a repeater.

 

73-KCØUYK

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I have a Kenwood TH-K2. It isnt the smalled hand held in the world but I think that it is pretty powerful which is another consideration you need to keep in mind. Some of the tiniest handhelds don't always seem to get out as well. Mine is small enough and light enough to be portable but it gets out well and can hit most the repeaters I attempt even in the middle of nowhere which Geocaching sometimes finds you.

WB9ZHC Ginger

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If you are going into the backcountry, you will definitely want an HT that can TX at 5 watts. A lot of those smaller HTs will only do about 1.5 watts, which is great if you have line of sight to a repeater, but not so great if you are out hiking in rugged terrain.

 

--Marky

Edited by Marky

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May want to look at the Kenwood TH-F6A. I love mine! Small, 5 watts, Tri-band, general coverage receive, Lithium Ion battery for great talk/ listen time, banks of memories, NOAA weather.

 

Steve..........N3GOV

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I'm looking for a lightweight HAM radio (hope to get my license soon) that I can use when cell access is nil. I've heard that HAM has higher reach and if it can hit a repeater, phone service is possible. I do need one that is somewhat lightweight, since I have to carry it with me, my GPS and my gear on my back.

 

Thanks!

 

If the weight of a hand held is a concern being most only weigh ounces, WHAT YOU GOT IN THAT PACK DUDE?..and if your packing that heavy you must be going deep into some wild terratory and a micro ht might not be suitable.....sorry had to ask :rolleyes: I like my VX-170 its only VHF but built like an M1 Tank I figure if the battery ever dies and I was stranded, I could chase down some wildlife and let my primal instincts take over and use it for a club or something, all jokes aside, visit a local hamfest or dealer and put them in your hands to see what is fitting for you. Good luck and scope out the Yaesu line, the waterproof standards they have incorporated in some of there radios is nice to have out there.

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I love my little original VX-1R. That said, running on an AA battery, I have a 3ft antenna on a 3" radio... :)

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The VX-7R is a great choice for VHF/UHF, but maybe HF (i.e., 1.8-30 mHz) would be even more fun, although it will require a bit more space in the backpack. I use a VX-7R as well and really enjoy the radio; a spare battery is a requirement for me if I plan to use it for very long. An alternative would be the battery pack that Batteries America sells - it is a gel cell that has a case and belt setup, along with a "cigar lighter" jack to plug in all sorts of 12VDC stuff (GPS, HT, and/or even a Yaesu FT-817ND for HF use).

 

I also have a Yaesu FT-817ND for the HF bands, but have not gone portable in the woods with it yet. Maybe I should grab one of those packs, too. :D

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N8PZT here, Caching In On The Journey <_<

 

|HF Portable|

For extended backpacking trips, the Yaesu FT-817 really can't be beat for all you get with it. I haven't taken mine backpacking yet, so all this is, of course, speculative.

 

I own a hugish G5RV five-band (more with a tuner) dipole, and it's fairly compact when rolled up; the problem is the weight--it's heavy, and that's not counting any coax.

 

Here is an interesting concept from MFJ: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/products.php?prodid=MFJ-1899T

 

This type of antenna *might* work, although my experiences with these types of--what I like to term 'compromise' antennas (although most smallish antennas are a bit of a compromise)--have been less than optimal. I feel that a shorter dipole or a random piece of wire fed into a small, portable tuner (like LDG's Z Tuner), makes for the best, all-around solution.

 

Still, I just might buy one, if reviews turn up a reasonable amount of success stories.

 

|VHF Portable|

I also have a VX-7R. It's tough as nails! So's my VX-5R, if not a little less so than the VX-7R; it's also much smaller and not so thick. Great for tucking away in an inside pocket, preferably without the included belt clip.

 

|HF-V/UHF Mobile|

As far as battery power is concerned, I've also got an FT-897, which is, to me, the top paradigm of all portable, commercially available HF Tranceivers. It has an AC Power Module that takes the place of where internal batteries--two in all--can be placed. Excellent for use with a decently sized Power Inverter on a good battery system in a vehicle. Just plug it in the inverter and you're ready to go, preferably with the engine running, I would think. <_<

 

I have the rechargeable batteries for the FT-897, but I have not used them yet, preferring the AC Power Module/Power Inverter combo. (This in theory; I have not tested it yet in this configuration, although with a Tripp-Lite 350 Watt Power Inverter, I anticipate no major problems).

