• Getting Started

    From Warpslide@21:3/110 to All on Sunday, August 16, 2020 10:02:11
    Hey All,

    I recently received a TYT TH-UV88 as a gift. I don't know much about HAM
    Radio (anything really), but it looks like this small handheld supports 2M and 70cm frequencies. From what I understand, it's ok for me to turn this on & listen but I won't be able to talk until I get a license.

    Since I'm not licensed, I'm looking into what it would take to write the exam. I'm located in Canada and a quick Google search says I'd need at least at
    least 70% to pass or 80% to pass with honours (allowing access to < 30MHz).

    There's an online course starting soon or a local club has a course starting
    in September. Does anyone in Canada have experience with rac.ca's online course?

    https://www.rac.ca/rac-online-basic-amateur-radio-course-registration-summer-20 20/

    Just not sure yet which route would be best to take for me: Online, in-person or self paced.

    I noticed that Synchronet has a built-in quiz for Canadian HAM Radio basic & advanced questions. I went though about 30 questions before I realized I'd fail pretty bad. Looks like I need to get studying.

    Jay

    ... Is this thing on?

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From alterego@21:2/116 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 09:53:07
    Re: Getting Started
    By: Warpslide to All on Sun Aug 16 2020 10:02 am

    I noticed that Synchronet has a built-in quiz for Canadian HAM Radio basic & advanced questions. I went though about 30 questions before I realized I'd fail pretty bad. Looks like I need to get studying.

    I thought I'd try those questions too - just to see what I didnt know.

    Turns out its easier to say what I do know - and thats nothing...

    Like you, I'd like to play with the ham stuff, but at the moment it looks like a mountain to climb... (And I'm too busy playing with my ANSItex/Videotex...)

    ...δεσ∩

    ... It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Linux
    * Origin: I'm playing with ANSI+videotex - wanna play too? (21:2/116)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to alterego on Sunday, August 16, 2020 21:05:10
    On 17 Aug 2020, alterego said the following...

    I thought I'd try those questions too - just to see what I didnt know. Turns out its easier to say what I do know - and thats nothing...

    Yup, right there with you.

    Like you, I'd like to play with the ham stuff, but at the moment it
    looks like a mountain to climb... (And I'm too busy playing with my ANSItex/Videotex...)

    It does seem like a pretty scary mountain. Right now I'm trying to figure
    out why it's called the 2 metre band & the 70cm band, it doesn't seem to be because of antenna lengths...

    Jay

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From alterego@21:2/116 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 11:10:04
    Re: Re: Getting Started
    By: Warpslide to alterego on Sun Aug 16 2020 09:05 pm

    It does seem like a pretty scary mountain. Right now I'm trying to figure out why it's called the 2 metre band & the 70cm band, it doesn't seem to be because of antenna lengths...

    Well that's something that I learnt today...

    ...δεσ∩

    ... Blessed are the censors, for they shall inhibit the earth.
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Linux
    * Origin: I'm playing with ANSI+videotex - wanna play too? (21:2/116)
  • From Andre@21:3/117 to Warpslide on Sunday, August 16, 2020 20:12:57
    On 16 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    It does seem like a pretty scary mountain. Right now I'm trying to
    figure out why it's called the 2 metre band & the 70cm band, it doesn't seem to be because of antenna lengths...

    Length of the frequency of that band.

    - Andre, WT9X

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:3/117)
  • From Andre@21:3/117 to Warpslide on Sunday, August 16, 2020 20:34:24
    On 16 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    On 17 Aug 2020, alterego said the following...

    Like you, I'd like to play with the ham stuff, but at the moment it looks like a mountain to climb... (And I'm too busy playing with my ANSItex/Videotex...)

    It does seem like a pretty scary mountain. Right now I'm trying to
    figure out why it's called the 2 metre band & the 70cm band, it doesn't seem to be because of antenna lengths...

