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Amateur (Ham) Radio BS and Callsign Thread!

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by The Traveler, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Jul 30, 2013 at 8:57 PM
    #261
    trdtacoma429

    trdtacoma429 Active Member

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    Where could i get some material to study for the exam? Lateley i have been interested in two way communication and have been listening on some local repeaters over the internet, seems pretty fun.
     
  2. Jul 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM
    #262
    jeverich

    jeverich Well-Known Member

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    No.
     
  3. Jul 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM
    #263
    The Traveler

    The Traveler [OP] REBELTACO

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    :facepalm:

    If you've done ANY research on it, the first thing to know is that you need an FCC issued LICENSE to operate a radio legally, one of which is obtained by passing a license exam that you need to actually study for. Now with that being said, causing interference with another person's radio is completely illegal and good luck getting on their frequency.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM
    #264
    Thorny

    Thorny Well-Known Member

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    What were your reasons for going with the Kenwood? Did you install the optional noise filter? Thanks!
     
  5. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM
    #265
    Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Smurf it.

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    Haha, man I was hoping to bring a little joke to the thread haha. Things don't always come out right when other people read it. Or they take things too serious, I guess if I would've read it, I would've visualized it being done and thought it was funny. :D I fly aircraft and realize there is some seriousness involved with radio coms, but I wouldn't think coming over somebody's radio sounding like a Transformer while there listening to T-Pain or Justin Beiber would be a big deal (if it could be done) and good luck catching them or proving it.

    Anyway, I have done a little research and also looked at your thread and realize you have to have a license etc.
    What I did ask and was serious about was, how much a decent setup would run? Figured you guys would know from experience, not me looking it up on the interweb.. Thanks
     
  6. Jul 31, 2013 at 10:42 AM
    #266
    jeverich

    jeverich Well-Known Member

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    Roger... Was hoping it was a joke:D

    There are definitely some odd people involved in HAM radio, absolutely not a group you want to have pissed off at you. They have a lot of free time.

    I was able to get into a decent setup for around $200 total.

    That's a: Yaesu FT-1900R

    Larsen 150B (5/8 Wave, I think) NMO Mount Antenna

    That Larsen NMO kit comes with about 20' of quality coax also - you've got to solder on a PL-259 connector as well.

    The Yaesu is a great little radio - basic, rugged and small. I believe it's 65 Watts maximum... Keep in mind that it's only a 2 Meter Band radio, as opposed to a dual band (2 Meter/ 70 CM).

    I'm not too big on talking on most of the local repeaters near me - most of the traffic is just a bunch of chit chat... Simplex vehicle to vehicle on the trail is SO much better than (Legal) CB. Also, very cool to be able to stay in communication out in the backcountry. Echolink and IRLP are all cool tools too.

    Before you even buy anything, I'd get that license. Just study for it and you'll do fine.
     
  7. Jul 31, 2013 at 11:28 AM
    #267
    Crom

    Crom Time is precious; use it wisely

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    No noise filter was needed. I did install ferrite chokes on the mic cord extension (cat 5 patch cord with RJ45 coupler), and on the radio head extension cable. But that is all, it's what the manual recommended.

    I bought two roadpro 5 watt external speakers which are resting behind the dash cup holders for now. Without these I could not copy well at all while traveling down the highway--just too much road noise. For $20.00 I'm happy with them.

    For the radio I wanted a dual band (2M / 70CM) radio with cross-band repeat functionality and I like that the Kenwood has 50 watts on both sides of radio. I was considering APRS but was not necessary. The radio also reviewed really well on eHam.net All the buttons are back lit as well. The radio can also be remotely controlled using an HT (handie talkie).

    Used in this configuration I don't need to install a radio in my house and I can leverage my mobile radio with great antenna and power. I leave the mobile radio powered up in the truck (connected to aux battery) and use the cross band repeat to access repeaters while I am in my house. In the house I have an old icom IC-T2H that an elmer gave me and I use it on low power to transmit to the truck and from the truck it transmits to the distant repeaters. It works great!