 

When I have had the chance to fiddle with this installation, giving it a good test run, I'll post back and let everyone know how it worked for me. I've got a screwdriver antenna I'm aching to get mounted on the truck, but it's a bit more of a technical matter--especially as regards proper grounding of the thing--than I am capable of handling on my own right now. It' s off to the local ham club to ask for some "Elmering."

 

Whatever you choose, have fun, be safe, and above all...Cache On!

 

Warm regards from,

 

N8PZT/Firefishe

Caching In On The Journey

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Hey I have a vx-7r and love it for backpacking but end up taking my old yaseu ft-411 for use on aa's for a

backup. Wish that there was a double a pack that provided more power for the 7r's tx. I very much recomend the ft-60, dual band pretty wide recieve and has an available double a pack that will power

full power 5 watt tx.Also have had great luck with my bnc 5/8 wave telescopic whip on 2 meters.... made a 100 mile away contact with it on 2.5 watts from the top of an old fire tower in the wild.!.!

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You might be able to get some ideas from the following threads.

 

What do you use - part 1.

 

What do you use - part 2.

 

What do you use - part 3.

 

The first and third especially - lots of stuff about handhelds.

 

One idea you might consider. I took this idea to a level above most. You might consider a radio that will allow you to have interchangable battery packs. I currently use battery packs that carry 6 AA batteries. This takes the 5w radio down to 3.5 w. At 3.5 w, the battery drain is much less. Using a gain antenna more than makes up for the lower power with 2.1 dB gain. The ERP is over 6 watts!

 

By using the AA packs, I can stuff them with the latest in battery technology. This gives my better than 24 hours on a battery pack. Plus - and here is where I took it beyond the norm - every electronic device I carry except the cell phone uses AA batteries. So now I only carry one type of spare battery.

 

We will save the "Who makes the best battery?" question for another time.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thats what I carry. A FT-817 on the back. Since me leaving the Army, i need a little adventure. So with my FT-817 a BlackHawk bag, and a few HF whips, GPS, and water food,etc, off I go. I do listen to HFpack Freqs, hope to hear some of you out there Geocaching!!

 

AL KA1FFO

 

...De Oppresso Liber....

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I'm curios to know if Acer0001 got their ham license and which radio they went with?

 

My Yaseu VX 7 has been great! It's actually a quad bander - 2M/440/6M/220. It's submersible and I use a waterproof noise canceling mic, and a Diamond SB320 Ant. which bumped up my signal a bit. great coverage in So.Cal.

 

-Velo

 

PS anyone know of a battery clamshell for the vx7?

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I'm curios to know if Acer0001 got their ham license and which radio they went with?

 

My Yaseu VX 7 has been great! It's actually a quad bander - 2M/440/6M/220. It's submersible and I use a waterproof noise canceling mic, and a Diamond SB320 Ant. which bumped up my signal a bit. great coverage in So.Cal.

 

-Velo

 

PS anyone know of a battery clamshell for the vx7?

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I'm curios to know if Acer0001 got their ham license and which radio they went with?

 

My Yaseu VX 7 has been great! It's actually a quad bander - 2M/440/6M/220. It's submersible and I use a waterproof noise canceling mic, and a Diamond SB320 Ant. which bumped up my signal a bit. great coverage in So.Cal.

 

-Velo

 

PS anyone know of a battery clamshell for the vx7?

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Here's another vote for the VX-7R. It has a few issues here and there (CTCSS transmit quality isn't so great and fails to open the squelch on a fair number of radios, HF filtering is poor), but all in all, it does so much and is so rugged that it is a huge asset.

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I use an external 12 volt AGM rechargable battery connected to my VX-7R. It permits full-output power and lasts quite a while. It is a couple pounds, but not to heavy for day hikes. I think it was designed for camcorders.

