Haven't blogged for a while and have been busy doing other stuff. 4 metres is doing well. Recently I managed to pick up a used but in good condition Anytone AT-5189 25 watt mobile rig http://www.rigpix.com/mischam/anytone_at5189.htm .
A simple but effective rig with good sounding receive and transmit audio. Programmed in 70.400, 70.425, 70.450 (calling), 70.475 and it scans as well. Kept it for now on these frequencies as the rig is in my van and I wanted to keep it simple. If I want to use another frequency, the Anytone has a VFO mode. Only thing I don't like about it is the short lead on the mic. I will have to extend it!!
There's a small but growing group of us in the West Cornwall area and we operate mainly on 70.475 MHz. I'm using a 1/4 wave antenna on the van, which is a stainless steel whip from a CB antenna and about a metre in length. So far I'm getting good signal reports for the hilly rural terrain of Cornwall compared to 2m (145 MHz) and 70cm (433 MHz) bands. The ground wave performance is very much like 27 MHz CB radio, but without the noise and interference. Another benefit of 4m mobile over 2m and 70cm is the reduced amount of signal fluctuation.
Unfortunately I haven't had any DX opportunities, but this is a new band for me and I'm patient. I do have plans later this year for a portable antenna and a transverter for SSB operation. Roll long the summer :-)
73 de Dave G7OPC