Starting my HF Go Bag

Started by raybiker73, November 01, 2012, 09:29:35 pm

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KC9TNH

Quote from: Mitch on November 05, 2012, 10:01:05 am
I love my FT-817ND! That's what my bag is built around. It may not be the best anymore, but it's still a popular radio with a large cult following. Being an older radio just means most of the bugs have been worked out! (Easy to find parts/accessories for too.)

The only thing I wish I could receive with it is the NOAA weather stations. When you are wilderness packing it's important!
Funny thing you mention parts/accessories. About 3 months into the new base (FT-450D) the VFO started a funny drift in that it would jump past certain 10kHz positions, most noticeable of course when trying to zero beat comeone. I anticipated a big problem with getting warranty support from some prehistoric horror stories but I made a phone call direct to the Vertex line on their website (in Kali), waited & waited, but it was worth it. Described symptom to an actual human tech, said he knew immediately what it was (bad lot of tuning mechanisms, some guts behind the knob) and they would turn that around for me. Nothing special other than priority/insured snail mail and total time out of my hands was 10 calendar days. Interestingly, in the return box was the actual parts list and the major item used to fix the problem was tuning guts from the 817. They'd culled all those from 817 production but the 450 line had that in common & some made it into 450D's. Commonality of components is a good thing.

On the NOAA wx stations:  Yeah, that is too bad the recvr tops out at 154mHz.  However, there is a published "maybe workaround" and I'm going to try it tonight.  It first requires that your local/nearest NOAA station have a REALLY strong signal. It has to do with tuning a freq 136.660 mHz BELOW that strong NOAA signal (and listening in FM mode).  I'm going to test this tonite. I'm not in a position to start desoldering certain pads inside the thing per some of the published hardware mods because I've personally got other means for that (scanner, widened h/t). The workaround indicates the signal at that lower multiple of the IF freq is 85dB down - people always say S-units are over-rated, so we'll see what that sounds like. A new tower south of town here has a monster signal so it's play-time.

At some point a receiver designer, to give good reception to its overall design, has to put a wall up to the left/right limits. The 817 has pretty good ears as these things go, possibly the little Elecrafts are known to be a bit better but the 817 can hold its own. I'm only gonna test out of curiosity because at the base there's a scanner and when /m or /p the h/t has all the VHF/UHF stuff I want out of my 817 including NOAA and some other REDACTED trinkets I've programmed in via the KG-UV Commander software.

But I'm curious to see what -85dB sounds like - at least once.

KC9TNH

Quote from: KC9TNH on November 05, 2012, 11:03:36 am
On the NOAA wx stations:  Yeah, that is too bad the recvr tops out at 154mHz.  However, there is a published "maybe workaround" and I'm going to try it tonight.  It first requires that your local/nearest NOAA station have a REALLY strong signal. It has to do with tuning a freq 136.660 mHz BELOW that strong NOAA signal (and listening in FM mode).  I'm going to test this tonite. I'm not in a position to start desoldering certain pads inside the thing per some of the published hardware mods because I've personally got other means for that (scanner, widened h/t). The workaround indicates the signal at that lower multiple of the IF freq is 85dB down - people always say S-units are over-rated, so we'll see what that sounds like. A new tower south of town here has a monster signal so it's play-time.
. . . .

But I'm curious to see what -85dB sounds like - at least once.
Well, I did, twice.  On the 817 as well as on the 450. In the case of my local freq it resulted in 25.865 mHz.  Nada, zip. Numbah Ten!

So much for that. The good news is I ran across a pair of old field phones that are pristine out of Tobyhanna Depot refurb back in '89. Should be here just in time to string some wire from the shed on the hunting property to the deepest recesses of a glacier-carved valley on the property where I hunt. Will have to teach a couple of the young pups (<40) how to pick the thing up. "Bullwinkle is down... please bring the quad down the western logging trail..."  That kinda thing. (Hey, jerky & backstraps are important.)
8)

White Tiger

Understand the backstraps...can't leave 'em to the Brownies...
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

Lamewolf

Quote from: raybiker73 on November 03, 2012, 05:01:13 pm

My biggest question is what to do for the bag itself. I don't want anything bulky, and I don't want a "manpack" that looks like something you'd see on one of those green plastic toy soldiers. I'll have to do some shopping around or maybe homebrew something for it.


I bought a camo shoulder pouch in the hunting department at Walmart for $7.99 that was a perfect size for the FT-817 and my homebrew tuner that is the same size of the 817 with room for a 12 volt 2.5aH gell cell battery.  It also has a pocket on the front to carry smaller accessories.

Flatus


Quote from: Lamewolf on November 20, 2013, 04:45:26 pm
Quote from: raybiker73 on November 03, 2012, 05:01:13 pm

My biggest question is what to do for the bag itself. I don't want anything bulky, and I don't want a "manpack" that looks like something you'd see on one of those green plastic toy soldiers. I'll have to do some shopping around or maybe homebrew something for it.


I bought a camo shoulder pouch in the hunting department at Walmart for $7.99 that was a perfect size for the FT-817 and my homebrew tuner that is the same size of the 817 with room for a 12 volt 2.5aH gell cell battery.  It also has a pocket on the front to carry smaller accessories.


Do you have a sku# or further description of this pack? I have an 817nd that I am wanting to make a go bag out of. I already have the par enz (lnr precision) trailfriendly antenna that I like and I'm looking at getting a lifepo4 battery from hobby king (rc car battery). Please send pics of your setup. Thanks

raybiker73

November 20, 2013, 07:06:09 pm #20 Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 07:07:46 pm by raybiker73
Quote from: Flatus on November 20, 2013, 06:58:51 pm
Do you have a sku# or further description of this pack? I have an 817nd that I am wanting to make a go bag out of. I already have the par enz (lnr precision) trailfriendly antenna that I like and I'm looking at getting a lifepo4 battery from hobby king (rc car battery). Please send pics of your setup. Thanks


I personally ended up with a Rush Moab 6 from 5.11 Tactical. Picked it up at Gander Mountain for a bit under MSRP. It's a great bag and perfect for the 817 and accessories:

http://www.511tactical.com/rush-moab-6.html

Good review of the Rush Moab 6:

http://milspecmonkey.com/weargear/packsbags/368-511-rush-moab-6

You can't go wrong buying 5.11 gear, it's great. Also, best pants money can buy.

Lamewolf

Quote from: Flatus on November 20, 2013, 06:58:51 pm

Quote from: Lamewolf on November 20, 2013, 04:45:26 pm
Quote from: raybiker73 on November 03, 2012, 05:01:13 pm

My biggest question is what to do for the bag itself. I don't want anything bulky, and I don't want a "manpack" that looks like something you'd see on one of those green plastic toy soldiers. I'll have to do some shopping around or maybe homebrew something for it.


I bought a camo shoulder pouch in the hunting department at Walmart for $7.99 that was a perfect size for the FT-817 and my homebrew tuner that is the same size of the 817 with room for a 12 volt 2.5aH gell cell battery.  It also has a pocket on the front to carry smaller accessories.


Do you have a sku# or further description of this pack? I have an 817nd that I am wanting to make a go bag out of. I already have the par enz (lnr precision) trailfriendly antenna that I like and I'm looking at getting a lifepo4 battery from hobby king (rc car battery). Please send pics of your setup. Thanks


I've had it for 2 or 3 years now, so don't have any numbers on it.  You can view pictures of it with my FT-817 and tuner here: http://radiopreppers.com/index.php/topic,595.45.html