Using my new Yaesu FT-60 this week has been fun.

Relearning things about how radios actually work.  Yesterday, while talking on the Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club’s UHF repeater from our front year was reminded that moving as little as 12 inches could make all the difference.

I just changed the direction of how I was standing and was told that my signal had dropped off.  Went back, by just turning my body back to the right, while not actually moving physically, I was told that I again had a strong signal.

Also surprised at all the traffic I’m able to hear on 146.520, the National Simplex Frequency.

Once again that’s just using the Antenna that came with the radio.  Can’t imagine what it will be like with an antenna on our roof.


I’m having fun with my new FT-60R/E .  The more I “play” with it the more I learn about what I need to do.

Last night a local club had an on the air meeting and I was listening and figured out that there is one problem.  ME.

The radio is hearing the output of the repeaters better than I expected but I can’t hear what is being said.  On top of that, I can’t understand what is being said.

I’m not going to get into the Long and Sad Story, but I have been without hearing aids for almost a full year now and it doesn’t help to listen and participate on the air if one can’t understand what is being said.

Maybe I should come up with a Close Caption device to add on to HTs.


Hand Held.

After trying two other HTs,  I have been able with the help of Gary, N7GJ, the manager of the HRO here in the metro Phoenix area get a radio that I can program.

It’s a Yaesu FT-60R/E and you can see it in my shack in the picture below.

I know it’s hitting 3 repeaters, 2 UHF and 1 VHF, as I can hear the repeater come back when I transmit ” KI7UP Testing”.  I haven’t as yet asked for a signal check.

Considering I’m sitting at my desk using only the antenna it came with, I’m happy with the fact that I can hit the 3 repeaters I have entered in.  As I read more in the manual I will add more local repeaters and also simplex frequencies.

That’s to come.

Tried Twice.

I have attempted twice to add a VHF/UHF handheld and each time the unit I purchase would not program.

I have to be honest, it’s most likely me, and the computer I have.  I have been able in both cases to sell the radios for what I paid for them.  And in both cases, the person who purchase them has been able to program them.  The second by using an old laptop computer that he had sitting around after having no luck with the computers he uses daily.  That tells you something.

I think this next time, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and spend some money, stop trying to get the lowest price, get a radio with a proven track record from a Major Company.

It’s Here.

The Baofeng UV-5R got here.  And just like the UV-3 I have had nothing but trouble programing it.

At first I thought with the keypad it would be easier to program, but I was wrong.

No Question that the price on these radios is hard to beat, but I don’t need a unit that drives me nuts if and when I want to add an new frequency.  I’ll pass.

If you know of anyone who wants it, the whole package in original box is theirs for $49.00 plus shipping if not in Scottsdale, Arizona.

PS:  Section Manager Tom Fagan, K7DF, suggests that I try standing on my head when programing.

You’re Not going to Believe.

With each day that passes, I keep thinking about the purchase of a  VHF/VHF handheld radio.

And even though I had in my mind gone back to the original radio that I wanted, each day I think there is a better way to go that will give me a radio that will come with more accessories, and allow me to do more with it for less money.

It’s frustrating to say the least.

Maybe what I should do, is just say to myself, I’m not going to buy a VHF/UHF handheld and spend my time on the ICOM 707 logging air time and when I have cash in hand, take the trip across town to HRO and when inside, ask to see the radios and make the decision then but not until then.

CQ…CQ…CQ this is KI7UP.  (‘m not thinking about a handheld.)

By the way, I’m wearing my ARRL Field Day 2012 T-Shirt.  And it has a pocket.  That’s really the reason I bought it.  No pocket, I’ll pass.

Know What I Want.

As the title above suggests, I know what VHF/UHF portable I want to purchase.

It was the same one that I had decided on before but instead of purchasing it, I followed a fellow ham’s advice and purchased the other that I have blogged about in the past here at ARD.

This is a radio with a track record.  It’s not a new design, but one that has been tested and survived actual “by ham” usage.   I feel confident this time that I will not have to return it or find someone interested in taking it off my hands.


Back At It.

Even today, I’m doing some thinking and pulling up info on the internet as I get back to my search for a VHF/UHF handheld.

If you follow ARD, you know that I was impressed with the Baofeng UV-3, but I had major problems with programing, both manually and using the USB cable.

Luckily I found someone who already had one, was happy with it, and had a use for a second, so I came out of the situation not losings any money.

Now it’s back to looking at all that is available, the cost, and that includes maybe one Vhf/Uhf handheld introduced at Dayton.