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Ham Radio

Postby HenryJ » Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:03 pm

Thought I'd better start a topic to get some more tips :D


Any good suggestions for memorizing frequencies and permissible activities within them?

Is there a pneumonic or rhyme that works well to remember them all?

This really intrigues me since it follows the theme of this forum so closely. The free flow of information, no profit involved, sharing and learning with people all over the world.

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Postby F9K9 » Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm

Talked with a coworker today who is high in the ham qualifications and briefly was immersed in a wealth of info. Will try to address all that he told me later. He named sites that may have already been listed in the other topic but, there was one site with sample exams.

It all made me start to think about emergency situations. I really do not give much thought to a 2000' climb to get cell service but, 2000' might seem like 20 miles if I am injured.

I also have a very special place in my heart for the amatuer radio enthusiasts! When I was far, far away, in a long forgotten conflict, we were able to call home once or twice a yr because a ham operator was staying awake at 3 AM to connect us to our loved ones. The more I hear, the more I like. I feel ackward in my lack of knowledge but, like all new things, it will become familar the more we deal with it.
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Postby HenryJ » Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:40 pm

Oh, yeah what about having a radio sitting on the bench with direct contact to me for advice , or criticism during your body lift this spring? :lol:

No phone bill, and probably a quicker response than you would get here ;)

BTW- After a little studying I am getting better now up to 65.7 percent and not even half way through the book.

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Postby F9K9 » Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:26 am

HenryJ wrote:Oh, yeah what about having a radio sitting on the bench with direct contact to me for advice , or criticism during your body lift this spring? :lol:

No phone bill, and probably a quicker response than you would get here ;)

BTW- After a little studying I am getting better now up to 65.7 percent and not even half way through the book.


0uch :o

After my private brag I don't know if i"d call if my arm was trapped/pinned between the cab and frame and all I could reach was a PTT to a conection to you.. It's bad enough when Mrs f9k9 calls to tell me something hasn't arrived from "Brule" :lol:

Will gnaw my arm free and "truck on" :!:

Happy new years one and all :)
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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:48 am

HenryJ wrote:Oh, yeah what about having a radio sitting on the bench with direct contact to me for advice , or criticism during your body lift this spring? :lol:

No phone bill, and probably a quicker response than you would get here ;)

BTW- After a little studying I am getting better now up to 65.7 percent and not even half way through the book.

Yeah, just find out the closest IRLP and you can talk direct repeater -to- repeater :)
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Re: Ham Radio

Postby kf6kmx » Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:19 am

HenryJ wrote:Thought I'd better start a topic to get some more tips :D


Any good suggestions for memorizing frequencies and permissible activities within them?

Is there a pneumonic or rhyme that works well to remember them all?

This really intrigues me since it follows the theme of this forum so closely. The free flow of information, no profit involved, sharing and learning with people all over the world.


I dont recall if there was a rhyme to it or not.. There probably is (isnt there to everything :) )
I'll check around.

I've been getting emails from a local emergency services group I work with (using the radios) about some of the relief efforts in India and that some of the areas there the ONLY communications coming out is from Indian ham operators that are able to reach ham's in other countries to replay information.
I saw something a while back that had a thing about 'celebrities' that are ham operators that no one realised, it was interesting (Arther C. Clark (lives in Sri Lanka also), Ronnie Milsap, Patty Lovelless (KD4WUJ)..)
Check this list out, and its an older list.. I was shocked..
List of famous hams

One pretty prominent person who was VERY active (unlike most on that list) but has passed away, was JY1, King Hussein of Jordan..
Image
He not only had a license, but used it, all the time.. He went on at least on expedition ('radio camping trip') [url=http://www.papays.com/jy74x.html]photos[/url, and when he was here in the US for cancer treatment, was on the air here to keep himself occupied with his hobby while he was sick.
JY1 info - pretty interesting
When a ham makes a l(usually long distrance) contact, they exchange "QSL cards" (sort of a postcard to verify that you really did reach someone).. A lot of people use 'form letter' ones that just have the contact info, with even the time/date computer printed. He would actually fill out the contact info and sign the cards himself.
JY1 QSL Card

Another way it follow the forum, on the radio, it doesnt matter who/where/what you are, you are all the same, with a common interest.
This was from a web site:
Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, says he enjoyed a three-minute contact on 20 meters with the King in the fall of 1995."JY1 was traveling aeronautical mobile, enroute to the United Nations.He insisted on me addressing him simply as 'Hussein'," he said.
"In one of the oldest traditions in amateur radio, Hussein upheld that this kinship transverses not only age and nationality, but also between citizen and head of state!"
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:22 am

f9k9 wrote:It all made me start to think about emergency situations. I really do not give much thought to a 2000' climb to get cell service but, 2000' might seem like 20 miles if I am injured.

Thats pretty much where my thoughts are about it and using the extender mode of my truck radio. A long hike/climb can be nice, unless you try it with a broken leg or something.
f9k9 wrote:I also have a very special place in my heart for the amatuer radio enthusiasts! When I was far, far away, in a long forgotten conflict, we were able to call home once or twice a yr because a ham operator was staying awake at 3 AM to connect us to our loved ones. The more I hear, the more I like. I feel ackward in my lack of knowledge but, like all new things, it will become familar the more we deal with it.

Some of that is still in place (MARS - Military Amateur Radio Service, amoung others) but its not used, with cell phone and satelite now. Except in cases where the other systems fail, then its still around :wink:
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 01, 2005 5:08 pm

Not quite through the second chapter of the book yet.

This looks quite a bit like a "prehistoric internet" , only you are your ISP.
It may just be my perception at this point since I am studying the data transmission portion, but it almost seems like a step backward.
Now if "normal" modes of communication are not available , this would still be an option. There is also the fact that this will never be commercialized as so much of the internet has been.

Just some stray thoughts....

EDIT: I have now passed three practice tests in a row, the highest being 87%. On to chapter three :D

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Postby 2bunik » Sat Jan 01, 2005 11:05 pm

what is HAM ... :oops:
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Postby jeff024 » Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:35 am

I can only tell you the best ham is Honey Glazed IMO :lol:
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Postby kf6kmx » Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:43 am

HenryJ wrote:Not quite through the second chapter of the book yet.

This looks quite a bit like a "prehistoric internet" , only you are your ISP.
It may just be my perception at this point since I am studying the data transmission portion, but it almost seems like a step backward.

It is a little compared to the internet.. But the method for doing the data transmision has been around longer than the internet. It was designed back when dial-up modems to BBS systems were just getting popular :schwing:
HenryJ wrote:
Now if "normal" modes of communication are not available , this would still be an option. There is also the fact that this will never be commercialized as so much of the internet has been.

Not too many people use the straight packet mode any more for general use.. Its used alot with emergency communications though, for passing messages and things, since its on a computer and you can print out hardcopies. It is slower, but it works just like email, and you dont have to have any utility connections at all.. A small handheld radio and a battery powered laptop and you can be on the air with it anywhere. Or just a radio, in the case of the Kenwood TH-D7AG Image you dont need anything but the radio to do it.
The APRS (the tracker that my truck does to show where its at) is actually using a modernized version the original method. instead of having the packet 'msg' addressed to a destination address, it does a 'broadcast' of a specially formatted msg that all the other stations listening to the frequency (144.390mhz nationwide) hear and understand.

The voice communications are much more useful in general practice though :)
HenryJ wrote:
EDIT: I have now passed three practice tests in a row, the highest being 87%. On to chapter three :D

Great!
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:48 am

2bunik wrote:what is HAM ... :oops:

I didnt remember where the 'ham' part got tied to it, but its an 'Amateur Radio Operator'.. So you got me looking on the 'net... :)
ARRL web site wrote:"Ham: a poor operator. A 'plug.'"

That's the definition of the word given in G. M. Dodge's The Telegraph Instructor even before radio. The definition has never changed in wire telegraphy. The first wireless operators were landline telegraphers who left their offices to go to sea or to man the coastal stations. They brought with them their language and much of the tradition of their older profession.

In those early days, spark was king and every station occupied the same wavelength--or, more accurately perhaps, every station occupied the whole spectrum with its broad spark signal. Government stations, ships, coastal stations and the increasingly numerous amateur operators all competed for time and signal supremacy in each other's receivers. Many of the amateur stations were very powerful. Two amateurs, working across town, could effectively jam all the other operators in the area. When this happened, frustrated commercial operators would call the ship whose weaker signals had been blotted out by the amateurs and say "SRI OM THOSE #&$!@ HAMS ARE JAMMING YOU."

