Author Topic: my personal HAM plan  (Read 38704 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2014, 12:23:13 PM »
My Yaesu FT-2900r arrived while I was away.  I've also ordered a basic mobile antenna to use while I experiment with a homebrew j-pole.
I figure $16 for a basic mag mount is worth having.

My call-sign still has not posted.  I'm now told to wait 10 days - which is madness in today's world.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2014, 01:38:13 PM »
cool & you have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the rig and get your local repeaters programmed in! 

Offline Carl

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2014, 06:34:30 PM »
Smurf Hunter, If I can nudge a bit... For FM ,a good ground plane should do well. The difference between FM and SSB allow for weak signal work to really be good with SSB (I average daily 200 miles with 50 watts and a 13b2 at 35 feet) with FM you do not see as extreme an advantage unless you have MORE POWER,a higher antenna with a lot more gain and a rotator....it goes on and on...When you VHF-UHF signal just shoots off into space ,rather that following terrain, a working knowledge of area repeaters will do far more to maximize your range,and you fun.

  The more advanced SSB requires a good bit of gear to take advantage of and your new HF capabilities will AMAZE you at what you can do with simple wire antennas ,or it can do real damage to the bank account if you buy aluminum art and all the associated gear.

With even just your dual band HT ,you can access satellites and talk hundreds of miles, a HAM learns to take advantage of TECHNOLOGY  and or NATURE to pass information , It is the SKILL that prompts people to say that HAM radio is a long distance radio over CB,FRS/MURS...though the extra power and better antennas do help.

  Last though,for now, It was a ONE WATT VHF AM radio that allowed astronauts to speak to earth ,from the moon and it was designed and BUILT (not by the full science and finance of the government) BY A HAM.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2014, 09:55:27 AM »
I got my call sign today  ;D


Kilo
Golf
7
Lima
Sierra
Juliet


Offline Carl

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2014, 10:16:23 AM »
I got my call sign today  ;D


Kilo
Golf
7
Lima
Sierra
Juliet

AMEN, so now begins the EPIC radio adventure. Good for you Hunter.
My Big Stick is easy to build and weather tight .These links are freely shared with anyone!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ZIZLZV4AwIVVVPNGJiODFjM0U/edit?usp=sharing

and a copper "J" also stands the test of time..

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ZIZLZV4AwIZ0xBamJfZFhWUDg/edit?usp=sharing

OR

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ZIZLZV4AwIdjl5d2RVLURJMU0/edit?usp=sharing

OR

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ZIZLZV4AwIdV81OWtjTzlyVnc/edit?usp=sharing

All on my Google drive...also many ,many,more on a DVD in your package.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2014, 06:14:26 PM »
I got my call sign today  ;D
Congrats Smurf Hunter!
Now get on 10m and give me a shout. 8)

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2014, 06:34:36 PM »
I got my call sign today  ;D


Kilo
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Lima
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Juliet

Woot! Congrats brother.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #67 on: May 22, 2014, 12:51:10 AM »
Made my first QSO tonight via 20m repeater about 25 miles North east of me.  My contact was 25 miles north of the repeater or 50 miles from me.

It's exciting that 5 watts and a $15 mag mount antenna can sound so good.   Upside to living at 700 ft and having line of sight to a repeater at 1500 ft :)

Also the yaesu ft2900r was cake to program after I came to understand how repeaters work.


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #68 on: May 22, 2014, 01:26:26 AM »
Congrats Smurf Hunter!
Now get on 10m and give me a shout. 8)

My QSO this evening seemed to make a big deal of me getting general on the first attempt and suggested I get into HF.

While the 2m scene is "target rich" with a dozen or more repeaters in my area I can see that HF would fill a different role.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #69 on: May 22, 2014, 06:46:45 AM »
Made my first QSO tonight via 20m repeater about 25 miles North east of me.  My contact was 25 miles north of the repeater or 50 miles from me.

It's exciting that 5 watts and a $15 mag mount antenna can sound so good.   Upside to living at 700 ft and having line of sight to a repeater at 1500 ft :)
Congrats!  Pretty exciting, wasn't it?

Quote
Also the yaesu ft2900r was cake to program after I came to understand how repeaters work.
Yeah, they're not bad at all to program.  The auto-offset is a really nice feature, it makes things even easier.

1500 and 700 ft, I am soooo jealous!  Guess you don't need the full 75W to hit that one. 8)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #70 on: May 22, 2014, 10:30:59 AM »
Congrats!  Pretty exciting, wasn't it?
Yeah, they're not bad at all to program.  The auto-offset is a really nice feature, it makes things even easier.

