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Thread: which mobile radio can also be a base station

  1. #1

    Default which mobile radio can also be a base station

    I am new to ham radio. I have a hand held and have used it a lot. I am looking to possibly getting a mobile that can double as a base station.
    There are all kinds of kits available online but I am not sure where to start. Any suggestions please?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 2E0FVL's Avatar
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    Keep mobile first in your thinking, as if you look to hard at a base set up it could not be easy in mobile use.
    I have a very nice mobile unit here as a base station which I would never use mobile as the buttons are small and no back light on the buttons for night use mobile.
    Just a starter for your thoughts.
    Pete - 2EFVL
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    I second Pete's view: To start a station, you can use a mobile rig anywhere, but try hauling a home-base radio around...
    You mentioned kits: Having a mobile as the core to your station, since most mobiles tend to put out lower power levels than big desk-bound radios, it gives you the opportunity, (even encouragement) to build your own add-ons, such as ATU and aerials, to the most and more from a smaller radio.

  4. #4

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    This is not really a recomendation, but this is what I did which will give you another point of view ...

    You didn't say the class of license that you have, so I am not sure if you are looking for a unit that will work on HF or not. I started out with a general class (know that is generally not possible since you have to take the tests in sequence, but I was grandfathered into the general class by taking a technician test -- was a technicial in the 60s and let it lapse for more years than I want to admit) and wanted to use the HF bands.

    I purchased an HF - VHF Icon 706, which is a "mobile" rig but never intended to use it in a car. However, I did use it sort of mobile -- I did not want to run the wires in the house, so ran them to a screened in gazebo off of our deck. I built a small case for the Icon 706, power supply and antenna tuner so that I could carry out the unit when I wanted to get on the air and connect them to the antenna connectors that were attached to the gazebo. This worked great for about 6 months -- and being in Atlanta, the winters are not that bad, when it is windy, the heater that i have out there did not do much to make it comforable, and the 90 degree summers are not that comfortable to be outside.

    So, I ran the wires to a window pass-thru about a month ago, and I am using the unit in a spare bedroom. I also upgraded to an Icom 7000 -- nice unit. BOth of the units did HF and 2 m and 70 cm so they could work in a mobile environment, but I an moe interested in doing that. I also just recently ordered a hanheld unit -- there are lots of ham club group volunteer activities that make a handheld a good idea to have. I am also going to travel up to WI in fall, and want to join a net up there, and do not want to take the Icon 7000 -- don't have a portable antenna.

    So, after a long story, take a look at one of the units the size of the the Icons that I have, and they can be mounted mobily if you want, but they also are very capably home base units. The units with HF are a lot more expensive than VHF / UHF units, s it depends on what you want from the unit. As a thought, your handheld should be able to be connected to an antenna on a car -- so it could function as a VHF / UHF mobile unit in a car and just get a base station.

    What ever you decide, have fun with your hobby!

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    Don't forget you will need a power supply for in the house to turn mains current to 13.8 volts DC. Not a monumental investment, but one you will undoubtedly need to run any mobile radio indoors.

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    Default 757 gx

    I recently received one of these as a gift, and the size is good for a mobile or base. If you have a smaller vehicle, this may not be a great option. I have seen one on e-bay going for $750u.s.d. recently. that includes the antenna tuner. I am thrilled with mine, maybe it will be an option for you. 73s KD9KVS.





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  7. #7

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    If somebody passes an exam to be a ham, I'd really hope they understand the difference between 13.8 and mains voltage. Scary to think they need this kind of advice.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    If somebody passes an exam to be a ham, I'd really hope they understand the difference between 13.8 and mains voltage. Scary to think they need this kind of advice.
    Why is it so common to have questions pertaining to the absolute essentials of the hobby? People memorizing the tests? VE's letting their "friends" sneak through with altered test results? Are the VE's even administering the tests? I'm starting to think there should be more scrutiny put on the examiners because I cannot understand how this is even an issue. There are obviously some shady things happening!

    Here's a plan: Laser printers are fast enough and cell phone cameras can read QR and bar codes. The ARRL should set up a website that randomizes the tests, no more of this test A, test B crap. The test questions come out hot off the printer with identifying codes so the system knows what questions are asked. They are scanned in once complete and the software scores the test and logs the results with the ARRL immediately. This is simple coding, not 70GHz stripline circuit board designing...

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    The ARRL is not involved with test results or the contents of amateur radio licenses. That is the FCCs job.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    The ARRL is not involved with test results or the contents of amateur radio licenses. That is the FCCs job.
    I made that erroneous assumption being every VE badge Ive seen was printed by the ARRL. After looking into it, I see you are correct. Nonetheless, my point remains unchanged regardless of who makes the theoretical testing system functional. Something needs to change.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon lind View Post
    Why is it so common to have questions pertaining to the absolute essentials of the hobby? People memorizing the tests? VE's letting their "friends" sneak through with altered test results? Are the VE's even administering the tests? I'm starting to think there should be more scrutiny put on the examiners because I cannot understand how this is even an issue. There are obviously some shady things happening!
    The examination process is such that it would be very hard for someone to "let their friends sneak through." Each exam has to be graded by three different examiners and the paperwork signed by three examiners. It would take a conspiracy by the entire exam team to accomplish what you are claiming.

