Posted By RichC on October 31, 2013
This Halloween evening is indeed dark and dreary as the wind is whistling and blowing rain nearly sideways. The garage door was left open (by me) and has puddled to the point Tootsie’s cushions (bed) is damp … which makes the entire garage smell like wet dog. But that’s not the point of this evening post.
My friend Jeff (N4XKJ) loaned me his 2M/440 Kenwood radio because my only rig is the ICOM IC-715 HF radio I brought home from the boat. He no longer has an HF radio so if we’re going to talk, we need to be on VHF or UHF and thought it might be fun to try simplex or the local repeaters. I do have an inverted “V” dipole rigged up to work the ICOM, but my HF privileges are only a sliver on 10M band, besides it gives me a reason to set up an inexpensive borrowed second radio.
Unfortunately after setting up his old radio it wasn’t able to transmit due to either a problem with the microphone or something in the old radio. I took apart the microphone and check the connections, but couldn’t solve the problem. Since I had already purchase a Jetstream antenna (and mag mount for the car), I decided to buy an inexpensive 2M only radio in order to continue with my plan. Considering Yaesu is currently running rebates ($40 in my case) and that the price at R&L Electronics was very good, I opted for the FT-2900. R&L also credited me $30 for the splitter and so that brought the price on this 75 watt mobile radio to close to the least expensive models. So far so good as I’m not out too many dollars.
I’m firing it up tonight while keeping my ear and eyes out for brave trick or treaters. So far I was able to make a few “first” repeater contacts as a licensed HAM (KD8VSB), check in on “net” and even give simplex with Jeff a try … unfortunately since he is buried in an inside apartment without an external antenna, it wasn’t great. About the best we could do is say “yes we can connect” but we were far more successful using a local repeater. Maybe some more tweaking? Enough for now … time to read the manual and actually figure out how to use this radio.