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Old 05-12-2011, 23:04   #1
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Handheld SSB Transceivers

Anybody have any experience using a handheld SSB with an external antenna on board? Seems like a much less expensive way to go, and while of course much less powerful than a mounted unit, they seem to get pretty remarkable range, especially when paired with an external antenna. Any thoughts on these guys?

A number of them can be seen here: Handheld Transceiver
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Old 05-12-2011, 23:23   #2
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

I have an ICOM handheld HF radio, its max 10 watts, not so good for sending very far and very expensive for receiving. We use them for SW when paragliding as we can't use aviation band so we use HF bands, we are at 3-10,000 ft.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:27   #3
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamorand View Post
Anybody have any experience using a handheld SSB with an external antenna on board? Seems like a much less expensive way to go, and while of course much less powerful than a mounted unit, they seem to get pretty remarkable range, especially when paired with an external antenna. Any thoughts on these guys?

A number of them can be seen here: Handheld Transceiver
Who do you intend to communicate with?
As a broad generalization, you aren't going to talking with many shore stations using a low power 25 to 30 MHz transceiver.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:44   #4
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

I'd consider skipping the handheld and installing the real deal, unless you don't really need to transmit. We travelled the Bahamas twice with a small SSB receiver ($100) and was able to get the weather reports and grib files and listen in on the cruising nets. We couldn't transmit, but that's no problem when travelling the more beaten path, unless you just must stay in constant contact with other far-flung boaters and shore stations.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname
Who do you intend to communicate with?
As a broad generalization, you aren't going to talking with many shore stations using a low power 25 to 30 MHz transceiver.
I hear QRP stations, <10 watts, at distances from 500-1000 miles on a daily basis. It's more about conditions and the antenna than it is power.

There are lots of 5 watt stations that work the world. I often dial my 7000 down to 10 watts unless I'm running a net in order to conserve my batteries. I believe it takes a 4x increase in power to double your signal.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:42   #6
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

Those QRP stations generally have a way better antenna setup than my backstay.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:49   #7
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

I have worked over 1500 miles at 12 watts on 20 meters SSB into a short vertical mounted on my balcony railing. The guy had quite a pileup and I could hardly believe it when he came back to me. Conditions and antenna, and sometimes conditions trump antenna.

I wouldn't count on being able to do that consistently though.
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Old 06-12-2011, 18:10   #8
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

if there is one thing I want out of an ssb used for emergency situations its consistency.
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Old 06-12-2011, 19:28   #9
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Re: Handheld SSB Transceivers

I've also run QRP, and if you're using a resonant antenna system, not your back stay, results are pretty good. I also agree with sck5, so I combine a resonant, trapped, inverted vee dipole with the hundred watt drive of my transceiver feeding a 2000 W solid-state amplifier just in case. On most all occasions, my maritime mobile signal is considerably stronger than most all base stations.
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