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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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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2014, 6:55 PM
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I'm not certain if the ID 5100 will do "real" APRS, since it doesn't have the normal 6 pin mini-DIN connector for that functionality. Thus, my vote would be for the Kenwood for APRS, and either do without D-STAR, or wait to get that.
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Old 04-21-2015, 7:29 PM
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Dave, how did you make out on this project? Which way did you go? I find myself at a similar decision point.
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Originally Posted by davecason View Post
Hey Guys,

So that being said, I think it'll be much easier getting the Icom and having the DStar and DPRS out of the box and then adding on the APRS to that side of the radio, I think this is the way to go.

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Old 01-11-2017, 6:16 AM
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I realize this thread is older but why jot get a Kenwood 74A dual band HT with both APRS & DSTAR and they work simultaneously, great radio , then just pick up a small amp , and bang more for you to play with , batting that get a 5100 and a CCR modified to handle it.

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Old 01-12-2017, 11:03 AM
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Hi Guys,

Well that was over 2 years ago so what I have now is a Yeasu 8900 in the truck with their Diamond 8900 antenna and a Tiny Trak 4 sitting beside the radio with the data cable unplugged unless its a real emergency.

Trying to get the APRS to beacon properly on that Yeasu has been a pain in the butt. Just now, I spent 20 mins trying to find the setting that Yeasu was talking about when you want to use the radio for APRS and it was or is an obscure setting somewhere that says you can pick which side of the radio to use but I can't find it right now.

Basically what it was - (trying to remember) there was is is a setting on that 8900 that's says you can pick which side of the radio you want to use. So far .... yea NO, it seems like to me that it doesn't work very well.

That's why the TT 4 is unused now. I'll get bored one day and get it going again but in the 8900 manual and from what others have said - you have to use the main side of the radio with APRS so that setting seems moot.

My original plan was to have my main side of the radio "A" used for my voice stuff because that's the only half that can run the 6 & 10 meter in that radio and I would relegate the B side for APRS.


Now it's unplugged and I don't use it - if we ever got a call out for ARES I'd fire it up again and get it going for tracking in an emergency situation but for now it collects dust in the truck.

The TT4 was a breeze to build and program and works very well tho ..... it's a great little tracker.

My other fix was to grab a stubby 4" external antenna and toss it on the truck someplace and use a spare Baofang UV5R I paid a whole $29 bucks for on line and weld the TT4 to that and stuff it in the trunk to beacon for life. (grin)

The carrot there was that would free up both sides of the 8900 again for the talking and monitoring part of the ham radio world, but while that would be nice to get both sides of the 8900 back - there is a perk to being able to beacon at 50 watts if you need too.

A while ago I drove up highway 40 from Calgary to Nordegg all in the back country camping for a long weekend and was pretty much tracked the whole trip ... ( just testing it) so my 5 watt Baofung would definitely NOT hit the repeaters I was with the Yeasu.


Now I have a new toy (dec -2016) a Yeasu 857D that will live in between the house and the truck so now with 2 radios in the truck I can leave the TT4 on the 8900 - this is a new thing and I'm now playing with the new 857D options and learning about all it's bells and whistles and right now staring at HRD and looking at ALL the stuff it can do ..... (that would be lots, folks) PLUS I just got a Signalink on Tuesday for the 857D so now we'll be trying some digital PSK31 as well as sail-mail and CW and HF so I'll be plenty busy for a while.

I'll get the mounts and toys built in the truck here later when it warms up so there's no rush on the mobile HF stuff - I have enough to learn as it is with the 857 as a base station for now. There seems to be a big focus on logging in the HF world that I have yet to bother to learn and try too despite having a ICOM on HF for 4 years now. (grin) I keep getting these cards in the mail so I guess I better go get some QSL cards made at some point - whoops ......


