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Old 01-09-2010, 03:08 PM   #46
The Raven
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Any suggestions on where to get the best deal on stuff like antennas?
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:20 PM   #47
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
Any suggestions on where to get the best deal on stuff like antennas?
Depends on what you're looking for, really. If you're willing to go used, you can try places like Universal Radio's used/demo equipment or HRO's used equipment tab, or just head over to qrz.com or eham.net and look over their classifieds. I saw a couple of HT and mobile antennas for sale on qrz.com today, I think.

Or you can build your own. I made a nice wire J-pole (144MHz/440MHz) out of a length of TV twin-lead, some RG174 feedline, and some heat-shrink (and maybe a capacitor or something?), based on plans from a back-issue of QST. It packs small, is quick to set up, and seems to work fine.

Here's two final tips:
1. As easy as they are to build, if you're going to pay for it you should get something quality. Comet and Diamond are brands I've heard good things about, and make sure your feedline is in good condition.
2. Should you decide to build your own, your radio uses an SMA connector for its antenna. Unless you really want to invest in crimpers, I'd recommend the compression style (Philmore No. 11000- RG58A/U and No. 11002- RG174). Crimp-ons aren't any cheaper, and I haven't yet found the crimp die that is small enough for the SMA center pin, so you have to solder the pin either way. Or just buy pre-terminated feedlines.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:43 PM   #48
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this stuff is so fascinating, so much more than just two way travel comm. Moon beam, meteor scatter reflections..etc etc...different types of antennas.

It will take me a while, but I'll sure learn quite a bit.

I already tried soldering a feed line to the SMA....ugh. I'll think I'll just buy a pre-made...at 6.99 a pop at radio shack it would get expensive fast.





Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR
Depends on what you're looking for, really. If you're willing to go used, you can try places like Universal Radio's used/demo equipment or HRO's used equipment tab, or just head over to qrz.com or eham.net and look over their classifieds. I saw a couple of HT and mobile antennas for sale on qrz.com today, I think.

Or you can build your own. I made a nice wire J-pole (144MHz/440MHz) out of a length of TV twin-lead, some RG174 feedline, and some heat-shrink (and maybe a capacitor or something?), based on plans from a back-issue of QST. It packs small, is quick to set up, and seems to work fine.

Here's two final tips:
1. As easy as they are to build, if you're going to pay for it you should get something quality. Comet and Diamond are brands I've heard good things about, and make sure your feedline is in good condition.
2. Should you decide to build your own, your radio uses an SMA connector for its antenna. Unless you really want to invest in crimpers, I'd recommend the compression style (Philmore No. 11000- RG58A/U and No. 11002- RG174). Crimp-ons aren't any cheaper, and I haven't yet found the crimp die that is small enough for the SMA center pin, so you have to solder the pin either way. Or just buy pre-terminated feedlines.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:18 AM   #49
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
this stuff is so fascinating, so much more than just two way travel comm. Moon beam, meteor scatter reflections..etc etc...different types of antennas.

It will take me a while, but I'll sure learn quite a bit.
Absolutely you will. Get in touch with local hams and pick up a copy of the ARRL handbook and one or more of the Antenna handbook/notebook, and you're golden. I'm affiliated with the local university club, which has all kinds of reference materials and a nice temp. control Weller station for soldering. Saves me having to buy and store things when I can just head over there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
I already tried soldering a feed line to the SMA....ugh. I'll think I'll just buy a pre-made...at 6.99 a pop at radio shack it would get expensive fast.
Yeah, it can be hard. I've made it work regularly, but for me it's mostly about having something to do with my hands, not about saving money or time. OTOH, I'm a lot happier soldering my SMA pins than I have been trying to solder the braid of RG-8 or -213 onto a PL259 (UHF) connector. I always end up with a big mess of solder globs when I do that.

