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Amateur (Ham) Radio BS and Callsign Thread!

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

  1. Dec 18, 2019 at 8:50 PM
    #6001
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I'm looking at getting another HAM setup. I had a Kenwood TM D710G in my 1st gen. This was back when you had to have a separate GPS input for the APRS stuff. I liked the radio for what it was capable of doing, I didn't like it for how unwieldy it was to use. I felt it was difficult to operate while driving without giving it some serious attention. I eventually got the hang of it for about 75% of what I used it for, though it wasn't ideal. My wife (also licensed) never got the hang of it and wouldn't mess with it other than pick up the mic to talk with others in our group. I had and used it for a couple of years til the truck got broken into and it was all stolen. Thankfully I'd fused everything at the battery since the thieves just cut all the wiring (even the mic). They got the radio but didn't burn the truck down and, thankfully, insurance covered the loss.

    Now I'm looking at putting a radio in my 2nd gen as that's becoming the travel rig more so than the 1st gen. I still want to go dual band. I'm on the fence with APRS. It was handy for family to keep tabs on where I was when I was out wandering around by myself, though it wasn't perfect. I don't currently use much tech when traveling (my maps are paper and I carry a compass), and I'm almost always traveling as a solo vehicle, so I'm not entirely sold on needing it. I did enjoy listening to whatever repeaters I picked up in the areas we were traveling through and had a couple of good discussions with other users.

    This leads to a couple of questions. I'm going with a 2m/70cm dual band. I'm still a few months out on purchase, but I've got it narrowed down to the Icom IC2730A or the Yaesu FT8900R. If I decide to go APRS then I'll probably give the Yaesu FTM100DR a shot. Are there any warnings with any of these three radios? I've gotta admit, I'm not a fan of white displays, especially at night, but I figure I can put an orange tint over it if it bugs me too much. It looks like all three displays are roughly the same size and are detachable. I'm not sure where I'll put the radio itself yet. On my 1st gen I'd built an overhead console that held everything but that got destroyed and I don't really want to go that route on the 2nd gen. I will also probably need to figure out a place to install a couple of speakers.

    The area that I'm having trouble with is the antenna. On my 1st gen I did an NMO mount through the center of the roof and ran a Larsen NMO 2m/70cm antenna. It worked great and my first feeling is to with the same setup on the 2nd gen. The problem that I have now is that my roof setup changes depending on what we're doing as a trip. I frequently carry a canoe though, which means that a center mount is out of the question:

    Roof with canoe.jpg

    There is plenty of real estate on the canopy to the right of the canoe, but the majority of that is in the process of being covered by a solar panel. The roof racks are not always installed, so a rack mount is out, though I may be able to do something mounted off of the roof rack track somewhere along the passenger side. I'm leaning towards a hood mount on the driver's side forward of the A-pillar, but I also plan on having the CB antenna bumper mounted on the driver's side and I'm not sure if that would be close enough to cause issues. Anyone got any ideas or recommendations for antenna placement with my setup?
     
  2. Dec 19, 2019 at 2:57 AM
    #6002
    k8md

    k8md Well-Known Member

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    I have the FTM-100, and I'm a little dissatisfied with it. While it has APRS, its not dual receive. So it can't monitor a voice channel and APRS at the same time. I generally like YSF mode. It's much more simple then DMR.
     
    rob1208 and Gunshot-6A like this.
  3. Dec 19, 2019 at 2:58 AM
    #6003
    m603holden

    m603holden @Koditten Pirate Radio member #063

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    You could use a lip mount bracket on the edge of tge roof rack
     
  4. Dec 19, 2019 at 5:36 AM
    #6004
    foy1der

    foy1der Well-Known Member

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    That's another Christmas vacation project. Get pskdroid working with the KX2.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2019 at 5:56 AM
    #6005
    BrotherBudro

    BrotherBudro Well-Known Member

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    Leer 100XR, Dual Battery, Dog Platform, Sleeping Platform, Ham, CB, Light Bar, Rear Lights,
    Look at ditch light mounts. I have one on the passenger side for CB and one on the driver side for ham
     
    Chipskip likes this.
  6. Dec 19, 2019 at 6:05 AM
    #6006
    m603holden

    m603holden @Koditten Pirate Radio member #063

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    Lots of sail boat fuel
    Ez pz. Neat little mode. Plus, almost everyone confirms contacts.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2019 at 6:25 AM
    #6007
    DaveInDenver

    DaveInDenver Not Actually in Denver

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    Unexceptional
    You could. You can also use an adapter the Motorola Plug to perhaps a PL259 UHF to use a standard antenna mount, too.

    s-l1600.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Female-UHF-Jack-to-Male-Motorola-Plug-Adapter-/261236428363

    Car radios are odd in that car radios expect their antenna feed lines to be about 100Ω (give or take, could be anything from 93Ω up to 125Ω). If that Larsen is designed for a mobile installation it might be designed for 50Ω mount so there could significant mismatch.

    Whatcha trying to do?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  8. Dec 19, 2019 at 7:27 AM
    #6008
    theick

    theick Well-Known Member

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    That^^^

    It's a pretty decent dual band radio but if you care about aprs the D710G or FTM400 is a way better choice. If you are set on the FTM100 I would make you a good deal on mine because I'm planning to get the D710G
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    Chipskip likes this.
  9. Dec 19, 2019 at 7:41 AM
    #6009
    DaveInDenver

    DaveInDenver Not Actually in Denver

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    It can monitor both at the same time but it's not seamless. As you mention the radio is single receive, single transmit. How it works is you tune a station (be that a repeater or simplex) and it dual watches that along with the APRS frequency. Periodically it'll jump from one to the other listening for activity. I think the logic is to mostly sit on APRS and check the voice channel you're using every couple of seconds.

