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Official MO HAM thread? (Page 1 of 2)
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Posted: 1/13/2021 1:21:34 AM EST
I'm a total newb. I could really use some help on everything really. Frequiencies, repeaters, local shops and clubs etc. I know at least one other member who could use some help as well.

I will try and answer the questions I know I will be asked so here we go
I have a Baofeng. I've got it programmed, and already see the need for something better. The NOAA Freq. 162.550 always works. I get the most traffic on 145.130 but it is intermittent. The only other repeater I've heard traffic on is 145.430. I think that is the one out of Gladstone. I heard someone on the other repeater say it's active, but seldom used. I have several others programmed, but I never hear anything. I'm assuming it is due to the ability of my radio or the repeater isn't used. I have upgraded the antenna to a Nagoya, but the problem with 145.130 seemed to have gotten worse.

I've got a study guide and an app with practice tests. I follow the Ham Radio Crash Course on you tube, but something about his videos trigger my ADD/ADHD and I completely space off lol.

Thanks in advance for any help!
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 1:23:02 AM EST
@Triumphman here is the thread I mentioned. Ask away.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 3:17:29 AM EST
I also have a pair of baofeng uv5r radios.
No license yet tho.
This thread is relevant to my interests.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 7:55:40 AM EST
Im a general and live in reynolds county.  I belong to the carter county amateur radio club.  Our repeater allows for good communication coverage over about 4-5 counties.

Link Posted: 1/13/2021 11:10:46 AM EST
Just picked up a couple of the UV5R's and started looking at the stuff for tech.  I tried to program one of mine using chirp but the only thing I've picked up so far is NOAA.  Don't know if no one is talking or if it's not programmed right.  

I'm in Rolla and need to find some locals into HAM.  Used to be a guy I worked with who was into it but he moved.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 11:45:17 AM EST
Baofengs are cheap and a great entry point into HAM but also a money pit. Ask me how I know.

Frequencies/programming:
Im not familiar with the KC repeaters so im not much help there. The repeaters around here are often quite dead with no traffic. That said, the benefit of a Beofeng in SW Missouri is the ability to get on the Southwest Missouri Linked Repeater System. When you key up from your $25 radio you can key up almost a quarter of the state.


Equipment thoughts and HT Use Cases:
Scanning is not good on a Baofeng. It takes so long to switch frequencies that unless it is a long conversation you are apt to miss it. This is only magnified by if you program a ton of channels as it scans every one each time. Frustratingly if you program FRS and MURS channels your scan may stop picking up the local walmart traffic or the neighborhood kids. Other radios are much better at scanning. That said all of this is just my opinion.

Handheld:
Stock out of the box the Baofeng is a $25 handheld. Works ok for that. The stock antennas are not that grand so I normally upgrade mine.

Gear mounted:
If you are wanting to use it for "tactical" comms on your gear, then I would not trust the belt clip to secure it for any serious use and would instead put it in a pouch. There are lots of cool options for mounting it to gear from tilt-out pouches that allow you to manipulate the radio buttons to kydex sheaths, but a surplus m4 pouch works ok as well.

You can do poor man's comms on your tactical gear using a handheld mic that has a 2.5mm audio port on it. My Howard Leights came with a 2.5mm cable to play audio in one ear so you can set it up to receive audio in one ear of your ear pro and use the handmic like a PTT.
So Radio > plugged into Hand Mic > 2.5mm cord from Hand Mic to Headset.

If your antenna gets in the way, you can do an antenna relocation kit to move the antenna to the back of your PC/kit.

Mobile (vehicle):
Using a HT from inside a vehicle will mess with your signal quite a lot and you wont hear much. A magnetic mount with cable routed through a door will allow you to use your HT inside your vehicle with the antenna outside. The added benefit is giving your antenna a ground plate from the metal car roof to enable better reception and transmission.


Base-station wannabe:
If you want to monitor traffic from inside your house as a base-station, then you will need a better antenna unless you are really close to what you are listening to and receiving. Since we are on a budget with our $25 Radio, a couple of cheap options are:
1. 1/4 wave Magnetic mount antenna on (steel) cookie sheet
2. Full wave roll up j-pole

You also want something that is not purely battery operated. I got the extended battery with usb charge cable. Or you could leave it on the stock charger. For base station operation you probably want a hand mic since your radio is tethered.

Links:
Good whip antenna for Handheld or gear mounted
Good magnetic mount for vehicle or cookie sheet (amazon)
Extended battery with USB charge cable (amazon)
Rollup dual band jpole (ebay)
Commmountain Hand Mic with 2.5mm jack (amazon)

So your $25 radio is great, learning how to use it is better, and once you buy equipment to use your radio in multiple use cases you find you need a dedicated radio for each one and then you start upgrading..
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 12:42:08 PM EST
@redleg13a

Get the repeater book app,it will tell you whats working in your AO.  There is not much chatter on our repeater as there are only about 5-6 active members.

Join a local club.  If there isnt one in rolla, i know there is one in salem.  Pay the dues (wont be much), it helps fund the expenses for the repeater.  When the big flood came in 2017 and wiped out communications in carter county, our repeater was the only thing working. Even the SO used it.

Hamstudy.org is what i used to pass my test.  I cant build a radio from scratch, but hey it got me on the air...
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 1:41:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Flak-Magnet:
Baofengs are cheap and a great entry point into HAM but also a money pit. Ask me how I know.

