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azcromntic
07-30-2012, 05:33 PM
Well, I knew enough to pass the test and I have a 2m radio and appropriate antenna. All I need to know now is how to use it. HA!

Is there any reading material you all would suggest?

nakman
07-30-2012, 08:51 PM
start here? http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=7032

dr350jja
07-30-2012, 11:14 PM
Like your thread title :D Congrats on the license :thumb:

daveIT
08-01-2012, 09:23 AM
RTFM!

Congrats! I just listened for awhile to get a hang of the way people talked on the repeaters before I dived in.

Dave / WALE

Fishy
08-01-2012, 09:42 AM
Congrats! I did the same as ^^.

Although after the first few weeks, I pretty much just listen to the repeaters now. A) I don't really have much to say. B) I talk on a radio all day long. C) Some of the chat is very technical and waaay over my head.

Once you do dive in, people are very friendly and helpful. Don't be nervous to ask questions.... it's a great community to be a part of. There are some very knowledgable folks on here too. :thumb:

azcromntic
08-01-2012, 11:32 AM
I try to listen when I am driving. I've only ever transmitted my call sign so far to indicate I'm listening. Mostly I am in the city so I suspect I won't hear anything. I have a mobile radio in my vehicle that can do up to 75W. I usually have it set on 10W. I have it mounted under the radio and it is the "heat sink" type body so due to not knowing how much I can use without overheating the radio I set it lower power. I'm pretty sure I don't need to up the power to receive signal, correct?

I don't usually hear anything and when scanning I don't usually get anything to lock on. Every now and then I'll hear or it will lock on to "garbage".

I tried to key in some repeater frequencies and listen however I must not have my radio set up correctly; I get nothing.

I doubt my radio is set up correctly for listening on repeaters from the factory. What settings should I check?

Almost forgot: KDSFT

I like to think of that as "Special Forces Transport" refering to my 80 series.

nakman
08-01-2012, 11:40 AM
Your ability to hear is independent of your ability to transmit... so yes, changing transmit power won't change that. How is your squelch- I like to be just right of the verge between static and silence, that way I am most open to inbound transmissions. And I wouldn't worry about heat too much unless you get really long winded, you won't generate excess heat just listening, nor would you on brief transmits.

As for listening to the repeaters, again you should be able to hear them if you dial in the right frequency, the tones & other settings are again only for transmitting.

Maybe you & DaveIT need to set up a geek night to test some stuff out... :)

azcromntic
08-07-2012, 05:03 PM
I took a road trip recently and messed with the squelch. I had it turned about half way. I turned it down.

About the only thing I heard was CW.

I tried listening on the "5-2" but nothing was there.

I'm going to try and make some of the Pike Peak ARRL club meetings; just to see if I can hear them.

Anyone read the ARRL Operating Manual? Maybe it is titled operator's manual; not sure. Is it worth reading?

azcromntic
08-21-2012, 09:10 PM
I finally heard some traffic here in town last sunday. So at least I know the antenna is working. I'll have to go check but I believe it was146.440. They were giving instructions on taking down information and then once they had a certain number of messages recorded they would relay them in bunches so they didnt tie up the channels.

Anyone here a member of the ARRL? How would membership help an innexperienced operator?

CardinalFJ60
08-22-2012, 09:12 AM
I'm a member of ARRL mostly so I can help support the hobby and read about stuff in the QST magazine that I barely understand. :hill:

It is helpful, all joking aside. especially to get familiar with terminology, contesting, QRP, and to wet your appetite to get your General. :thumb:

Check out www.w0cra.org (Colorado Repeater Association). they have a Csprgs repeater that I beleive is linked to the Denver repeaters. if you dial that into your radio, there's a good chance you'll hear more traffic. it's also good to practice setting freqs/memories/tones, etc.

Also...program in the Colorado Connection repeaters...also linked, but close to statewide. Again...more chance for traffic there.

Both of those repeaters have check-ins on a regular basis. I participated in those for a while - it's cool to listen, check in, get the lingo down, etc.

I started to google 'colorado repeaters' and came up with a ton of clubs and repeaters for both 2m/440, programed them into the radio. (rocky mtn. radio league, CRA, etc) I'm guilty of scanning repeaters to to listen to what's out there on my way home. I'll typically hear someone, somewhere.

Groucho
08-22-2012, 02:40 PM
I took a road trip recently and messed with the squelch. I had it turned about half way. I turned it down.

About the only thing I heard was CW.

I tried listening on the "5-2" but nothing was there.

I'm going to try and make some of the Pike Peak ARRL club meetings; just to see if I can hear them.

