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catalyst81

handheld help/recommendation

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So I just passed my technician's license test tonight! I'm interested in a handheld for hiking and backpacking and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I'll be trying to hit repeaters in the Sierras and in Southern California. I have been looking at the Yaesu VX-6R. It has decent features and is within my price range. I had someone recommend to me a new antenna rather than using the rubber duck antenna in the back country. My friend recommended a Smiley Super Stick II 5/8 wave telescoping whip. Could someone explain the benefits of this antenna over the original. I appreciate the help.

 

Jeff

Edited by catalyst81

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The VX-6R is good because it has 3 bands, 5 watts on 2M and 440, 1.5Watts on 220. 2M is your main band because it has many open repeaters. 440 is mostly private or closed repeaters in So. Calif. 220 is a very nice band with many open repeaters. There are is a nice linked repeater system on 220, the Condor connection. I once used this while camping in the Sierras to talk with my wife in the Los Angeles area. Also on that trip, I made satellite repeater contacts using a 2M/440 Yaesu 50R.

 

I like the long thin, very flexible, multi-band whip antennas. The long telescoping whips are good, but you have to be careful not to hit something and break the antenna connector on the radio. I made a telescoping whip that I marked with the different lengths of each band (1/4 wave on each, with a ground plane wire hanging down. This gives you a 1/2 wave dipole and works very well.) Look also for the roll-up J-Pole type that you can hoist up into a tree for greater range. These are all better than the short antenna that comes with the radio. If you can carry a portable 3 element Yagi, you will get the greatest range. Your location when transmitting/receiving is the most important factor.

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I like to go out and find rural caches. When by myself, I use the VX-7R and the cross band feature in my truck's Yeasu 8800. That way I can key a repeater with the higher power 8800, and carry the handi talkie. Great emergency function when the cell phone is out of coverage.

 

Stormy boy

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Hi Jeff,

If you are out of the city using a Ht then a 1/4 wave should be your minimum antenna. http://www.14er.org/gain.php I own a VX-7R and it has done well for me. If you plan on getting into APRS I would consider buying a HT with TNC and even perhaps GPS capabilities: http://www.yaesu.com/indexvs.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=64C913CDBC183621AAA39980149EA8C6&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0 You can check out APRS here: http://aprs.fi/ (Adj the map to your area)

Good luck, Eric/n0wae

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That's a good radio, but for any rough environments I prefer my old HTX-202 or a reprogrammed Motorola MT-2000. They are tough enough to survive abuse (my FT-60 didn't) and the HTX-202 is such a tank and so cheap to buy that I don't mind if anything happens to it. Now if there was only a dual-bander that was as tough I could use the x-band repeater in the car.. hmm..

 

Either way, enjoy.

 

73 de N9LCK

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