Amateurs, possibly unfamiliar with the real meaning of the term, picked it up and applied it to themselves in true "Yankee Doodle" fashion and wore it with pride. As the years advanced, the original meaning has completely disappeared.


ARRL web site wrote:What Can I Do With Ham Radio?

You can communicate from the top of a mountain, your home or behind the wheel of your car. You can take radio wherever you go! In times of disaster, when regular communications channels fail, hams can swing into action assisting emergency communications efforts and working with public service agencies. At other times, you can talk to Shuttle astronauts or bounce signals off the moon. You can use telegraphy, voice, digital, even images in communication with other hams.

Never talked to the shuttle or ISS myself, but I have talked to far end of Arizona from here (about 1,000 miles or so I think) using the AO-27 satelite..
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby 2bunik » Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:49 am

it sounds like fun.. kinda cool if you ask me.. I bet you don't have to pay for service either? :D
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Postby kf6kmx » Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:25 am

2bunik wrote:it sounds like fun.. kinda cool if you ask me.. I bet you don't have to pay for service either? :D

Nope. In fact its illegal to be paid for use of the ham bands.. (there are ways of being reimbursed for some services, but no direct payment). They made that ruling to prevent it from ending up a charge-service. The only cost is getting a radio (sometimes no charge in that :wink: )

There is also a setup on a lot of local repeaters, a phone-patch, and you can make phone calls from the radio even. We have one on a local repeater that has a speed-dial in it, has all the local emergency (sheriff, CHP, fire, etc) and speed dials for the home numbers (or whatever we want) for the club members. I still use my cell most of the time for phone calls, but its nice when the cell battery is dead or I'm someplace with no service (Tmobile stinks around here once you get outside of the town.. there is over 6 miles of major county road on the way to the air base with no coverage at all).

One thing thats gets interesting with the APRS (the tracking system in my truck) is some of the uses they have come up with.. THe Rose Parade (yesterday) has a local club working with them, and they have trackers on specified locations (floats) in the parade.. They can sit at a laptop and see where every part of the parade is, and the speed it is moving.
The Baker-to-Vegas run that the law enforcement teams do every year is the same way.. They have a groups of hams with the trackers mounted in chase cars that stay with certain parts of the group so they can tell exactly where they are on the course.

Then there are always the balloons people send up (high altitude weather balloons) with trackers on them. usually in the spring, and usually in the midwest where they have a lot of flat area.. They run up 30 to 50 thousand feet (you can track them on the system) then most have a 'suicide button' that blows the balloon and brings the radio gear back down on a parachute system when they send it a signal.
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:00 pm

Oh, the possibilities seem endless!

How does the locator system work? I am under the impression that one way transmissions are prohibited except for control of model aircraft, and the like?

Or was that encoded messages, that are prohibited for all but those applications?

Am I confused about this?

I really haven't looked into the locator very closely yet, so maybe these are stupid questions.

Oh, well...the stupidest question is the one not asked ;)

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Postby kf6kmx » Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:23 pm

HenryJ wrote:Oh, the possibilities seem endless!

How does the locator system work? I am under the impression that one way transmissions are prohibited except for control of model aircraft, and the like?


You are right and wrong :wink: The ones in regard to the R/C are the 'un identfied' transmision (no callsign by voice/morse code/ or digital).
You right though, you cant do 'open ended broadcast' type one-way. But the traker ones are 'to' other trackers. They have all kinds of 'loop holes' :)
Their intention was to keep someone from setting up their own little broadcast radio station.
And yeah, if you are into remote control, ham is the best way to go.. you can use the 6meter freqs (50mhz area) which VERY few other RC people use (only ham licensed R/C'ers can use them), PLUS you get to use considerably more power than a 'normal' RC increasing the range.. I know a couple people who do R/C jets using the 6meter and they said in 4 years they have only had someone else on the same channel ONCE.

HenryJ wrote:I really haven't looked into the locator very closely yet, so maybe these are stupid questions.

Oh, well...the stupidest question is the one not asked ;)


Not stupid a bit.
A good source for general info on the trackers is
APRS site - That is Bob Bruninga's web site (he is the 'father' of APRS).
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:47 am

kf6kmx wrote:...Tell you what, if you get a license I might even have a handheld (maybe even a mobile if I can locate it) that I can help you get started with the radio gear Idea They are both 2m (144mhz) radios.. I am 99% sure where the handheld is, and I think I know where the mobile is (I used to have it mounted to the bottom on my SSB-CB radio when I pulled the RV with my 1-ton.. its probably still mounted to the radio stored in the box).

Basic to get started witha good setup, would be:
Hand held
mag mount antenna (figure $35 at radio shack?)
power cord (if radio runs 12v, you just need a lighter-to-radio cord, cheap at radio shack)
maybe an antenna adapter for the radio (depends on the radio and the antenna.. some radios use an 'SMA' plug, some use 'BNC'.. Some of the antennas will come with 'BNC', or 'PL259'. The adapter is between $3 and $9 and can be at Radio shack, or in some cases you may have to get it from a ham or actual electronic supply (rare.. in all my handhelds, I have ONE that needed a $6 adapter from an electronic house in Fresno, CA, everything else is using the BNC from radio shack for $3.
Maybe a handheld speaker/mic for the radio, between $6 and up depending on how fancy you want the mic (headset, handheld, voice activated, they even make one that wires into the vehicle with a button on the wheel to trigger the mic that is mounted up on the sun visor.
It is no longer a matter of IF, when I get my license. I am far enough into this that there is no going back!

I am pretty consistently passing the practice quizes now, but still have more of the book to finish reading. It really is nice to better understand some of the concepts that were a little "fuzzy" before. Who knew Ohm was a person...maybe you but not me ;)

I'm shooting for testing the end of the month if all goes well. Barring that Feb. for sure.

Were you able to round up any gear? I'd like to have some idea of what else might be needed, so that I can start the looking gathering phase.

I really don't want to have to sit on my hands waiting on gear once that license is posted :D

PM me if you want an address or more information :D

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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:15 pm

HenryJ wrote: It is no longer a matter of IF, when I get my license. I am far enough into this that there is no going back!

I am pretty consistently passing the practice quizes now, but still have more of the book to finish reading. It really is nice to better understand some of the concepts that were a little "fuzzy" before. Who knew Ohm was a person...maybe you but not me ;)

Alright! I was wondering how you were doing (was actually logging in to post a 'hows it going' when I got this msg :)
Some of it has practical uses in other things too.. The watt/ohm/volt conversion comes in handy sometimes with lighting on the truck (figuring how big a fuse I'm going to blow out trying to put all them lights on my 1-ton was a good example :) )

HenryJ wrote:
I'm shooting for testing the end of the month if all goes well. Barring that Feb. for sure.

It usually only takes a week or so to get the license #.. It takes a couple weeks to get the hard copy, BUT as soon as your name pops up on the FCC list of licensed operators, you're on the air, you don't have to wait for the hard copy to show up. As long as you have the number, you're legal. Maybe by then we'll have our IRLP repeater back up.. Our local repeater that I mentioned that can talk direct to up there went off the air just before Christmas for no apparent reason.. Best guess we have is its related to the heavy storms we've been getting.. Its about 6 or 7,000 ft up the hill.. unfortunately right now with the wx, even the 4x4's cant get anywhere near it.. If the ex dries out a little, we think we might get to it using my CC and one fullsize 4x4.. We dont think it would be wise for just one 4x4 to try it, we're trying to get at least 2 or preferable 3 as a support convoy in case the access roads are just too bad. Its housed up there in a bunker with some other broadcast equipment, and the access road is basically a beat up logging road at best.
If we get it online we can make a long distance contact over it after you get on the air :)

HenryJ wrote:
Were you able to round up any gear? I'd like to have some idea of what else might be needed, so that I can start the looking gathering phase.

