Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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NotRPB
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#136

Post by NotRPB » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:32 am

Dear Elmer, (lol)

Help please?

Ground Mount Antenna question:

I'm getting a couple Easy Up EZ TM-50 Telescoping mast - 528" (44') Pushup Poles to guy in the back yard (maybe using ten foot tripods) (and 1 for a guyed roof tripod maybe)

Five galvanized pieces of tubing; bottom piece 2-1/4" OD- 18 gauge; 2nd piece 2-1/4" -18 gauge OD; third piece 1-3/4" OD- 18 gauge; fourth piece 1-1/2"- 18 gauge; fifth / top piece 1-1/4" - 16 gauge.)

Which 2-1/4" Ground mount should I get?

Easy Up EZ 32A Heavy-Duty Ground Mount
Heavy-duty, with welded guide pipe accepts 2-1/4" 11 gauge 9" x 9" plate. Zinc plated. Accepts masts up to 2.25" OD. https://www.cableandwireshop.com/ez32a- ... ing=ez+32A
or
Easy Up EZ TS-50 Free-standing Ground Mount - fits masts up to 2-1/4"
Free-standing Ground Mount - fits masts up to 2-1/4"
18" 3/4" rod welded on 9 x 9" 11 gauge plate; with an 18" tube welded above; includes 2 set screws to hold mast.
https://www.ispsupplies.com/Easy-Up-EZ- ... 1515854932

(I may or may not use the 10' tripod, along with the ground mount and guy wires on the poles, but don't know which ground mount to use?)
http://www.easyupinc.com/easyupinc/ez-40w
( I may or may not use a ten foot tripod on the roof with a third guyed pushup pole, to replace a tripod with 20' EMT conduit I have up there now on a 5' tripod... depends as I'm looking to metal roof the house next year)



Antenna farm I own now: (Not including C band and KU band FTA/Free to Air satellite dishes for Digital Satellites)
Antennas are simple
for Monitoring:
two LARGE TV antennas
One Discone Scanner antenna, (with hustler SuperResonator antennas attached for 10m,11m,12m,15m,17m,20m,30,40,75m,80m and 160m .. I used to have these in an attic for monitoring on some old Icom radios I have)
Also a small 800MHz Discone

new HAM antenna for my 2 new triband radios (May go on roof later)
one Comet Tri-Band VHF/UHF Base Vertical Antennas CX-333
Fiberglass, Tri-Band, 2M / 1.25M / 70cm 10.40 ft. Height
Image
https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/cma-cx-333


I Attended my first CERT meeting last Thursday, the President of Highland Lakes Amateur Radio Club was there along with several other HAMS, looks like I'm committed (to both CERT, and the local Amateur club) now ... no backing out lol

I have an empty concrete hole where a wood pole was (termites ate it) The wooden poles only held the old mercury lights which I no longer use, not telephone/utility wires and I can fill that hold with cement for the ground mount about 3' from another wooden 20' pole I can tie to a tripod...
but still ...

Which Ground Mount ?

I'm near a hill top, we had 45mph wind last week, not too bad, but I have 1 TV antenna rated to 70mph that got bent a couple years ago during a storm that blew many brick / rock walls over in town my 5' rooftripod and 20' EMT 1-1/2" guyed mast were fine, I guy wire and anchor everything to excess


2farnorth
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#137

Post by 2farnorth » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:30 pm

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.
N5PNZ


NotRPB
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#138

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:14 pm

Thanks for the reply, I had Short Electronics owner crawl on my roof twice so I'm already grounded 2 rooftop TV antennas bonded together with the service entrance ground, I also have an old Dish network or cable TV ground rod next to a metal fencepost on the opposite side of the house I was going to tie into the whole grousing system he set up, but not going to do it without asking him

(One TV antenna is 15' above my 15' rooftop peak (6 guy wires at 2 levels), I may just mount the triband base antenna on it, I need to replace the thrust bearings and rotor on it anyway as it's unused right now because I'm using the other OTA antenna that's only 8 foot above the 15' roof peak (3 guy wires on 1 level)) I get roughly 100 channels from Waco/Austin Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Temple, Killeen ad when a cold front is arriving Houston and Victoria ... Summer mornings with high pressure I get Shreveport.

