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Last week I mentioned that I bought two transceivers for 23cm via a Japanese auction site..

My initial planning was to keep one of them in the shack, the Icom IC-3700 (the lower one in the picture) and use the other one (Kenwood TM-541) for mobile fun.

As I found out yesterday this might be the best way forward since the Icom is lacking a UT-84 CTCSS board meaning I cannot generate CTCSS tones with the set; luckily the nearest 23cm repeater, PI6NOS, does not make use of repeatertones (and I hope they will not for a very long period of time, hi!).

The Kenwood set has the ability to generate CTCSS tones so that would be my choice for going mobile.Because both transceivers are quite old they have some quirks like a restricted number of memory channels. Especially the Kenwood is disappointing because for being able to program the Dutch 23cm repeaters (with 28 MHz shift) you need to choose one of the split channels; reason for this is the Kenwood assumes the default shift is 20 MHz. Whatever we always have the VFO mode and a list of repeaters like this one: https://www.hamnieuws.nl/repeaters/uhf-repeaters-1298-mhz/ so enough to experiment I would say :-)

 

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I mentioned a couple of articles ago I want to become active on 23cm; nearby there is an excellent 23cm repeater (PI6NOS) which happens to have been rebuild a couple of months ago. 

So after having played around with the Alinco HT I decided I wanted to have a mobile rig with the main possibility to work 23cm; the biggest question however is where to find one as they seem to be very rare within Europe. As a matter of fact I overheard a conversation on PI6NOS about acquiring second hand rigs via an auction site in Japan. So I sniffed around an found a nice Icom IC-3700 (not to confuse with the SDR transceiver Icom IC-7300 :-) )

The rig seemed to be released for the Japanese market only (the user manual is written in Japanese so very hard to understand hi!). I was curious to see what state the rig would be in, but it was absolutely in as good as new state.

When I tried to make a first QSO with it the transceiver switched frequency as soon as my counterpart wanted to answer. Oh oh, did I in the end buy something that was not in a good shape after all? But when I turned the microphone around the mystery was solved; the microphone apparently has a alpha numerical keypad on the back of it, including a LOCK key...

After having pressed the LOCK key I was able to make a QSO, and to be honest I am very glad with this purchase... So glad that I decided to keep this rig within the shack and look for another 23cm only mobile rig to be able to play around with it when in my car.

The auction site also showed a Kenwood TM-541. The price was okay so I ordered it as well; it arrived just before New Years eve. The set clearly was in a worse shape than the Icom but all by all it still looks good. The only bad thing is a "nervous" PTT switch and a small piece of plastic broken of of the frontpanel. Now the next problem would be what antenna to use. With a bit of googleing around I found a Diamond SGM-805N; and together with a Diamond magnet mount it accomplishes my mobile setup for 23cm.

Time to play around I would say...

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