Originally Posted by chrisncate
Can anyone recommend a good ham radio
that is relatively inexpensive for a smaller (30') boat? I'd also like to know what kind of power draw/amp usage I should expect from a radio
.. ? Are they difficult to install? Can anyone walk me through all the basic installation steps?
For any over the horizon communication, you will need a high-frequency rig
. (10-80 meters) There are some really nice portable rigs
(new ~ 600-1000USD)
For whatever reason unknown, used ham gear is only discounted about 10-20% off new. To me, its worth the little extra to get a new piece of equipment with a warranty.
Outlet (google search) is a good site to browse.
If i were putting a rig
on my boat, I would consider the Yaesu FT897D or 857D.
They both have the following features that I think are important:
1) small, portable, lightweight.
2) powered by internal battery packs or external 13vDC source.
3) have BOTH HF and VHF
, so when in range, can use repeaters.
4) unlike some other models of portable HF radios, these two will produce a full 100w output if run from an external source.
But keep in mind, antennas are like the tires on a sports car. No matter how fancy or powerful of a radio you have, a poor antenna will make it drive like a Yugo. Conversely, a really good antenna can make a mediocre radio reach far. Some hams pride themselves with never using more than 5 watts, and reach over 100 countries. (QRP operation) I wouldn't recommend this for a boat, unless you just want the challenge. For reliable communications, you'll want a good antenna, and more wattage.
Icom makes a similar radio, IC7000, which is similar to the Yaesu FT897D, but costs a good bit more. Kenwood also makes a fine HF portable, but it does not include the VHF freqs. This may or may not matter to you.
*by VHF, I am referring to the amateur radio VHF freqs. You can receive, but not transmit on marine VHF with these radios.
Feel free to PM or post here with other ?s.