    I just checked out the Canadian basic exam. It's a little more practical than the US tech and general exams, but not by much. All three contain fairly useless knowledge for getting started. Use hamstudy.org to memorize the questions and pass, then just keep learning as you need to know things. Definitely find a good club to join... If they're dicks, find a different
    club. The ham community is very similar to the old BBS community, and they'll respect people who try to figure something out on their own before asking for help.

    Advanced and Extra exams are a different animal. Much more interesting material, but won't be useful for a couple years at least.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with a course. But finding a good elmer/mentor who builds thier own antennas and operates a lot is crucial. A lot of hams think they know what they're doing but don't have a clue... You'll have to
    shop around a bit to find the right ham friends.


    - Andre, WT9X

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:3/117)
  • From alterego@21:2/116 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 09:53:07
    Re: Getting Started
    By: Warpslide to All on Sun Aug 16 2020 10:02 am

    I noticed that Synchronet has a built-in quiz for Canadian HAM Radio basic & advanced questions. I went though about 30 questions before I realized I'd fail pretty bad. Looks like I need to get studying.

    I thought I'd try those questions too - just to see what I didnt know.

    Turns out its easier to say what I do know - and thats nothing...

    Like you, I'd like to play with the ham stuff, but at the moment it looks like a mountain to climb... (And I'm too busy playing with my ANSItex/Videotex...)

    ...δεσ∩

    ... It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearances.

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:2/116)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 19:57:00
    On 08-16-20 10:02, Warpslide wrote to All <=-

    Hey All,

    I recently received a TYT TH-UV88 as a gift. I don't know much about
    HAM Radio (anything really), but it looks like this small handheld supports 2M and 70cm frequencies. From what I understand, it's ok for
    me to turn this on & listen but I won't be able to talk until I get a license.

    I don't know what the law says in Canada, but in Australia, it is an offence to possess and have ready for use a piece of radio equipment for which you're not licensed. However, if there's obvious evidence that one is studying when an inspector calls (not likely unless they're knocking on all doors), they might just warn you to put it away in a drawer until you have your licence.

    But I don't know exactly what the regs say in Canada, since I'm not there. :)

    Since I'm not licensed, I'm looking into what it would take to write
    the exam. I'm located in Canada and a quick Google search says I'd need
    at least at least 70% to pass or 80% to pass with honours (allowing
    access to < 30MHz).

    Yeah, the pass mark here is also 70% from memory (I would have been in the high 90s when I sat my test).

    There's an online course starting soon or a local club has a course starting in September. Does anyone in Canada have experience with rac.ca's online course?

    https://www.rac.ca/rac-online-basic-amateur-radio-course-registration-su mmer-20
    20/

    Just not sure yet which route would be best to take for me: Online, in-person or self paced.

    Depends on:

    1. who you are and your background.
    2. How you learn best.
    3. Currently, COVID-19 restrictions.

    When I studied in 1988-1989, I was halfway through an electronic engineering degree, which meant theory was covered, and I could focus on regulations. But for practice, I whipped through a book of 500 dimilar theory questions in 3 hours with a very high accuracy. The actual test was 50 questions in 90 minutes, so I was pretty confident. :)

    I was comfortable with the regulations by early January, so at the last minute, I decided to roll the dice and sit the 5WPM Morse exams (Morse is no longer compulsory for any purpose now). That gave me 5 weeks to learn Morse and pass the exam (actually, I did).

    Anyway, my situation was conducive to self study, as I had the background to manage it, and just had to learn specific details.

    However, for a subject I'm less familiar with, I prefer in person instruction with hands on options. Online learning can work, but the lack of structure doesn't play nicely with me. I think you'll be tossing up between self study and online (depending on COVID-19 restrictions). Of those two, I'd probably go for online, but you may be different.

    I noticed that Synchronet has a built-in quiz for Canadian HAM Radio
    basic & advanced questions. I went though about 30 questions before I realized I'd fail pretty bad. Looks like I need to get studying.

    I haven't seen that quiz! I must look around. :)

    I'd pass a US Extra without study, and that's with some of their weird regulations which are quite foreign to ours. At least the theory works the same. :)


    ... I have a virus on my comouter, and its name is F-A-C-E-B-O-O-K.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to alterego on Monday, August 17, 2020 19:58:00
    On 08-17-20 09:53, alterego wrote to Warpslide <=-

    I thought I'd try those questions too - just to see what I didnt know.

