[amsat-bb] Hand helds for FM birds

Kevin M n4ufo at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 12 13:50:06 UTC 2014

At this point a pair of $40 Baofengs would be the best, most economical solution for full duplex. 73, Drew KO4MA
I second that suggestion. I went through two IC-W32As trying to find one that would not desense on SO-50... no luck. (information out there about the serial numbers is not correct!) With batteries and accessories, it cost me MUCH more than $80 and is now sitting in a 'go bag' for taking mobile.

Other advantages of  two Baofengs:

- You don't need a diplexer on the antenna... uses two separate coaxial feedlines
- May be lighter... I have a UV-3R+ and a UV-5R and together they are quite a bit lighter than my IC-W32a
- You don't need a headset or a speaker mic with a headphone jack. You can plug an earphone or cheap headphones into one and hold the other HT to talk into; it's not much bigger, if at all (depending on model), than a mobile hand mic. - Sure, you can plug headphones into a duplex HT and hold it to talk into, but it is likely heavier and difficult to use the push-to-talk AND adjust receive frequency with one hand on the SAME unit.

The trick with using two HTs is holding the antenna with one hand and the TX HT in the other, WHILE occasionally tweaking the frequency on the RX HT. AC0RA has operated "two HT" mode many times and his suggestion is to clip the RX HT on your person (belt, maybe shirt pocket) and then hold the TX HT in a way that you can free two fingers to adjust the RX HT. It works. No different than holding a speaker mic so that you can adjust receive when using a duplex HT. If you are using a tripod mounted the antenna, then no worries! One hand for TX HT and the other to adjust the RX.

I recommend the UV-3R+ over the regular UV-3R as the plugs and accessories are the same as later models and easier to find. (The UV-3R uses an 'annoying' 4 conductor phone plug. Makes it difficult to rig up a 'Y' cable to split to a digital recorder.) The UV-3R+ is two watts whereas the UV-5R is four watts. Otherwise they are similar radios. Frankly I would recommend a pair of UV-3R+... the smaller size is more advantage than the two watts. If someone is hogging the uplink, three dB isn't going to matter THAT much.

As always, your mileage may vary... =^)

73 es GL!

Kevin n4UFO

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