HAM Tech Thread (1 Viewer)

Somebodyelse5

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Super helpful to have this broken down and written out. Thanks for all the hard work.

@Somebodyelse5 do you have stock in Yaseu? You are driving a great sales pitch here...
Thanks sir. I was texting with you earlier while I was taking the pictures for the SMSGate stuff...almost texted you back that way hahaha.

Japanese radios belong in Japanese trucks :cool:
 

Somebodyelse5

Land Crushers
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Phx, Arizona
I also run the FTM-400XDR (x2, one is waiting to get installed into the LC200). I also run a Yaesu VX-8r with GPS, and a Yaesu FTD3R, run APRS on all and have been few a few years.

I'm in the middle of a RAM MOUNT (holy hell why don't they just sell kits?) build/confusing parts list for the rig for the 400XDR. I think I have figured out all the mounts/parts I will need (Im also adding on the Ipad Mini to the rig mounts). I'm going to provide a parts list when I am done and install instructions.

My biggest headache is where to put the antenna. I honestly don't like antennas in my face on the hood..but I am willing to go that route if it ends up being a cleaner install. I prefer antennas to be high and in the center of the vehicle for better ground plane.

I have considered a professional install for my rig....I barely have enough time to go get gas....lol This COVID-19 has my company hopping...can't hardly keep up.

If you want to snag a spot in this thread and have a chunk on RAM mounts and mounting the FTM400 face plate, I would be very appreciative!

I will say that I was surprised how little I notice the antenna now that it's been on the hood for about a year. Definitely took some getting used to, it helps that it's about 1/8" thick rather than the 3/8"+ of a CB Antenna

What's your business? I wish I was that busy with work!
 
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I also think a black antenna in your field of view blends better than bare metal. When it starts to whip saw with the wind, the bright metal seems to catch the light and glare worse. At night, obviously the black becomes invisible.

Also, I learned the reason some antennas (*Comet, Diamond) are more expensive than others (*MFJ) are due to construction, and theres more to an antenna than just a piece of metal. Diamond, for instance uses high tensile steel, silver plates it for max conductivity, and then powder coats it for durability (*or anodize). MFJ is just tapered stainless that doesn't conduct as well. You get what you pay for, and as my Dad alsways said, "Buy the best you can afford."
 
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Morganza, MD
If you want to snag a spot in this thread and have a chunk on RAM mounts and mounting the FTM400 face plate, I would be very appreciative!

I will say that I was surprised how little I notice the antenna now that it's been on the hood for about a year. Definitely took some getting used to, it helps that it's about 1/8" thick rather than the 3/8"+ of a CB Antenna

What's your business? I wish I was that busy with work!


I'm a Consulting Architect...for Hypervisor/Cloud/VDI systems...normally I am on a plane each week flying out to sites, but working from home now fulltime and of course, everyone wants to work from home now so my plate is full...70+ hours a week helping companies react to the crisis. DEPLOY DEPLOY DEPLOY!
 
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Hola folks,

Thanks to @LongDuck I have been getting more and more into HAM and all the cool things you can do with it. Figured I would start a thread to compile some of the useful bits I've come across that might help get you going and get you enjoying the hobby. There is a ton of info out there and most of it isn't tailored to the offroad crowd... hopefully this will avoid doubling some effort and help everyone get out and play with comms.

Some great existing info that @LongDuck put together Here
  • What I run - Radio, Ant, etc
  • APRS
  • SMSGate
  • Repeaters
  • UV-5R Info

Feel free to ask questions, I will do my best to help! And if I am wrong somewhere, let me know, we can all learn together. I'm always willing to help install. My motivation is really just to get more friends on the radio so we can chat about land cruisers :rofl: I'm talking to you @CruiseLanderAZ @knewstance @Roosevelt T @geanes (added Gary because last year at HIH you wanted radio info!)

Awesome! Thanks for including me. I'll be setting up my radio as soon as it gets here (delayed from Amazon until end of the month). Looking forward to learning more and getting proficient!
 

Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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Las Cruces has some of my favorite food... I am from El Paso... so the one thing I am REAL good at, is eating mexican food.

That's interesting, I've tracked myself on APRS all the way up the i17 to Flagstaff and had my beacon show up on APRS.fi the whole way. All the way too and from Silverton, CO for HIH last year as well. I am not super familiar with the Argent stuff, is it a standalone APRS or does it piggy back with your mobile rig, and transmit with the mobile rig's antenna?

It's odd that you saw a 10-15 mile change in handheld vs mobile... from my drive way in Ahwatukee I am receiving direct APRS packets from over 150 miles away and hitting APRS igates with ease. With my handheld (Yaesu FT2D) I am hardly able to get an APRS beacon to an igate standing next to the truck, I need to climb on my roof or start hiking SoMo. My handheld can hit normal repeaters and Tx/Rx voice well, but not even close to as well as my mobile rig.
The Argent Tracker3 OT3M is a stand alone unit that has a cable connection to a GPS (I used my Garmin Nuvii 450) and a cable to the transceiver. I have one cable for the FT-60R and one for the FT-8800R.

