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  #16  
Old 06-26-2017, 10:59 PM
madlabs madlabs is offline
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Jeff, with the UV5R you need to set three things:

Menu 13 - T-CTCS = set to local repeater tone
Menu 25 - SFT-D = Set to + or - offset, depending on repeater frequency.
Menu 26 - Offset = Set to .600 for 2 meters.

When you key up, the display should show the correct input frequency.

I have the same NA771 antenna. Works pretty well but boy does it make the radio top heavy.

For a QTH 2 meter antenna, do the JPOLE if you want to build and save some bucks. A Diamond X50 is good for $100. Get your general class ticket and it sounds like you have the room for a dipole. Can't beat the old dipole for cost and performance and ease of installation.

Have fun making contacts!
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2017, 11:52 PM
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jr_tech jr_tech is offline
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This is the programming guide that I used when I got started with the UV5R makes more sense to me than the instructions in the manual.

http://www.hamuniverse.com/w7dtguv5rprogramming.html

jr
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2017, 11:49 AM
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I just bought an Alinco DJ-500 2 meter HT last weekend. I looked at the Baofengs, but I'm a knob and meter guy and I ended up hating the Alinco less for some reason . Played with it a few times and checked into an ARES net on Sunday. Don't really like it, but only because it's too small and too loaded with useless features and menus. Welcome to being a ham in 2017.....

First time back on the bands in a decade (call N2LCJ), and I hooked up my old Clegg FM-28 and tried to kerchunk the repeaters. Nothing. Drove myself crazy trying different antenna setups, etc and nothing. But dammit I could hear everyone!!

Then I found out about CTCSS. Well, hm. We didn't have that a decade ago. And since I abhor the thought of buying a new rig, I'm going to either adapt a board to add PL tones to it or abandon 2 meters entirely.

Currently, I'm studying for the General upgrade. Even though I was one of the last 5 WPM "technican plus" class licenses in 1990 (they did away with the code requirement in '91), you're only grandfathered to a General if you've held your license since '87. Got my Gonset GSB-100 tube transmitter ready to test out too
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2017, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
I just bought an Alinco DJ-500 2 meter HT last weekend. I looked at the Baofengs, but I'm a knob and meter guy and I ended up hating the Alinco less for some reason . Played with it a few times and checked into an ARES net on Sunday. Don't really like it, but only because it's too small and too loaded with useless features and menus. Welcome to being a ham in 2017.....

First time back on the bands in a decade (call N2LCJ), and I hooked up my old Clegg FM-28 and tried to kerchunk the repeaters. Nothing. Drove myself crazy trying different antenna setups, etc and nothing. But dammit I could hear everyone!!

Then I found out about CTCSS. Well, hm. We didn't have that a decade ago. And since I abhor the thought of buying a new rig, I'm going to either adapt a board to add PL tones to it or abandon 2 meters entirely.

Currently, I'm studying for the General upgrade. Even though I was one of the last 5 WPM "technican plus" class licenses in 1990 (they did away with the code requirement in '91), you're only grandfathered to a General if you've held your license since '87. Got my Gonset GSB-100 tube transmitter ready to test out too
I'd try these steps before giving up on 2m.

1. Check your FM-28's settings to be sure you are on the correct offset (+/- 600) for the repeater you are trying to use. If your transceiver is set for an incorrect offset you will not get into the repeater.

2. If the repeater you are trying to access uses CTCSS (also known as PL or subaudible) tones, your transceiver must generate that tone along with your transmitted signal. Without the tone, you absolutely cannot access the repeater. The local repeater in my area, for example, requires a 110.9 Hz subaudible tone for access so that its signals do not interfere with two nearby repeaters on the same frequency pair (147.81/21), one in Detroit and the other in Wooster, Ohio.

I'm thinking the reason you can't access the local machines (ham slang for repeaters) in the Buffalo area is because those machines are set up for tone access (see my notes above). You are in the metropolitan Buffalo area, so you should be able to hit the city's local repeaters with no problems.

