So I decided to throw the discone antenna back up this time in the attic, I suspended it from the rafters until I can get my j pole up.

There was a minor geomagnetic storm this morning, and apparently VHF was even affected:


Really enjoying the FTM-400DR, love the TFT touch screen. You can even send digital messages with this radio (not sure if i’ll ever have the need for that function, but Yaesu even has a hand mic with a camera built in to it!) Too cool! The bandscope is a nice function, but it is a tad slow to react to the signals, still very nice to have built into a 2m base station. I downloaded the Yaesu software for this model & the driver & all worked well on my windows computer. I’ve also heard of folks using WSPR with their 2m/70cm base stations, I wasn’t able to find this radio in the WSPR program though.

So onto my 2m/70cm antenna options… apparently the discone has no gain, a j pole has no gain, my next option would be to run a vertical, but then I imagine i’d need to run ground wires of some sort. I’ll stick with what I have for now, I need to get on simplex & get some signal reports from some fellow hams around town, more to come on those reports!

This radio is also capable of WIRES-X. But i’d need to purchase an additional piece of equipment, the HR-210, which is almost another $135 as of today’s writing. I think i’ll pass, would have been nice if that feature was included on the radio, but wishful thinking 🙂 So far i’ve been using just 5w and i’m able to reach into the local repeater no problem. This radio is also capable of 25w, & 50w. which I usually reserve for simplex testing or to reach distant repeaters. 2m/70cm repeaters are pretty thick in Central Texas it seems, I can easily ping 80-90 repeaters (both 2m & 70cm).

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