• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

questions from an inquiring prospective ham operator

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,394
Likes
12,431
Location
90% in NH
Interested in the CHIRP programming process. My Baofeng UV-5R came with a programming cable and a 1/2 size dc-rom disk that I can't play. I downloaded the chirp software but when I plug my HT into my PC, nothing happens. My PC doesn't see the radio. What am I doing wrong? Any thoughts?
Although the cable could be a problem (see below), you need to set it for the correct radio model and correct com port for it to work. NOTE: Some Baofeng radios need to be set for a different brand . . . my UV-5RX3 (use Radioddity UV-5RX3) shows in the CHIRP download page. Until I did that, I couldn't connect that radio either.

I have read a lot about cable problems with Baofeng radios, but they are usually the knock off's purchased on amazon. I don't recall hearing any problems with factory supplied cables. Maybe its a knock off cable?
Very true. I bought mine with the radio so it is the real deal.

---------------------
I can't understand why people tell him to forget programming software and just key-punch the freq in. Sure anyone can do that each time, but using a simple software tool to store all the info in memory is a much better way to go for the long term.
 
Rating - 98.5%
66   1   0
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
5,043
Likes
1,082
I can't understand why people tell him to forget programming software and just key-punch the freq in. Sure anyone can do that each time, but using a simple software tool to store all the info in memory is a much better way to go for the long term.

Its real easy, eliminate a step in the process and know how to use your gear on the most basic level. I am not asserting someone should never program using CHIRP, thats silly. He is literally trying to see if he has enough antenna to hear a repeater... Just dial the frequency! I cant understand why anyone would support not knowing how to use your gear. If you know the basics on how to program your radio you no longer need your computer. Of course I use CHIRP, but I also know how to program my HTs from the front panel in case Im somewhere and want to get a new repeater programmed and Im without my laptop. C'mon man, do you teach firearms skills and skip over failure drills? You teach drawing from a holster before teaching someone basic marksmanship?
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
82
Likes
81
Location
Milford MA
I bought a Baofeng UV-5RA a while back - upgraded the rubber ducky to a better antenna (Nagoya NA-320A), and listened-in on a repeater local to me.

Then I got my technician license, and decided I wanted to program in the repeaters I'm likely to drive past in the local area, so I could xmit and receive.
Looking at how tedious that front-panel work would be, I bought a programming cable and downloaded CHIRP to my alternate laptop.

Each approach has its merits and it's downsides.

A good place to know about for CHIRP and some "gotchas" for various handhelds is Miklor Radio Information Site - Miklor - in particular his page on getting
CHIRP installed correctly ( CHIRP Programming - Miklor ) and the other topical links at the home page.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,394
Likes
12,431
Location
90% in NH
This. I have the Nagoya and it does extend its range.
Up in NH I just was listening to a conversation on my Yaesu FT-60R (Diamond SRH77CA antenna) off the Wilmington repeater. I then turned on my Baofeng UV-5RX3 (with stock 144/420 antenna) and there was a massive difference in quality and noise level. My other Baofeng (UV-R sports the Nagoya antenna but is down at my MA house right now).
 

Lank

NES Member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
5,332
Likes
2,460
Location
Run to the hills
I took a spin to Princeton to see if elevation helped pick up Paxton, Gardner, Fitchburg, but only heard some CW morse code. Trying to learn the lingo, I recently bought a Tech license study guide from K4IA.
 
Rating - 98.5%
66   1   0
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
5,043
Likes
1,082
I took a spin to Princeton to see if elevation helped pick up Paxton, Gardner, Fitchburg, but only heard some CW morse code. Trying to learn the lingo, I recently bought a Tech license study guide from K4IA.
The CW you are hearing is actually a repeater IDing itself.

Paxton Ma repeater has a nightly net to listen to every night at 730pm.

I have a couple NA-771 on my HTs and they are an improvement
 

citoriguy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
3,020
Likes
2,441
Location
PRM
I took a spin to Princeton to see if elevation helped pick up Paxton, Gardner, Fitchburg, but only heard some CW morse code. Trying to learn the lingo, I recently bought a Tech license study guide from K4IA.

Go to qrz.com and take their practice exams. The question pool for the tech and general license is good for another couple years, so it’ll be like taking the real tests because it’s literally the same questions.
 

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,841
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
I need to get serious about taking my Extra class test. I’m a grandfathered Advanced class licensee and have been since 1986.
I was going to take my Extra class test in 1987 when they gave the tests in Boston, 16th floor of the Customs building but ended up really sick that day and never followed up on it.
My code reading is really rusty now but of course, code is no longer required so maybe if they have Nearfest this fall, I’ll take my test then and finally get it out of the way.
 