Yep, have a little 'care package' here for you 8)
I have:
Radio Shack HTX-202 2meter hand held radio
-rechargeable battery pack (dont nkow how good the pack is as far as holding charge)
-alkaline battery pack (runs the radio from 6 AA batteries
-rubber-duck antenna

I havent located the car-mounted radio yet, its stuffed in a box sompleace from the move a couple years ago :roll:

The handheld will work as it is, but the only things I can suggest that would be good to grab to go with it, all can be found at the local radio shack:
20-032 $34.95 Scanner antenna, mag mount with BNC plug. Is a good transmitting antenna for the 2m handheld (its the one I use as my backup antenna)
21-1834 $24.95 Optional, hand held speak/mic.. I think this is the right part #, probably should take the radio in with you and make sure it right. Lets you mount the radio or keep it on the belt clip and talk.Very nice when driving.

Only other thing would be a 12v lighter plug for it.. I dont know the part #, just take the radio in and find the one that plugs into it and goes direct to the cig. lighter. The radio runs on full 12v straight from the truck. Some cell phone cords might be the right plug also..


HenryJ wrote:
I really don't want to have to sit on my hands waiting on gear once that license is posted :D

PM me if you want an address or more information :D


I know that feeling :)
Yeah, send me a PM with shipping info and I can get this headed your way!
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:34 pm

I have emailed the "director" of the local club seeking current testing times and place.

I am consistently passing the quizes now , and getting close to finishing the book.

Sent you a PM, thanks for the assist :D I'm sure that I will have many more questions after I get my license.

I really want to get the mobile repeater set up, then the locator.

Baby steps :D first get the license :lol:

I hope you do not get tired of questions ;) I'm just getting started :lol:

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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:16 pm

HenryJ wrote:I have emailed the "director" of the local club seeking current testing times and place.

I am consistently passing the quizes now , and getting close to finishing the book.

Sent you a PM, thanks for the assist :D I'm sure that I will have many more questions after I get my license.

I really want to get the mobile repeater set up, then the locator.

yep, you're getting hooked :poke:
HenryJ wrote:Baby steps :D first get the license :lol:

I hope you do not get tired of questions ;) I'm just getting started :lol:


Ask away! :)

There is a nice low cost locator encoder that is out there also.. I'm trying to get my dad to build a unit into his s-10 excab.. Its called the TinyTrak.
All you need is any NMEA GPS, a radio that transmits 144.390mhz, and the TinyTrak, and you have a transmitting locator beacon. its so small it can easily be mounted INSIDE some radios.. I'm thinking about putting one in his truck using a small handheld radio. probably try and pickup one off ebay with a bad battery, open up the battery case and pull the battery, then mount the TinyTrak in there.. And get him a GPS-35 like I have on the roof of mine.. Its s little smaller than a MS Mouse, all in one, and has an almost non existant current drain (mine is hooked to fulltime power for the last 8 months (never turns off at all).
Then mount the radio under the drivers seat and run it from an ignition switched power source. Might end up being a project this spring...

You can run up to 16 APRS units off your callsign (using SSID #, a numberic extenstion.. ex: my home is KF6KMX, then I can add -1 thru -15 to the callsign to add trackers, KF6KMX-12 is my truck. I only have the one tracker.. under an old obsollete standard the -12 got you a pickup truck graphics on the tracking maps, now you can use any SSID and get the pickup using a different coding system).
I know people who have installed 'covert' trackers on their RV, car, SUV, and even Goldwing motorcycle.. If any of it gets stolen, all they do is fire up a map and see where it went the last time the ignition was on :cool: . No one knows its on any of the vehicles, and its wired in a relay system to where even if its hotwired, as long as the ignition coil is powered, the trackers come on. They even have an atenna on the RV that is only 2" tall and cant be seen from the ground at all.
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:23 pm

Plus you could always build a PocketTracker.
Its made with the TinyTrak, and is built into an ALTOIDS tin!
Talk about a compact locator..
I'm playing with the idea of one of those for my Trek mountain bike :idea:
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:33 pm

That looks like good stuff :D

I'll have to learn some more about what I need to do, and if my current GPS receivers might be of use.

First must concentrate...brain overloading...err...get license ;)

Keep it coming this is all good! :thumb:

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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:41 pm

HenryJ wrote:That looks like good stuff :D

I'll have to learn some more about what I need to do, and if my current GPS receivers might be of use.

First must concentrate...brain overloading...err...get license ;)

Keep it coming this is all good! :thumb:

What GPS's do you have, I might be able to tell you if they work.. Most of the Garmin's do as long as they have an output port.. The 2610 I think it is (the lower price (if $999 is lower priced..) touch screen) DOESNT.. it has a USB only and no NMEA.. a friend locally bought it for his Avalanche and the found out it didnt do NMEA..
Most of the other Garmins will do it though..
I have the Streetpilot III on my dash and a handheld GPS II+ that I use hiking and both do, a friend who is a pilot in VFA154 has a Streetpilot ColorMap that does, and another friend is using the GPS IV+ and it does..

they even have cables now to connect to the etrek ones.

I even found a web site with instructions to MODIFY an On*Star unit to feed NMEA?! But you have to switch it back and forth to use the onstar mode and the NMEA mode..
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:05 pm

I have a DeLorme USB Earthmate receiver for the laptop, and a Magellan SporTrac Pro handheld.

I'm pretty sure that the magellan will not "realtime" output information. There may be adapters to use the USB Earthmate though?

Heck small receivers are realatively inexpensive now, I could probably pick one up on ebay.

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Postby kf6kmx » Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:28 pm

HenryJ wrote:I have a DeLorme USB Earthmate receiver for the laptop, and a Magellan SporTrac Pro handheld.

I'm pretty sure that the magellan will not "realtime" output information. There may be adapters to use the USB Earthmate though?

Heck small receivers are realatively inexpensive now, I could probably pick one up on ebay.


Possibly good news, is this your gps?
Sport Trac Pro Specs
Its shows near the bottom:
Magellan site wrote:Data Output (NMEA 0183 V1.5 Standard) Yes
Data Output (NMEA 0183 V2.1 Standard) Yes

So it looks like it might do it.
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:36 am

That would be very cool. That would make the locator very portable.

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:56 pm

Finishing up chapter nine and have been passing the QRZ.com quiz in the upper 90's regularly.

Finally received a response to my email inquiries. One of the VE's is a snowbird and winters in Arizona. (lucky devil!)

He seems to think that they are indeed testing on the fourth Saturday of every month. So my current goal is to take the test Saturday after next.

After doing a little looking I now see that there are radios that are dual band, and APRS. Is that a good idea? Or is it like having all your eggs in the same basket?

Would something like that do everything? (repeater, locator) , I haven't looked into it far enough. Maybe it would be a one or the other type situation? I really should have more information so that my questions are a little more intelligent :roll:

Maybe setting up a 2-meter mobile strictly for the APRS is the way to go? Then concentrate on a nice dual band to function as a repeater?

Back to studying, there will be plenty of time to research equipment later ;)

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Postby HenryJ » Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:49 pm

Finished the book.

I got email from the local VE, testing the third Saturday of the month has been confirmed. Wish it was this weekend, so that things were still fresh in mind.

I'm doing pretty well, probably not going to "ace" it, but should be able to pass. :fingers crossed:

Just going to go back through the book and refresh the "trouble spots" from now until testing day.

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Postby kf6kmx » Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:59 pm

HenryJ wrote:Finished the book.

I got email from the local VE, testing the third Saturday of the month has been confirmed. Wish it was this weekend, so that things were still fresh in mind.

I'm doing pretty well, probably not going to "ace" it, but should be able to pass. :fingers crossed:

Just going to go back through the book and refresh the "trouble spots" from now until testing day.

Sounds like a good plan to me!
I havent sent the radio yet, held off a couple days to try and locate the mobile unit, no dice.. But I found some extrta parts for the handheld (antenna 'relocator' that moves its rubber antenna to a window, and a coax adapter to plug its BNC connector into a standard coax connector. I'll box it all up in the morning and get it going your way :)
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:17 pm

I think the first step after getting a little experience with the handheld would be to get a mobile set up to act as a repeater.

What would you suggest?

I came across this : http://www.hamradio.com/ and did see one listed as a "2M/440 MOBILE W/ APRS+TNC BUILT-IN"

Is that something that I should consider? or would it be a better idea to have separate components?

Would it be best to wait save my money and spend the big bucks on a radio that does everything that I would ever want? What would that be?