Lastly as for D-Star, I've pretty much "gave it a miss" at this point ....I'd need a new radio and I'm radio'ed out right now. Plus I also bought a TYT MD-380 here about a year and a half ago now ago that I promptly programmed up and got going to experience the world of DMR .... and I've turned that on and used it at least 11 times. (grin) It is very amusing to chat to all the folks in the UK that run it (they all live there - I'd bet on it - it seems huge there) I have yet to hear anyone on the Calgary local channel on RYC.

So that's where I am with my project from 2014 I hope my brief answer helps you .....

Cheers'
Dave Cason
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:15 AM
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If you are doing DMR hope to work you on USA 3100 73's......
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecason View Post
Hi Guys,


My other fix was to grab a stubby 4" external antenna and toss it on the truck someplace and use a spare Baofang UV5R I paid a whole $29 bucks for on line and weld the TT4 to that and stuff it in the trunk to beacon for life. (grin)
A while ago I drove up highway 40 from Calgary to Nordegg all in the back country camping for a long weekend and was pretty much tracked the whole trip ... ( just testing it) so my 5 watt Baofung would definitely NOT hit the repeaters I was with the Yeasu.
It's been a few years since I played with my TT4, but I found even a 25W mobile with a 1/4 wave mag mount barely got tracked on my commute from deep SE to Beltline.
Maybe things have improved lately, I'll have to try it again sometime. As for D-Star, I still haven't bothered to have a listen to see if anyone I used to know in the 80's are hanging out on it.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:15 AM
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I am hoping that Kenwood makes a dual or tri band dual mode mobile to go with the 74a, having deathstar and APRS on tap is nice , I also am hoping for a Hotspot that will run on 220.i have 2 710g simply because the screen and function is awesome , but with the price having fallen off so sharply on them (I bought the 2nd one on a Christmas sale for $515) I have a feeling that radio is going to be replaced soon , and as I said I am hoping for for a mobile version of the 74a , if you do buy the 710g it's so easy to program my dog can do it , the 5100a just is not worth the money because the screen is really cheap low resolution gray on gray and the accessories for it ( things like a mounting bracket, a head bracket mic extension are all extra ,it's like $ 250 more to have that rig function, it's great you can mount it in the trunk , as long as you buy the extensions) cost a bundle that's what keeps the 5100a out of my Shack, I still love my 7000 though that they killed with the 7100 screen and removal of alot of capability.

I have had my 8900 so long that the strain relief on the mic cord has rotted out and split , I will probably sell that since I have like 4 other mobiles that get more use , it's kind of last resort radio these days , living in my basement , every room of the house has a radio and PS .

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2017, 11:18 PM
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It's been a few years since I played with my TT4, but I found even a 25W mobile with a 1/4 wave mag mount barely got tracked on my commute from deep SE to Beltline.
Maybe things have improved lately, I'll have to try it again sometime. As for D-Star, I still haven't bothered to have a listen to see if anyone I used to know in the 80's are hanging out on it.
If you put a real antenna on the vehicle it works so much better , to give you an idea I did APRS mobile with my Kenwood 74A hooked to a Diamond NR770 and even in the boonies had no problem , that doesn't sound that impressive until you consider that antenna is mounted on my wheelchair and I was inside a moving Greyhound bus,I tried doing it with just a comet triband duck , and had limited success added the real antenna and the world came alive.

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Old 05-11-2018, 6:42 PM
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All,

First post, thanks for tolerating someone following up to what was until a few months ago a stale thread. A few years ago I bought two of the ICOM ID-51A Anniversary model radios. D-Star digital is cool, but when I bought them there were very few options that had APRS built in as a turn-key solution. The ID-51A has GPS, but not APRS. To some that consider themselves purists I suppose it drives them nutty that people like me want a commercial off the shelf solution to APRS, but they do. I do, my wife does and so do lots of other people. People that are willing to spend money to get what they want.

