Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

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randy
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by randy »

Can't really help you there as I don't use t he D-Star functions. There are D-Star and TH-D74 groups on groups.io that might be able to help.

When you program using the software, do you download the settings from the radio, make changes, and then upload the changes or are you starting with a fresh package each time?

I back up my settings from the radio, save a renamed copy, and then work any changes with that. That way I can at least get back to where I was before messing with the settings.
...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 download the settings from the radio, tweak as needed, then reupload it. And for whatever reason it always wants to reset my local D-Star repeaters from Springfield W9DUA to Bristol.

I picked up a NanoVNA, calibrated it according to the instructions and found that I may need to do a lot more work measuring SWR with it. I don't know if it's as accurate as an antenna analyzer, as I'm getting similar jumpy SWRs (2.1 to 3.3 depending on the frequency) from both my coffee can antenna and my Diamond 320 HT antenna. The SWR also jumps randomly when I move the antennas, so that's also a "Is it my antenna or the NanoVNA?" issue. I'll need to borrow a proper analyzer to find out. I do want to check the Smith Chart and TDR functions as well on it.

I also got a Baofeng GT-5R as a backup/experimental radio. This is supposedly the version that cured the spurious emissions problem from the UV-5R. Compared to the D74 it is like going from a fully-appointed F-150 to a Mitsubishi Mirage with no A/C or radio. The inability to program the GT-5R right out of the box is a bit of a problem, too. Is this the AK of the ham radio world? Doubt it, but let's have some fun with it anyway.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

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Weetabix
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by Weetabix »

It's been a while, but the CHIRP software made programming the Baofeng pretty easy. I think you could save the settings in a .csv file and edit that with Excel.
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

The battery life on the GT-5R is pretty nice, but then it can't do D-Star or APRS, either. It doesn't have much to drain it.
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 »

I have the UV-5R(?), so I don't know what they've done, but your car analogy was pretty good. The Baofengs are pretty basic.
Note to self: start reading sig lines. They're actually quite amusing. :D
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

The GT-5R is the UV-5R but with the correct circuitry to avoid spurious emissions. There is no real upgrade.

I also want to know who thought adding an alarm button right above the PTT was a good idea.
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 »

SoupOrMan wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:24 am
I also want to know who thought adding an alarm button to a non-Public Safety radio was a good idea.
Fixed it for you

(of course part of the answer is that these radios are made to be used in whatever radio service market the company hopes to get away with. They might very well be Public Safety radios in some parts of the world.)
...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'll say this, it's plenty loud. I guess you could use it as a SAR beacon on someone. Just make sure they have earplugs.
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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SoupOrMan
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Re: Taking the plunge into Ham Radio

Post by SoupOrMan »

"Programming a Baofeng using CHIRP software is easy!" they say. It is. But first you must get a programming cable with the magical chip in it. Then you must convince Windows that it is a COM port simulator by using the correct driver. Then you must search the internet for the correct driver and hope you don't download anything dodgy from the Chinese.

Then! Then you can program everything easily with CHIRP. Pulling local repeaters out of Repeaterbook is a nice touch.

It takes getting used to frequency vs. channel modes. The D74 has nothing like that for using programmed frequencies.

The GT-5R is nice in that you don't worry if it gets damaged due to it being so cheap. It does well on 2m and 70cm for barebones radio. It's also small and inconspicuous enough that I can just about hide it at work.
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 »

Now, I remember why I have a sticky on the one USB port that CHIRP will talk to. It's labelled "COM5". :lol:

Edit: Or maybe that was for the scanner software? At any rate, they are finicky until you get it figured out (and labelled).
Note to self: start reading sig lines. They're actually quite amusing. :D
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