    I can assure you that there is at least one VEC where things are done ethically. I've been a team leader for the San Diego Amateur Radio Council (SANDARC) VEC since 2015. We follow the regulations explicitly and everything is checked twice before the session over.

    Quote Originally Posted by brandon lind View Post
    Here's a plan: Laser printers are fast enough and cell phone cameras can read QR and bar codes. The ARRL should set up a website that randomizes the tests, no more of this test A, test B crap. The test questions come out hot off the printer with identifying codes so the system knows what questions are asked. They are scanned in once complete and the software scores the test and logs the results with the ARRL immediately. This is simple coding, not 70GHz stripline circuit board designing...
    Good luck with that. The ARRL VE teams still send their results to Newington by postal mail. Even in this day of internet and e-mail, they don't allow their VEs to scan the results and send them in electronically. You really expect they'd do something like you suggest? I have a feeling that if they tried, there'd be a loud outcry from the exam teams.

    As far as random exams are concerned: When SANDARC prepares exams, they are done with a program that randomizes the exams. For example, I have in my possession 44 Technician examinations, each one serialized. Of those 44 exams, no two are alike. This accomplishes a couple of things. We don't have to worry about someone copying answers from another candidate and we can give a retake without fear of the person getting the same examination again. When an examination has been used ten times, it is destroyed (shredded) and a new exam is issued if needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    The ARRL is not involved with test results or the contents of amateur radio licenses. That is the FCCs job.
    The ARRL IS involved with test results to the point where they guarantee the integrity of the examination process and submit the examination results to the FCC. At that point it's out of their hands. It's the same for each of the thirteen other VECs that administer exams in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by brandon lind View Post
    I made that erroneous assumption being every VE badge Ive seen was printed by the ARRL. After looking into it, I see you are correct. Nonetheless, my point remains unchanged regardless of who makes the theoretical testing system functional. Something needs to change.
    I think what you're seeing are people who memorize the question pools without any regard to what they're actually reading. Then, after they pass the examination and get their license, they don't do any research about what to get. Instead they turn to what they've always relied on, the internet. People are stupid... We tell candidates to not write in the test booklets, but invariably there's always one, usually an engineer.

    You sound like one of those hams who longs for the good old days when there was a Morse Code test and the examinations were administered by the FCC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K6CPO View Post
    You sound like one of those hams who longs for the good old days when there was a Morse Code test and the examinations were administered by the FCC.
    As far as I'm concerned, there was nothing wrong with that arrangement at all.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, there was nothing wrong with that arrangement at all.
    I guess you can long for the old days all you want, but they're no longer with us and we have to function within the current system.

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    As do we all, but I just made the observation that there was nothing wrong with the old system.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K6CPO View Post
    You sound like one of those hams who longs for the good old days when there was a Morse Code test and the examinations were administered by the FCC.
    Not quite, but not too far off either. I just appreciate effort and hard work.

    Although this post is not the basis for my frustration, it unfortunately came out here. It just seems nobody wants to work for anything these days. Too many people feel entitled to everything even though they do nothing to earn it. That frustrates me.

    This thread has deviated too far from the original topic for which I am at fault. Perhaps we should get back on track.

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    Yeah, the guy just asked a simple question! Lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon lind View Post
    Not quite, but not too far off either. I just appreciate effort and hard work.

    Although this post is not the basis for my frustration, it unfortunately came out here. It just seems nobody wants to work for anything these days. Too many people feel entitled to everything even though they do nothing to earn it. That frustrates me.

    This thread has deviated too far from the original topic for which I am at fault. Perhaps we should get back on track.
    I don't have any argument with your comment that nobody wants to work for anything these days. My wife works in the guest services department at a large urban zoo and she sees it all the time in the young people they hire as seasonal employees. I also see it in my activities as a VE Team Leader. Many of the people coming in to take examinations can't follow simple instructions. We tell them to fill our their forms in black ink but invariably there is someone that uses blue ink. We tell them not to write in the test booklets, yet invariably there is someone that will mark one of the answers in the booklet.

    Yes, back on track...

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    Quite a few years ago, I bought a Kenwood TS-440S as a mobile/portable rig. I had a "base" rig at the time. Then, I got out of the hobby awhile. Fast forward to February 2018, and I got back into the hobby. My old base rig needs some work and is sitting on the sideline until I fix it. My TS-440S has been my base rig since February 2018. Since February 2018, I've got WAS on 20m, 40m, and 80m as well as DXCC on 20m and 40m and a total of 176 DXCC entities confirmed (all 100w and wire antennas).

    VA7SNG, I'm assuming you're looking for an HF rig (maybe a good assumption or not). If you are looking for an HF rig, take a look at the Kenwood TS-480SAT. You can find them new and used. I'm thinking about one myself so that I can add 6 meters to my operational capabilities. As it turns out, my old mobile rig has served me well as a base rig for a little over a year.

    Good luck in your search!

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