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 New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!

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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 131
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Mar 19, 2022 12:40 am

Hi All,

Earlier this week I took delivery of a new pre-programmed CRT Electro and, being like a child in a sweet shop, I decided to immediately plug my Li-Po power pack into it and slap my UR72? (I think that's my antenna, the Nagoya mag mount, you know the one) onto a baking tray in the dining room and take a listen...... OMG, it was like someone removing a veil of cloudy QRM from my 2m/70cm world, and I live in a valley.  Soooo much better than my little UV-5r's it's unbelievable....or probably quite believable?......

.....but, and at the risk of sounding like a 'feature presentation for JML Stay-Sharp Steak-Knives', that's not all.....I took the radio up to my very local high-ish point of 218m ASL, put the mag mount on the roof of the car, set the radio to scan its repeater list and, unbelievably received over 50 repeaters?  I've written them all down in my log, even though I was just listening with my mouth wide-open?!

I can't quite get my mind around how I can hear soooo many 2m and 70cm repeaters with morse/beacon announcements/actual QSO's on them from my relatively low 'high point'?  I was listening to two chaps chatting via the repeater in Telford for example, and I'm down in West Berkshire!?

For context, it was Wednesday afternoon when I drove the 5 minutes to the local hill with the dog, but the rain had set in, so we sat there for a couple of hours listening to the new radio before finally going for a walk.  Now, I know we've been experiencing a mild solar storm this last week, and I've heard the US stations coming in on 11m, but I really was not prepared to hear just so many 'local repeaters' in my relatively low spot!?!?

Is this normal behavior for 2M/70cm, or was it just the weather/solar storm/I'm losing my mind gents?

Best regards,

Simon.

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
Posts : 4044
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Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Mar 19, 2022 6:14 am

Hi Simon,

There's been a fair bit of tropospheric propagation this week so VHF/UHF conditions have been pretty good. I often check out the conditions on the link beneath but also just simply turn on my old Yaesu FT290r tuned to the GB3VHF beacon. If the beacon is booming in I know conditions are ripe.

https://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo_eur.html

http://www.gb3vhf.co.uk/


Also simply getting higher up with your radio setup and in the clear helps a lot, you'd be amazed at the distances that hill toppers or S.O.T.A (Summits On The Air) regularly achieve. New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! 1f44d 

It can/does take you by surprise when you first experience it and I'll never forget the first time I had a 'break' call in from Liverpool whilst chatting to a friend locally when I was first licensed or operators from Yorkshire and Wales popping up on the local repeaters. All on 2m FM! Smile
(In context with my QTH)

SSB and horizontal antennas/beams are "where it's at" when it comes to VHF/UHF work but unfortunately the bands are much quieter with such activity nowadays apart from the usual competitions. Most seem content with a vertical beam or typical colinear antenna and hitting a 'far off' repeater.

I'm not knocking your new radio here either (nothing better than a spangly new radio!) but I see very little difference performance wise with any of the radios I own. When equally set up on my main 2m antenna (homebrew of course - EDZ) the Baofeng UV-5, Ailunce HD1, Leixen VV-898, RTL SDR, Yaesu FT290r and my 1970's vintage FT227ra perform equally as well. But I do love firing up the old FT227 just for the nostalgia. 

They all suffer to a degree with the front end desensitising from my local VHF repeater (I can hit the damn thing on a dummy load!) but there's very little to differentiate them. That'll probably annoy the heck out of the hill toppers who will insist on standing atop hills covered in telecommunication towers....you might as well be listening for whispers next to a rushing waterfall. Wink


That all said, congratulations on your new radio Simon and I hope you continue to have a great deal of fun exploring the VHF/UHF bands with it. 

All the best,
Victor

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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 131
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeWed Mar 23, 2022 11:26 pm

Thanks Victor,

I've been playing around with the programming software for the radio, and it seems to make sense.  As such, and for the avoidance of doubt, I've decided to reprogram the CRT with all of my 'local' repeaters.  By that, I mean 2m/70cm repeaters within 100 miles of my location.  I think this will clear things up a bit and give me the reassurance that I'm actually receiving the repeater I think I am!!

As such, this evening I've painstakingly gone through all of the repeaters within 100 miles of me on the RSGB website, and entered them into a spreadsheet.  I'm not going to do it now, but I will need to re-jig the info in order to get it into a format the CRT will understand....and Boom, I should be done!!

Many thanks,

Simon.

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G7JDH
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Call Sign : ct2678 g7jdh
Posts : 14
Times Thanked : 2
Join date : 2019-06-27
QTH or Location : doncaster
Equipment Used : ranger 2950
Age : 56

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Mar 26, 2022 7:44 pm

its worth downloading the app called repeater book on google play store , it will give you all the information on every repeater in the country

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SangueG
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SangueG


Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / M7TDV
Posts : 739
Times Thanked : 40
Join date : 2021-01-30
QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 23, 2022 5:59 am

Hey Simon, or anyone else who is using a CRT Electro, have you gotten to use the radio a bit more? Just wondered what your real world thoughts of it now are as am being drawn to that one myself as a base unit for home that I can take out mobile occasionally.

