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ALL YA'LL MAY THINK I'M "NUTS": 1986 Transceiver for Antique Mercedes W-126.

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by K3CSA, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. K3CSA

    K3CSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings Friends,

    FYI, I'm buying a (relatively low mileage & in GREAT shape) 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SDL (That's the W126, i.e., BIG, long-wheelbase, 4-door Diesel saloon.), to restore & keep FOREVER.
    I have this "nutty notion" of equipping the M-B with a PROPER, which is to say a 1986-vintage, Dual-band 2M/440MHZ mobile ham radio transceiver & antenna, to "match" the car's vintage.
    IF you were going to attempt this project (NOT whether you think that it's a good idea. = I have several of those opinions.====> CHUCKLE.), WHICH transceiver & antenna would you pick as "a high quality" 2m/440 rig of that period.

    Sincerely, Tex/K3CSA
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are all sorts of 2-meter FM transceivers from that era. However, finding a dual FM transceiver is going to be VERY difficult because such were just not being built in "those days", at least in any quantity.

    For an antenna for 2-meters, the Larsen NMO-150K has been in use, virtually unchanged, since the late 1960s. Those are an excellent choice for 2-meters.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    As I recall the Kenwood TW-4000 came out in 1985 and one of the local new Techs from our 1985/'86 class bought one in early 1986.
  5. N9DSJ

    N9DSJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still use a TW4000A - great receiver even compared to more modern transceivers. Only thing that needed repair was the to be expected internal battery and dial lamps.


    Bill N9DSJ
  6. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also the Icom 3200 came out in 85 or 86.
  7. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Consider the Drake UV-3. Rarer than hens' teeth, but a fitting complement to a W-126. These predate the 1980's, but were still very much admired then. They are also quite a bit larger than the typical modern FM two-bander, but probably there would be room in the big M-B.
  8. K3CSA

    K3CSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    To ALL

    THANKS for the advice.

    I also should note that i NEED a rig with a TONE BOARD, as all the repeaters around here require them - IF i remember correctly the TW4000 series radios do NOT come that way.

  9. N9DSJ

    N9DSJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mine has the Kenwood tone board - but needs to be programmed (from the bottom of the radio) via dip switch setting each for VHF and UHF....
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The tone board is the issue, as in those days the tone boards were DIP switch set, and you had an option of maybe 1-2-3 tones, if you were lucky.

    Howsumever, you could use "any old rig" and add a CTCSS encoder like the Com Spec TE-32 or TE-64 to it, outboard, and just hang that under or alongside the rig with some velcro or something.

    The Drake UV-3 sounded like a great idea to me, and you could add another band (they covered three bands, such as 144-222-440 MHz). Problem is finding one that works after all this time.
  11. N9DSJ

    N9DSJ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Mine is a TW4000A - might be different from the non-"A" version in that respect, but you get one tone per band, set via dip switches on the underside of the radio and enabled/disabled from the front panel. The dip switches might be problematic with age as mine has not been changed in probably 25 years. It was factory installed (along with the, for me, useless synthesized "voice" module) but do not remember if it was standard or an option.


    Bill N9DSJ
  12. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ic3200 has built in encoder, can put a different tone on each channel, 32 common tones are available.
  13. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Subscriber QRZ Page

    just me but don't think a 1986 antique

    skip two meters / seventy cm

    go for something with class

    Collins KWM-2A or KWM-380
  14. M3KXZ

    M3KXZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nahhh, go for a 1986 vintage CB.
  15. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did anybody mention that, yup, we think you're crazy. It helps though and if you weren't then we'd have to worry about you.
    Now....since when did a KWM-380 obtain the status of "Class":confused:?
    The poster about a 1986 vintage CB is just about right on the money. Much more "Class" then a KWM-380. Just make sure it has a lot of chrome and buttons that do nothing.
    Have fun
  16. K3CSA

    K3CSA Ham Member QRZ Page



    yours, K3CSA
  17. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a Drake UV-3 here, and,while nice, it is BIG!!! It would take up all of an underdash installation and certainly bother a passenger if mounted in that position. Seems like it is well over a foot long, about 10 inches wide and a good 4 inches thick. Heavy too. I have mine working, but the 2 meter section has a blown final or driver in it and I need a replacement board for it. Also, it will require an external PL unit.

    Think I would reccomend something by Icom or Kenwood. Or maybe a Yaesu Ft-2700RH. That is a nice dualband


    Rigpix says it is from 1985
  18. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd be TICKLED to have a KWM-380, or even a KWM-2!
  19. K7IOA

    K7IOA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mine is the same, TW4000a, tone dip switches underneath. The battery was a PIA to replace but with the installation of a battery cell holder moving it to an accessible position, makes it an easy replacement. Personally, I think it's a great radio for the OP question.
  20. K3CSA

    K3CSA Ham Member QRZ Page


    My beloved XYL said reference buying/restoring the W-126, "WELL, I suppose it's never too late to have a SECOND childhood." AND then, "Why not forget about those old cars & buy a NEW Mercedes diesel, when they come out this April?"
    When I told Sandra that the NEW M-B costs about 128,000.ooUSD, she said NOT even one more word.)

    73s, K3CSA
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