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Opinions on second radio and digital upgrade

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD2HAM, Sep 13, 2021.

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  1. KD2HAM

    KD2HAM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I currently have a Yaesu FT-7900R at home which was previously used in my car. I'm in the process of adding a Diamond X-50 at home so I need opinions on the following;

    1. Put the 7900 back in the car which will soon have a drilled NMO mount and a Larsen 2/70 antenna. Buy a lower end digital radio for home such as a Yaesu 3200? (Or something along those lines) or Icon ID-4100.

    2. Same as above with the 7900, but spend more on a digital radio for home FTM-300 or FTM-400

    3. Sell the 7900 and get two ID-4100's or equivalent Yaesu. If I do this option I don't think budget will allow for a digital radio as above for the car AND a higher end digital for home.

    Any help would be appreciated. I only want to use dual band 2m/70cm due to antenna constraints at home. I'm asking about digital since it looks like it's a nice upgrade with more features and better clarity/etc.

    Lastly, I've only used my 7900 and I have never touched Icom radios. Any quick differences between the two regarding digital? I'm in Cherry Hill, NJ and commute to NYC if that makes a difference on the radio selection.

    Thank you.
  2. AD7VB

    AD7VB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check around and see what digital repeaters are in your area unless you just plan on using a hotspot for the digital side. I have a ICOM ID-5100 and a Yeasu FTM-400xdr. I am more fond of the ICOM but if you want APRS Yeasu would be the way to go.
    KD2HAM likes this.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page


    When it comes to budgets, locat activity, changes to your car, etc. only you can make that decision as it is YOU who knows all the variables in the equation...
    KD2HAM likes this.
  4. K7EA

    K7EA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try a radio with HF for the home station. Might open all kinds of doors.
    UT7UX, AD0RX and KD2HAM like this.
  5. AD0RX

    AD0RX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also consider mobile HF.

    A 20m hamstick and 100w is very effective and fun for me. Very easy to setup a simple station in the car as well. Stick to 20m and up though.

    I enjoy mobile ops where I can choose a low noise location.
    WZ7U likes this.
  6. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    keep your 7900, it's a great rig.

    if you want to experiment with d-zast-star, get an HT (Icom 51?) and a hotspot and a raspberry pi. you can run that at home regardless of whether the HT can reach the repeaters.
  7. UT7UX

    UT7UX Ham Member QRZ Page

    ... and to add a Bluetooth TNC to get on APRS. I did that.

    I'm not big fan of Yaesu still both mentioned models have built-in APRS so if I'd choose radio for myself I'd consider one of these. TM-D710(G) is overkill for a car still probably best choice for fixed installation. I personally prefer simpler radios for a car as having being driving I mostly look at the road but not on the radio so many things that are welcome for a base station have no real use on the move.

    If you'd like to have got two, sure. Icom is an 'anti-APRS' manufacturer so I'd not be interested in any Icom mobile.

    Your choice has to depend on digital relays nearby. Just for example: I owned two D-Star radios (HT and mobile) but sold both due poor coverage in my country. For same reason I'm not in hurry to buy C4FM SystemFusion radio.


    In terms of price these digital toys almost equal to 'real' HF radios. In terms of enjoyment HF wins by a huge margin. It could not be a big problem to find mint TS-480 for cheap.
  8. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Or a Xiegu G90, I like the fact you have had your car on a Track !
  9. W4EAE

    W4EAE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It really is all up to you, but the problem is that you might not know exactly what you want until you have used it. Everyone has their 'favorite' digital mode (among those who do not write them off wholesale), and for different reasons. Case in point; someone on this thread has already referred to D-Star as 'd-zast-star', but it is my favorite digital voice mode by a pretty wide margin.

    My primary suggestion is to keep the FT-7900. Among the big three manufacturers, there is exactly 1 new VHF/UHF radio for sale that has a 6 pin data port--and it was first released in 2011. To me, it would be worth it to hold onto the Yaesu just for that.
    K8XG likes this.

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