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Author Topic: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?  (Read 58328 times)

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #150 on: March 17, 2013, 06:03:36 PM »
I decided to switch to a handheld for the first radio.  I'll need at least 2 radios to test anything, so I figured I would start with the handheld and see which repeaters in the area I could pick up.  I bought a Yaesu VX-6R/E.  It arrived late yesterday and I have been listening today while waiting to get my call sign from the FCC.

Along with the radio, I bought the cable and software to be able to program it from the computer.  I programmed in some of the local repeater frequencies and have been scanning and picking up signals from all over northern NJ.

So far I am pleased with the radio.  It is amazingly small and I get decent reception even though I am indoors on the second floor of my house.  I am interested in doing two things:  Identifying a car antenna that can be used with this radio and getting a headphone/microphone that can plug into the jack provided.

Does anyone care to make a recommendation?  I'll probably go with the FR-2900R next so 2m is the most important band.

RadioRay

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #151 on: March 17, 2013, 10:41:11 PM »
I have an older, multi-band VHF.UHF transceiver similar to the FR-2900R and I am VERY pleased with it.  It's rugged, sensitive and once programmed, easy to use. My unit is older and the multiple button presses for programming it are a bit of a pain, but you only have to do it once per area. Yours being a different and newer model, may not have these problems.

As a general suggestion, a 5/8 wave , mobile antenna give noticably better performance than the 1/4 wave antennas - as a general rule.  they are taller, but when I drive into a populated area, I take the antenna off and toss it onthe the floor beneath an old coat so that I'm not advertising to the usual suspects that I have a "CB" radio for them to steal. That's rare in this mostly rural location, but the walmart parking lot is a feeding zone for the local thieves. //1 returned veteran sniper could solve that little issue, but it seems that midnight backet ball leagues, free passes to the "Y" and turning a blind eye is the method of choice for local authorities. . . " I'd rather give a vet a good job at something he has experience with - but then again I'm like that.    ;)



Congratulations with the license and getting started with the radio.  Remember NOAA radio 162.XXX MHz - it comes in handy.


>de RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #152 on: March 18, 2013, 12:28:02 AM »
Excellent Geek. That is what I did, got a Yaesu FT-270R first... 2m is indeed a must-have band. That said, I never found VHF traffic very interesting.. Maybe just my area.. I knew I wanted to do Morse code from the start, and of course that's HF. The next car I get, I'll put an FT-2900R in it. Right now I just can't justify the expense. Now you can think about the General exam  ;)

Gil.

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #153 on: March 18, 2013, 12:37:29 AM »
I have an older, multi-band VHF.UHF transceiver similar to the FR-2900R and I am VERY pleased with it.  It's rugged, sensitive and once programmed, easy to use. My unit is older and the multiple button presses for programming it are a bit of a pain, but you only have to do it once per area. Yours being a different and newer model, may not have these problems.

As a general suggestion, a 5/8 wave , mobile antenna give noticably better performance than the 1/4 wave antennas - as a general rule.  they are taller, but when I drive into a populated area, I take the antenna off and toss it onthe the floor beneath an old coat so that I'm not advertising to the usual suspects that I have a "CB" radio for them to steal. That's rare in this mostly rural location, but the walmart parking lot is a feeding zone for the local thieves. //1 returned veteran sniper could solve that little issue, but it seems that midnight backet ball leagues, free passes to the "Y" and turning a blind eye is the method of choice for local authorities. . . " I'd rather give a vet a good job at something he has experience with - but then again I'm like that.    ;)



Congratulations with the license and getting started with the radio.  Remember NOAA radio 162.XXX MHz - it comes in handy.


>de RadioRay ..._ ._

The Sandy Hook (NJ not CT) weather channel was clear as could be.

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #154 on: March 18, 2013, 12:50:48 AM »
This worked out great.  I was picking up a signal from a 2m repeater that was further away than any of the family members I've been concerned about reaching.  One conversation was coming from a repeater located in a town on the Hudson River, probably 35 miles from my home, and one of the participants was up in CT, probably another 30 miles beyond the repeater.

Other than the fact the repeaters probably are located higher than my antennas will be, I should have no problem with the distances.

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #155 on: March 28, 2013, 09:18:00 AM »
Another update:  I have gotten signals on the 2m band as far away as Saratoga, NY which is about 150 miles away, and as close as a repeater about 3 miles away.  My son is now studying for the Technician exam and I am studying for the General exam.  I need to get a second radio and I am debating with myself on what to get next.  Once I have that and my son has his license, we can actively test all over the area.  I am pretty optimistic about our ability to communicate in an emergency.

RadioRay

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #156 on: March 28, 2013, 09:29:13 AM »
Geek -


I'm very happy to hear that this is working out for you!  'The Math' looks good in analyzing your area's terrain, but there is nothing like turning ON the radio and hearing distant stations.  Reality is the most convincing of all 'data'.

Please do keep us posted.  I am enjoying hearing about your progress.



>Ray
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #157 on: March 28, 2013, 12:53:49 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement.  This forum has been a great help.  I admit to be kind of disappointed when I check in and there are no unread posts.  LOL

breslau

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #158 on: March 31, 2013, 08:04:44 AM »
I picked up one of these a few days after taking the test. I found a driver that works with Vista and have had no trouble programming with CHIRP but it would be good to have a guide to manual programming. The link in this post to the Miklor site is now a 404. Does anyone have a pdf of this info?

I know the Baofeng UV-5R series is a challenge to program manually, but it can be done. In fact, for me it was do or die, because none of the available drivers would work to connect it to a computer to program it. Unless you've got an XP machine still kicking around, the chances of getting the software to work are hit-or-miss at best.

The Nifty Accessories card for the UV-5R is pretty comprehensive, but even it is cryptic about how to program a repeater. The key is that you have to program the receive, the offset and the transmit separately. I've only found one clear and accurate guide about how to do it:

http://miklor-uv5r.99k.org/UV5R-BuddysQPG.html

If you have a UV-5R series HT, print this out 100 times, save it on a dozen different hard drives, and memorize it besides. You will need it. Otherwise, basic programming isn't too hard.

Frosty

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #159 on: March 31, 2013, 02:20:53 PM »
Just ordered a UV 5R+ from Amazon today.  Says the manual is "more convenient and more humanized".  We'll see.  Found a manual here, but think it's the older one:  http://www.radioinc.com/Baofeng/Baofeng-UV-5R-Color-Manual-2012.pdf

Anyone that owns one, is it safe to leave the radio in the charger after it's fully charged - or does it cook the battery?

Geek

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #160 on: March 31, 2013, 05:01:38 PM »
I would expect it to be safe to leave in the charger, unless that's where it is when the EMP hits.  :-)

raybiker73

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #161 on: March 31, 2013, 05:06:47 PM »
I picked up one of these a few days after taking the test. I found a driver that works with Vista and have had no trouble programming with CHIRP but it would be good to have a guide to manual programming. The link in this post to the Miklor site is now a 404. Does anyone have a pdf of this info?


I saved it as a PDF and stuck it in my Dropbox public folder. Here's a link:

http://db.tt/1f8lcQB0


Ray

breslau

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Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2013, 07:12:19 PM »
I saved it as a PDF and stuck it in my Dropbox public folder. Here's a link:

http://db.tt/1f8lcQB0

Thanks! Printed a copy for the BOB

Radio Preppers

Re: Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?
« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2013, 07:12:19 PM »