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33cm/900MHz advice

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KC1MUU, Aug 25, 2020.

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  1. KC1MUU

    KC1MUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Curious on advice for getting into 33cm. I have always been curious about venturing into this band but with the VHF/UHF contest coming up I have been thinking about it more. Is there anyone in the New England area that knows if there is activity on this band/would it be a waste of time? I have been looking at the Kenwood TK 981 which seems like a great radio but is FM only. Are the contesters pretty much sticking to CW/SSB? Should I invest my time and money into something else for the contest?

    I have found a definite lack of information out there so any info is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't help you with New England 33cm activity.

    TK-981 is a mighy fine 7nit. 15W is grwat; if you find a 30W unit, that's even better!

    It will work repeaters very well. The ARRL Repeater Book lists some, no guarantee whether the listings are true or how active they are. I'm sure you will find some simplex activity during VHF contests.

    SSB requires a transverter and maybe a yagi. Few options for that. Again, likely only during contests.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    http://www.newsvhf.com/
    The North East Weak signal group is likely to have members who are experts on 33 cm activity in New England.
     
    K0UO and K3RW like this.
  4. K3RW

    K3RW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The good thing about the Kenwoods is the relative low-cost to get on the band, no need for an IF rig, and you can test them (even use them) on repeaters, albeit FM-only. Here in the Northwest, there is next to no 33cm all-mode activity even during contests. In the NE that is a different story with some super-stations based out of there.

    Here, what does exist here is 902 FM due to some equipment converted at that frequency.

    Here, very few have the capability, and that's in large part because the transverters out there either don't cover 927 at all, or you have to choose to cover 902 or 927 with internal jumpers, but not both. If there is a transverter out there that covers both I am unaware of it. 1296 is far more popular here.

    So a diehard probably has both and the transverter is purely for 902/903.

    The Alinco G-29 covers both 902 and 927 but on the FM side. A lot of other equipment (besides some Kenwoods) need filters or other changes to work well at both 902 and 927.
     
  5. KC1MUU

    KC1MUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate all the feedback. I think the suggestion for using a transverter is most appealing for the weak signal stuff but I did find a Kenwood for $80 so I might have to play with that as well! Some of the transverters from Ukraine look promising but I don't think they cover 33cm. Down East microwave is pretty expensive.

    I think I will join the North East Weak signal club. Thanks for that suggestion.
     
    K3RW likes this.
  6. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get the Kenwood! That's a good price.

    It may already be progrmed with useable local frequencies.

    You can use it as a mobile station, or a nase station.

    33cm is a short wavelength. Consider making a colinear dipole. I have several, works well on 900MHz.
     
  7. K3RW

    K3RW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The SG Labs transverter is a great option for 900. They also make 1296 and 2.3 ones as well. Its around $200.

    Downside is, due to COVID they haven't been able to ship internationally since March through Bulgaria Post. Its also in euros, so the price isn't steady. But I'm waiting for it to reopen and get all 3 xverters and the decent 1296 and 2.3 amps.

    Some stuff isn't on their website, like a 2.3 (not the listed 2.4 xverter). But its quality stuff and a favorite for hilltoppers.
     
  8. W6KCS

    W6KCS Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are a lot of cheap WiFi antennas you can use. Yagis, omnis, all sorts of stuff.
     
    K0UO likes this.
  9. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A few years back I built a 900 mhz repeater, sold it a few years later. No activity and of course, this was FM, 175 watts output.

    It was a fun project though, used Motorola products mostly except for duplexer.

    100_2478.JPG

    100_2567.JPG

    100_2587.JPG

    100_2588.JPG
     
    N0YPD, NK8I, K3RW and 2 others like this.
  10. KC1MUU

    KC1MUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for sharing, that looks like an awesome build!

    I think I have decided that a transverter might be the best way to go. I will keep my eye out for something good. Thanks everyone for the advice
     

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