Frequencies/programming:
Im not familiar with the KC repeaters so im not much help there. The repeaters around here are often quite dead with no traffic. That said, the benefit of a Beofeng in SW Missouri is the ability to get on the Southwest Missouri Linked Repeater System. When you key up from your $25 radio you can key up almost a quarter of the state.
https://smlrs.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/smlrs_100614-smlrs-coverage-map-100614-branson-and-arcola.jpg?w=930

Equipment thoughts and HT Use Cases:
Scanning is not good on a Baofeng. It takes so long to switch frequencies that unless it is a long conversation you are apt to miss it. This is only magnified by if you program a ton of channels as it scans every one each time. Frustratingly if you program FRS and MURS channels your scan may stop picking up the local walmart traffic or the neighborhood kids. Other radios are much better at scanning. That said all of this is just my opinion.

Handheld:
Stock out of the box the Baofeng is a $25 handheld. Works ok for that. The stock antennas are not that grand so I normally upgrade mine.

Gear mounted:
If you are wanting to use it for "tactical" comms on your gear, then I would not trust the belt clip to secure it for any serious use and would instead put it in a pouch. There are lots of cool options for mounting it to gear from tilt-out pouches that allow you to manipulate the radio buttons to kydex sheaths, but a surplus m4 pouch works ok as well.

You can do poor man's comms on your tactical gear using a handheld mic that has a 2.5mm audio port on it. My Howard Leights came with a 2.5mm cable to play audio in one ear so you can set it up to receive audio in one ear of your ear pro and use the handmic like a PTT.
So Radio > plugged into Hand Mic > 2.5mm cord from Hand Mic to Headset.

If your antenna gets in the way, you can do an antenna relocation kit to move the antenna to the back of your PC/kit.

Mobile (vehicle):
Using a HT from inside a vehicle will mess with your signal quite a lot and you wont hear much. A magnetic mount with cable routed through a door will allow you to use your HT inside your vehicle with the antenna outside. The added benefit is giving your antenna a ground plate from the metal car roof to enable better reception and transmission.
https://myradiolab.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ground-plane.gif

Base-station wannabe:
If you want to monitor traffic from inside your house as a base-station, then you will need a better antenna unless you are really close to what you are listening to and receiving. Since we are on a budget with our $25 Radio, a couple of cheap options are:
1. 1/4 wave Magnetic mount antenna on (steel) cookie sheet
2. Full wave roll up j-pole

You also want something that is not purely battery operated. I got the extended battery with usb charge cable. Or you could leave it on the stock charger. For base station operation you probably want a hand mic since your radio is tethered.

Links:
Good whip antenna for Handheld or gear mounted
Good magnetic mount for vehicle or cookie sheet (amazon)
Extended battery with USB charge cable (amazon)
Rollup dual band jpole (ebay)
Commmountain Hand Mic with 2.5mm jack (amazon)

So your $25 radio is great, learning how to use it is better, and once you buy equipment to use your radio in multiple use cases you find you need a dedicated radio for each one and then you start upgrading..
View Quote

Tactical Tailor makes a Baofeng specific pouch now. I'll link it and read the rest of your post when I get a chance.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:43:32 PM EST
Following this post.....
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 10:35:50 PM EST
I spent a few hours researching last weekend to get started and ended up with more questions than answers I think I'm going to go the cheapo route and try to get a baofeng to dip my toes in the water, I feel like I have a long way to go to catch up.
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 12:52:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2021 12:54:52 AM EST by Shootindave]
I am in your area. The main shop is going to be Associated Radio. 8012 Conser • Overland Park, KS 66204

I have programmed into my handheld:

147.3300+0.6 MHz151.4Kansas City, NWS Central Region HQPlatteWA0QFJOPENFusion

146.520 ..... I don't recall why. Must be somewhere I travel.

145.1300-0.6 MHz151.4 / 151.4Kansas CityWyandotteWA0NQAOPENFM EchoLink

145.4300-0.6 MHzGladstone, Gladstone Water Tank - 72nd and AntiochClayW0MBOPENFM

146.7900-0.6 MHz107.2Kansas CityClayW0TEOPENFM

146.8200-0.6 MHz151.4 / 151.4Kansas City, Top of KCMO City HallJacksonK0HAMOPENFM Fusion

146.9400-0.6 MHz88.5 / 88.5Kansas CityWyandotteK0HAMOPENFM

146.9700-0.6 MHz151.4Kansas City, PlazaJacksonW0WJBOPENFM

147.0000+0.6 MHz151.4 / 151.4LeavenworthLeavenworthKS0LVOPENFM

146.9100-0.6 MHzOverland ParkJohnsonK0HAMOPENFusion WIRES-X

147.2400+0.6 MHz151.4OlatheJohnsonKA0FMZOPENFM

146.7000-0.6 MHz107.2 / 107.2Lee's Summit, James A Reed Wildlife CenterJacksonKC0SKYOPENFM

146.7300-0.6 MHzIndependence, IFD Fire Station #1 approx 1000 yds SSE of TrumanJacksonW0SHQOPENFM EchoLink Fusion

147.0900+0.6 MHzIndependence, Bank of America Independence SquareJacksonW0TOJOPENFM EchoLink

145.1100-0.6 MHzLibertyClayN0ELKOPENFM

145.1900-0.6 MHzCC4Excelsior SpringsClayK0BSJOPENDMR

147.0450+0.6 MHzKearneyClayN0TIXOPENFM

146.8650-0.6 MHz151.4 / 151.4RaymoreCassWB0YRGOPENFM



Link Posted: 1/14/2021 1:31:17 AM EST
Ok you guys have piqued my interest and I'm here with questions.

