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Thread: Amateur Radio

  1. #351

    QRP this weekend?

    I managed to get out twice this weekend, both on SOTA summits. Temps are finally coming up and the thaw is in full effect. Second activation with the TX-500, still figuring out the settings but it's a cool radio.

    Anyone else venture out for SOTA/POTA over the weekend?

  2. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2xAGM114 View Post
    I managed to get out twice this weekend, both on SOTA summits. Temps are finally coming up and the thaw is in full effect. Second activation with the TX-500, still figuring out the settings but it's a cool radio.

    Anyone else venture out for SOTA/POTA over the weekend?
    Not this past weekend, but the weekend before my buddies and I went camping near Harrisonburg, VA and activated two 10 point summits. Highlights from that effort: 1 DX on 12m, 1 Oregon-from-VA contact on 12m, a new country (Venezuela) on 15m, and another new country (Costa Rica) on 10m (latter one was from camp, not at the summit). All on 10w SSB with a simple wire in a tree.

    The TX-500 looks like a cool rig. We're spoiled with choices in the "portable radio" market these days.

    Chris

  3. #353
    Site Supporter RoyGBiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr View Post
    Not this past weekend, but the weekend before my buddies and I went camping near Harrisonburg, VA and activated two 10 point summits. Highlights from that effort: 1 DX on 12m, 1 Oregon-from-VA contact on 12m, a new country (Venezuela) on 15m, and another new country (Costa Rica) on 10m (latter one was from camp, not at the summit). All on 10w SSB with a simple wire in a tree.

    The TX-500 looks like a cool rig. We're spoiled with choices in the "portable radio" market these days.

    Chris
    Although all of my HAM use is local and I don't have much interest in exploring further, personally, I can appreciate this post and would be offering up a high-five if you were close enough.

    Well done!
    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

  4. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
    Although all of my HAM use is local and I don't have much interest in exploring further, personally, I can appreciate this post and would be offering up a high-five if you were close enough.

    Well done!
    Thanks! The higher HF bands have been open lately. As a result, I'm spending more time on the 10/12/15m bands when I go out.

    Chris

  5. #355
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    tr(usdx)

    I need this like a hole in the head, but I can't stop reading about it:
    https://dl2man.de/

    The reviews have been a bit mixed. It's awesome for what it does at the price point and size, but it's definitely a bit rough and performance won't compare with a more polished rig.

    I have an Elecraft KX2, which will blow this thing out of the water, but the tr(usdx) is smaller and uses less power. It would be a great rig to bring along when radio is not the main activity or I don't want to risk my KX2. But...if i get this, will I always be comparing it to my KX2 and not enjoying it for what it is? Decisions decisions...

    Chris

  6. #356
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    Is that thunder? No, its just Fort Hood.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr View Post
    I need this like a hole in the head, but I can't stop reading about it:
    https://dl2man.de/

    The reviews have been a bit mixed. It's awesome for what it does at the price point and size, but it's definitely a bit rough and performance won't compare with a more polished rig.

    I have an Elecraft KX2, which will blow this thing out of the water, but the tr(usdx) is smaller and uses less power. It would be a great rig to bring along when radio is not the main activity or I don't want to risk my KX2. But...if i get this, will I always be comparing it to my KX2 and not enjoying it for what it is? Decisions decisions...

    Chris
    Chris, I have one of these on order with a local group buy but I doubt Ill have time to build it until things settle in the new home next year. Id be happy to pass it on to you. I love kit building!
    Ken

    BBI: ...you better not forget the safe word because shit's about to get weird...
    revchuck38: ...mo' ammo is mo' betta' unless you're swimming or on fire.

  7. #357
    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    Making progress on hamstudy; I'm showing 100% complete through the Technician question bank and an aptitude score of 81%. We have a few hams in our local emergency team so I will get with them on test site options.
    I took and passed my Technician exam yesterday locally here in Venice FL. From what was said, the exam results are uploaded to the FCC web site Monday. Assuming all goes to plan, Tuesday morning I will receive an email with a link to my entry in the FCC database, and my call sign. I considered taking the General test, but it appeared a bit more memory work was needed for that exam than I have spare time at the moment, so I'll probably get some additional material for that, and maybe Extra, later on down the road.


