English has been my second language since elementary school. As far as I’m concerned, English is quite easy to master, although its rules not always consistent.
A slim chance and a fat chance turn out to be the same, but a wise guy and a wise man are definitely two different people. A house can burn up as it burns down, a form is filled in by filling it out and an alarm goes off by going on.
There’s no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither pine nor apple in pineapple, English muffins do not come from England and French fries do not come from France.
People recite at a play and play at a recital, they ship by truck, park on driveways, drive on parkways and people have noses that run and feet that smell.
Many Hams started out as a pirate. I’m no exception. I built my first medium wave transmitter in the sixties, at the age of eight. The range was only about 10 meters, but I was proud as one could be. Technology progressed quickly. I started to use tubes (EL84) and better antennas. We made many QSOs, my friends and I. Playing music wasn’t done much, if at all.
CB (still illegal at the time) replaced the medium wave band, the FM broadcast band replaced CB. It didn’t take long before I discovered the 2 meter and HF amateur bands. A number of old friends joined me. Most licensed Hams knew me personally and didn’t care much about my activities, neither did they report me to the authorities. The reason was probably that I built everything myself and blended into ‘the scene’ perfectly. Internet didn’t exist at the time, making it nearly impossible for listeners to find out whether a station was licensed or not. Call books were always out of date by at least a year.
Pirate stations still exist, but something has changed. They don’t care about technology and probably can’t tell the difference between a capacitor and a resistor. Jamming is now the main activity, especially on repeaters. We shut down PI2FLD (Almere) for a while and now PI3RTD (Rotterdam) has been switched off.
Sad, really sad.
Nice looks, small, wide band receive, good medium wave reception and powerful enough for every day work. What can go wrong?
One important thing. European amateurs expected the European version of the VX-3 to support 6.25 KHz channel steps. Channel steps of 6.25 KHz have been standard in Europe for a while now, and are (amongst other services) used for PMR, the EU equivalent of FRS.
The VX-3 doesn’t. Maybe a future model (VX-4?) will. Until that time, many radio amateurs will be better of by ignoring the VX-3 and wait until Yaesu does it right.
Last week, I sold my Yaesu FT-897D. Was there something wrong with it? No, absolutely not. I just didn’t use it much, at least not on HF. I have better, more sensitive and more selective transceivers at home for that job. As a result, the 897D was only used for VHF and UHF.
Then the worries started. I needed something to replace it, but what? I live in a highly RF polluted area, and the FT-897D was one of the few transceivers capable of receiving on VHF and UHF without intermod problems. There were a few options and I tried them all.
A nice dual band transceiver, small and reliable. Intermod problems? Some, but setting the squelch system to S9 solved most of the problems. However, the 7800 lacks a cross band repeater system, something I had on my wish list for some time.
Quad band (6 meters, 10 meters, 2 meters and 70 cm). About the same size and about the same perfomance as the FT-7800. Cross band repeater works very well, as long as you reduce the output power to ‘low’. If not, it runs hot, really hot. Intermod problems can be solved in the same way as with the FT-7800.
Still, both transceivers lack the superb selectivity and filtering of the FT-897D. I have another Ham in my neighborhood (distance +/- 100 meters). If he’s using our 70 cm repeater – regardless of his output power – both mobile transceivers give up. A hissing noise is all that’s left.
A new model from Kenwood. Cross band capable and delivering 50 Watts output on both bands. When left in default settings, intermod is as bad as it can get, much worse than both Yaesu’s and almost as bad as the Alinco DR-635 (the last transceiver on earth you want to buy when living in an RF polluted area).
However, the TM-V71 has a nice feature in the menu: AIP (Advanced Intercept Point). When I switched on AIP, all intermod disappeared and my neighboring station can squeeze as much power out of his station as he wants, without bothering me. You lose some sensitivity (about 6dB), but that’s a small price to pay and a non issue for its intended use (local QSOs).
The TMV-71 stays.
It has been a rumor for some time, but now there’s some evidence that Icom and Kenwood are joining forces. Take a look at then new Kenwood TMW-706 and the Icom IC-208H and you will see that it’s the same dual band transceiver.
Download product info here (Icom version): Icom IC-208H PDF
Will Kenwood disappear? Will Icom disappear? New brand names? IcWood? KenCom? Questions, questions, but no answers (yet).