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HAM radio thread

bgaidan

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I know we had a thread on the *other* site, but I don't think there's one here yet.

How many HAMs do we have?

I got my license about 10 or so years ago. I never got around to putting a radio in my newer DD truck so I kind of only get back in to things when I have a wheeling trip planned and need to get the HT's and mobile in one of the wheeling rigs ready. I've been pushing my wheeling friends to get their licenses so we can once and for all ditch the CBs and stop using the "grey" area GMRS bands that we've been using. Got 4 or 5 with their licenses so far and a few more working on it.

Today I say a 7900 pop on FB for $70. Couldn't pass it up so I messaged the guy. I then noticed he had another 7900, an 857 and a couple power supplies listed. All too cheap to not buy. Ended up paying $300 for this lot. I need to dig out an antenna and make sure they all transmit...but so far they all at least power on.

I already have a 7900 in one of my rigs and it's been a great little radio. I'll probably put one of the new ones in my DD and save the the other for the other rig I'll finish one day or flip it to one of my wheeling buddies who just got their license.

The 857 intrigues and somewhat intimidates me. It's way more complex than anything I own. I"m tempted to set it up with the 1030 when I move to my new place and use it as a base station. Might finally play around with the little bit of HF that techs are allowed to use.
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Myself and pretty much everyone I wheel with regularly are licensed General class, one Extra (over achiever)
I have a VHF/UHF tri band radio in my rig, and a mag mount I can move from the roof to the flat bed when in tight trees.
HT's are great for spotting to talk into the cab at the driver easier.
We all keep in contact in the tow rigs on the way to wheeling trips with 146.58, and we use helmet radios and HT's while out on quads as well... super handy!
I used to do more repeater talking locally, but recently it's just been when I'm around my wheeling pals.
There's a good linked network of repeaters here in Mich (W8IRA) and it's easy to keep in contact all through west MI.
I need to install radios more permanently in more of my DD's... I own them, but most of the time operate on a HT with a 1/4 wave mag mount on the roof that works way better than just a regular HT antenna.
 
Old school Tech class KB0HXA haven't used it much since the 90s bought a Yesu FT-4x Dual band hand held to get back into it, damn thing is to complicated now days you have to have coded squelch to open the repeater, when i first started all you needed was the frequency and if it it was up or down on transmit. I read the instructions till I was cross eyed which is pretty hard when you only have one eye!
 
I got my tech license about 5 years ago. Have a 2900 in the Jeep, but it hasn't been used much. Most of the gang have now switched from CB to Midland GMRS radios, so I'll probably replace the 2900 with something else GMRS capable eventually. Kinda like the idea of having a high power 2M available to reach a repeater in an emergency, though.
 
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KJ7MSY. Passed earlier this year I think. Studied using an app to memorize answers, went to a ham cram and passed the test the first time I took it. I just have a handheld and looked up one or two recommendations off of SnailTrail’s website for a mobile unit. It’s about $310 and can be used as a repeater or something like that if I park somewhere and take a hike. I’ll probably never use it and I don’t think many people use a ham radio. I just know it was a popular idea 10+ years ago when off road forums had get togethers. Unsure how great my Baofeng UV8 really is but I can listen to stuff from my house no problem.
 
Nearly everyone in the Rubicon regular crowd is a Ham. RTF did a huge push to get a lot of people licenced for saftey reasons since theres no cell phone service up there.

I had a Yeazu handheld for a while, but it got mangled a few years back when I was competing in Rallyventure. Currently have a Baofeng, but its a total POS.

I need to get a better radio sometime soon, especially since I am starting a Ham radio club at my work with another teacher.
 
I got my tech license about 5 years ago. Have a 2900 in the Jeep, but it hasn't been used much. Most of the gang have now switched from CB to Midland GMRS radios, so I'll probably replace the 2900 with something else GMRS capable eventually. Kinda like the idea of having a high power 2M available to reach a repeater in an emergency, though.

You can mod most radios to operate on the GMRS freqs. And most of the chinese radios will work on them out of the box. Technically not legal, but on low power out on the trail, who's going to care? I modded all of mine just so I don't have a carry another HT around to talk to the guys that are on GMRS.
 
You can mod most radios to operate on the GMRS freqs. And most of the chinese radios will work on them out of the box. Technically not legal, but on low power out on the trail, who's going to care? I modded all of mine just so I don't have a carry another HT around to talk to the guys that are on GMRS.

I probably will go with a chinese dual band, unless I find a decent deal on a used name brand i can mod. I can't mod my 2900 for GMRS since it's 2M only.

On the last run, I just used a Baofeng HT zip-tied to the cage with the external mic/speaker clipped to the harness shoulder strap. It got the job done but was a hassle.
 
Does anybody actually check on this or listen in to see if you are licensed? asking for a friend.
 
