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Discussion in 'Southern California' started by cwadej, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. Aug 19, 2020 at 3:36 PM
    #1
    cwadej

    cwadej [OP] Ballerina Award winner

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    If you use a radio for offroad, 2 meter HAM, GMRS, or other.

    Why did you choose what you chose?


    also, I wish TW could make a poll in a thread
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
  2. Aug 19, 2020 at 3:39 PM
    #2
    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    To communicate on the trail :rimshot:


    In all seriousness, a big part of comms depends on who you off-road with and what they use. I have walkie talkies and ham and most of the time I just end up using good ole fashioned hands and yells because that's what people have (or don't)
     
  3. Aug 19, 2020 at 3:40 PM
    #3
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    CB. Cheap enough. Ubiquitous. No license required. OK for line of sight communication.
     
  4. Aug 19, 2020 at 4:33 PM
    #4
    n6vmo

    n6vmo Well-Known Member

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    Ham mobile and GMRS handhelds...

    Pick up a multi-pack of GMRS handhelds, then you can loan them out to guys who don't have them or forgot them at home..
     
  5. Aug 19, 2020 at 4:49 PM
    #5
    cwadej

    cwadej [OP] Ballerina Award winner

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    You gotta explain EME to me. Can you in layman's terms?
     
  6. Aug 19, 2020 at 5:42 PM
    #6
    n6vmo

    n6vmo Well-Known Member

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    I think so...its probably one of the most difficult communication paths for an amateur radio operator. Simply put, it means Earth to Moon to Earth.
    Transmitting a radio signal from the earth, having it reflect off the moon and the reflection being received back on earth. This is not a mode used to chit-chat.
    You only pass back and forth the minimum required information to constitute a contact. Call sign, location and signal report.

    Since amateur radio operators are only allowed a maximum limit of power, this facet of the hobby relies on near perfection in equipment. Very little margin for errors in your equipment.
    Success depends on: transmitter power, antenna gain, good coax, a good receiver and good timing between the two stations wanting to chat.

    I used the maximum output power of 1500 watts on the 2 meter band. The antennas were a pair of 22 element yagis (beam antennas) that I could rotate and elevate to track the moon as it moved across the sky.
    There are amateurs using much larger antenna arrays at their station.

    The mode of communication is Morse Code or a digital mode which uses a computer connected to the receiver to pull out the very weak signals and process them.

    Even with large antennas and maximum power out, you can barley hear the return reflections, and they fade in and out.

    Most contacts are arranged, with both stations agreeing on a frequency, time and who transmits first while the other receives. You just don't get on the air and start calling CQ, you can, but success is limited because the signal levels are so low and you don't even know if someone is listening on the frequency. These days, these schedules are arranged online. Before the internet, it required a phone call or mailing a letter to the other station for a schedule arrangement.

    One station transmits his call sign on the even minute, for the entire minute. The other station listens and then starts transmitting on the odd minutes. This continues until each station has successfully received and acknowledged that they have received all the info correctly. Then they start sending the location info, then signal report.
    This could take an hour to achieve using this back and forth method. The exchange of info method is complicated to explain, but works perfectly when followed.

    Not everyday of the month is good for EME. As the moon crosses the sky during the month, it gets noisy patches of space behind it. The static levels rise on your receiver.
    This sky noise all but obliterates the weak reflections. There are only 7-10 days a month that can be deemed adequate for a contact.

    I had a lot of fun building up my EME station and making contacts.
     
  7. Aug 19, 2020 at 7:14 PM
    #7
    cwadej

    cwadej [OP] Ballerina Award winner

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    wow, i had no idea such a thing was possible. thanks for the explanation.

    Obviously I wont be trying that any day soon
     
  8. Aug 19, 2020 at 10:27 PM
    #8
    BrownMike

    BrownMike Well-Known Member

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    Gonna skip the breakdown as you probably have some sort of knowledge on these already..

    CB is the old school go to, good as a backup but need to properly tune your setup (VSWR) for best results.

    HAM, also referred to as "Race Radios" in the desert community is the newer, clearer option. Though technically you need to a license to operate HAM, using the race radio channels is common, even without license.

    I personally have a Kenwood TM281 and Cobra CB in my taco, and a pair of these for others/other vehicles.

    These work great for the price, allows you to run GMRS/FRS/race radio freq's as well as the rest of the HAM bands. Cheap enough to lose or loan out, clear enough to be a great tool to keep in the truck.

    https://www.amazon.com/UV-5R-Pro-Handheld-Speaker-Programming/dp/B07S8KJ9R9/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2A2PFSVBWJIJB&dchild=1&keywords=uv-5r+radio&qid=1597900557&sprefix=uv-5%2Caps%2C330&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzVFVHRklUVlIzNyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRJZD1BMDAyNDQwODJCTE9SMURYRzJFRlEmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDMxNjA5NzJJU0pNMEQxV085N08md2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
     
  9. Aug 20, 2020 at 7:02 AM
    #9
    cwadej

    cwadej [OP] Ballerina Award winner

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    I'd never heard of HAM as "race radios". I do have a pair of the BF-F8+ (and a HAM license for quite a while).

    I'm trying to gauge what more people are using so I can get a higher power radio for that, since I often travel alone. While these 5w radios are great for convoy situations, a 50w GMRS or 65w 2m mobile would be better if needing to call for help.

    As is I have a 2m/70cm 40" antenna for the ht, but still only pushing 5w at best, with slight degradation on the GMRS freqs
     
    whatstcp likes this.
  10. Aug 21, 2020 at 1:57 PM
    #10
    Rockefelluh

    Rockefelluh Well-Known Member

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    For group convoys in SoCal, HAM seems like the most common.
     

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