Put up a good antenna and you should be able to hear and use most repeaters in the area. When I lived in an eastern suburb of Cleveland, I had a Cush-Craft "Ringo Ranger" 2-meter antenna mounted on the chimney of my home; the antenna was fed by a Midland 13-510a FM rig (25 watts). This allowed me to access every major repeater in the Cleveland area with no trouble at all.

BTW, I have two 2m HTs (handheld radios), an Icom IC-T22a (1.5 watts transmit power input) and my newest acquisition, a Baofeng UV-5R (1 to 5 watts TX power input). The Icom HT allows me to access the local repeater in my area with no trouble, although I can do it only from one location in my apartment. This is one drawback of using a handheld radio to access a repeater; there can be areas where your HT will get into the machine better than in others, like digital TV. My Icom HT, for example, only works reliably for repeater access in my bedroom, at one spot in front of my dresser; the signal will not reach the repeater solidly, or in some cases at all, anywhere else in the apartment.

Ham radio has changed quite a bit since 2007, so you will find some differences between what you were accustomed to when you first received your amateur license and now. For instance, tone access for repeaters isn't new, but as more and more repeaters go on the air the need for such has increased to prevent interference between two or more repeaters on the same frequency pairs in the same general areas; this is why the local repeater near here had to go to 110.9 Hz tone access (it was an "open" repeater for many years, not requiring access tones), as I described above.

I hope this helps, Tim. Good luck.

73,
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 06-27-2017 at 01:29 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2017, 01:31 PM
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I've explored all of that stuff and as I mentioned, I discovered that the CTCSS is why I couldn't hit the repeaters. My Alinco HT hits the repeaters fine with the programmed PL tones. I bought a used J pole at a hamfest, so that's going in the trash once I get a new antenna.

I guess when it boils down to it I'm somewhat discouraged that technology has woven its way into the 2 meter band to the degree that it's a requirement.
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2017, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
I've explored all of that stuff and as I mentioned, I discovered that the CTCSS is why I couldn't hit the repeaters. My Alinco HT hits the repeaters fine with the programmed PL tones. I bought a used J pole at a hamfest, so that's going in the trash once I get a new antenna.

I guess when it boils down to it I'm somewhat discouraged that technology has woven its way into the 2 meter band to the degree that it's a requirement.
I wonder if you could add a tube audio generator to your rig to make the PL tone to get in to the repeater?
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2017, 02:01 PM
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Too little ROI for me on engineering that......I'm gonna adapt my Clegg with one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CTCSS-encode...53.m1438.l2649
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2017, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madlabs View Post
Jeff, with the UV5R you need to set three things:

Menu 13 - T-CTCS = set to local repeater tone
Menu 25 - SFT-D = Set to + or - offset, depending on repeater frequency.
Menu 26 - Offset = Set to .600 for 2 meters.

When you key up, the display should show the correct input frequency.

I have the same NA771 antenna. Works pretty well but boy does it make the radio top heavy.

For a QTH 2 meter antenna, do the JPOLE if you want to build and save some bucks. A Diamond X50 is good for $100. Get your general class ticket and it sounds like you have the room for a dipole. Can't beat the old dipole for cost and performance and ease of installation.

Have fun making contacts!

Thanks much for the info. I saved the entire page with the programming instructions to my hard drive for future reference. I could not, for whatever reason, copy just the text; it was either the entire web page or nothing.

I am somewhat limited as to antennas, since I live in an apartment building on the first floor. Not the best location for ham radio, I am aware, but when I moved here 17 years ago I wasn't concerned about anything other than getting settled (I had moved here from a three-bedroom house in a Cleveland suburb). That and I don't want to get into trouble with the landlord. I am on very good terms with him, and I'd like to keep it that way. Yet another reason I don't want to use outdoor antennas is the risk of lightning strikes.

