Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 101 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
i recently started running pace instead of competing. i thought a hand held was gonna be my purchase. all of the local hams told me to get a mobile instead. (mounted in my car) it seemed to be pretty unanimous that a hand held would not be powerful enough. i got a yaesu. forgot what model, but it can put out 60 watts and seems to be just fine.
 

·
Media Dude
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
where are you located?

and for me, I am a recent ham grad as well
i picked up the ICOM 2200H - pretty basic, pretty cheap, but does what i need.

the instructor at the course I took said that a handheld would work, if I got an extra antenna with adapter to mount to the top of the roof and then hook in to the handheld. but im sure others here can weigh in better on this.

in fact, if you do a search of the whole SS forum, you will find a few ham threads already that might have some good info too :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Bottom line it's really nice to have both. Being a dollars and cents thing, buy the mobile first. In rallying, it's by far the more important of the two to have. Output power is what you need in the back country. I agree with Shawn, you can't beat an Icom, the V8000, kicks out 75 watts! And they're the simplest on the market, too!

I've organised a lot of ham courses, mostly for the rally guys, and some go the HT (handy-talky or hand held transceiver) route, with a mag mount antenna, and it just doesn't work unless you're able to hit the repeater, or on top of net control! Then they go and buy a portable 30 to 50 watt, 12 volt amp, which, by design frys the guts of a HT designed to handle 5 to 7 watts. It just can't dissipate the heat. Ever see a fluted heat sink as you see on the back of a mobile on a HT? No.

I pack my HT when I'm out of my rig, say, when I'm doing Course Opening, while I'm checking out service or having lunch. Generally, I can stay in touch, I can almost always receive, 'cause the guy sending is pushing 55 watts +, but often can't transmit, so I have to run back to the rig to respond. My next ham radio purchase will be a dual band mobile to complement my dual band HT. Then I can Crossband...!

Glyn
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
And like every thing, your ability to use a piece of equipment improves with practice. Join a local radio club and get involved working other events like bicycle races. Good practice for rally.
 

·
NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
Joined
·
2,835 Posts
I'd agree with what's been posted so far: the most important thing to have in your handheld is... 50+ watts. *grin* So that rules out handhelds. :( I tried the handheld-with-magmount-antenna route a couple years ago at a rally where there was good repeater coverage over the entire course, and it just wasn't enough. The mobiles had no problem anywhere on course.

So, for rally use, I'd go mobile first. As Glyn said, you need more power than a HT can deliver.

There aren't really an special features to look for, in a generic sense. Contact the rallies that are near you and see what they are doing, and that may reveal something. It's possible they might use or be thinking about using APRS (GPS-over-radio stuff) or maybe they use the 440MHz in additional to the 148MHz band, which would make a dual-bander handy. But, like many things, it depends on what's going on with the rallies you frequent, and there won't be a definitive answer here on needed features.

Cheers,
Anders
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
When I set up to work Rallys I had the same question. I got a handheld and ran it through a booster and a Mag Mount. It is supposed to put out 35 watts which has worked fine for the last 11 years. (The first Magnum Opus was one of the first events I ever worked.)
I run mine though the cigarette lighter but have been told by Radio People in the know, that if you want to get anywhere close to the 50 Watts they claim you need go direct to the battery. Most of the testing they have done shows the Radio putting out closer to half what they claim. Just something to think about when doing your install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
Kevin D said:
When I set up to work Rallys I had the same question. I got a handheld and ran it through a booster and a Mag Mount. It is supposed to put out 35 watts which has worked fine for the last 11 years. (The first Magnum Opus was one of the first events I ever worked.)
I run mine though the cigarette lighter but have been told by Radio People in the know, that if you want to get anywhere close to the 50 Watts they claim you need go direct to the battery. Most of the testing they have done shows the Radio putting out closer to half what they claim. Just something to think about when doing your install.
Yes, and you will sometimes find that the little spring that pushes the center pin in a cigarette lighter adapter will get so hot that it will anneal in the compressed position, lose all its springiness, and then you have a very erratic power connection. Definitely an extremely poor installation, though it will get you by in a pinch, or in a rental car. I would buy an extra power lead and cable if you think that you will be moving your rig to a temp car, and then run 10 or 25W max thorugh a cig lighter adapter. Take the provided power lead and install direct to your main car or truck's battery, and make sure the fuses go really near to the battery.

Mark B.
NM9S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
And if you do get an HT, get a dual band 2m/440 type if you can. The reason is that if you really get into it, you may get a mobile that can crossband repeat; that is, listen on 2m and retransmit the same call locally on 440. This will allow you to listen to the 2m net via a short range 440 link from you vehicle to your handheld; VERY useful if you are at a spectator point and can't be in the car all the time. I sure could have used that at Rally WV when I was out of the vehicle.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Couldn't have said it better Mark B.! I used another hams dual band HT to cross-band off his mobile while working as Course Marshal at Olympus this year. Wow, is that ever neat! Basically, it's like using your mobile as a repeater for your HT. This corner was fast and a 90 deg. right, and the run off was straight ahead, AND the way we came in. So, it meant parking our rigs way down the road to block the road and stop potential rally cars hitting our rigs. Usually I can get my Jeep pretty close to the intersection, but not this time and cross-banding worked extremely well. The other point I can't stress is antennas. Make sure you get it matched, i.e., cut the right length. If it's not right you can loose a lot of your power! In fact, I bought an SWR meter and learned how to do it myself. Also, if you can, get away from a mag mount.