I was looking at some Baofengs on Amazon today, but there's so many one has hard choice in what to look for.

I looked at some UV5's and they make so many different models and at least 3 generations of it. Then there's the Markit(?) system where some company sells Baofengs/accessories and harps about how his is USA and so much better??? Chinese is still Chinese no matter where sold from.

I like Radioddity also, in that my walkie-talkies are from them and they're quite good, but their radios have different models that are about same as Baofengs, but different and I don't know if accessories will interchange.

What would be best choice and trying to keep cost less than $50, or maybe up to $60 for a great DIY pick and choose system. Antenna, larger capacity battery, best watts to get(not necessarily highest wattage, but the best all around wattage that works best) or whatever might be for best operation.

Program cable/driver is something else I need to know about and what is best---the one that comes with radio or get radio without program cable and get cable separately from another seller. Also does one need the driver disc or does/can that come from "chirp" site when programming?

One model I saw was a UV9 which is some sort upgrade of the UV5, but is dust/water proof which I think would be good to have, but I don't know.
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 5:31:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Shootindave:
I am in your area. The main shop is going to be Associated Radio. 8012 Conser • Overland Park, KS 66204
SNIP

146.520 ..... I don't recall why. Must be somewhere I travel.
SNIP

View Quote

146.520 is the national 2m FM calling frequency.
73,
Rob
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 6:05:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2021 6:09:23 PM EST by Neppo1345]
Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Ok you guys have piqued my interest and I'm here with questions.

--SNIP--
View Quote


I've got a UV-82 and a UV-5r V2+. They don't get exercised very often (I usually use my Kenwood HT), but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either of them.

I would personally spring for one of the UV-5R packages that comes with a programming cable just to get everything all at once. I don't have a programming cable and it's a PITA without it...which...thinking about it...I think I'll just buy one now while it's on my mind lol.

I'm not super well versed in the intricacies and differences from version to version, but I can say no matter which version you get you'll end up with a pretty solid bang-for-the buck handy-talkie.

I'd recommend just getting the radio and programming cable to start. Get licensed, learn how to use it...and then start buying extra batteries and messing around with aftermarket antennas (Diamond SRJ77CA FTW).
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 2:22:33 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bigbryce31186:

Tactical Tailor makes a Baofeng specific pouch now. I'll link it and read the rest of your post when I get a chance.
View Quote


Flashbang pouch works well too.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 12:46:16 PM EST
Well, I ordered a Baofeng UV-9WP(water proof) radio along with matched radio accessories to know they all work together to wet my whistle. It's the Mirkit system that has backing here in the US, if any problems arise.

Does anybody know of a site where they ACTUALLY do Q/A sessions to help one pass the Techanical test? I've seen some where people shill their books, but I want actual "here's what you need to know about the tests" without all the blathering. If it's out there.



Link Posted: 1/16/2021 4:48:43 PM EST
Have you looked at radioreference.com?  I've got 11 Motorolas mounted in various trucks and equipment but they're all up in the UHF range.  Anyone know of any repeater frequencies up in the 450MHZ range?
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 12:08:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Flak-Magnet:
Baofengs are cheap and a great entry point into HAM but also a money pit. Ask me how I know.

Frequencies/programming:
Im not familiar with the KC repeaters so im not much help there. The repeaters around here are often quite dead with no traffic. That said, the benefit of a Beofeng in SW Missouri is the ability to get on the Southwest Missouri Linked Repeater System. When you key up from your $25 radio you can key up almost a quarter of the state.
https://smlrs.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/smlrs_100614-smlrs-coverage-map-100614-branson-and-arcola.jpg?w=930

Equipment thoughts and HT Use Cases:
Scanning is not good on a Baofeng. It takes so long to switch frequencies that unless it is a long conversation you are apt to miss it. This is only magnified by if you program a ton of channels as it scans every one each time. Frustratingly if you program FRS and MURS channels your scan may stop picking up the local walmart traffic or the neighborhood kids. Other radios are much better at scanning. That said all of this is just my opinion.

Handheld:
Stock out of the box the Baofeng is a $25 handheld. Works ok for that. The stock antennas are not that grand so I normally upgrade mine.

Gear mounted:
If you are wanting to use it for "tactical" comms on your gear, then I would not trust the belt clip to secure it for any serious use and would instead put it in a pouch. There are lots of cool options for mounting it to gear from tilt-out pouches that allow you to manipulate the radio buttons to kydex sheaths, but a surplus m4 pouch works ok as well.

You can do poor man's comms on your tactical gear using a handheld mic that has a 2.5mm audio port on it. My Howard Leights came with a 2.5mm cable to play audio in one ear so you can set it up to receive audio in one ear of your ear pro and use the handmic like a PTT.
So Radio > plugged into Hand Mic > 2.5mm cord from Hand Mic to Headset.

