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Ham Radios - EDC

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by Kripto, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. sonderdienste

    sonderdienste Loaded Pockets

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    I EDC an ICOM IC-92 D-STAR handheld if I'm carrying a bag.
    Otherwise I keep a Motorola GP344 (Euro version of the EX500) programmed with the local 70cm repeaters and some simplex freqs in my pocket.

    [img width=640 height=480]http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/4695/18012009010ta1.jpg[/img]

    Please excuse the cell phone pic. :-X
     
  2. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    I'm curious; why do you guys carry radios? Is it to :censored: with others or just for an emergency?
     
  3. sonderdienste

    sonderdienste Loaded Pockets

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    Hams are always testing, playing, testing, building, …

    So for my part it's just a toy I carry to satisfy my techplay needs. ;D
     
  4. Bogie

    Bogie Loaded Pockets

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    Thats easy Both :D
     
  5. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    I carry a radio because I have friends that know I keep it on me :) Radios for me are more interesting than Cell Phones, you have to use that gray matter between your ears to use one. ;)

    In the case of an emergency, cell towers will likely be off line, whereas Repeaters in my area (with hard patches to ma bell) are battery/generator/solar backed up and can run indefinitely. (This was recently tested with a repeater in the south bay where PG&E cut power to the site accidentally. The repeater owners knew because they got paged, but none of the local hams using the repeater knew that it was on backup power.
     
  6. Slomo26

    Slomo26 Loaded Pockets

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    Can't really comment much on this since I never had the 91AD. I can say that the RX/TX is very good even with the stock duck. I don't talk too much anymore and I use it mainly as my scanner and spare FM radio when I drive a unit without an AM/FM radio. I'm sure you have heard of this site but go to eham.net to compare the both. I have been a ham for 17 years but never had any desire to go above a no-code tech. I guess I'm sorta old with my "KD6xxx" call.
     
  7. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    I hate carrying my cell phone and rarely use mine. I can't imagine hauling around all the stuff you guys are describing. It seems most of you are into this hobby because you like electronics and this is a way to excercise that skill.
     
  8. jnathan

    jnathan Loaded Pockets

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    I'm a recent HAM (KD8JAE), licensed in July.

    I didn't get a radio until October, but I've been carrying it ever since. Up until yesterday, I hadn't met with anyone interested in HAM in my area, but I've finally found the local HAM club and I'm hoping to learn a lot more.

    -Jeff
     
  9. Frequency

    Frequency Empty Pockets

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    I'll second that! I EDC my radio not only to :censored: with friends but during an emergency or evacuation, phones (cell and landline) are the first thing to become clogged and fail. Be your own licensed transmitting station independant of all infrastructure. Be a HAM.

    Like many things I EDC, people ask "why do you carry that?" They aren't asking when the crap hits the fan and I'm saving their butts.
     
  10. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    Aren't you dependent on a repeater? If so, isn't that still being dependent on something?
     
  11. OperationOrange

    OperationOrange Loaded Pockets

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    You're not at all dependent on repeaters. Repeaters just give you greater coverage as well as a common frequency that people frequent.
     
  12. Frequency

    Frequency Empty Pockets

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    Yup, when the repeaters go down, or when you don't want to use a repeater, you go radio to radio. That's called Simplex. Our local emergency groups practice on simplex so we know what our communication abilities are in an emergency without dependance on repeaters.
     
  13. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    What kind of range is possible in that mode? I know it varies by terrain and power but is it a matter of covering a few miles or hundreds of miles?
    (I mean with a portable hand held unit)
     
  14. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    We can direct radio->radio comms as "Simplex"
    Generally a 5W HT with line of sight can do 10-50miles. (possibly more) 
    Mobile radios can do hundreds of miles.

    I was able to hit a Palo Alto/Menlo Park repeater from Willits Ca, (4 hour drive away) regularly. Willits and the Repeater were at similar elevation. The trick is line of sight.

    There are other ways to do it, for example, if you have a repeater or single operator station on a hill (back side) they can work repeaters on the other side because of a "Knife-Edging" effect.

    For comparison, FRS and GMRS radios are limited in output power at from .5w to a max of 5W for GMRS.