Or should I just take it in steps , start basic and eventually have what I want to achieve?

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Postby kf6kmx » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:33 pm

HenryJ wrote:I think the first step after getting a little experience with the handheld would be to get a mobile set up to act as a repeater.

What would you suggest?

I came across this : http://www.hamradio.com/ and did see one listed as a "2M/440 MOBILE W/ APRS+TNC BUILT-IN"

Is that something that I should consider? or would it be a better idea to have separate components?

Would it be best to wait save my money and spend the big bucks on a radio that does everything that I would ever want? What would that be?

Or should I just take it in steps , start basic and eventually have what I want to achieve?


You have alaptop in your truck, right? (I cant remember(.. If so, I'd suggest the Alinco DR135TP. Its the one in mine. Its a 2m only, with built in TNC for the APRS.
The dual band with TNC is nice, but you have one side tied up with the TNC/APRS so you rally just have an expensive single band :)
If you dont have a laptop, the Alinco WILL work, but if you want a display of any information without the laptop, I'd suggest a Kenwood D700.. Its more expensive, and a dual band with TNC, but has a a full APRS system built into it that you can control from the front panel. If you have a supported Garmin GPS, it will even put some of the information on the GPS as waypoint markers.
For the extender-repeaters, I'd suggest either the Yaesu FT8800 or Kenwood V7A. Those are both very reliable and havea a good extender in them. The FT8800 is the one in mine that I have the control mounted below the radio.. The V7A has a narrower/taller controller (with blue LCD), thats the one I have mounted in my dad's truck for him to use.

www.hamradio.com is pretty good. Its Ham Radio Outlet's web site.. I have made many trips (treks?) up to their store in the San Jose area for parts.
Another good one is AES's site, www.aesham.com , that one, at least to here in CA, has no sales taxes since they are out of state. About 1/2 of my equipment is from each of those two.
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:29 pm

Ok, this is all still a little over my head :mad:

I do have a laptop, but usually stow it for the rough stuff while offroad. That would limit it's use for APRS.

The APRS only transmits periodically, right? That wouldn't totally disable a dual band would it?

Perhaps it is just difficult to knock all this into my dense head?

Does the APRS pretty much need it's own radio?

First goal would be a good extender-repeater mobile, leaving the APRS to be added either seperately, or inaddition to later.

So that being said what do you like the best? The Yaesu FT8800 or Kenwood V7A?

I will need to be capable of some pretty good DX, eventually.

Is there a better option out there?

I keep thinking back to the laptop purchase...I went out looking for a Cadillac that performed like a Ferarri, ended up with the assembly line basic transportation. I am very happy with it :D

What about this quad? Manufacturer: YAESU
Item : FT-8900R
Description : QUADBAND 29/50/144/430 MHZ VHF/UHF FULL DUPLEX

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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:37 pm

This is looking like a pretty good radio - YAESU FT-8900R 29/50/144/430 MHZ VHF/UHF FULL DUPLEX -Reviews

I'm thinking that this antenna would be a good match - Diamond HV7A

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Postby Pauleo » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:05 am

This may be a stupid question but....

is a short wave radio different from ham???? My neighbor has a big tower in his back yard and is always bragging about the different states and some foriegn countries he has talked to. Just wondering.
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:32 am

Pauleo wrote:This may be a stupid question but....

is a short wave radio different from ham???? My neighbor has a big tower in his back yard and is always bragging about the different states and some foriegn countries he has talked to. Just wondering.
I am not really sure what frequencies are referred to as "Short wave". I assume that short wave refers to wave length being short and the short wavelength frequencies travel greater distances.
It looks to me like the short wave broadcasts would fall outside the amateur radio service frequencies, since they include broadcasts, and entertainment. These are prohibited for the amateur radio frequencies.
I know very little about all this though, so I'm sure someone will set us straight :D

My guess would be that your neighbor is indeed a "Ham" , and may or may not be licensed for short wave transmissions.

I'm not really sure if I like the term "ham" now that I know it started out as a derogatory term. amateur Radio Operator doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily though :D

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:03 pm

I have yet to score 100% on the practice quiz, but 97.1% is becoming pretty regular :D

I've done some more mobile looking, and the Yaesu FT-8900R is still looking good , although I have had feedback from one individual who doesn't like the Yaesu line.

The Kenwood D-700A is tempting with the TNC for APRS, but wouldn't the availability of 29/50 for DX'ing be of value in the long run?

Still undecided :( so many options and not quite sure what I will really use.

Oh! that HTX-202 was recommended as a good beginner radio :thumb: Thanks! I'm sure it will help me a bunch!

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Postby HenryJ » Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:54 am

OK, left turn...

I am being told that 10m is dying, 6m SSB is useful, but 6m FM is extremely limited.
This makes the quad band a high priced radio for the two bands that might see use , 2m and 70cm.

Next problem, I set my scanner to 144.390 to see if there was any APRS activity....nope. So APRS is out for my area too , I guess.

All this is starting to lose some of the luster :(

So off I go to look some more.
Last edited by HenryJ on Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby F9K9 » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:40 pm

Don't lose hope there, Brule. :D

My coworker just passed some "highest" level test (he said one of the levels was recently dropped) and he tells me about some pretty high tech stuff (high tech, for me) about things that can be done thru a laptop or sending messages to a satellite and when the satellite is over your "friend", who lives in Australia, it transmits it to them.

I checked out Ontario, OR and you should be pretty well "hooked up" once you get on the air :lol:

If they have stuff like that here in SE KY I am sure you will have allot more available where you are at.

As I understand it, the "HAM Fests" is where you make contacts, see a lot of the products and meet contacts.

Correct me if I have misunderstood kf6kmx
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Postby HenryJ » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:52 am

I'll keep studying, and see how the handheld works out.

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:25 am

Here is another practice exam site: http://www.eham.net/exams/ the other one is http://www.qrz.com/testing.html

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:59 am

Well I'm back...

The day didn't start out so good.

First sleeping was a little tough with anticipation of testing the next morning. I got up early, had a bite to eat and tried a few more practice exams to take my mind off of the time.
I tried and tried but never did hit 100% on any of them in all the time I studied :mad:
It is getting close to time to head over to Fruitland where the testing is done. I grab my sharpened pencils, pen and calculator...Wait! Do I have my two forms of ID?
Pull out the wallet and look...NOPE. I used my city firefighters ID for the orientation tour at the prison :roll: I dig around and find it attached to the lanyard on the dining table.
Hmm, maybe a birth certificate would be better? So I drag out the fire safe, but mine is not in there?!?
"Where the 7734 is my birth certificate?!?" My wife says did you check your EMT paperwork" :idea: OK, so it is in there :? She is right as usual :shock:

Now one last trip the the can, and out the door to find...FREEZING FOG...GREAT! Well I have fifteen minutes , I can make it by 9:00am, and a few minutes late won't be too bad.
Of course when you are pressed for time everyone is being EXTREMELY careful about driving. What would normally take a little over ten minutes takes a full twenty to get there.
I arrive at the front door of FMTC to find it locked? WTF? It is supposed to be in the community room of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company Building.
So I skate back across the parking lot and drive around the back of the building on my way home. HOLD EVERYTHING, there are five vehicles with antennas on them back here. Across the alley I see a small building with the letters Community Center :roll: guess I found the place :D
Skate across yet another icy parking lot, to the door. A piece of paper on the door says HAM Testing 9:00 today.
I walk in Several people are sitting at arranged tables. I proceed to the gentlemen seated at the center with all the paperwork. Reach for my wallet....I LEFT MY WALLET AT HOME! (@!#*&%#) "Uhmmm, I forgot my wallet". One man says , "Oh, that is a problem..."., I say "I'll be right back" (@!#*&%#)

So back across the skating rink to the pick-up, follow every terrified old lady in the valley all the way back to my house, slide into my house , (not literally with the pick-up) , grab my wallet and...check book (money would be nice too, right :roll: ), back to Fruitland following the same old ladies, well by now you know the routine.

I arrive back about 9:40am , I think? Pretty rattled at my best laid plans crumbling.
Three people are in the middle of testing.