1500 and 700 ft, I am soooo jealous!  Guess you don't need the full 75W to hit that one. 8)

That altitude is nice, but not necessarily fun to drive up when icy in the winter. :'(
And I never got above 5watts for either my first QSO or hitting 4 different repeaters.

BTW:  here was how I went about TX to the repeaters (please critique if I did anything goofy or improper).

1) select my programmed repeater freq.
2) hold PTT and say "CQ from <my callsign>"
3) in 4 cases I heard either CW morse or a "robot" voice identifying the repeater

Regarding the programming offsets,  I was shocked that it "magically" new to apply + or - 600khz depending on the repeater frequency.  Fortunately I printed and lamented a spreadsheet with all the 2M repeaters in my area that includes the offsets and tone.

I've programmed far more complex consumer electronics in my time.  I really don't understand why someone would bother with software, unless they were actually mobile and had to manage a bunch of regional frequencies.

Here's the regional repeater map.  I'm the blue "X", and I've drawn red lines to show the route to my QSO last night:



Obviously the blue water is sea level, the foothills east are 500-1500 feet (darker contour lines east toward the cascade mountains).

You can see why I was interested in 2meter now...

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #71 on: May 22, 2014, 10:44:56 AM »
Looks Good, 'cept most leave off the "CQ" on 2 Meters FM on a Repeater Freq.  On the 2m FM Calling Freq "CQ" would be more 'accepted'.....at least down here in SC  ;)

Good on you for getting it 'done'!

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2014, 12:44:06 PM »
Another newbie trick.

If you register on QRZ.com, BEFORE QRZ knows of your FCC callsign, it won't allow you to use a logbook or several other features reserved for licensed users.

The workaround was to reset my password and apparently that tricks their user DB to update based on the imported FCC list. 
In my case it took about 24 hours, but you can search and if you see yourself, you are good to go.

Pro tip:  wait 24 hours after your call-sign appears in the FCC ULS before creating accounts in online logbooks, etc.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #73 on: May 23, 2014, 01:40:59 PM »

2) hold PTT and say "CQ from <my callsign>"

SmurfHunter, in general, CQ on repeaters is discouraged..  Typical usage I have heard is "<callsign> monitoring" or "<callsign> mobile" etc.

I think the reasoning behind discouraging it is that the repeater is another station, in a way, so if you can "kerchunk" it, there's already another station in your QSO, even before you have a QSO with another ham.  CQ is used where there is no relay, man or machine.  I hope I am making sense.

WELCOME TO HAM RADIO, MY FRIEND!

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #74 on: May 23, 2014, 01:41:56 PM »
Made my first QSO tonight via 20m repeater about 25 miles North east of me.  My contact was 25 miles north of the repeater or 50 miles from me.

It's exciting that 5 watts and a $15 mag mount antenna can sound so good.   Upside to living at 700 ft and having line of sight to a repeater at 1500 ft :)

Also the yaesu ft2900r was cake to program after I came to understand how repeaters work.

WOOHOO!  Another ham is born!

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #75 on: May 23, 2014, 01:56:17 PM »
WOOHOO!  Another ham is born!

thanks for the congrats.

Also, regarding "kerchunking".  I've got about a dozen 2M repeaters programmed in.  All but 2 of them respond with CW, a recorded human voice or synth voice.
Is it acceptable practice to hold PTT for a second and check if a repeater responds this way?
I always wait several seconds to ensure I don't hear any folks talking first.


Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #76 on: May 23, 2014, 02:18:26 PM »
I suspect that the best thing would be to press the PTT switch and after the repeater responds to give out your call sign and indicate that you are testing it for connectivity.

I hear people keying into the repeater with no comment all of the time, but given the availability of cheap Baofengs think that lots of people are testing their kit without wanting to transmit. I don't mean to make a big deal of it, but I think that a licensed ham ought to put out their call sign for good measure.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #77 on: May 23, 2014, 02:34:49 PM »
One thing I've run into is that there are a lot of repeaters out at 25-30 miles that will respond to my HT's CTSS tone and trigger, but that 5W isn't enough to talk to.  Just getting a repeater to trigger isn't enough testing, you've actually got to talk to somebody to make sure it works.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #78 on: May 23, 2014, 02:35:26 PM »
I suspect that the best thing would be to press the PTT switch and after the repeater responds to give out your call sign and indicate that you are testing it for connectivity.

I hear people keying into the repeater with no comment all of the time, but given the availability of cheap Baofengs think that lots of people are testing their kit without wanting to transmit. I don't mean to make a big deal of it, but I think that a licensed ham ought to put out their call sign for good measure.