Let me know if you find a good source of cables in lengths longer than 10 ft. Everywhere I've looked so far longer stuff is all special order, and at that point I'll just built it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:57 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
Any suggestions on where to get the best deal on stuff like antennas?
In addition to HRO I also like https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/home.asp
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #51
K7MDL
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K7MDL Rovercycle - for hardcore bike radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR


UHF/VHF is a kick, but you'll find a whole new world in HF once you get your general ticket. Then you start dreaming about mounting an FT-857 or something to your bike...

73
It can happen! For VHF/UHF contesting fun I put my IC-706mkIIG on my KLR with battery charger, AGM battery, and 222MHz transverter, FT-817, and 25W 222MHz amp. Built a compact 6M yagi and use a couple of ELK log-periodic travel antennas. Also use verticals. A 2M 5/8wave tuned to 1/4wavelenght on 6M, and a multiband VHF vertical.

I call it my Rovercycle.
http://www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox...174&call=k7mdl

or more pics at http://cid-cb88ec2241568522.skydrive...t%20Rovercycle

Here is a comparison between teh Roverbus and my rovercycle for the fun of it.


I set up the remote control head on the handlebars and connect the helmet speakers for the GPS audio toteh radio to listen in on teh action while in transit and locate the hot spots.


The AGM battery is charged from the bike. Radio runs off the AGM battery only. FT-817 is stacked on top of the IC-706. The 25W 222MHz amplifer (one with teh black fins at top) and and silver box in the middle are for 222MHz band. Take the 222MHz stuff away and it is reasonably compact with up to 50W. I run less for RF safety concerns. With an antenna tuner and wire, I can do HF bands with this also.


In a contest at 3600ft in the fog. Having a compass handy helps with pointingthe anternnas at civilization accurately. This is rigged for travel, note the loop antennas for 144 and 432MHz bands.


This is the stationary setup. I assemble the beam antennas (stored in the 4" sewer pipe) onto PVC sections and rotate by hand.



- Mike
K7MDL

K7MDL screwed with this post 01-10-2010 at 02:46 PM
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #52
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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K7MDL:

Now that's a crack up! Not to make fun of you, but I believe you have more value in the radio than in the KLR - that's hard core! It would be good to get a pic of that bike in QST...
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:58 PM   #53
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I have two of these....
http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...A39980149EA8C6 (and the license to use them).

With the GPS unit plugged into the external microphone you get APRS http://www.aprs.org/ to let people know where you are (although it is NOT like a Spot and needs to be able to transmit to another APRS enabled radio with either gateway or internet connectivity).

The ability to use repeaters where available significantly improves the range of communications.

Battery life is ok even when you use the GPS (all day operation with 30 minute APRS updates is normal on the large battery) and you can charge it from your bike - or power it from your bike directly.

You can use the external microphone shoved up into your helmet or buy the BlueTooth module.

It's very water resistant, waterproof 3Ft (1m) for 30 minutes.

And best of all it is very, very small.

When we travel in a group we can all use the same frequency as a emergency (scanned) channel and then use a second frequency for chatter if people want to.

The license is not hard to study for and while I would personally admit amateur radio people are sometimes unusual the license can open up a whole world of interest/experimentation for those inclined.

Tony
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:42 PM   #54
K7MDL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely
K7MDL:

Now that's a crack up! Not to make fun of you, but I believe you have more value in the radio than in the KLR - that's hard core! It would be good to get a pic of that bike in QST...
There is a full article with pics in the March 2009 Cheesebits newsletter (PM if you like), published by the Mt. Airy V.H.F. Radio Club also known as "Packrats" from New England area. That covered my January 2009 contest effort.

The June 2009 VHF contest QST online writeup mentions my summer contest effort, but no picture. I thought one of the QST writeups did have my rovercycle picture, but I cannot find it now. Do check the contest soapboxes though, I usually post up there.

I have had my rover truck pictured a couple times in past contest writeups in QST (such as June 2006 VHF contest where I traveled through southern British Columbia). My website has my non-motorcycle exploits. http://mysite.verizon.net/michael_d_lewis/index.html including a North to south east to east Vancouver Island radio/fishing romp.

