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The Ham Radio Thread

Seth

These go to 11
So I started researching how to get started, where to take classes etc. But every website I was sent to was equally offensive to my eyeballs. I figured the participants on this thread could get me pointed in the right direction.

I know zero. Where do I go? Who do I talk to?
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
Hamstudy.org, yo. Forget the classes until later.

All you need to do to get your license is pass a multiple choice test. It's an open question pool, so use that site or whichever one you like better to memorize the questions. You won't actually learn much, but that's ok because you probably won't learn much anyway until you've got your license and got a radio in your hand.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
But every website I was sent to was equally offensive to my eyeballs.
You could always go old school and purchase the actual Technician class license manual:

https://www.amazon.com/ARRL-Radio-License-Manual-Spiral/dp/1625950829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532792167&sr=8-1

Not only does this present the material, it can be handy as a reference after you have your license. I still grab mine off the shelf from time to time. In the back, it lists all the (current) questions and their multiple-choice answers so it contains everything you'll need to prepare for and ace the actual test.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
So check this out.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-801A1.pdf

19. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 4(j) of the Act,35 Amcrest Industries, LLC must cease and desist from marketing any Baofeng Radio model UV-5R V2+ that is capable of transmitting on unauthorized or restricted frequencies in violation of Sections 2.803(b) of the Commission’s rules.
 

frieed

Jeepless in Draper
Supporting Member
Location
Draper, UT
Well that was short lived.... The display on my Yaesu FT-2980R that I bought in March went blank. If I push the top-left corner it comes back, but damn. I'm not sure I can find the receipt. Radio still works fine, I just need two hands to operate.
and it's gone again....

I think I see the problem though. I have the radio mounted on top of the dash and I think it's getting too hot. The the front bezel is softening and the top is distorting which prevents it from putting enough pressure on the elastomer. So I was right about the actual problem but not the root cause. I'll wager that my "fix" only aggravated the problem.

20180816_074631.jpg

you can see where it gaps in the middle where it meet the metal frame. It's a shame they didn't use a more heat resistant plastic for something intended to be mounted in a vehicle.
The bottom is fine
20180816_074639.jpg


I'll pull the bezel off and try to reshape it with some heat and a weight. After that I guess I'll have to move the mount to the transmission hump or some other place out of the sun.
 
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TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
I have the radio mounted on top of the dash and I think it's getting too hot.
May I call your attention to page 4 of your owner's manual? To wit:

Do not install the transceiver on top of another heat-generating device (such as a power supply or an amplifier), and do not place equipment, books, or papers on top of the FT-2900R. Avoid heating vents and window locations that could expose the transceiver to excessive direct sunlight, especially in hot climates. The FT-2900R should not be used in an environment where the ambient temperature exceeds +140^ F (+ 60^ C).
FYI
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
Still a stupid design for something designed to go into a vehicle.
It sure seems like it. Out of curiosity, I decided to dig a little deeper and see if this is just a Yaesu 'weakness' or if it is more widespread. I surfed over to Icom's web site and pulled up the manual for their equivalent radio, the IC-2300H. Sure enough, it says practically the exact same thing:

DO NOT use or place the transceiver in direct sunlight or in
areas with temperatures below –10°C (+14°F) or above +60°C
(+140°F).
I just installed a Yaesu FTM-7250D in my commuter Metro. It is simply hanging off the side of the floor console, meaning it is sometimes in direct sunlight. I am now re-thinking that location choice.
 

frieed

Jeepless in Draper
Supporting Member
Location
Draper, UT
I can understand limiting power output due to thermals since this beast has no fan, but the faceplate melting? sheesh. Now I gotta figure out where to put the stupid thing.
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
I am thinking about putting an antenna on top of my camper. The whole roof is aluminum. From what I have read aluminum will work as a ground plane. I think I might weld some tabs on the roof and mount the antenna to that. Does it have to be directly mounted to the ground plane or would an inch or two above the ground plane still work?
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
I'm no expert, but when I put an antenna on the top of my airstream I got a mag mount antenna and taped it on using VHB tape. There was no metal-to-metal contact and it worked great.
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
That is a great idea. I think I remember you doing that now, but I forgot.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
Does it have to be directly mounted to the ground plane or would an inch or two above the ground plane still work?
I've never tried mounting an antenna above a ground plane, but consider this: with a 1/2-wave style antenna, it shouldn't matter. (OTOH, if you're going to use a 1/4-wave or 5/8-wave antenna, it might matter a lot.)

