Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide - Page 3 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #21 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

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Yes, IMO if you are going with the 3 big players
ICOM
YAESU
KENWOOD

you're dealing with quality equipment[/url]
Agreed, though I would add Alinco to the list. As a matter of fact, that is why I included all four of those brands in the Buyers Guide.

One more factor to consider - the different brands each have their own programming conventions and nested menus, and can be quite confusing for the first-time user. If you know people local to you in your 4WD organization or amateur radio club, it can be very advantageous to buy the same brand of equipment that many of them have, so they can help you program it and set it up. But if you're good at reading manuals and following instructions, have at any of them with some confidence that you're buying proven products.

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post #22 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 04:28 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Nicely done Lee!!

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post #23 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 05:07 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Great info! Thanks!

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post #24 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 06:32 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Just found this thread. Another subscription added. THANKS, even before I read the whole thing. I am this close to taking the test and this appears to be exactly what I was looking for. Already with the "Hams Check in Here" thread.

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post #25 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 12:53 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Excellent write up. It has got me excited. When I start a project I ask three basic questions. Will my son be jealous? Will my wife get pissed? And will I feel stimulated? If the answer to all three is yes I figure it has to be a worthwhile project and I think this will qualify. :-)

So in looking into this I have come up with a question or two.

I posted a query to the Walcott CB site, home of the Big Bill Combo, and they had a recommendation of this radio.

Stryker SR 440 HP 10 Meter Radio - Electronics Superstore WalcottCB.com

They said this radio would work on 10 meter HAM and CB frequencies. They also said it would work with my existing 4' firestick CB antenna. That would be nice in that it would just replace my existing radio and I could still talk to people on CB frequencies as well as 10 meter HAM but what about 2 meter HAM? Am I still missing out?

It would be nice to talk to more people and I don't want to end up with three radios and six antennas on the FJ. That's kind of the electronic equivalent of a cat lady I think. :-)

Thanks,
Dan
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post #26 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

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I posted a query to the Walcott CB site, home of the Big Bill Combo, and they had a recommendation of this radio.

Stryker SR 440 HP 10 Meter Radio - Electronics Superstore WalcottCB.com

They said this radio would work on 10 meter HAM and CB frequencies. They also said it would work with my existing 4' firestick CB antenna. That would be nice in that it would just replace my existing radio and I could still talk to people on CB frequencies as well as 10 meter HAM
Yes, that is true for the most part. The CB band is 27 MHz and falls within the 11 Meter band, which is close enough in wavelength to the 10 Meter band that one antenna could be tuned as a compromise for both of those bands, although not ideally for either.

The 10 Meter band uses Single Side Band (SSB) for voice, which is a refinement of AM that focuses more power in less bandwidth. You can reach thousands of miles (though probably not with your Firestick antenna) on 10 Meter SSB. SSB is more difficult to tune than VHF FM, and the voice quality is much less than VHF FM. In the right solar conditions, you could work the world on 10 Meters, but unfortunately no one else in your trail group or 4WD club is likely to have a 10 Meter radio to talk to you. Nothing wrong with 10 Meter radios at all for there intended purpose, but trail commo is not their intended purpose. I suspect that Walcott is trying to sell you one because that is the only ham-band radio they have.


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but what about 2 meter HAM? Am I still missing out?
Yes! You would be missing out completely on the 2 Meter band, which is where 98.5% of all trail communications are going to be (and the small remainder is probably going to be on the 70 cm band). the 2 Meter (and 70 cm) band is ideal for trail commo because it uses FM for crystal-clear voice and still has enough power to go way beyond the largest trail or extended group on a long trail. If you are serious about 4WD trail communication (as opposed to just ham radio as a hobby to contact people far away), a 2 Meter radio is required.


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It would be nice to talk to more people and I don't want to end up with three radios and six antennas on the FJ. That's kind of the electronic equivalent of a cat lady I think. :-)
LOL, there are dedicated hams who's cars and trucks look just like that.

Again, if you are serious about trail communication only (discounting other aspects of the hobby for the present) then you will have to commit to two radios and two antennas, a CB and a 2 Meter ham. In a perfect world, every serious off-road enthusiast would get their Technician-class license and a 2 Meter radio and we could completely ditch the vastly-inferior CB, but until that happens most of us are still going to want to keep a CB radio to communicate with the unenlightened masses and rednecks who still persist in using them.

Hope this is helpful RD and hasn't just confused you further.

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post #27 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 10:59 AM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Thanks for the detailed response. I understand it but can't say I am happy about it. So it sounds like I would be wasting money going with a 10 meter. Better option would be a 2 meter.

If you would be so kind as to indulge me a couple of more newbie questions.

What about wiring and antenna mount compatibility? If I get a 2 meter radio can I get an antenna that will replace the firestick in the bandi mount or do I have to install a new mount and run new wire?

Also how do you find people to talk to on 2 meter? On CB you have standard channels like 9 and 19 and only 40 total to chose from. From the research I have done you have like 780 channels, or frequencies might be the correct term, and no real special purpose channels. Let's say for example I was wheeling in the Ouray or any other area for that matter. Would I want to research what frequencies the local city agencies or businesses might be monitoring prior to hitting the trail in case I need to call for help? Is there a frequency that other wheelers might be more likely to be monitoring? Perhaps if there is not one, we should pick a frequency for FJers to use when looking for other FJers and post it in this thread.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses,
Dan

P.S. I just realized we are practically neighbors. I live in Arlington, TX.
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post #28 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:13 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Great job on this!

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post #29 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:18 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

The Icom IC-208H installs well into the FJC and is a great solution based price/performance.

My install thread from '07
https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...o-install.html


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post #30 of 131 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Quote:
rdplemons previously said: View Post
<snip> From the research I have done you have like 780 channels, or frequencies might be the correct term, and no real special purpose channels. Let's say for example I was wheeling in the Ouray or any other area for that matter. Would I want to research what frequencies the local city agencies or businesses might be monitoring prior to hitting the trail in case I need to call for help? Is there a frequency that other wheelers might be more likely to be monitoring? Perhaps if there is not one, we should pick a frequency for FJers to use when looking for other FJers and post it in this thread.
I'm not an expert, by any means, but from what I know there are no truly 'dedicated' frequencies, in the meaning from what I am deducing you are asking. There's no official FCC designation for the purpose of HAM frequencies, but there are unofficial designations structured within the sponsoring organization of HAM activities (the ARRL, Amateur Radio Relay League). In that aim, there are certain frequencies allocated for satellite communications, digital communications, and voice.

I can't recall the exact frequencies, but I recall that within the 2-meter band there are provisions for digital communications, so there is segmentation for different modes of communication. But, there's no specific 'emergency channel', like channel 9 on 11 meters (CB).

If you decide to study for the license, you'll be provided this type of information in the study materials, in any case.

Dennis' Titanium 'Bird of Prey':
'08 Titanium 4X4; AT; LD; A-Trac; Cobra CB radio & Bandi-mount mini whip; Yaesu FT-7800R HAM radio & Comet SBB7 hatch-mounted 5/8 wave antenna Call Sign: KE5WTX; Toyota extra horn mod; BajaRack Exp roof rack; 295/70/16 Hankook Dynapro MT tires; Factory off-road 16" alloys; OME 884 front coils & N140S shocks, ToyTec Medium rear coils, OME N71E rear shocks; SCUBA breather mod; Steel sway bar collars; Digger upper and lower rear links; Rasta4x4 skids; Metal Tech step sliders & front tube bumper; Hella 500's Future Mods: Cloaking Device, Disruptors

Last edited by JoeUser; 05-27-2009 at 12:56 PM.
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