    Turns out its easier to say what I do know - and thats nothing...

    :-)

    Like you, I'd like to play with the ham stuff, but at the moment it
    looks like a mountain to climb... (And I'm too busy playing with my ANSItex/Videotex...)

    Of course, I'm here to field questions. I'm pretty good on theory and Aussie regulations. :)


    ... Do you want graphics? NO, and quit asking me!
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 20:11:00
    On 08-16-20 21:05, Warpslide wrote to alterego <=-

    It does seem like a pretty scary mountain. Right now I'm trying to

    Some of us have scaled that mountain and are here to be your Sherpa. We know the lie of the land and the pitfalls. :)

    figure out why it's called the 2 metre band & the 70cm band, it doesn't seem to be because of antenna lengths...


    Actually, it's the wavelength. So a bit of theory to get you going.

    Radio waves travel at the speed of light - 300,000,000 metres/second (it's actually easier to use metric - sorry Americans ;) ).

    Radio waves are a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that cycle periodically from 0 to maximum + value, back to 0, then maximum and finally back up to 0. This is called a cycle. The frequency is the number of these cycles per seconf, which has a special name - Hertz (1 Hz = 1 cycle/secon).

    The wavelength is how far the signal travels in one cycle. In other words, wavelength (L) = 300,000,000/frequency(f)

    The "2 metre" band extends from 144 to 148 MHz (M means 1 million). Using the formula above:

    L = 300,000,000/144,000,000. Now because there's a lot of zeros, we can simplyfy this formula:

    L = 300/f(MHz).

    L = 300/144 = 2.08m (at the lower edge of the band).

    And at the upper edge:

    L = 300/148 = 2.03m

    Pretty close to 2 metres, hence that's where the name from!.

    Similarly for 70cm. That band runs from 420 or 430 to 450 MHz (depending where you are). Let's use 440 MHz as a sample frequency.

    L = 300/440 = 0.68m or 68cm. That's close enough to 70cm. :)

    Hope that helps! :)


    ... ^ô^ <- Viking Tribble
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Andre on Monday, August 17, 2020 20:14:00
    On 08-16-20 20:34, Andre wrote to Warpslide <=-

    I just checked out the Canadian basic exam. It's a little more
    practical than the US tech and general exams, but not by much. All
    three contain fairly useless knowledge for getting started. Use hamstudy.org to memorize the questions and pass, then just keep
    learning as you need to know things. Definitely find a good club to join... If they're dicks, find a different club. The ham community is
    very similar to the old BBS community, and they'll respect people who
    try to figure something out on their own before asking for help.

    The Australian Foundation exam is pretty straightforward. With the right guidance, you can stufy for that in a weekend (some clubs actually have a weekend training culminating in the exams at the end of day 2). Standard and Advanced progressively introd

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with a course. But finding a good elmer/mentor who builds thier own antennas and operates a lot is
    crucial. A lot of hams think they know what they're doing but don't
    have a clue... You'll have to shop around a bit to find the right ham friends.

    I'm happy to help where I can. :)


    ... Everyone has a right to be stupid. You are abusing the privilege.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to All on Monday, August 17, 2020 22:11:14
    On 16 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    I recently received a TYT TH-UV88 as a gift.

    I discovered we have a local HAM radio club (www.hamiltonarc.ca) & today happened to be one of their net meetings. I decided to listen in & it
    was actually kind of cool, the repeater is near by & I was able to get a surprisingly clear signal inside my house with nothing but this tiny handheld w/ a "rubber ducky".

    There was a new guy who checked into his first meeting on today's net,
    which made me want to join in even more. He said he just finished his course online with the same one was I was considering.

    There's an online course starting soon or a local club has a course starting in September.

    I took the plunge and just signed up to this course which begins on Thursday and runs through to October.

