HAM - info - callsign list - radio discussion

JohnnyOshow22

KK0TEQ
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
786
Location
Bozeman
Hey guys and gals,

I wanted to start a new HAM thread to condense the knowledge in the club to a more organized thread that will help others get interested in ham and the ones that already are interested find the resources they need to go out and get their HAM license. I also wanted to start a callsign list so that we can start learning eachothers call signs for trail rides and I want people to share their knowledge and radio set ups so other members can see.

On the topic of trail rides... CB is the MANDATORY form of communication on all 406 Cruiser trail rides. HAM is NOT the primary form of communications just so everyone is clear. CB does not require a license of any sort to operate and because of this it is our primary form of communication while HAM on the other hand is regulated by the FCC and requires a license to operate.

SO you might ask "Why HAM if it isn't the required form?". The biggest thing is the distance you can cover with ham. It will transmit significantly further than CB and the clarity of the audio is much better. Personally I have been able to reach over 40 miles with my $120 set up that I have in my 80 series. CB you'll be lucky to reach 5 miles on flat ground.



Information - If anyone else has links with good info post up and I'll add them below

Intro to HAM power point
Intro to HAM Radio (1).pptx

Flash Cards - Practice Test - Question Pool
HamExam.org: Free Amateur Radio Practice Tests with Flash Cards

Local Ham Club Info
Gallatin Ham Radio Club

Local Testing Info
Test Sessions | Gallatin Ham Radio Club

Coax Cable - Attenuation & Power Handling Calculator
Select product, frequency 146.460 (its what most people run on trails), input cable run length
Welcome to Times Microwave | Coaxial Cable - Attenuation & Power Handling Calculator

Other Ham thread
Trail communications...HAM interest?



Antenna Tech

Antennas could be the most important part to any set up. For our use in a vehicle your antenna should be placed as high as possible (above the roof) and centered if possible. The reason for this is that the vehicle is like a big reflecting dish and if on the roof you have the most reflective power outwards. If you have it mounted on your front bumper you will have great signal strength in front of you and very week behind you. Placing the antenna on the rear does the same thing except vise versa. Another thing to think about if you have a handheld with the stock antenna on it is when you transmit from inside of the vehicle you are surrounded by a metal box and most of your output signal is reflected inwards and the people around you will recieve a very poor quality transmission if they are further than a mile or two. This is why I run an antenna on the roof that is capable of hooking up to my handheld.



If you have questions, want to add or want to discuss something post up! Im sure we could all learn some new things
 
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JohnnyOshow22

KK0TEQ
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
786
Location
Bozeman
Master Callsign List

Johnny - @JohnnyOshow22 - KK0TEQ - Green/Grey 1997 Lx450
Aaron - @ttFJC - KI7SZY -Sandstorm (beige) 2010 FJ Cruiser
Ron - @elkun1 - kc7pev - green fj40
Seth - @pigmony - KD8VYV - Red 1978 FJ40
Lax - @MontanaLax - K7LAX - Tan/Silver Lexus LX470 (100 Series)
Drew - @REZARF - K0RZF - Smurf Blue 76 FJ40 and Charcoal Grey/Green 1999 100 Series
Phoenix - @Black798 - KI7YYT - White 3rd gen 4runner
Bryan - @adventurefamly - K17ZDZ - White 5th gen 4unner (White Rabbit)
Jeremiah - @Kyitty - KI7GBQ - 2015 Tacoma (White)
Mike - @nohermosa - KJ6DNH - White FJ62
Brian - @Rambo Penguin - KJ7CTC - White Montero
Matt - @90WT -KJTCTH - Black 2006 100 series
 
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JohnnyOshow22

KK0TEQ
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
786
Location
Bozeman
Name - Johnny
Callsign - KK0TEQ
Rig - Green/Grey 97 Lx450

Radio - Radioditty DB25
DB25 Pro Dual Band Quad-standby Mini Mobile Radio + 50W Antenna

Coax - LMR-400
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07453V4JN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Coax to Antenna Mount/Connector
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EXIFYCI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CVQWD60/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Antenna - placed almost dead center on the roof
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A892ZTG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Photos -
MVIMG_20180821_173107.jpg