If your antenna gets in the way, you can do an antenna relocation kit to move the antenna to the back of your PC/kit.

Mobile (vehicle):
Using a HT from inside a vehicle will mess with your signal quite a lot and you wont hear much. A magnetic mount with cable routed through a door will allow you to use your HT inside your vehicle with the antenna outside. The added benefit is giving your antenna a ground plate from the metal car roof to enable better reception and transmission.
https://myradiolab.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ground-plane.gif

Base-station wannabe:
If you want to monitor traffic from inside your house as a base-station, then you will need a better antenna unless you are really close to what you are listening to and receiving. Since we are on a budget with our $25 Radio, a couple of cheap options are:
1. 1/4 wave Magnetic mount antenna on (steel) cookie sheet
2. Full wave roll up j-pole

You also want something that is not purely battery operated. I got the extended battery with usb charge cable. Or you could leave it on the stock charger. For base station operation you probably want a hand mic since your radio is tethered.

Links:
Good whip antenna for Handheld or gear mounted
Good magnetic mount for vehicle or cookie sheet (amazon)
Extended battery with USB charge cable (amazon)
Rollup dual band jpole (ebay)
Commmountain Hand Mic with 2.5mm jack (amazon)

So your $25 radio is great, learning how to use it is better, and once you buy equipment to use your radio in multiple use cases you find you need a dedicated radio for each one and then you start upgrading..
View Quote

Radio pouch here is the pocuh I mentioned the other day. Of course it costs double what the radios do
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 12:17:15 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Well, I ordered a Baofeng UV-9WP(water proof) radio along with matched radio accessories to know they all work together to wet my whistle. It's the Mirkit system that has backing here in the US, if any problems arise.

Does anybody know of a site where they ACTUALLY do Q/A sessions to help one pass the Techanical test? I've seen some where people shill their books, but I want actual "here's what you need to know about the tests" without all the blathering. If it's out there.



View Quote

I follow Ham Radio Crash Course on you tube. He has several videos going through a book (not his book, but one he recommends). I can't seem to pay attention to his videos for some reason though. It triggers my ADD and I always space off lol. I got the Ham Test Prep app. It has practice tests as well as general info to help you learn, and HAM radio for dummies paperback book.
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 1:18:42 PM EST
QRZ.com has practice exams; though, you'll have sign up for the site. Just make up a user name, when you get licensed the mods will help you change the user name to your call sign.
73,
Rob
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 1:58:57 PM EST
Thanks guys for prepping ham info.

I found hamexam.com yesterday which has help questions/answers. It's a signup site also.

I don't have any books to help me right now and took the sample test of not even knowing what I'm up against for tech license just to see what they had. I got to study up more on some of the electrical questions.

What is the number of questions and be incorrect on a test, is still passing to get a license?
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 12:33:02 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bigbryce31186:

Radio pouch here is the pocuh I mentioned the other day. Of course it costs double what the radios do
View Quote



I'm got a couple spare GI canteen pouches(another story of why I have them) I now don't need to hold my radio. The size could probable hold couple radios for family needs, or charging dock/PPT ear gear to have on hand. It's also got side pockets to hold other small accessories too.
 


Link Posted: 1/18/2021 12:57:45 PM EST
Thought I would share, as I know not everyone is a fan of GD
Getting HAM license is dumb......
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 3:43:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kc215:
Thought I would share, as I know not everyone is a fan of GD
Getting HAM license is dumb......
View Quote


Threads like that are why not everyone is a fan of GD.

Pure tardfest.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 3:50:16 PM EST
How well would one of these work from a house down in some creek bottoms? Does being surrounded by hills matter?

I was looking at this;

US BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER Two Way Ham Radio Walkie Talkie w/ Accessories
Condition:
New
Quantity:
More than 10 available 172 sold / See feedback
Price:
US $38.99
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 4:40:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2021 4:41:42 PM EST by JAD762]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
How well would one of these work from a house down in some creek bottoms? Does being surrounded by hills matter?

I was looking at this;

US BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER Two Way Ham Radio Walkie Talkie w/ Accessories
Condition:
New
Quantity:
More than 10 available 172 sold / See feedback
Price:
US $38.99
View Quote


Without looking at the details, the radio sounds fine.  Probably not water proof but that's not that big of a deal.

Its a UHF/VHF radio so it will be constrained to line of sight, so geography will affect it. Buying a Nagoya aftermarket antennae will help a bit.

Get the repeaterbook app on your phone or tablet and let it use your location, it will tell you how far away any repeaters are.  I'd imagine that you'll be close enough to hit a repeater even in hilly areas.

But you'll never know until you get licensed and can key up.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 4:58:30 PM EST
Thank you.  We've got some tall hills around us, so this might not work. I was just wanting it to listen for emergency info., if my cell and/or internet is ever out.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 5:08:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2021 5:11:24 PM EST by Triumphman]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
How well would one of these work from a house down in some creek bottoms? Does being surrounded by hills matter?

I was looking at this;

US BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER Two Way Ham Radio Walkie Talkie w/ Accessories

Price:
US $38.99
View Quote



I've heard some good things about the BF-F8 models. Seen a few vids on utube about them before I chose the Baofeng UV-9Plus water proof model which was also rated 8 watts.

