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Amateur Radio Equipment For general and technical discussion of Amateur Radio equipment such as transceivers, repeaters, controllers and receivers.

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Old 03-26-2011, 7:05 PM
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Default handheld radio used in truck

I'm going to be taking my tech test next month, and I'm looking at getting the Yaesu vx-3r handheld radio to use in my truck and also to have when i go camping. If I put up a multi-band antenna on my truck's roof, will that help the reception and transmission for this radio?
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Old 03-26-2011, 7:43 PM
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The VX3 is a low power radio. Even with a 5 watt radio, coverage will be just OK, so if you're stuck on Yaesu, get a FT 60, or VX-6 & use the 5 watts with a roof antenna. GARY N4KVE
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Old 03-26-2011, 8:49 PM
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Not knowing where you live makes the offerings a challenge as what repeaters are in your area that yous a trying to access and what kind of environment makes a difference as to what radios would work best.

My first radio was the Icom W-32 HT, this has a BNC antenna connection making is easy for and external antenna to get attached.

Looking at the slim pickings that I just found, I'd have to go again with Icom and their V80 or U82 radios. DANG they are only mono band. You want a good radio that is able to get out well and have both the battery power and RF power to get out to the repeaters solidly. I do enjoy my Alinco 1.2/440/2m tri-bander. I did add a longer tri-band antenna and have no complaints about it's performance.

You might want to check with some of the local clubs and see what others use. You might even find a swap meet of equipment where you can get a great deal.

As to your question will an external antenna help? YES it will. That will allow a radio the pick uyp and send the RF signals on the outside of the truck rather than getting lost bouncing around inside the truck thanks to all that protective metal that trucks have. An external antenna can also improve the gain of the signal and extend you range from a repeater. Will guarantee you getting into a system, again that depends on where you and it are. As stated previously the VX3R is only putting out a watt or watt and a half. This compares with a mobile that can send out 35 to 50 watts typically (some as much as 75 watts).

Looking at your choice of the VX3R you have an excellent choice in channel and frequency coverage.

Good luck on getting your ticket.
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Old 03-27-2011, 4:29 PM
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thanks for the info.. I'm now looking at the vx-6r. I live in a city, and the local repeater is about 2 miles from my house, but this will mostly be used in my truck, so i should be able to hit the local repeaters with no problem. One other question, does the power wattage affect the receive too, or is it mainly for transmission?
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Old 03-27-2011, 5:42 PM
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The RF output power in and by itself does not. How the radio is made will. Remember these are transceivers, which are transmitters and receivers built into one nifty little unit.

Most of the time the maker of a radio will try to make the hearing ability comparable to the transmitting ability. Some will not; particularly if they are putting in a broad frequency receiver, as they will want to comply with the buyer's wishes to hear "all the action."

A general rule is that you do want to hear and talk about the same distance, particularly from the 6 meter band and up. Yes this sounds like an oxymoron to call 2 meters up from 6 meters, but some of us think of the higher frequency (measured in hertz or cycles) as being up and not the shorter wave length (measured in meters).
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhrrs69 View Post
I'm going to be taking my tech test next month, and I'm looking at getting the Yaesu vx-3r handheld radio to use in my truck and also to have when i go camping. If I put up a multi-band antenna on my truck's roof, will that help the reception and transmission for this radio?
Go for it. I used an HT mobile for years with good results. Get a plug for the lighter socket, run high power all the time, get a mag mount antenna. You can try one of the cheaper MFJ mags. I use a 5/8 antenna on my truck now with a mobile Icom but I carry one of the mfj 1/4 wave 2m/440 mag mounts for emergency use if the other is damaged. I have used the short one with very good results and have been thinking of changing to it and putting my 5/8 ths away. The tall one does hit trees a lot and has been knocked off a couple of times. I use the 2mtr very little now so antenna not a problem.
Get a handheld mic for your ht and be sure the radio gets plenty of air and talk all you want.

I also used an ht at home for packet for years with a mobile ant. inside and it worked fine.

Try your ht mobile and if you have a problem you can always move up to a 50watt or so mobile. You may be surprised how well it works.

PS I do not need some numm nuts to tell me this is an old thread. I read it so others do also.......there seems to be too many forum police that need to get a life
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Old 06-30-2011, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhrrs69 View Post
I'm going to be taking my tech test next month, and I'm looking at getting the Yaesu vx-3r handheld radio to use in my truck and also to have when i go camping. If I put up a multi-band antenna on my truck's roof, will that help the reception and transmission for this radio?
I have a very similar setup. I put a mag-mount antenna on the car. I have a Yaesu FT-270 (5 watts) and a Yaesu VX-3R (1.5 watts). Using the rubber duck antenna in the car, not so great. ;-)

But when I hook either of them to the mag-mount antenna, even the 1.5w vx-3r, I get very solid performance. Just a couple of nights ago I was hitting a repeater 20 miles away with no trouble whatsoever.

