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On-board VHF - choices, choices ...

Gary Stockton

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So, have taken the first step to 'proper' comms and now have a foundation Amateur License :clap: and was wondering what kit to look at to stick in my 120? Space is at a premium due to all the electrickery stuff on board the console already, so was looking at a 'split' unit where I can mount the head remotely?

Also quite keen on a dual-band unit ....

So - there are a lot of Yaesu units out there, as well as Kenwoods and Icoms - some prices are OK (ish) and others are big enough to make even Santa's eyes water :twisted:

What is a decent, reasonably rugged, device to go for, assuming this is likely to be a one-off purchase and will need to be pretty good for about 5 years? And what antenna should I mate it to for on-vehicle use??

Cheers
 

Gav Peter

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Congrats on the licence M6ZIM :clap:

Presumably m0zxj will be along presently to confer :cool:

10-4 good buddy :ugeek:
 

Paul

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Can you say a bit more about the VHF thing in general?

Is it the same as i use on the boats VHF DSC?
 

Crispin

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Nice one :clap:

I still need to get round to converting my ZA licence to a UK one. I'll stop procrastinating tomorrow.
 

Gary Stockton

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Paul said:
Can you say a bit more about the VHF thing in general?

Is it the same as i use on the boats VHF DSC?

Hi Paul - I guess it will be in principle .... but the licensing seems to be different.

The Foundation license is just that - a learner's license for radio, if you like - low power transmission only (unless you lift a nice fat repeater :lol: ) but other than that you can use the allocated freqs in the 2metre and 70cms bands.

You can get some more info from here: Ofcom
 

Jon Wildsmith

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Well done, no stopping you now :) You went a bit quiet on this or I would have mentioned the Yausu FT-857D & ATAS120 I sold a couple of weeks ago to you :( Are you just looking for a 2M & 70cm unit or are you going to dable with HF mobile?
 
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Gary Stockton

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Errr - ummm - not given it too much thought beyond the stuff we spoke about briefly before. I assume there are other licensing issues to go with the HF mobile route? I'm going to be doing the VHF Intermediate course in January, and will do the Advanced when time permits - hopefully before the end of May so I can hear you and respond in the mountains a bit better :shock: :lol:

What else do you need to do for HF mobile?

Sorry I missed out on the VHF stuff :doh: :?
 

Jon Wildsmith

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Your license lets you on the HF bands as well, your main 'restriction' is only using 10W (CB is 4) and only using commercial radios or kits i.e. not home brew to your own design :lol: The intermediate and advanced allow more power and better understanding :thumbup: M0ZIM by May would be going some IMO but if your local club is running the courses it could be done.

If you're mainly going to chit chat fairly local (within say 25 miles max or through repeaters) then FM VHF/UHF is perfect and significantly cheaper than having HF capability. A Yaesu FT-7900E is a dual band remotable head and not too expensive. I think the cheaper models have fixed heads.

For 2M a Diamond M-285S is a nice bendy antenna but for dual band (2M + 70cm) they all seem to be based on quite rigid designs that are easily broken :( I had to try really hard to break my last M-285S :) I have a small collection of bent dual banders!
 

Andrew Prince

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Gary,
does your change in signature mean that you've qualified further with the whole VHF thing?

If so, well done :thumbup:
 

Gary Stockton

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Yep - qualified at Intermediate License on Saturday :)

Start my Advanced course next week - exams on 7 April !!
 

Jon Wildsmith

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well done :thumbup: be nice to have the advanced out of the way :)
 

TonyP

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So what's involved in getting a license? What different types/levels are there?
 

Gary Stockton

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Best is to find a radio club local to you and chat to them. Www.rsgb.org can help. Ofcom require you to be licensed to operate a radio station. The three levels are

Foundation
Gives basic low power transmissions on limited bands only in the UK. Can use HF, VHF and UHF. Cannot build or modify equipment. Cannot operate beyond low-water line or in the air

Intermediate
More transmission power!! Can build / modify equipment. Access to more bands. UK only. Cannot operate beyond low-water mark or in the air.

Advanced
More power!!! can build / modify kit, more bands and more privileges. Can operate internationally as long as location is within CEPT agreement countries. Can operate marine radio or in the air.


Those are main diffs - there are others relating to Special Event Stations etc. The higher the level the more electronics and theory you need to understand ... I should have paid more attention at 'O' Level Physics lessons :)

Cheers
 

TonyP

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Thanks Gary, don't know much about this at all. And why would one want to get this? I understand the UHF and VHF bits, so allowing long range communication if you are overlanding etc, but as a normal UK based person, why? Is it a hobby driven exercise for most folk?
 

Gary Stockton

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Defo hobby-driven, but most 4x4 response groups use VHF on ops coz CB is kak. So that's my interest mostly - and when we go to the Pyrenees I should hopefully be able to have better comms with the lead navigator :)
 
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