CALLING All AMATEUR (HAM) RADIO NERDS

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
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Yucaipa, CA
#21
If you have a handheld Baofeng do the following:
turn ON the unit and wait for it to say "frequency mode"
press "MENU" and it should say "menu"
press "UP/DOWN" arrows until you see the "SQL"
press "MENU" again and it should say "squelch"
press "UP/DOWN" arrows until you see "1"

NOTE: if you choose "0" then it is called an open squelch and you're receiving ALL weak signals and you should hear static
NOTE: if you choose "1" then you are receiving a signal that is weak, but yet your radio is just strong enough to quiet the noise
NOTE: think of a wall, a 0 is like there is no wall for someone (a signal) to walk on through. A 1, the person (a signal) has to step over. A 2, the person has to put a hand on top of the wall and one foot over the other. A 3, now the person has to put both hands on top and almost start a climbing like action. A 4, now a step ladder is involved. A 5................... you should now start to see a picture forming on what is going on. The higher the number, the stronger the signal has to be in order for your radio's RX (receiver) to receive it.

press "MENU" again and it should say "confirmed"

Now your radio is set on whatever number setting you chose. (see NOTES just above for number meaning)

Try setting it on "0" only when wanting your radio's RX (receiver) to receive as much weak signals as possible. BUT, that constant static noise is going to be pretty bothersome for sure. What squelch is actually doing is quieting the actual circuit noise, if you will, which in turn affects how sensitive it is when picking-up signals on the radio's RX (receiver).
Yeah I have mine, brothers and dads all set to 1 already on squelch. We just need better radios and antennas for what we are doing I think
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#22
Yeah I have mine, brothers and dads all set to 1 already on squelch. We just need better radios and antennas for what we are doing I think
I don't know man, I can hit a repeater from La Puente area to the HB RACES repeater and hit Keller Peak from HB. Now, granted, I realize a repeater has good weak signal "pick-up" and/or the RX (receive) is sensitive to weak signals, but we're talking quite the few miles away and only on 4W (HIGH). I was actually able to hit the HB RACES repeater from La Puente on 1W (LOW), but on the receive end I sound like crap (as expected).

All I'm saying is that even in a canyon setting and just around the bend just up ahead you should be able to pick-up on someone's signal? Yeah, I am stumped for the moment???

What you could try is UHF (400MHz). For example, you SHOULD be able to try this frequency: 467.5625 and I want to say the freq step is 12.5? I don't remember off the top of my head. In either case, you just won't get the 467.562x that last 5 and it should NOT make a HUGE difference with TX/RX.

Anyways, next time you are out, try the 400MHz band within the canyons. This MIGHT help???

Btw, that 400MHz freq is ch8 on those GMRS/FRS radios... it IS essentially an "FRS" channel!!!
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
1,226
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Yucaipa, CA
#23
I don't know man, I can hit a repeater from La Puente area to the HB RACES repeater and hit Keller Peak from HB. Now, granted, I realize a repeater has good weak signal "pick-up" and/or the RX (receive) is sensitive to weak signals, but we're talking quite the few miles away and only on 4W (HIGH). I was actually able to hit the HB RACES repeater from La Puente on 1W (LOW), but on the receive end I sound like crap (as expected).

All I'm saying is that even in a canyon setting and just around the bend just up ahead you should be able to pick-up on someone's signal? Yeah, I am stumped for the moment???

What you could try is UHF (400MHz). For example, you SHOULD be able to try this frequency: 467.5625 and I want to say the freq step is 12.5? I don't remember off the top of my head. In either case, you just won't get the 467.562x that last 5 and it should NOT make a HUGE difference with TX/RX.

Anyways, next time you are out, try the 400MHz band within the canyons. This MIGHT help???

Btw, that 400MHz freq is ch8 on those GMRS/FRS radios... it IS essentially an "FRS" channel!!!
Yeah I'll try that out! Thanks for the input! I was once near Calico and picked up someone coming off of one of the Santiago Peak repeaters. I thought that was pretty cool.