I fill out the paperwork and receive the exam, answer sheet and assorted paperwork in a folder. After having them check my calculators memory, I grab a seat near the door. You never know I may open the test and make a bolt for the door :lol:

The test goes pretty well I only hesitate on a couple questions, finish and close the folder. No second guessing.
I hand the folder to the VEC and return to my seat.
By now two of the other guys testing have finished, so I lose track of which folder is mine and how the grading is going. The tests are passed to three or four examiners to confirm the results. Then handed back to the gentleman in the center.
I over hear the VEC saying "This will never due", "we can't have this...". Then He says "Brule" and motions for me to come forward.

Fitting end to a messed up day right?

He says "There must be something wrong, you scored the highest we have tested...100%" I wanted the shout YES!, but instead said "Good, I couldn't get that on the practice tests, I'm glad that I did it here" :D

He said "It will be a few more minutes" , so I returned to my seat, to wait.

I was then handed a certificate of successful completion, and told that I should see it posted maybe as early as next Wednesday.

WooHoo! My ticket is on it's way!
Last edited by HenryJ on Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Pauleo » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:41 pm

CONGRATS, BIG GUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
100% :shock:
Way to go!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Rusty » Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:06 pm

Sounds like your day started out like one of mine Image but at least your's had a happy ending (although mine usually do too).

Congratulations! :cheers:
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Postby F9K9 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:16 pm

Congrats :thumb:

BTW..........your guestimate of 6 hours was right on the money :lol:
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:30 am

HenryJ wrote:I do have a laptop, but usually stow it for the rough stuff while offroad. That would limit it's use for APRS.

Am back.. Havnet been on all weekend, going in S10CC.com withdrawls!

I went with a Panasonic Toughbook from eBay.. Its a heavy duty shock-mounted computer.. I take it out if I have a passenger, but otherwise its usually there all the time in mine.

HenryJ wrote:The APRS only transmits periodically, right? That wouldn't totally disable a dual band would it?

It transmits on a schedule every couple minutes, but its also recieving other stations, so it pretty much ties it to a freq.

HenryJ wrote:Does the APRS pretty much need it's own radio?

Its best with its own radio.. You can get a dual band radio like the Kenwood D700 and it uses half of it, which gives you the other side to use yourself.. Its a pretty good choice I think.. You can do a lot of the APRS right on its own display. I have a few friends here locally that use it.

HenryJ wrote:First goal would be a good extender-repeater mobile, leaving the APRS to be added either seperately, or inaddition to later.

So that being said what do you like the best? The Yaesu FT8800 or Kenwood V7A?

They are both good. Hard to pick.. In the S10 I like the FT8800 better for fit.. The display isnt as tall, and it wider.. Fits perfect below my radio on the dash.. The V7A is a taller display and might not fit as well.. The V7A has a separate connection for the mic though that you can mount anywhere you want, where the 8800 the mic comes out of the faceplate..
Its a '6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other' situation.

HenryJ wrote:What about this quad? Manufacturer: YAESU
Item : FT-8900R
Description : QUADBAND 29/50/144/430 MHZ VHF/UHF FULL DUPLEX


A friend had that one, but he only uses the 2m/440 side..
The 10m is loosing popularity, and you have to have (right now, but it may be changing) the next level license up to use 10m.. 6m CAN give you huge ranges, but 6m isnt as popular.. If you want huge range, best way to go would be a radaio capable of SSB.. I have a FT100 Yaesu that is all-band, all-mode.. On my license I can only use 6m and above, but I get AM/FM/SSB/CW on everything 52mhz and up.. I have it at my house hooked to a beam antenna for 2m SSB right now. It doesnt do any mobile extender functions though..
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:31 am

HenryJ wrote:This is looking like a pretty good radio - YAESU FT-8900R 29/50/144/430 MHZ VHF/UHF FULL DUPLEX -Reviews

I'm thinking that this antenna would be a good match - Diamond HV7A

Thats the combination a friend's got.. He likes it, just doesnt use the 10m at all and the 6m rarely.
He said he thought it would have been a better radio if they had made a 6m/2m/220mhz/440mhz out of it..
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:35 am

HenryJ wrote:
Pauleo wrote:This may be a stupid question but....

is a short wave radio different from ham???? My neighbor has a big tower in his back yard and is always bragging about the different states and some foriegn countries he has talked to. Just wondering.
I am not really sure what frequencies are referred to as "Short wave". I assume that short wave refers to wave length being short and the short wavelength frequencies travel greater distances.
It looks to me like the short wave broadcasts would fall outside the amateur radio service frequencies, since they include broadcasts, and entertainment. These are prohibited for the amateur radio frequencies.
I know very little about all this though, so I'm sure someone will set us straight :D

My guess would be that your neighbor is indeed a "Ham" , and may or may not be licensed for short wave transmissions.

I'm not really sure if I like the term "ham" now that I know it started out as a derogatory term. amateur Radio Operator doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily though :D


Short wave is in general use don anything below about 20mhz.. most of the 'world band' radio stuff is 3 to 7mhz.. WWV (national standard clock) runs at 5mhz, 10mhz, 15mhz, and 20mhz.. A lot of people use it as a reference to tune their radio equip.
The ham bands are spread all around with other uses.. Some of the ham bands are 'secondary' to other uses (we have to share, and the other user gets priority_ and some are shared with ham as priority..
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:38 am

HenryJ wrote:I have yet to score 100% on the practice quiz, but 97.1% is becoming pretty regular :D

I've done some more mobile looking, and the Yaesu FT-8900R is still looking good , although I have had feedback from one individual who doesn't like the Yaesu line.

The Kenwood D-700A is tempting with the TNC for APRS, but wouldn't the availability of 29/50 for DX'ing be of value in the long run?

Still undecided :( so many options and not quite sure what I will really use.

Oh! that HTX-202 was recommended as a good beginner radio :thumb: Thanks! I'm sure it will help me a bunch!

There are always people who do or dont like a line religiously.. Myself I used to not like Yaesu until a friend sold me a used 7100.. It was one of the sturdiest radios I've had! I put it in my old Intrepid instead of the V7A becuase the V7A face was too tall to fit anywhere in the car..
I've had good luck with Icom handhelds, but never had much use for their mobiles, they seem less feature oriented for the price.

I like the D700 alot.. If I had the $ I'd be tempted to pick one up.
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:42 am

HenryJ wrote:OK, left turn...

I am being told that 10m is dying, 6m SSB is useful, but 6m FM is extremely limited.
This makes the quad band a high priced radio for the two bands that might see use , 2m and 70cm.

Next problem, I set my scanner to 144.390 to see if there was any APRS activity....nope. So APRS is out for my area too , I guess.

All this is starting to lose some of the luster :(

So off I go to look some more.

Dont give up yet.. Try APRS Search.
Put in your zip code and it will show you a list of stations in the area.. Most of the country has at least some activity.. Scanners dont always pick it up all that well since they have a wide-band antenna and not much antenna gain for the freq.
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:46 am

f9k9 wrote:My coworker just passed some "highest" level test (he said one of the levels was recently dropped) and he tells me about some pretty high tech stuff (high tech, for me) about things that can be done thru a laptop or sending messages to a satellite and when the satellite is over your "friend", who lives in Australia, it transmits it to them.

I still need to try that on that sat.. I've used the voice satelite a couple times to reach eastern Arizona from here..
f9k9 wrote:As I understand it, the "HAM Fests" is where you make contacts, see a lot of the products and meet contacts.

Correct me if I have misunderstood kf6kmx


Nope, you got it right :) Once you get on the air, just make a couple calls om the local repeaters asking if anyone is monitoring, as soon as someone is monitoring, guarantee you'll start making contacts about local clubs and other information.

On a side note, our IRLP repeater is back on the air (yipee).. And had a person from Germany dial in Sat night to talk to a friend here (who wanst around) so he stayed on a while talking to a few of us waiting for the other person who never came on the air..
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:57 am

HenryJ wrote:Well I'm back... WooHoo! My ticket is on it's way!


The "oh no... we have a passing score..." :D

CONGRATS! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
I was wondering all weekend how it went but couldnt get time to get on here and find out! Was driving me nuts!

keep an eye on the web page of new licenses, as soon as your's is listed you're legal and go go online.. (and yeah, I'm sending the radio out.. been holding out hope of finding that other one to sendin the same box but I'll just box this and its on its way.. gotta get it there in time to get on the air! 8)
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:00 pm

All rev'd up and no place to go :thumb:

KE7CSK

I'm licensed! :D

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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:29 pm

HenryJ wrote:All rev'd up and no place to go :thumb:

KE7CSK

I'm licensed! :D

WOW :shock: :shock: :shock:
That was incredible fast!
When I got mine (97) it took about a week and a half to get it, my dad got his in 99 I think it was and it took about a week, now its down to under 24hrs !

