For a few years now I tried several radios for VHF and UHF here in the shack. I am unable to find one that really suits my needs. I have used a Yaesu FT-817 (not handy), an Icom IC-910H (more a DX-radio), some surplus (clunky), an Kenwood TM-D710 (way to much options for base station) and many others. Main problem: they are too expensive and have too many options I never use.
Last night I was in QSO with a fellow HAM-operator nearby and I told him about my idea to convert the design of my 23cm transceiver to a VHF and UHF meter version. He liked the idea but pointed me to the DRA-818-module instead. Just connect an Arduino to this module and you have a complete transceiver. Great idea! Immediately my mind starts spinning, I could buy a BGY-module (BGY36 for VHF and BGY22 for UHF) for some more power and put it behind the modules.
Googling around found me SV1AFN who build great looking kits based on the DRA-818 with a low pass filter and small audio amplifier on the same board. I immediately ordered his VHF-version! Very curious to see if this will work with an Arduino attached to it. Now I have myself a full transceiver for around 50 euro’s and I can program is myself. Seems a neath solution!
Will keep you posted on this blog about this new project.