After much debate, finally bought myself one of these. Two reasons, first, due to space limitations at the home QTH and secondly, as I intend to do some more SOTA activations, I have just got myself the FT817. I intend to work HF frequencies /P (portable) on my local hills and on any SOTA summits I activate. I still have to organise external power but I am in the process of getting a 12v 7ah SLA battery to power the rig, the internal Yaesu battery gives only a short operating time, the SLA will extend that time greatly. The QRP rig (2.5w on internal battery, 5w on 13.8v) will prove a challenge on HF.
Building antennas will be the next step, the selection of antenna choice through the internet is staggering, I will take plenty time deciding what to build, I have a few ideas I’m mulling over.
It will be interesting comparing my recent SOTA activations using 2m FM and the other options now open to me.
I hope to have a report on how I get on soon, if not a SOTA summit, I will have a session on one of my local hilltops.
Having now worked three hilltops with this radio, the first being the SOTA activation of Beinn Chaorach, first calls on the radio were on 144.300 SSB and amongst the first stations worked were a GM4 in Ayr, an EI5 station 30ml sth of Dublin, two SOTA STS (summit to summit) stations in North Wales, a GW6/P and a MW0/P stations on Moel Llyfnant and later, another STS G4/P on Seat Sandal. This was an excellent introduction of 2M SSB from over 2,000 ft using only the internal battery’s 2 1/2 watts output.
I now have a Yuasa 12v 7ah SLA battery which now gives me the capability of using the radio’s 4-5 watts on SSB and I’m look forward to a full activation of a SOTA summit. I now have my NOV(Notice of Variation) for 5mhz so I hope that in the near future I will be active on that band.