UHF/VHF Begged home base?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KA6EZH, Feb 21, 2019.

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  1. KA6EZH

    KA6EZH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Need advice.

    I currently have a Baofeng Uv-5ra HT which is fine for now, but I'm looking for an affordable (read: spousal unit checks $$ outflow) uhf/vhf "plug-n-play" base for Tech. License operation. Just basic, reliable unit for in-house use.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. KA6EZH

    KA6EZH Ham Member QRZ Page

    ....meant uhf vhf base unit.

    Hate autocomplete!
     
  3. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The most important part of a base station is the antenna, and antennas are great building projects that can be very inexpensive.

    Your ht with an external antenna is a huge upgrade!

    Jon
     
    N8SAN and AF7IN like this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Except with a good external antenna, the Baofeng overloads badly and actually often makes reception worse (although transmission definitely benefits) -- depends a bit where you're located.

    For CEDARWAXWING (why not change your registration to a callsign?), the only "base station" VHF-UHF rigs (meaning: larger, easy-to-use, more powerful, capable of working with strong signals, etc) are over $1000 so this may not be a "small" investment.

    What "most" hams do for this is just use a mobile VHF-UHF FM rig, which might cost $200-$300, with a 12Vdc regulated power supply, in addition to an outside antenna. Works fine and a lot less expensive than a TS-2000 or IC-9100, etc. Most of the mobile rigs run about 50W output power and are usable enough with an outside antenna.

    But in terms of "range," the antenna is the major contributor to that for sure, and is more important than the "radio."
     
    AJ6BO, AF7IN, KA0HCP and 1 other person like this.
  5. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good point about the boefeng overload issue. When I switched to an external antenna, it was with a Kenwood ht and I saw huge improvement. I've not had a problem at my location with a boefeng but there are many reports of such issues.
     
    KF5HWG likes this.
  6. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get a used mobile rig and a power supply. That's typically how a VHF/UHF base station is done. I would recommend the Yaesu FT-7800/7900. Another inexpensive choice would be the Icom IC-207 or IC-208. Or, you could just get a 2 meter only rig for about $125 or less if you look hard. There may not be enough 70cm activity in your area to make the other band worth while.
     
    K6CLS likes this.
  7. KA6EZH

    KA6EZH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the good advice!
    AF7TS (Jon) I will be taking the Tech. test in March, so will change to a call sign once licensed. I hope to acquire my father's (Silent Key KA6EZH)call sign after that.
     
    AF7IN, W6KCS and KE0NSK like this.
  8. AF7IN

    AF7IN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd go as far as to say it depends a lot on where you're located. I've used Baofengs successfully on 2m & 70cm with both my base station (x300 @ 30') in the city, and a roll-up slim-jim while portable, in the city and without. I can't remember overload ever really being an issue on either the repeater frequencies I used or common (per band plan) simplex frequencies. That's not just one Baofeng, either. I own 6.

    Very flat ground here, though, and not much in the way of tall buildings. And yes, they're bad for desense if people are TX'ing nearby. I don't doubt what you're saying in the least. Just think the issue may not be as common or problematic as some think.

    Now - inside the house with a rubber ducky (18" external), things are different. There 70cm is virtually unusable (2m ok). Much of that appears to come from PC power supplies and my kvm switch.

    If I were you, OP, I'd go with a good external antenna, and if you happen to find the Baofeng problematic, you can move on to a better radio then. You will eventually, and the antenna won't care what it's connected to.
     
  9. KA6EZH

    KA6EZH Ham Member QRZ Page

    ...more great advice...I still have to wait until I pass the test and get licensed!

    Once I can transmit, I'll have a better idea as to the usefulness of a $25 HT!

    Thanks again y'all !
     
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since you are initially interested in VHF/UHF, be careful of your coax choice for an external antenna. If you routinely use repeaters that are strong, don't use RG-58 type cable. Rg-8x (RG-8 mini) or a Times-Mictowave LMR type cable of similar size from a reputable vendor should be OK up to about 50 feet; longer you might benefit from something like the variants of LMR-400. It will give less attenuation, and handle more power than smaller cables. Of course, others may have different recommendations/opinions. YMMV.
     

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