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VHF SSB for Local/Regional Comms? And IC-251E...

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Guess what I'm getting next week in the mail?

Yep, an Icom IC-251E 2m all-modes transceiver.

I want to explore the usefulness of VHF SSB for prepping, as opposed to FM or NVIS on lower bands. I don't think 2m USB will be that much better than FM using a high-gain Yag-Uda directional antenna, but it should still have an edge. I still think NVIS on 80m will beat anything for regional comms, but has any of you guys tried 2m SSB? What is your opinion?

I am building this antenna right now:


I dabbled in VHF weak signal a little quite a few years ago but I'm far from highly experienced, here's what I learned; antenna gain is everything, but let me explain. By antenna gain I mean total gain as in antenna height, gain of the antenna itself, minimal signal attenuation in feedline, antenna polarization, etc. They don't call it weak signal for no reason and a lot of he quick and dirty set ups commonly used on VHF FM don't work well on extremely weak signals.

If you want a little and portable prepper yagui antenna watch this:

Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk Pro

I wish I could find that article where Boy Scouts were camping and doing 2M work.  They made a 3 element Yagi with a tree branch and some barbed wire and talked off a mountain top repeater many miles away.  The rusty barbed wire on the crooked stick looked awesome.

Thanks Guys. :)

I got the IC-251E from a German seller on Ebay, too cheap to pass...

I wonder is a preamp might be useful... I need to test the rig without one first of course, and the goal is to be heard as well. I ordered a CTCSS tone board to be able to use it on the local FM repeater as well. 10W isn't a lot for weak signal VHF, but I have seen plenty of people do it on Youtube. There are tons of old 2m SSB rigs on Ebay, often for less than $100. I paid $200, but this one is in excellent shape and the model I wanted. I used to have an IC-271A which I never used for SSB, what a shame, but a great radio too. I almost got the MFJ-9402 but it was going to cost me double with import taxes.

The 6-el Yagi-Uda is half-way done, video in the works...

BTW, anyone knows what type of connector is used for DC, a 4-pin in-line type? I can't seem to be able to find a new one...



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