Relative Newb; first QSO

K9DWB

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I've had my Tech license since late July this year. I chose an HT Yaesu FT3D as my first radio. It's a great radio, but it hears and talks a lot better with the external antenna I mounted on a speaker tripod. Unfortunate, my memory is not the longest lasting and I didn't note down the contact. After erecting the vertical external antenna, I made my first QSO Wednesday 9/9/20. I did a radio test call on a repeater 17 miles away NNE of Chambersburg, which my FT3D did quite nicely on contacting via the repeater. Another ham in Harrisburg, PA came back to say he was catching my transmit just a bit quiet but could fully understand my voice.
 

AK9R

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Good job!

I know people who talk very softly face-to-face and they sometimes struggle to be heard on the radio. You may just need to speak up a little. Or, talk with the radio closer to your mouth. Check the manual to see if it shows where the hole is for the microphone. Make sure it's in front of your mouth. If people tell you that your audio is too loud or distorted, then back off a bit.
 

K9DWB

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Yep, very much the same as on CB in that scenario. There I had to run the mic gain pretty high. Then again, in CB land, everything is supposed to be at Max or 15/10 at all times. And my FT3D gives me mic gain of 1-9, mine being set at 9.

Appreciate the pointers. I'm thinking its an inherent limitation of the HTs and/or my voice characteristics. Not necessarily a design flaw, but they are limited on how much space is available more than mobiles or bases.
 
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K4EET

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@K9DWB, the Yaesu FT3D is a great HT, especially when you add a Diamond SRH77CA antenna for those QSOs/repeaters that are a bit too far away for the OEM stock antenna. And BTW, the microphone hole is about a half-inch below the "X" button and is labeled "MIC" on the housing. But you probably already found that hole. LOL! :ROFLMAO:

You may also find that the Speaker/Microphone (Yaesu SSM-17A) with a MSRP of $42 and a street price of around $35 might be better/easier to talk into whereby increasing your audio level as well. I use mine all of the time.

So enjoy your new hobby and don't hesitate to ask questions.

73, Dave K4EET
 

K9DWB

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Thanks Dave, yes I think I'll get the mic. I've had great results from HRO, and I think they have that mic for $35 or so. Typical delivery is 2 days. It's marked as wish list next month, as the budget is shot for September. All good though. 73 to ya.
 

cmdrwill

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Most likely NOT an antenna problem. Operator has to speek INTO the mic, very common problem as the portables' microphone has some baffling so as not to pick up extraneous noise.
 

K4EET

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Most likely NOT an antenna problem. Operator has to speek INTO the mic, very common problem as the portables' microphone has some baffling so as not to pick up extraneous noise.
Nobody said it was an antenna problem. I mentioned an aftermarket antenna to get better range if they needed it since I have the same HT and know its capabilities well.
 

K9DWB

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I'm sure the antenna is fine. It's the external tripod mounted Tram 1480 8' I worked out via another thread here in the forum. I was using that external for the QSO. I've got the same SRH77CA as one of my on radio choices as Dave K4EET mentions.

Just my opinion, I would chalk it up to operator error or mic design, or a bit of both. I'm used to the bigger handheld mics I used in the tractor trailer when I drove them. Yeah OK it was CB, but I do think certain concepts and theories carry over. For reference, the last mic I had in a truck was an Astatic 6363L with Stars & Stripes.

73s to all


Astatic 636L mic.jpg
 

K9DWB

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I sold it with the last CB I had probably 3 years ago so I had some money while appealing Disability. Most other CBers liked the "Road King" sound, but I myself always liked Astatic for some reason, most likely to be Captain Contrary.
 

N4DJC

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The low audio issues with the FT-3DR internal mic are due to the sealing to prevent water and dust ingress. I heard a lot of “turn your mic gain up“, or “speak louder“.
 

K9DWB

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FWIW I took the General exam and passed. I used the same VE group as prior, located in Mt. Holly Springs, PA. It should list on ULS later this week. I could use General now, but I don't have a HF rig yet. I am liking what I see about the Yaesu FT-891. The Elmer at this VE and radio club has one as well. When I turned in my test papers, he was showing me some images of his 891 and a vertical antenna with some counterpoise he used to contact GA and TX last week.
 

K9DWB

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Thanks. The VE test coordinator offered to allow the Extra test for the same $14. Another tester there last night did both General and Extra and passed. I heard Ed the Elmer talking it up on 2 meter on the way home after testing was over.

I had to decline on Extra for now, as I've not studied up enough. Besides I wasn't feeling very well. It's a weather change thing that makes my COPD act up and I feel blah.
 

K9DWB

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Yep, that's how they go. I think it's based on what the VEC dictates, but that's how the VE I used is. If I didn't mention, they are connected with W5YI as the VEC.
 
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