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Old 08-05-2012, 01:53 PM
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Default Hand Held Tranceivers (HT)

Hi guys I'm in the process of sorting out my communication gear in anticipation of becoming a licensed Ham technician, and I need some advice.

  • What are you using for an antenna with your 2m radios while flying?
  • I'm considering either the Yaesu FT-250 or FT270. Any reason to consider an HT that includes 70cm too?
  • Any favorite PTT recommendations?
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:19 PM
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I use a rubber duck antenna with mine, and it gets out quite well. Talked to a person in Dayton once from high over Wesmar! You can either buy or build a larger one if you wish, but it might be overkill.

No one at the field uses 70cm, so if you add it, they won't come!

I like the PPT on the side of my helmet. No wires to run up my arm. When I ordered my Charlie insider they installed it for me.

Good site with Test Questions...www.qrz.com
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:21 PM
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  • Ditto on the recomended site.. Good resource
  • Ditto on the 70cm perspective.
  • Ditto on the antenna - the rubber duck. I also have an extendable for use on the ground.. It collapses to a small packable length which is stuffable into the harness. Also have a harness/hangstrap-integrated antenna... Cheap and easy to install, and really extends your range in-flight if installed right. But the rubber duck is uber convenient. For a few bucks you can buy an upgraded duckie offering improved perfroamnce/range.
  • PTT... Oft wondered about the side-of-helmet mounted PTT. For me, bottom line is this: if flying conditions are demanding, you'll need to keep both hands on the bar which will make it difficult to talk frequently or long... or more importantly when you may need to. Personally, I'd rather deal with the inconvenience of the wire down the arm for the benefit of speaking when I want/need to. Mark Prator (..or smething similar) makes and sells reasonably priced PTT assemblies that seem to be fairly durable (..they last at least as long as others you buy and pay more for)... Craig knows the guy's name. But dont expect anything from him quickly. He puts PTT assemblies together in his spare time, and he has a long list of people waiting...
  • Dont know anything about either radio you listed. I currently fly with an old school VX-150. cant help ya.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:33 PM
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Thanks guys I really appreciate the feedback.

So I went ahead and picked up a Yaesu FT-270r which is basically the same radio as the VX-170. As for the PTT with helmet mounted headset I'm considering building my own following the instructions here.

For anyone interested in getting their Ham Tech license I figured I'll consolidate the resources I've gathered along with your contributions:
  • http://www.arrl.org/ - This site will help you find a place close by to take your test when you are ready.
  • Go here to download the entire question pool along with the answeres in a format of your choice.
  • If you have a smart phone, there are plenty of free apps out there. I found this more convenient for testing myself on the material but I also used qrz.com to ensure the questions were the same. On my iPhone I used "Ham Tech" which was excellent.
  • qrz.com - good place to take practice tests ad nausium. Use this in combination with the downloaded test pool questions/answers. One thing I wasn't thrilled about was that qrz required me to register and provide my email address; going the smart phone app route will allows you to avoid having to register.
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