I also carry a charged ready to go Boafeng UV-5R handheld radio that I can connect to my antenna on the roof if need be.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
471
Location
Bozeman
Name - Aaron
Callsign - KI7SZY
Rig - Sandstorm (beige) 2010 FJ Cruiser
Radios:
HAM- Radioditty DB25(currently busted - thanks amazon)
Coax - RG-8X
Antenna - cheapo that came with
Handheld - HAM baofeng UV-5R dual band
CB- Cobra 75 - 4' firestik FJC allpro mount
Photos -
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
34
Location
Bozeman, MT
Antenna Tech

Antennas could be the most important part to any set up. For our use in a vehicle your antenna should be placed as high as possible (above the roof) and centered if possible. The reason for this is that the vehicle is like a big reflecting dish and if on the roof you have the most reflective power outwards. If you have it mounted on your front bumper you will have great signal strength in front of you and very week behind you. Placing the antenna on the rear does the same thing except vise versa. Another thing to think about if you have a handheld with the stock antenna on it is when you transmit from inside of the vehicle you are surrounded by a metal box and most of your output signal is reflected inwards and the people around you will recieve a very poor quality transmission if they are further than a mile or two. This is why I run an antenna on the roof that is capable of hooking up to my handheld.
You're absolutely right here. Even a great transceiver can't function without an antenna. I do want to expand on your comment slightly. What you're describing by mounting your antenna at the center of the (metal) roof is an omnidirectional ground plane antenna. That's what we want. If you were to mount an antenna to a horizontal tube of a roll cage on a roofless vehicle, you could very likely create a unidirectional ground plane antenna. This setup would have excellent amplification in the direction of the angle between the tube and the antenna, but it could have trouble receiving or transmitting to either side or behind. Not what we want.

Getting the best performance out of your radio and antenna requires a little bit of understanding of antenna design. Gallatin Ham Radio Club has a couple of electrical engineers who really geek out on antenna design. They are excellent resources and enjoy sharing their knowledge. I encourage everyone who has any interest in Amateur Radio to try to attend one of their meetings. They do some fun events like radio fox hunts, field days, SOTA, and contesting. They also work directly with the local Search and Rescue teams to assist with communications. Many of their events and activities pair nicely with the capabilities of our vehicles.

And if nothing else, they could really use some younger people getting involved. These guys aren't going to be around forever, they have tremendous knowledge, and it would be a shame if they couldn't pass some of it on to some of the under 40 crowd. Or the under 60 crowd for that matter.

Name - Seth
Callsign - KD8VYV
Rig - Red 1978 FJ40
Radios:
HAM-
Yaesu FT-270 (2m HT)
Baofeng UV-5R (2m/70cm HT)
CB-
Various HTs and a couple old Cobra rigs, nothing installed in vehicles anymore
 

JohnnyOshow22

KK0TEQ
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
786
Location
Bozeman
You're absolutely right here. Even a great transceiver can't function without an antenna. I do want to expand on your comment slightly. What you're describing by mounting your antenna at the center of the (metal) roof is an omnidirectional ground plane antenna. That's what we want. If you were to mount an antenna to a horizontal tube of a roll cage on a roofless vehicle, you could very likely create a unidirectional ground plane antenna. This setup would have excellent amplification in the direction of the angle between the tube and the antenna, but it could have trouble receiving or transmitting to either side or behind. Not what we want.

Getting the best performance out of your radio and antenna requires a little bit of understanding of antenna design. Gallatin Ham Radio Club has a couple of electrical engineers who really geek out on antenna design. They are excellent resources and enjoy sharing their knowledge. I encourage everyone who has any interest in Amateur Radio to try to attend one of their meetings. They do some fun events like radio fox hunts, field days, SOTA, and contesting. They also work directly with the local Search and Rescue teams to assist with communications. Many of their events and activities pair nicely with the capabilities of our vehicles.

And if nothing else, they could really use some younger people getting involved. These guys aren't going to be around forever, they have tremendous knowledge, and it would be a shame if they couldn't pass some of it on to some of the under 40 crowd. Or the under 60 crowd for that matter.