    Not sure what I just got myself into, but wish me luck! :)

    Jay


    ... Of course I talk to myself, sometimes need an expert opinion!

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From Andre@21:3/117 to Warpslide on Monday, August 17, 2020 21:39:35
    On 17 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    There was a new guy who checked into his first meeting on today's net, which made me want to join in even more.

    Not sure what I just got myself into, but wish me luck! :)

    Welcome to our bottomless pit of a hobby. Your time and money are gone
    forever. :)

    - Andre, W9TX

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:3/117)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 15:41:00
    On 08-17-20 22:11, Warpslide wrote to All <=-

    I discovered we have a local HAM radio club (www.hamiltonarc.ca) &
    today happened to be one of their net meetings. I decided to listen in
    & it was actually kind of cool, the repeater is near by & I was able to get a surprisingly clear signal inside my house with nothing but this
    tiny handheld w/ a "rubber ducky".

    Cool, that's handy, makes it easy to listen. :)

    There was a new guy who checked into his first meeting on today's net, which made me want to join in even more. He said he just finished his course online with the same one was I was considering.

    Great timing! :)

    I took the plunge and just signed up to this course which begins on Thursday and runs through to October.

    Good luck. Don't forget, some of us can answer questions too. :)

    Not sure what I just got myself into, but wish me luck! :)

    Good luck, it will be a fun ride. :)

    ... Of course I talk to myself, sometimes need an expert opinion!

    Hahahaha! :D


    ... Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Andre on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 15:42:00
    On 08-17-20 21:39, Andre wrote to Warpslide <=-

    Welcome to our bottomless pit of a hobby. Your time and money are gone forever. :)

    But it's fun! :D


    ... It's not the money I want, it's the stuff.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to Andre on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 09:38:14
    On 17 Aug 2020, Andre said the following...

    Welcome to our bottomless pit of a hobby. Your time and money are gone forever. :)

    That's what I'm afraid of... this free (to me) handheld seems like it's
    going to be a gateway drug.

    Jay

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to Vk3jed on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 10:10:16
    On 18 Aug 2020, Vk3jed said the following...

    Cool, that's handy, makes it easy to listen. :)

    I was reading that I can hook an external antenna up to this, so that may be
    my next purchase. I've also seen some people say "I never use the included antenna, I always get a tuned one".

    Do you have any thoughts on glass mount antennas? My home office is on the
    2nd floor and if I can get away without drilling through a wall I'd like to
    go that route.

    Good luck. Don't forget, some of us can answer questions too. :)

    Awesome, thank you! I'm sure I'll be here asking all sorts of questions. :)

    Good luck, it will be a fun ride. :)

    Might be a couple of small mental breakdowns on the way too! lol


    Jay

    ... Even if the voices in my head aren't real, they have some good ideas

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From Andre@21:3/117 to Warpslide on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 16:24:36
    On 18 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    may be my next purchase. I've also seen some people say "I never use
    the included antenna, I always get a tuned one".

    Most hams don't know their ass from their elbow. If it's not backed by data, don't listen to their anecdotes. The antennas that come with HTs are no worse than the 16" (or so) aftermarket antennas. Three-foot extenable antennas make
    a big difference. "Rat tail" counterpoise antennas are nonsense. The
    internal metal of the radio body, and to some extent your body while holding it, act as the counterpoise. You might see some better RX (receive) quality, but it's inconsistent. Last year someone did a lab test to show all that,
    which mimics the result of my son's science fair tests from a couple years
    ago.

    Mobile antennas on a magnet base, placed on a baking sheet, will
    significantly outperform the ducky antenna.

    A home antenna, even in an attic, will outperform all of the above. Most
    people seem to think J-pole antennas of copper work best, but I don't know
    how much they outperform a purchased Comet or Diamond antenna (cheaper
    though, especially if you make it yourself). Outdoors and as high as possible will perform best, as VHF/UHF are line-of-sight. Attics work well enough if
    you can't mount it on a tower or roof.

    Discone antennas are the best scanner/listening antennas.