Does anybody actually check on this or listen in to see if you are licensed? asking for a friend.

Yes, lack of using a call sign will be a pretty easy indicator that someone doesn't have a license. And there is a large crowd of old school hams that honestly get their enjoyment out of reporting illegal activity, even to the point of using fox hunting rigs to track it down. I've heard of cases where one person filed dozens of complaints to the fcc about a problem they heard (even if it wasn't always a problem)

It takes 2-3 nights of taking practice tests online and a few bucks for the test. If someone isn't even willing to do that they should probably still to cell phones
 
I probably will go with a chinese dual band, unless I find a decent deal on a used name brand i can mod. I can't mod my 2900 for GMRS since it's 2M only.

On the last run, I just used a Baofeng HT zip-tied to the cage with the external mic/speaker clipped to the harness shoulder strap. It got the job done but was a hassle.

I have a TYT 9800 in one of my rigs. It's clone of the Yaesu 8900 for about half the price. I love the dual receivers - you can monitor two freqs simultaneously and switch between them to transmit with a single button on the mic. On wheeling trips I'll keep one side tuned to the group frequency and the other to a repeater or simplex. Really handy if you have more than one group out - each group can use their own to talk and then you can use the repeater or simplex to contact the other group if needed. The 9800 is quad band, which was a dump purchase since I'll most likely never use 10m/6m. They also have a 7900 model which is dual band and also dual receiver.....I guess a clone of the yaesu 8800. If I were buying new, I'd totally go that way.
 
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Old school Tech license just over 20 years ago. Our 4X4 club gave up on CB because of the massive idiots, noise, and lack of range. We're now on 2M.
 
I just got licensed earlier this year and have made it to General so far. Extra is next so I can be done and have full HF access. I kinda dove into it haha. I do have a QRZ page. We have a local IRLP repeater if you have one out your way.

in my home, I have a TYT 9800 for 70cm/2m/6m us running through 100ft of LMR400 to a Diamond x2000a at about 40 feet on the roof peak, then an Icom 7300 connected through 100ft of LMR400 to an EFHW-8010 wire antenna that runs from 40 ft up to 55 feet across a 120ft span (the excess 6 feet or so is vertical along a tree trunk).
I enjoy digital modes like FT8. I want to do some SATCOM stuff as well.

In my mobile, I run a TYT 7800 dual band to a Nagoya mag mount whip.


This hobby is way more fun than I was expecting.

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KJ4CSI I have a Yeasu vx8dr that I take hiking. I use it with the remote speaker mic with gps attachment. An Alinco DR-635 in the Rover. I had a Yeasu 857D in my old truck but when I scrapped it I didn't bother setting it up. I have a high current power supply that I may set up one day since I have all of the stuff to make it work. I have the automatic long wire tuner and all the duplexers I need.
 
You can mod most radios to operate on the GMRS freqs. And most of the chinese radios will work on them out of the box. Technically not legal, but on low power out on the trail, who's going to care? I modded all of mine just so I don't have a carry another HT around to talk to the guys that are on GMRS.

This.
I have all the Marine, FRS, Weather, DNR, and some local police programmed into my Baofeng.
With CHIRP software, you can make the channel a monitor only, and turn off the Tx function, useful in some cases.
Although, in an emergency you may want to contact the Popo.
I've had pretty good luck with my CCR's (cheap chinese radios), and if you drop it on a rock and it explodes or a mud hole, you're not out a ton of money.
 
This.
I have all the Marine, FRS, Weather, DNR, and some local police programmed into my Baofeng.
With CHIRP software, you can make the channel a monitor only, and turn off the Tx function, useful in some cases.
Although, in an emergency you may want to contact the Popo.
I've had pretty good luck with my CCR's (cheap chinese radios), and if you drop it on a rock and it explodes or a mud hole, you're not out a ton of money.


That's why the FCC keeps going after the chinese imports.....pretty much wide open on the no-no channels right out of the box. At least with the "legit" radios like yaesu and icom, you have to open them up and take 30 seconds to scratch that resistor off the board! :laughing:

I probably have a dozen or so of the imports in various flavors. Of course, several UV5R's.

I picked up a few of these a while back. Real handy to hand someone when they jump out to spot.

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Been running a ham radio for years, finally got my license but the odds of the fcc knocking on your door is less than getting struck by lightening. Yeah, there maybe bunch of old school radios nutz out there reporting shit, but the fcc is more concerned about selling off spectrum and managing cell carriers than going after someone using a 5watt boefung or even a mobile rig.
Get a license, like the other guys phave said, it’s cheap and easy, but also don’t get paranoid or think big brother is watching
 
KD0TLE. There are a few of the old-school curmudgeons out there who will try to chase down unlicensed operators. In a city on commercial bands more so than in the woods, but still a thing.
i really don't bother using ham hardly at all, and even when I do, it's usually just baofeng handheld at an event. I have a couple old kenwood dual-bands as well, tried to mod for hitting "race radio" frequencies but they still won't transmit there. Been meaning to get something more modern for fixed mount in my Jeep but my round to it hasn't gotten there yet.
 