Seen some people testing these radios with a power meter and even if you find them at 10-15 watt output, which is amazing IF TRUE for same size radio, all don't put out over 4.5 or so watts. So, 5 watts is about best we'll get unless one goes to a base/mobile station or much more expensive type radio which has larger battery(s) due to power needs and builtin transformers to boost that power. That's why back in old days you saw CB base stations that were 3-4 times larger/heavier than mobile units and the heat they can generate. Well, they still are.

Our family was big into CB radios back in 60-70's from being in REACT and back then, like HAM today, required a license to operate.

 Where the biggest gain in distance is going to be  is going to a better antenna like the Noyota(sp) 771 or 707 which is a bit shorter, but more durable in design. I think I saw a model 717 also, but the tester was saying that due to the 15-17" whip antenna that it might make for bad problems due to whipping around on the SMA radio connection.

Don't know about the military style looped antennas. Need to look into those.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 5:15:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
Thank you.  We've got some tall hills around us, so this might not work. I was just wanting it to listen for emergency info., if my cell and/or internet is ever out.
View Quote


Right on. I’ve got an older baofeng that sucks as a scanner. I can get the NOAA weather stream on it, which is nice. The last couple of weather events we had up here the repeaters were all quiet the whole time. Repeaters might be more active in your area though.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 5:35:02 PM EST
It seems worth trying to me. If I don't, and the other services ever go down, I'm sure I'll be wishing that I'd bought one. I think $40 is worth the gamble. If it doesn't work here in the house, and I really need it, I can drive my Rzr through the woods to the top of the hill.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 6:10:12 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Triumphman:



I've heard some good things about the BF-F8 models. Seen a few vids on utube about them before I chose the Baofeng UV-9Plus water proof model which was also rated 8 watts.

Seen some people testing these radios with a power meter and even if you find them at 10-15 watt output, which is amazing IF TRUE for same size radio, all don't put out over 4.5 or so watts. So, 5 watts is about best we'll get unless one goes to a base/mobile station or much more expensive type radio which has larger battery(s) due to power needs and builtin transformers to boost that power. That's why back in old days you saw CB base stations that were 3-4 times larger/heavier than mobile units and the heat they can generate. Well, they still are.

Our family was big into CB radios back in 60-70's from being in REACT and back then, like HAM today, required a license to operate.

 Where the biggest gain in distance is going to be  is going to a better antenna like the Noyota(sp) 771 or 707 which is a bit shorter, but more durable in design. I think I saw a model 717 also, but the tester was saying that due to the 15-17" whip antenna that it might make for bad problems due to whipping around on the SMA radio connection.

Don't know about the military style looped antennas. Need to look into those.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
How well would one of these work from a house down in some creek bottoms? Does being surrounded by hills matter?

I was looking at this;

US BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER Two Way Ham Radio Walkie Talkie w/ Accessories

Price:
US $38.99



I've heard some good things about the BF-F8 models. Seen a few vids on utube about them before I chose the Baofeng UV-9Plus water proof model which was also rated 8 watts.

Seen some people testing these radios with a power meter and even if you find them at 10-15 watt output, which is amazing IF TRUE for same size radio, all don't put out over 4.5 or so watts. So, 5 watts is about best we'll get unless one goes to a base/mobile station or much more expensive type radio which has larger battery(s) due to power needs and builtin transformers to boost that power. That's why back in old days you saw CB base stations that were 3-4 times larger/heavier than mobile units and the heat they can generate. Well, they still are.

Our family was big into CB radios back in 60-70's from being in REACT and back then, like HAM today, required a license to operate.

 Where the biggest gain in distance is going to be  is going to a better antenna like the Noyota(sp) 771 or 707 which is a bit shorter, but more durable in design. I think I saw a model 717 also, but the tester was saying that due to the 15-17" whip antenna that it might make for bad problems due to whipping around on the SMA radio connection.

Don't know about the military style looped antennas. Need to look into those.


Is there a bigger battery available for that UV9?
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 8:01:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 10:13:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2021 10:16:23 PM EST by Neppo1345]
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Originally Posted By PursuitSS:
Does the BaoFeng offer scrambling? Seems like it would be a VERY useful feature.
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Nah, you won't find encryption or scrambling on a radio sold as a ham radio. One of the things that hams are prohibited from doing is transmitting "messages that are encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning".

So in theory, you could develop your own 'scrambling mode' but you would have to openly publish the 'recipe' to decrypt it...so its kind of pointless if you're doing it for the point of privacy. People do this using digital modes all the time on HF bands..but its for purposes other than privacy.
Link Posted: 1/18/2021 11:52:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By JAD762:


Is there a bigger battery available for that UV9?
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Don't know, haven't checked. The Mirkit version which I have coming has a 2200Mah battery and of course it's made to help with water proofing by some sort of seal by my understanding. Making one of these water proof must be hard and I can understand by all the external components that could let in any type of moisture. I do know this model's plastic housing is made more durable over most all other UV-? models. I saw a vid of a guy dropping it on purpose, twice outside his 2nd story house and hitting concrete without any damage --- other than some scuffing and knocking off a switch cover, which popped back on.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 9:15:31 AM EST
I have my Technician class license.  Got it in October of last year, haven't talked on my radio yet, just listen.  

