2 meter VHF or HAM radios (1 Viewer)

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How many of you have a HAM in your rig or are thinking about getting one?

What radios,anntenas etc. where would you mount the anntena?

post up pics and what you know please
:cheers:
Sam
 
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I have a Kenwood TM-V708A with an on-window Radial Larson antenna. Mounting the Larson on the front windscreen eliminates the need to run coax to less convenient areas of the areas of the truck and/or drilling holes.
 
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I have a 2meter/70cm (144/440mHz) radio with a dual band antenna mounted on the fender lip next to the hood. It's mounted on an L-bracket which attaches to the inner side of the fender (no exterior holes to drill).
 
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Grass Valley CA
There are some guys running amps on the base stations here in Grass Valley I don't know what amps or how much they are boosted but I have got up on the hill and can here them talking to people in Roseville etc. That is like 35-40 miles away through some hills. Most be like 500watts!


I think that you could hook up a small amp 50 to 100 to the mobile unit in the truck but not sure. I figure you would put it down line from the Radio to the antenna.
 

Cruiserdrew

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Sam-There are several of us trialing 2m radio on the Death Valley run next month. I believe 35 mile range is pretty common at power outputs of 25 watts or so. The mobile unit I just got is a Yaesu 2800. It's made for auto use, has power levels of 5, 12, 25 and 60 watts (approximate-the book is in the 80 right now). At max power, it draws 10 amps, so you need a dedicated circuit to run it. It's about the size of a large CB radio, but is very heavy and appears nicely made. I'll let you know how it worked out. For most trail use, CB works pretty well.

Just for a tale to tell-Rubicon '04, Dave broke both rear axle shafts in Big Sluice. He was able to call Luke Porter from the trail and asked him to bring spare axles when he came in the next day. Pretty cool!

Given the wide open spaces and long distances, Death Valley seems like the ideal place to test out the usefullness of Ham radio when 4 wheeling.

edit-Ham radios are much more affordable than I had thought. You can get a complete mobile system including the antenna for less than $200. Considering a nice CB and antenna is $100-150, it really isn't that bad. The hassle factor is the test and the license.
 

rusty_tlc

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Cruiserdrew said:
Sam-There are several of us trialing 2m radio on the Death Valley run next month. I believe 35 mile range is pretty common at power outputs of 25 watts or so. The mobile unit I just got is a Yaesu 2800. It's made for auto use, has power levels of 5, 12, 25 and 60 watts (approximate-the book is in the 80 right now). At max power, it draws 10 amps, so you need a dedicated circuit to run it. It's about the size of a large CB radio, but is very heavy and appears nicely made. I'll let you know how it worked out. For most trail use, CB works pretty well.

Just for a tale to tell-Rubicon '04, Dave broke both rear axle shafts in Big Sluice. He was able to call Luke Porter from the trail and asked him to bring spare axles when he came in the next day. Pretty cool!

Given the wide open spaces and long distances, Death Valley seems like the ideal place to test out the usefullness of Ham radio when 4 wheeling.

edit-Ham radios are much more affordable than I had thought. You can get a complete mobile system including the antenna for less than $200. Considering a nice CB and antenna is $100-150, it really isn't that bad. The hassle factor is the test and the license.

So do you have a connection with the Ham clubs that run the repeaters in the Rubicon area? I'm thinking when I get a few projects finished I will go for my 2M lic. A big reason I want this is to have communications on The Rubicon and Fordyce. Last year we had a rig go over on Fordyce, the passengers leg got caught between the side of the rig and the ground. Lucky the rig rolled off and the ground was soft at that point of the trail. Still scary. (And another reason not to run with no doors.)
 

Cruiserdrew

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rusty_tlc said:
So do you have a connection with the Ham clubs that run the repeaters in the Rubicon area? I'm thinking when I get a few projects finished I will go for my 2M lic. A big reason I want this is to have communications on The Rubicon and Fordyce. Last year we had a rig go over on Fordyce, the passengers leg got caught between the side of the rig and the ground. Lucky the rig rolled off and the ground was soft at that point of the trail. Still scary. (And another reason not to run with no doors.)

Rusty-Not yet. I am at the very beginning stages of this. I want to use the radio first, then worry about learing to use the repeater system. I do know that one of our guys was told the the Death Valley area is not covered by a repeater or repeaters, so we'll be relying on just the radios. 3 of us will have the Yaesu that I mentioned, and at least one person has a handheld unit that transmits 5 watts. I'll likely leave mine on the lower power settings, since I'm not interested in talking to someone outside of our trail run.
 
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I run an Icom 2720H Dual band VHF UHF with a Comet dual band antenna on the ARB front bumper. Just got licensed (no big deal no morse code required any more) 50 wats of power with a 36" antenna should be pretty long range!

Yipeee
 
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I do know that one of our guys was told the the Death Valley area is not covered by a repeater or repeaters, so we'll be relying on just the radios.




Yeah, D.V. repeater coverage is pretty much non-existant, unless you are on top of a high ridge. If you get up high you might hit a repeater from the Lone Pine/Big Pine area, or even Las Vegas. It's been a few years since I used a 2m radio out there. Hopefully one of the hams will have the ARRL repeater book which lists virtually all repeaters with their freq., dtmf code, and location. A must have in my mind for backcountry 2m use.

I've got the Rubicon Springs repeater freq. at home and I'll try to remember to post it when I return from vacation. (In Hawaii presently :D ).

