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Best Antenna for Yaesu FT-8900

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by POHONASIN, Jul 24, 2008.

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    I have just purchased an FT-8900 Quad Band Radio. I am planning on using the radio in the 6M and 2M band widths, and would like to know what is the best antenna for this radio. The Antenna will be mounted on my Subaru. I have seen the Comet and Diamond Quad Band 54" Antennas and I think that they will be far too big for my vehicle. Are there any other alternatives or options? Thanks
  2. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, pohonasin! Your profile lists you in Stanhope, I'm in Byram.

    54 inches is about the best length for an antenna that works on 6m and 2m. A 5/8 wave whip for 2m is about 53 inches, add a bit for a mount. The interesting thing is that 5/8 wave on 2m is also 1/4 wave on 6m, so you get a good match on both bands.

    I have a MFJ 5/8 wave 2m mag mount that I occasionally use on my Subaru (I rarely operate mobile). It's not "too big", at least not in my opionion. Just a thin stainless steel whip stuck to the roof, no bigger than a typical CB mag mount. I've never actually used it on 6m, but my antenna analyzer (MFJ-269) proves that it has good SWR on 6m.

    Mag mount is the quick and easy way to mount an antenna like this. The best way is to drill a hole and use a NMO mount. A luggage rack and trunk lip mounts are other options.


    Thanks for the info

    Hi Ron, I have been using Ham radios and modifying them for use on the municiple bands for years. I am a fire fighter in Stanhope, and a 22 year EMT. I find that the Ham radios can do so much more and are much more versitile than the traditional radios used in the emergency services. I have done the Mars modification on my new radio which opened the 2m range up a bit, but most of Sussex County Fire is transmitted on Low band or 6M. I am looking to see if there are any modifications that will allow me to open the 8900 to Tx and Rx on 46.10. I also have a Yaesu VX-7R which works well in 6M VHF and UHF, so I dont see why the 8900, whci is a newer radio would not be the same way. Do you know any secrets that I don't?
    I am looking to eventually get my Ham liscence, but don't know where to start. Any suggestions?
  4. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    OH OH! (putting on my Asbestos suit and popping some Popcorn!)
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I was only very Wealthy, I would have a Yaesu FT-8900R too! And the best antenna for it is one were you get 10,6, 2 and 450 all in one. That antenna is the Diamond CR8900A, designed JUST for this radio! But it ain't cheap! Diamond antennas are always great quality, and if I could just come up with an extra $600, I would have the FT and the Diamond in my Car.
  6. KB0TT

    KB0TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ditto the " Oh, oh "

    Time for Glen to pop in on this thread...

    I too have inserted a " blast wall " , put on my flame suit etc....

    We will see how this thread goes .. I've heard it at LEAST 20 times !!!

    READY three, two , one .......

  7. KI6NNO

    KI6NNO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Uncertified gear on municipal frequencies.

    I think you should send a letter to the FCC, telling them how you've been "helping" your fire department in Stanhope violate federal law. THEN see if they'll issue you an amateur radio license after you've thus proven your moral standing to them. Moral standing IS a consideration in receiving and maintaining an amateur license. But seriously, it is illegal. Please use certified equipment for that purpose.

    To answer your questions:
    1) A good place to start learning about ham radio licensing is here:

    2) I'd go with the Diamond CR-8900A, even though you said that 54" is too tall. It's simply a good length for the frequencies in question and works very well with the radio.

    Fwiw, I do hope that your municipality stops using uncertified radios for licensed frequencies. Not only is it illegal, someone's life may depend on it.

    Please get an amateur radio license before using your new FT-8900R.

    Best regards, KI6NNO
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  8. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, I don't know anything about mods for FT-8900. I haven't used one, but many folks like them. It would probably be my top choice for a moble VHF/UHF FM rig.

    But I do want to make sure that you are aware that using modified ham rigs on public service frequencies is not legal. I didn't write the rules, so don't shoot the messenger. Others here will tell you the same thing and some of them will not be polite about it.

