Finally Made That Trip to HRO...

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by 3M-TA3, Dec 30, 2017.


  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I spent several hours today at the Portland HRO looking at gear for my first mobile purchases. One thing I had on my mind was comparing the iCOM IC-7300 vs the Yaesu FT-991A. Honestly both are excellent transceivers, well made, and have excellent switch craft and performance. The IC-7300 IMO being newer has slightly better technology, but is better suited to a desktop, where the FT-991A is better suited to the field being a more portable size/weight and felt more rugged.

    So, which one did iI get? Neither. I went with the Kenwood TS-480SAT. The Kenwood is older and doesn't have a fancy display, but it's far better suited to my needs in a mobile solution. I'm likely going to follow @BTPost in mounting under my passenger seat and placing the head unit and mike in easy reach. For a while, though it's going to spend a fair amount of time on my bench until I'm very familiar with it's operation.

    Still looking over vehicle mounted antenna options, but did get the excellent Chameleon MPAS along with the "Military Extension".


    I also looked at mobile VHF/UHF APRS solutions and had narrowed it down to the Yaesu FTM-400XDR and the Kenwood TM-D710G. This was a difficult choice until I removed digital communications from the mix. The truth is that the industry hasn't decided if it's going to support D-Star, C4FM, or a couple of others so I'm going to wait and see before I invest. That done, APRS mapping was a high priority and Kenwood has the edge in APRS with it's built in TNC, so Kenwood wins again.

    Next steps are integrating the Kenwood to APRSDroid on a tablet. Lots to keep me busy for the near future.
     
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  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I have the 480 SAT and the 710. The 480 is currently my base unit and the 710 is in the pickup. You'll like 'em both once the programming is set up to suit. I have NOT mastered the mysteries of the 710 yet, but that could happen if I ever get around to it. I have the RTSystems programming software, which has made life a lot easier thus far.

    The argument of Yaesu vs. Icom vs. Kenwood is sorta like Ford, Chevy, Dodge. One thing I've noticed monkeying around with other folks gear is that each mfr has quirks that carry from one model to the next. It becomes what you get used to, methinks.

    BT has the 480HX, IIRC. Same as the SAT except no on board tuner and goes 200 watts instead of 100. That is a significant pair of differences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    I too think that you'll be pleased with the TS480sat...it does more than I need :)
     
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  4. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

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  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, they do. I tried the program, but the RTS stuff is more intuitive and easier to work with. IMHO, anyway.
     
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  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    The "Military Extension" you reference is the Chameleon Mil Whip (10.8foot vertical antenna)?
    BTW Excellent video and I am sold. I will be buying one of these, it's on the list...

    You truly threw me a curve buying the TS-480SAT. LOL! I kind of figure you would go with the FT-991A. I still don't know what radio I am buying yet... BTW Congrats!

    EDIT: Ah! I see. The "Military Extension" actually is an extension that goes on the Mil Whip! I see. Maybe I should watch all the video before I start asking question, eh? LOL!

    EDIT: What did you pay for the Chameleon MPAS with the Mil Extension?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  7. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    It threw me a curve, too, but when I focused on what I needed in a mobile application it seemed the best fit. I'll likely be looking at a field/base station at some point and then it will likely be trade offs between the two all over again.One thing that really helped sell theTS-480 was the detachable head unit.
     
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have BOTH versions of the Kenwood TS-480 Radios... The Mobile is the SAT version with the internal Autotuner, and I use the HX High Power version as my Backup Base, where I use an External Manual Tuner... You will enjoy the the TM-D710GA for a Mobile Vhf/Uhf Radio... It has a Builtin GPS receiver in the Control Head, which the TM-D710A, of which I have three, does not... I use the AvMapVI GPS APRS Units on all three, that provide the GPS Signal and Display ALL the APRS Locations and Messages, on the Mapping Screen..
    Note here: You will want to mount the Control Head of the 710GA where it can see out thru the vehicle Windows, so it can track as many GPS Sat s as possible while moving... I have ALL the MARS/CAP mods, here, if or when, you are ready to open up the Kenwood Gear... I also have an extra 1.8 Khz SSB Filter for the TS-480 Series Radios, that is surplus to my needs... I would suggest that you also get, and install the TCXO Optional Master Osc. for. the added Frequecy Stability, on the TS -480SAT...
     
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  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    It's not cheap - The MPAS was $315 and the extension was $130 totaling $445. These meet the best on line prices I could find. I don't mind going the "buy once cry once" route for a lifetime purchase if the quality and performance are there.
     
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  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Those AvMaps seem to be as rare as hen's teeth - I can't even find used ones on eBay. I'm going to attempt to use APRSDroid on an Android tablet to see if I can get the same results. My nirvana would be completely self contained so I can locate the beacon (possibly Mrs 3M's car stuck in a snow bank after we bail to snow country) even if cell service was down. I'm hoping I can receive her position and send it to the tablet, but don't know if it's technically possible.

    Thanks - I hadn't considered that, yet one more reason that detachable control head is a good thing.

    I've read pros and cons regarding voice quality with the SSB filter - what is your experience? Do you use them in both your TS-480's?

    I'm all ears on the MARS/CAP mods. IIRC these are removing jumper(s) and/or resistors? I will get that TXCO for the TS-480 ordered as soon as the bleeding stops on my debit card.
     
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  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    My two TS-480 radios run the exact same Firmware, Channel Lineup, and Options... with the exception, that the HX RADIO has the 700 Hz CW Filter Option for DataModes.... This lets me only have to remeber one set of instructions, of operations... Yes, you want the 1.8 Khz SSB Filter Option.... It makes a Difference in the Peak Tx Power when narrowing the Bandwidth, and it will punch thru better than a wider Filter...
     
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  12. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    I'm up for the 1.8 if 3M does not want it. Always wanted to try one.
     
  13. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I've already taken advantage of @BTPost 's kind offer. If it doesn't work out for me like I expect I'll PM you.
     
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  14. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Let me know! I'll buy new if it works good! Thanks!
     
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  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I. would check the FleaBay and QRZ.com For Sale Forums, before i bought New... Sometimes you can find a fair Deal, on the Filters & TCXO Options.... I also have the Memory/Recording/Voice ID Option in the two TS-480s, but have not found it very useful for the TM-D710A, which uses the same module... I really like that the Vhf/Uhf Radio had 999 Proggrammable Channels... The HF/6 Meter Radios have 100 Memory Channels, which is good enough to handle ALL my HF Frequencies, including a few CB Frequencies...
     
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