Testing The Comcraft

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Can an FM nut live comfortably with a tunable receiver and a vfc transmitter?

As an old time two meter addict my hands began to shake with anticipation as I plugged in the new Comcraft transceiver, just looking forward to being able to tune the receiver dial and get back to the oid familiar concept of frequency being marks on a slide rule dial instead of numbers on a switch.

Sure enough, as 1 tuned from 146.5 to 147.0 there were all the repeaters, blasting through. And even though this segment of the two meter band takes up only about 3/8" of the dial, I still could identify most of the repeater channels by their position on the dial. The receiver was quite sensitive and was able to hear repeaters right on down to New Haven, some 1 50 miles or so away.

The most exciting discovery was that "secret" repeater up in Manchester (NH) up above 147 MHz- I knew their input frequency, but had not been able to get them to spill the beans on the output so I could get crystals and their promises of getting crystals for me had been dragging on for a couple of years, so when I tuned across the repeater output 1 let out a whoop and zeroed in the Comcraft vfo and called in. There was a stunned moment of silence and then they acknowledged me, I didn't tell them how 1 found them.

The vfo is stable enough to work through FM repeaters with no problem. My counter shows it to hit within 25 Hz or so each time it is keyed! There are three internal crystal positions plus a front panel jack for a fourth crystal position. The rig uses the very popular 8 MHz FT-243 type crystals, which are still around by the thousands from WW II,

The CTR-144 is basically an up-to-date solid state Communicator. It tunes from

144-148, with enough overlap to bring joy

to the MARS and CAP enthusiasts. My unit tuned from 144.00 to 148.15 on both receiver and vfo, but this could be easily changed enough to add or subtract a half MHz or so by touching the band-setting capacitors.

The power supply is built in for 117V ac operation, plus the usual 12V dc power cord for mobile use, A little battery test button on the front panel iets you check the battery condition. This test button may not be of great interest for mobile applications, but if the unit is used in conjunction with the accessory CBP-12 Comcraft battery pack, it will tell you how things are going. This battery pack is automatically recharged by the ac supply, by the way.


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