M*CARBO Brotherhood

Any HAM Radio Operators? 📻

In the last few months I have been taking First Aid training and became part of our community Reserve Medical Corp. I also took disaster relief training and have become part of our Community Emergency Response Team. The next step was to become a licensed HAM radio operator. Communications is key to knowing what’s going on in a disaster so it seemed like an important next step. I have purchased a couple Boafeng hand held VHF/UHF radios, took a couple courses and passed the Technician course to become licensed. I have purchased a couple upgraded antennas as well as an antenna for my vehicle. My next step is to get a higher powered radio that I can use in my vehicle as well as a base station.
I could sure use some advice as to what radio (s) would be good for a duel role of mobile and base radio. Any HAM operators out there your advice will be greatly appreciated.

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@Texprep I think @jeffing65 has a some good Pointers on this Subject, I had a few Questions a while back on Radio’s.

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@Texprep I have had my license for 30 years. Got my license when I was 13 and inactive until recently. I’d be happy to help you find a radio to suit your needs. It seems that you want one radio that you can move from vehicle to home. This doesn’t work very well as the radio will be mounted to a bracket of some sort in your vehicle and would be a pain to remove and re-install frequently.
Are you interested in HF also or just VHF/UHF?

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For now, just VHF/UHF. I’m sure in the years to follow I’ll upgrade my license to a general or extra but for now just VHF/UHF will do. With that said, if the cost of the radio isn’t much different I may go ahead and get a rado with HF capabilities.
The radio I’m looking for would probably be used more as a base as I already have handhelds with external antennas for locally. I can hit a repeater nearby and have pretty good coverage. I would like to be able to take the larger radio with on road trips though when access to a repeater isn’t so easy.

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@Texprep
Getting your General class license is very easy and opens up a lot more bandwidth for use. I got my Novice class and Technician when I was 13 then didn’t use ham radio at all for 30 years. Earlier this year I decided to get back into ham radio. I read through the question pool and ONLY studied the correct answers once through. Took the test and passed the first time. The key is to only study the right answers, no point in memorizing the wrong answers.

Since you have Baofeng radios if you have not done so already, use CHIRP to program them. It’s a bit of a pain to get it to work correctly but when it works you can program all local repeaters, FRS, GMRS, weather radio all at once.

A good easy to use quad band radio (2m/70cm/10m/6m) is Yaesu FT8900. I bought mine used for $200. This gives you local comms on 2m and 70cm, regional on 6m, and worldwide on 10m. You can also use Allstar repeaters if you have one near you. I regularly listen to a worldwide net on 2 meters! I plan on making a radio go box with this radio but for now it’s my base station radio along with an Icom 706MKII. These 2 radios together are about the size of a large dictionary on my desk.

When using any mobile type radio as a base station radio you will need a power supply. These things last forever unless abused, look for a used one.

Something else to keep in mind, for a VHF/UHF base antenna, do not skimp on coax cable. Loss is high on UHF. For my first base antenna I used a mag mount dual band antenna stuck to my metal file cabinet. Worked pretty well considering it was indoors but next to a window. Now I have a dual band vertical on top of a mast about 35’ in the air.

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@Texprep
Getting your general license is very easy. Only study the correct answers, not the wrong answers.
My current base radio is a Yaesu FT8900 (2m/70cm/6m/10m) Great local, regional and worldwide radio in a small package but you will need a separate antenna for 6m/10m as you do for 2m/70cm.
My first base antenna was a mag mount on a steel file cabinet, now I have a dual band vertical on top of a 35’ mast.
For UHF/VHF do not skimp on coax cable. Get good low loss cable and keep the run as short as possible. High losses on UHF/VHF. Lookup a coax attenuation chart for more info.

What external antenna do you use with your Baofeng?
Did you use CHIRP to program them?

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Sorry for the duplicate post, didn’t think the first one posted so I typed the abbreviated second post.

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Your recommended way to study is exactly how I did it. Local ham club calls it The Ham Cram course. Studied about 500 questions w/correct answers for about 6 hours then took the test. Passed 1st try, actually pretty easy. Kind of wish I had gone ahead and taken the general.
As for the antennas, I bought 2 Nagoya NA 771 for portable on person. For the vehicle I bought a Nagoya UT-72, both were recommended as good matches for the radios. I do realize that once I upgrade to a mobile radio, this vehicle antenna won’t handle the extra power. When I get the mobile, I’ll also get a matching antenna.

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As for the chirp program, yes. I did download it and program my radios with it. What a time saver. Can’t imagine trying to input all the necessary programming on the radio keypad. Was given a chirp file used in my part of Texas to start with, now I’m adjusting it to my needs.

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@Texprep

Their’s also some ham test study apps for smartphones. Basically practice tests.
The UT72 is rated for 80 watts. Most mobile dual band radios are 50 watts or less so it will be ok to use.

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You are correct on it being rated for 80 watts. For some reason I was thinking it was the same as the NA-771 which is only rated for 10 watts.

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@dizzy Thanks Justun. Nice to have someone here with some good ham knowledge. You answered @Texprep far better than I could have ever hoped to. :+1:

I have operated a station for quite a few years now. I am not a licensed ham however and I operate on SSB in the 11 meter band. The two radios I currently use are both nearly ancient by modern standards. LOL
My base is a Kenwood TS-520 and my mobile is a RCI-2970. As stock radios they both put out about 100 watts.

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I bought and programmed Baofengs for the whole fam. For receiving of course. $30 each is a deal. Like to scan when on trips.

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Howdy, this KJ7ABZ. I’m considering a Xiegu G90 for both mobile and base.

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@Rooster64
I had to lookup the Xiegu brand as I had never heard of this Chinese made radio company.
The size looks great as far as portability. The negative is that being an SDR Radio it may be difficult to use without connecting it to a computer. Also, being a low wattage radio, it will likely only be usable on digital modes.

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Got my station license a week or so ago.
KI5FBB

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@Texprep Nice! congrats on the new station number. :+1:

And Happy Birthday. :birthday::cake::partying_face:

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Thank you sir. Never thought I’d make it to 60 but I did. YAY! Guess the next big one will be 70 if I can make it. Just gotta keep on breathing.

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@Texprep I’m not many years behind you, chasing that 60. That’s the way to do it. shoot for decades at a time.:+1:

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@Texprep Happy Birthday :champagne::birthday::balloon: and for getting to 60 :trophy:

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