To study for the Technician class I used the free study guide here -> https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/

I used the above guide with an app on my phone, Ham Test Prep -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iversoft.ham.test.prep&hl=en_US&gl=US

I aced the test and decided to start studying for the General class.  I bought the study guide from KB6NU at the above link, but life got in the way and I haven't done any studying yet.

My handheld is a Baofeng BF-F8HP.  I have three antennas for it, the rubber duck that came with it, an ExpertPower XP-669C (honestly can't tell any difference from stock antenna), and a Nagoya NA-771 (better reception, kind of long).

I installed a mobile in my Jeep, an Icom IC-2730A.  I really should have documented the install, I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The antenna is a Larsen NMO-2/70B on a Diamond K400 SNMO mount.  I put it on the hood on the driver's side.  The base of the radio is mounted to the bottom of the passenger seat so that it is away from prying eyes and won't get wet when the Jeep gets water in it (which happens fairly often).  The face is mounted to half of a door hinge.  The other half of the door hinge is mounted inside the console cover above the stereo.  This way I can put the face up when I'm using it, and easily remove it when I'm not.  I also mounted an external speaker under/behind the steering wheel.

I had planned on hooking up with some of the emergency groups in the area (ARES/RACES) but again, life got in the way.

I was spending a lot of time in the ham radio section here on arfcom, but haven't really kept up since I haven't been doing anything with my radios lately.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 9:51:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2021 9:59:40 AM EST by JAD762]
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:



Don't know, haven't checked. The Mirkit version which I have coming has a 2200Mah battery and of course it's made to help with water proofing by some sort of seal by my understanding. Making one of these water proof must be hard and I can understand by all the external components that could let in any type of moisture. I do know this model's plastic housing is made more durable over most all other UV-? models. I saw a vid of a guy dropping it on purpose, twice outside his 2nd story house and hitting concrete without any damage --- other than some scuffing and knocking off a switch cover, which popped back on.
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Originally Posted By JAD762:


Is there a bigger battery available for that UV9?



Don't know, haven't checked. The Mirkit version which I have coming has a 2200Mah battery and of course it's made to help with water proofing by some sort of seal by my understanding. Making one of these water proof must be hard and I can understand by all the external components that could let in any type of moisture. I do know this model's plastic housing is made more durable over most all other UV-? models. I saw a vid of a guy dropping it on purpose, twice outside his 2nd story house and hitting concrete without any damage --- other than some scuffing and knocking off a switch cover, which popped back on.


Right on. I think I’m going to pick one of these up. I’ve been looking for a waterproof radio to take on canoe trips other than my thd74.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 10:11:41 AM EST
I just took a 10 question test for a Tech class license, and got 7 out of 10 just by guessing.

https://www.mometrix.com/academy/ham-radio-technician-class/
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 10:26:39 PM EST
I passed the test as a disinterested 12 year old. So I am guessing a halfway interested adult can.

I think back then it was called Novice and not Tech??
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 11:10:32 AM EST
The tests aren't really meant to teach you anything.  They're just like CompTIA exams(if you're in IT you know what I'm talking about).  It's just an exam to test how well you can memorize a pool of questions.  Kids as young as 5 pass these licensing exams.  The real learning comes from hands-on experience, youtube vids, and other hams.

If your only goal is to have a radio to toss in your bugout bag that you'll never use unless SHTF, then this isn't a good investment of your time or your money and you're better off just getting a pair of FRS/GMRS walkies that only require a license application(no study/exam).  If you're trying to do this with a baofeng then you have the cost of the radio, cost of the programming cable, cost of the license exam, time studying for the exam, time learning the radio and the programming software, time learning the VHF/UHF bands, time learning about repeaters and how to use them, etc.  That's a significant investment to make in to just one small facet of ham radio if all you're going to do is toss the radio in your glovebox after it's programmed, so I'm just trying to help you from wasting time and money on something you're not going to use.

Now if radio technology interests you at all and this is something you think you can enjoy as a hobby, then by all means get licensed and start learning.  There is a wealth of information on the internet to get you going, and a ham radio section here on arfcom full of hams that will happily answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 11:23:56 AM EST
For me, it's about *some* communication with the outside world. I'm disabled, and generally only leave the house twice per week. (Church, and Walmart). If I'm sitting here and lose cell phone (no home phone) and internet, my contact with friends or anyone outside the house we be cut entirely. I figure this would give a possibility of finding out why those other services are down. I may not even go through all that licensing stuff, and just use it to listen. I certainly don't want to go as deep as what you just outlined. I have no interest in radios; even in the 70s when my brother was into CBs I had no interest.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 11:43:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2021 11:44:41 AM EST by johnny_dot_exe]
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
For me, it's about *some* communication with the outside world. I'm disabled, and generally only leave the house twice per week. (Church, and Walmart). If I'm sitting here and lose cell phone (no home phone) and internet, my contact with friends or anyone outside the house we be cut entirely. I figure this would give a possibility of finding out why those other services are down. I may not even go through all that licensing stuff, and just use it to listen. I certainly don't want to go as deep as what you just outlined. I have no interest in radios; even in the 70s when my brother was into CBs I had no interest.
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If you're just doing this to listen then the baofeng will basically just serve one purpose and that's listening to your local UHF/VHF ham radio repeaters assuming hams are talking on them.  If there is a wide area power outage and those repeaters aren't on back up power, they're useless to everyone.  If no one really uses the repeaters and they're silent most or all of the time, then they're useless to you because there's nothing to listen to.  That baofeng is really only useful if the hams in your area are active and the local repeaters get used, or you're part of a group of people that own radios and have a comms plan in place when SHTF, like what frequency to meet up on or what repeater to use.

