New ham new HT

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Drumbum

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Well I have been researching for a month and think I have found my first HT for 2m and 70cm. The Yaesu FT2DR. I am also buying a MAG mount for the car and a Mic etc, I don't want to go bottom line Chinese or top of the line $. I figure this radio meets in the middle, also gives me APRS to learn about and Fusion even though a tower isn't available here YET,
I just wanted to hear some peoples thoughts before I pull the trigger, I also considered the FT-70 but think it strips too much away for the difference in price especially with the rebate now going on for the FT2DR and its a new radio that may need to have a few updates before bugs are ironed out,
Thoughts?

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bharvey2

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Congrats on the newly acquired license. Many people go the route you are contemplating, using a handheld in a mobile application. For the most part, it works. I did the same when I got my license. However, a few caveats: I soon found that I had a great deal of difficulty seeing the radio display in the truck. It certainly wasn't something I could glance at and comprehend while driving. Secondly, at least with the radio I was using, the audio wasn't as great as a mobile with a decent extension speaker.

After about six months I purchased and installed a Kenwood TM-V71A. I couldn't be happier. Once in a while, say when the wife and I go on a trip and we take her car, I'll go the handheld route but when I do, I really miss having a true mobile radio.
 

jim202

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A portable is a way to start off with. Once you get into the swing of things, my money is on your going after a mobile before it's all said and done.

I will also pass along some feedback on mag mount antennas. They work, but you need to know one of the major drawbacks. If you leave the antenna on the vehicle a long time, you will find the paint on the roof around the mag mount will be etched by the fine particles that are floating in the air along highways. Over time, these fine particle of grit will etch the paint around where the mag mount is located.

I have had this happen to me, many years ago. So I try to pass on to those saying they want to use a mag mount. The other problem is moisture getting inside the mag mount. The good ones look like they are sealed tight with that membrane over the bottom of the mag mount. Give it time and you will find that moisture, rain or what ever will find it's way into the mount and cause corrosion to the connection and coax.

I would suggest that after you find you enjoy using the radio in your vehicle, to look at getting a mobile and drilling the 3/4 inch hole in the roof. Install a permanent antenna mount like a Larson of a couple of the other vendor mounts. They are not hard to install. They do not leak. But I will say to use a good anti oxidant material like Pentrox or some high vacuum grease that doesn't migrate with heat from the sun. The silicone grease supplied with the antenna mount tends to ooze and run with the heat of the sun. You end up with this oily mess around the antenna mount. Just be careful where you place what ever you use. Don't get it so it will cover the connection between the center pin of the mount and the brass nut that holds the mount to the roof.

Don't over tighten the mount when you install it. There is a seal on the bottom of the brass nut that seals the install so water can't get into the vehicle. I use these NMO series mounts all the time. My current vehicle had the mounts installed back in 2004. No problems with any water leakage . I have changed a couple of the antennas because changed radios to different frequencies or managed to hit some low branches that cracked the base of the antennas.

I use the Larson brand of antennas because the coils are made with a softer plastic type material that cracks when hit hard and the antenna will come off before the roof gets damaged. Have 5 antennas on the roof of my F250 truck. Drilled the first antenna mount hole the same day I took delivery of the truck.
 

robertmac

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From my point of view, Hand helds are for walking around with and in close range of the repeaters. Mobile radios are for mobile use close to repeater and many miles from repeater. Yes, an HH and mag mount will work but can also cause listeners a lot of frustrations with choppy signal drop outs. I would stick with one of the big 4 manufacturers. I started with ICOM but switched to Yaesu as they had the features and functions that I preferred. One of these was APRS but Yaesu APRS does not have as many features as Kenwood. But for my purposes of receiving and transmitting, they fit the bill. And using many Yaesu HH and mobile radios, I find them all easy to program in the field. Some may not. I have tried Kenwood but still migrate back to Yaesu. Others go the other way. I have used mag mounts temporarily and have had them blown off as well because of head winds and cross traffic. I use fender mounts and have had good success. Have worked a couple of public service events with travelling over 50 miles from repeater and no reported signal troubles. And thus, I encourage new users to use HH for walking around with or monitoring while at home. In vehicles, they are subject to much more interference. For mobile use, I suggest a mobile radio with a decent antenna system. eHam.net is a source of information on radios and antennas that others have experienced. Must take some reviews with a grain of salt however, as some will knock a manufacturer no matter what.
 

