Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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txyaloo
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby txyaloo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:03 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1


Got my new radio last night (gotta love Amazon same day delivery!). Didn't get home till 10:30 so haven't done anything with it but unbox and skim the manual. Lots of new terms/acronyms to learn!

It's been 35 years since I was Radioman in Navy, but hopefully some of that stuff I learned is still recall-able in my brain!

You Navy guys are brave... I don't like transmitting @5 watts close to my melon. At 8 watts I'd be using an external speaker/mic for sure. :lol:

Here is a lesson for Apple... :thumbs2:
the BF-F8HP maintains full cross accessory compatibility with all previous UV-5R accessories


This is a really nicely-spec'd radio... I might have to have one. Looks like it's already supported on CHIRP too.
The only missing improvement I really wold like to see from Baofeng would be some better level of waterproofness.


Baofeng has several waterproof HTs. They're ~$40.


XDgal
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby XDgal » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:58 pm

Sorry locke_n_load, looks like most all of Harris county police, including Houston PD and Texas DPS, operate on the Texas wide area radio network ( Txwarn), this an APCO P25 phase II trunked system and not accessible on your radio.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby MustangGlocker » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:47 am

Good resource for all things radio is www.radioreference.com. It's a huge frequency database and has it's own forum and has a ham radio section.
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RoyGBiv
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RoyGBiv » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:48 am

locke_n_load wrote:
RoyGBiv wrote:
locke_n_load wrote:Ordered a UV-5R with data cable for $33 from amazon yesterday, will be here tomorrow. First jump into ham. Look forward to listening to the police/fire department frequencies until I get my technician's license.

Around here (Fort Worth area) the police use a digital trunked system, not compatible with that radio. I'd need an expensive scanner to listen to the PoPo here, or you can download a phone app called "Scanner Radio" and listen via a smartphone, assuming your local area is being rebroadcast.


Hopefully harris county is a little more old school... thanks for the heads up though.

Next-most-useful purpose for a HAM radio is to listen in on the RACES/SKYWARN frequencies during severe weather.

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/? ... 23&tab=ham (second chart)
Also....
http://www.w9tec.com/chaseradio/tx.html
http://www.harriscountyares.org/frequen ... c_nets.htm

And NOAA for weather....
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/ccov.php?State=TX
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby locke_n_load » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:46 pm

XDgal wrote:Sorry locke_n_load, looks like most all of Harris county police, including Houston PD and Texas DPS, operate on the Texas wide area radio network ( Txwarn), this an APCO P25 phase II trunked system and not accessible on your radio.


Dang.
Looks like there are few groups I could listen to according to the frequencies on this page:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2623
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby NotRPB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:03 pm

locke_n_load wrote:
XDgal wrote:Sorry locke_n_load, looks like most all of Harris county police, including Houston PD and Texas DPS, operate on the Texas wide area radio network ( Txwarn), this an APCO P25 phase II trunked system and not accessible on your radio.


Dang.
Looks like there are few groups I could listen to according to the frequencies on this page:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2623

To monitor APCO P25 phase II trunked systems on a scanner you'd need BCD536HP base/mobile or BCD436HP handheld,
https://www.uniden.com/radio-scanners/digital-trunked
APCO Project 25 Phase I and II plus Motorola, EDACS, LTR....
and would need to upgrade firmware
and buy/download/install the software/firmware upgrades for ProVoice and/or DMR reception upgrade for EDACS etc used in some areas by Police etc
On these pages are also maps types of digital systems by County in the Continental USA (scroll down either page to Map of Digital Use in CONUS )
http://info.uniden.com/twiki/bin/view/U ... 4/BCD536HP
or
http://info.uniden.com/twiki/bin/view/U ... 4/BCD436HP
The downloadable frequency database is updated weekly (Mondays) Downloaded through a USB cable to a Windows computer and installed to the radio by a free "Sentinel" software program which you also use to check for and install firmware updates etc

Those radios also will monitor Ham frequencies etc. They are of course "receive only" scanners, not transmitters.


