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If GMRS, Then Why VHF/UHF Amateur?


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#41 kidphc

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 07:33 AM

Hearing a short burst of static (called the squelch tail) after un-keying the transmitter is normal, and a sign you have keyed up the repeater. 

 

The bold section is the key point. You are probably opening the repeater. 

 

1. Re-verify tones and offsets. (which sound like they are set right)

https://repeaterbook...features=&use=%

 

2. Get a second radio,to monitor or a cheap SDR receiver setup (monitor repeater output)

 OR

 

The simplest, throw your call sign out with a short message on the repeaters every so often. If someone answers you have your answer.

 

Another thing to think about if you are going to use CW a lot is to get a CW weighted vanity call sign. It will allow you to choose a call sign to apply for that is easier when using CW. https://fistsna.org/callweight.php There is also an option in the FCC ULS when applying for vanities to apply a CW weight to selections.

 

You actually are in hotbed of potential HAM activity due to all the parks. You actually have quite a few repeaters, try programming them and just set the radio to scan. BTW, there is a big difference with an HT (even with a 42" Abree antenna), a 1/4 mag mount attached to a car roof connected to your HT, and a base station antenna llike a Diamond X300. A lot of it has to do with height but the ground plane also makes a big difference.

 

Here is a fun project, make a tape measure yagi, connect it to the HT. Start pointing it at the repeater general locations and try again from the roof. Chances are the repeaters are on top of the mountains, Worst case you spent $10 and now have a yagi you can use for Fox hunts and satellite work (Which I think you'll need a new HT since the downlink is 70cm, might be able to repurpose some GMRS gear for receive only for that ).



#42 SeldomSeen

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 01:44 PM

I spent some time studying the manual for my HT last night and discovered that I wasn't enabling the repeater tone encoder for some of the saved frequencies. Remember, I'm brand spanking new at this. :unsure: Today I found the sweet spot on the roof and made my first QSOs on three different 2m repeaters. They said I was a good 4 1/2 with just 7W and a (no need ground plane) mobile antenna. That was a total surprise! I'm pretty sure I could also nail some 70cm repeaters. There are a lot of them out there. Now, that do it all FT-991a ain't lookin' too bad.


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#43 kidphc

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 02:21 PM

I spent some time studying the manual for my HT last night and discovered that I wasn't enabling the repeater tone encoder for some of the saved frequencies. Remember, I'm brand spanking new at this. :unsure: Today I found the sweet spot on the roof and made my first QSOs on three different 2m repeaters. They said I was a good 4 1/2 with just 7W and a (no need ground plane) mobile antenna. That was a total surprise! I'm pretty sure I could also nail some 70cm repeaters. There are a lot of them out there. Now, that do it all FT-991a ain't lookin' too bad.

Try lowering the wattage on the HT and make some repeater contacts. The repeater is doing most of the work, so that is awesome for you. For simplex,  communication a good base antenna and a radio with about 50 watts opens things up.

 

The IC7300 is an awesome HF rig. If you plan on dwelling in the land of HF it will be a better rig. It's a bit more sensitive the the FT991a. Comes down to superhet versus SDR radio. Remember, jack of all trades master of none adage it applies here also. If you plan on doing 2m simplex as well as SSB (with a different antenna setup) the IC 7300 can do it. You'll need a transverter to accomplish this. Which isn't really simple as buy this and plug it in. It's close but can be rough depending on the route you go.

 

Added: CONGRATS ON THE CONTACTS!!!! :lol: 


Edited by kidphc, 22 May 2020 - 02:26 PM.


#44 n4gix

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:07 PM

Regarding the IC7300, I've owned one for the past two years. Recently I bought a Xeigu G90 and much to my astonishment it actually sounds better than the IC7300!

 

Granted, it is only a 20 watt radio, but on the same antenna as the IC7300 I've made contacts and switched between 20 watts and 100 watts. Everyone I contacted could not tell the difference between the two radios. :huh:

 

$498 versus ~$1000... sheesh!

 

That's not to say the IC7300 is a dog, as it certainly is not.






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