As you, I will be mounting some sort of antenna in the loft too. I know it's not going to be any DX setup from home, and not worried about that. Main usage will be to hit the Swindon 2m & 70cm repeaters as that's where the Swindon club's most active nets seem to be. I sat up in the loft a couple weeks back with the uv5r as a experiment and was able to join in the net from there, so with a base unit with a couple more watts and better antenna in loft should work fine for this purpose.

Any negatives on the Electro? Wondered what the screen size is like. I have to wear my glasses to read anything on my G90 screen, guessing the Electro is going to have a similarly small sized screen? Guess I can live with that though.

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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 131
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 23, 2022 6:36 pm

Hi Neal,

I’m really pleased with it.  The reason I decided on the Electro in the first place was that it was within my budget, and uses the same small form-factor as my CRT One N, so is good for home, car, or in a rucksack.  The other major factor was that it has a three stage variable power output of 5w, 10w and 20w, so I can use it as an M7 on 10w...the others I looked at didn’t have a 10w option.

As an existing CRT owner Neal, you’ll no doubt know that the user manual will be a bit lacking, and assumes that you’ll know what each acronym means before you start….pretty standard for CRT.  I therefore searched the web and downloaded the user manual for the Anytone AT-779UV, which on the face of it looks to have a bit more info in it….at the very least, it’s a PDF!

Like you, I do need my glasses in order to read small screens, and the Electro has quite a tight display… I’ll put a picture of it up.

My biggest issue has been with the programming.  I purchased mine from Knights, fully pre-pogrammed with all the UK repeaters in it and, more importantly, I bought the programming lead.  As you know, the local GB3TD repeater changed frequencies a couple of months ago, and my radio was set to the old frequencies.  You can download the programming software from the KCB website, and I must say, it’s no Chirp!!  I find it very clunky to use, and I’m very glad that I ordered the radio pre-programmed, as to program it from scratch would have taken me a very long time!  I had visions of me creating a spreadsheet and just doing a large copy/paste to get it into the radio, however the software doesn’t have copy/paste as we know it!  In the end, I copied the UK repeater list from the RSGB website and put that into a reference spreadsheet.  I could then manipulate the data to give me a list of repeaters nearest to me.  I then used that info to manually go through the programming in the Electro and delete the repeaters farthest from me….it still needs some trimming down, but it’s the quickest way to know which repeater I’m actually listening to!

My reports on GB3WH have been good, and I’ve been able to join the net.  I’ve also joined a net on GB3NE, which was a first!! I do struggle a bit with GB3TD, as my signal is still weak to it, both on the white stick in the loft or the 10 element yagi, so I need to do some more experimenting to find out what’s going on.

I hope this helps chap!!

Cheers

Simon.

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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 131
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Empty
PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 23, 2022 6:38 pm

Hi Neal, pictures here chap...https://photos.app.goo.gl/znBBebtsPTpWs3zG9

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SangueG
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SangueG


Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / M7TDV
Posts : 739
Times Thanked : 40
Join date : 2021-01-30
QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 23, 2022 7:07 pm

Thanks for that Simon. I think your review has pretty much confirmed what I expected on a number of aspects. I too was looking at the power output of it, and my thoughts matched yours. I've experienced CRT programming with the 6900 and aware of the no copy/pasting.. I can live with that. The very small size, the display / using glasses issues to one side, looks like it would fit nicely into the small space I have left on my bedside cabinet.

Fingers crossed, if funds allow, one of these will be purchased and set up sometime this coming month. Just keeping a check on first the rising electric and gas bills etc before I spend money we might not have Laughing

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TheReverend
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Senior contributor



Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 131
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 23, 2022 7:24 pm

Nice one Neal, cheers!!  I've been thinking about the programming, and it might be a better option to keep the original, as I think there's a way you can set the radio to 'not scan' on an individual memory basis.  I've not tried it, but it would mean that all of the UK repeater memories are intact, but only the local ones scanned.  Obviously I backed-up mine before I started mucking about with it, so I might try it on my next day off.

I'd be really interested to hear about any home made antennas you make for 2m/70cm bands too if you get the Electro, as I'm sure I can do better than both the yagi and the white stick!!