Not sure if my radio has died since then, or if the geography I've been in lately has played a role in the shitty performance.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#24
Yeah I'll try that out! Thanks for the input! I was once near Calico and picked up someone coming off of one of the Santiago Peak repeaters. I thought that was pretty cool.

Not sure if my radio has died since then, or if the geography I've been in lately has played a role in the shitty performance.
When I did my solo run on Swansea-Cerro Gordo I was able to hit the Keller Peak Repeater (i.e. near Big Bear). I was WAY UP there in those mt areas, Inyo I think is what it is, and used my 2m mobile. HAHAHAHAHA, I had to put max 55W output though!!! :) I was pretty impressed by that being that far out and with quite a few "structures" in the way I'm sure... structures meaning, landscape, trees, etc etc etc. In other words, I definitely doubt I was "line-of-sight"?!

Anyways, hope that works for you? :thumbsup:
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
48
Age
24
#26
Hey gents!

Sorry for the lack of response here.

I was stuck in my buddies garage all weekend taking care of some more eminent maintenance on my 4unner including:
water pump
timing belt
cam seals
crank seal
new radiator
new rad. hoses
new toyota coolant


anyways. I purchased this guy and it showed up nice and quick.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0045EQUBK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

going to try and set some time away tomorrow after work to get it installed correctly.

@WileECoyote I'm going to "coil" the wire as you mentioned and not pinch it together like my current one is. I will also try and use as much wire as possible to avoid coiling but 4runner roofs are only so long.

I'll try and test a few different ways before I pull my old antenna, I have a few buddies that are 15-25 miles from me line of sight uninterrupted being I live up on the base of the mountain here in the SLC valley and they live in the bottom of the valley
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#27
So roll back to August 2017. I was gearing up for an international trip and I needed a hard mounted 2m HAM radio.

Purchased a nice 50w quad band monitoring.

I can (could) listen to our two main group channels, the weather channel for the area and it was august in southern canada so we had the fire channel we were listening to as well.

It worked awesome! Never had any issues, I could hear/transmit about 30 miles consistently on roadways (paved and dirt) while moving without issue.

I purchased the antenna that the manufacturer recommended and it was awesome.


Now come summer/fall/now 2018 and I'm having issues.

My 5w handheld HAM transmits farther and can pick signals up better than my 50w... WTF What gives??

Is it an internal issue with the radio?

Did something shidded itself?

Is the antenna bad?

is the antenna wire bad?


I'm stuck at a stand still. I have another international trip coming up and would like my radio back up an running before then.


I have the wire routed from the back of the radio, zip tied the remaining 2' in a small bundle under the dash, ran the wire up the driver side door seal and then onto the roof then back underneath my roof rack to where the magnet antenna mounts.


Any pointers from people more knowledgeable than I would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance gents!
Sorry for not answering your OP. I would check for a pinched cable OR "strained" cable as well. I constantly see radio installs where the cord connector end is really tightly connected. Kinda like when one stores away a charger and bends the cable end going into the housing really tight as they wrap the rest of the cord around the charger. Or, kinda another example to make the same/similar point, when you pull on the cord from the wall socket to unplug it instead of grabbing the actual plug to unplug it.

Anyways, the above is straining the internal wires inside and will sometimes stretch to the point of breaking internally.

Or, as stated earlier about a pinched cable, meaning that a hinge area or what have you possibly pinched the cable. Look for any areas that you wouldn't want to put your own finger to where it would get pinched is probably a good way to imagine that.

Anyways, "I" would put blame immediately on your antenna/cable system first for sure with these main things in mind to look for.

Hope this helps brotha!!! :thumbsup:
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
22
#28
When I did my solo run on Swansea-Cerro Gordo I was able to hit the Keller Peak Repeater (i.e. near Big Bear). I was WAY UP there in those mt areas, Inyo I think is what it is, and used my 2m mobile. HAHAHAHAHA, I had to put max 55W output though!!! :) I was pretty impressed by that being that far out and with quite a few "structures" in the way I'm sure... structures meaning, landscape, trees, etc etc etc. In other words, I definitely doubt I was "line-of-sight"?!