    Window mount are pretty marginal, especially if mounted inside the window. You'd be better off with the mobile antenna on a baking sheet, or a roll-up J-pole antenna hanging out the window.

    - Andre, WT9X

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:3/117)
  • From vorlon@21:1/195.1 to Warpslide on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 11:30:07
    On 17 Aug 2020, Andre said the following...

    Welcome to our bottomless pit of a hobby. Your time and money
    are gone forever. :)

    That's what I'm afraid of... this free (to me) handheld seems like
    it's going to be a gateway drug.

    Once you start down the rabbit whole, you wont come back.. %-)

    My most expensive rig is a Kenwood TM-D700 ($1200 at the time). It's now
    in a box with my other rigs due to living changes. #-(




    \/orlon
    VK3HEG


    --- MagickaBBS v0.15alpha (Linux/armv6l)
    * Origin: \/orlon Empire: Sector 550 (21:1/195.1)
  • From echicken@21:1/164 to Warpslide on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 00:53:48
    Re: Getting Started
    By: Warpslide to All on Sun Aug 16 2020 10:02:11

    I recently received a TYT TH-UV88 as a gift. I don't know much about HAM Radio (anything really), but it looks like this small handheld supports 2M and
    70cm frequencies. From what I understand, it's ok for me to turn this on & listen but I won't be able to talk until I get a license.

    I don't remember what the letter of the law is, but basically you're fine as long as you don't transmit.

    There's an online course starting soon or a local club has a course starting
    in September. Does anyone in Canada have experience with rac.ca's online course?

    No experience with it myself. I used hamstudy.com when I was preparing to take the test, and frequently went off to read elsewhere on the web when I wanted more (or differently-explained) information on a given topic. I kind of hammered my way through each section until I felt like I understood it enough and wasn't just memorizing answers.
    I noticed that Synchronet has a built-in quiz for Canadian HAM Radio basic &
    advanced questions. I went though about 30 questions before I realized I'd fail pretty bad. Looks like I need to get studying.

    That's a good resource for checking your progress, and it (should) present you with questions from the same pool that will be used for your actual exam. Don't be discouraged when you fail at first, or only get a bit better each time. Use it to inform you on which areas you need to study more.

    Try out the USA Technician-class exam, and bring your common sense with you. It'll probably cheer you up.

    I'm located in Canada and a quick Google search says I'd need at least at least 70% to pass or 80% to pass with honours (allowing access to < 30MHz).

    Do a lot of proper studying in advance - take a month or two or whatever you feel you need - and then in the days before your test, run through the practice exams as often as you can manage. When you get some answers wrong, go back to your study materials and reread the relevant portions, try to understand why your answer was wrong and why another one was right. (This is basically what I did, wound up with 98%, can't remember which one I missed.)

    ---
    echicken
    electronic chicken bbs - bbs.electronicchicken.com
    * Origin: electronic chicken bbs - bbs.electronicchicken.com (21:1/164)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 13:43:00
    On 08-18-20 10:10, Warpslide wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    I was reading that I can hook an external antenna up to this, so that
    may be my next purchase. I've also seen some people say "I never use
    the included antenna, I always get a tuned one".

    Yes, you just need a cable with the right connector, or a suitable adapter.

    Do you have any thoughts on glass mount antennas? My home office is on the 2nd floor and if I can get away without drilling through a wall I'd like to go that route.

    They're normally designed for use on cars. Not my first choice, you'd still have a building blocking your signal across approximately 180 degrees. You ideally want to get your antenna above the roof.

    Good luck. Don't forget, some of us can answer questions too. :)

    Awesome, thank you! I'm sure I'll be here asking all sorts of
    questions. :)

    Hahaha cool. :)

    Good luck, it will be a fun ride. :)

    Might be a couple of small mental breakdowns on the way too! lol

    It's not that bad. ;)


    ... Ham radio operators do it with frequency.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 14:33:00
    On 08-18-20 09:38, Warpslide wrote to Andre <=-

    On 17 Aug 2020, Andre said the following...

