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Basic
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:27:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2012 1:30:37 PM EST by Shrike37]
I am taking a class for my Tech. license and I'm looking for a decent HT radio to start on and to be used as comms for SHTF. I'm buying 2 FT-60Rs. What accessories are a must have and needed to make it decently SHTF ready?

I'm guessing I need:

1. AA battery pack
2. Programming cable
3. Programming software
4. Better Antenna

I have read a couple comments on getting a BNC adapter.

What would you suggest?

Thanks

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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 2:04:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2012 2:06:17 PM EST by kc8ard]

Originally Posted By Shrike37:
I am taking a class for my Tech. license and I'm looking for a decent HT radio to start on and to be used as comms for SHTF. I'm buying 2 FT-60Rs. What accessories are a must have and needed to make it decently SHTF ready?

I'm guessing I need:

1. AA battery pack
2. Programming cable
3. Programming software
4. Better Antenna

I have read a couple comments on getting a BNC adapter.

What would you suggest?

Thanks

For SHTF use i'd highly recommend a headset or handheld mic, especially if you're going to put it on a backpack.

ETA: some sort of holster too.


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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 3:32:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/13/2012 3:40:15 PM EST by ClingingBitterly]
Nobody ever mentions the DC cable. It is indespensable to me - I use it while operating mobile, plus it allows operating while charging (something the puny wallwart charger won't do). The AA case would be useful in some circumstances. Personally, I would prefer a speaker/mic over a headset. I don't see the need for programming cable & software for the FT60 but that's just me. Someone setting up for frequent use in multiple regions & large talkgroups might benefit from it though. Better antennas are absolutely essential. A duck, because the stock one is crap, a unity or better gain mobile antenna, and something portable with gain such as the famous roll up J-pole.

A BNC adapter is a good idea. SMA connectors are notoriously weak, plus there are concerns about their longevity in terms of connect/disconnect cycles. Various companies make SMA to BNC adapters with an extended resilient base which presses down against the HT case, relieving some of the potential strain on the SMA connector. That is the kind you want.

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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 4:35:59 PM EST
This is what I have for mine.

This SMA to BNC adapter
Nice wide base, blends with the radio.

Speaker mic

Battery eliminator
Great for mobile.

AA battery case

Diamond RH519 antenna

Comet M-24B mag mount antenna
I have one in each vehicle. Gain barely overcomes the cable loss but they store compactly.

Dual band roll up Jpole with coax attached
Awesome portable antenna.

Cradle charger
Allows me to charge spare batteries separately from the radio.

I also have a few extra battery packs.

I also sniped the cord on the wall wart that came with it and installed power poles. Allows me to use other power sources.

Except for the Comet mobile mag mount antenna, it all fits in a ATS large GP pouch.

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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 5:17:01 PM EST
If you go the software route, I'd go with something OTHER THAN the Commander software....


I STILL can't get mine to work!!


FN

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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 5:58:27 PM EST
Great radio!

The AA pack is a must-have since the 60 is one radio that can operate on full power even with the AA pack.

For programming the best software is from G4HFQ.
http://www.floridatrail.org
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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 8:20:53 PM EST
I run a Wouxun dual band HT for SHTF...

I like the idea of having channels programmed to be compatible with FRS/ GMRS/ MURS and what not radios.

I have a GMRS license and General... Versatility is key IMO.

I have an AA case, a 12v/power point charger plug (plugs into the charging cradle), 12v/power point battery eliminator. I used that a lot when it was my stand in mobile. I also have a speaker mic.

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Link Posted: 4/13/2012 8:50:01 PM EST
pick up a sma to pl259 adaptor, one that is on a cable, then get a mobile antenna for your car. the performance increase is huge.


also preps your car for a dedicated mobile radio
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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 2:53:35 AM EST
In addition to what the above posters have suggested I'd recommend a foldable solar panel of some sort. This will allow you to charge independently of an electrical outlet.
I don't always report on ARFCOM, but when I do, I use #AttackWatch
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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 5:50:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By Tweightwee:
This is what I have for mine.