    I still have just my 2m/70cm Baofeng BF-F8HP hand-held I bought. I've programmed it using CHIRP with several of my local SRQ ARES club freqs, as well as a few others of interest. I'm situated less than a mile from a repeater, so should be able to talk to folks ok.

    Since I plan to be out and about in my RV this summer, I looked at mobile V/UHF antenna options for the truck. I almost bought the below mag mount Nagoya for the roof, but could not identify a clean way to route the cable into the cab. I could just put it through the rear sliding glass, but the fit is tight with the weather seal that's used. And I don't feel like pinching an antenna cable. If someone knows of an obvious low-cost solution for routing an RP-SMA connected antenna into the cab of a Ram 1500 truck, I'd appreciate it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Nag...cx_mr_hp_atf_m

    Since my radio is so small, I may just put it in the center console, and let it scan (to include 145.520/446.0 MHz) while I'm in the truck driving.


    I'll definitely look into POTA and SOTA options while we are on the road, but for now, I'm happy just to get my feet wet and have some fun.
    Last edited by RJ; 04-10-2022 at 12:00 PM.

  8. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyDuty View Post
    Chris, I have one of these on order with a local group buy but I doubt Ill have time to build it until things settle in the new home next year. Id be happy to pass it on to you. I love kit building!
    I appreciate it but if I get one I think I'm just going to buy a completed one from one of the approved vendors. I like building stuff, but with my eyesight getting worse I no longer have the patience to deal with complex kits.

    Chris

  9. #359
    Ok, so I showed up in the FCC ULS; I'm KO4ZMP.

    And now I have the bug. What's a good, general purpose "all band" Ham radio? I found this one, but at well over a $1k, it's a little spendy:

    https://icomamerica.com/en/products/...5/default.aspx

    Is there a "Glock 19" of radios? Ideally would be suitable for General class (plan to take exam this fall), semi portable (meaning not too large, and perhaps 12VDC options, whether battery or power supply). Is there a decent low price option (below $250?) that new Hams typically buy?

  10. #360
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    Ok, so I showed up in the FCC ULS; I'm KO4ZMP.

    And now I have the bug. What's a good, general purpose "all band" Ham radio? I found this one, but at well over a $1k, it's a little spendy:

    https://icomamerica.com/en/products/...5/default.aspx

    Is there a "Glock 19" of radios? Ideally would be suitable for General class (plan to take exam this fall), semi portable (meaning not too large, and perhaps 12VDC options, whether battery or power supply). Is there a decent low price option (below $250?) that new Hams typically buy?
    Congrats!

    There is no sub $250 "shack in a box". Your choices in that arena are:
    Icom IC-705 (latest hotness lots of bells and whistles, expensive): $1200ish
    Yaesu FT-818 (older tech, fewer bells and whistles, but proven): $600ish
    Elecraft KX3 (only does VHF with optional add-on, more expensive than the 705, near unobtainium right now): $3k if I recall.

    Not as portable, but still backpackable, but needs a bigger battery and doesn't do VHF:
    Yaesu 891 (100w "mobile" rig): $700ish I think.

    There are some less portable, but still luggable rigs if don't need "backpack portable". You might even get close to your budget if you buy an older used model. Also, mo' power becomes available.

    What exactly do you want to do? If you don't need SSB, CW, and Data in the VHF frequencies, then you don't really need the three radios above. There are other choices that give you HF all-mode alone at a better price point. Still, you're not going to find even that at $250ish.

    If you don't mind the limitations of QRP, the 818 is probably the best option. It does virtually everything except the digital voice modes (DStar, C4F, DMR), is very portable, tough, and has a great aftermarket for accessories. I had its predecessor, the 817nd for about 15 years. I only sold it to fund the Elecraft KX2 that was a better fit for my needs.

    BTW, most amateur rigs run off 12vDC. My IC-746Pro does. I could run it off a car battery.

    Chris

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