Name - Seth
Callsign - KD8VYV
Rig - Red 1978 FJ40
Radios:
HAM-
Yaesu FT-270 (2m HT)
Baofeng UV-5R (2m/70cm HT)
CB-
Various HTs and a couple old Cobra rigs, nothing installed in vehicles anymore
Thanks for expanding on my very little knowledge of radios!
 

REZARF

 
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
4,629
Location
Bozeman, MT
Name - Drew aka REZARF
Callsign - K0RZF
Rig - Smurf Blue 76 FJ40 and Charcoal Grey/Green 1999 100 Series
Radio - Yaesu 2800m in the 40 and Kenwood tm-g707e in the 100. I carry a FT60R Yaesu in either rig for spotting/hiking/etc.

In the 40... Yaesu 2800m


In the 100... Kenwood tm-g707e


On my person for spotting/hikes... Yaesu FT60r good since you can run it off of AA battery packs too.

Coax - Diamond NMO with the little end to run through small holes

Antenna - Commet SBB-1, and SBB-5 and a good dual band on the HT. Though I just ripped the SBB-5 off for the 2nd time, and I am looking at new antenna's and where to mount it. The SBB-1 is GREAT for trail work since it is small and flexes like CRAZY.

Antenna Mount- Diamond Hatch mount. It sucks, I am moving to the hood soon.

CB: I have a CB in both rigs... a Cobra in the 40 with a 4 foot Firestik and a Midland Hand held unit with a 5 foot Firestik. I only use CB if I have too.

For what it is worth, I have bought EVERY RADIO used on eBay for good deals. A good hand held with a mic and speaker will take you further than ANY CB can go. Going with a mobile station will let you reach WAY out there. Take today for example, I was testing radios with a friend before our trip this week and we were using plain old simplex (radio to radio no fancy repeaters) and I was talking to him from the airport in BZM and he was half way up Hyalite.

Point of interest... I helped lead a trail ride for the Big Sky Overland rally and literally out of 12 trucks... 6 had RTT's and only 4 had CB's and there was only 1 other HAM radio on the run besides me. Without HAM I couldn't have talked to the tailgunner. Coms make for a nicer trip.
 
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Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
81
Location
Bozeman
Name: Phoenix
Callsign: KI7YYT
Rig: White 3rd gen 4runner
Radios: (HAM) Radioddity QB25, (CB) Uniden Pro520XL
Antennas: Diamond 7900D (HAM) Firestik 48 inch whip (CB)
Coax: RG8 50 ohm coax on both radios.

IMG_8728 by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
180
Location
Bozeman, MT
Name: Lax
Callsign: K7LAX
Rig: Tan/Silver Lexus LX470 (100 Series)
Radios-
HAM: Yaesu FTM-350 (2M, 70cm, APRS) YAESU
Diamond Antenna HR770HNMOB DX Engineering
Handheld: Baofeng BF-F8HP Amazon
CB: Cobra 75 WX ST Right Channel Radio
CB Antenna: Firestick 4' Right Channel Radio


Equipment - I purchased quite a bit of my gear used, the radios at least, and definitely got higher level gear than necessary but I have enjoyed the addition of APRS in my gadget arsenal. For the most part the used market is well looked after equipment and guys that like to try stuff and upgrade regularly so might be worth a look.


Testing - I found the primary resource I used to study for the HAM technician test was an android app, Ham Test Prep by iversoft I ran the test questions till I had it basically memorized.

I did a ton of additional reading and researching so here's a few saved documents:
2014-no-nonsense-tech-study-guide-v20.pdf
Technician-rev1-7.pdf
36-Eth-operating-EN-IARU-R2-V3-CORR-2011.pdf

And definitely check out Gallatin Ham Radio Club, they are a fantastic resource. They also offer Test prep classes for anyone interested. The instructor Larry is a great guy and has forgotten more than most of us are likey to ever learn. I can arrange a private class but the time required (16-20 hours in 2 hour classes) was always the problem in the past.