Glyn
 

·
Media Dude
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
but if going with a magmount (in my underground parking lot, its just not realistic to have an antenna mounted all the time), make sure it is a large mag mount, so that it doesnt get knocked off going over a bump. One of our volunteers had his fly off while transiting from one regularity to another during a TSD. oops.

so yeah, the one i have is probably 6"s round? and the price difference was 5$ so it was worth it IMO.

Shawn
VE7SXE
 

·
NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
Joined
·
2,835 Posts
I'd just drill the 3/4" hole and go with the NMO mount. Even if you had the parking garage. It takes about 8 seconds to unscrew the antenna. Leave it in your trunk all year, and when you pull out to go to the rally, screw it on. (Oh, you'll need a little rubber/plastic cap to protect the connection from the elements.)

Anders
 

·
3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
Joined
·
3,979 Posts
After procrastinating for ... uhhhh ... I guess near forever (my Dad bugged me to get a license decades ago), I took and passed my Technician exam last night. For those of you who haven't tested, rest assured it's lots easier than you might expect. I went to QRZ.com a week ago, took their practice tests, studied the few things I either didn't already know (optimum SWR reading is 1-to-1, same as CB!) or couldn't figure out by applying common sense (stay off antennae towers when thunderstorms are near - duh), ventured off to some other practice test sites to get a look at the same kinds of questions where answers had been shuffled around and once I was consistently knocking down 90% or better I knew I was ready. There were 35 questions and I missed 3 which left me a 6 question buffer to avoid re-testing. No worries. Now, if my call sign gets assigned quickly enough (and it appears in the ULS database as it must before keying up) I'll be able to be part of the S*D radio net next weekend (unless Bruce forgets to bring his loaner radio).

Speaking of radios ... Over the years I've managed to collect several business band (UHF FM) 2-way radios and would love some assistance IDing one and finding advice regarding what to do with any or all of them. The smallest is a "Radius SM50 by Motorola" that has at least one freq used by Vermont Sports Car five years ago. I also have four larger sets - two that I have no idea about since the only identification I can find inside or out is "JR-25" on the faceplate & circuit board, and "Carol DM600" on the mic. The other two are better IDed - "Standard Model GX3010HT UHF FM Trunking Radio" that some web research indicates MIGHT be reconfigured to work in HAM freqs. I'm guessing Bruce Ws advice will turn out accurate, "Sell them and buy a ICOM," but I wanted to see what the rest of you experts think.


Thanks.
 

·
3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
Joined
·
3,979 Posts

·
Registrar - Sno*Drift
Joined
·
86 Posts
S*D Net

Congrats, Mike!

Send me your call sign as soon as you get it. I haven't printed up the radio cards yet and can't wait to add your name.

Mary
 

·
Right Side Ballast
Joined
·
775 Posts
Congratulations, Mike. More folks should get the word on how easy it is to get a license.

As for the radios -- yeah, sell 'em and get a dual band ham radio. Although I'd prefer a mobile myself, i've been able to make myself quite useful at CRS rallies using my Yaesu FT-60. With a mag mount and lighter power. there are very few spots from which I can't communicate.

Dick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Although I'd prefer a mobile myself, i've been able to make myself quite useful at CRS rallies using my Yaesu FT-60. With a mag mount and lighter power. there are very few spots from which I can't communicate.

Dick
As with real estate, location is everything. Out in the desert, an HT will reach literally MILES. In the woods, you'll sometimes be lucky to be heard a few hundred yards.

It also depends on whether a repeater is being used or not...

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
The other two are better IDed - "Standard Model GX3010HT UHF FM Trunking Radio" that some web research indicates MIGHT be reconfigured to work in HAM freqs. I'm guessing Bruce Ws advice will turn out accurate, "Sell them and buy a ICOM," but I wanted to see what the rest of you experts think.
Thanks.
Hey Mike,

Take Bruce's advice: Buy an actual ham rig. The UHF band is up around 400 MHz; 2M ham freqs are 144-148 MHz; the power amp and receive front end circuits are all wrong. You would need VHF commerical rigs to be able to reconfig to 2m amateur. Anyway, all commerical rigs are limited to front panel switched frequencies; by FCC rules, you can't field commercial rigs for general use with wideband tuning, like you will need for amateur use to do simplex and repeaters at a wide variety of freq's as you move from event to event (or just to work your local repeaters). And all the new features you can get on ham rigs is worth it.

BTW: -.-. --- -. --. .-. .- - ... --- -. - .... . - .. -.-. -.- . - !!

Mark B. NM9S
 
1 - 20 of 101 Posts
Top