    Enough of that....

    The starting place for info about ham radio in the USA is the ARRL's web site. Lots of good info and resources there. Peruse that web site and come back here with any questions. (Probably best to start a new thread and don't mention modding your radio. :D )

    In our area there are two active clubs: Sussex County Amateur Radio Club and Splitrock Amateur Radio Association. Splitrock seems to be more geared toward newcomers. They offer monthly license exam sessions (a.k.a. Volunteer Exam (VE) sessions) at Hopatcong High School, but I think they stop over the summer.

    I am not a member of either club, but both seem to be made up of nice people. Listen in on their repeaters at 147.300 (SCARC) and 146.985 (Splitrock) to get an idea what the folks are like.

    If you want more info, feel free to PM me.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  9. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of Glen's responses to an old thread ...

    Quote from K9STH...

    This question comes up almost weekly here on

    It is ILLEGAL to modify a radio made for the amateur radio bands to use on any other service except for a very few models that can be used for MARS and CAP. Radios used on the commercial two-way services, on GMRS, MURS, FMRS, etc., all have to be FCC certified (new "buzz word" for "type accepted"). Amateur radio equipment cannot meet this certification if for no other reason than you can "dial up" the frequency from the "front panel". Also, virtually all amateur radio equipment does not meet the frequency tolerance standards nor the modulation characteristics required for commercial use.

    It is legal to put amateur radio frequencies in a radio that does meet the certification standards for commercial use and use the radio for both commercial and amateur purposes.

    You need to be familar with 47 CFR Part 90 which contains the regulations concerning most of the land-mobile services of which the Fire Service is a part. You can download this from the FCC website for free.

    If you choose to modify and use an amateur radio unit for the commercial bands on which to transmit (it is legal to use such a radio for receiving ONLY) be aware that there are severe penalties that can be "awarded" by the FCC. These include

    Penalties of up to $11,000 per day per radio that is used.

    Confiscation of the equipment.

    Loss of your amateur radio operator's license and being barred from ever getting another license so long as you live.

    Being imprisoned (means "go to jail").

    In addition, the licensee of the radio system in which you use the equipment can be fined and lose their license as well (this means your fire department, county, city, or whatever agency has the license).

    A while back the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Fire Department thought that they would save a "few dollars" by purchasing amateur radio equipment and having it modified. Since they were a "big city" department they thought that the FCC would do nothing. Wrong! they ended up with a huge fine from the FCC, had to give up the amateur radio equipment, and then had to replace the units with certified equipment. This little escapade ending up costing the department several times what purchasing the correct equipment would have cost in the first place.

    Now as I pointed out before, you can purchase certified (type accepted) equipment (used or new) and have your fire department frequencies and your most used amateur radio frequecies installed. This is perfectly legal so long as you do not allow an unlicensed person to use the radio when one of the amateur radio frequencies is selected. They can use the radio when one of the fire department frequencies is selected.

    Glen, K9STH

    Unquote ...
  10. W6GQ

    W6GQ Swap Meet Moderator QRZ Page


    everyone climb on, this is going to be a fun ride
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  11. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Of course you realize that the antennas like the CR-8900A are tuned to the Ham Bands, and if you stray off frequency too far, they will not be resonant and cause a high SWR to the radio which can blow the final modules. So it is neccessary to have an antenna resonant to the frequency of desired operation, regardless of legality. Otherwise, if you blow the radio up, then you can put it on Ebay for Radio Mart to buy and re-sell as "Perfect mint Condition". The problem with that is some innocent buyer will get stuck with a radio that is hopeless cooked out! So if you are going to operate "out of band" which certainly isn't a good idea, but who am I to complain, be sure to use a MFJ antenna analyzer and adjust the antenna for correct resonance at the projected operating frequency. Good thing Riley retired! He wouldn't be happy about this at all.
  12. W6GQ

    W6GQ Swap Meet Moderator QRZ Page

    Just buy a dummy load and connect it to the back, all is good then.