BTW, I can get into a repeater about 1.5 to two miles away with no problems, using my 1.5-watt Icom IC-T22a 2m handheld rig and a 3/8-wave telescoping 2m antenna (not to mention having a fully-charged battery in the HT). I am a member of the radio club (the Lake County, Ohio Amateur Radio Association in Painesville, Ohio, 30 miles east of Cleveland) which owns and operates that repeater, and have been since 1987, which reminds me. I haven't checked in to their weekly 2m net for the longest time; I probably should do so this Thursday (the net meets every Thursday evening at seven p.m., except the first week of each month).

I have had a General class amateur license since 1985. Upgraded from Technician class, which I held from 1975-85, and began my ham career in 1972 with Novice license WN8NHV.

73,
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 06-27-2017 at 02:09 PM.
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2017, 09:05 PM
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Well the Midland is not stone dead. Powering it up with a 12V battery, and 27MHz antenna (which happened to be on hand), revealed correct looking display behavior, and faint static unaffected by Volume or Squelch. No stations were recieved tuning across the band so I don't know for sure if it is receiving or not.
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  #25  
Old 06-28-2017, 09:57 AM
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Congrats, Tom!
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  #26  
Old 06-28-2017, 10:25 AM
madlabs madlabs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
I've explored all of that stuff and as I mentioned, I discovered that the CTCSS is why I couldn't hit the repeaters. My Alinco HT hits the repeaters fine with the programmed PL tones. I bought a used J pole at a hamfest, so that's going in the trash once I get a new antenna.

I guess when it boils down to it I'm somewhat discouraged that technology has woven its way into the 2 meter band to the degree that it's a requirement.
Well, it's a double edged sword. While the endless menus and silly features are annoying (who cares what color the back light is on receive or transmit!!) there are very useful features too, like dual watch or tone squelch. I have a great antenna in an awesome spot and without tone squelch my radio would be squawking all day. Same for modern HF radios.

Overall though, it's a good time to be a ham. Lots of great kits, new modes, all sorts of stuff to get up to.
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  #27  
Old 06-28-2017, 10:32 AM
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Well yesterday I decided to do a "process of elimination" on my antenna....I disconnected the coax and hooked it up to my mag mount antenna stuck on a second story a/c window shaker, and everything's good....it was the used J-pole just like I thought.

Gonna order up a Tram 1481 antenna to put atop of the mast and get rid of the useless directional DTV antenna. Instead, I'm gonna get one of these for DTV:

https://www.amazon.com/Lava-HD-8000-.../dp/B00EPP1CNU

The only thing I'm not sure of is if I mount it just below the ground plane of the 2m antenna, if there's a such thing as TVI with a DTV signal.....
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  #28  
Old 06-28-2017, 12:33 PM
madlabs madlabs is offline
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While it costs twice as much, I would consider the GP-9 antenna by Comet. The Tram gets up and down reviews on eham, water ingress is the main complaint. I have only known one person with a Tram and they had problems with it.

I maintain several of our local repeaters and we run the GP-9. I have one at home as well. Never had one fail yet. The one GP-9 that I do know of failing locally was at a location where ice loading and high winds breaks even station masters.

Mine has not only survived all the storms around here but even survived the ride when my mast dropped. It was at 72' at the tip so quite a ride. Just one opinion and YMMV.
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  #29  
Old 06-28-2017, 01:14 PM
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That might actually work better. How far are you able to reach on simplex?
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  #30  
Old 06-28-2017, 04:01 PM
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On the Tram antennas, make sure you seal the connections well where it screws together, like someone else said, they're notorious for water getting in. However, they do perform well for low cost if you just seal everything up. You might want to consider one of the smaller "one piece" models. They don't have quite as much gain, but they are no seams for water to enter. Tram, Comet, and Diamond all have about the same selection.

On 2 meters, I've done simplex as far as 85 miles (to a mountain-top station) with my roof mounted J-Pole. On 6 meter FM, I've done even better with my Cushcraft Ringo.
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