Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

The repeater I'm trying to hit is on 147.045 with a + offset and a tone of 103.5. I'm using the D74. I know to set the tone using the Tone Select function via the F button. Do I set my Tone to CT or T? I'm pretty sure it's T, since I've gotten the repeater signal once or twice randomly in another part of town on that setting. According to the map I'm 9.53 miles SSE of the repeater. I should be able to hit it with no problems.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds
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Weetabix
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by Weetabix »

randy wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:05 amYou might want to find out where the repeater is and take a Sunday drive over there sometime to ensure you can get in. At least eliminate tone issues vs distance.
That's what I was thinking, though I didn't state it explicitly enough. :)
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randy
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by randy »

SoupOrMan wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:22 pm The repeater I'm trying to hit is on 147.045 with a + offset and a tone of 103.5. I'm using the D74. I know to set the tone using the Tone Select function via the F button. Do I set my Tone to CT or T? I'm pretty sure it's T, since I've gotten the repeater signal once or twice randomly in another part of town on that setting. According to the map I'm 9.53 miles SSE of the repeater. I should be able to hit it with no problems.
You want to set it to T for Tone

CT stands for CTCSS AKA Tone Squelch, which means that unless the repeater is transmitting the tone on it's output the radio will never un-mute for you to hear it.

Even if the repeater is set up for CTCSS, T will still key it up.

When you say you've "gotten the repeater signal" do you mean reception or were you able to actually key it up?
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

I finally got through to the repeater, including getting a response back. It usually gives you a beep and a voice prompt that tells you the repeater's callsign. The strength meter on the radio showed a 9, but the sound had a lot of static to it.

I didn't use my antenna mast or coffee can antenna. I got it using the Diamond SRH320A that replaced my rubber duck antenna.

I climbed up into my attic and transmitted by one of the windows. Apparently the antenna needs to be about 25 feet off the ground to avoid interference from trees and houses. It's also on the side of the house furthest away from power and utility lines.

Well, I was already planning to put the shack in the attic, so I suppose this lends supporting data to that plan.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds
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randy
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by randy »

Heh, this was the cover story on the latest (August) issue of the ARRL's QST magazine, the Tin Can Tower Vertical antenna:
Tin Can Tower Vertical.jpg
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...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

I'm going to have to build that now.

"Will it antenna?" is a worthy test of one's skill.

And I will do better at it once I get an antenna analyzer. I'll have to pull the trigger on a NanoVNA for now.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds
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randy
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by randy »

As far as being able to hit that repeater, here's another DIY project you might try. One of the local clubs did a project building session where members built something similar. The intent was more for Fox Hunting, but it could also be a good antenna for portable use or low profile home installation:

Tape Measure Yagi

This is just one of many links you can find on a quick search of the interwebs. Such as this.
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

I fixed a bunch of problems with transmitting and reception by running my radio through the programming software.

First, I'd been transmitting without offsets on most of the channels I'd programmed in via the D74's keypad. Apparently auto-offset doesn't work without offsets being programmed in. So I have now learned something new. Now I'm hitting most of the 2m repeaters in my area even when indoors. The only one that doesn't work too well is the 220 repeater, but it's the farthest away. The 440 & D-Star repeaters have always been the easiest to hit since they're mounted on one of the hospital roofs downtown.

But yeah, I got that fixed.

I also got onto a great 2m net Friday morning, and met the group later for lunch. The local hams were the ones who helped me figure out the offset problem. I can't wait to work with them more often.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds
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randy
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by randy »

Cool!

Offsets are so automatic in a lot of radios it's easy to forget to check when having problems. For instance, APRS on the National 144.390 frequency works much better when the offset is turned off. (Ask me how I know).
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

Something I've noticed on the D74 is that whenever I do any programming with the Kenwood software, my D-Star settings return to the default and suddenly it looks like I'm trying to hit the Bristol, CT repeater instead of one closer to me in central IL. This will be the next thing I'll attempt to fix, as searching for my local repeater is a pain in the backside.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds
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