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krvw

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krvw last won the day on May 14 2020

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    Northern Virginia
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    NRA certified pistol instructor

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  1. That's a fabulous idea. Teaches them the basics in a non-threatening environment, and likely with a bit of parental supervision. I love it. Cheers, Ken
  2. FWIW, I often hear small children on GMRS and FRS around where I live. It's a family license, so that's all legal, of course. That said, etiquette is important, and more so on a shared resource like a repeater. If the kids are taught well and follow the basic etiquette, I suspect the repeater community will welcome them. If not, well... Good luck.
  3. Both good points, for sure. My Ed Fong was built by him and sold via Better Safe Radio. I have both the ham and the GMRS tuned versions and both are performing quite well. I may well still try out a 5/8 wave like the Diamond X200a. My understanding of its propagation pattern is that it "flattens out and extends horizontally" the toroid pattern of a 1/2-wave. There are 2 popular repeaters in my area that are just at the edge of my coverage. I can get them at times and all static at other times. If a 5/8-wave gets me there, I'll be happy. I'll use the other Ed Fong for holiday trips when I want to set up a station in our residence. (We've ridden out about 5 hurricanes in the NC OBX area, for example. Having comms during those will be helpful.) That's not to disparage the Fong j-pole, though. Different designs, each with their pros and cons. I'm very happy with both my Ed Fongs. Cheers, Ken
  4. Thanks for that. I considered a ventenna, but when my HOA approved the j-poles... Search around this forum and you'll find plenty of discussion about Dr. Fong's antennae. One person referred to them as "no better than a dummy load". My main point was that my experiences with them have been positive. Being 1/2 wave, the propagation is largely toroidal, but that suits me. Perhaps I'll try a 5/8 wave at some point as well. Now that my antenna mounts are up, I can pretty quickly swap for different ones. Cheers, Ken
  5. FWIW, one of my neighbors has successfully completed his Tech license 100% remotely during the C19 lock down. I asked him for details on how he did this and he said, "The exam I took was from GLAARG. Because the remote sessions worked well in April, they’ve said flt he’ll schedule more sessions in May. I check this link daily: https://hamstudy.org/sessions/91364." IMHO, this is a wonderful step forward, and the lock down has catalyzed innovation and acceptance. As an IT security professional who's been using remote video for decades, I welcome the change. I also know that exam integrity must be ensured, but I'm confident that can be done. Cheers, Ken
  6. Have you tried the Warrenton repeater also? They require permission, but they seem to grant it to any licensed GMRS operator. From my rooftop, I get a really clear signal on it. When I've gone west of here, I could get it on my handheld pretty well too. That repeater has a big footprint around NoVA.
  7. I don't have experience with this model, but I do have a Wouxun KG-UV9P and a KG-UV950P. They're both excellent products, IMHO. Audio quality on TX and RX are fabulous. I expect the KG-805G to be of similar quality. Cheers, Ken
  8. I'm surprised you can't get the Alexandria repeater from Fairfax. (I'm assuming you mean Fairfax City?) I'm in Fairfax County in the Kingstowne vicinity. The repeater is now located near 7 corners, on top of a building near the intersection of Rt 7 and Rt 50. Guessing yours is a line of sight issue. I used this tool (https://www.scadacore.com/tools/rf-path/rf-line-of-sight/ to model the line-of-sight requirements for getting from my house to my wife's office. It showed me I needed to be 4-5 meters above ground, which my rooftop comfortably affords me. You might want to approximate the path from your house to the Alexandria repeater. Might be helpful, IMHO. Also, drywall matters. I was logged into a local RACES net one evening when I walked from my dining room out onto my deck. I was receiving audio the entire time, but the static disappeared when I went from indoors to outdoors. I was frankly shocked by how big a difference it made. That was one of my primary motivators to put the antenna on the roof. Glad I did! Cheers, Ken
  9. Thanks. The chimney is a furnace vent, and I had no choice on that. I only use one antenna at a time, so that proximity isn't something I'm worried about. Hadn't heard anything about an RF choke requirement on the Ed Fongs. Got more info? I'm able to consistently hit a GMRS repeater that is some 40 miles away. I can also _usually_ hit a 2m ham repeater that is 45-50 miles away. And, on the repeaters nearer to me, my signal is really solid. So yeah, I'm really happy with the results. Cheers, Ken
  10. Exact same reason I have both GMRS and ham (technician) licenses. Emergency and vacation comms with the family, and ham for me to branch out further. All good, IMHO. Cheers, Ken WRFC318 / K0RVW
  11. That is PVC (schedule 20). Also, the vent is 30 feet above the furnace area. Also, I had really no choice on that. If I want an outdoor antenna, this is the spot. Cheers, Ken
  12. So, I started my personal GMRS and ham journey in January of this year for reasons that are not relevant here. Among my goals was to be able to have simplex RF comms with my wife at her office. (2.1 miles as the crow flies, through suburban northern Virginia. Small rolling hills, but plenty of RF interference along the way.) Frankly, I was disappointed by the limitations of HT<-->HT around here. I was lucky to make it 3/4 - 1 mile. Clearly, line of sight matters enormously. I got a simple j-pole antenna and tried that at home from my attic. (HOA issues.) Still HT to HT, but no luck. I got permission from the HOA to put up two 5 foot j-pole antennas and got them up yesterday. (See attached photo. Both are Ed Fong designs. One ham and one GMRS tuned.) Simultaneously, I got a 50 Watt (UHF) / 40 Watt (VHF) mobile radio. This morning, I ran a quick and informal series of quick tests with the mobile radio set up in the ham bands (70 cm and 2 m) as a cross-band repeater. (I use a 70 cm simplex channel to my home mobile, which then repeats it on 2 m out to my local repeater (W4AVA).) In short, VICTORY! The repeater connections had several flat spots for me. They're 99% gone now. I can trivially tx/rx to my wife's office location with 5 by 5 audio signal on a simplex connection. I know many folks here dismiss the Ed Fongs, but I have to say those reviews are not consistent with my experiences. In particular, the Warrenton GMRS repeater that is some 40 miles from here was completely out of range for me in the past. With the Fongs on the roof, I'm getting 5x5 signal reports consistently on that repeater -- which serves a vast footprint of NoVA and MD. YMMV. So, yeah, I'm pretty happy with where I am on my personal journey. Cheers, Ken van Wyk WRFC318 / K0RVW
  13. This probably helped. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title15.2/chapter22/section15.2-2293.1/ Ken
  14. Wow, my HOA approved my plan to put up not just one but TWO j-pole antennas! I’ll be mounting a tuned GMRS and a ham antenna shortly. This, in northern Virginia, no less. Cheers, Ken
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