I had three antennas on the FJ-40 and three on the Taco. Two Larsen Hams & one Firestick CB. Now I only have two Larsens on the Taco and one Larsen & one Firestick on the FJ-40 (CB is still required for Cruise Moab)

We tuned the Tracker3 to use the handheld FT-60R routed to one antenna and a different tuning profile for use on the mobile FT-8800R routed to the other. In practice it didn't make a whole lot of difference which one I used to transmit - as soon as I left the major highways and/or towns I disappeared from view. Of course the last time I used it was around 2011 or 2012, so more repeaters may be set up for APRS.

Since the only reason (besides curiosity) to use the APRS was to keep my wife updated so she knew where to send the search parties, and that didn't pan out, I quit using the second radio for APRS.

This is an interesting map of APRS "holes" circa 2010 - about the time i started using APRS - that vividly illustrates my issue. I am mostly camping in the clear portions of this map ;)
1585960948777.png


Tracker3
1585959948965.png


Four Larsens & two Firestixes
IMG_3209-small.jpg

IMG_4788-small.jpg
 
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If I can convince you to come through AZ, I’d be happy to get it all programmed for you! Or we can mail microSD card’s back and forth

As soon as all this shelter in place stuff passes (hopefully by end of April, though Dallas just extended to May 20), I'm getting the heck out for a MUCH needed vacation! I don't care how hot it is......that's what cold beer is for, right?
 

Somebodyelse5

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As soon as all this shelter in place stuff passes (hopefully by end of April, though Dallas just extended to May 20), I'm getting the heck out for a MUCH needed vacation! I don't care how hot it is......that's what cold beer is for, right?

There will be plenty O beer, that I can promise! Bring @atnolan94 too. We can have that stump tournament
 
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tucson
Awesome, the UV-5R is perfect for that. Have you had any luck programming? I can put a little section in here on how to get that radio set up and running if you think folks would like that. I have Chirp installed and would be happy to drop all the local repeaters in for you or help you get it set up.






The *Infamous* Baofeng UV-5R
*Place holder for UV-5R info and programming basics*

Useful Links:
This guy goes through all of the settings and programming information on this hand held unit
 

Somebodyelse5

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Phx, Arizona
what frequencies are typically used during our trail runs?

Typically to chat with just the folks on the run, we'll talk on 146.460 MHz (which really doesn't require any programming). So, in VFO just enter 146.460 MHz and we'd chat there, it's technically called "simplex" since it doesn't use any offset

That method above works just fine, but when you want to program in every repeater within 100 miles, or along a road trip, it becomes a tedious and time consuming task. I have around 120 repeaters plugged into my UV-5R and doing that by hand was out of the question... combine multiple radios and constantly fiddling with settings... using a computer makes it a whole lot simpler.
 
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I can't tell you how many times I've had someone show me a BEOUFANG! radio and ask me if I know how to program it. It's honestly in the 20-30 range...

Those radios are cheap for a reason, and that was to flood the US market. They transmit out of band easily and are a poor - but workable - radio solution for someone trying to save some $$$ at the expense of being hard to understand how to operate and program. CHIRP is the only way I've seen people be successful, and I lack the patience to do so by hand.

Program a Kenwood or Yaesu, and you'll never touch a BAEOUFANG! again. Another case of the lure of a false economy,

Edit: I also use Kenwoods excellent (*and FREE) software for programming their radios across a cable and it adds a ton of utility to your radio, making programming and confirming your settings offline incredibly easy.
 

Somebodyelse5

Land Crushers
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Feb 9, 2014
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Phx, Arizona
I can't tell you how many times I've had someone show me a BEOUFANG! radio and ask me if I know how to program it. It's honestly in the 20-30 range...

Those radios are cheap for a reason, and that was to flood the US market. They transmit out of band easily and are a poor - but workable - radio solution for someone trying to save some $$$ at the expense of being hard to understand how to operate and program. CHIRP is the only way I've seen people be successful, and I lack the patience to do so by hand.

Program a Kenwood or Yaesu, and you'll never touch a BAEOUFANG! again. Another case of the lure of a false economy,

Edit: I also use Kenwoods excellent (*and FREE) software for programming their radios across a cable and it adds a ton of utility to your radio, making programming and confirming your settings offline incredibly easy.

Yeah, the UV-5R is definitely not a high quality piece of kit, but it helps when you are starting off and learning, plus it's a great back up radio to toss in a friends car on a run so that they can listen. If you are good with computers and are willing to do some reading, getting Chirp to work is not all that difficult, but the radio itself is going to struggle to Tx if you plan to use it for anything other than car to car on a CSC ROTM :)

Basically, if you want something that can call for help in an emergency... I wouldn't rely on a UV-5R.
 

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