    Welcome to our bottomless pit of a hobby. Your time and money are gone forever. :)

    That's what I'm afraid of... this free (to me) handheld seems like
    it's going to be a gateway drug.

    Haha, yeah sounds like it already is a gateway drug and you're hooked! :D

    You could also buy a cheap RTL-SDR and listen around everywhere, those things are cheap and amazingly powerful for the price. :D


    ... Miss Stove seems to be going off the boil.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to Vk3jed on Sunday, August 23, 2020 20:27:19
    On 19 Aug 2020, Vk3jed said the following...

    Yes, you just need a cable with the right connector, or a suitable adapter.

    I got a 19" magnetic mount antenna from Amazon with a BNC-M to SO-239. It seems to pick things up much better, even in the house.

    It's not that bad. ;)

    In the course today they were going over how electrons move from one atom to the other which is how electricity flows... *eyes glaze over*

    The early chapters are more theory, I'm sure we'll be getting to more
    practical stuff soon enough.

    Jay


    ... That dog's busier than a centipede at a toe countin' contest

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From Andre@21:3/117 to Warpslide on Sunday, August 23, 2020 20:11:44
    On 23 Aug 2020, Warpslide said the following...

    I got a 19" magnetic mount antenna from Amazon with a BNC-M to SO-239.
    It seems to pick things up much better, even in the house.

    Just make sure it's on something metal like a cookie sheet or it won't work very well.

    - Andre, WT9X

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Raspberry Pi/32)
    * Origin: Runaan BBS (21:3/117)
  • From Warpslide@21:3/110 to Andre on Sunday, August 23, 2020 21:56:52
    On 23 Aug 2020, Andre said the following...

    Just make sure it's on something metal like a cookie sheet or it won't work very well.

    Yup! A wise person named Andre suggested a cookie sheet on August 18th. ;)

    It does seem to work quite well, though I thought the cookie sheet was just
    for stability. What else does it do?

    Jay


    ... That boy's as timid as a canary at a cat show

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A46 2020/08/11 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Northern Realms BBS | bbs.nrbbs.net | Binbrook, ON (21:3/110)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Monday, August 24, 2020 19:28:00
    On 08-23-20 20:27, Warpslide wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    I got a 19" magnetic mount antenna from Amazon with a BNC-M to SO-239.
    It seems to pick things up much better, even in the house.

    Cool, makes the listening more fun. :)

    It's not that bad. ;)

    In the course today they were going over how electrons move from one
    atom to the other which is how electricity flows... *eyes glaze over*

    Haha, you gotta know that stuff.

    The early chapters are more theory, I'm sure we'll be getting to more practical stuff soon enough.

    It's basically theory, but later stuff will build on the basics. The real practical stuff comes once you've got your ticket. :)


    ... Indifference error, press any key. Or don't. See if I care.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Andre on Monday, August 24, 2020 20:45:00
    On 08-18-20 16:24, Andre wrote to Warpslide <=-

    Most hams don't know their ass from their elbow. If it's not backed by data, don't listen to their anecdotes. The antennas that come with HTs
    are no worse than the 16" (or so) aftermarket antennas. Three-foot

    I'd be very cautious about blanket statements. My experience is there's a mixed bag of results from experience - Some aftermarket antennas truly are no better than the stock rubber duck, but some are definitely better.

    I have an old (and rather battered!) Diamond SRH-999 quad band antenna on my IC-T81A. On 6 and 2m, it's about the same as a rubber duck, but on 70cm and 23cm, it actually performs extremely well. As 90% of my operation at the time was on 70cm, it turned out to be quite handy, and I also used to frequent local 23cm repeaters when I was in Melbourne.

    I've also had some anomalous results, where antennas worked better for different purposes than what they were sold as. One of the best 2m antennas I've ever used on a HT was a scanning antenna called a "ScanDucky". It was a fairly stiff helical antenna around 30cm long. Conversely, I had a dual band antenna that worked better as a general scanning antenna than a ham radio antenna.

    extenable antennas make a big difference. "Rat tail" counterpoise
    antennas are nonsense. The internal metal of the radio body, and to
    some extent your body while holding it, act as the counterpoise. You
    might see some better RX (receive) quality, but it's inconsistent. Last year someone did a lab test to show all that, which mimics the result
    of my son's science fair tests from a couple years ago.

