SSB on a handheld?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KD0KKV, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. KD0KKV

    KD0KKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see that most 2m amps have a toggle for fm or ssb. Is it possible to do ssb on a handheld with some sort of amplifier or other equipment?
  2. W9IUF

    W9IUF Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would only be possible if the handheld was built to transmit SSB. I'm not aware of any that are. There are mobile size radios that do. Icom IC-271, Yaesu FT-817. Possibly others.
  3. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, sadly, I'm not aware of an available HT that will do SSB - I think the closest thing would be a Yaesu FT-817, which is battery portable.

    FWIW, the SSB setting simply delays the T/R sensing so that a pause in the SSB does not return the amp to receive.
  4. KI6ZIF

    KI6ZIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The smaller amps are also great for older 2m mobile rigs, that were only 5-10w out.

    Look at You'll find quite a few "mobile" non handheld 2m "All mode" rigs that are under 15w's output.

    Just the kenwood ones I know of: TR-9000, TR-9130
  5. KA5S

    KA5S Subscriber QRZ Page

    Only if the HT can do SSB.

    A few such HT's were made, but as far as I know, none are being sold (at least in the US) at present. The FT-817 comes close, though it really needs to be hung from the shoulder or neck for portable walkabout. With a decent multimode (linear) 2m amplifer and some efficient batteries you could have some fun on the mountain. (Or even without an amp.)

    The reason for FM/SSB switches on the amplifiers is to set the RF-operated TR relay time long enough to prevent relay chattering between SSB syllables or words.

  6. SV9OFO

    SV9OFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do have an FT290, battery operated, and like FT817, they are more of a "backpack"HT's than mobiles.

    Even FT897 fits this description (if you push really hard to fit it in, hihi....)

    in any case, QRO HT battery operation is not as a viable option, since safety, endurance for prolonged operations and some reciprocality (call me antenna gain) must be considered for overall field operation planning.

    The TH-F7 has a SSB-capable receiver, BTW. some VERTEX HT's come with 1W AM.

    Maybe some day someone will shrink circuitry down to the point that 5W SSB HT on 2m/222/440 would be plausible.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The FT-817 already does this on 144/432 but not 222. Pity, because that "could have" been included, but they didn't do it -- probably because 222 MHz is a ham band only in ITU Region 2, and not in Japan.
  8. KA0GKT

    KA0GKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember a ten meter and a six meter SSB hand held radio; however for the life of me, I can't come up with a manufacturer's name. IIRC it used a VXO (Variable Crystal Oscillator). It was a somewhat boxy affair similar to some early business band hand-held radios. I remember seeing one at a hamfest a few years back.

    There was a SSB CB handheld, the Cherokee AH-100. I don't know if it is still made or if it is a candidate for conversion to ten a licensed amateur with ten meter privaleges, of course.
  9. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The olde Icom IC202 (2m), IC402 (70cm), and IC502 (6m) while not handhelds, were battery portables that operated SSB & CW. Icom also produced the IC505 (6m) that was an all-mode portable.
    Bryan WA7PRC
  10. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could the SSB handhelds be AEA?

    AEA made some boxy little plastic radios for 6 & 2M, I should dig them
    out of the bin they are hiding in. ( maybe?? ) Reminder: there is no 'free lunch', battery powered rigs run shorter TX time in smaller sizes. Timewave purchased AEA except for antennas & analyzers.
    73 KB0MNM- Jon:)
  11. KD0KKV

    KD0KKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the great info everyone! Looks like I'll put a Yaesu 817/857/897 on my wishlist.
  12. PH5E

    PH5E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Please try the advanced search page on

    This allows you to select handheld/ssb/transceiver and returns a list of 22 rigs. Unfortunately there is not much that does 2m and SSB at the same time; only some 1980's HT and some military rigs seem to be able. Good luck with your hunt!
  13. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check out Mizuho on Rigpix, they did a series of small SSB rigs, but they are no longer made and about as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth!:D

    The FT-817 is the nearest thing, now. It gives up to 5 watts on 6, 2 and 70 cms and fits comfortably in the poacher's pocket in my waxed jacket, but the Mizuhos were smaller but restricted in coverage with VXO control.


    Brian G8ADD
  14. K4EEZ

    K4EEZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try this for size:

    Type: Amateur HF/VHF transceiver H.T
    Frequency range: 6 / 15 / 40 m
    Mode: SSB/CW
    RF Power output: HF: 3 W, 6 m: 2 W


    so yes they do. LOL :D

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  15. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recall seeing the ads for the nearly-handheld sized Icoms for vhf SSB and thought they would be fun to have.
  16. N4KZ

    N4KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As I recall, a Japanese company called Santec briefly sold a 2-meter SSB HT in the U.S. This was either in the 1980s or early 1990s. At any rate, the radio did not sell well and disappeared from the U.S. marketplace after a couple of years. You might check Santec's listing on the Rigpix website to see if it's shown. I think the HT did FM and SSB on 2 meters.

    73, N4KZ
  17. N4KZ

    N4KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice to see that my memory is still excellent after 41 years of hamming. Belcom, a Japanese OEM, sold the LS-202A under the Santec nameplate in the U.S. It was a 3.5-watt 2m HT with SSB and FM. It was sold in the mid-1980s. QST reviewed the radio in December 1985. It was one of the few 2m SSB HTs ever made. Sadly, it didn't sell well despite being popular among those who enjoyed 2m SSB and hiking and other outdoors activities. Not sure how a LS-202A would compare with today's Yaesu FT-817, which is bigger and offers many more bands and features. But today, the FT-817 is about the only game in town for truly portable 2m SSB.

    73, N4KZ
  18. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, thanks. You are stretching the word 'available' since that rig referenced did not do two meters...and was last made in 1999 so that was what? 11 years ago.
  19. KA1NOS

    KA1NOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many watts do you want?

    Keep in mind that the FT-817 is the only one of the three that is close to being "portable", but is bigger than a handheld (which was stated in your OP.) The FT-857 is a mobile rig; the FT-897 is a desktop rig that is designed to portable. Neither of them is "portable" in the same manner as the FT-817.

    Also, the FT-817's output is 5W max. The FT-857 & -897 are both 100W output rigs. Lugging big batteries gets real old, real quick.

    Hope this helps.

  20. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    When you turn it on, select SSB instead of FM. Simple as that.

    If, of course, it has such a switch. There were, I think, some military transceivers used in Vietnam that had VHF SSB. If so, they are probably still available, though at what cost!

    Over the decades there have been a very few SSB handhelds. It was tried on CB with very little luck, as they were so expensive. It was tried on six meters, I think, and the result was the same. Too expensive, too little range. On two meters, an SSB only Hand held would be virtually useless, which means it has to include FM opration for repeaters, as well.

    If you find a source for cheapie SSB handhelds, post it here. The Vietnam-era ones might be found somewhere??


    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
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