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Old 11-15-2016, 2:20 AM
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AC2OY AC2OY is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Belleville,New Jersey
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Originally Posted by 902 View Post
They didn't make a low band Spectra, and the original Spectra radios circa 1990 were deliberately designed to not work in the amateur bands. It wasn't until later that the federal users began to demand 136 - 174 and 406 - 470 MHz performance that those ranges came native to the radios.

My friend used to work all over with an MT500 on 52.525. When the band is open, the band is open. Even SSB with an IC-502 - 3 watts into a whip, all powered by C-cells.

I loved working on low band Micors on the bench. They were straightforward.

My very first exposure was an RCL LD "waffle iron" radio in like 1978.

In 1988, Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) dumped a bunch of 4 channel RCA-1000 mobiles and a bunch of upright base stations for Syntor X mobiles and probably Micor bases. A friend and I took my Blazer from Bergen County, NJ to Harrisburg, PA, loaded up with maybe 20 mobiles and 6 foot rack base station. I promptly ordered 52.525 crystals and went to work modifying the transmitter to output on frequency. Those radios were very narrow and did not do well with a repeater split for TX and the simplex TX frequency. But I put a ball-and-spring antenna on the Blazer and it worked great. I had lots of local QSOs on 525 with it.

After a while, I changed vehicles to a newer Blazer and put a 4 channel 60W Regency in it with W2GEZ's (and later WB2MAZ's) Garden State Parkway repeater. In the days before all this connectivity, it was possible for a guy to disappear going "down the shore" in NJ and STILL keep in touch with unfortunate friends who were stuck in North Jersey while he played around in Seaside, LBI, or Cape May. That changed to a Syntor-X after a while, and then to an X-9000. Hey Michael, is that repeater even still up anymore?

I even built a TenTec 6 meter mobile (stay away from them!). It would have been nifty had it worked, but the power level was too low (they must've been afraid people would convert them to CB radios), and I also had an early Alinco 6 meter mobile (also too weak for serious local mobiling). In the days after, I upgraded to 100 W Maratracs. They worked well.

These days, I have a Kenwood TK-6110-2 high split mobile that I hex-edited to get to 52.525. Lots of instructions out there on how to do it if you search (yeah, I shoulda wrote it down...). I've driven across the country and haven't heard a soul on 52.525 or 146.52.
If I read it right the Homdel one with that call is off the air.
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