Search found 19 matches

by 2farnorth
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Flightmare wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:42 am
https://w5wx.net/2018/12/28/texas-legislature-sb43/

Couldn't find a better post to put this under. Looks like Senator Zaffirini has filed a bill that would change the "texting while driving" law to outlaw ham radio operation while the vehicle is in motion. This would definitely affect Skywarn storm spotters/chasers.
This bill is aimed specifically at federally licensed operators. Striking out the current exemption the way I read it. Why? What has she got against us? Another democrat that wants to control every aspect of her subjects lives.
All radio dispatched non emergency services would be affected, Truckers underway with their CBs would be affected also. i don't like much of what I hear on a CB, but it does serve a purpose.

Keep her stinking laws where the problem exists. Cell phone texting.

Hopefully it will never get committee consideration.

Get in touch with your local senator a get this squashed.
by 2farnorth
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Flightmare wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:42 am
https://w5wx.net/2018/12/28/texas-legislature-sb43/

Couldn't find a better post to put this under. Looks like Senator Zaffirini has filed a bill that would change the "texting while driving" law to outlaw ham radio operation while the vehicle is in motion. This would definitely affect Skywarn storm spotters/chasers.
This bill is aimed specifically at federally licensed operators. Striking out the current exemption the way I read it. Why? What has she got against us? Another democrat that wants to control every aspect of her subjects lives.
All radio dispatched non emergency services would be affected, Truckers underway with their CBs would be affected also. i don't like much of what I hear on a CB, but it does serve a good purpose.

Keep her stinking laws where the problem exists. Cell phone texting.

Hopefully it will never get committee consideration.

Get in touch with your local senator a get this squashed.
by 2farnorth
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Flightmare wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:44 am
NotRPB wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:29 am
some radios now have the tnc built right into the radio :shock:

Do any bands allow for DX (for me, over 100 miles) regardless of the solar cycle?
Well. it may be considered cheating (probably don't do it contesting), but Echolink uses VOIP voice over Internet Protocol (using a cell phone, tablet, laptop or any computer on the Internet) and connects with 2 meter 70cm repeaters worldwide.

The other bands allowing DX via radio waves depend on propagation weather, sun, temperature inversions etc.
time of day affects it too.
Early morning I aim my TV antenna at San Antonio and Houston from Austin area, and I can tell by that whether I'll be hearing California or talking on the Brownwood Texas repeater on 2 meter via ducting... (which is rare because of hills in the way)
2farnorth wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:27 am

Ours will be mostly 40 and 20 meters, maybe 80 at night. 17, 15, 12, and 10 will be used if activity is heard.
I had some 10 meter FM DX last week, so it can happen. I do like SSB better though. Have fun.
As a reference .. to old CB radio people who worked "skip" that old CB was 11 meters if I recall correctly
And lets not forget AMSAT. A guy at our club built himself a nice rig to mount a couple HTs on with antennas he built. He was demonstrating for us and hitting South America on some Baofeng HTs.
CB band is in the 11 meter area. 26-27 mhz, the ham part 10 meter starts at 28mhz up through most of 29 mhz

AMSAT is good for talking long distance too. I haven't done any since the 80s. My ancient equipment expired (unrepairable) and the newer satellites use different bands now. Maybe some day I'll build a small antenna set up for the Baofeng..
With enough power and good directional antennas Moon bounce can also be fun
by 2farnorth
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

locke_n_load wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 pm
2farnorth wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:27 am
locke_n_load wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:11 pm
2farnorth wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am
locke_n_load wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
Congrats on getting the ticket. Check google amateur/ham radio clubs for your area. Here are a quick couple of clubs I could find in your general area. http://www.houstoncountytexasarc.org/ and http://setxac.com. Not all participate in Field day. Our club will be setting up in the pavilion at the park a Lake Bonham up here in north Texas.

There is some 2 meter and 6 meter participation but mostly on SSB. If 10 meters is open there will be some activity there also. It has been opening sporadically for a couple of weeks. I believe your radio is limited to FM operations only but scan the 10 meter band and see if anything happens. There are a few 10 meter repeaters out there also.

Best bet is find a nearby club and get involved. Be sure to tell them you just got your ticket. Congrats again.



