I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd been looking at these rigs. Well, I have had the chance to play with one and I must say I'm not disappointed.
Quite obviously the rig shows its CB heritage. It's quite big too. Certainly it wouldn't fit in the centre console of my VW Polo in the same way that the FT8900 does.
The rig comes with a mounting kit for the car (which I made double as a stand) since the loudspeaker is on the bottom of the case, not ideal if you want to place it on a shelf in the shack.
I've found the rig fun and easy to use. As supplied in the AT5555N configuration from Nevada, the rig is 28MHz amateur band only. I quickly got used to the channel change moving me up or down 10khz and using the clarifier to tune in between in either 1, 0.1 or 0.01 KHz steps. This is only of significance on CW/SSB of course.
So far, I have had the rig connected up to the Butternut HF6V at home and have had a number of contacts around Europe using Sporadic E propagation. Some more distant signals have been heard from South America and the Middle East.
Output power is around 10W FM and a little more on SSB. Entirely adequate to make some fun contacts. Haven't tried it on CW yet, but it should work with an external keyer.
I like the fact that the rig is available through Amazon making it easily accessible to someone who might be new to the hobby or getting back into it again.
If you've not played on 28MHz before then with rising solar flux, this is the time to do it!