    The Kenwood also has Echolink which is more widely supported than other advanced features (DStar, WIRES) it seems. With Echolink you can access a repeater that supports it and using your raido you can "link" your local repeater to any other Echolink node in the world that's not busy. For example, last night I was listening to a repeater on Palomar Mountain (35 miles North) and I heard someone link that repeater to one in Australia!

    Echolink is more of a novelty for me but I think it's really cool. There is even an app for the android phone. Using the Echolink app on my phone and my data connection, I can monitor [and transmit] on any repeater that supports it anywhere in the world. I have enjoyed monitoring the 147.33 machine in Big Bear from the comfort of my couch in San Diego. Any licensed HAM can use Echolink, it's not exclusive to Kenwood...

    I've learned a lot since installing the radio, and I've come to understand that 50 Watts of power is largely unnecessary for most UHF/VHF comms. Antenna placement seems to be more important. So if you're shopping, don't get too hung up on the power specs. For example, with my truck in the right places in San Diego, I can easily hit repeaters 114 miles away like the Mt. Wilson 447.700 UHF machine with only 10 watts of power. It's mostly about line of sight.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some pics of my install:

    I declined to mount the radio head. Instead I just put some velco on it and when it's dark I stick it on the dash, or it just sits next to the shifter when it's sunny out. This lends itself well to if my wife is driving and I am shotgun I have easy access for control. I could even work the radio from the back if I had to.

    [​IMG]

    I pulled out the drivers seat and mounted the body with zip ties under the seat.

    [​IMG]

    Larsen 2/70B antenna mounted to Bajarack light tab.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I ran 10 gauge wire from the Auxillary battery in the bed along the frame (and the coax) and came up through a gromment right under the drivers seat.

    Installing was fun, but let me tell you. I pulled an all-nighter to get it done because I had no time due to work and family duties! :)

    I'm still very new to the HAM world so everything I wrote is based on my very limited experience. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  8. Jul 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM
    #268
    Chipskip

    Chipskip N7MCS

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    I went with they Yaesu because it is like the Tacoma, tons of them out there and they are tried, true, and tested.

    Kenwood makes a good product and I know a few people that own them, but 80% of the people I talk to, have a Yaesu in there rig.

    Look at the features and what you think you will use the most.
     
  9. Jul 31, 2013 at 1:22 PM
    #269
    Thorny

    Thorny Well-Known Member

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    I'm still very new to the HAM world so everything I wrote is based on my very limited experience. :eek:[/QUOTE] FROM CROM

    Thanks for the helpful response & pics. Much appreciated!
     
  10. Jul 31, 2013 at 1:38 PM
    #270
    Thorny

    Thorny Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response - much appreciated.

    I've narrowed it down to either the Yaesu Ft-8800r or the Kenwood TM- V71a. Because I really no nothing about radios, especially Hams, I'm trying to figure out which one may be the most user friendly - I don't know how to use half the stuff on my smartphone :eek:
     
  11. Jul 31, 2013 at 2:18 PM
    #271
    Crom

    Crom Time is precious; use it wisely

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    You're welcome. I'd recommend reading reviews like this which are very helpful in making informed decisions:

    http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6712
    http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3427
     
  12. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:24 PM
    #272
    Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Smurf it.

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    :laugh: Yeah it was a joke.
    I heard there was some odd ones involved, why what would they do lol?

    200 bucks isn't bad.
    I'll have to look those up you mentioned.. I was thinking, I wonder if a little hand held would do the trick incase you needed to walk about away from your truck.
    And yeah I wouldn't really be talking on it much if ever. I had been thinking it could be a useful tool in emergency situations when a cell phone couldn't get a signal etc.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  13. Jul 31, 2013 at 9:18 PM
    #273
    The Traveler

    The Traveler [OP] REBELTACO

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    ham guys get pretty janky with their setups and can actually block your signal, triangulate it, find out where it's coming from, and report you to the FCC where you'll be paying big fines when they catch you...those guys don't mess around.
     