I have recently found out that field day is mostly 10m operation. My radio does output 10m FM, but I do not have a good antenna for that and I hear that the action is SSB or morse. I just particpated in a nearby club (TEAC) net, and they will be setting up about 5 miles from my house, which I hope I can get away to go check out, as 10m really sounds cool (the availability to have comms 100+ miles away, without repeaters, is amazing). Thank you for the information. Either way I will be scanning the 10m band.
Ours will be mostly 40 and 20 meters, maybe 80 at night. 17, 15, 12, and 10 will be used if activity is heard.
I had some 10 meter FM DX last week, so it can happen. I do like SSB better though. Have fun.

edit: to get out of the quote area
Do any bands allow for DX (for me, over 100 miles) regardless of the solar cycle?
80, 40, and 15 have small sections allocated to Techs for morse code only. There is a move afoot to allow techs some voice privileges in some of these bands, but it's not there yet. 10 meters: 28.000 to 28.299 code, 28.300 to 28.500 phone (mostly ssb, have heard a couple FMs). Get yourself upgraded to General as soon as you can and that will open up a lot more. Of course you would need to get an HF rig and put up an antenna. I upgraded from Tech to Extra about a year ago and have had about 600 logged contacts while operating a couple hours a week. But I already had some equipment on hand.
You can get some DX on 6 and 2 meters but it is weather and ionosphere depended, Can get some brief contacts done during meteor showers too.
by 2farnorth
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

locke_n_load wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:11 pm
2farnorth wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am
locke_n_load wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
Congrats on getting the ticket. Check google amateur/ham radio clubs for your area. Here are a quick couple of clubs I could find in your general area. http://www.houstoncountytexasarc.org/ and http://setxac.com. Not all participate in Field day. Our club will be setting up in the pavilion at the park a Lake Bonham up here in north Texas.

There is some 2 meter and 6 meter participation but mostly on SSB. If 10 meters is open there will be some activity there also. It has been opening sporadically for a couple of weeks. I believe your radio is limited to FM operations only but scan the 10 meter band and see if anything happens. There are a few 10 meter repeaters out there also.

Best bet is find a nearby club and get involved. Be sure to tell them you just got your ticket. Congrats again.



I have recently found out that field day is mostly 10m operation. My radio does output 10m FM, but I do not have a good antenna for that and I hear that the action is SSB or morse. I just particpated in a nearby club (TEAC) net, and they will be setting up about 5 miles from my house, which I hope I can get away to go check out, as 10m really sounds cool (the availability to have comms 100+ miles away, without repeaters, is amazing). Thank you for the information. Either way I will be scanning the 10m band.
Ours will be mostly 40 and 20 meters, maybe 80 at night. 17, 15, 12, and 10 will be used if activity is heard.
I had some 10 meter FM DX last week, so it can happen. I do like SSB better though. Have fun.

edit: to get out of the quote area
by 2farnorth
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Richbirdhunter wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:51 pm
I have a small hand held ham radio, I keep it in my bug out bag. I’m not licensed to use it but it’s nice to have it in a pinch.
What frequencies do you have it programed to?
by 2farnorth
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

locke_n_load wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
Congrats on getting the ticket. Check google amateur/ham radio clubs for your area. Here are a quick couple of clubs I could find in your general area. http://www.houstoncountytexasarc.org/ and http://setxac.com. Not all participate in Field day. Our club will be setting up in the pavilion at the park a Lake Bonham up here in north Texas.

There is some 2 meter and 6 meter participation but mostly on SSB. If 10 meters is open there will be some activity there also. It has been opening sporadically for a couple of weeks. I believe your radio is limited to FM operations only but scan the 10 meter band and see if anything happens. There are a few 10 meter repeaters out there also.

Best bet is find a nearby club and get involved. Be sure to tell them you just got your ticket. Congrats again.
by 2farnorth
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Abraham, It's not for everybody. My wife has your aversion about phone conversation and just hears noise from a radio, my granddaughter thinks it take up too much of my "her time". Some people think antennas are ugly even when it's only wire hung in trees

I've always had an interest in radio and how it works. I love building antennas that can reach out to communicate with someone on the opposite side of the planet with minimum power used.

Recent disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico have really shown the need for emergency assistance and health and welfare message relay. The phone systems were down for extended periods. Hams were heavily involved in these operations. Ham radio Field Day (next weekend, Jun 23, 24) is training for emergency ops with limited resources. We go to location, set up, and operate for a set period of time with portable antennas and equipment. We have government officials come out and see what is available in an emergency condition. As a club we have things set up to operate radios at the Sheriffs dept and local hospitals as needed.

While not my interest, some people like "contesting". That involves making as many contacts as you can in a limited period of time.
Others just plain "love to talk". Round-table nets among friends from many different states or countries. Most discussion is about radio equipment and how it works or how it doesn't work. Some are religion centered, others involve RVs, still others are dedicated to training for emergency operations.

