It was one of those CQs you don’t expect to be answered… (and trouble in the FT8900 PA)

If you’re a VHF/UHF enthusiast, you’ll know what I mean when I say that there are CQs you make, which you don’t expect to be answered.

And so it was last night, around 2030 local time as I was driving back from the gym to home. I knew that 50MHz had been lively earlier on the evening as I heard a CT station on FM as I drove up from the station. As I drove out of the gym, I could hear a local QSO (local to Italy, that is, with no callsigns) fading up and down on 50.500.

I wondered if the band was still open – so as I drove out along the main road, I tried a CQ call on 51.510 – completely expecting silence to be the only reply. But there was a signal – which completely caught me by surprise with its’ strength – but I didn’t have the volume set right. I thought it was a local and asked for a repeat. It was EA2DVT!

Although Alejandro was obviously having some problems copying me, we were able to have a nice QSO as I drove home. A real surprise and pleasure!

The FT8900 seems to have a bit of an intermittent fault though. A few times recently, I have had reports of interference on the audio. Baz, G8DOR thought it was something to do with the PA. The issue seems to be temperature related and only seems to happen for a short time. The suggestion seems to be that there might be a dry joint somewhere in the PA. It will be interesting to see if it occurs on both sides of the radio (the FT8900 having two distinct radios in it) – at the moment, I’ve been using the right hand side. I’ll switch it over to the left and see if that changes things.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “It was one of those CQs you don’t expect to be answered… (and trouble in the FT8900 PA)”

  • Mark AI4HO:

    I would be interested in how you make out with that. I have the FT-8900 as well. I have mine mounted in my2011 Toyota Tundra double cab 4×4. Yea, big truck, that said, I have had my FT-8900 mounted mobile for right at 2 years, might be a month shy, think all my stuff went in late July, or the first week of August 2011. I had the 8900 in the house prior to that for 4 or 5 years. The only reason the 8900 is mobile in the first place was due to the fact that I had nothing VHF/UHF that had a removable head. My Kenwood TS-480HX comes with the head and body separate, not a big deal there. Last fall I did a trade with a gentleman in Illinois he had a Kenwood TM-D700, I had an FT-817ND, which we both looking for each others it worked out. I need to get my 8900 out of my truck & back in the house, move the D700 out of the house and into the truck.

    Thanks for your experience Tim, I will definitely keep an eye on things. We here in the states, especially here in Florida it does get hot. Right now, today 06/14/13 @ 1350 local time my thermometer reads 101.5 degrees…that’s hot! Thanks again.

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