I bought my son an Icom 208H Dual Band VHF/ UHF Amateur Mobile radio for Christmas and have had it hidden from him in the radio shack for 4 days now. I have been programing the freqs and checking it out. I have to say it was a real joy to program. Its very straight foward , in fact I only had to look at the first few pages of the manual to get started. The purpose of selecting this radio was to buy the cheapest dual band mobile that featured a detactable front face because its going into 2001 Jeep Cherokee which does not have many mounting options. We performed the mod to permit this radio to transmit on any freq. that it recieves. I programed in two MURS freqs. 151.88 and 151.94 for emergency purposes only. Also I programed in FRS Ch.1 and FRS Ch.2 for emergency purposes only. We live on the edge of a national forest and my son is a backpacker and whiterwater river runner , so you never know what type of emergency he might encounter in the back country. I have had some ICOM radios in the past that were difficult to understand their programming and operation. Some of them were just flat tough to use. I have to say the Icom seems to have their act together these days. My last Icom purchase was the IC 8000 2 meter mobile which sells for under $200 and is fantastic. I just wanted to share this story with some of the newer hams and radio buffs who were wondering about dual bandmobiles. I also run a Yaesu 7800 in my truck which I'm pleased with as well. Best Of 73 de Cincy
IC-208H - High power DUAL BAND ( 2M+70cm) transceiver with wideband receiver
My current mobile setup consists of a rather antiquated Yaesu FT-51R and a Mirage B23A 30W linear amp. Works, but, I've been casting my eyes lately toward a more dedicated real mobile type rig.
Good to have some idea how the current and recent crop of radios are to work with.
With my pending update to general (I'm working on it, albiet slowly, other distractions keep eating away at my reading/study time), I don't know if I should look at a vhf alone, or try one of the hf/vhf compacts (ala 706 and it's type).
If your going for your general then the dual band radio's are nice but the 706 give you lots of options. When the 706's were selling in the 600-700 range it was say to say it was worth the exta money over the $300+ dual band radio, but with the 706 in the 900=1000 range its a harder sell.
The 706MKGII is a great mobile radio and gives you access to most of the bands you get as a general class licesnee
The easy call is a Icom 706 that I have hanging around. It does both HF and VHF/UHF, and can scan the public service bands.
For some reason I'm a bit resistant. The UHF/UHF features don't quite measure up to the Yaesu FT-7800 or FT-8800 that I'd be putting in there if it were just for VHF/UHF.
The path of least resistance is to put BOTH in there, but it is a slippy slope. I can probably fit 4-5 radios into the mounting space. It could easily wind up FT-8800, Icom-706, Uniden Scanner, 220 rig, GMRS...
Since I don't want to wind up as a "featured guest" of www.hamsexy.com, I better limit my choices some. ;-)
I currently have planned down to three antennas. A NMO mounted Maxrad 2/70 with spring for normal 2m/440 voice comms. A Tri-band 2/220/440(ish) for APRS, 220 and GMRS. And a bumper or hitch mount with quick disconnects for HF.
If I can't get a message through with that, I give up...
If you're not a fanatic, I know several people who are just _fine_ with a 706 by itself... ;-)
I have an antique station. I had mothballed my station when I was not active for a few years. I have gotten more active now, and there is, of course, a whole new crop of equipment out there. (The 706 was the brand new kid on the block when I went inactive)
I do have an old FT-757GX, HF 100W radio that I got when I was a novice, then I got the FT-51R HT. The FT-757GX does work, at least with cw on novice freqs, -havn't tried 10M voice yet.
Hard to mount the FT757GX in a vehicle, my jeep cherokee is pretty small. Also, CW is a task for me right now, (but it is slowly coming back). I am about to start CERT training with a local city, so I've been re-activating my station one piece at a time, and looking around to get a feel for the newer equipment available.
The 757GX will probably end up as my base radio at home. Looking to see what, and if, I want to get something else for mobile/portable usage. Not a huge rush for hf yet, as I need my general to utilize the radio for what I will pay for it. Don't want to get something I will wish I didn't get later, but having 1 piece does most everything is rather attractive.
The 757gx was a nice little radio, 100w, general coverage receive. Simple filters, wide/narrow for CW but very usable. The Yaesu FT-51R was a nice late 90's dual bander. Not extremely common but has true dual receive and will do cross band if recall correctly.
I'm not disparaging my gear, it seems to work ok.