    I think you'll find that depends on a number of variables. Another of my best 2m antennas was a home made 1/4 wave (made from a telescopic FM radio antenna pushed into a SO-239 - BNC adapter) that improved dramatically with the addition of a 1/4 wave counterpoise. The counterpoise worked best when allowed to dangle clear of the body and other conductors. I often had other people asled me what I used to get out, especially while on a train, because my 2m train mobile signals were better than everyone else's - I could easily access repeaters from sections of line where others would battle to open them up.

    However, experiments with adding a counterpoise to commercially made antennas of various designs were generally unsuccessful, so you're at least partly right, hence my "it depends". :)

    Mobile antennas on a magnet base, placed on a baking sheet, will significantly outperform the ducky antenna.

    Yep, no argument there. :)

    A home antenna, even in an attic, will outperform all of the above.
    Most people seem to think J-pole antennas of copper work best, but I
    don't know how much they outperform a purchased Comet or Diamond
    antenna (cheaper though, especially if you make it yourself). Outdoors

    J poles do work quite well, though saying they outperform a good quality commercially built antenna is a stretch. But they are on a par for performance. Another design I've had a lot of success with is the coaxial collinear on 70cm (and Australian UHF CB if scaled for 477 MHz). These do perform about as well as a commercially made antenna of equivalent gain. At lower frequencies like 6m, the coaxial collinear reduces to a coaxial dipole (i.e. a simple 1/2 wave) and works well. Of course, you have to allow for the velocity factor of the coax if you build this type of antenna. I have made a few for 70cm and UHF CB over the years, as well as a 6m coaxial dipole, and all worked very well.

    and as high as possible will perform best, as VHF/UHF are
    line-of-sight. Attics work well enough if you can't mount it on a tower
    or roof.

    Height is might on VHF/UHF. :)

    Discone antennas are the best scanner/listening antennas.

    And a handy standby transmitting antenna in a pinch, if you have the right one.

    Window mount are pretty marginal, especially if mounted inside the
    window. You'd be better off with the mobile antenna on a baking sheet,
    or a roll-up J-pole antenna hanging out the window.

    Yep, definitely outside, and if you can, at least get clear of the roof line.


    ... A pill a day keeps the stork away.
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to vorlon on Monday, August 24, 2020 20:49:00
    On 08-19-20 11:30, vorlon wrote to Warpslide <=-

    That's what I'm afraid of... this free (to me) handheld seems like
    it's going to be a gateway drug.

    Once you start down the rabbit whole, you wont come back.. %-)

    Hahaha. it's like that. :)

    My most expensive rig is a Kenwood TM-D700 ($1200 at the time). It's
    now in a box with my other rigs due to living changes. #-(

    I bought a couple of IC-7000s 10 years ago, and with a house move next year, and some money left over, I think it's likely there will be an upgrade cycle coming up. ;) Yeah I hit the "toy shop" with a $5k order in total back then. Needless to say he was happy receiving that order. ;)

    I'll have to do some research to decide what to get next. I can get away with HF/6m, as the FT-736R is still doing well on VHF/UHF. :)

    --- MagickaBBS v0.15alpha (Linux/armv6l)
    * Origin: \/orlon Empire: Sector 550 (21:1/195.1)

    ... Southern DOS> Ya'll reckon? (Y)ep/(n)ope
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Warpslide on Monday, August 24, 2020 20:53:00
    On 08-23-20 21:56, Warpslide wrote to Andre <=-

    On 23 Aug 2020, Andre said the following...

    Just make sure it's on something metal like a cookie sheet or it won't work very well.

    Yup! A wise person named Andre suggested a cookie sheet on August
    18th. ;)

    It does seem to work quite well, though I thought the cookie sheet was just for stability. What else does it do?

    It forms a "ground plane" that some antennas need to work against for optimum performance.


