Help with a new rig


Noobie here. It's looking less and less likely that I will be able to get my vintage 2m rig running beyond simplex since they no longer make the CTCSS tone units for it. SO I am looking at alternatives. I was considering picking up a quad band mobile, but I'm wondering if it is even worth spending the money. Since I'd predominantly use it as my base station, I don't see how I'd connect the antennas for each band. I'm also wondering how much use I'd get beyond the 2-meter band. Do you think I'd actually get regular use out of the 10m, 6m an 0cm bands?


I'm not sure what you mean by "I don't see how I'd connect the antennas for each band". If the transceiver does not have connectors for individual bands or has shared connectors for some bands ex. 2M/70cm for one and 6M/HF for another, then you can buy an antenna that handles multiple bands and/or use a duplexor(s). Duplexors allow you to connect two antennas for for different bands to a single connector. Triplexors allow for 3, etc. You could also use coax a switch to switch between multiple antennas.

Not making an add on unit for a CTCSS encoder doesn't mean there might not be one on the used market although buying one plus the cost of the transceiver are probably going into the territory where just buy a more modern model would be cheaper.

Last, check the specs of radios that advertise 2M, 70cm and 6/10M. At least one I know of only does FM, which, unless you just want to work 6M repeaters is probably not what you are looking for.

Years ago I remember seeing generic external CTCSS encoders, and some that could be mounted inside radios if there is room.  With some Google searching, checking ebay, or at hamfests you might be able to find some.



What vintage 2m radio do you have? I may be able to help you out with the tone encoder....Communications Specialists TE-64 that I used with my vintage ICOM 251A until the Icom finally died....




I have Kenwood TR-7400A. At the kit build, I was told that the SS_64 would work. Took a few days of searching, but I found someone on the Ham Radio Swap and Classified Facebook page who was willing to sell me one.  NOw I have to wait until January for the next Kit build so Raven can install it for me.

A quad band mobile, while a nice idea, is a bit of a stretch to make usable.  While it does have 10m, 6m, 2m, and 70cm, it is FM only.  The TYT TH-9800 I believe is the one you are talking about.  It is a quasi-clone of the Yaesu FT-8900.

A better, and a bit more expensive option, would be either an Icom IC-706 MkIIG (the MkII only goes to 2m) or a Yeasu FT-857.  Both of these are HF, 6m, 2m, and 70cm and all mode.  Also to consider, if looking for new, Icom IC-7100.  

As for antennas, there are 6m, 2m, 70cm base antennas out there.  I have the Comet GP-15.  For hookup, you will need a duplexer (Comet CF-530 or CF-706A) because on the Icom and Yaesu, HF/6m share one antenna port and 2m/70cm  share the other port. 

There is plenty of activity on bands other than 2m.  10m will be active because of the sunspot cycle and even 6m might get some activity (there's a reason they call it the "magic" band.) 70cm is more local but this is where high speed data starts.

Let me know if you have anymore questions. 




Having 4 bands sounds cool but 10 and 6 are basically only sporadically useful IMO. I just ordered a Yaesu FTM-400 XDR  from HRO and will retire my Icom 2200h 2m only. (Free to a good home if anyone wants/needs 2m only.) To be honest I seldom use anything but 2m. I have a BTech UV 5x3 that lets me play on three bands plus it is programmed for Marine channels so I can use it on my boat as well if my Marine CHF goes south. With the new dual band Yaesu I am thinking of tinkering with satellites a bit. Sometimes ya need a new toy to keep the hobby interesting.