JonB (ke6gfb)
 
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I love my 2 meter radios. After spending lots of money of cb junk, I finally saw the light. Sorry no pictures at the moment.

I don't have a heater (FJ40) so the Icom V8000 is mounted below the dash. I don't run a top so I made up a bracket that mounts to the top of the windshield frame where the old soft top frame connected to. The radio mounts to some brackets from the old heater core mounting holes.

The antenna is a Diamond 770 dual bander thatis REALLY stout, and can be folded down.

You don't really need an amp with the modern radios, they all do 50-75 watts on 2 meters.

My longest tx is from the top of the El Pasos Mountains in the socal desert to the Catalina Island machine--145 miles.
 
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jonb96150 said:
Yeah, D.V. repeater coverage is pretty much non-existant, unless you are on top of a high ridge. (In Hawaii presently :D ).

JonB (ke6gfb)


This is basically right, although the south end does have coverage from:

Mt Potosi (Las Vegas)
Keller Peak (Lake Arrow Head)
Mount Disappointment (near Mount Wilson)


I've personally verified these.

If you are in the Panamint Valley, try the Trona machine and Ridgecrest machines.

I would get the local SoCal repeater guides that HRO carries and use it. It is very handy.
 

Cruiserdrew

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That's good info. So there are repeaters in Trona? It makes sense that Ridgecrest would too, since it's kind of a techy community with China Lake NAS right there. Unfortunately, much of the time we will be down on the floor of the various valleys so no line of sight to anything! Is there an internet link to a list of repeaters?
 

e9999

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Since it seeems like the big advantage of 2m over CB is range, especially with repeaters, would somebody be so kind as to summarize in plain english what one would need to do to use repeaters?
Is this fully automatic and transparent, or do you have to fiddle with settings and know what repeaters there are around, tune to the right frequency, send codes out etc?
 
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Cruiserdrew said:
That's good info. So there are repeaters in Trona? It makes sense that Ridgecrest would too, since it's kind of a techy community with China Lake NAS right there. Unfortunately, much of the time we will be down on the floor of the various valleys so no line of sight to anything! Is there an internet link to a list of repeaters?


http://home.comcast.net/~kd6kpc/hobby/amateur/cal/SoCalHAM.htm

is one. You'll need a knowledge of geography to figure out which ones have the potential for coverage.

Another good one is the 146.820 Onyx Peak machine

There are some others. I have also compiled a list from my own web search and field checking. I can put up the info tomorrow.

No line of sight, no problem. Then you are using refraction and knife-edge dispersion!

I don't see the local repeater guide listed on the HRO website. I can get one for you and mail it. I live 3 miles from the store. PM me with details.
 
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Repeaters operate on a duplex frequency. They either go up or down 600 kHz from the repeater frequency. This offset, as it is called, is sometimes refered to as + or - (+ for up 600 and - for down 600).

Repeaters are usually located high, either on a tall building, a mountain top, or perhaps a commercial broadcast tower structure. Because their antenna is so high, it is easy to "hit" the repeater with a low-powered radio. It will then simultaneously re-broadcast your signal with much higher power from the higher antenna location. Thus allowwing you communicate great distances with relatively low power.

This offset is standard for 2M and is easily programmed on your radio. Follow local ettiquette, and don't hog the machine and you'll do fine. CB trash talk is not tolerated on ham bands, so keep is civil.

Most repeaters are open for anyone to use who is duly licensed. Some have a PL code that must be set on your radio, others may require club membership.

Putting an amp on your mobil rigs is not all what it may seem. You can reach out and talk to someone at a great distance away. Although they will hear you fine, if their rig is less powered, you may not be able to hear them.

I have older ICOM 229H VHF's in my rigs. Used to have a Yaesu 890 HF rig in my daily driver. Would talk worldwide while driving between jobs.

On my 40, both my VHF and CB antennas are mounted on my front bumper.

Jim KD4CNK
 

e9999

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so you have to set your radio to the specific frequency of the nearest repeater then?
 
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e9999 said:
so you have to set your radio to the specific frequency of the nearest repeater then?

Not necessarily the nearest. Where I live, there must be 7 or 8 that I can hit.

If you look in a repeater directory, it will list a repeater, the frequency, the offset (+ or -) the club and/or repeater call sign.

An example would be: Boynton Beach Repeater 147.225 (+)

This means you will set your radio to 147.225, offset up (or +) The offset for all 2M radios is standard at 600 kHz. All you do is select + or -.

When you key your mic, your rig will automatically jump up to 147.825 to transmit to the repeater.

The repeater is listening for incoming signals on 147.825, receives your transmitted signal on that frequency, and simultaneously re-broadcasts it on 147.225, for all others to hear. Remember, you are listening on 147.225, but transmitting on 147.825.

Sounds complicated at first, but it is not and will become second nature in no time.
 
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Don't forget that you don't always use the offset. If you TX and RX on the same frequency, that is called simplex (as compared to duplex when you use and offset).

If you don't have a repeater or are close enough to the other station that you don't need a repeater, you will use simplex. Actually, do not use a repeater if you can use simplex. That way, others who are not close enough for simplex can still use the machine. (Repeaters ar referred to as "machines" in most areas.)
 

e9999

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the thing I don't understand is that it seems like everybody in the area near a repeater would then use the same frequency if they want to use the repeater. Wouldn't that create a bottleneck and confusion? or can you subdivide the frequency with some codes like in the little FRS/GMRS?
 

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