Now if you have a missouri skywarn repeater in your area that can be extremely helpful during bad weather.  During bad weather you'll hear constant real-time reports on the weather activity, you'll hear weather-spotter hams checking in with local weather reports/sightings, etc.  During tornado season when the bad weather arrives I'm either listening to skywarn, or providing local weather reports while driving around with GRLevel3 going on the laptop.  I even have a spare baofeng in the nightstand tuned to skywarn that my wife can just turn on and listen to if bad weather hits and I'm not home.  Skywarn is real-time info, so you'll know what's going on and where it's going on before the news reports it.

If your local emergency services(SD, PD, FD, EMT) are still using VHF analog radio systems then the baofeng can listen to those frequencies(like how those desktop radio scanners have worked throughout the years), but Motorola is pushing and persuading emergency services all over the place to upgrade to DMR radio systems which is a digital mode that baofengs aren't capable of.  You can get a DMR radio for $200~ that does UHF/VHF/DMR, but some of those emergency services went the extra mile and upgraded to encrypted DMR which you can't access at all.  DMR also comes with its own learning curve, however if you choose to go this far you can hang out on the ARFCOM DMR channel and talk with arfhams from all over the country(requires ham license).
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 12:37:20 PM EST
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Originally Posted By johnny_dot_exe:

Now if you have a missouri skywarn repeater in your area that can be extremely helpful during bad weather.  During bad weather you'll hear constant real-time reports on the weather activity, you'll hear weather-spotter hams checking in with local weather reports/sightings, etc.  During tornado season when the bad weather arrives I'm either listening to skywarn, or providing local weather reports while driving around with GRLevel3 going on the laptop.  I even have a spare baofeng in the nightstand tuned to skywarn that my wife can just turn on and listen to if bad weather hits and I'm not home.  Skywarn is real-time info, so you'll know what's going on and where it's going on before the news reports it.
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I just Googled Missouri Skywarn repeaters, and there's one about 20mi from my house. I'm guessing that they have generator backup, but of course I don't actually know anything about it. I think I'll get one, and should find out pretty quickly how much traffic is in this area.

Thank you for the helpful info.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 12:49:19 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:

I just Googled Missouri Skywarn repeaters, and there's one about 20mi from my house. I'm guessing that they have generator backup, but of course I don't actually know anything about it. I think I'll get one, and should find out pretty quickly how much traffic is in this area.

Thank you for the helpful info.
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I've not personally seen how the skywarn repeaters are set up or talked to anyone involved in their maintenance, so I don't know if they have backup power.  I'll assume and hope they do, due to their importance.  20miles is still close enough to listen in with a baofeng, but to talk you'd probably want a better antenna.  I've had conversations on a VHF repeater about 23 miles away from my recliner on a baofeng with a Nagoya brand antenna.

Once you have a radio hop in to the ham radio section and we'll get you squared away on getting all the repeaters programmed in it, you don't need to be licensed to post in there.  The programming software you'll use is Chirp and it's free, but you'll need to buy a programming cable so your radio can connect to your computer.  You have the option of manually programming frequencies on the radio itself, but it's time consuming and annoying.  When programming with Chirp we can even show you how to disable transmit on each programmed frequency if you want to be very sure you won't accidentally transmit.
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 1:00:19 PM EST
That all sounds good. I'll go to that forum, once I have the equipment in hand.
Link Posted: 2/10/2021 12:02:04 AM EST
Just to update; I ordered a radio and the antenna, and they're supposed to arrive between March 8 and March 29.

The Ebay radio ad started with this;
BAOFENG BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER TWO WAY HAM RADIO WALKIE TALKIE WITH ACCESSORIES US

...but down in the text said this;

New 2021 Baofeng UV-5RPT replaces BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) and is an 8-Watt Dual-Band & Tri-Power selection Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkie (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Built-in FM Radio and it really is in stock and ships from California
Includes Full Kit as pictured in box
Buy from this eBay "TOP RATED PLUS" seller
"Baofeng Factory Authorized Dealer"

Package Content:
1 x Baofeng UV-5RPT Two Way Radio
1 x 7.4V 1800mAh Li-ion Battery
1 x Antenna
1 x Earphone Mic/Headset
1 x Belt Clip
1 x Hand Strap
1 x Manual
1 x USB Cable
1 x Desktop Charger

The antenna ad was titled;

Baofeng UV5R UV-82 144/430MHz Dual Band Antenna NA771 SMA 10W Female Nagoya EU

The text said;

Nagoya NA-771 Whip Antenna will allow you to get longer range on your radio.This antenna features a 2.15 dB signal with up to 10W of power.