    Ham Radio HTs are 5W and mobiles are 35-100W (w/o amp)

    The Max a Ham Radio Operator can use is 1500W. With 100W I was able to talk to 3Y0X on Peter I island (Near Antarctica) from San Francisco, CA.
     
  15. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    I live in Florida where we have no mountains and few hills. Would that translate to more or less range?
     
  16. nerves

    nerves Empty Pockets

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    Great question; I tried looking that information up, but couldn't find an answer. I'm also interest in maybe attaining the technician license. Just for emergencies.
     
  17. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    That would translate to a greater range.

    Here is an example. A group of hackers were able (using a large dish) to transmit wifi (2.4GHz) from Nevada 125 miles across state lines. It was called the Defcon Shootout *Warning : This is a fairly technical discussion*

    That being said, the basic premise here is that radio waves travel great distances if they aren't blocked by anything.. Things like buildings, trees, hills and mountains are good blockers. For example, microwave (1GHz and higher) tend to be attenuated by things like pine trees. There was an example not too long ago where a private individual installed a personal cell repeater in a pine tree in his backyard. He didn't quite understand the relationship of radio waves and attenuating devices such as pine needles. 1800MHz (1.8GHz) has a wavelength that is similar to the distance between needles.. Thus the needles were absorbing the radio waves.

    Probably a long winded example, but the idea is that if you put your antenna (you) in an open space or on top of a hill, your transmission (with an omnidirectional antenna) will travel out in 360 degrees around you. *Think Doughnut* If you have things between you and your intended target they could absorb the signal. If you have height, those obstacles become less of an issue. Just as if you were on a flat dry lake bed, your signal would travel very far assuming there weren't any obstacles in the way.

    I'm sure that makes things clear as mud.. :)
     
  18. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    You answered my question. I appreciate your response.
     
  19. Frequency

    Frequency Empty Pockets

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    The dry lake example is a good one to talk about to understand signal propagation properties. On a dry lake or salt flat, or let's just say if you had a perfectly flat globe with no elevation changes or features to block signal propagation, you'd have an ideal environment to play with signal curvature issues and then signal bounce issues.

    If we are transmitting from the east side of a spherical ball - O - the signal will travel very far in a straight line until the curvature of the sphere (earth) and the straight line signal separate. The signal will eventually hit higher layers in the atmosphere or clouds (or moon bounce for that matter), and a target on the sphere - O - will not receive the signal. However, if that signal hits a cloud layer or atmospheric layer that reflects the signal back, the signal will bounce back and reencounter the sphere at a different location.

    For example, and this is a simplified example on signal bounce and skip, if you are transmitting from the east side of the planet, a receiving station on the north pole may miss your transmission because the signal shot over that location, but if that signal then bounced off a cloud layer or atmospheric layer, it would reencounter the earth and a receiving station on the west side of the planet would hear it.

    That's an idea of how signal propagation can be affected by curvature and signal reflection. Usually it happens in the same hemisphere (my experience anyway). I once hit Havanna, Cuba with 5 watts from northern Wisconsin. Other factors and conditions probably were in play there as well (sun spots, etc).

    You might see why my screen name is Frequency. :idiot2:
     
  20. cl0123

    cl0123 Loaded Pockets

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    I had the good fortune chatting with an "extra" yesterday during lunch after he had done a great presentation on amateur radio for emergency communications. Hopefully, I will be able to spend "3 Friday mornings and an exam" later on to start out in the HAM world. Should any disaster occurs here in "paradise", we are all supposed to hold out for 4-5 days on our own until FEMA or whoever's first dispatch reaches the islands. Even then, resources are prioritized for critical and essential needs which mean even further delays for regular folks (like wife and kids) stuck at home. Having a way to find out more information about the situation would certainly, shall we say, improve morale.

    Just need to spend more time soaking up the softwares and hardwares side of things. The gentleman carries a dual-band and a second radio that has higher wattage. His suggestions is getting a decent dual-band handheld radio first and then look for a simpler but higher-powered backup. Just waiting patiently to pick up a new skill in this year of 2009... :-X

    Hope it's not too off-topic.

    With Aloha,

    Clarence