Anyways, hope that works for you? :thumbsup:
I was having a convo with some dude who was on the Mazourka Peak repeater (located pretty much in the middle of Independence and Big Pine) I was in Death Valley on Hunter Mtn. Road near Hidden Valley. Straight line distance is probably around 40 miles going across Saline Valley and over The Beveridge Mtns. I could hear him no problem, he was reporting static but readable on his end. Yhat was full power on my Kenwood. I tried hitting their 440mz repeater with no luck.

https://www.n6ov.com/repeater.html
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
22
#29
Sorry for not answering your OP. I would check for a pinched cable OR "strained" cable as well. I constantly see radio installs where the cord connector end is really tightly connected. Kinda like when one stores away a charger and bends the cable end going into the housing really tight as they wrap the rest of the cord around the charger. Or, kinda another example to make the same/similar point, when you pull on the cord from the wall socket to unplug it instead of grabbing the actual plug to unplug it.

Anyways, the above is straining the internal wires inside and will sometimes stretch to the point of breaking internally.

Or, as stated earlier about a pinched cable, meaning that a hinge area or what have you possibly pinched the cable. Look for any areas that you wouldn't want to put your own finger to where it would get pinched is probably a good way to imagine that.

Anyways, "I" would put blame immediately on your antenna/cable system first for sure with these main things in mind to look for.

Hope this helps brotha!!! :thumbsup:
I agree that the coax is the culprit of deminished performance and function of the radio, and it's most likely the shielding inside the coax that is damaged and not producing proper ground.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
22
#30
So roll back to August 2017. I was gearing up for an international trip and I needed a hard mounted 2m HAM radio.

Purchased a nice 50w quad band monitoring.

I can (could) listen to our two main group channels, the weather channel for the area and it was august in southern canada so we had the fire channel we were listening to as well.

It worked awesome! Never had any issues, I could hear/transmit about 30 miles consistently on roadways (paved and dirt) while moving without issue.

I purchased the antenna that the manufacturer recommended and it was awesome.


Now come summer/fall/now 2018 and I'm having issues.

My 5w handheld HAM transmits farther and can pick signals up better than my 50w... WTF What gives??

Is it an internal issue with the radio?

Did something shidded itself?

Is the antenna bad?

is the antenna wire bad?


I'm stuck at a stand still. I have another international trip coming up and would like my radio back up an running before then.


I have the wire routed from the back of the radio, zip tied the remaining 2' in a small bundle under the dash, ran the wire up the driver side door seal and then onto the roof then back underneath my roof rack to where the magnet antenna mounts.


Any pointers from people more knowledgeable than I would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance gents!
You can always do a continuity test of the antenna coax cable to rule it out as being faulty.

 
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
22
#31
So roll back to August 2017. I was gearing up for an international trip and I needed a hard mounted 2m HAM radio.

Purchased a nice 50w quad band monitoring.

I can (could) listen to our two main group channels, the weather channel for the area and it was august in southern canada so we had the fire channel we were listening to as well.

It worked awesome! Never had any issues, I could hear/transmit about 30 miles consistently on roadways (paved and dirt) while moving without issue.

I purchased the antenna that the manufacturer recommended and it was awesome.


Now come summer/fall/now 2018 and I'm having issues.

My 5w handheld HAM transmits farther and can pick signals up better than my 50w... WTF What gives??

Is it an internal issue with the radio?

Did something shidded itself?

Is the antenna bad?

is the antenna wire bad?


I'm stuck at a stand still. I have another international trip coming up and would like my radio back up an running before then.


I have the wire routed from the back of the radio, zip tied the remaining 2' in a small bundle under the dash, ran the wire up the driver side door seal and then onto the roof then back underneath my roof rack to where the magnet antenna mounts.


Any pointers from people more knowledgeable than I would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance gents!
Edit:
That's a quad band radio!!!