I looked at what ICOM is currently offering, then wrote to Yaesu yesterday to clarify some questions because some of the radios listed on their site are actually discontinued. A Yaesu representative replied that they have several portable radios (FT-270R, FT-25R, FT-60R, FT-65R, FT-70DR, VX-6R & FT-2DR) still in production, but only the FT-2DR has APRS built in... I am trying to put together a complete solution to portable and mobile radios for back country trips. Ideally we will find a combination of portable units with APRS and mobile units that are cross-band repeater capable, APRS included and in that repeater capacity able to handle digital and FM duties. Oops, the Yaesu representative says their FTM-400XDR will cross band repeat, but only in analog mode NOT digital, and none of their other offerings come close.

Now I am looking at the Kenwood equipment and wondering if their TH-D74A, with all the bells and whistles and a gorgeous screen; will it integrate as outlined above with their top-of-the-line TM-D710GA? And what does my wife say? The TM-D710GA has an "ugly" amber screen that looks like something from the 1980's. She wants something that looks like the Alinco DR-735T Dual Band FM Mobile display (https://www.cheapham.com/alinco-dr-7...obile-special/). Less than $300 and its screen just blows the Kenwood (and everybody else's offering) away.

So, I know there is a lot of expertise on this site. I also know some will be laughing behind their hand. That is OK. I am looking for a turnkey solution. Two portable radios and up to three mobile radios. All 100% compatible. All having digital capability and all having APRS built right in. No having to buy Android phones, deal with cobbling together TNC equipment, fool around with Raspberry Pi or stand on my head and rub my stomach. Can anyone offer me such a solution? Should I have gone to Dayton to see if someone is going to pull back the curtain and show some recent innovation? LOL The iPhone didn't show up until 2007 and they have continued to innovate. To me it looks like the innovation in Amateur radio has kind of stalled in the last few years. I hope someone will prove me wrong and fix me up with a solid recommendation for gear.

Much thanks,

Phillip
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2018, 5:20 AM
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I'm not aware of any mobile or handheld radio with digital voice capability that will act as a repeater in digital voice mode. That would require two vocoders (the hardware and software that converts between analog and digital voice) and most radio manufacturers are too cheap to include two vocoders in their dual band radios.

When any Kenwood or Yaesu APRS radio is beaconing APRS position reports, any other Kenwood or Yaesu APRS radio will display those received position reports and provide some level of information regarding distance and heading from the receiver's location to the transmitter's location.

There are unsubstantiated rumors that Kenwood may be developing a new mobile radio to replace the TM-D710 that includes features of the TH-D74. Maybe Kenwood will show something at the Dayton Hamvention next week.

Why do you think you need digital voice? What capability do you think a digital voice mode will provide that analog voice won't?

You've heard the old adage "beauty is only skin deep". Yes, the display on the TH-D74 is nice to look at. But, what matters is the features, functionality, and performance behind that display. Yes, the TM-D710 is getting long in tooth. But, it's still a very full-featured APRS and analog voice radio.

You didn't clearly state what you need this turnkey solution to do. The first rule is to figure out what your communications needs and wants (they are two different things) are. Then find hardware that meets your needs.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2018, 7:01 AM
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The ugly amber display on the 710 can be switched to green if you like , the 710 and the v71 are the only true cross and repeat radios on the market with full I'D on both frequencies , if you put the voice card/memory module it will do either CW or voice I'D.

Kenwood are very easy to use with the aprs having been integrated very well into the menu system, Yaesu not so much ,I own both the Yaesu and Kenwood radios and honsetly dont use aprs on the Yaesu much because it is very klunky to use, having to remember all the different places and menus that need to be properly set in order for it to work, the Kenwood is much different I have taught 5 year olds how to beacon with it ,having the menus grouped by what they do and complete lines of text rather than obscure abbreviations hidden all over sub menus , the 710/74 A each have a secret code area , you put the same three digit code into all your radios,and it effectively ignores all other traffic on the frequency thats not meant for it .
As a 30 year ham the Kenwood are much nicer to operate , if money is tight you can also go with the 72A just as nice ,however you will not have 220 access like the 74A ,also I realize this is common place today but ifvyou own an older kenwood HF rig with the 72A or 74A and the 710 you can use "sky command" and use your HF RIG from your handheld sitting by the pool having coffee ,again the Kenwood operation is simple and intuitive the Yaesu jot so much , I carry the nifty fifty mini manual for the Yaesu gear .