Cool..

Also sending you a PM
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:35 pm

I was really suprised to find it posted. I guess it is all electronically done now.
(Had to check, even though I just knew it was too soon ;) )

I received notice that I will be getting a visit from the big brown truck :thumb: Can't wait to give it a shot. I still need to order the antenna you suggested, the mike is in stock, but I'll wait for the care package to arrive. That way I can make sure everything is right.
Thanx!
Last edited by HenryJ on Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby kf6kmx » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:46 pm

HenryJ wrote:I was really suprised to find it posted. I guess it is all electronically done now.
(Had to check, even though I just knew it was too soon ;) )

I received notice that I will be getting a visit from the big brown truck :thumb: Can't wait to give it a shot. I still need to order the antenna you suggested, but I'll wait for the care package to arrive. That way I can make sure everything is right.
Thanx!

Quick reply, must've been sitting in the shadows waiting for me to enter the msg :)

The HTX202 has a DTMF keypad on it, so you can control all the remote functions of any repeaters. (IRLP, echolink, phone patches, whatever the repeater owern has installed and open to use).

The IRLP # for our repeater locally is 8120, and the Echolink # for it is 152747
Map of the repeater showing our local layout.. Hanford (where I'm at) is just at the edge of that map on the left.
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby HenryJ » Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:52 pm

My license arrived the other day. I need to get a frame to mount it :D

I have been using the HTX-202 in the truck. I listened to a guy from Salem, Utah on my way home.

I got Echolink set up last night, I still am a little unsure just how to use it, but I'll figure things out :D

I have been doing some listening, an no talking. I want to get a feel for the appropriate use first. Or maybe it is just stage fright ;)

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:08 pm

Do you have any "ham ettiquite" advice?

I am mostly interested in repeater operation.

Is is permitted to just use any repeater that you come across?

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"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
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Postby kf6kmx » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:55 pm

HenryJ wrote:My license arrived the other day. I need to get a frame to mount it :D

for some reason I havent been getting the notification emails and didnt even know this msg was here!

HenryJ wrote:I have been using the HTX-202 in the truck. I listened to a guy from Salem, Utah on my way home.


I got Echolink set up last night, I still am a little unsure just how to use it, but I'll figure things out :D

Its not very hard once you get it setup.. I'll have to turn mine on on e of these days and we can try to link them up.. main person I ever use echolink to is actually only 19 miles away :) in range of the radio, but we decided to play with the echolink a bit.

HenryJ wrote:I have been doing some listening, an no talking. I want to get a feel for the appropriate use first. Or maybe it is just stage fright ;)


probably just stage fright 8)
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:59 pm

HenryJ wrote:Do you have any "ham ettiquite" advice?

I am mostly interested in repeater operation.

Is is permitted to just use any repeater that you come across?


Mainly on the repeaters the biggest tip is to listen for a minute first to see if someone is using it.. we get a couple people around here that will turn it on and immediatly start calling someone right in the middle of a conversation..

Depends on the repeater.. most 2m repeaters are 'open', and probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the 440 ones are and anyone can use them.. Some are 'closed' or limited use and usully those you can still use but the owner wants to know who is going to use them.. Some are straight 'closed' and those pretty much all have PL tones on them that arent published, so it would be hard to bring them up anyway.. and being a closed repeater, there wouldnt really be anyone to talk to except the owneres, and if you were going to talk to the owners, then yous be authorized on the repeater anyway :)
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby Rusty » Sun May 01, 2005 4:19 pm

HenryJ, what are you doing to me???? First Geocaching and now I'm feeling an interest in Ham radio coming on! Must have been some airborne "bug" in one of those boxes you sent me. Anyway, after going on quite a few caching trips and a couple of 4wd trips where I discovered my cell phone was useless, I decided that maybe getting something a little better for communications would be a good idea. Surprisingly, Sharon (aka Mrs Rusty) agrees with me. Case in point, one of the sites we were caching today supposedly had a well somewhere around but we never found it. I could see Kyle finding it though (the hard way) and I checked and sure enough, cell phone had no signal.

Ok, I'm all ears guys. What do I need for a simple system kind of like what HenryJ has where I can carry a handheld and have the truck as a repeater (in case I can't get anything else)? Can I get something that lets me call "landlines" (ie: 911) and what do I need for that? Besides the obvious license, what equipment do I need and how do I keep from destroying what little bank account I have to work with?

Thanks!

(BTW - 12 found caches so far! :bounce: )
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Postby HenryJ » Sun May 01, 2005 4:54 pm

Start with the book "Now you're talking"
That link will get you and older edition, used , but cheap on Amazon.com.

I studied from the third edition and passed. The current edition is the fifth, I think.

Next read all the threads from here:
Tracking radio and HAM radio install in my '03
Ham Radio Software / programming
Ham Radio Install
Ham Radio

Then join 4WD Trips Forums and check out the threads there:
2-meter radio --- How to get started?
What 2m radio do I need?
Ham vs CB
Ham Radio, what to buy....talking world wide via the internet & ham radio.
Which HAM radio?
There may be some more there, a search would show them I'm sure.

Then you need to find a local club or organization that does testing. AARL.org might be a good place to start.
Try the Club search

That should be enough to have your head spinning for a little while :lol:

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Postby Rusty » Sun May 01, 2005 4:58 pm

HenryJ wrote:That should be enough to have your head spinning for a little while :lol:


My head is spinning enough from Sharon agreeing with me on this!

I was just about to get back in and edit my post and ask about any tips to passing the tests since that is obviously a first step but you beat me to it with the bok recommendation. Thanks!
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Postby kf6kmx » Sun May 01, 2005 8:30 pm

Rusty wrote:HenryJ, what are you doing to me???? First Geocaching and now I'm feeling an interest in Ham radio coming on! Must have been some airborne "bug" in one of those boxes you sent me.

The bug bites again! 8)
Rusty wrote:Anyway, after going on quite a few caching trips and a couple of 4wd trips where I discovered my cell phone was useless, I decided that maybe getting something a little better for communications would be a good idea. Surprisingly, Sharon (aka Mrs Rusty) agrees with me. Case in point, one of the sites we were caching today supposedly had a well somewhere around but we never found it. I could see Kyle finding it though (the hard way) and I checked and sure enough, cell phone had no signal.

Boy do I know that feeling.. I dont know, did I already relate the story before of a friend who used to drive for HomeBase and had a major truck failure back in the hills and only the Ham radio got out (cell and company radios were both no service).. Quick recap anyway, the truck fan came off and went THROUGH the radiator (at least one blade made it through.. enough to make the truck stop anyway :shock: ), the cell was out, as well as the company radio.. I had just parked after lunch but hadnt shut down the radio in my truck yet and heard him call.. I was able to realy the details of what was broke, how much load was still on the truck (how big a tow they needed) and his location, to their dispatch over a landline and get a tow up there.
Rusty wrote:Ok, I'm all ears guys. What do I need for a simple system kind of like what HenryJ has where I can carry a handheld and have the truck as a repeater (in case I can't get anything else)?

About the lowest price that will do the extended is the radio HenryJ and I both have. (Yaesu FT8800). Kenwood makes one (my dad has it, a TM-V7A) but its about the same price, and I have had better luck with the Yaesu than he has with the Kenwood.
Rusty wrote: Can I get something that lets me call "landlines" (ie: 911) and what do I need for that? Besides the obvious license, what equipment do I need and how do I keep from destroying what little bank account I have to work with?

Yes and no.. To call landline, you need a 'phone patch' on the frequency you can hit.. A lot of areas have repeaters that have them, you just need to find one that does.. Even if there isnt one around, USUALLY most repeaters have someone on it and you can get someone to answer an emergency call.. Also, especially in areas around deserts, or wide open offroad type spaces, they have whats called 'Wilderness Protocol'.. People will try and monitor the call frequency (146.520, 446.000, etc) at the top of every hour for 15 minutes with their radio squelch off so they can hear any signal no matter how weak. so even if you cant hit a repeater, or no one is listening to it, hopefully there will be someone able to pickup the emergency call that way. I know a couple cases here in Central CA (mountains on the west side of the valley) when that has helped recue broken down people way back in the hills. The Yaesu handhelds also have an 'emergency mode' where the radio can transmit a high pitched audio both through the speaker, and over the air, to help get someones attention, like a whistle for a hiker.



