Ham 101: Need to cut through the static - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old May 31st, 2016, 02:44 PM
LR Max
Status: Offline
Thomason, Max
1973 Series 3 109
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 401
Ham 101: Need to cut through the static

So I've finally decided to get into HAM radios. I know the world of HAM is huge, however below is what I want to get out of HAM ownership:

Mainly vehicle based
Talk to other vehicles on road/off road/trail
Possibly bounce off a repeater
Use on road trips
Emergency use within the city (I know that sounds dorky, but when there is an emergency here, pretty much everything goes to crap and being able to rely on something other than my cell phone makes a lot of sense, last time we got jammed up, I barely made it home)

In the southeast, there is literally a repeater every 20 miles or so. So at this time, I don't feel like I need to go nuts on the hardware (at this time). My *hope* is to start off with a small 5w handheld with an external vehicle antenna. Main reason is so I can remove the equipment when not needed. Also I've got many vehicles and having one radio that I can use in any of them is nice. I'm sure down the road I'll want to upgrade, but I don't see that for a while.

My plan: Next weekend is the test for the technician's license. Considering everything above, looks like 2m is what I want. So I'm just going to go with that. Once then, I'll buy radios, etc. I think the technicians license is all I need.

Is this correct thinking? Does it sound like a hand held 2m radio with an external antenna can do what I'm asking? The HAM radio thing gets so complicated, and seems like there are few resources out there to help getting started. It all just jumps straight into the high powered stuff.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old May 31st, 2016, 02:53 PM
roverman2010's Avatar
roverman2010
Status: Offline
John
1985 LR 90 200Tdi
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Galveston Island, NearTexas
Posts: 2,322
Registry
I just want to say that during emergencies ham radio is going to get you info. During Katrina the only way we could get hold of er-indoors mother was with a hf operator in California who was in contact with a operator just up the road from her in Ocean Springs.
Only wish we knew who he/she was as I would buy him/her a drink/s
__________________
Edward Teach is the Blackbeard, and is a member of the Birmabright Brotherhood.

Still looking for that place where I can carry a paddle and get asked what's that.

JnK Services
FC101 GS FFR
57 LR 88" SXF 858
85 LR90
95 D1 Tdi
05 D3 HSE
97 XK8 BRG FHC For Sale
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 31st, 2016, 03:33 PM
leastonce's Avatar
leastonce
Status: Offline
Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,078
Registry
Get a dual band 2m / 70cm rig. That will open things up a bit more and with a MARS mod you'll be able to 'listen' to FRS buddies.

5w and a decent antenna is reasonable for repeater work. I have a diamond NR770HB from theantennafarm.com and it's great quality for the money.

I have a hand held that I have the audio running to the aux in on my stereo as the truck is a bit noisy for the built in speaker.

I have a baofung 5vr for $30 and a $350 yaseu and the baofung audio is better!
__________________
Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
Car Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Cat Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old May 31st, 2016, 03:41 PM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
Most definitely go with something dual band (VHF/UHF) so you're not limited to just 2m or 70cm. You'll probably use 2m more often, but if you're interested in any emergency comms you don't want to be stuck on one band.

Buy a Baofeng UV-5r (Or newer BF-F9 BaoFeng 8W Tri-Power Ham Two-way Radio Transceiver - Electronics.Woot) and get your feet wet. Learn how to program it, operate repeaters, etc. Then buy a more expensive mobile rig when you have a good idea for what you need.

The Baofeng's will also help you appreciate the higher build quality and ease of programming most of the japanese radios afford. They work fantastically for $30 bucks but they really are disposable. Having said that I've had a few since they first came out and they're still kicking.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:14 PM
LR Max
Status: Offline
Thomason, Max
1973 Series 3 109
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 401
Ok. Follow up question: 2m / 70cm...are they both on VHF band? Or is one on VHF and the other on UHF? I've been researching, and haven't gotten it all figured out. Do I need to switch antennas to operate on 2m vs. 70cm?

But yeah, that BF-F9 looks solid.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:21 PM
Red90's Avatar
Red90
Status: Online
John B.
1991 Defender 90, 200TDI
Site Team
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Calgary
Posts: 9,228
Registry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_spectrum
__________________
Pissing people off on the "net" since 1983.

Land Rover. Turning owners into mechanics since 1948.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:22 PM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by LR Max View Post
Ok. Follow up question: 2m / 70cm...are they both on VHF band? Or is one on VHF and the other on UHF? I've been researching, and haven't gotten it all figured out. Do I need to switch antennas to operate on 2m vs. 70cm?

But yeah, that BF-F9 looks solid.
This is the kinda stuff you'll learn studying for your test (or at least you should). But no, 2m is VHF and 70cm is UHF. You won't need to switch antennas if your antenna is also dual band. It will operate on both UHF and VHF just with different performance characteristics.



