With all the driving I do with my job, I decided to purchase a new ham radio for my van. I drove up to Amateur Electronic Supply in Cleveland and picked up the new Yaesu FT-1900R. The one I wanted was discontinued, but this is looking more and more like it is a better radio.
One thing that has concerned me is that the new mobile 2 meter rigs run 50+ watts. This one is 55 watts, and the package is so tiny, I was afraid that there wouldnt be enough heat sink to dissipate the kind of heat that a 50 watt final would produce. Turns out the entire bottom of the radio is finned heat sink, and it runs really cool with no temperature rise. Could they be running a class E PA in their rigs now? It would make sense.
Now for the operation of the rig... For a new radio, it is relatively convenient. You do need to reference the user manual, however, as programming the radio involves a few keystrokes, especially when you need to use CTCSS to access a repeater. You can also name the channels so you dont have to remember the frequencies when you tune thru the memories.
Operating the radio is a breeze once its set up. Power level is changed between 4 steps using a front panel button, tuning can be direct entry via the DTMF microphone (standard equipment), or by turning the tuning knob. The receiver has a hot .2 microvolt sensitivity, and the transmit audio is nice and clean. I've made a few QSO's on the radio from the mobile, and I am very pleased with it.
I also started a yahoo group on this radio, and if you have one, you're welcome to join it. The url is at