I bought the Yaesu FT-8800 after passing my foundation exam in May 2008. I wanted to gain some experience on the air within my local area so thought 2m and 70cm would be an appropriate avenue for that.
The FT-8800 was chosen because it was dual band and dual receive. It also receives outside of the amateur bands and I thought this may be useful to suppliment my airband listening.
So far it has been good fun operating both on simplex and through my local repeaters (GB3FR and GB3FJ being the best reception). Setting the radio up with the correct access tones and learning from others has helped my knowledge and guided me along the way. I regularly operate via the repeaters and look forward to some local CW contacts to build up my interest in morse but this will have to be done on the FT857D all band radio.
I initially transmitted on my scanner discone (advertised to be ok for 144/430) and was pleased with the low SWR on it. However I now have a colinear that allows better signals.
At the same time I purchased a SWR Meter and PSU from MLS.