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  #21  
Old February 18th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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Julien Dalbin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell
Can't see this, i'm banned from Dweb ...
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  #22  
Old February 18th, 2009, 07:59 PM
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Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
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What happens to the radio when it wouldn't transmit? Were you just not heard of was the radio actually not keying?

It may just be a simple issue. Might as well try and diagnose it.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdb
I just bought a cheap CB (Uniden 510XL on Amazon for $36) and when I went to get an antenna locally, the seller said I should have bought one with RF gain (the 520 XL has it for $55) because I'll use it mainly in trail convoy situations. He said that when you are quite close to other CBs you need the RF gain to make the sound clearer. I think he knows what he is talking about, but I cannot return the CB (trimmed the power wire) so I wonder if it really makes a difference. Might be worth checking out before you buy.
Ham radio: When I raised the Ham radio issue with the Pacific Coast Rover Club members, I thought I'd uncovered a new religion. I asked the members what they thought of the Spot transmitter (www.followmespot.com). The Hams went nuts about the range, clarity, and phone calls off repeaters. One guy even leads a trip each Summer and you have to have a Ham license and radio to go. Others babbled on about how you can see the location of the other HAMs on a GPS using some additional technology. Too techy for me and of minimal value on the trail as far as I can see.
I've been using a Cobra handheld for years but they seem to require an outside antenna to work halfway decently.

Clark
All RF gain does is control the sensitivity of the receiver. If you have strong signals (close range CB communication) you can turn the sensitivity of the receiver down and the volume up and thus improve your signal to noise ratio. The person you're listening to will improve a bit.

If you want another explanation Ten-Tec did a nice video on it:

But it's just a CB. There's no reason to have these fancy features on them. Sure it's kind've a nice feature (I use it quite often on my old Kenwood TS-520se oh the HF ham bands), but there's no reason to spend more money on a CB to have that feature.

APRS is also a neat thing, but how complex do you need to make on the trail communications?
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  #23  
Old February 18th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Chris Snell
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I find APRS to be very useful. Imagine you are a late arrival, driving down in the middle of the night to meet the rest of your group at a remote camping site, far from the paved road or any obvious features. Without APRS, you'd have to pre-arrange a grid coordinate for the rendezvous or measure milage from turn-offs, etc, and hope that you've found the right turn-off. With APRS, you friends can simply send a beacon from the campsite and you will easily know when you're near it.

The setups can be pretty clean. With the Kenwood TM-D710A, you plug the GPS into the radio head unit and turn both on and you're in business.

My setup has changed a little bit since the pictures were taken. I've changed the backlight on the Kenwood to green and I've added a proper map set to the Garmin.
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  #24  
Old February 19th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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Paul Dandini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest
What happens to the radio when it wouldn't transmit? Were you just not heard of was the radio actually not keying?

It may just be a simple issue. Might as well try and diagnose it.
Chris,
Problem was me communicating - I could hear all the other users - but sometimes when I tried to talk - nothing - other times it seemed to work fine.
On Saturday night I was at the very back of the pack and 90% of the time it seemed to work fine.
On the highway as the front driver or rear driver it would only receive.

The antenna I have is an "On Glass CB Antenna" http://www.walcottcb.com/vcbgm-glass...28_352_412_426

With two exceptions (this and a prior trip) this setup has worked well for the past two years.
I think KevinNY might be on to something - I am going to ensure the grounding and wiring is proper.
I think I am also going to ditch the glass antenna and get a Firestick.

Thanks for everyones input.
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  #25  
Old February 19th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Tyler
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Slight side track Are there any waterproof Ham radios? I'd rather not have to buy or make a housing.
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Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
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  #26  
Old February 19th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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Chris Snyder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmd
Chris,
Problem was me communicating - I could hear all the other users - but sometimes when I tried to talk - nothing - other times it seemed to work fine.
On Saturday night I was at the very back of the pack and 90% of the time it seemed to work fine.
On the highway as the front driver or rear driver it would only receive.
When you say nothing, do you mean nothing on the display of the radio or everything looking like you're transmitting, but no one being able to hear you. If it's no one being able to hear you, the chances are it's something with your antenna. But if your radio is not actually keying then the problem is obviously not transmitting properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmd
The antenna I have is an "On Glass CB Antenna" http://www.walcottcb.com/vcbgm-glass...28_352_412_426

With two exceptions (this and a prior trip) this setup has worked well for the past two years.
I think KevinNY might be on to something - I am going to ensure the grounding and wiring is proper.
I think I am also going to ditch the glass antenna and get a Firestick.

Thanks for everyones input.
I think the glass mount antennas work better at higher frequencies like the cell phone range. But if it has worked for you in the past and you have been satisfied, I wouldn't bother changing it. You would notice a difference in signal strength for sure with a firestik of some sort, but not enough to drastically improve trail performance.

Unless you want to of course. Who doesn't want better performance from anything?

But checking your wiring would be number one. Maybe you have a connection loose or something easy.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by flippedrover
Slight side track Are there any waterproof Ham radios? I'd rather not have to buy or make a housing.
http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0
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  #27  
Old February 19th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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John B.
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With all due respect, the point of the handheld is not to use as your main radio....

It is so that when you are out guiding people through obstacles, you can talk to them.... You still need a proper antenna for range.

CBs work fine. The problem is people have antenna problems and blame the type of radio.
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  #28  
Old February 19th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Chris Snell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest
There are also a couple of decent waterproof handheld options:

http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0

http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0
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  #29  
Old February 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Mike Doligalski
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I've got an older version of the Yaesu: the VX-5r. Those really are great radios. They are rated as Mil. Spec. because of their hardiness and waterproofing.

I am not aware of any waterproof non-handhelds though.
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  #30  
Old February 19th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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Paul Dandini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest
When you say nothing, do you mean nothing on the display of the radio or everything looking like you're transmitting, but no one being able to hear you. If it's no one being able to hear you, the chances are it's something with your antenna. But if your radio is not actually keying then the problem is obviously not transmitting properly.


Radio displays fine and everything looks like it's working.

I am going to work on the antenna connections and see.

I did order the Midland Handheld 2in1 - I'll let you know what I think after I try it out.
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  #31  
Old February 19th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Tyler
'94 D-90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest
When you say nothing, do you mean nothing on the display of the radio or everything looking like you're transmitting, but no one being able to hear you. If it's no one being able to hear you, the chances are it's something with your antenna. But if your radio is not actually keying then the problem is obviously not transmitting properly.


I think the glass mount antennas work better at higher frequencies like the cell phone range. But if it has worked for you in the past and you have been satisfied, I wouldn't bother changing it. You would notice a difference in signal strength for sure with a firestik of some sort, but not enough to drastically improve trail performance.

Unless you want to of course. Who doesn't want better performance from anything?

But checking your wiring would be number one. Maybe you have a connection loose or something easy.

Follow-up Post:


http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0
That's what I'm looking for.
__________________
Can't you feel 'em circlin' (closin'in) honey?
Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only bait in town.
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only girl in town.

Jimmy Buffett


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  #32  
Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:52 AM
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Julien Dalbin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherpamike
I've got an older version of the Yaesu: the VX-5r. Those really are great radios.
I've got this one myself, it's a great piece of equipment.
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" Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se. "
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  #33  
Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:31 AM
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Chris von C
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test test

Follow-up Post:

well screw me.. I had typed out this whole big reply and it fucking didn't post
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