Do you already own the antenna?
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
I don't own the antenna. I was thinking about getting a cheap portable mobile unit. Like the one your friend had in his car at purple turtle. Then I can use it in my truck and my camper. The mag mount antenna would mount on the truck fine, but not so well on the camper since it is aluminum. I thought I could mount it on the camper when I have the camper on the truck and then on the top of the truck when I don't. I am sure there is a better way to make it all happen.
 

stimmie

Registered User
Location
Roosevelt
Just sitting in line at the car wash today and I got to wondering about getting a mobile radio to mount in my truck. How many of you are running the Chinese tadios? Is a Kenwood or Yaesu really worth it? I only drive the truck on the weekends. Which is also the only time I have a radio with me. I’m thinking about doing a dual band 25w or 50w unit. With my Baofeng handheld and mag mount antenna in certain places in the Uinta Basin I can listen to the snowbird repeater, but can’t talk with 8w.

Any thoughts?
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
How many of you are running the Chinese tadios?
I am not, but I tried to run one. I bought a QYT KT-8900 dual bander back in June. I installed it in my Metro, and hooked it up to a high-quality Larsen NMO2/70B antenna (which cost as much as the radio itself). Out of the box, this cheap radio gave me nothing but problems. The output audio was distorted and difficult to understand. Worse, I would key up and it might or might not actually send a signal and hit a repeater (even on "high" 25w power). I did succeed in talking to only one or two guys with it; most of the time my signal got nowhere.

I lucked out and got Amazon to take it back and refund my full purchase price. I then spend considerably more and replaced it with a Yaesu FTM-7250D. I installed that radio, connected it to the same antenna, and it has worked flawlessly every day.

I know a few guys with the QYT radio, and they tell me it works for them. That's the thing with the Chinese radios (in my experience, anyway)--they are very hit-or-miss.

Is a Kenwood or Yaesu really worth it?
I certainly think so. I have purchased only two Chinese ham radios in my life: the aforementioned QYT mobile radio, and one Baofeng HT. My Baofeng failed after 6 or 7 months, and I was lucky enough to have Amazon replace it with another one at no extra charge. That makes me 0 and 2 for Chinese radios.

By comparison, I have purchased five Yaesu radios: an FT-60R handheld, an FT-2900R mobile, two FT-7900R mobiles, and an FTM-6250D mobile. All five of these Yaesu radios have always worked perfectly with no failures of any kind.

One more item for thought: my friend Addison has that same QYT radio in his car. Whenever I listen to him speak, I can tell he's on a cheap Chinese radio--his voice sounds muffled, kinda like when you're listening to the radio with the treble turned all the way down. But when I listen to friends on most Japanese radios, their audio is crisp and clear. The difference is very noticeable.

I only drive the truck on the weekends. Which is also the only time I have a radio with me.

Any thoughts?
This is a tough call. I completely understand your hesitation to spend a lot of money. When I tried to save money, it didn't work out for me. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did?
 

stimmie

Registered User
Location
Roosevelt
I ended up not getting a radio for the truck yet. Too much to decide on. :)

On another ham related note, how many here only have their Technician license? As a Last Man Standing fan, I've been thinking I need to get my General just to join in on talking to the crew. They have a club KA6LMS and lately the kid that plays Boyd has been getting on the air with them. I've been listening on the Utah SDR website. Check out Mike Baxter on Facebook and they post when and what frequency their on. If I did get my general I still wouldn't have a place in the house to set up a shack yet..
 
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