Chris
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Old 06-30-2011, 1:50 PM
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Which MFJ magnet mount antenna are you talking about? I am looking for one for my HT.
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Old 06-30-2011, 4:45 PM
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I have the MFJ 1724b dual band and it works great. Cheap so if you try it and it won't work well enough for you, just keep it for emergencys and pick another higher gain mobile. This one should do a good job for you. I also use it on my scanner to monitor the repeaters during bad weather etc.

24.95 it is dual band 2m/440 good deal and as I said it works great for me, I do have a high dollar dual band antenna but it is still in the original package and if I ever need it I will break it out.

MFJ Enterprises Inc.
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Old 06-30-2011, 4:54 PM
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See there are a lot of folks who read older threads and there is a lot of good information here/there, I know I read them from months back with interest.
I enjoy comments from all members and there is always a lot of good and useful tips here. Not always but mostly good STUFF.
Sometimes, the more opinions you get the better and I like them all. You just have to filter them for good better and best......and sometimes not so good hi hi
By the way, my ham call is W1NRA
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Old 07-01-2011, 7:27 AM
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thanks for the information sea_goin_dude. I haven't bought the radio yet due to unexpected events that happened,but hopefully I'll be able to get it soon. I will also check out that antenna from MFJ when I'm ready to buy the radio.
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Old 07-01-2011, 7:46 AM
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Good luck with your radio activities. The MFJ antenna isn't the only possibility for a low priced and simple antenna for your mobile but it is the one that I chose for my own use and to have for emergencies wnen neeed. Many hams go for the more expensive and flashy products that do not really give better service. It is amazingly easy to access most repeaters from your mobile with even the simplest mag mount on top.
"TRY IT, YOU'LL LIKE IT"
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Old 07-01-2011, 8:03 AM
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thanks, one other question, how is the receive coverage for this antenna, is it good on wide-band coverage?
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Old 07-01-2011, 8:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhrrs69 View Post
thanks for the info.. I'm now looking at the vx-6r. I live in a city, and the local repeater is about 2 miles from my house, but this will mostly be used in my truck, so i should be able to hit the local repeaters with no problem. One other question, does the power wattage affect the receive too, or is it mainly for transmission?
You will not go wrong with the vx-6r ! I have one and I'm quite pleased with it, and after the warranty is up you can have 6m,2m,220 mhz and 440 mhz. all in one talkie plus gen coverage 1.6 - 30 mhz. Even fm broadcast so what's not to like, just read the reviews! Excellent receiver and extremely wide in coverage!

73,
n9zas
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Old 07-01-2011, 8:39 AM
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I have a VX-3 and would not recommend as a first or only radio. Its great as a supplemental radio when you need something tiny or as a loaner. The speaker audio is also a bit low for a loud vehicle.

As far as using a hand held in general for mobile use it can work just fine unless your local repeaters are 50mi away and are not on high mountain tops. Where I live most repeaters are on high mountains and we easily get 50-75mi range on handhelds with stock antennas and when used mobile with external antennas they are usually full quieting at that range.
prcguy
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Old 07-01-2011, 6:06 PM
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receive is as good as hitting the repeaters. works great just give it a try.
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Old 07-01-2011, 6:30 PM
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The VX3 is better than a pair of cans with strings attached but especially since it will be your only radio you will quickly become disenchanted with it.

It is a cute little piece of kit but I will say that the guys running HTs can be very unpleasant to listen to on the FM repeaters.
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Old 07-01-2011, 9:14 PM
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Get you a good 2 Meter mobile. You should be able to find one here in the classifieds, on qth.com, or qrz for around 100-125 shipped. You will be much happier. I just bought a Kenwood TM-271 for $100 shipped. Deals are out there. You will get frustrated with the HT in your vehicle.
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Old 07-01-2011, 9:45 PM
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If you like me, I like being able to have my ht in the veh. wish they made a 50 watt ht but they dont, lol...... I use mine in the veh all the time. I would suggest making a list of all the repeaters you use trying it with the stock antenna while out driving around. The outside antenna will help but not as much as you think on your transmit side. recieve it will be 100% better. 4 or 5 watts thru the stock or a mag mount ant is still only 4 or 5 watts.
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Old 07-02-2011, 7:27 AM
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I will say that unless you just want an HT or already have one I would surely go for a real full powered mobile radio. Most now are computer programmable and they all have the latest features.
The short mag mount ant will still work fine with any mobile. If you have only one radio the HT is easily moved inside the house if needed. Most mobile radios are also easily removed to be used inside or outside. Mobiles do not cost all that much more than some of the HTS and you do have 50 watts on most of them. One problem is that there are JUST SO MANY CHOICES TO MAKE. Check with locals and see what they recommend before you buy. Ask things like ARE THEY EASILY PROGRAMMED? etc. Ask if you can talk on their radio for a while and see what YOU think.
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