That's a fair point, I should be transparent and use my callsign.  I must hear of someone who bought a $40 BaoFeng without license about once a day.  The rationale is that when SHTF a HAM license won't matter.  Perhaps the FCC won't be enforcing rules when zombies are marching, but the difference is a licensed HAM has at baseline knowledge level.

I suppose people buy guns and never shoot them too...

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #79 on: May 23, 2014, 02:36:50 PM »
One thing I've run into is that there are a lot of repeaters out at 25-30 miles that will respond to my HT's CTSS tone and trigger, but that 5W isn't enough to talk to.  Just getting a repeater to trigger isn't enough testing, you've actually got to talk to somebody to make sure it works.

True, but doesn't kerchunking at least test that I've programmed the repeater correctly into my radio?

e.g. in freq, out freq, CTSS tone freq

Offline Carl

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #80 on: May 23, 2014, 03:15:51 PM »
thanks for the congrats.

Also, regarding "kerchunking".  I've got about a dozen 2M repeaters programmed in.  All but 2 of them respond with CW, a recorded human voice or synth voice.
Is it acceptable practice to hold PTT for a second and check if a repeater responds this way?
I always wait several seconds to ensure I don't hear any folks talking first.

Most repeaters will ID after a key-up because of programming, If no one has used it in 10 or more minutes it will "get with the program" and ID. If it has been used during the last few minutes ...it will ID withing 10 minutes of it's last use.

  A reply or kerchunk does not necessarily mean that you have the signal strength to communicate in voice over that repeater.

Follow local convention as to HOW you intro a repeater, around here the just ID,nothing more, but to really get results I would ID and add "looking for conversation" as many just ID to HEAR a repeater...you will meet more area HAMS by adding a qualifier
to your ID like ID, Looking to visit with any area HAMs.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #81 on: May 23, 2014, 04:30:32 PM »
True, but doesn't kerchunking at least test that I've programmed the repeater correctly into my radio?

e.g. in freq, out freq, CTSS tone freq
Yes, it does give you all that, so this test is worth something.  In fact, that's quite a bit of info!

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2014, 10:32:08 PM »
 

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #83 on: May 25, 2014, 04:17:51 AM »
from: http://www.qsl.net/aa0ni/lsn08.html

Quote
Station Identification

Whenever you transmit on an amateur radio, you are required to identify your transmissions.

You identify your transmissions by giving your amateur callsign.

You are NOT required to identify at the beginning of your transmission (although it is common practice).


You are required to identify with your callsign at least every 10 minutes.

When you end your contact you are required to identify with your callsign.

It is common practice for each station to identify themselves and the station(s) they are in contact with - but it is NOT required (there is an exception - international third party traffic... in a later lesson).

I added italics...a little gray area regarding kerchunking, but if you are curious if you are getting into the repeater-send out *your call* with *radio check* and see what happens.

I'd imagine while there are similarities throughout, most areas have a certain way folks ID themselves while transmitting.  Give 'em a listen, copy/conform and enjoy the conversation.

Offline IndianaPrepper

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #84 on: May 25, 2014, 05:26:42 AM »
Just passed my tech test and purchased a Baofeng UV-5RE+ with the upgraded ant = <$50
I have a repeater station a few miles away. I'm looking forward to learning the ropes.

Offline smittymoo

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #85 on: May 25, 2014, 07:21:17 AM »
thanks for the congrats.

Also, regarding "kerchunking".  I've got about a dozen 2M repeaters programmed in.  All but 2 of them respond with CW, a recorded human voice or synth voice.
Is it acceptable practice to hold PTT for a second and check if a repeater responds this way?
I always wait several seconds to ensure I don't hear any folks talking first.

I usually say "N3NRJ Testing" when I'm trying to ping a new repeater to see if I can hit it.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #86 on: May 25, 2014, 02:22:58 PM »
Finally got 2 replies using my homebrew jpole.

Next pay period I'll get an swr meter and see whats what.


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #87 on: May 25, 2014, 03:26:19 PM »
Light rain.  Gotta protect my rig somehow...



Oddly enough its a snug fit.  Ideally I'd have nice female connectors for AC and antenna but this will do for now.


Offline Carl

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #88 on: May 25, 2014, 03:45:22 PM »
Light rain.  Gotta protect my rig somehow...



Oddly enough its a snug fit.  Ideally I'd have nice female connectors for AC and antenna but this will do for now.

I wanna' see it.....???

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: my personal HAM plan
« Reply #89 on: May 25, 2014, 05:22:30 PM »