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R6+ / Cr, Sheeps Maybe
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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Since I'm going to be hooking up some aux. lights to my truck I'll just run an extra 14 or 12 ga wire through the firewall at the same time, do the radios have their own fuses or would I need to have an inline fuse holder in the power cable. I have a backrack on the truck so I should be able to find an antenna bracket for it fairly easy (I hope).

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Unfortunately for me hamfest is when I'm at work and the local ham clubs all seem to have their meetings when I'm not around either. I'll have to keep an eye out on ebay or kijiji. (Or bite the bullet on a new one)

On another ham note, just checked the RAC site, looks like Industry Canada finally processed my application.

Thanks for all the info, more is always welcome.
 

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NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
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do the radios have their own fuses or would I need to have an inline fuse holder in the power cable.
Since both the power and ground could carry quite a bit of current if something went wrong, it's recommended that you have fuses in both, with those fuses being inline just near the battery. Make sure it's a blade-type inline, not anything with a spring (for those glass/ceramic cylindrical fuses). The springy ones can bounce and yield intermittent contact, leading to very annoying resets. As usual, guess how I learned this lesson. ;)



Cheers,
Anders
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Every radio I have seen has its own fuses in its power leads. But, if you are running additional wire from the battery, I would fuse it at the battery (especially if you are going through the firewall). Fuse both the positive and the negative.

press on,
 

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which left?
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Fuse both the positive and the negative.
To explain, this is to protect the radio for becoming a convenient path to ground should something else have a problem. From a protection of the vehicle standpoint, fusing the ground is no more necessary than on any other piece of equipment in the vehicle.

I suspect this came about when ham rigs could be a sizeable portion of the vehicle's value. My in-dash DVD/Navigation/Handsfree/Reverse camera has a lot more various cables running throughout the truck (GPS antenna, microphone, parking brake signal, VSS signal, reverse signal, sperakers, power to and signal from reverse camera, speakers, XM radio, and the entire GMLAN bus), so it's potential for becoming a path to ground is much higher than the radio (as well as it's value) and nobody ever suggests fusing the ground of the car stereo.

Not saying it doesn't serve a purpose, I just think it's purpose is pretty miminal these days. I don't bother.
 

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NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
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You know, I don't understand why they don't just make the wires out of whatever the fuses are made of. Seems like that would make all this a lot simpler.

;)


(says the electrical engineer, jokingly)
 

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On another ham note, just checked the RAC site, looks like Industry Canada finally processed my application.

Thanks for all the info, more is always welcome.
Welcome to the world of being a HAM operator. Now you can get started knowing people by their radio signs before you can actually remember their name. Did they confirm your call sign yet?
 

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R6+ / Cr, Sheeps Maybe
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Welcome to the world of being a HAM operator. Now you can get started knowing people by their radio signs before you can actually remember their name. Did they confirm your call sign yet?
I've been up at work so I havent't seen anything in the mail and I haven't got any emails about it but I am in the system with the call sign VA3KDV
 

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Another option...

If you can, try out a friend's/rally worker's radio -- or at a store. Some folks find some of the menu systems to be more intuitive than a competitors, etc.

As an option, may I suggest the Kenwood TM-281A -- It can be had for $140-145 - due to discounts from Kenwood.
65 watts, compact, MIL-spec, front mounted speaker, larger mic buttons (easier to manipulate)... Good reviews at Eham.net. Not against the Yaesu rig -- I have 4 Yaesu rigs... Just providing an alternative that I recently suggested to another new radio op/rally fan.

So depending upon shipping and your final budget, you should be in good shape for a mid to low-end, but serviceable antenna and external speaker.

Here are some install ideas:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showpost.php?p=31230062&postcount=442

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1762247&page=19

Best wishes!
 

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straight at T
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You know, I don't understand why they don't just make the wires out of whatever the fuses are made of. Seems like that would make all this a lot simpler.

;)


(says the electrical engineer, jokingly)
Being an EE, and therefore knowlegable about many named physical laws*, you know that the wire would then melt in either the most inaccessible place or right next to the most flamable thing...

*Ohm's, Murphy's, etc...

My setup is a Yaesu FT-8500 (dual-band) with a dual-band handheld (Yaesu FT-51R), and a Yaesu FT-1500M as a backup.

