- 50 watts
- 260 channels
- remote head
- VHF/UHF (dual band)
- alphanumeric display
- CTCSS/DCS/DTMF tones
- a full-featured microphone
- multiple scan modes
- frequency and tone searching
One really nice feature of this radio is that you can set it up to do VHF/VHF on the main band and the subband.
This is how I'll use it 99% of the time.
Each band has it's own volume, squelch, and activity light. It's cool to be able to receive two channels at the same time!
This is the latest mounting location I've tried, and so far it works fine. The remote head is nice. I had it
mounted lower, but it interfered with the shifter.
I mounted the main body of the radio behind the backseat.
General comments - After having a few amatuer radios I've come to the following conclusions...amatuer
radios are a good value for the money, but they aren't as high quality as commercial radios. Amatuer radio
receivers aren't as selective, and they allow more junk in. They don't scan as fast, and they take longer
to decode CTCSS/DCS tones. Their software isn't as stable either. After hours of operation I often find
the alphanumeric display to be garbled, and the microphone buttons don't function properly. A quick off/on
fixes the problem, but it is a slight annoyance.
Actually, the more I think about it, it becomes more aggravating. I wonder why they don't use the same receiver
as their Vertex commercial line? Why don't radio companies make one nice, full-featured, high quality radio...then sell a
136-148MHz version to amatuer radio users, and a 148-174MHz version to commerical users? It makes sense to me.
They're all electronics and software.
Imagine this radio with a better receiver, real dual-priority scan, larger alphanumeric display, and a few other enhancements.
It would kick the butt of radios costing $1000-1500 more!
Update 12/26/2004 - I replaced the FT-7100 with a Kenwood TK-730.