Ham radio Question

Ok a question for the Ham experts. I passed my test last year and have not yet purchased a radio. So now I’m thinking this would be a good time to pick one up before spring. Anyway, here is the radio I’m looking at http://www.icomamerica.com/products/amateur/v8000/ Three things that have drawn me to this unit are 1) the power, is this good, or does a person need more that 50w? 2) The front facing speaker, I’m deaf in my right ear, so the more sound I have coming at me the better. 3) the weather scan and alerts, enough said. I believe I can buy this for around $170. What do you think? Is this a decent rig? Is there a better one in this price range? I’m thinking I’ll only use it for chasing. Also how about an antenna? I have a full size truck and park in the garage every night. I would like to mount an antenna to the rear wall of the box right behind the cab. I think this should keep it low enough as to not hit the ceiling. Do you think this would work? Thanks for the help.
 
Kurt,

I just got that radio and have been impressed so far. I have heard only good things about it from other people as well. It seems the power, features, and durability will out do any other radio in its class.
 
I don't know much about that particular radio, but the main thing you need to worry about for performance is the antenna. You won't be able to tell a difference between 50 and 75W if your antenna is mediocre. I don't honestly know how much of a difference that 25W makes anyways. The antenna will work the best if its on the roof of the vehicle, but in your case that may not be possible.

One thing that comes to mind with it being on your box behind the cab is the close proximity of the antenna to your head. That's another thing to consider (RF exposure). Some people don't mind things like that; I guess it depends on how much you plan on transmitting.
 
Kurt, beladed congrats on getting your ticket. I have used several Icom products over the years and have been impressed with all of them.
The antenna is very important, you need as much gain as you can afford, these antennas can be expensive. However, most come with a foldover feature that works great for your garage situation. I have used Comet and Diamond antennas, I use a Comet SBB-7 on my Icom 207H with great results. In May I got separated from the chase group due to hail and I was reaching them 20+ miles away on simplex near Crowell, TX using this setup on 50W, its not necessary all the time but its good when you need it.

More gain is the key with mobile antennas itll be like an amplifier, multiple fold the distance using less power, and antenna location, it must up and in the clear, in your case up on the cab.

My .02,
 
Speaking of the V-8000...someone sent me a PM wanting to sell me one since I asked about it a while back. Not sure if anyone has one for sale, but if you do let me know as well. Congrats on the ticket!
 
I've talked to a buddy of mine in the local radio club, because I am searching for my first one as well. Everyone in the club told me Icom is the way to go, and my friend also suggested about a 5 ft. whip for my truck. I'm looking at purchasing the 75 watt radio, and I think it runs about $180 or $190. You can check out others at www.aesham.com.
 
Thanks for the replies. Your confirmation on the radio’s qualities is reassuring. I’ll have to give the antenna situation some thought. I believe there is about 18â€￾ between the top of the cab and the ceiling of the garage, not to mention the door closer. Do they make some type of quick connect for antennas? Since I only plan on using it for chasing this might be an option. Thanks for the help. Also if any one has a V8000 for sale please let me know.
 
Thanks for the replies. Your confirmation on the radio’s qualities is reassuring. I’ll have to give the antenna situation some thought. I believe there is about 18â€￾ between the top of the cab and the ceiling of the garage, not to mention the door closer. Do they make some type of quick connect for antennas? Since I only plan on using it for chasing this might be an option. Thanks for the help. Also if any one has a V8000 for sale please let me know.

Im in a similar situation at my house.

I purchased 2 antennas.

A short antenna for tooling around town and back and forth to work and working the local repeaters. Works fine for that.

I have the big daddy johnson in the trunk for when I want to go chasing. I just switch antennas...just don't forget about it when you drive into the garage all excited to see your pictures/video and tell the significant other how close to death you came today :)

I bought an NMO mount and drilled a hole in the roof and then just screw on/off whatever antenna I need. I wouldn't say it's quick though. I really didn't want to put a hole in my roof but after doing it I won't go back. People kept telling me that and I didn't believe them..but it's true.

Then you can pick up say a Larson NMO-2/70SH that's only 19inches tall and a Larson NMO-150B that is 51.5inches tall.

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ham...tm/larsenm.html
 
I haven't looked around, but a couple of thoughts:

I think some folks manufacture spring-loaded antenna mounts, though these are mainly for larger HF or 11 meter antennas. Might worth a google search. They flex with the spring when you drive into the garage.

I second the point about antenna being much more important than power. However, if you've got a 50 or so watt radio with a good antenna, then that, in my mind is optimal. If you go with a 75 watt radio and a honkin high gain/efficient antenna, then you might have the problem I used to have-- being that I was able to hit repeaters I couldn't even hear.

I went from a Radio Shack HTX212 with a bench tested 62W (manual said 50) and a very tall mag mount antenna to a 50W dual-bander with a smaller lower-gain antenna and find I do just fine. The 62W rig is now my base with a large ground plane antenna up about 20 feet and it performs quite well.

Anyway, make the long story above short, power means much less than antenna quality. Then, all you have to worry about is terrain.
73, good luck.
Morgan K5TVT
 
Antenna is everything... We operat 3 radios in our van. 1st a yeseu 8100 dual band which allow local skywarn operatiions and direct repeater control on the 440 reapeter control system. 2nd a radio shack 2meter that operates our APRS and DAREN system. 3rd a yeseu 2400h which allows direct comm with the nws. The aprs radio has a 5/8 wave antenna the other 2 use tram dual band mags. It all works great with little or no bleedover between radios. We also use icom v8 ht s. Icom is a great radio and I do not think you will go wrong with the 8000... :D
 
I was a Kenwood fan for a while until I got an Icom and never looked back. I love Icom radio's and that one you got is great and love the 75w output.

For antennas, I bought a Comet SBB7 this year. The gain is sweet on this one. Granted, it's a tall antenna BUT, it has a way to quickly and easily lay the antenna down FLAT on your roof to go under low things! And he's right, NMO mounts are the best when you have a metal roof!
 
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