------ Follow up post added May 31st, 2016 04:24 PM ------

Or, the band plan from the ARRL is probably a more relevant resource:

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:30 PM
leastonce's Avatar
leastonce
Status: Offline
Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,078
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest View Post
Most definitely go with something dual band (VHF/UHF) so you're not limited to just 2m or 70cm. You'll probably use 2m more often, but if you're interested in any emergency comms you don't want to be stuck on one band. Buy a Baofeng UV-5r (Or newer BF-F9 BaoFeng 8W Tri-Power Ham Two-way Radio Transceiver - Electronics.Woot) and get your feet wet. Learn how to program it, operate repeaters, etc. Then buy a more expensive mobile rig when you have a good idea for what you need. The Baofeng's will also help you appreciate the higher build quality and ease of programming most of the japanese radios afford. They work fantastically for $30 bucks but they really are disposable. Having said that I've had a few since they first came out and they're still kicking.
Buy a programming cable and use the free application 'chirp' to program the memories.

When you've got one take a listen around to things like the Intl space station.
__________________
Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
Car Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Cat Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:36 PM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Online
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,524
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by LR Max View Post
Ok. Follow up question: 2m / 70cm...are they both on VHF band?
According to ARRL, VHF = 30 to 300MHz, UHF = 300MHz to 3GHz. You'll need to know this for your exam, since these are two questions in the 2014-2018 Technician class pool.

Quote:
Do I need to switch antennas to operate on 2m vs. 70cm?
a. Use a dual-band antenna
b. Use an antenna duplexer and run two antennas (one for VHF, one for UHF)
c. You don't care about VSWR and you punch through with whatever thing you have attached to your HT. Your final transistor may not like it, but you're made of money, right?

Good thing about going with a cheap Baofeng handheld is that you don't have to spend a lot of time and money tuning your antennas. Just use whatever is on your HT for both bands, don't worry about it.

If you do care, remember to budget in a VSWR meter for your band(s). I built my own HF/VHF/UHF Vector Impedance Analyzer, but that's overkill. The other alternative is to buy an RTL-SDR ($25) and a Directional Coupler ($30) in mounted in reverse.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 31st, 2016, 04:50 PM
leastonce's Avatar
leastonce
Status: Offline
Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,078
Registry
The antenna I suggested is dual band, well made, folds down and most importantly doesn't look like a CB antenna. It has good SWR on both 2m & 70cm.

A SWR Meter is a good investment to check you have the antenna setup ok. But you can make do without it, especially with a cheap radio.
__________________
Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
Car Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Cat Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 31st, 2016, 05:12 PM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
Not to mention most of the more expensive radios will have a rudimentary SWR meter built in which is way more than you need. Nearly all (or most) mobile dual band antennas are groundless anyway. So unless you do something terribly wrong, you'll be fine.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 31st, 2016, 06:25 PM
GuamPilot's Avatar
GuamPilot
Status: Offline
Mike & Carrie Wendt
1986 90 2.5NA
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Guam & San Bruno
Posts: 605
Registry
I'm going to point you in a slightly different direction.

Before you buy, attend a Ham club meeting, or 2 or 3. No hurry to join one, try a couple different clubs to find one that support YOUR interests and members willing to help you. (Sorry to say not all clubs do well supporting new guys.)

Also, while I find the Baofungs to be a good value, they are difficult to program, especially for a new guy with little or no experience. I don't know your budget, but Yaesu has a 5w dual band (2m & 70cm) for less than $200 ($150?) much easier to learn.

I'm also a fan of cheap dual band magnet mount antennas. Buy one for each car makes moving the radio much simpler.

Keep asking questions.

73,

Mike WH2M
__________________
Defenders draw attention. Don't buy one if you're shy!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 31st, 2016, 10:41 PM
Ray_G's Avatar
Ray_G
Status: Offline
Ray Gerber
54 S1 86", 96 D1 (Coyote), 06 D3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NoVA
Posts: 2,636
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuamPilot View Post
I'm going to point you in a slightly different direction.

Before you buy, attend a Ham club meeting, or 2 or 3. No hurry to join one, try a couple different clubs to find one that support YOUR interests and members willing to help you. (Sorry to say not all clubs do well supporting new guys.)

Also, while I find the Baofungs to be a good value, they are difficult to program, especially for a new guy with little or no experience. I don't know your budget, but Yaesu has a 5w dual band (2m & 70cm) for less than $200 ($150?) much easier to learn.

I'm also a fan of cheap dual band magnet mount antennas. Buy one for each car makes moving the radio much simpler.

Keep asking questions.

