In planning for our extended voyage, I knew that we would have to have some sort of long range communications radio on the boat. There are many reasons for the need for some sort of communication; weather reports, emergencies, reporting back to family/friends. The most useful type of system that you can install is an Amateur or marine Amateur radio. I have an advantage of having a Ham license that I obtained many years ago, so I decided on a regular Ham radio.
Again, with thriftiness in mind, I turned to Craigslist. The first thing that struck me when I started looking, was how the prices of transceivers in good condition have come down. I guess there is always a silver lining to a cloud,
and the cloudy economy has created a heck of a buyer’s market, if you are lucky enough to be a buyer.
It probably took about three weeks of searching before I spotted a radio that would be a great addition for the boat. I had a few prerequisites in mind – small, low power consumption, easy to use. I was lucky to find a Kenwood TS-120 at a very reasonable price. Although this rig is over 20 years old, it is completely solid state and doesn’t have very high power requirements. It also comes with glowing reviews from all that have owned one. The unit came with a microphone, too.
I will still keep my old Satellit 800 receiver for receiving weather faxes, because it is a general coverage receiver, but the Kenwood will make a good addition for communications. I’ll have more on installing the unit and my antenna design later.