On a side note, once you pay for the test session you test for your technician license first, but can also take the general and expert at the same time for no additional fee. I wasn't looking to study more at the time but kinda wish I'd spent a little extra time and tried the general exam while I was at it. You do not need the general license for what we do on the trail.
 

Attachments

Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
98
Location
Bozeman, Montana
Name: Bryan
Call sign: K17ZDZ
Rig: White 5th gen 4unner (White Rabbit) and red M416 trailer (Rocky).
Radios: Hand held Baofeng GT-5, Cobra 75 WX ST and a hand held CB
CB Antenna: 4' Firestick.

Starting off with a hand held HAM. I am doing the research and looking at other rigs so I get what works best for us. Mounted rig will be a winter project.

Liking Josh's antenna on his Bomber Products truck, small and flexible. I need the radio to be low profile and possibly/preferably a removeable face plate that way when Una is taking the kids to school or getting milk she's not bothered by an obnoxious radio. Colton and I are obnoxious enough for her! :). Suggestions are always accepted.
 

brew8

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
2,084
Callsign AG7OC
rig FJ45 lwb

Amature radios Yeasu 2900 for 2 meter, Yeasu FT857D mostly for HF couple of Beofeng portables
 

REZARF

 
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
4,629
Location
Bozeman, MT
A few of us were talking tonight about using 146.460 around town when you're in your truck and can transmit. I know often leave my radio on the "Five Two" or 146.520 (think channel 19 on CB) as this is the most common frequency for HAM's to connect with others. However, 146.460 could be a consistent channel for 406 Cruisers to use so we don't get a lot of cross traffic from I-90.

If others want to tune into 146.460 around town, it could be a good chance to work out your radio, fiddle with the settings and polish your HAM skills.

Thoughts?
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
171
Location
Bozeman, MT
A few of us were talking tonight about using 146.460 around town when you're in your truck and can transmit. I know often leave my radio on the "Five Two" or 146.520 (think channel 19 on CB) as this is the most common frequency for HAM's to connect with others. However, 146.460 could be a consistent channel for 406 Cruisers to use so we don't get a lot of cross traffic from I-90.

If others want to tune into 146.460 around town, it could be a good chance to work out your radio, fiddle with the settings and polish your HAM skills.

Thoughts?
I like this idea. It's all about random changes of finding someone. But having an "official" frequency for club use is good for trail rides as well.

I believe 146.460 is a common channel for offroad groups.
 

REZARF

 
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
4,629
Location
Bozeman, MT
I like this idea. It's all about random changes of finding someone. But having an "official" frequency for club use is good for trail rides as well.

I believe 146.460 is a common channel for offroad groups.
We were talking about how the 146.460 channel has become an non-official (but sort of official) 4WD frequency. I know of a few other clubs that use this channel in Colorado and Utah. It is nice to keep your radio on 146.460 and scan the rest of the frequency range for other transmissions.
 

REZARF

 
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
4,629
Location
Bozeman, MT
Also, I am in no way the FCC police, but I do know of a few folks using HAM in the club without a license (you outlaws know who you are! :moon:). I could care less what someone else does alone but when it comes back to what Darren and the board were talking about last night of creating a good reputation for the club, it's time to get off your can and test up. The test is EASY once you've studied for about a week in the evenings watching TV.

The phone and media companies are always trying to grab the frequencies we get to use... showing that new folks are getting FCC licenses helps the fight to keep the band width we have on the air waves.

Anyhow enough of me :deadhorse:

73
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
98
Location
Bozeman, Montana
Also, I am in no way the FCC police, but I do know of a few folks using HAM in the club without a license (you outlaws know who you are! :moon:). I could care less what someone else does alone but when it comes back to what Darren and the board were talking about last night of creating a good reputation for the club, it's time to get off your can and test up. The test is EASY once you've studied for about a week in the evenings watching TV.

The phone and media companies are always trying to grab the frequencies we get to use... showing that new folks are getting FCC licenses helps the fight to keep the band width we have on the air waves.

Anyhow enough of me :deadhorse:

73
If a simplistic welder who likes to hit things with a big hammer and curse a lot can do it, anyone can!
 
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