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TG064
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TG064


Call Sign : 26-CT-4525 / M7CVK.
Posts : 21
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2022-05-27
QTH or Location : Io91BI Nr Pewsey Wiltshire
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, Yaesu FT818nd T600 MP1 super antenna , Yaesu Ft65, Wouxun Kguv8g Icom 290e Diamond 770, 3 element yagi

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeWed Oct 12, 2022 7:04 pm

Hi Neal
I have the same radio mine came with no data down loaded the software and as you said very clunky to use I have done the same regarding loading up the local repeaters I can access TD but from home on my base antenna, WH is very difficult to open. WR/ZB/BS/UB all access well am the wrong side of the hill down in Alton Barnes. Keep an ear out for us
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SangueG
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / M7TDV
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QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeWed Oct 12, 2022 8:36 pm

Hey Tony. Will listen out for you. Interesting that you can access TD (the 70cm one for other people reading this) but struggle with WH (2m), as both are actually hosted at the same location on the same tower. I would of thought WH would of been easier.. funny how radio signals work sometimes.

I'm finding the CRT Electro UV a great little rig (for the price). On the monthly 2m FMAC contest evening it shows its weakness though, which is its poor side frequency/channel rejection capabilities. When the big boys in our Swindon club are pointing their multi element yagis north, I am right in their firing line and boy don't I know it.

For the past couple of months I have just been using my homemade wire j-pole for both bands. It's cut just for 2m, no 70cm trap. It does great for 2m, but I also had 12 contacts on the 70cm contest last night, so whatever the books say about poor radiation patterns of a 2m halfwave being used on 70cm, in reality it ain't that bad Smile

Contest nights aside, do you hear much simplex (not repeaters) on either of the bands around here? I don't, but might be the times I am listening.
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TG064
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TG064


Call Sign : 26-CT-4525 / M7CVK.
Posts : 21
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2022-05-27
QTH or Location : Io91BI Nr Pewsey Wiltshire
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, Yaesu FT818nd T600 MP1 super antenna , Yaesu Ft65, Wouxun Kguv8g Icom 290e Diamond 770, 3 element yagi

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2022 9:28 am

Morning Neal,
We have a few guy’s local who we chat to and the 10:30 morning net on 145,375 I know one of the big contests stations he’s only a few miles away and works the local high spots a big hitter on 2m 70cm good guy’s. I had a 3 element home brew yagi built for 2m swr on 70 was 1:1 I could open TD and receive 5/7 on signal without any issues. I have made some very good simplex contacts from my location IO91BI on the yagi I built a T2LT pop that on a 10 Sota beams pole and get some very good results. I use the Roundway Hill to tx from mobile often on 11m and 2m/70cm and again very good lift from the top above the white horse. I have a few radios now but the electro was to be used in the car permanently, I normally run a FT65e linked to the duel band antenna on the car. from Roundway I can open IW/SH/SU. On the south coast, managed my 1st maritime mobile to a ship via GB3SH out in the channel back in June guy on a container ship off the coast of France. I can normally hear the Southampton repeaters most of the way to work up the A34, and am able to hold a pretty good QSO without too much loss. I will be about over the next 10 days as taken some holiday so I will keep an ear out. I will try later to call in on TD if your about regards Tony Ct4525/TG064/M7CVK
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SangueG
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / M7TDV
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Join date : 2021-01-30
QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeFri Oct 14, 2022 8:43 am

Thanks Tony. I'll make a note of that net for when I am not in work. The Electro is normally sat static on WH whilst I am playing radio on HF. Have to be honest and haven't tried many other repeaters so yesterday evening tried ones you listed. I'm not doing as well as you lol. I managed to open and get an S9 signal back from UB and ZB and a S7ish back from WR, but nothing on the others.

I did put a couple of calls out TD for you in the evening.. evenings and weekends are usually when I get a few mins spare, and occasional lunchtime. But know a few more repeaters to listen out for now too. Thanks.

Side note, I stalked your QRZ. See you seem to be fan of 10m like me Smile By the look of your last logs you could of given some of us some competition if you had taken part in the CT 10m challenge. Maybe next year?
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TG064
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TG064


Call Sign : 26-CT-4525 / M7CVK.
Posts : 21
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2022-05-27
QTH or Location : Io91BI Nr Pewsey Wiltshire
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, Yaesu FT818nd T600 MP1 super antenna , Yaesu Ft65, Wouxun Kguv8g Icom 290e Diamond 770, 3 element yagi

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PostSubject: Re: New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!!   New 2M/70cm Radio....Mind BLOWN again!! Icon_minitimeFri Oct 14, 2022 9:33 am

Neal 
I am keen to explore all the HF bands I run a Yeasu FT818nd and have no issues getting out even from home, I am active on 11m but I have a major problem with local qrm so from 24mhz to 27.900 I struggle.
10m is very active it would seem the guy’s have been waiting for an opening from the QSOs I have had, I am using a Serio venom 1/2 wave and my home brew delta loop both around 7m I plan to build a permanent delta loop in the near future. I would love a 3element loop but we will see. I will pop up the 2m/70 antenna and see if anyone is about 
Take care
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