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Just ordered a 857d and need suggestions...

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KF2Q, Jan 7, 2014.

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  1. N4JRI

    N4JRI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been using the 857D mobile for just about a year. I operate exclusively mobile from a 1999 Toyota minivan. Get the the snazzy mic--it's the only way to have direct frequency entry, and you can keep it on your lap or hanging from a dashboard air vent as a handy controller that keeps you from having to look down at the radio while you're driving. But the greatest investment for safety in motion is LDG's FT Meter. The 857D allows you to program an external meter any way you want, independently of the bar meter on the control head. Using a screwdriver for the most part, I really want to watch my SWR on transmit, and for logging purposes I really want to watch the S-level of who I'm talking to. For these, I use the FT Meter, which is placed on top of my steering column where I can see it with eyes on the road. I keep the transmit power level programmed into the radio's display, because I usually don't need to look at it all the time.

    The accessory mic has served me well as far as getting good modulation, and once you get to know it, it'll do just about anything that you can do on the radio--actually more, because the mic will let you dial in a frequency and the radio won't. I use a programmable button to instantly access my transmit power adjustment, which also isn't available from the control panel. With the thumbwheel encoder set for fine tuning, I can just do an up/down scan on the band and stop the radio near a good freq just using mic buttons. The thumbwheel will adjust my freq 10 Hz at a time for fine tuning so I don't have to play back and forth with the tuning knob and wreck the van in the process.

    I went with the Little Tarheel II antenna and the West Mountain TargetTuner due to early SWR problems, but these are now solved (with the Tarheel mounted on my luggage rack!) and if I had straightened that out early I might've saved some money and gone with the ATAS. BTW, the TargetTuner is a little quirky, but I like the fact that it displays freq, SWR and antenna position and allows four different modes of antenna control. I generally use it in memory mode because the LTII is fairly low Q and doesn't need more than one or two memories per band above 40m.

    So enjoy! I have 76 countries from the minivan, and some of these were with an FT817ND and a Larsen 27 MHz antenna. If I were to find another 857D cheap, I'd grab it for home & portable use. It treats me great on SSB, particularly when using the FT Meter and the accessory microphone. If doing CW, I think I'd want an accessory filter.

    You can see at least some of my setup on my page here.

    73/Allen (N4JRI)
  2. N4NDR

    N4NDR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I Use the LDG YT-100 tuner, LDG External meter and Signalink USB digital interface.
    Have the ATAS 120 antenna for mobile and portable use..
    Most commericial 20 amp supplies work fine but look out for the noisy ones.
    MFJ 4230MVP is used here as I use powerpole connectors for all my setups.
    Ordered the high quality TXCO from China for $27 and works fine for digital stability.
    Concur on sun damage as friend cooked his display, and not cheap to fix.
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