This SMA to BNC adapter
Nice wide base, blends with the radio.

Speaker mic

Battery eliminator
Great for mobile.

AA battery case

Diamond RH519 antenna

Comet M-24B mag mount antenna
I have one in each vehicle. Gain barely overcomes the cable loss but they store compactly.

Dual band roll up Jpole with coax attached
Awesome portable antenna.

Cradle charger
Allows me to charge spare batteries separately from the radio.

I also have a few extra battery packs.

I also sniped the cord on the wall wart that came with it and installed power poles. Allows me to use other power sources.

Except for the Comet mobile mag mount antenna, it all fits in a ATS large GP pouch.


Thank you!

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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 5:55:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By thederrick106:
I run a Wouxun dual band HT for SHTF...

I like the idea of having channels programmed to be compatible with FRS/ GMRS/ MURS and what not radios.

I have a GMRS license and General... Versatility is key IMO.

I have an AA case, a 12v/power point charger plug (plugs into the charging cradle), 12v/power point battery eliminator. I used that a lot when it was my stand in mobile. I also have a speaker mic.


Can the FT-60R be software modded to do FRS/ GMRS/ MURS (as long as you don't transmit on them)?

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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 5:56:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
In addition to what the above posters have suggested I'd recommend a foldable solar panel of some sort. This will allow you to charge independently of an electrical outlet.


Any recommendations?

1dc
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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 5:57:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By tesla120:
pick up a sma to pl259 adaptor, one that is on a cable, then get a mobile antenna for your car. the performance increase is huge.


also preps your car for a dedicated mobile radio


This is an alternative to the BNC adapter mentioned above. Also, the antenna above can be ordered with a BNC or UHF connector. BNC for HT, UHF for mobile radios.

For my FT60, I use the BNC connector on the radio, and sometimes just a simple BNC to UHF adapter on the mobile/base antennas when they have UHF connectors.

Another option is to use a BNC to UHF relief cable in place of the 2nd adapter on the antenna. IIRC, you can get these made up at the web site that does the roll-up antenna above. I have one, but seldom use it. I've even set up my mobile with a BNC connector . . find it so much easier to work with since mine is portable.

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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 7:31:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/14/2012 7:32:53 AM EST by JBlitzen]
Yes, the FT-60R has a wide RX/TX mod available. You'll still be limited to freqs within 30 or 40 mhz of the factory TX range, but that opens a lot of stuff like FRS/GMRS. Don't forget tone scan for figuring out FRS/GMRS squelch tones, those are how privacy channels are encoded.

Also, make a note to memorize the button sequence for performing a smart search. Very handy feature.

Here's a write-up I did on that: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/655997_scanners.html&page=1#i11198685

I kept forgetting those sequences, so I cut an index card to fit inside the battery compartment, and wrote the instructions on it.

As to accessories, the AA case is a good call. For programming, I think I used a USB-TTL or something converter box purchased online. Not sure offhand.

And there's some issue with the earphone jack. I don't remember what it was, but plugging earphones directly into the jack is messy since it's mono, or maybe an unusual jack, or something. Get the external mic, that has an earphone jack on it which produces correct sound. There's also a standalone adapter you can get instead, but the mic adds a capability and the adapter doesn't.

Enjoy the radio!

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Link Posted: 4/14/2012 10:00:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/14/2012 10:02:00 AM EST by jerrwhy01]
Originally Posted By Shrike37:
Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
In addition to what the above posters have suggested I'd recommend a foldable solar panel of some sort. This will allow you to charge independently of an electrical outlet.


Any recommendations?


I've got a Goal Zero 13.5 watt panel. It works well; I can charge my radio(s) iPod, as well as my wife's iPad. I got mine from REI.com. However, I used some dividends money and a 20% coupon to bring the price down.

I don't always report on ARFCOM, but when I do, I use #AttackWatch
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