Flex radio used in tropical conditions

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I consider taking my Flex radio with me on my travel to Asia and operate from there. My concern is that the radio will be exposed to harsh conditions, especially moist hot air, with salt content if radio is located by the sea. It could result with possible damage to metal chassis parts and potential damages to electronic hardware. I would appreciate some comments from Flex staff and operators who use their radios in such conditions.

Tom, SP7WT
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Posted 4 months ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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I'm wondering, what other radio would you take with you that would not be effected by such conditions?
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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YAESU FT-890, later FT-897. These radios worked on my 37 ft. Colin-Archer Ketch in severe sea conditions. The FT-897 even got doused with seawater once. I opened it, washed it with destilled water, dried it with my wife's hairdryer, and it worked. The only casualties were the AF potentiometer and the speaker, which rusted/corroded. I wouldn't take a flex to sea, though :-)
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Bob Kupps

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Hi Tom I have operated various ham radios from my boat in Thailand for years. All of them, along with every other bit of electronics I have ever used on board, have suffered from the effects. So I wouldn't ever take my Flex or any other radio I wanted to keep in pristine condition aboard. 73 Bob HS0ZIA
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Kevin - KS0CW

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the wind will carry that salty mist from the surf well in land so operate outside accordingly...:)
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eric gruff

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I'm a chemist, and agree that salty conditions aren't good for electronics. Technically, "salt air" doesn't have any salt in it, just a lot of moisture from the surrounding ocean, so if you can keep the radio dry, you should be OK.

You can consider bringing sealable containers (Rubbermaid type) or large sealable (Zip Loc) bags to store the radio and accessories when you're not using them, and buying desiccant packs to keep the moisture content down. You can buy Drierite (molecular sieves;https://www.deltaadsorbents.com/molecular-sieve), which can be regenerated in an oven at 300 to 350 degrees. They're non-toxic, non-flammable, and you can put them in a fine mesh bag or pantyhose to make whatever size you need.

If you ask around, I bet a few hams collect the desiccant packs that come with electronics, since we tend to be packrats. I've heard folks microwave them to dry them, although I'd be careful about that. Microwave ovens are likely to burn or melt the outer packaging (usually paper and glue), but a kitchen oven with aluminum foil or cookie tray would be great for recharging (drying) the desiccant.

And please don't forget, "desiccant" has one s and two c's - that was drilled into me in freshman chemistry in 1981!

Good luck & safe travels.

Eric NC6K
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I would be way more worried about damage with the transportation than the environment.



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John - K3MA

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Be sure to check the country import laws.  Some countries restrict the import of certain radios and have licensing requirements.  Otherwise your biggest issue might become having your radio confiscated.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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First off, the radios were not designed to operate in harsh conditions, where the dewpoints are high where condensation can happen or corrosive environments like damp salt air.  The recommendations to limit exposure by using sealed cases with desiccants is good advice.

Secondly, you should be concerned about the quality of the AC power in certain locations.  You may want to invest in a line conditioner that is designed to operate from 110-250 VAC (50-60 Hz).
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Dave - WB5NHL

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Tom, Here is a good solution to the desiccant issues.  I use this Eva Dry in a sealed storage container for my 3D printer spools that need dry storage. What's nice is when the unit gets full (i.e doesn't absorb anymore humidity and turns color) simply plug it into a 110v outlet and at rejuvenates itself.