I use LMR400 for 50 ohm Wireless Access point 802.11 G/Scanner/CB/ham base antennas because I have bunches of it (and RG11 for 75 ohm, with a preamp for TV antennas)

There's no HOmeowner Association where i am, and a city code does say a permit is needed for antenna towers, but pretty sure they mean like for cell towers or the five 1,000 footers we have within 1.5 miles of me

Code violations here are not enforced, my bathtub had no trap under it, just a melted piece of PVC, melted so it could angle between the sewer main and the tub drain, I fixed that ... On my street the manhole covers saying "Sewer" are to access the water main, and the ones saying "Water" cover the city's sewer cleanouts ,,,but it's a nice place to retire as no one bothers you lol

I put a mobile triband antenna on a mount with radials under it on a fencepost today... (Nagoya GPK-01 (21" Radials) NMO Mount Ground Plane Kit for Base or Field Use, SO-239 Connector, Mounts to 2" Pole, Mast, Pipe https://www.amazon.com/Nagoya-GPK-01-Ra ... N6JYFS7S8P) listening to local repeater (only 1 in our 2-mile wide city, out near Longhorn Caverns/Inks Lake State Park ...several others in nearby cities) I picked up digital repeater in Waco, so yeah I may not need 50'feet anyway. people can hit the local repeater (on 100 foot tower) nearly to Austin so I can probably save some money right now on masts and get started on installing a metal roof instead
Guy out by the lake farther from me and lower elevation than me hits the repeater with his small antenna ten foot off the ground, but couldn't hit Lampasas 25 miles
I have tons of lightning arrestors with NM connectors but had to buy more for PL239/SO239


using gas discharge polyphaser type protectors
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073H ... UTF8&psc=1

as well as A28 sp[ark gap lightning protectors
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LY ... UTF8&psc=1

I intend to have breakfast with these people tomorrow (Met some of them in CERT class last week)
http://hlarc.org/
ARES SkyWarn NETWORK (Weather NET) will be activated as needed on 147.020 MHz with a PL of 88.5
Weekly ARES Net on the 147.020+ 88.5hz Repeater
When: Sunday night 8:30 pm
Last edited by NotRPB on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.


NotRPB
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#139

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:39 pm

Thanks for the lightning reminder too
This is a picture of the same antenna I have comet cx333 that was hit by lightning, more at the link

Might be good to "go lower" with fiberglass? (I read that they possibly are more likely to build up a static charge?)

https://shearmadness72.com/2011/08/26/d ... gust-2011/

Image


2farnorth
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#140

Post by 2farnorth » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:15 am

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
N5PNZ


NotRPB
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#141

Post by NotRPB » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:31 pm

2farnorth wrote: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.
Local Tower Regulations http://www.ctdxcc.org/localregs/
just to get back to you on the height/zoning etc I checked our Municode in addition to above guys (link above) , and unless I'm close to the city airport or place a mast/tower in the street right-of-way (landscaping ordinances) or utility right-of-way ... my city doesn't regulate height. (BUT I learned they passed a reg against any satellite dish over the KU can normal diameter, so my ten foot C-Band satellite dish next to the street in the front yard by my mailbox ... I am supposed to screen it with a privacy fence or shrubbery (I painted it camo, and unscreweed the coax and actuater's power , so it is current "modern artwork sculpture" piece instead of a satellite dish, (landscaping ordinances) except when I use it ...Something I learned from mom draping a vine over a prohibited "front yard privacy fence" in Bellaire to call it a "Trellis") My little KU band dish next to it gives me added 600 TV channels FTA Free To Air and I rarely use the C band dish lately since digital TV stations added most of what I watch on digital subchannels now.

Anyway, yeah for now I'll just take down 1 of two TV antenna mounted rooftop on the 5' tripod that uses two overlapping ten foot EMT sections that gets me roughly 30' off the ground (roof peak is 15') .. I mostly use my other rooftop TV antenna anyway (one EMT section for 10 foot over roof peak of 15' = 25' off ground)

So I don't need to buy masts. tripods or anything yet.... but I still have the "wants" for a 40/50/64' telescopic mast .. LOL (and more guns,,, and radios ... and ...


