Monday, September 05, 2005

New Ham Radio - Yaesu VX-7R

I left my handheld radio, the Realistic HTX-202 from Radio Shack, on the ledge for a while, well, Alex finally decided he wanted to play with it, or at least touch it, because it fell to the floor and broke. I got the HTX-202 back in 1993 when I first got my ham radio license, and it has been a good performer over the years, I’m a little sad to see it go.

I had some clear specifications that I was looking for in a radio, most importantly, being dual band, 146 and 440 MHz bands, with dual receive capabilities. There were three that made my short list. The Icom IC-W32A a good radio with a good price, but its big drawback was the fact that it drained batteries very quickly. Next on my list was the Kenwood TH-F6A, while more expensive than the W32A, it came stock with a much better battery, the 220 MHz band, and a wide band receiver with SSB capabilities. I finally decided on the Yaesu VX-7R, it seemed to me to be the most rugged, it also had a great battery, and I figured that the addition of the 50MHz band would be a better choice than the 220 MHz band (although the VX-7R does have 220, it is really low power, 300mW).

I made a few repeater contacts with my new Yaesu VX-7R the first night, once the battery was charged. The next day I took it up on the mountain and was able to hit some six meter repeaters, make a quick contact on 146.52. I tried a 220 MHz repeater, with no luck. I also had no luck on 70 centimeter or 6 meter simplex.

I also went after the satellite, but that is for another post!

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