  14. Aug 1, 2013 at 5:09 AM
    #274
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Well we can't legally block it but we can find you! Generally if we go looking it usually involves some one blocking or jamming signals. A ham legally cannot communicate with a non-licensed operator except in a case of life or limb at that point any one can use any frequency to summons help licensed or not. Nice install Crom. Yes getting the antennas away from the truck body really does help and high is good just remember it’s up there when you use a parking garage or head off to the woods they will break or rip the mount out. Radios are like trucks everyone has their favorite if you buy a radio from any one of the big name guys you can’t go wrong I won a Chinese hand held at a ham fest and yes it does work don’t drop it or expect to remember how to program it without a computer handy bottom line I would not have bought it despite the price.
     
  15. Aug 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM
    #275
    Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Smurf it.

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    I really like the install above, good job Crom.. That is a good place, out of site out of mind to thief's, and you keep a nice clean look. And I like how you can utilize your truck mounted unit with a hand held. The multi function and mounting location of your setup is something I would like. For your Aux battery , do you just have an extra battery wired to your regular?

    Maineah your comment about antennas and mounts reminded of some ideas I had.

    I was brainstorming on some ideas for mounting locations for everything, one of the things I was thinking about was the antenna.
    What do you guys think of this?
    I think it would be awesome if you could figure out what all to use and get it hooked up right. If you could find a little weather proof electric motor you could mount your antenna to , that would turn 90 degrees and lock out when you power up your radio. For example if you mounted it on the inside of your bed right at the bed rails, when off the antenna would lay parallel to rails, when you power on, it raises straight vertical.. Idea or purpose would be keeping a clean look and your antenna wouldn't be getting smacked on different things as much, at least when down. Also could be set up with multiple antennas . And I know certain locations would limit the length you would be able to use.
     
  16. Aug 2, 2013 at 5:28 AM
    #276
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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  17. Aug 2, 2013 at 7:32 AM
    #277
    Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Smurf it.

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    Yeah, basically just like that. That's pretty cool. I called five dealers listed, out of them one was open, and he quoted me 104$ for it.
    Thanks for the link.
     
  18. Aug 2, 2013 at 2:43 PM
    #278
    Crom

    Crom Time is precious; use it wisely

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    No writeup on my aux battery install but what I'm using is 10 gauge zip cord in split wire loom ran from starting battery to a CTEK D250s Dual DC-DC converter to charge the aux battery. The D250s is great multi-stage battery charger. Bonus features are temperature monitoring, and MPPT solar controller built in.

    I suppose you could do that, but for VHF/UHF it seems more trouble and cost than necessary.

    For example you could get a Larsen NMO-2/70SH dual band antenna that's only 19" tall. It's 1/4 λ on VHF and 1/2 λ on UHF.

    Here is a great antenna catalog resource from Larsen (Pulse Electronics)

    In the catalog they have a nice diagram (page 17) which shows measured dB loss depending on placement on the vehicle. Very cool! According to the diagram fender lip or trunk mounts take a -2.8 dB loss--that's a good reason to get the antenna up on the roof.

    Thanks. :D

    +1 :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  19. Aug 10, 2013 at 8:52 PM
    #279
    OutRider

    OutRider Somebody

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    KC4LRR here. Anyone got an Icom 7000 mounted in their truck ? Just got my truck last week and have not mounted a radio yet. may not - seems everyone around here runs a CB...
     
  20. Aug 11, 2013 at 4:33 AM
    #280
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Closest thing to it, a 706 Mk IIG. Using a Tarheel with an Ameratron controller. I know some guys have patched the video into the truck head unit from a 7000. de N3LYT.
     
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