Rusty wrote:(BTW - 12 found caches so far! :bounce: )


I really need to try that.. There are a few around me..
I'm also waiting for the GeoTreking to go live with the 4x4 clubs site for California.
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby Rusty » Mon May 02, 2005 5:10 am

The 'bug" hasn't bitten me too much yet. I'm finding the cost of some of the equipment to be a good antidote. Still, considering the possibility of being several miles out in the woods (like we were yesterday) and how long it would take to hike back to civilization with a broken leg or worse considering my health (or lack of), the 2m makes sense. I guess I wouldn't really need the "phone patch" as long as I can get hold of somebody. The phone patch idea comes from too many years of depending on cell phones. I guess the biggest stumbling block I see is the idea that I probably wouldn't use the ham stuff for much other than emergencies. Lot of cash to spend on something that would only see limited use. Maybe I'm wrong. I just got really burned out on talking on radios back during the CB craze (Breaker, Breaker Good Buddy! 10-4? Hee-Yuk! :!: Sends shivers down my back thinking about it) so the idea of spending time yaking on a Ham radio? I just can't see myself doing it. Never know. I didn't imagine myself, much less Sharon and Kyle hunting tupperware with a GPS either! By the way, Kyle found one by himself yesterday! We got close with the GPS and he started hunting around and found the box before we could get to it. Pretty good for a 5 year old!

Anyway, thanks for the input guys! I gotta a lot of thinking to do on this one.
Rusty
 

Postby HenryJ » Mon May 02, 2005 2:39 pm

Rusty wrote:...considering the possibility of being several miles out in the woods (like we were yesterday) and how long it would take to hike back to civilization...
What about packing a "Tote-goat" ?
If the concern is the truck being disabled and needing to seek help , another form of transportation might be an option. A small dirt bike, four wheeler, or build a tote-goat.
The next option is to mod the crew cab with the intent of planning for any possible problem that could arise. This is what I have been doing. Redundant systems, auxilary systems, recovery systems, repair equipment and of course communications system.

If you have the time, go ahead and study for the exam, take the test, and pocket the license. The cost is not bad at all for that part, and there are methods of communication available via the internet. I wouldn't mind some conversation some day on IRLP or eQSO.

With the liscense in hand , who knows used equipment turns up all the time. Might just watch ebay when the time comes.

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Postby Rusty » Mon May 02, 2005 5:27 pm

Tote-Goat? Never heard of it. Sounds interesting though. No, the truck being disabled isn't the concern. For instance, I've been to two sites in the last week with my 5 year old and both places were old abandoned home sites with deep wells on the property. I never found the wells but worried that Kyle would find one, by falling into it. Also, if something happened to me like I fell and broke something, I doubt Kyle could drag me out where as I could carry him if something like that happened. I do carry a basic first aid kit but it's the more major "mishaps" that I worry about. Also, I usually bring my cell phone and have checked service on each trip. Usually I'm not too far away that it's a problem but on the last two this weekend, no service. What's Verizon's little commercial? "Can you hear me now?" Yeah, right! Not as soon as I get away from suburbia!

Truth be known though, I think I've always wanted to get a Ham license but was scared off by the morris code requirements and a lot of the other stuff. Looks like it's a lot easier to get one now so I'm thinking "Why not?" I've always wanted to get my pilot's license too but that just seems to get harder (and more expensive) as time goes by. Oh well, I'll settle for just the Ham, and hold the mayo (sorry - couldn't resist :P ).
Rusty
 

Postby kf6kmx » Mon May 02, 2005 10:07 pm

Rusty wrote:The 'bug" hasn't bitten me too much yet. I'm finding the cost of some of the equipment to be a good antidote.

Some isnt too bad.. Check out some used stuff.. especially locally from other ham's.. You can convert commercial equipment too.. Unlike the old CB where it was against the rules to do anything to the radios, ham was built on the expiremental aspect.. A lot of people in my area use modified Motorolla Mitrek mobile radios.. they picked the right models up at flea markets and govt surplus sales, modified them, and they are on the air.. in fact the radio of choice for the repeaters on the hilltops around me are the Motorolla and a GE commercial unit.. most of the good quality repeaters are built using those.
Rusty wrote: Still, considering the possibility of being several miles out in the woods (like we were yesterday) and how long it would take to hike back to civilization with a broken leg or worse considering my health (or lack of), the 2m makes sense. I guess I wouldn't really need the "phone patch" as long as I can get hold of somebody. The phone patch idea comes from too many years of depending on cell phones.

Funny thing is, the ham phone patches have been around longer than the cell phones :)
Rusty wrote:I guess the biggest stumbling block I see is the idea that I probably wouldn't use the ham stuff for much other than emergencies. Lot of cash to spend on something that would only see limited use.

You might surprise yourself.. its really not a CB 'community'.. most areas are usually described as a 'repeater extended family'.. its more of a family atmosphere, slef-policed against profanity/etc.. In fact 99.9% of ham operators call the CB "Childrens Band" and really dont like it.. most of the ones that use it as a necassary evil are hams that are truck drivers, or travel with groups that use the CB for communications and end up stuck using it.
Rusty wrote:Maybe I'm wrong. I just got really burned out on talking on radios back during the CB craze (Breaker, Breaker Good Buddy! 10-4? Hee-Yuk! :!: Sends shivers down my back thinking about it) so the idea of spending time yaking on a Ham radio? I just can't see myself doing it. Never know.

you never know.. might end up finding a local hm club that is active and go nuts with it. you like the geocaching, you might like t-hunting.. its same sort of thing, but with radios.. One radio (the 'fox') goes and hides, and then transmits on a specified frequency.. the 'hound' operators, using their radio, and any array of (usually home made) directional gear (some as simple [dont laugh] as a toilet roll tube, wrapped in tin foil, slid over the antenna of a handheld.. that makes it VERY directional to the open end of the tube, and the signal gets stronger when the tube is pointing the right way). most clubs end up making a day of it with several people and have a BBQ/picnic at the end. there is a practical aspect for the 'game' too.. its the same excact methods we use in real world situations to locate ELT (emergency locator transmitters) on downed aircraft, and EPiRBs (Emergency Personal Recue Beacons) that hikers use.. so people playing the 'game' get good practice for real emergency situations.
Rusty wrote:I didn't imagine myself, much less Sharon and Kyle hunting tupperware with a GPS either! By the way, Kyle found one by himself yesterday! We got close with the GPS and he started hunting around and found the box before we could get to it. Pretty good for a 5 year old!

wow..

one of these days I'm going to make myself go try that.. i went on the geocaching web site and there are a lot of them in a short distance (20miles or less) from my house.. I came up with over a hundred in town! dont know if they are all active and still there though.
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http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby kf6kmx » Mon May 02, 2005 10:27 pm

HenryJ wrote: This is what I have been doing. Redundant systems, auxilary systems, recovery systems, repair equipment and of course communications system.