Relating this back to the thread, this example may be on the extreme side, but it shows that less extensive efforts are completely acheivable. When I got into DS riding, I found I was trying to find the time to go to the same places twice, once for the truck, the again by motorcycle. I said to myself, "Self? Why not combine the 2 hobbies and see more new places, and maybe go where my truck could not take me?". So "Self" decided to do exactly that.

I just sold the KLR last month. Last summer I got a truck camper and later a lighter DS bike (TE610) for more single track fun so I moved the radio gear into the truck camper. Now I DS ride by day and operate radio in the truck camper by night at remote destinations activating rare grids, opting to take the FT-817 along on the bike if desired.

- Mike
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:23 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney Rider
... The license is not hard to study for and while I would personally admit amateur radio people are sometimes unusual the license can open up a whole world of interest/experimentation for those inclined.

Tony
Uhhh, unusual? Off-the-wall wacky would be a better description, and this is a ham speaking!

I want to install the FT-10, but I never have quite enough money to justify it, as I would only use it at rally races. Hopefully when I get a real job, I'll do something like you have, except only with a small portable radio, and the option of taking along the FT-10 when I will need the extra range.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:03 AM   #56
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So as I travel in Canada, specifically NB and NS, I understand you have to use the call sign with VE1 or the NB one VA9??? as well as your call sign.

Does anyone ever just use the radio without protocol occasionally.

It just seems kind of a pain to have a comm session like this between two bikes

Me- K1XXXV1-K1YYYV1
Wife-K1YYYV1
Me- Do you want to stop for lunch at that place?
Wife-Sure
Me-Ok K1XXXV1 clear
Wife K1YYYV1 clear

I'm sorry, but transmitting on 1w with an extremely small stub antenna on an unused band while simplex, is the procedure really necessary for short comm? If so, fine but it is a bit much.

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:17 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
So as I travel in Canada, specifically NB and NS, I understand you have to use the call sign with VE1 or the NB one VA9??? as well as your call sign.

Does anyone ever just use the radio without protocol occasionally.

It just seems kind of a pain to have a comm session like this between two bikes

Me- K1XXXV1-K1YYYV1
Wife-K1YYYV1
Me- Do you want to stop for lunch at that place?
Wife-Sure
Me-Ok K1XXXV1 clear
Wife K1YYYV1 clear

I'm sorry, but transmitting on 1w with an extremely small stub antenna on an unused band while simplex, is the procedure really necessary for short comm? If so, fine but it is a bit much.

What do you guys think?
If you forget to use your call sign while in radio range of another HAM they will probably remind you.

A single ID at the end of the discussion would probably suffice, and it lets the other person know you are done with the discussion.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:04 AM   #58
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Trust me, it gets to be second nature. I was on my way back from a rally race with a friend, and we switched to FRS as my ham radio had died (the third one that died on me that weekend... ) and we kept using callsigns for several minutes until we realized just what we were doing.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:27 AM   #59
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
I'm sorry, but transmitting on 1w with an extremely small stub antenna on an unused band while simplex, is the procedure really necessary for short comm? If so, fine but it is a bit much.

What do you guys think?
I think Amateur Radio is not for you then. We do it because it's the rule. Most [but certainly not all] amateurs are heavy on following the rules: Seems a small price to pay for such great privelages for what is essentially a free service.

Personally, I find it far more tiresome to dial a cell phone than I do to give my call sign, but that is just me.

OTOH, if it's an ongoing convo, you only need ID every 10 minutes, so if you are talking on a long ride, you need not ID with every turnover.

Rules say:

You ID at the beginning and at the end of each contact and every 10 minutes during a contact lasting 10 minutes or longer.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:37 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcgates
Trust me, it gets to be second nature. I was on my way back from a rally race with a friend, and we switched to FRS as my ham radio had died (the third one that died on me that weekend... ) and we kept using callsigns for several minutes until we realized just what we were doing.
hahaha, i've done that before too.

Or grab the wrong mic and continue a conversation on another radio... that's always embarrasing
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