Another Newbie - Recent Baofeng Purchaser

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All,
I played a little bit with ham radio ~40 years ago (listening only), but never could get past the Morse code requirement. I decided to take the plunge recently and purchased an inexpensive UV-5R this week. I've been manually programming it with local channels for the moment (WX, first responder, repeater-listen only).

I plan to take the Technician exam Saturday in Marlborough, and possibly the General exam. I've read through a free .pdf Technician study guide and several cheat sheets, and been taking Technician practice exams. Am consistently scoring 88%-95%. Assuming I pass the Technician exam, and have had time to study for it, I plan to take the General exam too on Saturday. We'll see.

Any tips or tricks with the exams? Will add my name to the list here when I get my license. What's next?
Thanks all
 
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I bought a few including the F8HP just before the ban with upgraded Nagoya antennas and found it to be rather disappointing. It steered me the other way. Police is mostly encrypted and you need to buy a scanner that starts in the $300 range. The other stuff like fire is pretty quiet. I wish you could listen to multiple channels simultaneously, and I've taken to just choosing a channel I think might be interesting while I'm doing something else and listening to it. I get precious few contacts.

I would consider downloading the CHIRP program online, buying the programming cable for the radio available on amazon and downloading the database of your local channels from CHIRP onto your radio. Youtube has videos that show you how to do it. Also consider opening an account on www.radioreference.com as you get way more info, it's better than the basic CHIRP database and you can download the more extensive channels from your radioreference account into into CHIRP using your desktop. This is a lot faster than manual programming.

Radioreference is cool because it gives you all the local channels and what they are about. You can even look up the local HAM radio licenses and licensees. My town of 30,000+ has ~15 or so. Other towns have dismal amounts. I bought the radios about a month ago and have yet to hear any activity on the local HAM radio channels.

Now I am very new to this world as well. If I am wrong please correct me and post that I am giving incorrect info. But the general vibe I get and hear is that Ham Radio is dying because there are many alternative ways to communicate that cost less, have better range, have better sound quality and don't require all the cost, study, time and certification. The smartphone has killed a lot of things, Ham radio (and CB's) are on that list.

That said a smartphone is a lot less likely to be useful in SHTF but then again with the world being what it is now, for better or worse, other than using same said radio for local communications, like within your neighborhood to enforce a local perimeter, or recreationally for something like airsoft or paintball for which it's very popular, I cannot find a useful role for these.
 

JDL

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Frist of all you must tune into the local ham radio repeaters. You will most likely have better luck. Where are you located? If you want additional information on making contacts or listening to ham radio chatter contact me .send me a PM and I will send you my phone number .
John N1HM
 

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In MA, most PDs/FDs are NOT encrypted. But many of them are digital which a Baofeng can't translate.

Ham Radio doesn't operate in "channels", it operates within frequency bands. And repeaters are the key to reaching out and touching someone.

For "perimeter" type comms, MURS is a much better solution. No license required.

I find radioreference.com very useful for my scanner but not useful for ham operation. CHIRP and the Repeaterbook download will get you the repeaters in an area so that you can communicate with folks as much as 50 miles away even with a HT.

As for smartphones . . . the Halloween storm a few years ago took out towers when their diesel generators ran out of fuel. After 2 days without power our local tower was dead for the next 2 days until power came back. So I wouldn't count on cellular in any sort of disaster.
 

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Frist of all you must tune into the local ham radio repeaters. You will most likely have better luck. Where are you located? If you want additional information on making contacts or listening to ham radio chatter contact me .send me a PM and I will send you my phone number .
John N1HM
I like your call sign.
Is that a vanity or have you had it for 40yrs?

Edward AE1Y
 

JDL

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Call sign is a vanity call and was not easy to get. PM me and I will reply with my phone number and we can talk about the long and difficult time I had trying to get a 1x2 call sign . Unless you want to try to connect on the radio . Let me know .
 

daveyburt

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another newb..
saw all the chatter on here about them and grabbed a couple uv-5r's.
GF and I are photographers and ramble off in the woods - figured they'd be a good thing to have just in case - for 50bucks.
-about the price of FRS motorollas.

prolly stick to just programming repeaters in case of emergency but chat low power on FRS and MURS

Grabbed CHIRP software but, concerned the prolific driver may conflict with another device.

-Oh - the software that came on CD (yes I got to use my CD-ROM) gave me issues. I'd say don't install it, and just get the CHIRP.

but, standing by for newbie discoveries and info.
 