Another big part of all of this is the comraderie and fellowship with others with like interests. The pot luck dinners are fabulous. ;-)
by 2farnorth
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

A handheld or auto mounted are the only radios I use when there is lightning within 10 miles. All my antenna coax lines are disconnected and grounded outside the house and my radios are isolated from the electrical system. Lightning scares me. Arrestors help in keeping the static charge buildup reduced but there are no guarantees.
Sounds like you have things progressing and it's good that you have some "elmer" folks in the area. Lean on them. Use their advice and you'll find that experimenting with your equipment can be fun and rewarding. Just don't "let the smoke out". :)

73,s
by 2farnorth
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Depending on where you live you may need a permit to put up a 50 footer. If there is any chance it could fall onto neighboring properties they will have code requirements. You are going to have to guy it every 10 feet of height no mater what mount you use. The base is your choice or what ever the code requires for your area. Also need to consider grounding for lightning dissipation. Code requirements say all ground rods will have to be bonded together with the service entrance ground to keep them at the same potential.

Unless you have dense, tall trees surrounding your house I would start with roof mount with a 10 foot mast on VHF/UHF. Ground that directly to your service entrance ground rod. Use good quality coax to minimize power losses. Do not use rg-58 on those bands (too lossy) My vhf/uhf antenna is about 25 ag and can work repeaters from Richardson to Denison and Lewisville to Paris with 15 or less watts. Save the 50 footer for when you get on hf and need the height for ground reflection. Yes, additional height on uhf/vhf bands can help but you start losing ground when your coax run gets too long. Try it and go from there.
by 2farnorth
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

The Annoyed Man wrote:So one of my gifts this morning from my son was “Ham Radio for Dummies”, and he said “You need a hobby.” LOL
"See" ya on the radio... :headscratch :biggrinjester:
by 2farnorth
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

You don't really need 10 meters right now as it's only sporadic openings. Think I've made only about a dozen contacts all year on 10. Most of them followed the gray line. But that said it might be an ideal time to buy a separate 10 meter ssb rig since their demand is low right now. One caution is that some were illegally converted to 11 meter CB. I have a rescued old all mode Uniden 2510 10 meter rig that is on scan any time I'm in the shack. That is how I found the activity and responded to it. 25 watts on a home made ground plane antenna. From Sao Palo to Battle Creek.

The other option is to buy a full featured HF rig and use the 10 meter band when it's open. Some even cover 6, 2, and .75 meters (all mode, such as the ICOM 706MkIIG). That way you have a start on things when you pass General and Extra. I have found that Ham rigs are VERY pricey compared to when I started back in the 80s. My old ICOM 720A (new in 80s) had become irreparable due to failing IC Chips. I had to settle for a 50 year old tube rig to get back on the air. (It does help to warm up my unheated shack when I'm operating ).

There are used rigs available for a variety of prices and conditions. You might try Main Trading Co.(Paris, Tx) and Ham radio outlet (Plano and other locations) Both have accessories that you will need. Both good reputable dealers. QRZ.com has a lot available when you get your call. Be cautious of some of the on line sites as there are scammers out there claiming to be hams that talk a great deal and disappear with your money.


Dave
by 2farnorth
Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

mojohn wrote::hurry: Just upgraded to General License ...yay me!
John
KF5ZMD
Congrats. Will be looking for you on the airwaves. Now that I have an old partially operational HF rig I'm finding 40 meters has become my favorite band.

Dave
N5PNZ
by 2farnorth
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

cheezit wrote:
Flightmare wrote:I've been having fun listening to the repeaters near me. Bought a mobile rig earlier; Yaesu FT-8900R. Need to figure out an antenna setup that'll work with my truck and the garage. I couldn't use the factory radio antenna on the truck because it kept hitting the garage door when I'd pull in and out of the garage. This should be fun.
Breedlove stake pocket mount may be a good option.
As mentioned above or get a magnet mount antenna that you can just remove easily. Bear in mind that the antenna needs to be tuned to the primary frequency (or mid band). An SWR meter capable of the bands you operate on is a necessity . Your radio will last much longer with it's proper use.
by 2farnorth
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 16209

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Most of my old HF radios are in a state of disrepair. Working on repairing my old Drake TR3 tube type transceiver to get back on the air. My newer Icom 720a solid state HF is down for the second time and no one wants to repair it. IC chips hard to get. Sent a request to Icom but did not get an answer. Will call them in a couple of days. Til then I'm stuck with only 10, 2 and .75 meters.

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