10 October 2021

Boat Anchor

Not one of these:


Or one of these:

No, my local club is getting more and more into 2 meter FM simplex, and I needed a good, basic, 2 meter mobile that can give me at least 50 watts of output power, and that I can take to the field and bang around. I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money, and for this purpose I didn't need anything fancy; no dual bands, no digital modes (DSTAR, System Fusion, DMR, etc.). Just a good old-fashioned 2 meter FM rig that is easy to program from the front panel.

There's plenty of 2 meter mobiles for sale on the used market. Just check QRZ.com any day of the week. New offerings are getting a bit thin (that COVID shortage thing, ya' know), but I was surprised to find Yaesu offering two models that come in right at around $150.00 - the FT-2980R and the FTM-3100R. A hundred and fifty bucks is pretty good for a basic 2 meter mobile from a quality manufacturer, so I settled on the FT-2980R because of its bigger screen.

This radio's claim to fame is that it doesn't need a cooling fan because it's got a large heat sink. Large is an understatement. You'd better not be hanging on to this thing if you fall off a boat, 'cuz you are going straight to the bottom. But darned if it doesn't work! It's dead easy to program - I almost didn't need to pull out the manual (hint - enable tone squelch before trying to set tone frequency) - but other than that little operator headspace and timing issue, setup and programming was easy-peasy. 

So far everyone who's heard me talk on it likes what they hear, and its got plenty of volume at the receive end. I like the fact that Yaesu includes some small screw-on feet to set the radio at a good viewing angle, and permit the bottom mounted speaker to do its work.

Nothing fancy. Sometimes simple is just what's needed

The radio is mostly heatsink. Note the unusual cut-out for the coax connector.
That's a great feature, and makes screwing/unscrewing the connector extremely easy

Bottom view. The screwed on plate covers the actual radio. Those little feet are a nice touch

So that's it. Sometimes even the yeoman radios that don't do anything spectacular, but just do their jobs well, deserve some blog time. Nice and basic - like a bowl of Corn Flakes.

Until next time...

W8BYH out

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