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another newb..
saw all the chatter on here about them and grabbed a couple uv-5r's.
GF and I are photographers and ramble off in the woods - figured they'd be a good thing to have just in case - for 50bucks.
-about the price of FRS motorollas.

prolly stick to just programming repeaters in case of emergency but chat low power on FRS and MURS

Grabbed CHIRP software but, concerned the prolific driver may conflict with another device.

-Oh - the software that came on CD (yes I got to use my CD-ROM) gave me issues. I'd say don't install it, and just get the CHIRP.

but, standing by for newbie discoveries.


...and I am the same. Looking to take the tech and general test in West Springfield on 10/25.
 
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Thanks all.
Location is North-Central MA (Winchendon). Will get in touch with folks when I get my license (hopefully tomorrow).

Thanks for references to Repeaterbook. I've used radioreference.com to program scanners, mostly for MSP/PD/FD/DPW, but I did pick up a little chatter on a local repeater or 2. It's been a few years since fired up the scanner(s).

I didn't get the programming cable or CHIRP SW figuring that once I got it set up I wouldn't be changing it a lot, and that it would be good to be facile at programming it manually. So far it's a bit clunky, but I've found several online guides that explained some of the more obscure "features" of programming it.
 

JDL

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kevin9 with an outside antenna you might be able to hit the Paxton repeater 146.970 PL 114.8 this is a very active repeater.
usp45ct The Monson repeater on Wilbraham Mt is a very active repeater. 147.105
PL 162.2 You should have no problem hitting that one from West Springfield or any ware in the Greater Springfield area. The repeater has a very large foot print. There is a group of us that frequent that repeater and we get together for brunch once a month. This month's brunch will be on Wednesday October 23rd. at 11:30AM and will be held at Crazy's Jakes on Boston Rd. in Wilbraham, MA. All are welcome and if anyone would like to attend please PM me and let me know so I can add you to the reservation count.

Also this is a great link for the NE Repeater Guide
file:///C:/Users/Admin/Desktop/Ham%20Radio/Repeater%20Info/New%20England%20Repeater%20Directory.htm
I am almost always available to help new hams out and answer any questions they may have just PM me.
John N1HM
 
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kevin9 with an outside antenna you might be able to hit the Paxton repeater 146.970 PL 114.8 this is a very active repeater.
usp45ct The Monson repeater on Wilbraham Mt is a very active repeater. 147.105
PL 162.2 You should have no problem hitting that one from West Springfield or any ware in the Greater Springfield area. The repeater has a very large foot print. There is a group of us that frequent that repeater and we get together for brunch once a month. This month's brunch will be on Wednesday October 23rd. at 11:30AM and will be held at Crazy's Jakes on Boston Rd. in Wilbraham, MA. All are welcome and if anyone would like to attend please PM me and let me know so I can add you to the reservation count.

Also this is a great link for the NE Repeater Guide
file:///C:/Users/Admin/Desktop/Ham%20Radio/Repeater%20Info/New%20England%20Repeater%20Directory.htm
I am almost always available to help new hams out and answer any questions they may have just PM me.
John N1HM

Thanks for the information. I am not sure I would be able to make it on 10/23 but thanks for the offer. That place has great onion rings.


I am excited to be taking the test. Looks like 10/25 in Holyoke is the next one. Any pointers?
 

JDL

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usp45ct Yes go on QRZ.com become a member it is free and you don't have to have a call sign. Once you are a member you will have access to Resources and in the Resources section you will find Practice Amateur Radio Exams once you have access start taking the Practice Exams do this for 30 minuets a day without missing any days until your test date and you be ready to ace the exam. If you have any questions PM me and I will respond with my phone number so you can call me and discuss.
link
Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ Ham Radio
John N1HM
 
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usp45ct Yes go on QRZ.com become a member it is free and you don't have to have a call sign. Once you are a member you will have access to Resources and in the Resources section you will find Practice Amateur Radio Exams once you have access start taking the Practice Exams do this for 30 minuets a day without missing any days until your test date and you be ready to ace the exam. If you have any questions PM me and I will respond with my phone number so you can call me and discuss.
link
Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ Ham Radio
John N1HM

Thanks John. I did take my exam today and passed the Technician and General. I think I got one wrong on the Tech and nailed the General. Took the Amateur extra exam, missed it by five questions.
 
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