Let me show you how little I know....

I went to the Ham Radio Outlet in Tigard (Portland) OR this weekend. Nice shop; friendly and knowledgeable folks, and right next door to a Harbor Freight (can't beat that). Showed them my little set-up & antenna bracket, and said I needed an antenna and cable to run to the little BaoFeng 5W UV-5R hand-held. So I got a Comet-NCG SBB-5NMO dual-band antenna ($59.00) which is about 38" tall, and a Diamond Coax Cable assembly C213S-NMO ($46.00) which is 13.5' in length (way longer than i needed) that also came with a PL259 Adapter (for when I get a "real" Ham Radio). And I got an SMA-23 "Double Female Barrel" adapter to connect the coax cable to the antenna thingy on the BaoFeng radio ($4.00). Grand total came to $109.00. I asked if all this antenna stuff would make a noticeable difference, and he assured me it would. And I don't miss that antenna sticking up inside the Jeep.

Antenna: https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-001571

Cable: https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-009384

Adapter (to BaoFeng antenna port): https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-010214 (it is a tiny little thing in real life)

I already had the antenna mount bracket from Rugged Radio ($35.00, but I think I bought it on sale a while back). They advertise this ham antenna mount fits both Jeep TJ and JK, but if you notice in the picture below, for the antenna bracket to be level on my TJ, I had to do a little (ok - a lot of!) Dremel work. There doesn't seem to be a lot of love on this forum for Rugged Radio (not trying to start anything; just saying...). Once mounted (with large fender washers to cover up the elongated holes from grinding) it seems ok.


This is a lot of work (and expense) for a little $26 hand-held radio.

At the shop, I asked what would be a good Ham Radio for someone like me, and he steered me towards a Yaesu FT-7900R. Looks nice, and is relatively compact. Maybe once the budget allows ($270.00) I'll get one - seems like I've read good things about this radio (and not so much good stuff about the BTECH radios even though they're cheaper). I've already got an antenna now and the PL259 adapter for the cable, so it should be plug-and-play. And then this little BaoFeng hand-held can really be used as a remote carry hand-held. I've already got two batteries for it, a hand-held mike, and a taller antenna.


I will be at the NW Overland Rally in June, and am already registered for the Ham radio class. I'm sure I'll learn something.


Oh - and my computer took a major dump a short while ago (blue screen of death - the whole thing). We (not me - but an expert who does this for a living) were able to salvage the stored documents and files to a thumb drive (I was very concerned about saving the pictures), but lost all the saved websites (I had a ton) and the Chirp stuff. Currently working off one of my wife's old laptops. So when I go to Chirp, I'll be starting all over again. Antenna.3.jpg Antenna.4.jpg Antenna.1.jpg Antenna.2.jpg
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rnArmy if you are really short on space, look at a Icom 208H. you can remote mount the head and body and it's a dual band as well.
It isn't so much space as it is cost. I need to test out and play with my current set-up out on an overlanding trip to see how it works before I buy a much more powerful (and nicer radio). That and I think I spent my Jeeping allowance for the month between this antenna stuff and an awning for the Jeep. But a nicer Ham radio (like the 7900) is on my "eventually/some-day" list.

We all have that "eventually/some-day" list don't we when it comes to our 4x4 vehicles and overlanding (camping) equipment?