Adrian
 

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You know, I don't understand why they don't just make the wires out of whatever the fuses are made of. Seems like that would make all this a lot simpler.
I think this was the strategy used by Volkswagen factory wiring harnesses in the 70s and 80s. ;)
 

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One advantage that communication speakers have is that they are typically designed for flat frequency response in the voice frequency range (i.e. approx 300 Hz - 3400 Hz), so they cut out some of the hum & hiss that can be present when using full frequency range speakers, as is typical & desirable for a car stereo. This can make them less tiring to listen to for long periods.
Having tried the car stereo thing, I found it didn't work too well for two reasons:

- As you noted, the full-range frequency response makes it more tiring to listen to. I found squelch tails were especially jarring.

- The stereo amp would react in unpleasant ways to the RF field when I transmitted. Everything from loud thumps to hums and squeals, depending on the power level.
 

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In theory the set-up you outline is excellent. In practice it does may work that well, but it seems to be an operator issue - there are others with better knowledge than me -- with cross band repeat you need to pause before speaking.
This is probably a good place to note that when using repeaters with PL tones (which these days is most of them), it's *also* often necessary to pause between keying up and speaking, to give the tone squelch time to recognize the tone and switch on the transmitter. Just hesitate for a beat between pressing the mic button and talking. When operating simplex this doesn't usually come up, but it's a good habit to get into.
 

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Straight @ "T"
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IMHO I would not buy a used radio.
Radios are so inexpensive (especially the single band 2 meter rigs) and the prices of used radios are so high that the loss of reliability is not worth the risk.
In my (decades) of experience the highest wear point is the microphone cable and connectors. Also common are stress cracks on the printed circuit boards (aka PCBs) that may not show up until you expose the radio to some vibration.

Personally I use the Yaesu radios and while the other brands certainly make quality gear it is worthwhile to have a system that is similar to what others are using in case you need to borrow a mike or need help in programming.
73...
 

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NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
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2,835 Posts
Having tried the car stereo thing, I found it didn't work too well for two reasons:

- As you noted, the full-range frequency response makes it more tiring to listen to. I found squelch tails were especially jarring.

- The stereo amp would react in unpleasant ways to the RF field when I transmitted. Everything from loud thumps to hums and squeals, depending on the power level.
Hmmm, I've had the opposite result. Haven't had any trouble with the stereo picking up RF interference. The transmitter is mounted under my seat, that may make a difference.

And for the frequency response, my radio has bunch of pre-set EQ options, club, rock, jazz, and... "talk", presumably for talk radio? I switch to that and everything sounds quite crisp.

Like so many things, it seems, it's going to depend on the particulars of your equipment.

Anders
 

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Straight @ "T"
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188 Posts
One of my Audis was wired for a cellular phone (before the car mounted phone became obsolete) and included a dual voice coil speaker in the drivers door.
One coil was for the stereo and the other was for the car phone. It was a simple matter to use the second voice coil for the ham radio. You could run them both simultaneously.

Despite my current setup (Yaesu FT-8800R) having the main chassis in the rear it still wreaks havoc with my glovebox mounted iPod. But only on some frequencies - must have a resonance somewhere in the circuitry that triggers the madness.

I've found the cross-band repeat to be handy in a few situations.
Like the end of Concord Pond in Maine where sometimes I'll park the car a mile from the finish at a high point (by the power lines) to give solid simplex coverage to the start.
But those situations are rare and hardly warrant the investment solely for that feature.
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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ON the crossband repeat issue.
I bought some 2m only radios as my first investment. Within a year I had replaced my mobile with a 8800r and my handheld with the FT-60r for the cross band ability. I don't use it a lot but I do use it and it is almost always been for good reasons. The lag and having to wait for the repeaters to drop is a pain ... but still workable a long as everyone on the net 'gets' it.
In short, spending more now might well save you from spending even more in the long run.
 