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#142

Post by mdubtx » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:02 pm

Well, I am now as over-licensed as I can get. Passed a level 4 test tonight to upgrade to Amateur Extra. :smile:

And, I'm still running with only a Chinese HT and mag mount antenna. :???:
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Flightmare
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#143

Post by Flightmare » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:08 pm

mdubtx wrote:Well, I am now as over-licensed as I can get. Passed a level 4 test tonight to upgrade to Amateur Extra. :smile:

And, I'm still running with only a Chinese HT and mag mount antenna. :???:
Congratulations! I'm running a Baofeng HT myself, I have a Yaesu in my truck and at home. I learned real quick that radios can make this a very expensive hobby if you let it.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#144

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:31 am

mdubtx wrote:Well, I am now as over-licensed as I can get. Passed a level 4 test tonight to upgrade to Amateur Extra. :smile:

And, I'm still running with only a Chinese HT and mag mount antenna. :???:
Congratulations! Chinese HT (Wouxun) got me back into ham radio a few years back. I still have that HT along with a Kenwood, TYT DMR, and a Baofeng. I also have two Kenwood TM-V71A (one mobile and one in my office) and a new Kenwood 281A. Be careful, it can be addicting -- somewhat like collecting guns.

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#145

Post by RoyGBiv » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:48 am

mdubtx wrote:Well, I am now as over-licensed as I can get. Passed a level 4 test tonight to upgrade to Amateur Extra. :smile:

And, I'm still running with only a Chinese HT and mag mount antenna. :???:
I've got beacoup $$ invested in Yaesu digital rig, but still prefer my Pofung HT for everything except when I'm on RACES weather watch.

:lol:
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#146

Post by mdubtx » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:09 pm

Thank yous all around!
RoyGBiv wrote: I've got beacoup $$ invested in Yaesu digital rig, but still prefer my Pofung HT for everything except when I'm on RACES weather watch.

:lol:
RoyGBiv, I got my Tarrant County RACES card last month. Time to get a mobile rig to get in there with. The Yaesu digital mobiles have really been calling me. But, too many of them. LOL The FTM-100DR will do. But, the 400 has the looks. And then, there's the 991A that needs to come live at my house...

And oh, I'll be "needing" the 857D.

And, then... And, then... LOL
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RoyGBiv
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#147

Post by RoyGBiv » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:22 am

mdubtx wrote:Thank yous all around!
RoyGBiv wrote: I've got beacoup $$ invested in Yaesu digital rig, but still prefer my Pofung HT for everything except when I'm on RACES weather watch.

:lol:
RoyGBiv, I got my Tarrant County RACES card last month. Time to get a mobile rig to get in there with. The Yaesu digital mobiles have really been calling me. But, too many of them. LOL The FTM-100DR will do. But, the 400 has the looks. And then, there's the 991A that needs to come live at my house...

And oh, I'll be "needing" the 857D.

And, then... And, then... LOL
I mounted the 100DR in a Pelican case and made it "portable". Was an interesting project that came out nicely but way over budget. :lol:
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#148

Post by locke_n_load » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:11 pm

Hello all, I'm in humble/atascocita (NE Houston) and I have a baofeng handheld with an upgraded antenna. I scan my local repeaters, but have only heard real communications on ham day... Is this normal? I guess I need to tune in on days with scheduled chatter.
Taking my tech exam Saturday.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#149

Post by Grundy1133 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:23 pm

locke_n_load wrote:Hello all, I'm in humble/atascocita (NE Houston) and I have a baofeng handheld with an upgraded antenna. I scan my local repeaters, but have only heard real communications on ham day... Is this normal? I guess I need to tune in on days with scheduled chatter.
Taking my tech exam Saturday.
I have a BaoFeng and I have no clue how to use it. i can tune into my local FM radio stations but other than that I cant pick up squat and I have no idea how. I gave up and threw it in a drawer somewhere...
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#150

Post by ghostrider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:34 pm

I have a BaoFeng and I have no clue how to use it. i can tune into my local FM radio stations but other than that I cant pick up squat and I have no idea how. I gave up and threw it in a drawer somewhere..

If you're just scanning it could be skipping over the local frequencies; you really need to find out what the frequencies for the local repeaters are and monitor those. You might start here:

http://txvhffm.org/repeaters/repeaters.php
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