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Old 04-03-2017, 02:10 AM   #561
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I thought I'd already posted in this thread, but I don't see it, now...I have a General class, my wife has a Technician, my father-in-law is an Extra, mother-in-law is a Tech, brother-in-law is an Extra, uncle is a...well, you get the idea...lol The funny thing is that when I want to sort out some of what I'm plotting on the equipment front I don't always want to ask a family member (some are too old school, some too high-techno geeky, I'm in between), so threads like this are pretty handy.

I still need to get them set up at our new house ("new" as in 2 years ago, now...haha), but I've got an old Collins KWM-2A and an Icom 745. For the truck, I've got a Yaesu 857D. I haven't been able to find my ATAS 120a (still unopened) since the move, but am fine using something separate/simpler for just 2m and 70cm until (and, after) I re-find it. We have Yaesu, Icom and Baufeng handhelds, but forgive me for not knowing the model names off the top of my head.

Anyway, there's that bit. Might anyone be willing to advise on a good 2m/70cm mobile antenna? I'm not looking for anything crazy, but do want good usefulness. Quality/durability matters more than cost, but I don't want to go completely nuts. I think I'd prefer to mount it on the rear bumper vs the roof, and would like some kind of fairly QD setup (the antenna, as the mount would always be left on the bumper). Durability concerns include off-road/rough road/driving through brush use.

Also, any advice on a mag mount antenna to plug into a handheld? It seems wise to have one for quick use (rest of the time it'd be stored inside) when outside the stopped vehicle, to get better range via a handheld, in case the 857D ever had a problem.

Thanks! I know a wee bit, but am far from an expert in HAM bits, so please bear with me if I need to ask several follow on questions. I've had my General for a few years, but have been using only handhelds, my FIL's shack and a friend's. Given that I have some really nice radios, I think it's about time I finally get them going.

ETA: Regarding Morse code...I recently had a chance to get some really surprised reactions from a couple old school HAMS, by showing them an app on my Android phone. It'll do sound, light and text translating to and from Morse. It's pretty awesome, and I can see it being a handy training tool for anyone wanting to practice. I can see it being useful in certain emergencies, too.
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Last edited by Spook76; 04-03-2017 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:20 AM   #562
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Well, not a huge fan of bummer mounts as they tend to put your antenna low on the car and compromise your ground plane. I would probably opt for a trunk lip mount with a NMO connector. As far as antennas, there are many good ones. I prefer the Diamond or Comet brand. Hard to go wrong with either one. Just pick a dual band model that matches the profile of your vehicle and you should be good to go.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:18 PM   #563
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Originally Posted by jagdkampf View Post
Well, not a huge fan of bummer mounts as they tend to put your antenna low on the car and compromise your ground plane. I would probably opt for a trunk lip mount with a NMO connector. As far as antennas, there are many good ones. I prefer the Diamond or Comet brand. Hard to go wrong with either one. Just pick a dual band model that matches the profile of your vehicle and you should be good to go.
J
Thanks, but...no trunk on a truck. My main concerns about not putting it on the roof are having to drill a hole that may (ever) leak and driving through brush. I know the bumper is less ideal, but it's the best option I have. Well, I guess using that type mount could be done on the edge of one of the rear doors, but brush could still be an issue.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:28 PM   #564
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A bumper mount can work alright. The vehicle acts as a counterpoise. It will be a bit directional, but that usually isn't a problem. Mount it on the driver's side, to minimize hitting tree limbs overhanging the road.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:29 AM   #565
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Comet CA-2x4srnmo on an adjustable lip mount , mounted on the left rear corner of my Duramax hood works great ! It does well with my business band freq also.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:06 AM   #566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook76 View Post

ETA: Regarding Morse code...I recently had a chance to get some really surprised reactions from a couple old school HAMS, by showing them an app on my Android phone. It'll do sound, light and text translating to and from Morse. It's pretty awesome, and I can see it being a handy training tool for anyone wanting to practice. I can see it being useful in certain emergencies, too.
Whats the name of the app?
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:38 AM   #567
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Whats the name of the app?
M3 Translator:Morse Code (by JinH)
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:48 PM   #568
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook76 View Post
ETA: Regarding Morse code...I recently had a chance to get some really surprised reactions from a couple old school HAMS, by showing them an app on my Android phone. It'll do sound, light and text translating to and from Morse. It's pretty awesome, and I can see it being a handy training tool for anyone wanting to practice. I can see it being useful in certain emergencies, too.
This one ???

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...morseDit&hl=en

I was an Crypto class R in the Navy. Morse was part of my deal, and I was stupid fast at it.
Today, not so much, and I am 99% my brain has forgotten majority of it. (Those are more FRS use)

I'm trying to get into the HAM scene, picked up a few different Baofeng units for $80 each
and got a pair of basic 888's I used in Mexico for $20 for the set. ONCE I get into it fully I'll score some Yaesu's.