As an extra bonus on the Kenwood it has the capability built in to add a computer and and use it with echolink as well as I gate for aprs, you will not find that capability in Yaesu they don't make it or include it .i have also seen guys with to much time on their hands add different colors to the 710 display , blue and red are the most common. The Kenwood also has the 5 different user operation configuration presets,that Yaesu doesn't have. The display on the FTM 400 is nice to look at ,but not so easy to use, the Kenwood is pretty plain but has complex yet easy to understand advanced functions and capabilities.

Just one owners feelings from owning and using them both ....

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Old 05-12-2018, 7:44 AM
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W9BU, thanks for the quick, thoughtful and thorough reply. I thought my original post was way too log as it was, so I didn't see any real point in making it longer by delving into the why so much. Your answer did a fine job of covering and confirming for me what the current options are. Your status on this site and your 1x2 call sign confirm your expertise and I want to thank you for taking the time to reply.

I will continue to monitor the thread for any other follow up. I will also hope that manufacturers have people tasked with reading forums like this. FCC substantially changed the licensing requirements a number of years ago, at least partly to spur participation. That participation should, emphasis should, include the recognition by everyone that we want - we actually need - to make sure that everyone devotes at least some effort to appealing to what is half the population - women.

In the 1970's if you walked into a gun shop it was often not a pleasant experience. And what was an unpleasant experience for a guy was not uncommonly a hostile experience for women. To their credit NRA and manufacturers pushed retail to get with the times and make the retail experience one that would appeal to women. Some credit goes to the political climate of the past decade or so, but in my opinion the growth and success of NRA and the industry is because of this laser-like focus on women. That and a further appeal to all minorities. These were strategic decisions. I know because we are personal friends with an individual who is a current NRA board member and former NRA president. Their effort was one we had a front row seat to. I think this same effort is sorely needed in Amateur radio.

When I look at the gear offerings and your choice is what black radio do you want, I cringe a little. When I think of the safety aspects of APRS when people are hiking, back country Jeeping, or just running errands, and I see so few offerings that have it included; I marvel at that. Women are keenly interested in safety and security and that we still have competing standards and lack of inclusion; that is just not right. When you have something like the Alinco radio with its multi-colored screen; purists might ask what is the point? I say because it likely appeals to younger people and women. We need industry to break out of their paradigm and start pushing harder to incorporate the innovations that the smart phone industry has recognized. I do not know what the retail numbers look like, but the business school adage of "If you are not growing you are dying." seems very applicable. We have 2-3 major players and a very small number of second tier manufacturers, but look at how few smart phone manufacturers there are. Sure, both margin and overall sales are incomparable between the industries, but I am not convinced that innovation can't help. Then again, when I see an industry prohibiting stocking dealers from advertising price, that tells me that there is a competitive problem. I am not a big fan of government, but perhaps some government agency should look at whether there is an anti-competitive effort somewhere. When there is a decline in innovation some might say that lack of competition should be evaluated.

5-10 years ago Yaesu had the tiny little submersible VX-7R. It was analog only and has been discontinued. Where is that kind of miniaturization and innovation today? At about $350 street, the price of the Yaesu FT-2DR is no impediment to participation, but I am shocked that since the VX-7R the FT-2DR is the best Yaesu offers. I am looking hard at the Kenwood offerings, but I will flat out tell you that while I may buy their portable units, I will NOT buy their current mobile offering. Why? Because it clearly needs a refresh. I will not buy something that IS obsolescent.

The manufacturers need to invest in R&D and start replicating some of the innovation I saw happen pretty quickly 10-15 years ago. They need to improve the curb appeal of their equipment in order to broaden the appeal of the hobby beyond the current customer base. If they do not do both I fear the return of Amateur radio participation shrinkage that was a fact until the regulatory changes were made. That I cannot find anybody offering exactly what I want, not good. That everything is black and monochrome, not good. But hey, that is just me...