 

73,

 

Mark / Philadelphia

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Ive seen a few posts mentioning a separate AGM battery to power a HT. I have a yaseu vx-7r, where could I find an external battery to run full TX power.?

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Ive seen a few posts mentioning a separate AGM battery to power a HT. I have a yaseu vx-7r, where could I find an external battery to run full TX power.?

 

Batteries America has them in stock and all ready to go..... they are a "Gel Cell" (sealed lead acid) battery of 12 Volts @ 7 aH, which should work quite well, and come with a case and female "lighter" jack. The people at BA are great to do business with.

 

Alternatively, a fanny pack and separte components could be assembled to do something similar. I keep a 12 aH gel cell battery ready for this sort of thing, but it is twice the size of the 7 aH battery.

Edited by Overland1

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Since were on the battery subject let me throw this out there I'm looking to go portable with a mobile radio specifically a yaesu ft-7800 dual bander what i would like to know is what type of battery should i look for i need something thats going to be able to handle putting out the power needed to run this radio 50 watts max at times! Any ideas where i can look and what type of battery do i need!

 

73s

chris

KC9LJT

:)

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May want to look at the Kenwood TH-F6A. I love mine! Small, 5 watts, Tri-band, general coverage receive, Lithium Ion battery for great talk/ listen time, banks of memories, NOAA weather.

 

Steve..........N3GOV

 

I love mine as well.

 

My usual geocaching radio setup is:

 

In-hand, the TH-F6A. One band on 146.52, other band on 446.200 with a tone. Power set to whatever is needed to hit my car.

 

In the car, the D-700A set to a 2m repeater I can hit from the car on one band, and 446.200 with the tone on the other. Radio is placed in cross-band repeat mode, with appropriate (usually high) power on the 2m side and low or medium power on the 70 cm side.

 

That gives me the ability to walk around with the hand held, and have access to a repeater without having to be able to hit it directly with the handheld.

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I bought a Yaesu VX-6R on the 29th. I was thinking of getting the FT-60R, but it is a noticeably larger, and I wanted something compact for backpacking. The salesmen at the local Ham Radio Outlet steered me to the VX-6R over the VX-7R or the Kenwood TH-F6A. They said the VX-6R has a more user friendly menu, and is much more robust than the TH-F6A. The VX-7R wasn't really on my consideration list anyway. I didn't think the 6m would be much fun with only 5w of output.

 

I'm probably going to pick up a Yaesu FT-8800R mobile for cross band repeating. I can leave the radio on in my truck (volume down) while I'm hiking, and if my HT can't reach the repeater, then I can bounce to it off of my mobile.

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I'm looking for a lightweight HAM radio (hope to get my license soon) that I can use when cell access is nil. I've heard that HAM has higher reach and if it can hit a repeater, phone service is possible. I do need one that is somewhat lightweight, since I have to carry it with me, my GPS and my gear on my back.

 

Thanks!

.

 

I've been pretty happy with the Yaesu FT-817... HF, 6 Meters, 2 Meters and 440... all in one radio. Only has 5 W output power, but if you are using CW or a good antenna, that should be enough.

 

Adam, KC7DVF "andakin"

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OK. I know this topic is old, old, old, but I just got my Ham Radio Tech license and bought a Yaesu VX-6R and I love it! Lightweight and 5 watts on 2meters, 70cm and 1.5 watts on the 1.2 meter bands!

 

Acer0001

KF5AKN

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Hey John,

 

Welcome to ham radio. The VX-6 is a fine radio. I own one and use it both as an HT in field but also in my car for APRS. I see you're in Georgetown. My parents live up in Salado. I get down a few times a year and am planning to be in the area for Field Day.

 

73,

Jerry

kd0bik

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I know this is old, but i did get my license and now an Extra class. I did buy the Yeasu VX-7 and the Yeasu FT-817. I've used HF wire antennas and threw them up in a tree most of the times. Good fun!

Now known as K1POO (formerly KF5AKN)

Edited by Acer0001

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By Baofeng does me good. I have local repeaters around, FSR, MURS, Marine, and GMRS programmed in mine. Great little for radio for the money. 

  • Upvote 1

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I had a Yeasu 817 but sold it to get something more powerful but not much bigger.

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