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Messages - gil

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Those radios are no longer manufactured. You can find them used on Ebay. Ten Tec has a good reputation, and I second Tim on this. To get your feet wet, you can get a good used HF radio for $300-$400... Just make sure the seller has a good rating.


It looks like the MFJ only recieves on 40 meters

Well, yes, but it transmits too, and it's only $270  :)


Gil,  so are you recommending the Icom7200 for transmitting and buying a separate radio as an emergency backup for listening in a grid down environment?

Well, if you can afford it! I have heard good things about the 7200. Being rugged and having good filters already included...

I would definitely suggest something with less current draw, that you would keep in an EMP protected case. For that, the MFJ-9440X is ideal, at the price is right at $270.



From what I have learned recently on this forum and subsequently researched, the 7200 has everything you will ever need, including very good (and expensive) filters included...

Keep in mind that all these radios have a high current draw (1.5 to 2A on receive for the IC-7200)... For grid-down communications, that is a major concern.

I would personally suggest an MFJ-9440, or even a used Elecraft K2 (220mA on receive).
A used SGC-2020 or Index Labs QRP+ would be ideal.There is always the FT-817ND. (All about 450mA).
If you see one of those two on Ebay (2020 & QRP+), jump on it! They go very fast.
Always check the receive current draw. As far as output power, you don't need 100W. 10 or 20 is plenty.
I routinely have 5000+ miles QSOs on 12-14W...


Morse Code / Re: Practice Oscillator
« on: October 10, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »
You have to decide if you want to go with a straight key or a paddle... I went with an paddle because most radios these days have built-in iambic keyers and I can output cleaner and faster code with a paddle... Try both, see what you like best...


Digital Modes / Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« on: October 10, 2012, 04:55:08 PM »
I don't think you need more than a $120 interface...


Morse Code / Man, this thing is "bug"-ging me...
« on: October 10, 2012, 03:25:15 PM »
It would be fun to use inverted Morse, with a constant tone and silent dits and dahs...


Morse Code / Rock-Mite success!
« on: October 10, 2012, 03:21:59 PM »
Yes it can! You just need to plug in a dummy load.


General Discussion / Re: 5 New ham radio satellites launched
« on: October 10, 2012, 12:14:08 PM »
If those satellites could forward email, now that would be something...


Digital Modes / Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« on: October 10, 2012, 10:26:09 AM »

An EMP for me is a major concern, just because it can occur naturally, and it has (big one in 1859). Anything that has transistors or integrated circuits in it would fry. That means pretty much every electronic device in use today, including computers. So, there isn't just radios to be protected. Having one of those cheap laptops ($300) in a Faraday bag/box would be a good idea. Make sure all the software you might need is on it. I don't have a spare, but I did pack-up a solar powered scientific calculator. Regular electric devices like say a simple toaster, soldering iron, vacuum cleaner, etc. and yes, paddles, would not be affected. Tube radios actually might be fine.

Digital modes since they require a computer, are more complex and might not be practical in an all-out catastrophe. Another problem is their number. There are just too many. If there was a national consensus among preppers to adopt a certain mode, then maybe, but I don't see that happening (no harm in trying though). I would favor Olivia for it's ability to work with weak signals. CW, SSB and FM would be the main modes to use for sure, and of course, I want to promote CW. Most CW radios have message memories so that you can record one and have it transmitted every-so-often, automatically. With headphones, they can be operated silently... Blah blah blah, I could go on...

I will personally try digital modes, get a Signalink box and play with it a bit. Then I'll probably put the interface in a Faraday box with an El-cheapo laptop and forget about it. Anyway, there is such a thing as too much gear. You want backups, but when things start to pile-up, it's time to stop buying more crap. There are other areas of prepping to be considered, and radio, while close to the top, is not number one. For me, digital modes are an "extra." Meaning that if I'm bugging out, the stuff stays behind...


Morse Code / Re: Just hit a milestone!
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:16:02 PM »
Excellent, you're 2wpm ahead of me, now I need to catch up  ;)


General Discussion / Re: Your shack photo.
« on: October 09, 2012, 02:40:34 AM »
Does the 7200 have a built-in keyer?


Licensing / Re: Question for Technician Class:(T3B06)
« on: October 09, 2012, 02:33:58 AM »

It's just rounded up for simplification. Even the 300,000,000 is rounded up. Doesn't matter...
The formula is just useful to calculate antenna length.
Say you need a half wave dipole for 7MHz: 300/7=42.85m.
In feet: 42.85*3.048=130.6ft.
Half wave: 130.6/2=65.3ft. of wire needed.

Usually, the formula used for a dipole though is 468/f
So, 468/7=66.85ft. You start with that and trim as needed.
Remember that formula for the exam.


Licensing / Re: Question for Technician Class:(T3B06)
« on: October 09, 2012, 01:57:44 AM »
You're welcome. I suggest practice tests on They helped me a lot.


Licensing / Re: Question for Technician Class:(T3B06)
« on: October 09, 2012, 01:36:33 AM »
300/148=2.027 (2m band).

Let's try for 14.3MHz: 300/14.3=20.97 (20m band).

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