    ... Bacon didn't write Shakespeare; Shakespeare ate bacon!
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From vorlon@21:1/195.1 to Vk3jed on Tuesday, September 01, 2020 15:02:47
    On 08-19-20 11:30, vorlon wrote to Warpslide <=-

    That's what I'm afraid of... this free (to me) handheld seems
    like it's going to be a gateway drug.

    Once you start down the rabbit whole, you wont come back.. %-)

    Hahaha. it's like that. :)

    But the fun part of the hobie is building stuff your self.


    My most expensive rig is a Kenwood TM-D700 ($1200 at the
    time). It's now in a box with my other rigs due to living
    changes. #-(

    I bought a couple of IC-7000s 10 years ago, and with a house move
    next year, and some money left over, I think it's likely there will
    be an upgrade cycle coming up. ;) Yeah I hit the "toy shop" with a
    $5k order in total back then. Needless to say he was happy
    receiving that order. ;)

    They are a nice radio, but if a fault develops your out of luck for a
    rig. I've got muliple 2m/70cm rigs, but only a single HF right as I
    wasn't into the HF side of things.



    \/orlon
    VK3HEG


    --- MagickaBBS v0.15alpha (Linux/armv6l)
    * Origin: \/orlon Empire: Sector 550 (21:1/195.1)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to vorlon on Wednesday, September 02, 2020 17:26:00
    On 09-01-20 15:02, vorlon wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    Once you start down the rabbit whole, you wont come back.. %-)

    Hahaha. it's like that. :)

    But the fun part of the hobie is building stuff your self.

    Whether that be hardware or software. :)

    I bought a couple of IC-7000s 10 years ago, and with a house move
    next year, and some money left over, I think it's likely there will
    be an upgrade cycle coming up. ;) Yeah I hit the "toy shop" with a
    $5k order in total back then. Needless to say he was happy
    receiving that order. ;)

    They are a nice radio, but if a fault develops your out of luck for a
    rig. I've got muliple 2m/70cm rigs, but only a single HF right as I
    wasn't into the HF side of things.

    Yeah, I have a FT-736R as well. I was given the basic radio by a friend who bought another one. I've optioned up the FT-736R with 6m and 23cm, as well as CTCSS. It's become my main VHF/UHF radio.

    Turning it into a remote base with a heap of open source software was fun too. :)


    ... As easy as 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)
  • From vorlon@21:1/195.1 to Vk3jed on Friday, September 04, 2020 10:17:13
    On 09-01-20 15:02, vorlon wrote to Vk3jed <=-


    But the fun part of the hobie is building stuff your self.

    Whether that be hardware or software. :)

    I've always enjoyed the making it part of any adventure.


    They are a nice radio, but if a fault develops your out of
    luck for a rig. I've got muliple 2m/70cm rigs, but only a
    single HF right as I wasn't into the HF side of things.

    Yeah, I have a FT-736R as well. I was given the basic radio by a
    friend who bought another one. I've optioned up the FT-736R with
    6m and 23cm, as well as CTCSS. It's become my main VHF/UHF radio.

    Turning it into a remote base with a heap of open source software
    was fun too. :)

    You've got more radio's than a blind man waving his stick around in a
    china tea cup shop!




    \/orlon
    VK3HEG


    --- MagickaBBS v0.15alpha (Linux/armv6l)
    * Origin: \/orlon Empire: Sector 550 (21:1/195.1)
  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to vorlon on Friday, September 04, 2020 21:33:00
    On 09-04-20 10:17, vorlon wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    Whether that be hardware or software. :)

    I've always enjoyed the making it part of any adventure.

    I have, to a point, some aspects of hardware are difficult for me - generally not the juicy technical stuff, more the mechanicals and finishing. :/

    You've got more radio's than a blind man waving his stick around in a china tea cup shop!

    You can never have oo many! :D


    ... Shock me, say something intelligent!
    === MultiMail/Win v0.51
    --- SBBSecho 3.10-Linux
    * Origin: Freeway BBS Bendigo,Australia freeway.apana.org.au (21:1/109)