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Messages - gil

Hello, well, you might have to schedule a little trip back home for the test, if you aren't wanted there ;-)

Hello Ben. Where are you located? Where are you from?
Plenty of people do speak English on the radio, though the French have a horrendous accent, sorry to say. Just get your CB installed and listen to the locals. Then make contact. Don't worry about language problems. If you don't speak fluently after twelve years, that means you have been worrying about it way too much... Ask people to correct your mistakes, insist on it. That's how I learned. It will be very frustrating in the beginning but soon, after being corrected so many times, you won't make those mistakes again.
The amateur radio licence in France is a nightmare to get, or rather, get information about... You might want to check if your country of origin has an agreement for equivalency that would  grant you a French call-sign from your foreign licence...
The only stupid questions are those never asked...
Welcome aboard :-)
Awesome :-)
Congratulations on your decision!
I used to live in Sarasota, for 22 years, LOL.

There are unfortunately no really good antennas for HF mobile, few that perform well while driving for sure... Look into Hamstick antennas. They are single-band but affordable and work well enough, but I would use them while stopped... Nothing beats a good base with a hole in the metal of the car, but I understand you might not want to do that... A magnetic base will work. Those antennas have a 3/8-24 thread, so make sure you get the appropriate base. For your KX2 and prepping I would suggest a 40m antenna. Your best bet for your car though is a VHF/UHF antenna for local comms and repeater use, if they work after an event... You can get a Retevis RT95 radio for less thn $100. I use one in my truck. The antennas are shorter too.

Now for your house, given the lightning issue, I would use a telescopic mast that you could just put up while using the radio. I use a Spiderbeam 12m mast, and it is very strong. You can use it with this antenna: It will give you three bands, including 20m for daytime and 40m for evening comms. Best of all, you can put the mast in your trunk and use it anywhere you want.

I am no expert in roof-mounted antennas... A magnetic-loop antenna could serve you well too, but commercial models are practically always too small. The ideal perimeter is 5m or about 17-18ft. I have a video on how to build one. You might want to look into various wire antennas, depending on where and how you could string one up... A wire loop around the perimeter of the house could work too, using the KX2's built-in tune; install at the top edge of the roof... Wire antennas can be installed in addics too, as most Florida houses are made of wood.

Oh, and if you really want to use your KX2 to the best of its abilities, and multiply your chances to make contact when you need it, you might want to learn Morse code :-)

Let me know how it goes. I miss Sarasota a great deal.


It depends on your location. Where do you live? Countryside, small/medium town, big city? House, farm, apartment? Let me know and I can make some recommendations...

Antennas / Re: Delta full wave loop
April 25, 2021, 06:35:13 PM
Hello, I would say horizontally for regional communications and vertically for long distance.

Thanks. Here in France we have something called ADRASEC... Supposed to help Civil Defense with whatever communication needs they might have, and search for downed planes, etc. I just participated in a Live-Stream for the French World Ham Radio Day... The guy presenting after me was saying ADRASEC needs volunteers... I commented that a few years back I emailed them saying I was a HAM and certified in first aid including advanced resuscitation, but nobody answered my email... A bunch of other guys commented that they too were ignored! Now, another thing... We are in mountainous terrain here and searching for anything means hiking up mountains, cliffs, down valleys, snow, rocks, you name it... I'm 54 now and would not presume to be able to do what a 25yo firefighter or mountain rescuer can do. These guys are like 70+ and don't look like they could run up a flight of stairs without risking a coronary... There are exceptions of course, but I believe Emcomm anywhere is in a poor state of affairs and officials are doing all they can to keep them away, as to not having to rescue more people or having a bunch of entitled old guys (nothing against old guys, I am not far from being one), bugging them running around like headless chickens (yes, I have seen headless chickens run...) Pretty sad. The solution of course is younger HAMs, but how to get them is a whole other ball game...

General Discussion / Re: Radio Prepper logo.
April 24, 2021, 05:11:05 PM
A boot is a boot, we sure can agree on that!
Quent I think it's possible to overcome the speed plateau. I learned the wrong way too but was able to get up to 25 at some point, though I am back around 20 now. I took a class from CW-Ops... That really helped. The key is to find a buddy to practice with, like I did with CW-Ops and Ray. Practice at a higher wpm than you can copy... Like 5wpm higher than your max copy speed...

Thank you Ray!
Don't forget to boast about it here ;-)
Try for Extra while you're at it, it won't cost you more than some study time..
General Discussion / Site fixed and updated.
February 28, 2021, 07:51:05 PM
Hello everyone!

I had some trouble with a Simple Machine (the software used for this forum) update and honestly did not have the time to fix it until now. I also renewed hosting and upgraded the hosting plan for more disk space. This is your site as much as mine, and a participation would help a great deal.
Buy me a coffee! Actually will pay for hosting...
I thought about ditching the site but then, there is a mountain of useful information to newcomers here and it would be a shame to lose it all. Fortunately I had a backup of the database and reinstalled the software. Let me know if you notice any glitches...
Thank you! Glad to be back online :-) This site has been running for many years thanks to you (and me, LOL), so please use it as much as possible, it is the best way to keep it going!
New To Radio / Re: 10W for local, portable emcomm?
January 19, 2021, 05:21:06 AM

This is a question with a complex answer that could fill a book... Yes, 10W can do it, no problem. Everyone will tell you it's impossible, especially emcomm people. The antenna and the way it is installed makes all the difference. Now, apprarently you are into emcomm, not survival radio... Big difference.

100km is a difficult range to cover. I would say NVIS on 80m and VHF SSB with a Yagi-Uda antenna. Between the two you should be ok, but don't expect 95% reliability. It's radio, not land-line telephone. You can't even throw numbers like 95, 99%, those are meaningless. 99% when? Where? How? Sometimes you'll get 100%, sometimes you'll get zero, as fancy as your equipment might be. Practice will teach you how to increase your reliability, not equipment.

In your case being on a hill is the key. You can go very far, even 100km with a 5W handheld VHF radio if you are high enough. A friend on mine made a 200-mile contact using a Yaesu VX1 with an output (using AA cells) of 100mW. We were at 2000m altitude near the sea.

Also look at the JS8 digital mode using the JS8Call software.

Military Radios / Thomson CSF TRC-372 manual.
January 15, 2021, 04:43:32 PM
Compiled by yours truly, file attached.