EDIT okay I see you put the name up
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:41 AM   #569
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Looks like a lot of knowledge going around in this topic.

I have a question about a radio.

I bought a whole box of radios at a yard sale for $40. There were a lot of older radios in there, but they all work.

Mostly older run of the mill CB's. A 29ltd soundtracker, 19 ultraIII, 3 old General Electrics and 2 unidens. I know about these radios.

But I am wondering mostly about a McKinley President AM-SSB.

I don't have a license, which I am going to assume that I would need to operate it, but I am also curious about just listening for the most part.

Seems to be a good way to be able to keep track of what's going on around me.

I am curious to find out everything I can about that radio. What it's capable of. What I could realistically expect from it, what kind of antenna do I need for it? Will a steel whip for a CB work?

Does this broadcast on CB channels too so I could use it as a CB if I am not on the sidebands?

I am wanting to set up a couple of base radios. One at my home, the other maybe a mile and a half away at my cabin. Mostly for short range communication for when the boys are camping or to keep in touch with my wife when I am hunting. Nothing major.

A CB will have no problem getting the range I need and I know they would work fine for that. But if I could use the President radio at either location, I would prefer to set it up instead of one of the regular CB's. I just don't know anything about it.

Here is a snapshot to give you an educated idea what it is. While it is an older analog, I don't need the fanciest rig out there.

Thank you in advance for the advice and guidance.

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Old 06-30-2017, 11:30 AM   #570
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It's just another CB radio, but with the sideband capability. No license needed. You need another radio with sideband to utilize that feature, of course. Main advantage to SSB is increased range and less crowding on the channels. AM is "regular" CB, then you have Upper sideband and Lower sideband. All sideband does is kinda narrow down the frequency you are transmitting on, which eliminates the "wasted" power and gives a bit more range. Kinda simplified, but that's the gist of it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:44 AM   #571
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Thank you for the reply sir.

I didn't know if the sidebands required licensing or not. I haven't fooled much with CB's in decades, but I do know that certain frequencies are not supposed to be used without licenses. Kind of like how the FRS and GMRS are both accessible in the same unit, but the instructions warn not to use certain channels unless you are licensed.

And why I wanted to ask in advance to avoid doing something wrong. I'm just trying to follow the rules.

Thank you again.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:12 PM   #572
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Sideband uses the same frequencies as the regular CB channels, the link below explains it in technical detail. The illustrations are easier to understand.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single...and_modulation
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:36 PM   #573
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Thank you.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:16 PM   #574
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I still have my old CB base, but no antenna. I fire it up every couple of months on a D.L. to warm her up & check the crystals. It looks and operates 100%.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:19 PM   #575
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Single sideband CB radio used to be a bit more disciplined than AM CB radio but not as much as ham radio was.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:21 PM   #576
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I still have my old CB base, but no antenna. I fire it up every couple of months on a D.L. to warm her up & check the crystals. It looks and operates 100%.
Those radios will let you transmit on one channel and receive on another channel.

Some of those old TV sweep tubes are getting hard to find.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:59 PM   #577
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Those radios will let you transmit on one channel and receive on another channel.

Some of those old TV sweep tubes are getting hard to find.
Yeah...The only mod on my Tram is the VFO has been opened to transmit also. That's why I have the freq counter on the meter. Crystal or VFO, it's horrible on SSB do to drift. On AM, she sounds fantastic.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:23 AM   #578
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All,

I've read all 17 pages of this thread and have also done some research on other sites. I plan on taking the Tech & Gen exams in 3 weeks when the next VE session comes around. I have a pretty good understanding of VHF/UHF radio comms after spending 15 years in combat arms and SOF while in the Army but will freely admit that my only experience with skywave propagation with HF is through watching some 18-series guys do it and seeing a French Foreign Legionnaire in Afghanistan throw a field expedient antenna out of a moving vehicle, stop, make contact, roll up the wire, and move out...that was actually pretty cool...

This shit with NK has made the wife and I start thinking about our lack of a comms plan in case of emergency and I have the wife's buy in on getting something to communicate with when the grid goes down (specifically a DPRK EMP) so we could consolidate & reorg if we were geographically separated.

We live and work in the greater Burlington, VT area. The Champlain valley has some rolling hills boxed in with the Adirondacks to the west and Green Mountains to the east. There are quite a few VHF (and a smaller number of UHF) repeaters that we could hit from our work location (we work in adjacent buildings) but there are lots of low areas and dead zones - and no, I am not just talking about the Bernie supporters. . Distance from work location and home is exactly 11 miles, as the crow flies, but like I said there are intervening hills that would most likely block any LOS comms and I do not want to completely rely on the repeaters on Mt Mansfield or the ones on the other side of the lake in NY as they would most likely be down.