Boost the signal of your radio significantly!Condition:100% brand new and high qualityFrequency: 144/430MHzGain: 2.15 DBI/3.0 dBMax Power: 10WattsImpedance: 50 OhmsLength: 38 cmColor: Black

Package Included:1x NA-771 Dual Band Handheld Antenna

The item will be sent from Slovakia EU via 1st class, delivery time to EU will takes approximately 3 to 5 working days and to rest of world approximately 8 to 12 working days THANKS FOR LOOKING
Link Posted: 2/10/2021 12:54:32 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
Just to update; I ordered a radio and the antenna, and they're supposed to arrive between March 8 and March 29.

The Ebay radio ad started with this;
BAOFENG BF-F8HP 8W TRI-POWER TWO WAY HAM RADIO WALKIE TALKIE WITH ACCESSORIES US

...but down in the text said this;

New 2021 Baofeng UV-5RPT replaces BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) and is an 8-Watt Dual-Band & Tri-Power selection Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkie (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Built-in FM Radio and it really is in stock and ships from California
Includes Full Kit as pictured in box
Buy from this eBay "TOP RATED PLUS" seller
"Baofeng Factory Authorized Dealer"

Package Content:
1 x Baofeng UV-5RPT Two Way Radio
1 x 7.4V 1800mAh Li-ion Battery
1 x Antenna
1 x Earphone Mic/Headset
1 x Belt Clip
1 x Hand Strap
1 x Manual
1 x USB Cable
1 x Desktop Charger

The antenna ad was titled;

Baofeng UV5R UV-82 144/430MHz Dual Band Antenna NA771 SMA 10W Female Nagoya EU

The text said;

Nagoya NA-771 Whip Antenna will allow you to get longer range on your radio.This antenna features a 2.15 dB signal with up to 10W of power.


Boost the signal of your radio significantly!Condition:100% brand new and high qualityFrequency: 144/430MHzGain: 2.15 DBI/3.0 dBMax Power: 10WattsImpedance: 50 OhmsLength: 38 cmColor: Black

Package Included:1x NA-771 Dual Band Handheld Antenna

The item will be sent from Slovakia EU via 1st class, delivery time to EU will takes approximately 3 to 5 working days and to rest of world approximately 8 to 12 working days THANKS FOR LOOKING
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Link Posted: 2/12/2021 10:52:17 AM EST
Morning all!

I'll be hoping to catch some of you on the air. Ive got several different radios, and some of my dads old 10m gear, and some sdr's ive been tinkering with.

For the most part im interested in 2m, simplex as far as i can stretch it on some home made antennas.
Link Posted: 2/27/2021 6:20:35 PM EST
My radio arrived today; it's much smaller than I expected, and didn't come with the USB cable listed in the ad on Ebay. I assume that's the programming cable, but I don't see anywhere to plug in a USB anyway. I have it on charge, so it'll be ready for whatever is next. I wanted to update here first, and I'm going to go post in the HAM forum soon.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 2/27/2021 6:46:58 PM EST
If that model is anything like the uv-5r you can get an extended battery that about doubles the length of the radio.

The programming cable should be usb on one end, and the other end has two headphone style jacks that plug in to the side of the radio where you'd plug in a mic.
Link Posted: 2/27/2021 11:42:21 PM EST
Good going 67firebird.

I got my UV9R(Mirkit edition, waterproof version) a couple weeks ago. I only have it set up on a couple local frequencies I programmed in, as the program cable it came with didn't seem to work on the CHIRP site and this model radio takes a special cable due to being waterproof. It could be cable, but unsure, without a known good cable to compare. If anybody near me could help I'd appreciate it. I'm southeast of KC area.

Been studying up on the tests from a site, and can't seem to get past 22-27 correct answers out of 35. I know 27 is passing, but those pesky electrical voltage to watts/amp or how much wattage is needed for 2 amps, type questions keep throwing me off and I want to get more than just barely passing to know I can guarantee myself that I'll pass when I go in to take a test.

I know there's a formula for converting wattage to amps and amps to voltage or some such, but don't remember that formula.

I think I need a book. Anybody got a HAM TECH book they can pass along on a pay it forward. Maybe by reading, instead of going blindly along, I can get a better score and get at least my Tech. I don't plan on doing any home setups. Just keeping with handheld.
Link Posted: 2/27/2021 11:54:09 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Good going 67firebird.

I got my UV9R(Mirkit edition, waterproof version) a couple weeks ago. I only have it set up on a couple local frequencies I programmed in, as the program cable it came with didn't seem to work on the CHIRP site and this model radio takes a special cable due to being waterproof. It could be cable, but unsure, without a known good cable to compare. If anybody near me could help I'd appreciate it. I'm southeast of KC area.

Been studying up on the tests from a site, and can't seem to get past 22-27 correct answers out of 35. I know 27 is passing, but those pesky electrical voltage to watts/amp or how much wattage is needed for 2 amps, type questions keep throwing me off and I want to get more than just barely passing to know I can guarantee myself that I'll pass when I go in to take a test.

I know there's a formula for converting wattage to amps and amps to voltage or some such, but don't remember that formula.

I think I need a book. Anybody got a HAM TECH book they can pass along on a pay it forward. Maybe by reading, instead of going blindly along, I can get a better score and get at least my Tech. I don't plan on doing any home setups. Just keeping with handheld.
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I used the tech and general study apps on my phone.  It's just flash card style study to help you memorize the question pools.  Ran through those a few times a day and took 1-2 practice tests online, scored 100% on both tests.  Still don't remember all the ohm's law equations off the top of my head.
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