Rating - 100%
23   0   0
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
5,830
Likes
1,997
Location
Western Ma
I need to get serious about taking my Extra class test. I’m a grandfathered Advanced class licensee and have been since 1986.
I was going to take my Extra class test in 1987 when they gave the tests in Boston, 16th floor of the Customs building but ended up really sick that day and never followed up on it.
My code reading is really rusty now but of course, code is no longer required so maybe if they have Nearfest this fall, I’ll take my test then and finally get it out of the way.


I got my technician and general in the same sitting. Guy there asked me if I wanted to do the extra....as it was free. He talked me into it and I look it. I DOD not study for it at all....never even looked at the question. Surprise, I failed... it by only 5 questions. He said a different test...and I might have passed it.

I say go for it. Study online. Keep taking the free online test until you consistently get in the 90s. You will pass no problem.
 
Last edited:

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,841
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
I got my technician and general in the same sitting. Guy there asked me if I wanted to do the extra....as it was free. He talked me into it and I look it. I DOD not study for it at all....never even looked at the question. Surprise, I failed... it by only 5 questions. He said a different test...and I might have passed it.

I say go for it. Study online. Keep taking the free online test until you consistently get in the 90s. You will pass no problem.

I took two practice tests, back to back and missed by two questions each time. There’s some stuff in there that I was surprised I still remembered. Other stuff...not so much.o_O

There’s quite a few questions on new operating stuff, most of which I’m totally unfamiliar with. The theory stuff I did pretty well on...that stuff never changes. Some of the theory driving newer operating modes kinda had me scratching my noggin.
 

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,841
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
Well Timbo, if there is anything I can do to help you out....
Thanks for the offer...I need to get my face in a few books and learn some of this newer stuff. I went through advanced avionics school in the navy back in the 70s and still work in the electronics field so most of the theory is still in my head to one degree or another. Antenna and feedline theory still makes my face twitch though, even after all these years. It all FM ( Friggin Magic) to me.
 

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,841
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
Yeah, one of those new-fangled modulation schemes. Edwin Armstrong only died 66 years ago. :rolleyes:
Oh believe me, I know that...I was just making a joke...FM radio has been around since WWII...Armstrong developed the Yankee FM Broadcast network, one transmitter was on Mt. Washington which eventually became WMTW and then became other call letters as the station was bought and sold.

An old man I knew, now long since dead, knew Armstrong and worked on the Yankee network during it's development. Armstrong also developed the superheterodyne receiver.
 
Last edited:
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
3,349
Likes
1,081
Location
RI - but not on the island part
Oh believe me, I know that...I was just making a joke...FM radio has been around since WWII...Armstrong developed the Yankee Broadcast network, one transmitter was on Mt. Washington which eventually became WMTW and then became other call letters as the station. An old man I knew, now long since dead, knew Armstrong and worked on the Yankee network during it's development. Armstrong also developed the superheterodyne receiver.
Just yankin' your chain... Armstrong was a very interesting character, and had a lot of accomplishments, as you note. Too bad how it all ended for him.

Have you seen his experimental tower in Alpine NJ? I had occasion to do some work there (at ground level) about 20 years ago.

1588107126726.png
 

Lank

NES Member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
5,332
Likes
2,460
Location
Run to the hills
I took a spin to Princeton to see if elevation helped pick up Paxton, Gardner, Fitchburg, but only heard some CW morse code. Trying to learn the lingo, I recently bought a Tech license study guide from K4IA.
So the new antenna showed up, as well as the PC cord for the UV82...Chirp is really easy to use.

Not hearing much more with NA-771. I read earlier that 146.970 is active at 7:30 PM?
 

gulfmp

NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
1,532
Likes
184
Location
Central MA
Been very happy with this one.

I ordered this the night you posted and it arrived today. So far so good for the 10 minutes I have been using it!
 

JDL

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
1,556
Likes
1,120
Location
Wilbraham, MA
The Super -Elastic Signal Stick Antenna How long is this antenna and what is it made of, can you take some detailed photos of the make up of this antenna? Thank you
John N1HM
 

gulfmp

NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
1,532
Likes
184
Location
Central MA
The Super -Elastic Signal Stick Antenna How long is this antenna and what is it made of, can you take some detailed photos of the make up of this antenna? Thank you
John N1HM
It’s 18 5/8 from base of flange to tip. It has a rubberish type texture on the antenna, base and tip has a more rough texture. It twists into position as shown and returns straight. Who knows how long it will bend and retain its straight appearance. See photos.
 