Disclosure: I have no affiliation with uniden other than owning a radio and some accessories they made, as well as many radios, and other "stuff" made by many other companies


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby NotRPB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:52 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
locke_n_load wrote:Ordered a UV-5R with data cable for $33 from amazon yesterday, will be here tomorrow. First jump into ham. Look forward to listening to the police/fire department frequencies until I get my technician's license.

Around here (Fort Worth area) the police use a digital trunked system, not compatible with that radio. I'd need an expensive scanner to listen to the PoPo here, or you can download a phone app called "Scanner Radio" and listen via a smartphone, assuming your local area is being rebroadcast.

One can monitor through Broadcastify too if someone with a scanner capable of receiving the broadcasts in your area (such as I mentioned above) rebroadcasts through the Internet https://www.broadcastify.com/

I had the Smartphone "Scanner Radio" app, Broadcastify has I-Phone and Android Apps which worked better for me than the Scanner Radio App in my area

I am apparently the only guy in my county with the equipment to monitor all such frequencies in my county, and I don't broadcastify (not yet anyway), so police etc aren't easy to get through an App in my County. Others who used to broadcastify in my county stopped when they went digital a couple years ago.

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RoyGBiv » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:27 am

txyaloo wrote:
Baofeng has several waterproof HTs. They're ~$40.

I've only seen single banders (+FM) in a water resistant configuration. Nothing similar to the UV-5R. UHF+VHF+Display.
Got a link?
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby cheezit » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:45 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
txyaloo wrote:
Baofeng has several waterproof HTs. They're ~$40.

I've only seen single banders (+FM) in a water resistant configuration. Nothing similar to the UV-5R. UHF+VHF+Display.
Got a link?



Yaesu vx7r is submersible as well.


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RKirkwood » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:06 pm

In the Houston area at least once a year a 1 day cram course is offered for the Tech. The point is to get your license then learn all the technical stuff. I did mine 10 years ago so I could use a HAM radio on my motorcycle for the MS150.

There was a HAM club there trying to learn hold to run the class. Talking with then they said when the held a class it would start out will 15 people but by the time the class ended only 3 or 4 people would be left.

KE5HLZ


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby locke_n_load » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:47 pm

So far, I have been able to listen to the humble VFD, and the weather. Guess I need to find the repeater frequencies around here.
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XDgal
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby XDgal » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:04 pm

Here you go. http://www.txvhffm.org/# Move your cursor over the repeater box, click on search. Go to the County box drop down and click on Harris. Click on search and you'll see 115 repeaters. Not all are on the bands your radio covers, but a lot of them are. To listen only you won't need the PL tones, but once you get your license, you will need to program them into the repeater channel to get the repeater to open the squelch. The PL tone is listed in the notes column. Good luck!
locke_n_load wrote:So far, I have been able to listen to the humble VFD, and the weather. Guess I need to find the repeater frequencies around here.
XDgal

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby oohrah » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:09 am

I notice a lot of folks here are capitalizing "HAM", like it is some kind of acronym or abbreviation. It is not. It is a noun or adjective, depending on use. The origin is obscure, and much debated. It is just - Ham - as in Ham Radio Operator, or He/She is a Ham.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:16 am

locke_n_load wrote:So far, I have been able to listen to the humble VFD, and the weather. Guess I need to find the repeater frequencies around here.


https://www.repeaterbook.com/ There's also an app for Repeater Book that's very handy.

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RoyGBiv » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:49 pm

cheezit wrote:
RoyGBiv wrote:
txyaloo wrote:
Baofeng has several waterproof HTs. They're ~$40.

I've only seen single banders (+FM) in a water resistant configuration. Nothing similar to the UV-5R. UHF+VHF+Display.
Got a link?



Yaesu vx7r is submersible as well.

Sure... for $165 (eBay)...
Would love to see a Baofeng for something less than $50 with an IPx3 or greater rating... just water resistant would be great... IPx7 or x8 (submersible) would be outstanding.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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