Tag Archives: ft-209

My first mobile computing setup

epsongenevarunning_small

This Epson notebook, an MFJ TNC and a Yaesu FT209 handheld 2 meter radio set on 145.01 MHz allowed me to have data communications while motoring around the southwest. Back then, hams had assembled a tremendous network of mountaintop digital packet repeaters (digipeaters) that provided amazingly good coverage of California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and into Texas.

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I don’t have a picture of it, but I’d built a floor-mounted stand for the Epson in my Rabbit diesel pickup, and a terminal program ran on the Epson talking to the TNC. I could send and receive short messages. The Epson had the tape-drive memory, which made it easy to write my log and store it on the tape.

MFJ_TNC

The MFJ was pretty cool at the time, and could even do HF packet, though that was especially painful. The Rabbit had a FT757 HF transceiver as well, the antenna (not shown in the above image) was on a ball mount on the left rear side, about midway between the wheel well and the taillight.

It was my first foray into the world of digital, and especially digital mobile communications. From that point on, I always had a computer of some type in my trucks.