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What to look for in a radio?

Apr 28th 2012, 17:46

KF5SQL

Joined: Apr 16th 2012, 17:47
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I am a new licensed technician and we do not have a local store here in the area to go look ask questions or get a feel for the radio you have your eyes set on. The Internet has taken that away.

Ok my rant is done, back to the question.... I live in an apartment and we aren't even allowed a satellite dish without a $1,000,000 renters insurance policy, so I think they will object to an antenna for amateur radio being hoisted up. So I was thinking of maybe a mobile transceiver with a power supply for home use or even a Dual Band HT. So The question remains.... What do I look for in a mobile unit or a dual band HT?

73
Apr 28th 2012, 19:37

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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The Internet gives you access to a lot of information that you would otherwise never see. You can download manuals, look at reviews and pictures, even find out if the radio(s) you are looking at has known problems or issues.

No one could recommend a radio or type of radio without knowing a lot about your situation. Probably the best source of recommendations would be local hams, possibly a local club.
Apr 29th 2012, 04:29

KF5SQL

Joined: Apr 16th 2012, 17:47
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Total Posts: 0
KB0HAE, Thank you for the insight. I think I will be going to a meeting soon. I think the best way to explain my situation is to take pictures and show them to club members.
I don't think the radio is as big of the deal as the antenna in an apartment. Would a dipole work for 2 meters and 70 cm?

73
Apr 30th 2012, 18:02

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0

A 2M dipole will resonate on 70m, so you can often get a good SWR on both bands. But, the pattern, or best directions on 70 cm are compromised when you do that. By convention, hams use vertical polarization on FM, and horizontal on SSB/CW, when installing antennas for the VHF and up bands. Cross polarizing can cost lots of signal strength.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer


May 2nd 2012, 12:14

WF2S

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I have used a simple J-pole made from 300 Ohm ladder line, suspended from the chandelier above the dining room table to access repeaters on V/UHF ina 35 mile radius with 25 watts. In my attic is a 3 element 2m yagi on a pvc pipe. Temporary, invisible and effective.. Do not limit yourself to V/UHF. HF is very pobbile from all indoor and stealth antennas. The gated communities of FL have produced some ingenious antennas that do a credible job..
May 2nd 2012, 16:35

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

The Freedom to Display an American Flag of 2005 says

A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.

You could put up an American flag that uses an aluminum support structure, and then load up that structure as an antenna.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
May 11th 2012, 01:44

N9AAT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
There are all kinds of "stealth" antennas in the catalogs today, since this is a growing problem. Whenever I go to take classes in Oklahoma City at the FAA Academy, I stay in apartments and take along the elements of my HyGain mobile whip with a clamp base that goes out on the balcony. That's for HF, of course. VHF should be easy.

In my opinion, any good base station will beat an HT if you're on the air and ragchewing for long periods of time. HT's get hot or power themselves back if transmitting too long.

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