Changes to the shack

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.

Yaesu FT-7800(E)
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.

Yaesu FT-8900R
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.

Kenwood TM-V71(E)
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.