73,

Mike WH2M
The only thing I'd jump in on this to counter, or perhaps adjust, the idea of going to a HAM meeting is that jumping in to a degree is welcome in this community as we're finally starting to see some momentum on the East Coast for more Rovers with real radios and not just busted up CB's.

So as someone who is happy Ed and crew jumped in already, I'm all about more Rover owners throwing them in their trucks and places like here can probably help for a lot of the issues anyone is going to encounter.

Concur on your comment about the ease of use; I have a 7900R in my D1 that is far easier to use than my Baofeng's-but those are cheap and great to use in simplex with a lot more clarity than FRS (and usually vehicle mounted CB for that matter).
r-
Ray

(KK4DPX...since we should start doing that now here!)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old June 1st, 2016, 03:18 AM
leastonce's Avatar
leastonce
Status: Offline
Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,078
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
The only thing I'd jump in on this to counter, or perhaps adjust, the idea of going to a HAM meeting is that jumping in to a degree is welcome in this community as we're finally starting to see some momentum on the East Coast for more Rovers with real radios and not just busted up CB's. So as someone who is happy Ed and crew jumped in already, I'm all about more Rover owners throwing them in their trucks and places like here can probably help for a lot of the issues anyone is going to encounter. Concur on your comment about the ease of use; I have a 7900R in my D1 that is far easier to use than my Baofeng's-but those are cheap and great to use in simplex with a lot more clarity than FRS (and usually vehicle mounted CB for that matter). r- Ray (KK4DPX...since we should start doing that now here!)
How about we have a defender source radio communications section. We have enough people to support our own club.

All we need now is some SDO bling ham gear ... Are you listening Lav???

G1TFI
__________________
Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
Car Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Cat Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old June 1st, 2016, 10:03 AM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
Ugh, no. It'd just turn into a medical ailment pit.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:28 PM
dmarchand's Avatar
dmarchand
Status: Offline
David Marchand
'97 D90 SW Arles
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 2,862
Registry
Agree with Chris. Gag me with a spoon.

I've been full spectrum. I agree, buy the baofeng to talk to other folks in your group/trip (and it eventually becomes a good back up/lending radio). Once you get an itch for it, expand to a full mobile/dual band install, think about some APRS. I have gone fully into the Kenwood 710G on both of my trucks.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old June 3rd, 2016, 09:06 AM
LR Max
Status: Offline
Thomason, Max
1973 Series 3 109
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 401
Thanks for all of the feedback. I've downloaded some info to help me study for the test. I'm going to study them this weekend and next week. See where that takes me.

I think I'm going to go ahead and set myself up to test the technicians license since the next testing time is convenient for me. I'm sure there at the place I take the test, I'll probably get info on my local HAM clubs.

Thanks for all of the info!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old June 3rd, 2016, 09:15 AM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
Best of luck. Don't be afraid to order a radio and listen in to repeaters and such. Although the median intelligence level on VHF/UHF is sometimes questionable... That's how I learned a lot of the basic rules and such. Late nights listening to HF ragchew as a kid and building antennas. Just diving in is how the most people do it anyway.

And, of course, use the hell out of https://hamstudy.org/tech2014

This is all reminding me I need to get my CW speed back up to where it should be...
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old June 3rd, 2016, 12:11 PM
leastonce's Avatar
leastonce
Status: Offline
Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,078
Registry
I just ordered a FT-991 to have a play with HF anyone else have one?
__________________
Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
Car Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Cat Camping Collective founding member and Chief Executive Officer
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:14 PM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Online
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,524
Registry
If you want to listen to ham radio for fun, run - do not stop at go - to get an rtl-sdr with a Rafael Micro R820T chip. For example:

Amazon.com: RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only): Electronics

Some kits will come with an antenna for $20.00

You get 24 MHz to 1.766GHz simultaneous receive with waterfall. You can visualize the entire RF spectrum and even decode digital. Stupid easy.

Forget any other HAM radio receiver. HAM radio is in the stone ages. I first learned about RTL-SDR in 2010 working with terrestrial GPS decoding. HAMs have finally caught on and now the software community even has freeware digital voice decoding.

You can run rings around anyone with a $1600 HF receiver with a $20 RTL-SDR dongle. The only negative is you can't transmit, but that's what your Baofeng is for. Easiest, cheapest, and best way to hear Jason CQ'ing on 10m from the UK.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pair of static (lap) seat belts, $20 OBO wilyliang For Sale - Parts 7 November 23rd, 2015 03:53 PM
HAM Radios chris snell Defender Technical Discussions 34 August 14th, 2014 09:33 AM
Static Lap Belts newfD90 Wanted 0 October 3rd, 2012 03:20 PM
Static rear shock length? KevinNY Defender Technical Discussions 1 February 7th, 2008 06:04 AM
Ham Radio thewap Defender Technical Discussions 2 September 17th, 2006 04:55 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 PM.


Copyright