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Spectator Wrangler
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IMHO I would not buy a used radio.
Radios are so inexpensive (especially the single band 2 meter rigs) and the prices of used radios are so high that the loss of reliability is not worth the risk.
In my (decades) of experience the highest wear point is the microphone cable and connectors. Also common are stress cracks on the printed circuit boards (aka PCBs) that may not show up until you expose the radio to some vibration.
73...
I'm going to respectfully disagree at least to a point. I've had good luck with used radios both from ham swaps and the large auction site. While Jim is correct that a used radio may cost as much as a new one, to me that indicates that the market values an older radio more. Yeasu FT1500s are selling for a 25-50% premium over the cost of what they were new. The occasional NOS unit brings large money. That radio has a history of mic cord problems yet always sells and never less than the cost of a new radio.
Newer radios have more features but rally hams typically use a small portion of them. I'd argue that there is a perceived quality difference between new and old radios. At least that what I got from reading reviews on e-ham. Newer radios, like most electronics, are built in China. Older ones in Japan. The market seems to value where the radio was built. Modern construction does much less expensive radios. My first 2m rig was over $200,in 1985 $s. Used, 20 memories and no PL.
I will allow that buying a used radio is not for everyone. One has to evaluate the rig. Ham swaps that have a test bench available can help. Ebay sales which are tradeins at a radio dealer are good. Sometimes a crapshoot on a really cheap radio from a seller who really doesn't know what they're selling is good. YMMV.
 

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Premium Member
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IMHO I would not buy a used radio.
Radios are so inexpensive (especially the single band 2 meter rigs) and the prices of used radios are so high that the loss of reliability is not worth the risk.
In my (decades) of experience the highest wear point is the microphone cable and connectors. Also common are stress cracks on the printed circuit boards (aka PCBs) that may not show up until you expose the radio to some vibration.

Personally I use the Yaesu radios and while the other brands certainly make quality gear it is worthwhile to have a system that is similar to what others are using in case you need to borrow a mike or need help in programming.
73...
I'm going to respectfully disagree at least to a point. I've had good luck with used radios both from ham swaps and the large auction site. While Jim is correct that a used radio may cost as much as a new one, to me that indicates that the market values an older radio more. Yeasu FT1500s are selling for a 25-50% premium over the cost of what they were new. The occasional NOS unit brings large money. That radio has a history of mic cord problems yet always sells and never less than the cost of a new radio.
Newer radios have more features but rally hams typically use a small portion of them. I'd argue that there is a perceived quality difference between new and old radios. At least that what I got from reading reviews on e-ham. Newer radios, like most electronics, are built in China. Older ones in Japan. The market seems to value where the radio was built. Modern construction does much less expensive radios. My first 2m rig was over $200,in 1985 $s. Used, 20 memories and no PL.
I will allow that buying a used radio is not for everyone. One has to evaluate the rig. Ham swaps that have a test bench available can help. Ebay sales which are tradeins at a radio dealer are good. Sometimes a crapshoot on a really cheap radio from a seller who really doesn't know what they're selling is good. YMMV.
I think I am with 'w1jim' on this one. When you can buy a brand new in box mil-spec Yaesu FT-2900R (2m, single band, 75W) with full warranty for only $155, and with USED & older versions often selling for MORE on eBay, unless you constantly monitor eBay & stumble across a spectacular deal, there really isn't much incentive not to buy new.
 

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Spectator Wrangler
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830 Posts
I think I am with 'w1jim' on this one. When you can buy a brand new in box mil-spec Yaesu FT-2900R (2m, single band, 75W) with full warranty for only $155, and with USED & older versions often selling for MORE on eBay, unless you constantly monitor eBay & stumble across a spectacular deal, there really isn't much incentive not to buy new.
Which brings us back to the question of why the market values some older radios more. In the case of the FT1500m, I believe it's the compact size, unequaled by later radios. It was the first menu driven radio. The lack of a squelch knob was seen by some as an issue when it was new. Why are other radios worth as much used as their newer cousins ? Perceived quality? Fewer features, thus less stuff to remember? Ease of a MARS/CAP mod? The lack of warranty obviously is not an issue. I've never had to use the warranty on a new radio, much less before it expired. There must be a reason people are willing to pay as much (or more) for a used radio rather a new one.
I did purchase a like-new FT2800 at a ham swap for $100 and saw another at the same swap, not nearly as nice, priced at $135.00 . We know which one sold by the end of the day. A used radio can be a good value but one does have to shop carefully and know the limits. If the price is very close to the newer cousin then one really has to evaluate which is worth more and why.
 
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