Anyone read the ARRL Operating Manual? Maybe it is titled operator's manual; not sure. Is it worth reading?

This book is available at the Pikes Peak Library Distric at 3 different locations:
The ARRL ham radio license manual : all you need to become an amateur radio operator (http://tinyurl.com/9fdfxyk)

Yes, it has technical info about the license, but it also is a good resource to use for some of the operating techniques. For instance, having music blaring in the background is not acceptable when you transmit. It is technically re-broadcasting and not allowed. The only exception is Space Shuttle radio traffic (and ISS traffic) but I think they may have to change the rule to be more general as the Shuttle program is :rip:. It will help you understand some of the ideas behind good antennas and transmit power, coax and connections, powering directly from batteries (General exam pool question) and international communications.


I finally heard some traffic here in town last sunday. So at least I know the antenna is working. I'll have to go check but I believe it was146.440. They were giving instructions on taking down information and then once they had a certain number of messages recorded they would relay them in bunches so they didnt tie up the channels.

Anyone here a member of the ARRL? How would membership help an innexperienced operator?

My :twocents:? Join the ARRL. Your membership helps us keep our frequencies instead of the big cell phone and other radio users snatching up sections of our bands for private commercial use. Beyond that, you become a member of an organization that has been helpful to many of the technical advances we take for granted these days. Like satellites, GPS, cell phone and email. Plus, you can access many of the archived articles for the DIY'er to do more for themselves and the hobby.

:HAM guru back to making good beer...:

Caribou Sandstorm
08-22-2012, 04:45 PM
Hmm, you too busy for a HAM class, like 101 stuff? I know this great location for this kind of thing...;)

I sure would like to see some stuff on the BC calendar, so I have an excuse to travel up 36 and exit at 287.

rover67
08-22-2012, 04:53 PM
speaking of which, BC needs a HAM Radio.

I'll build the antenna. I may even have a radio to donate.

azcromntic
09-11-2012, 10:35 PM
I noticed lately that I am picking up a lot of noise from the vehicle. If I'm not mistaken there was a question on the test about how to fix this. I think it was a ferite choke? If so, then I've forgotten where to put the choke; antenna cable?

I have power and ground straight off the battery (fused). Well, the ground wire is connected at the same point as a large ground wire that comes off the - batt terminal. It is terminated right by the battery on the firewall. That seems like it would be close enough to the actual terminal; 6" makes that much difference?

I finally figured out how to work the CTCSS. So now I am trying to "get connected" to repeaters. Just tonight I found a list to try on the internet so I'll be doing that for now to see if I can hear more.

nakman
09-12-2012, 08:45 AM
Your grounding is likely just fine, 6" away should be close enough to on the terminal. When you say noise, are you hearing it go up and down with the engine RPM's? If so then it may be a low pass filter that you'd want to look into... heck for extra nerd points you could build your own, I have a feeling there's a picture of one up here somewhere.

edit: not a picture, but a link to some more threads http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=9852

azcromntic
09-16-2012, 12:55 AM
Ohhh yeah. I remember it now. You just reminded me of one more thing I forgot in my electronics classes 20 years ago. I guess if you had an old transformer from some junk electrical appliance you could use one side of that instead of wrapping all that wire. Assuming of course you knew to insulate the other side of the transformer or just cut away copper on one side. And of course the 20 amp rating.

Not sure why 35V capacitor. I've only seen 14.7V out the battery. Better safe than sorry I guess.

I have some electronics junk downstairs, some capacitors and a soldering iron...I'll give it a shot in my ample free time (ha).

I heard some more talking last thursday on 145.950 (I think it was). Some guy was talking about taking a trip up Pikes Peak with his handheld and was hoping to talk with some people from way up there on 2 meter simplex. He was from Ohio I think. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to who they were; just how they were operating.

I also heard some REAL CW during their conversation. I'm confident what I thought was CW before was nothing more than noise.


P.S.
I joined the ARRL. They gave me a free operators manual. I have time to read a page or two right before I wipe.

DaveInDenver
09-16-2012, 07:10 AM
You can use the windings in a transformer for inductance, maybe not ideal because that would be fairly space inefficient for the amount of inductance you get. Worth a shot for testing, definitely. I wound one using a steel quick link. You really need a lot of inductance to keep the cap manageable. I ended up with a ferrite rod and that worked even better than iron, but cost more and are more fragile. Once it's potted, it won't matter, though.

http://www.worldwidedx.com/home-brew/31492-building-simple-alternator-whine-ignition-filter.html

If you were listening to a repeater the CW you heard was probably the repeater identifying itself. Probably heard the call sign in Morse every 10 minutes.