    Folks, although I appreciate the input...

    Lets get a few things straight right from the start. I only moved to Stanhope a year ago and no one in the Fire Dept is using any Ham equipment but me. A few years ago I purchased a modified VX-5 hand held which allowed me to operate on the 155MHz band, which was my local ambulance corp. I was an officer and I save the dept several hundred dollars to provide a radio for me. I cannot opperate my radio on the frequencies in Stanhope because they are too low, so there is no problem. I want to lean more about Ham radios and eventually get my license, so all of your input is much appreciated. Just to make sure that you understand, The Stanhope Fire Dept is not using amature radio equipment.
  14. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Advice for the Bad Man

  15. KC7YRA

    KC7YRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Please try to understand that this question gets asked LITERALLY every week atleast once. People may seem a little grumpy but there is good reason.

    Using any amateur radio equipment outside of the amateur band (except for mars/cap) is illegal in the US. I know that you may be saving your ambulance company hundreds of dollars but the legal ramifications and cost of having even one member use an amateur radio out of band may cost the company THOUSANDS of dollars every day.

    Please do not use that radio for out of band stuff. The days have changed and the FCC is going down the 2.5k frequency bandwidth on FM business type stuff. YOur modified equipment may very well cause interferance with other users. This in turn can cost your company butt loads of money as well as you. Plus you may never be eligable for a ham radio license.

    If you are very worried just get on e-bay and get some used part 90 type radios. They can be had for sometimes under $100 and are cheap to program.

  16. KB0TT

    KB0TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You spent a bunch of BUX for that radio ... It is an AMATEUR radio PERIOD.... Even if you have an amateur license ( not amatuer ) you STILL cannot use it on the " other " frequencies .

    That is IT !!!

    Get your ticket and use that REALLY NICE radio where it it has been designed / engineered to operate ....

    The Technician license is a killer .... The General license is even more a KILLER to obtain . You do realize that the license manuals DO provide the exact questions and answers ....

    Me thinks I detect a troll to get people jump started . Opinion only....

    Buy a couple of books, then you will read . within , that what you want to do is wrong . Get legal ......

    Remember, all of these tests have the answers provided ...

    Do what you want, I know you will anyway ...

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  17. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mr. Poho ...

    If and when you get your amateur license, when you sign it ... you CERTIFY that you have read Part 97, which pertains to the amateur spectrum.

    This means that you also certify that you will not use radios outside the amateur spectrum ... Which means you have read and understand the rules.

    Using amateur radio stuff outside the allocated and legal amateur spectrum is ... illegal. The only exception is the MARS network. If and when you decide to join them, ask your local MARS Director for info on how to convert YOUR radio. Don't bother to ask here. CAP is no longer an issue, since their radios have to be NTIA compliant.

    You are, when licensed, supposed to have a copy of Part 97 available to you (either hard copy or on your computer).
  18. KB0TT

    KB0TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You guys don't get it .... He will do the mods ...

    An amateur ticket is not in his way ....

    Give up ..



    JB you think you know me pretty well

    I did not know the laws and that is why I am asking. I would love to use my radio for what it was designed for, which is why I am going to read up and follow the links and get my license. Why are you so sure that I am just trying to start trouble? My goal is to gain knowledge, and with knowledge comes the wisdom to make the right decisions. I realize that ignorance is no excuse, but in this case if I did not know it was wrong, then how can I be labled. I appologize if these questions keep getting asked and you are tired of reading them, but isn't it the purpose of this forum? After all, it is labled "Questions and Answers"!
    I will end the topic here and now. thanks for all the constructive comments.
    Have a nice night
  20. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    All of the commercially available 5/8 wave 2m antennas have a matching coil. Whether by design or coincidence, the antenna system resonates on both 2m and 6m.
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