The ultimate 'redundancy system', a second crewcab, mounted upside down on the top of the main one.. just roll it over and go with the spare :)
Actually I still like the idea of the "Landmaster" on the old movie "Damnation Alley" with the tri-wheel on each position.
Image
Its actaully a pretty good idea, and aside from the weight and potential complexity of the drive, its a sound idea with very good potential for clearing obstacles.
The old series in the 70's, ARK II had something similar that some people confuse with the Landmaster, but it wasnt the same vehicle, and had a standard drive system (and the ARK II vehicle was taken apart and the front used for the spaceship in 'SpaceAcademy').. Gee, does it look like I liked goofball scifi movies with cool trucks :lol:
The Landmaster 'vanished' off the fact of the earth for quite a while after the making of Damnation Alley.. Then was found in '86 in pieces behind a warehouse
Image
But it has since been restored, put back together, and has been in at least one movie (Apex?) and a tv show.
Image

Back on topic, HenryJ, we have our local IRLP repeater back on the air after repair.. We'll have to try linking up some weekend and talk!
-Scott-----'03 CrewCab S10 - Pewter
http://www.kf6kmx.net/s10tracker.asp<-- Follow this link to find my trucks current actual location! Updated whenever the ignition is on. (tracker radio is currently intermittant) Pioneer XM, MagnaFlow, Garmin GPS,Tornado AMS , APRS Tracker, 2m/440 Ham Radio, Vista Camper Shell (from SoCalDave) , JottoDesk laptop mount, Rancho 5000's, Revo 235 75R15 on stock rims
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Postby Rusty » Tue May 03, 2005 6:16 am

kf6kmx wrote:You can convert commercial equipment too.. Unlike the old CB where it was against the rules to do anything to the radios, ham was built on the expiremental aspect.. A lot of people in my area use modified Motorolla Mitrek mobile radios.. they picked the right models up at flea markets and govt surplus sales, modified them, and they are on the air.. in fact the radio of choice for the repeaters on the hilltops around me are the Motorolla and a GE commercial unit.. most of the good quality repeaters are built using those.


Probably a little beyond my ability. I checked into "satellite phones" as a possible alternative "emergency contact" setup and the cost was so horrendous that a 2m/440 handheld and a mobile unit in the truck, acting like a repeater (like Brule's setup) would be a bargain compared to the cost of a satellite phone. At >$3 a minute, I sure wouldn't use the satellite phone for anything else!

kf6kmx wrote:
Rusty wrote:
I guess the biggest stumbling block I see is the idea that I probably wouldn't use the ham stuff for much other than emergencies. Lot of cash to spend on something that would only see limited use.

You might surprise yourself.. its really not a CB 'community'.. most areas are usually described as a 'repeater extended family'.. its more of a family atmosphere, slef-policed against profanity/etc.. In fact 99.9% of ham operators call the CB "Childrens Band" and really dont like it.. most of the ones that use it as a necassary evil are hams that are truck drivers, or travel with groups that use the CB for communications and end up stuck using it.


I've heard comments by Hams about CB. I have one too but it's strickly for off road communications on trail rides. I can't stand to listen to the thing any other time and when on the trail rides, I usually have the squelch cranked all the way so I can only hear people really close to me and not hear all the other racket.

kf6kmx wrote:
Rusty wrote:
Maybe I'm wrong. I just got really burned out on talking on radios back during the CB craze (Breaker, Breaker Good Buddy! 10-4? Hee-Yuk! :!: Sends shivers down my back thinking about it) so the idea of spending time yaking on a Ham radio? I just can't see myself doing it. Never know.

you never know.. might end up finding a local hm club that is active and go nuts with it. you like the geocaching, you might like t-hunting.. its same sort of thing, but with radios.. One radio (the 'fox') goes and hides, and then transmits on a specified frequency.. the 'hound' operators, using their radio, and any array of (usually home made) directional gear (some as simple [dont laugh] as a toilet roll tube, wrapped in tin foil, slid over the antenna of a handheld.. that makes it VERY directional to the open end of the tube, and the signal gets stronger when the tube is pointing the right way). most clubs end up making a day of it with several people and have a BBQ/picnic at the end. there is a practical aspect for the 'game' too.. its the same excact methods we use in real world situations to locate ELT (emergency locator transmitters) on downed aircraft, and EPiRBs (Emergency Personal Recue Beacons) that hikers use.. so people playing the 'game' get good practice for real emergency situations.


You're probably right. When I first heard about "Geocaching", it sounded too much like Geography and I hated those classes back in school so I tuned it out. Thought it sounded totally boring. Now look at me. I'm hopelessly hooked on it! :roll: I swear I feel like I'm having withdrawal symptoms when I haven't hunted a cache in a few days! (Somewhere, I can hear Brule laughing!)

kf6kmx wrote:
Rusty wrote:
I didn't imagine myself, much less Sharon and Kyle hunting tupperware with a GPS either! By the way, Kyle found one by himself yesterday! We got close with the GPS and he started hunting around and found the box before we could get to it. Pretty good for a 5 year old!

wow..

one of these days I'm going to make myself go try that.. i went on the geocaching web site and there are a lot of them in a short distance (20miles or less) from my house.. I came up with over a hundred in town! dont know if they are all active and still there though.


Watch out! It's terribly addictive! :lol:

(By the way, I had to try to figure out how you do all those separate quotes. Whew! Lot of typing codes!)
Rusty
 

Postby Rusty » Fri May 06, 2005 12:22 pm

Well, I just got my study manual (aka "Now You're Talking" book from ARRL) for the Tech license. Oh boy, I'm in for it! :shock: This ain't gonna be easy, at least not for me. I did take a basic electronics class about 20 years ago but about all I can remember is what a resistor looks like, and a capacitor, etc. While I have no doubt I'll be able to eventually do it, it's going to take me quite a while before I'm going to be ready for the test. Right now, I'm just going to have a beer! :?
Rusty
 

Postby Rusty » Thu May 19, 2005 10:34 am

Well, I guess 77.1% is a passing score on the QRZ practice test but it isn't passing by much the way I see it. Not too bad though for having only read 2 chapters in the book so far and this is the first time I've taken the practice test. I might have done a bit better if I hadn't second guessed on a couple of the questions. Back to the books! I'm hoping to take the real test at the Hamfest in Masassas, Va. this June 5th.
Rusty
 

Postby Rusty » Thu May 19, 2005 12:22 pm

Just took it again and got an 82.9%! :bounce:
Rusty
 

Postby HenryJ » Thu May 19, 2005 5:09 pm

That's the right way to go! You will see progress as you get further through the book.
By the time you finish you should be steadily in the mid to high ninties. I never did ace the practice tests. The questions are worded exactly the same, so practicing them frequently does help.
They look differently on paper, and the diagrams are presented differently, but key words will trigger the correct responses.

I refreshed the frequencies by writing them down. I really don't have a good handle on the specifics, thank goodness I didn't get one that I didn't know on the exam :D

It would take failing more than one section to fail though.

Get off the forum and study ;)

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"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Postby Rusty » Thu May 19, 2005 5:22 pm

HenryJ wrote:That's the right way to go! You will see progress as you get further through the book.
By the time you finish you should be steadily in the mid to high ninties. I never did ace the practice tests. The questions are worded exactly the same, so practicing them frequently does help.
They look differently on paper, and the diagrams are presented differently, but key words will trigger the correct responses.

I refreshed the frequencies by writing them down. I really don't have a good handle on the specifics, thank goodness I didn't get one that I didn't know on the exam :D

It would take failing more than one section to fail though.

Get off the forum and study ;)


Oh, I am studying, or were anyway. I finally reached the point of burnout today and had to quit for a while. I'll be back at it tomorrow while Kyle is in school. That's the biggest problem I run into is Kyle distracting me. Today he was outside playing most of the day so I had a lot of peace and quiet to myself to dig into the books! :D

In absence of the license and radio, I bought a scanner and have been listening a lot. I've picked up quite a bit from listening to some of the technical discussions I sometimes hear. Also, I have learned a lot about "etiquette" on the air. As soon as I get my "ticket", I'm gonna be ready! Err, well, at least I hope to be anyway. :roll:
Rusty
 

Postby HenryJ » Thu May 19, 2005 7:05 pm

Rusty wrote:...reached the point of burnout today and had to quit for a while. I'll be back at it tomorrow while Kyle is in school. That's the biggest problem I run into is Kyle distracting me.
I know what you mean exactly!
Nap time is a good time to get some read reading done. I used sticky notes for book marks. There is so much flipping back and forth, it is just way too easy to lose your place and waste time trying to find where you left off.

Family is first priority. Take time if your son needs attention, the license will wait for you :D
In absence of the license and radio, I bought a scanner and have been listening a lot. I've picked up quite a bit from listening to some of the technical discussions I sometimes hear. Also, I have learned a lot about "etiquette" on the air. As soon as I get my "ticket", I'm gonna be ready!
That is a great idea, and will come in handy.
I take for granted that I have always had scanners in the house. My wife uses them to keep tabs on me during emergency calls ;)
After getting the "ham bug", I tuned a couple local repeaters into the mix. It really does help to hear the good operators. There are some lazy ones out there too. Really good stuff to get the idea on just how it works.

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"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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