Monday, November 28, 2005

Yaesu FT-7800R

My little Yaesu VX-5RS handie talkie radio is nice but I've noticed that because it's QRP (only 5W), lately I'm having problems hitting the local repeater from my house. I can recieve fine, but there seems to be enough atmospheric interference to prevent me from being heard. I think it's a seasonal thing. Even when I was able to hit the repeater reliably, people who I spoke to indicated that my signal was a bit weak.

Since a major source of my interest in my ham radio is emergency communications, this situation needed to be rectified. So, today I ordered a Yaesu FT-7800R mobile 2M/70cm rig from Gigaparts. (I previously ordered from them with good results.) With the new rig I'll be able to transmit at up to 50W on 2M and 40W on 70cm, and should have no problem hitting the local repeaters from home. (I bet 10W should suffice to let me get to the MARC repeater in Paoli.) It should also work well for mobile operating in my truck.

I was seriously considering getting an FT-8800, so that I'd get cross-band repeat capability, but that would've added about $100 that I didn't want to spend to the bill. The relative simplicity of operation of the FT-7800 is a bonus, too, as I continue to get my feet wet in ham radio.

Because the FT-7800 uses 13.8V DC power, I needed something to power it with at home (transceivers typically don't come with an AC adapter). So, I ordered a Yaesu 25W power supply as well. In the future I may add a gel cell battery for extended field or emergency ops.

The other accessory I ordered to go along with the new radio is the ADMS programming software and cable, so that I don't need to punch all the frequencies, offsets, and PL tones in by hand, which would be a massive PITA.

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