I'm looking into the utility of adding a radio for mobile/portable that will combine as many features, in one usable package, with minimum setup, etc.
the yaesu FT-817 looks attractive, except for the 5W output, it is therefore big for VHF/UHF compared to my FT-51R, and not very effective for HF compared with my 757.
The 706 seems like a nice compromise, more setup required as it has to have sufficent battery/power source for it's up to 100W output, 2A just to run receive...(same as my 757). I was concerned about tradeoff's in usability for the vhf/uhf bands.
A VHF/UHF mobile rig added might be a better choice, and use the 757, but room in my jeep is at a premium. back to the 706? I'm not that discriminating a user at this point!
I guess I am looking for what the vhf/uhf shortcomings are on a 706 vs a dedicated mobile vhf rig. what do I gain with the separate vhf/uhf that the 706 doesn't do, in trade for the space reqd.
Hmmm...the ssb angle in itself is worth while! Less likely to be overheard/listened to if communicating with someone local in simplex if most have or are assuming FM and you are on ssb. Less bandwith for your qso, also.
quote:Originally posted by Cincinnatus: The purpose of selecting this radio was to buy the cheapest dual band mobile that featured a detactable front face because its going into 2001 Jeep Cherokee which does not have many mounting options.
I also run a Yaesu 7800 in my truck which I'm pleased with as well.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new purchase.
I am shopping for dual band mobile. As your with son's Cherokee, my Tacoma has very little space and few options for radio location. I was just going to go with a straight 2 meter radio, but I couldn't find any that offer the remoteable faceplate. To keep the installation from getting too hokey, I do need a remote faceplate. So a dual band is my only option, unless someone knows of a 2 meter rig with the remoteable faceplate.
I liked the IC-208 features, but what steered me toward Yaesu's FT-7800R is that the microphone plugs into the faceplate rather than onto the transciever like the Icom.
I'll be mounting the transceiver under the passenger seat and I can envision problems with the microphone lead being routed from under the seat, such as the mike getting stepped on or caught in the sliding seat tracks or....
Or is this not a problem with the IC-208's mike cord location in your experience?
When looking for a place to mount the head, dont forget to look up.. The overhead console can be used . Also with the smaller head of the 208, mounted just over the top of the mirror is a nice place to keep your eyes on the road more.
This handheld looks great...i'm planning on getting one for my BOB. Don't have to worry 'bout getting it wet. Now i just have to convince the other guys in our group to get something comparable.
I have a '98 Jeep Cherokee, and think I've found a fairly decent mounting location/method for my 2 meter rig.
I simply added a square piece of velco onto the dash, just to the right of the driver. After all of these years, the radio has never even hinted at coming loose. I did have to replace the speaker a few years ago, due probably to the radio baking in direct sunlight for so long; the rest of the radio has shown no ill effects.
Great pick with the VX-6R. I've been looking at the VX-7R as well as the Kenwood TH-F6A. Having a true dual bander would better serve my situation.
The F6a is actually a tri-bander with full power 220 MHz built in too. Around here 220 is almost empty.
When TSHTF most of the high-level 2m and 440 repeaters will be running emergency traffic and generally frown upon non-net communications. ALmost nobody has 220 gear any more, so it is likely to be a good "plan B" for squirrels...
My biggest downside to the F6A is that while it is a tri-bander with two different channels (receive two different signals at the same time, including scanner-like capabilities) that it is NOT full duplex like the Icom W-32.
Why would anybody care??? Well... I like the full duplex for working the EastSats from my handheld and the TH-F6a, just doesn't quite do it for me...
FWIW I installed a ICOM 2720 Dual Bander in my Pathfinder. It has the detachable face plate that mounts about anywhere and has 2 bands that can be scanned at the same time. I almost went with the I 208H but decided to spend a little more money for the extra capabilities it provides. Nice being able to scan the local repeaters, emergency resonse freqs. and talk at the same time. Just my .05 worth.
Hey Cincy, Have you installed the rig yet? I was thinking of getting one but i worry it will have the same problems as the icom 207H in my '72 dart. Its a real nice setup with the detachable face like the one you posted...BUT the radio has a hard time with interference from just about anything. I swap'ed out the points for a later electronic ignition and that helped some..but if i drive through any city the squelch becomes almost useless. I have a IC V8000 (monoband, 75watt) that i hooked up to the same power source just to see if it was my setup and it was quiet as a mouse.