Monday, October 12, 2009

FT-817 legs it

A recent ham radio purchase that was a bit more successful was that of a pair of Palm Radio Peg Legs for the FT-817.

I'd read some good reports of this accessory and I was not disappointed. They take about five minutes to fit, which involves removing the carrying strap brackets and then replacing them using longer screws, some washers and the Peg Legs.

You have to admit that they don't just enhance the usability of the FT-817 by raising the front to a convenient angle, but they also improve the looks as well. In fact, they made me appreciate for the first time just what a nice-looking radio this is.

The Peg Leg kit comes with some spare washers, spare non-slip "boots" for the legs, and also some small self-adhesive "feet" for the FT-817 itself. As it happens, I long ago fitted some self-adhesive rubber feet to the underside of my FT-817, and the ones I fitted were rather chunkier than the ones Palm Radio supplies as you can see from the picture.

Palm claims there is no problem using a PL-259 plug in the rear socket when the front is raised. There certainly isn't with my larger feet, but with a Wonder Wand or similar antenna fitted the back rests on the antenna and not on the feet. I'll have to give up the rather precarious habit of mounting the Superantennas MP-1 directly on the back of the FT-817, as at this angle the weight tips the radio on its back. But that's a sacrifice worth making, I think.

The legs fold up to the front of the radio when they aren't needed. In this position the rig just still fits in the main compartment of the little shoulder bag I bought a few years ago in Keswick market that takes it and all the bits you need - mic, miniature key, Wonder Wand or T1 ATU plus wire - to get on the air from the field. My only complaint is that the Peg Legs and their securing screws ought to be black, to look like they were original fittings.

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