FJ Cruisers of Northern California
I've noticed that the only place people use CBs anymore is at Hollister and on the highway. It seems like everyone in the Sierras has moved on to 2m ham.
So I'm going to go with a ham rig. I'm not worried about the exam, since I already have an FCC 605 license, but the equipment is a question.
I'm going with a Boztec ham mount, and he conveniently makes a list of stuff to buy. So no worries there. But I need to get a transceiver, and should I just get a 2m unit like an FT-1900R, or should I go dual-band (2m/440)? Does anyone make a rig that combines 2m with CB?
Any and all advice would be helpful and appreciated.
For starters, I recommend an inexpensive HT, preferable 2m/440 and mag mount external antenna. With the mag mount external antenna, you'll have less issues due to use of the rugby ducky antenna inside the cab. Or spring for the boztec... just run the coax to the driver side glove box so you can use it with the HT. A separate mic is also handy... as is 12v power adapter.
As you saw, I currently have my HT bungied to the driver side pillar grab handle. I then have the mic up to the driver's side room grab handle, using the shade to keep the cord out of the way. Doesn't bang around... doesn't bother me while driving.
While my HT is dual band, I rarely use its 440 band (as most repeaters out here are 2m). But I'm always using both of its dual transceivers... one for voice, one of APRS. Occasionally I'll have on transceiver on simplex for local comms while having the other monitor a repeater.
As others have pointed out, HTs are quite useful even once you have a mobile rig.
I think I'll start with the cheapo Baofeng HT, then start puting together a dual-band mobile.
Is springing a few extra bucks for a quad-band transceiver worth it? The FT-8900 does 29 and 50 MHz in addition to 2m and 440.
I'm going to need some suggestions and expertise on installing this thing.
P.S. I hate auto electrical.
I ran my coax down the side of the FJ I pulled off the panels under the door to access the cable raceway.
A power distribution block is a good idea, but you can also run the power cable straight to the battery, I have done both.
As far as under the seat I have the bracket for the radio just zip tied to keep it from sliding around.
The face plate is going to depend on where you want to put it. I currently have mine loose and it sits in the drivers side glovebox, not optimal. I used to have a windshield suction cup mount that worked well until the sun rotted the plastic of mount. I did see RAM mounts has a pretty good windshield suction mount.I am looking at building a custom mount to go over the rearview mirror. But it will require a custom cable for the mic. I've seen some people mount the head near the shifter which works well if you have an automatic not so much with a manual transmission..
Here is a flickr set on my current install, I'm going to be changing a little since I scored a FT-8900r on ebay.