Drumbum

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thank you for your responses , after finding out i can transmit fusion to DMR through open spot this automatically put this unit #1 on my buy list.. now just have to click the mouse and squint my eyes LOL
 

Drumbum

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Got my radio yesterday, was a breeze to program, so far loving it, I have yet to set up APRS but I see I have satellite lock, I read where other people it never would lock,,

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bharvey2

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Got my radio yesterday, was a breeze to program, so far loving it, I have yet to set up APRS but I see I have satellite lock, I read where other people it never would lock,,

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Well, don't leave us in suspense. What radio did you buy?
 

bharvey2

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Oh, yea I did omit that part, I got a Yaesu F2DR

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I'm in the Kenwood camp but I do have a Yaesu HF radio. My brother has one of the handhelds. Both seem well built and good quality. Should last a long time. The C4FM mode hasn't gained much traction in my area (California/San Francisco Bay Area). DMR has been the one growing like crazy around here. Good luck and enjoy your new hobby!
 

Drumbum

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I'm in the Kenwood camp but I do have a Yaesu HF radio. My brother has one of the handhelds. Both seem well built and good quality. Should last a long time. The C4FM mode hasn't gained much traction in my area (California/San Francisco Bay Area). DMR has been the one growing like crazy around here. Good luck and enjoy your new hobby!
Yea same here. Mostly DMR and some P25, I can use a Shark open spot and do Fusion to DMR, I'm right in the middle of 2 towers and a DMR HT won't hit either

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wrath

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Congrats on the Yaesu just a couple of weeks ago I pulled the trigger on the FT1XDR , I also openspot my digital , didn't like the display on either the FT1 or FT2 but for $229 i bought the FT1 between it and my 74A i can cover all three modes, and i purchased a killer aftermarket high cap battery from Batteries America, first modern HT I have bought that higher quality after markets were already available since the VX 8,FT 1 & FT2 all use the same batteries ,the FT 1 ships with 2000 mha the new battery was 2270 and charges in the drop in charger , like an idiot I never thought that the drop in charger was available after market for cheaper and paid full retail ,the yaesu and openspot get along famously , I think you will enjoy them .

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Drumbum

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Congrats on the Yaesu just a couple of weeks ago I pulled the trigger on the FT1XDR , I also openspot my digital , didn't like the display on either the FT1 or FT2 but for $229 i bought the FT1 between it and my 74A i can cover all three modes, and i purchased a killer aftermarket high cap battery from Batteries America, first modern HT I have bought that higher quality after markets were already available since the VX 8,FT 1 & FT2 all use the same batteries ,the FT 1 ships with 2000 mha the new battery was 2270 and charges in the drop in charger , like an idiot I never thought that the drop in charger was available after market for cheaper and paid full retail ,the yaesu and openspot get along famously , I think you will enjoy them .

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Was the openspot difficult to setup? That's my next purchase,, also could you ever find out where Yaesu hides their firmware on their site??

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wrath

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Was the openspot difficult to setup? That's my next purchase,, also could you ever find out where Yaesu hides their firmware on their site??

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If you go to the Yaesu USA page at the very top right hand corner select amateur radio , this bringsbup a list of products ho to the FT2 page by clicking either on the radio picture or the page link , it takes you to the FT2 sales promotion page in the center of the screen is a tab system the first is about the radio the second is accesories and the 3rd is files click on files, it will have everything from the manuals in PDF format (handy to keep on your phone or tablet ) as well as the latest firmware and dsp software .

Open spot was piece of cake to set up, its taking much longer to figure out the modes ins and outs .

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Drumbum

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If you go to the Yaesu USA page at the very top right hand corner select amateur radio , this bringsbup a list of products ho to the FT2 page by clicking either on the radio picture or the page link , it takes you to the FT2 sales promotion page in the center of the screen is a tab system the first is about the radio the second is accesories and the 3rd is files click on files, it will have everything from the manuals in PDF format (handy to keep on your phone or tablet ) as well as the latest firmware and dsp software .

Open spot was piece of cake to set up, its taking much longer to figure out the modes ins and outs .

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Call me blind . but I have gone to the Yaesu site and they have a PDF explaining how to update it with the Yeasu Digital Update Program. But I have yet to find the actual program or any Firmware update release info. Maybe my unit is up to date I dont know.
 

vagrant

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Call me blind . but I have gone to the Yaesu site and they have a PDF explaining how to update it with the Yeasu Digital Update Program. But I have yet to find the actual program or any Firmware update release info. Maybe my unit is up to date I dont know.
Yeah, that is sort of weird that they do not list the firmware and DSP updates for download on the U.S. site. They have it on the Japanese site but you may want to contact Yaesu directly as it may be an oversight. You may also have the latest firmware at this point.

These installation files are probably in Japanese, so just reference this link with Yaesu U.S. support.
Yaesu Japan FT2DR

I have the FT1XDR and the updates are right where one would expect on the site.

* I believe firmware updates for all C4FM radios will be forthcoming with the release of their new repeater and the options it offers.
 
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