You'll have better performance with this antenna..


https://www.amazon.com/Tram-1185-Am...tenna+tram&dpPl=1&dpID=31FtII5gfTL&ref=plSrch

I have the same antenna, but mounted the better way
20181205_063539.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#33
Boy, I'm slipp'n an' tripp'n because this is also true!!! :doh::deadbanana:

You can use a dual band antenna on a quad band radio, but can't use the other freq bands that your antenna can't realistically handle. Plus, it is advisable to get a more "appropriate" antenna system with what your radio functions as a good rule of thumb.

Not saying the OP did, but just saying in general that people go too cheap on antenna systems/setups and you canNOT do that!!! You could have the most expensive radio and boast all you want about it, but if your antenna is shit, your radio is shit!!!
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
22
#34
Boy, I'm slipp'n an' tripp'n because this is also true!!! :doh::deadbanana:

You can use a dual band antenna on a quad band radio, but can't use the other freq bands that your antenna can't realistically handle. Plus, it is advisable to get a more "appropriate" antenna system with what your radio functions as a good rule of thumb.

Not saying the OP did, but just saying in general that people go too cheap on antenna systems/setups and you canNOT do that!!! You could have the most expensive radio and boast all you want about it, but if your antenna is shit, your radio is shit!!!
The brief description of that radio states that it receives 4 different bands which is why they call a "quad band" radio. It will only Tx in the 144/220/440mhz range. Not particularly the correct definition of what a quad band radio is or does, but it is what it is. A 1/4 wave or even a 1/2 wave 2meter antenna will work and transmit in the 440 range, but will Tx short distances as a result of having high SWR. I don't know what will happen when trying to Tx in the 220 range with just a 2meter antenna.

1544036699661.png 1544036699661.png
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#36
The brief description of that radio states that it receives 4 different bands which is why they call a "quad band" radio. It will only Tx in the 144/220/440mhz range. Not particularly the correct definition of what a quad band radio is or does, but it is what it is. A 1/4 wave or even a 1/2 wave 2meter antenna will work and transmit in the 440 range, but will Tx short distances as a result of having high SWR. I don't know what will happen when trying to Tx in the 220 range with just a 2meter antenna.

View attachment 2229 View attachment 2229
This I know, just didn't go into great detail on it as much as you did. :thumbsup:

HAHAHA glad I have some help with these questions. :beerscheers:
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
20
#37
What’s Up Buh-Dee?!?! :wavehi:
What's crack'n brotha???!!! Tired from driving back and forth from Kali to AZ lately. Not used to those unplanned types of trips, but getting used to it. HAHAHAHA. I'm such a pussy... LMFAO!!! :deadbanana::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Anyways, gotta get my beauty rest before making my final drive for tonight back to HB. HAHAHA

Btw, speaking of radios, has yours acted up again since San G??? :noidea:

Nighty night for now my peeps!!! :yawn:
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
23
Age
40
Location
Tempe, AZ
#38
What's crack'n brotha???!!! Tired from driving back and forth from Kali to AZ lately. Not used to those unplanned types of trips, but getting used to it. HAHAHAHA. I'm such a pussy... LMFAO!!! :deadbanana::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Anyways, gotta get my beauty rest before making my final drive for tonight back to HB. HAHAHA

Btw, speaking of radios, has yours acted up again since San G??? :noidea:

Nighty night for now my peeps!!! :yawn:
I haven’t used it much since then...
Going out on run tomorrow, see how it does.
My first AZ dirt run!!!
 

Rockdawg84

Confidence the feeling before fully understanding
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
53
Age
49
Location
NW Tucson
#39
I have considered switching to HAM from the junky cb I have now. What would you guys recommend for the Runner? Handheld or is there a unit that is configured similar to cb's for mounting?
 

Plastics Guy

You love my bumps, My bumps, My lovely Yota Bumps!
Official Vendor
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#40
Bunch of great info!! Thank you guys and keep it up! i'm about to buy a radio and would prefer to do it right the first time So this thread of everyones experience is GOLD!!!
 

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