Bear with me, as I have a few questions:

VHF/UHF: Who makes a true ruggedized HT? I liked the PRC-148s and -152s I carried in Paktya Province back in 2010 (especially with the external 20w amp that connected to my plate carrier) and would like to get a few similar setups. I completely understand that these would be LOS but would only need them to go 5-8 miles max. Intent would be for the old lady and I to pull them out of the .50cal ammo can (converted into faraday cage), attach the antenna, grab our bags, and go. I recently picked up some cheap Baofengs and long whip antenna for each but, c'mon, they are cheap for a reason and I have no faith in their ability to survive a heavy rain storm or operate at -15*F like we get during the winter. I have really considered the Yaesu VX-8DR or even the VX-6 but wanted to see if there were any other options out there.

Are there any mobile radios that have a front side antenna connection and mic connection like an ASIP, etc? I would like to try to build a manpack but having the antenna connection in the back of the radio adds complexity.

Do any of you guys have military surplus radios? If so, where are you getting the batteries for them? Where are the more reputable sources for the radios and accessories? I've seen PRC-113s out there along with PRC-77s on ebay etc. but they are usually "as-is" with no guarantee that they even work. PRC-113s were still in the inventory during my brief stint in the Reserve so I'm somewhat familiar with them but have no experience with the PRC-77s...although they can't be that hard to figure out...

HF: Again, which models would be more "rugged" than others? I see that the Icom IC-7200 is available again. Opinions? What about the Yaesu 817, 857, or even 897 (if could be found on used market) as a dedicated HF radio? How many antennas do you keep on hand (primary & spares) for each band? How many antenna tuners on hand? What are your criteria for selecting a easily portable radio in regards to power supply, power consumption, etc?

Any military surplus radios worth a look at?

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Old 08-18-2017, 09:49 AM   #579
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I know absolutely nothing about HAM, but I know I really need to get into it. I also have a newb question.

A truck I am looking at purchasing when it comes out has an option to prewire for a "CB radio" antenna. I think this is just the routing in the cab from the dash to a standard antenna mount location. Not including the antenna, is the wiring from the radio to the antenna the same?
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:37 AM   #580
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...A truck I am looking at purchasing when it comes out has an option to prewire for a "CB radio" antenna...
That wouldn't be the new JL Wrangler, would it?
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:56 PM   #581
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That wouldn't be the new JL Wrangler, would it?
Close....The JT
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:36 AM   #582
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I wouldn't recommend mil surplus stuff for amateur. Its heavy as hell and usually low wattage,is usually n non-Ham frequencies,and uses non-standard power supplies.Yeah,if you were using the stuff all the time in the military,and have lots of familiarity,you can use it fine. But for someone starting out in the HAM world,its a different animal.
As far as Spook76...a decent dual bsand rig...I bought an Alinco 635. Alincos have a pretty easy programming flow,so manually programming it off a cheat card isn't hard. Some other brands can be a real challenge,depending on how your brain patterns work.
You do realize the 857D is a "dual band" rig too,no? Same as my 817...
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:04 PM   #583
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Passed Tech & Gen on 9/8 and was 3 questions short on the Extra exam. I plan on retesting after the holidays.

Since there wasn't a straight answer to my questions posted her on the Files I did a bit of further research on some other forums/sites and snagged a ICOM 7200 for my HF and SW listening needs. This has been placed in a metal trashcan turned Faraday cage along with LDG Tuner and Astron linear power supply. I have a OCF Dipole antenna too; just waiting for the wallet to recover before buying the length of coax that I will need in order to run the antenna up the tall trees in my back yard.

My next concern is power; If the grid goes down I'll have a REALLY nice 12lbs paperweight. It seems that a lot of people like AGM and gel cell batteries but they seem a bit heavy for what I have in mind. LiFePO4 batteries seem the way to go - but pricey - as they maintain voltage for much longer than any acid battery. Anyone use them? And since I plan to listen 90% of the time with minimal transmitting how many Amp Hours would the experts recommend? 20 AH? 30 AH? The battery size is going to drive my decisions on solar panel size and charge controller type...
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:36 PM   #584
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I use nothing but batteries as my power supply. I get 12 volt 7 amp hour batteries in all the time that are deadlined out of fire panels,that still have plenty of life in them. Sometimes I get larger units. I just wire them in parallel,and leave an automatic trickle charger on them. A transfer switch for two separate banks. They work great.
IC7200 is a good radio,and the USB connection makes it pretty easy to do digital modes.
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:10 PM   #585
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I have been playing around with ARDOP / ARIM since summer and have been pretty impressed. The ARDOP program is a software TNC that runs in the background on your computer. ARIM is a software file transfer and instant messaging program that works on the ARDOP TNC. It is pretty robust compared to most digital modes. Has good throughput and works with either ARQ or FEC unproto. It will also allow you to send files with compression. A 12kb file will compress down to about 4kb and will typically transfer in under a minute. It also allows for beacon / sn ratios and a mailbox function. It has real potential for us "comm geeks".
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