18 Jan 2012

Philips FM321 70cm mobile

The very first FM synthesised 70cm rig in the UK was made by Philips in Australia and was called the FM321. This 4W mobile was based on the very similar FM320 designed for the Australian UHF CB band. I owned an FM321 for a couple of years back in the early 1980s and really enjoyed using it on the UHF simplex channels and repeaters. Ergonomically it was excellent with simple up-down channel change and a decent volume control. It is a pity rigs are not made as simple as this today. No memories, no fuss.

From the home QTH and with just a hand rotated small vertical yagi I could work some impressive DX on FM on some days. That's the thing about 70cms: propagation changes within hours and often in very localised directions. When there was plenty of simplex activity it was very interesting watching propagation change and the maximum range change from maybe 30 miles to over 100.


Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,

I've been listening to 70cm on my scanner and a homebrew collinear and I'm really surprised from what I can hear from my little hillside location! I'm seriously thinking of becoming QRV on this band. Lots of repeaters = lots of beacons! Some good nets on the repeaters and a bit of local simplex too. I agree on the rig. One could also use an ex-pmr too of course to get a simple rig.

73, David, G8JGO

Anonymous said...

Wow... Someone outside of Australia actually owned and used a FM321!!! shockers they were... ok in the shack, but did not last too long used in the mobile!.. was the Antenna connector a "BELLING LEA" type? still spins me out!
73 de John, VK5PO

Roger said...

John, mine was only used at home and never in the car. Honestly I loved this little radio.