    This works fine if you're only monitoring for voice and don't really care if your APRS packets are transmitted in time or will occasionally miss APRS packets from other stations. It breaks down when you start talking on voice or there's other people you're listening to since it will not interrupt that to do APRS. So you'll be missing all the APRS packets flying around in parallel.

    The radio is smart enough to know when there's a break in voice to send an APRS beacon and since you only need those at most every minute or two that's potentially acceptable. Not ideal, though.

    It is a significant limitation but for someone who is only interested in getting a position beacon out every once in a while the FTM-100 can work. But if you're interested in anything more with APRS it's not a good choice.

    But should mention that the TM-D710 and FTM-400 also have a slight issue in that they blank the voice side when doing APRS transmissions. They have to do that to prevent ruining the other receiver. That means when you beacon a position or send a message whatever is happening on the voice goes quiet. It's only for a second but sometimes that causes you to miss a couple of words and things like that. It's much better than the FTM-100 though.
     
    llibrm likes this.
  10. Dec 19, 2019 at 7:53 AM
    #6010
    MonkeyProof

    MonkeyProof Power Top

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    I think all around the TM-D710 is the best performer and is a solid platform for mobile use. Plus it's very easy to program on the fly without the use of software defined programming. And there are plenty of how to's on youtube that are extremely helpful that shows how to easily understand and operate the radio.
     
  11. Dec 19, 2019 at 8:01 AM
    #6011
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Freq? Time?
     
  12. Dec 19, 2019 at 8:41 AM
    #6012
    m603holden

    m603holden @Koditten Pirate Radio member #063

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    8am sunday. Normally around the 3.850 area. They start in the extra portion and move up.

    AA1W runs it.
     
  13. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    #6013
    anthony250f

    anthony250f Well-Known Member

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    ED693802-DE5B-447E-8255-2579AEFE8AB3.jpg
    How would I find out if it is 50? I bought a used fender and the mount was super messed up and stuck, so I used this super small AM/FM antenna. Doesn’t work too great. I am going to be adding some VHF antennas to the roof in the near future so I thought I might as well see if I can use a NMO antenna for FM radio. I have had a kenwood tm281 for a couple months. Just waiting until I test to get everything installed.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:11 AM
    #6014
    connerclan97

    connerclan97 Southern Xpeditions

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    List of mods in build thread
    Take my tech exam on 1/4/20. Gonna find someone who knows what they are doing and get them to help me set up a solid setup for my truck, after I pass my exam.
     
    joshuajayg likes this.
  15. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:19 AM
    #6015
    DaveInDenver

    DaveInDenver Not Actually in Denver

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    Unexceptional
    You can measure but it would take some test equipment. Larsen will probably list the specs for anything they sell.

    ETA: Looking at Larsen's page they just say it's a 1/4λ whip so it'll technically be 36Ω. That's not unusual and typically no matching is done to 50Ω anyway because the loss is acceptable (about 3%). It'll be more if the characteristic impedance of a car radio really is roughly 100Ω, but still perhaps a VSWR less than 3:1, which for reception isn't going to damage anything even if there's getting to be considerable loss (about 25%).

    Coax should have a manufacturer and type printed on it. My feeling is even if there's a mismatch in impedance it'll still work better than the majority of stock commercial radio antennas.

    The NMO model is NMOQ88C.

    https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmoq88c-3198

    There's a cheaper Larsen Q88, too.

    https://www.pulselarsenantennas.com/product/q88-2/

    https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-q88-8075

    https://wingsandwheels.com/q88-antenna.html

    It looks like to me the cheapest version is an LM, which appears to be a simple threaded stud.

    0003731_larsen-lmb-lm-mounting-hardware-only-34-hole_400x.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  16. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:41 AM
    #6016
    looking

    looking Well-Known Member

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    Good luck on the test. Any thoughts how you are going to mount the antenna?

    Doug
    N8EKL
     
    DaveInDenver likes this.
  17. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:47 AM
    #6017
    connerclan97

    connerclan97 Southern Xpeditions

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    Considering front bumper mount, but am certainly open to suggestions. Not going to drill through the cab.
     
    Gunshot-6A likes this.
  18. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:49 AM
    #6018
    Gunshot-6A

    Gunshot-6A Not a Fed

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    If you have a roof rack of any kind, you could make a mount.


    20171210_165820.jpg
     
    m603holden likes this.
  19. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:54 AM
    #6019
    looking

    looking Well-Known Member

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    I park my truck inside the garage. I don't think I can get a short enough antenna to not hit each in and out if I put
    it on the roof. Considering some kind of bracket which would attach at rear tailgate.

    My previous truck never had any kind of 2 meters antenna, I had that truck from 2008 to May of this year. The truck before
    that one I had an antenna in the bed but close to cab roof. I don't think that really worked the best.

    I have seen one mount in some threads on this forum that attached to a roof bracket used to carry items. Bracket had a switch
    which lowered and raised from inside the cab. Sounds neat but a lot of work.
     
  20. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:55 AM
    #6020
    Gunshot-6A

    Gunshot-6A Not a Fed

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    That would be Cudgel's truck
     

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