Hamming it up!

EvilDragon

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So I passed my Tech exam in Brookline! They had me also try the General, but I wasn't prepared for that. I got a Baofeng portable, but what would be a good beginner set up for a home or a car?
 

cockpitbob

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EvilDragon, congratulations on getting your license! Welcome to the hobby that's really 99 hobbies.

I don't know much about the Baofeng mobiles but my instincts say to avoid them. What do the reviews on eHam.net say about them?
(Of course the handhelds can't be beat for the money.)

For starters I think I would just pick up a used Yaesu or iCom. Later when you have a better idea of what you want you can sell it for about what you paid.

Wish I had more advice for you but I'm not much of a 2M guy. For mobile I have an old, rusty (literally) flea market FT-2600 that I take from my shack desk, set on the passenger seat, plug into the cig lighter(set power below 25W) and use a mag-mount antenna with the cable slammed in the door[rofl].
 

edmorseiii

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has anyone dealt with the Baofeng mobiles?

No, but I am toying with the idea of getting one of the TYT dual banders because they are cheap and I like to tinker, but then again, they are cheap.

If 2M is popular in your area, which I am sure it is, and that is what you want to work, you would be well served by one of these. http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-010078

Or one of these. http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-011362 (on sale!)

Both of those are as cheap as the chinese jobs, and FAR better radios. My first mobile was a Kenwood TM281, and I am glad I have it as a go to, regardless of how many chicom radios I have to tinker with.
 
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edmorseiii

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Just remember, to run a mobile on your desk you will need a 12v power supply, an antenna, and some cable.
 

cockpitbob

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There's not a lot of rocket science in the antenna. Longer is better, and build quality (which I have no helpful info on) is the most important aspect.

What kind of mount? Magnetic, trunk lip or drill holes in the car?
 

EvilDragon

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So for magmount 2m/70cm it doesn't matter so much? Ok. I have a handheld Baofeng, can I set up a magmount on the van and then hook it up to the handheld? Or will it not be able to drive an antenna of that size?
 

cockpitbob

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The radio won't be able to tell what it's connected to. All antennas look like 50 Ohms, assuming the SWR is good. So yes, using your HT with a mobile antenna will work fine. Hams do it all the time. And don't underestimate what 5W will do. Remember one S-unit is a 4:1 difference in power, so a 50W mobile rig will only look about 1.5 S-units stronger to the receiving radio.

Antenna Gain: Some antennas are coiled like a spring in the middle, or have a coil hidden in the base. This reduces how long it needs to be to resonate. It also changes the radiation pattern. Since you aren't talking airplanes overhead but people on the ground and repeaters on towers you want the antenna to focus the transmitted energy more horizontal than vertically. Short antennas radiate more to the sky. A stick of wire 1/4wave long will have more of a horizontal radiation pattern. It will also be more efficient than a shorter stick with a coil. They also make 5/8 wave long antennas which do an even better job of flattening the radiation pattern, but they're obviously longer.

- - - Updated - - -

Yes, but make sure the gender of the little end matches your radio. My Yaesu and Baofeng handhelds have opposite gender SMA connectors.
 
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My first VHF radio was a Kenwood TM-281. Not dual band, but it will get you on the repeaters at a nice 65W.

For about $300 - $350, you can be on the air with it. $135 or so for the radio. About $100 for a switching 12v power supply, $60-$70 for a Diamond X50 2m/440 antenna and coax cable.

Congrats! My 1 year anniversary was yesterday! 1 year to the day of me getting my technician license and I was running a traffic net on Paxton at 9pm last night.
 

EvilDragon

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Cool, thanks everyone. I ordered a telescopic Nagoya antenna for the handheld Baofeng for now, once I play around with it some I will invest in a better rig.
 

cockpitbob

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If you're comfortable with a soldering iron, making stuff yourself is a big part of ham radio. Google 2m J-poles and ground plane antennas. Real easy to make.
 

EvilDragon

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I know, I just can't put proper antennae outside because of my HOA. Once I move to a new house in a few years, I'll be looking at my own tower.
 

edmorseiii

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I know, I just can't put proper antennae outside because of my HOA. Once I move to a new house in a few years, I'll be looking at my own tower.

If you have an attic or a second floor, you can put an antenna up there, better then nothing.

Not mine, but you get the point.

DSC4529.jpg
 

cockpitbob

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If you have an attic or a second floor, you can put an antenna up there, better then nothing.

Not mine, but you get the point.
This^^^^
Or a balcony or, make a 2 or 3 element Yagi and point it out a window at your local repeater.

I have a roll-up J-pole in the attic that really gets out, and one hanging in my office window downstairs. The one hanging in the window sucks with the wall and window frame so close to it and being so low, but it gets me the local repeaters just fine.
 

CatSnoutSoup

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has anyone dealt with the Baofeng mobiles?

Save up your dough while you enjoy playing with your HT, then get a quality mobile.
Yaesu FTM-100DR will likely be on sale with their "manufacturer coupon" deals after Christmas.
https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/ysu-ftm-100dr

Besides the extra time will allow you to prepare by getting a pair of 10 or 8 AWG conductors fused at your battery, then through the firewall of your vehicle, and posted to a Anderson power pole panel under the dash.

BTW there is no more complete resource about mobile ham installations than the website of K0BG
http://www.k0bg.com/

Have fun good luck, let me know when you start doing mobile CW with a code key strapped to your leg. [grin]
 
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I know, I just can't put proper antennae outside because of my HOA. Once I move to a new house in a few years, I'll be looking at my own tower.

Call and email your Senators. Tell them to support H.1301 and/or S.253

Read up on it here : http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act

This legislation makes it much easier for HAMs to put antennas up in deed restricted/HOA areas. The law would force those areas to allow for antennas that enable you to practice the art. You obviously won't be putting up a 100 ft tower, but a nice vertical or dipole would be allowed.
 
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radioman

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If you have an attic or a second floor, you can put an antenna up there, better then nothing.

Not mine, but you get the point.

DSC4529.jpg

Nice! I like. J-pole?

I just did my first renew. You can't renew until your with in 90 days of expiration? I had to mark it on my calendar. What's nice is it's free!

AE1Y
 

edmorseiii

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Nice! I like. J-pole?

I just did my first renew. You can't renew until your with in 90 days of expiration? I had to mark it on my calendar. What's nice is it's free!

AE1Y

It looks like it. It looks very similar to the black bird jpole I have.
 
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