One thing I am not good at is actually getting on the bands and taking. I tend to dwell on FT8 due to rather naff hearing, but this POTA / SOTA thing has caught my eye now and so I wanted something other than an FM handheld. Enter a used FT817 – not the ND but hey. Yes it is yet another thing to learn but it came with a rechargeable battery and gives 2.5W out on 2m into a dummy load (very quick test, you know, new thing, gotta fiddle!) which the manual says it will set itself to when on battery. Unfortunately I got this a few days after our last excursion which would have been an ideal test. It also came with a cigar-lighter charge lead so it can be charged in the car on the way to somewhere. The rig is smaller than I had imagined, very luggable. It’s dwarfed by my SWR meter – I really need to get a smaller one for portable use. I reckon it will be very useful for when I eventually finish off my various microwave kits.

On order is a CAT / USB lead. It came with a Bluetooth CAT dongle, not tried that yet. Of course, now I want a TCXO-9 as a treat for it… do we treat rigs as pets?



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