Trail communications for club

Discussion in 'PA- Keystone Cruisers' started by caz, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. caz

    caz Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    The Gotham guys are all on ham radios which is very nice compared to messing with CBs.

    I talked to some of the guys. Many of them are using a CHEAP Chinese handheld radio and love them.

    Model - BaoFeng UV5R

    I bought one from Amazon - $26 and no shipping with Prime!

    LINK to radio -http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007H4VT7A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00

    I also purchased a programming cable and a handheld mic - an additional $12.

    The club uses a published set of frequencies. I suggest we use the same for compatability at events.

    Here is the list of frequencies -

    IMG_20150718_111508.jpg

    Once I get home I will figure out how to program it and will make the file available here. I will also be happy to program for anyone who does not want to try it. Cable is $6.

    Anyone with ham experience please speak up! I know nothing else at this point. New to me!

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  2. Satanic mechanic

    Satanic mechanic

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    Did they tell you that you have to take an operators test to be FCC licensed. I would be open to it and through repeaters we can talk from far distances.
     
  3. caz

    caz Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    Yup, they did! Forgot to mention that.

    Anyone have a good online resource for studying?
     
  4. mryanangel

    mryanangel SILVER Star

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    Yes please...everyone move to 2m HAM!

    You can get the official study book on ebay for about $30, it has everything you need to pass the exam.

    The baofeng's are alright for intermittent use, but they tend to overheat if left on for any period of time (like a day on the trails) which may frustrate you.

    I have a Yaesu FT2900R mobile unit in my 80 with a larsen 150 NMO antenna...that setup is sweet.
     
  5. joabmc

    joabmc

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  6. Pacer

    Pacer SILVER Star

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  7. cwlahr

    cwlahr

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    I have a new Baofeng in the box for over a year now and haven't taken the time to figure it out. I'll have to check it out now...
     
  8. shmukster

    shmukster

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    I think using these radios is a good idea. I know Bill Smith (in Canada for work right now) is very knowledegable on these and will be interested to ehar his input. Whaddya say Bill?
     
  9. Stevesnj

    Stevesnj

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    What's wrong with old school comms?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. caz

    caz Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    Steve,

    I have found those to be hard to use when looping around trees in some sections of Rausch ;)

    I found an interesting study guide. Maybe we should make a club event out of going to take the test.

    LINK TO STUDY GUIDE
     
  11. Crusha

    Crusha Self-censoring my mud posts... SILVER Star

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    I like this idea, Andy.

    Early this year I contacted a local Ham club, and signed up for, what I thought was, a class to get my technician's license. When it got close to the date, I called to confirm that it was still on. Unfortunately, it turned out there was a misunderstanding, and I was signed up for the actual test, and not the class. D'oh!


    When Ben and I were in Utah, I had one of the cheapo Baofeng units, and it did work well until it heated up, just as Morgan pointed out. I bought a replacement, but have yet to use it. I think they would be fine for 90% of the time we're on the trails.

    Let's do it!
     
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  12. cwlahr

    cwlahr

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    For the price of the Baofeng, you could buy two and keep one in the glove box as a back up if the other overheats. Probably still cheaper then most. I know Wouxun is another popular hand held, but 4 times as much... I messed around programming my Baofeng with the usb cable. You need to download a program called Chirp, which is free. There is youtube videos that walk you through it pretty well. I'm not sure of all the details when programing, but I did manage to program a few channels into mine. I like the idea of going for test as a group, make it a team effort (besides those Ham nerds can be intimidating staring at you through their horn rimmed glasses , and slide rules in hand)
     
  13. caz

    caz Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    I got the Chirp file from Jon today, and received my programming cable. Was up and running pretty fast!
     
  14. cwlahr

    cwlahr

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    Hey

    This study guide is probably still relevant, but they did change the test last year I believe, so their may be some differences since this was published in 2010.


    I've read good things about Gordon West's study guides. Here's a link, also available on amazon.

    http://www.w5yi.org/catalog.php?sort=4
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  15. kb3gun

    kb3gun

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    Here's a good practice exam: http://hamexam.org/exam/12-Technician
    Here are all the possible questions: http://hamexam.org/view_pool/12-Technician.
    The test will only have 35 multiple choice questions.

    I got licensed in 2000 and upgraded to General in 2001 when Morse Code (CW) was still a requirement. Technician class is all that is required for the 2-meter radios used on the trail.

    Here is where to look for exams near you: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
    Fees can range from free to $12-15.

    The 2014-2018 Gordon West book mentioned above is one of the better books. It includes the complete question poll and gives simple, easy to understand, reasons for the correct answer. Read thru it a time or two and take practice exams until you're comfortable.

    As far as radios go, I have a BaoFeng and a Wouxun. They don't compare to the more expensive brand name radios (Icom, Kennwood, Yaesu, Alinco, etc). They are a great starter radio though, and if you're only using them on the trail, they'll work fine. I would rather have (and I do) a mobile radio in the 40 instead of the HT (hand held radio). It's just easier to use and the batteries don't go dead. I have a Icom IC-V8000 in mine and dirt, mud and dust doesn't bother it.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line.
     
  16. Crusha

    Crusha Self-censoring my mud posts... SILVER Star

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    Great idea!
     
  17. Jakes40

    Jakes40 IH8MUD Poser

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    At CLCC we use VHF freq. they are not illegal to use. And the Bofang radios can be programed to them. Edd has a Repeater he can setup that greatly extend the range of the hand held radios.
     
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  18. jonheld

    jonheld

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    I just want to say bravo to Andy and Keystone for bringing this up. Ham radio is the very near future for trail communication once people realize how easy it is to get a licence. I strongly recommend http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com. It is an interactive learning site that allows you to practice at your own pace and reinforces areas that you are weak in.

    The Baofeng UV-5R is a great first step into a larger world (to quote Obiwon) and to ween folks off of CB for $29. Entry level 2 meter mobile units are available for under $150 and put out gobs of transmitting power.

    While not all of GCLC is using ham radio, we are pushing the issue and are getting more and more operators each year. We are also reimbursing members for the cost of the exam as a small token of appreciation.

    Also, please do not go off the CMCC program guide that we had printed for this year's event. There are 2 typos that I missed when proofing the document before having it printed. Sorry about that.

    We have a few hardcore ham guys in Gotham that can answer any question anyone might have regarding this stuff, and I can field some of the easy ones. Just remember that the best, most expensive CB radio is like Dixie cups and string compared to an entry level $29 ham radio.
     
  19. VBRoamer

    VBRoamer

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    I've had a Yaesu 7800 in my truck and a license for about six years. Never used it east of the Mississippi, but I think it's worthwhile for the club to include it in our events. I also haven't been able to get the Yaesu to work with one of the Baofeng units but I'm sure a knowledgeable person -- I'm not that person -- could make them work together.
     
  20. jonheld

    jonheld

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    Vince,
    Not sure what you mean by "work with". If you set the 2 radios to the same frequency they should work. The Baofeng does have some menu options that could be wrong like an automatic offset feature.
    Do you use CHIRP to program it?
     
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