Thanks again for the information. I will continue to monitor and hopefully something will come out of Dayton.

Best Regards,

Phillip
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:30 AM
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Gosh deal with what you have. Be happy. But I do find the Yaesu much easier to operate as that is what I use most. I find the Kenwood confusing. I just want it to beacon my position and the 400 can do that.
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Old 05-13-2018, 1:38 AM
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The only reason I invested in the Yaesu was because of its dual mode, i didnt like any of the available DMR options outside of Hytera and with giggle parts the exclusive dealer that was not something i was going to buy into , so i got the Yaesu , i am in the middle of the "digital desert" 90 minutes in any direction from me has at least one machine thats digital , locally we have a club that owns a version one fusion that is locked in analog only mode , the same club has a dstar machine growing cobwebs in the crate because they haven't found a place to put it up , i am pretty sure they got it free but never complied with the rebate terms and therefore paid full price, there's a hand full of us who all have our hotspots on the same frequency, so if we are close enough to use it and have the gear we can. I wasn't thrilled with the Yaesu when i bought it ,but it grew on me and now its part of my usual load out, I still have a nearly new VX 5R that I bought with my 8900 when it was new.i wear my yaesu in a shoulder holster with my 74A ,and I have a 710 mounted on my armrest ,waiting to be replaced by that tri band dstar mobile that hasn't happened yet! But i remain hopefull .i think the best thing about all the modern radios is those SD cards ,being able to reflash the radio on the go for a different area is joy.although honestly I have every machine from Manhattan N.Y to Pittsburgh PA in the 710 and it doesnt even use half of the available memories.
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Gosh deal with what you have. Be happy. But I do find the Yaesu much easier to operate as that is what I use most. I find the Kenwood confusing. I just want it to beacon my position and the 400 can do that.
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Old 05-15-2018, 7:58 PM
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Gosh deal with what you have. Be happy.
No thanks. It is my money and I will buy what suits me. If consumers (us) will just be content to accept mediocrity then that is generally what we will get. That is not me.

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But I do find the Yaesu much easier to operate as that is what I use most. I find the Kenwood confusing.
I find those comments interesting and 180 degrees out from other comments on the topic.

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I just want it to beacon my position and the 400 can do that.
That is an important feature for me, and I suspect many others.

I am a little out of sync with some of the follow up. I get email notifying me there has been a reply, I go look for it and it has been deleted. And, until I make four posts each reply has to wait for moderation. So, my apology for the seeming delay. It is certainly not my intention.

Best Regards (73's)

Phillip
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Old 05-17-2018, 2:04 AM
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I find those comments interesting and 180 degrees out from other comments on the topic.
People are different and adapt to the user interfaces in different ways.

I own both a Kenwood TH-D74A (current production analog, APRS, and D-STAR radio) and a Yaesu FT-1DR (recently out of production analog, APRS, and System Fusion radio). I find the Kenwood much easier to operate.
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Old 05-17-2018, 2:07 PM
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People are different and adapt to the user interfaces in different ways.

I own both a Kenwood TH-D74A (current production analog, APRS, and D-STAR radio) and a Yaesu FT-1DR (recently out of production analog, APRS, and System Fusion radio). I find the Kenwood much easier to operate.
I own both off these plus a bunch others and out of the Yaesu i prefer the FT 1 over the FT2 but the Kenwood for me has the useability features ,i load all my radios pretty much identicaly using RT systems , the one hiccup is one radio starts at zero and one starts at channel 1, i think what makes the Kenwood my preference is long file names Alphanumerics and the way the menus are centralized and logical in grouping.
Most dstar is in one menu, most APRS in another ,most system setup in another , in this method you cant inadvertently misadjust something , then again over the years Yaesu hasnt changed much , going back to my FT 530, 30 years ago I had to carry the wallet "cheat programing manual" that came with it ,and considering the FT 1 comes with 1 manual that requires downloading 3 others online to be fully informed ,full disclosure in an ordearly fashion is not a Yaesu a strength great radios but i have never adjusted to their programming flow .

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