Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I'm surely not the only one...

...who likes looking at pictures of radios.
Handheld Transceivers
Handheld Transceivers
Left to right in both pictures:
  • Yaesu VX-6R (144/220/440 MHz) with a Diamond SRH320A tri-band antenna
  • TYT TH-UVF9 (144/220 MHz) with a Nagoya NA-702 VHF/UHF antenna
  • Baofeng UV-5R (144/440 MHz) with a Nagoya NA-701 VHF/UHF antenna and high-capacity 3800-mAh battery

Radio #3: Yaesu VX-6R

Yaesu VX-6R

After juggling the UV-5R and TH-UVF9 for a few weeks, I became aware of the VX-6R. It is a "tri-bander," programmed for 2 meters, 1.25 meters, and 70 cm. It became readily apparent that it would be much more convenient to carry one radio, under normal circumstances, than two (as mentioned previously, I had bought the other two radios so that I could have access to the three bands). I got hold of a nice secondhand VX-6R for a very reasonable price on eBay. It is very rugged (and submersible). It is also very small, which is not obvious from the photo.

I use a Diamond SRH320A tri-band antenna with this radio.

For the time being, I am keeping the other two radios as backups. I may soon sell them, though, to offset the cost of another radio I'm considering--a Wouxun KG-UV5D which is programmed for the 6-meter band (50 MHz), in addition to 2 meters. With that purchase, I would have the capability to operate on four bands with only two handheld radios.

I'll start thinking about base and/or mobile radios after I get my General Class license.

Radio #2: TYT TH-UVF9


This radio was also an eBay acquisition. It cost approximately twice as much as the UV-5R. I bought it because I wanted access to the 1.25-meter (220 MHz) band; it's programmed for 2-meters, as well. The photo is somewhat misleading as to the size of the radio--it's actually quite small.

1.25-meter activity is pretty sparse here in my part of Northern California but I like having the capability of operating on the band.

The antenna is a Nagoya NA-702, tuned for 144 and 220 MHz.

Radio #1: Baofeng UV-5R

Baofeng UV-5R

This was my first handheld transceiver. I won it on eBay for $32. After realizing that I needed an FCC license to be able to anything more than just listen to it, I finally had the motivation I needed to go out and get my Technician Class ticket (discovering that the Morse Code requirement was gone helped, too).

The radio is programmed for the 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands. Optional accessories seen in the photo include an authentic Nagoya NA-701 VHF/UHF antenna (tuned for 144/440 MHz) and a larger, 3800 mAh extended life battery.

I have heard and read many disparaging remarks about this and other low-price Chinese radios. I really have no complaints, though, especially considering the price. It seems to perform well, so far.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Better Late than Never

On December 18, 2015, at the age of 47, I received my Technician Class amateur radio license. I recently started studying for my General Class license and hope to take the test sometime in the near future.

The Baofeng UV-5R Demystified

Anyone who finds manually programming the UV-5R daunting should find this blog post by WP4AOH useful. He also goes through the various menu settings that are appropriate for amateur radio use.