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Amateur Radio

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by awptickes, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Anyone involved in Amateur radio in here?

    How many people have their tickets? Probably not a good idea to tie your call sign to your username, so just post the XXN portion if you want to put up a call sign. I figure a few people got baofeng radios for christmas, and you should go get licensed now, so you can actually use the damned thing.


    I currently run HF, VHF, and UHF out of the house. All modes on HF, and FM and D-Star on VHF/UHF.

    Anyone else?
     
  2. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    im working on it, my radio comes in on Monday all the way from China directly lol shipping DHL

    whats good study material to get my basic license thingy i need
     
  3. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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  4. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    wow.. really?
     
    civicious likes this.
  5. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    so, being lazy and not wanting to search, whats the point in doing these radios?
     
  6. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Communications ability? Not sure what you're asking. Cellular signal is unreliable, ask anyone who has been through a hurricane or ice storm. Ever tried to use your cell phone on new years' eve or right after a football game? Doesn't work.


    To whom?
     
  7. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    there's a ton of material out there, since he already has his license i figured it couldn't hurt to ask what GOOD material there is. im not lazy ...just looking for good advice
     
  8. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    I've been licensed for over ten years. The best material comes from the ARRL.
     
  9. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    you misunderstood my post corvetteguy, i was being lazy. not you.
     
  10. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    o lol, my bad
     
  11. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Corvetteguy lives down the road from, and Doug drives by the ARRL all the time.

    They are a nice buncha guys. If you have your licence, you can walk right in and use their equipment.

    Look em up.
     
  12. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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  13. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Check your local area, you may be able to find a class. If you don't have an EE background, it might help.

    Additionally, getting your license means that you'll never get hassled for having a police scanner. Just put a label with your call sign on all of your equipment and even the most ill-informed law-man will hesitate to do anything but tell you to carry on.
     
  14. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    How's the studying going?
     
  15. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member VIP

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    it hasn't started yet lol ...but i need to start soon!
     
  16. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    Bringing it back to the top. Seeing some of the pictures you have taken pickles has gotten me curious about amateur radio. I want to see about convincing my dad to get his license as well so when we are out hunting we can actually keep in touch when we are 2 miles apart. The off the shelf Motorola units from my local sporting goods store just don't seem to cut it.

    I did a some looking and it looks like the next license test in my area is in May unless I want to drive to Spokane. I figure I can get studied up by then.

    As for equipment I have been trying to do some research on this unit.

    http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-Dual-...ef=sr_1_1?s=car&ie=UTF8&qid=1395872774&sr=1-1

    It looks like it has enough features for the price that it should work for what I want to do and if I trash it in the field the wife is not going to murder me.
     
  17. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Keep in mind there are some issues with the BaoFeng radios. The microphone in them isn't very good, and you have to set a lot of things before you can transmit on amateur frequencies legally. They're good radios though. I keep one in my go bag, one on my desk at work, one on the kitchen counter. For just talking in the woods over a couple miles, they might work... I've used similar radios for it. One option you might consider is not the BaoFeng radios, but getting used handheld radios, the 6meter band works VERY WELL for cutting through dense "woods." Check out this site for used gear, but get your license first. Most people won't sell to a non-ham. http://swap.qth.com/

    It's a very rewarding hobby. I think you're on my facebook list, if not message me and I'll add you. I talk about radio frequently on there.


    Here's what my station looks like as of last week:
    [​IMG]
    For HF, I've got an Icom IC-718 HF radio, an MFJ 992b tuner, Ameritron AL-811 with 572b tubes in it (800W output or so), feeding into an 135ft Off Center Fed Dipole. I do pretty well, and occasionally serve as net-control for some of the HF SSB (Single Sideband Voice) nets. There's about 50ft of RG-8x outside, and inside it's all LMR400 Flex after the amp, and RG213 before the amp. I'm waiting on a tuner to arrive so I can get a little bit more power out with less work on the tubes (the MFJ tuner isn't high power enough to work on the other side of the tube amp.)

    For VHF, there's a Yaesu FT-2900r going through a diplexor (allows use of both UHF and VHF radios on one antenna) to a Dr. Ed Fong J-Pole on the side of my house using LMR400, up about 35ft off the ground. For UHF, it's the same, with the exception of a chinese made Golden One Telecom GOT GY-1907MU radio. VHF puts out 75W and the UHF puts out 65W, but there's about 62ft of coax between the radio and the antenna.


    I have a portable HF rig, which looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    But that's a picture on the roof of my building at work. Logged a few contacts while I was up there, but it was 45F that day, so I only stayed up there for about 35 minutes. I think it's 283ft MSL, and I was about 90ft above the ground.

    Here's a close up of the radio:
    [​IMG]


    Last weekend we went out to a local state park and I setup the portable rig:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I made a few contacts, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, and tried to get an italian station (they're notoriously bad operators) but he didn't care to listen hard enough to hear my ~5 Watts.


    Now that you're sorry you brought it back up, have any other questions?
     
  18. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    I think I will have a lot more questions once I get my license squared away. I plan on reading up on radios and perhaps more importantly antennas in the mean time. It seems that the study guide you linked to earlier in the thread is still pretty much the best one to go with correct? I have been looking around on the ARRL website as well.

    And seeing your posts and stuff on Facebook is what pushed me from just thinking about it to wanting to actually do it. Also seems like a good way to learn a lot more about electronics themselves not just the software side of things.
     
  19. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    The ARRL study guides are pretty dry reading. There are other folks who write more colorful guides, but the ARRL one will give you the knowledge and will get you to pass the test. There's are a lot more guides out there, even some free ones. Try http://www.nc4fb.org/wordpress/online-technician-license-class/

    Yeah, it's an excellent way to learn about stuff. I'm constantly using the knowledge in other things, including at work, heh.
     
  20. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    That is the impression I got from some of the forums and such when talking about the ARRL guide. Which should be here this afternoon.

    The flash cards on the site you listed look good. I like the only correct answer feature. From the flash cards on hamstudy.org I am going to have to really pay attention to quit a few areas. I have almost zero experience with electronic diagrams and such. But really that is one the reasons I want to do this. It has been a while since I have really sat down and learned something brand new.
     
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