Got my General about 8-9 years ago. Barely used it since with so few around my circle using anything. Have a couple mobile units now. 1 dual band Yaesu I've had for a while and a 2M Yaesu I got recently for the crawler.
 
Had a Kenwood in my FZJ80 and a Yaesu in the 4Runner. Had most of my club in Vegas converted, but I come here and it's all over the place, CB's GMRS in all the SxS's.
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That's why the FCC keeps going after the chinese imports.....pretty much wide open on the no-no channels right out of the box. At least with the "legit" radios like yaesu and icom, you have to open them up and take 30 seconds to scratch that resistor off the board! :laughing:

It's a double edged sword,
The cheap radios might make it easier for people to become interested and get a license, but it also makes it easier for idiots to muck with cop and other important freqs.
If anything ever gets restricted, I'm sure the "fix" to open them up again will be just as easy as the more expensive radios... hopefully
 
Does anyone have a HF setup? I have talked around the world with mine before. Australia and Japan are still a pain for me haha. The sun cycle is starting to get better (We just had like 3 or 4 sun spots facing us). It is coming!
 
KI6QAT
been about 12 years now.
got my Tech and General done the same day, then did the Extra a month later. yet only use a handheld Yaesu :)
Only got the Extra so I could become a VE as well and help with testing in the area. As Kurt mentioned RTF has helped a ton of people get their Ham tickets here (total is over 500 now)

Wife also has her Tech so we can keep contact as I am always out in the woods by myself and phones don't work in most of the areas.
 
Lets not feed the idiot trolls with "it's ok not to be licensed"
there are chances it will lead to the freq's getting turned into citizens band b.s.!
Buy a good radio and get licensed fukk if I can hold a general lic. so can YOU!

P.s.
Remember the repeaters are personally owned and those folks won't take kindly to the non lic. Chatter, and irregardless of that (ok off my soap box).
Carry on.
 
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Lets not feed the idiot trolls with "it's ok not to be licensed"
there are chances it will lead to the freq's getting turned into citizens band b.s.!
Buy a good radio and get licensed fukk if I can hold a general lic. so can YOU!

Seriously! :flipoff2:

But for real, if you take 2 days you can pass the exam through memorization alone. The hamstudy.org questions and answers are EXACTLY what are on the exam... so memorize and do it :laughing:. I have a pretty nerdy background so a lot of the stuff for Tech and General were fairly understandable. The Extra exam is a bit more challenging. Our state locked down and it killed our testing session so I am just going to do it next year some time :rolleyes:
 
Let spoonfeed a little...
free test study sites, add in yours ( can someone clone in a running list?) Perhaps in post #1.
Hamstudy.org
aarl.org
 
I'm one of the beneficiaries of RTF schooling and very thankful for their work and stories.

My wife got hers this year just before Covid panic as did many in my offroad club. Most were not "geeks" or technical. Yes, the memorize question/answer does work.

I've got a pair of Yeasu FT-60s.

I got it because of BFE. I'm lucky to have Rubicon repeater and 805 easy to access in my area. I got to listen to the start of a part request and get the "backend" story because my cruiser buddy monitors both freqs. He was able to contact a guy in Stockton who didn't have the parts but knew a guy in Sacramento that did.

I was able to listen to the Fork Fire response since it was down the block from me.

The problem I've heard with Beofeng isn't the fact it is "jail broken" from the factory but the fact that it is such poor quality that a majority have bleed over frequency issues.

As someone else noted, old schools hams can be very vindictive. RTF had a story of a guy that spend weeks tracking down an asshat.
 
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Seriously! :flipoff2:

But for real, if you take 2 days you can pass the exam through memorization alone. The hamstudy.org questions and answers are EXACTLY what are on the exam... so memorize and do it :laughing:. I have a pretty nerdy background so a lot of the stuff for Tech and General were fairly understandable. The Extra exam is a bit more challenging. Our state locked down and it killed our testing session so I am just going to do it next year some time :rolleyes:

Yup, did Tech and General in the same session. They offered a shot at Extra, but I had glanced at that material to know well enough that is was just going to be a wasted effort.

Going from memory for the newbies/thinking about getting it (please add/correct :homer:):

Technician is mostly Procedural/Rules (ie Using Calls Signs, using repeaters, checking for traffic before transmitting)
General gets into radio wave basics, radio types, antenna types
Extra is more theory, more math, design basics
 
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