Attachments

  • 3AE5900A-40DC-4E0D-B28F-35295E92EB9B.jpeg
    3AE5900A-40DC-4E0D-B28F-35295E92EB9B.jpeg
    206.4 KB · Views: 3
  • DA509FC7-E25C-4DC0-9255-5F254A96ECBD.jpeg
    DA509FC7-E25C-4DC0-9255-5F254A96ECBD.jpeg
    188.4 KB · Views: 3
  • 522EAEA2-A1EE-4041-BF27-CC55D540A90F.jpeg
    522EAEA2-A1EE-4041-BF27-CC55D540A90F.jpeg
    168.9 KB · Views: 3
  • D17F7D83-66FF-45B4-A186-783CD7606914.jpeg
    D17F7D83-66FF-45B4-A186-783CD7606914.jpeg
    164.3 KB · Views: 3
  • E508BBC3-8FB8-45C1-A17C-B103E08A3DAB.jpeg
    E508BBC3-8FB8-45C1-A17C-B103E08A3DAB.jpeg
    169.8 KB · Views: 3
  • 5B03D60A-50EA-4B8A-8058-C6CFEE6C2581.jpeg
    5B03D60A-50EA-4B8A-8058-C6CFEE6C2581.jpeg
    190.1 KB · Views: 3
  • E8025A1A-2E63-4DBA-B05B-27A69A7B6597.jpeg
    E8025A1A-2E63-4DBA-B05B-27A69A7B6597.jpeg
    275.3 KB · Views: 3

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,841
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
Just yankin' your chain... Armstrong was a very interesting character, and had a lot of accomplishments, as you note. Too bad how it all ended for him.

Have you seen his experimental tower in Alpine NJ? I had occasion to do some work there (at ground level) about 20 years ago.

View attachment 352613
Yes, very sad indeed. I was very glad when his wife(ex-wife?) finally prevailed in many of the pending lawsuits? I think he and his wife had either divorced or separated by the time of his suicide. He was bucking some very strong and very well funded headwinds. I've never seen the tower up close but did see it from the other side of the Hudson many years ago.

I have read his Bio "Man of High Fidelity" which I still have somewhere. Great bio of his accomplishments and his eventual psychological decline. Such a sad but almost inevitable ending.
 

AHM

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
11,747
Likes
11,444
I still haven't figured out how to setup an antenna from where I want my rigs. Most likely I have to go thru the wall (not thrilled about that).
Either through the wall,
or out the window.

(Note how the MFJ-4602 has almost all the printing duplicated
so that you can install it in either orientation,
but the dumbass photographer (or webmaster)
managed to post the photo so that
the corporate logo is upside down. [rofl]
MFJ gonna MFJ).

- In MA: There are a few "coffee clatches" daily with the same group of guys. I find the discussions too boring to even think about joining in. Yup, one of the guys reports all his medical problems/appointments.
In my experience the Rheumatiz Net meets on 20m USB.


So my noob question would be: how does the general HAM user population feel about licensing? Is it necessary (to prevent chaos? on the airwaves?) ...
Mentally, I'm just comparing it to gun licenses and cant wrap my head around need permission to communicate. But maybe there is way more that I'm not seeing because I'm uneducated. Educate me.
Essentially all transmitters are licensed because
all governments (well, all major naval powers) eventually realized that
there is only one electromagnetic spectrum.
Short of wartime, you can't be transmitting wherever you like.

Compared to that, everything else is minor details.

The idea of infinite QRM is a little over dramatized. Honestly your neighbors pot grow lamps from china (if they exist) will be a bigger problem to your hobby enjoyment than any of those morons will, on average.
I like your explanation for the static at @Len-2A Training's home QTH better than my first guess.
Ce3K-mothership-2.jpg


You can program the Chinese radios from the front panel no problem. No need for a computer or chirp as long as it has a keypad. Would certainly recommend knowing how so you aren’t dependent on a pc to have a functional radio
It's one thing to tell a newb to RTFM if they have a Yaesu or something.

But programming a Chinese radio from the front panel? Using the manufacturer's documentation? Are you serious?

I need to get serious about taking my Extra class test. I’m a grandfathered Advanced class licensee and have been since 1986.
Even a legacy General had to know more Real Stuff than today's Extra.
You had to know a lot more to get that Advanced.
I'm not saying an Advanced shouldn't study for the upgrade.
Just saying there's not nearly as much to learn.

Armstrong developed the Yankee FM Broadcast network, one transmitter was on Mt. Washington which eventually became WMTW and then became other call letters as the station was bought and sold.
You need this:
513Rr49VczL.jpg

I met Marty/N1ARY once banging around NEAR-Fest.
(ISTR he was in the company of Bob/W1GWU, the Voice of Hosstraders).

Armstrong was a very interesting character, and had a lot of accomplishments, as you note. ... Have you seen his experimental tower in Alpine NJ?
That tower was a Godsend immediately post-911,
because a few TV stations had backup transmitters there.
 
Top Bottom