Newbie help for comm prepping

Topics on Radio (CB, GMRS, Ham, etc), GPS, Smoke Signals, or whatever else you can use to talk to other people who are not within yelling distance.

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emclean
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Re: Newbie help for comm prepping

Post by emclean » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:21 pm

use the CHIRP in place of the included programming software.

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zombieapocalypsegame
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Re: Newbie help for comm prepping

Post by zombieapocalypsegame » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:35 pm

Installed the USB cable, and that actually used the regular Windows device driver scenario, so I didn't even need the driver on the CD. The mini CD that did come with the cable was basically useless, anyway. It made sounds like a jet engine in my optical drive and barely would open the readme file let alone anything else. Glad I really didn't need it.

Using CHIRP was fairly straightforward, once I got past some of the cable connection related weirdness. The BaoFeng UV-5R series is a problematic one for the guys behind CHIRP but they've got it working as of when I tried today. And I even found a decent manual (translation / elaboration) for my radio too. I'm already benefitting from the radio operator community.

I've got all the NOAA channels programmed in, and apparently only receive the first two here. But I left the rest in my channel list so I can travel & still get whatever they are broadcasting on. Also added local Fire, EMS and PD dispatch as well as nearby schools. If something bad happens nearby, I'll know about it.

I did learn a few little things about the radios.
  • The unit will not receive & charge simultaneously. It cuts out when getting too near the electromagnetic field emanating from the charger base.
  • The car charger adapter requires the wall-wart charger base but not the cord. This is odd, especially when trying to charge on the move in the car. Not sure if the magnetic field will continue to be an issue when at 12v.
  • It has a single integrated LED flashlight I had overlooked
Now I'm figuring out when & where the next HAM test is locally.
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azrancher
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Re: Newbie help for comm prepping

Post by azrancher » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:39 pm

zombieapocalypsegame wrote:And, we're in TX where it's a lot easier to get a clear shot at the horizon.
You didn't mention distance and you've already got the Baofeng, but no license yet. You can use the Motorola Cell phones with the PTT feature i355 are about $10 on Ebay they are good for LOS 7+ miles @ 900 MHz, and they still work without the Cell phone network.

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Re: Newbie help for comm prepping

Post by medic photog » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:45 pm

I suggest that when you start loading HAM frequencies you check on line for 2 meter and 70cm repeaters in your area. Most repeaters I've worked off of have a send and receive frequency along with some form of squelch tone for activation. There's a book out listing all the repeaters in the US and there are several websites that do the same. If it's anything like PA you'll find a bunch and here they get a lot of use. Our club keeps repeaters up on 6 meter, 2 meter, 1.25 meter, and 70cm. We get together several nights a week and chew the rag or go HF and do some CW (morse code) work. I'm getting my speed back with CW and am starting to become familiar with packet. As you study for your test(s) you'll become more familiar with the terms and once you get your tech ticket you can join in on the conversations. Working a 2 meter repeater, at least here, is great. I can power down to 1 watt and as long as I can hit the machine, everyone can hear me. I've added several antennas for the base and two for QRP, one being a take down 2M/70cm yaghi I mount on a camera tripod. I'll sit on my porch and rag chew all night as long as the weather permits. Also, don't feel limited by the stock antenna on your HT. You can get some coax and adapters and rig that puppy up to a split yaghi, like the Arrow Antenna 146/437-14 and have a blast.

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