1. We are exceedingly sorrowful to report that one of the Founding Members has passed on. Dee (Righthand) is well remembered as contributing much to the operation of SurvivalMonkey, and is already greatly missed. Little lady, big person.

Newbie question

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Seepalaces, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Listen to @AD1 and did I say listen to @AD1?

    eHam.net Reviews

    IMO, use the internet and search for the rig or antenna and reviews. Choose an antenna and read the reviews. Also some coax is more lossy than others.
    Coax Attenuation Chart
    Attenuation is loss per 100'. That is fact, not my opinion.
    The trick is to lose the least amount.
    As you're looking at a dual bander; personally. I'd choose the least loss coax you can afford.

    In addition, do a search for Ham Fests in your area. You can find the best deals there. All of my rigs were bought at a Ham fest.
    Seepalaces and AD1 like this.
  2. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    So, progress, I took the tech and I'm happy to pass along my new call sign to anyone who pm's. I've volunteered some with the local club. For whatever reason, I keep screwing up my call sign. Good and bad, I'm new, so now's the time to be a serious dumbbell. Bad, first impressions can be hard to overcome. Kids' schedule has gotten insane, and so has the husband's, so I haven't had the time to do much in two weeks. Still studying for the gen. I have a friend who just passed it after taking it six times. Blessing, I didn't want to even chance passing it before she did. I get to try in late April. So agree on the ham fest advice. Another one coming up and I'll try and pick up a HF at that one. AD gave me a list of things to look for and I carry it in my purse.
    Thanks for checking up all!
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Well done and congrats, you now have a license to learn. If you want to, please see that BTPost gets your call, he's maintaining a list of monkey hams in case of need. He will not give it out unless you specifically say it's ok.
    Cruisin Sloth, Seepalaces and BTPost like this.
  4. hitchcock4

    hitchcock4 Monkey+

    Congrats on the first exam!

    @Seepalaces or @AD1 do you want to share that list of things to look for at a Hamfest?
    I am set on 2meter and 70 cm but will eventually need HF.

    Thanks and 73 !
    AD1 likes this.
  5. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    A Mag mount for the Baofeng; Coax; Power supplys; Spare / upgraded antenna for the HT; Your first HF rig [​IMG]; Morse code key;
    multimeter; Soldering station; Weird little connectors that join two sets of unlikely equipment in your shack. That's the list. I will mention that one of the problems I had at my first swap meet is that I was trying to go in order. There was a very good HF set up that was very cheap, but I'm a bit pig headed about order. By the time it occurred to me that I should just get whatever I can find on the list in my budget, it was gone.
    hitchcock4 and AD1 like this.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Just the problems you will encounter in any project.

    But it is good to have a list and as you know you fill the list as the budget and finds allow.

    Just part of being a real world prepper.

    Good Luck on your new way of life.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  7. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    You can add

    Coated Antenna wire

    Antenna wire end insulators

    Coax switches (antenna )

    Used wire antennas both dipole and end fedz

    Composite commo netting poles. These in this link are alum and will work but composite will not couple to antennas if you are using a vertical wire. Military Camo Camouflage Net Support System 12 Al Poles Bag 24 Stakes Spreaders

    Wire antenna launchers(slingshots, guns...)

    ARRL antenna books or any ARRL Ham books

    Solar panels

    Solar charge controler

    Fused 12V pigtails
    Seepalaces likes this.
  8. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Already go the panels and the controller, thanks to Tevin. Just one more project...
    Tevin, Motomom34 and AD1 like this.
  9. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Glad I could help! You are aware I have a blog dedicated to off grid hamming, right?

    Anyway, the big ARRL antenna book is superior, but I disagree that "any" ARRL book is good.

    Honestly, most ARRL books are not that good. I own several of them and am honestly disappointed with the lack of detail and depth. Many of them are badly outdated.

    I recently got a review copy of Portable Antenna Classics and it's just a compilation of reprinted old QST articles. I'm glad I got the book for free because it's not worth anywhere near the $22.95 cover price.

    My newbie advice is to suck it up and spend $50.00 on the Antenna Book (which is actually worth it) because it includes 95% of what's in the smaller specialty books anyway.
    kellory and Seepalaces like this.
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Buy some coax tape also. It will seal your connections from moisture.
    This is really important.

    Here's an example.
    If you buy or build an aluminum antenna use this:
    Ideal NOALOX 4 oz. Anti-Oxidant Compound-30-026 - The Home Depot
    It keeps the joints from oxidizing. Oxidized joints cost efficiency.
    Never forget, the FCC forces all Hams to be equal. So how can I be better in a DX pile up is by my antenna radiating ever legal watt I am allowed.

    If you are interested in the low bands and want your brain filled to overflowing buy ON4UN's Low Band DX'ing. A dead serious book for 40-80-160 meters. Personally, I'm fed up with the higher bands with a bunch of ex-CB'ers.

    I agree with you. All most of the ARRL's antenna books provide are ideas.

    As the tests include (or did :ROFLMAO: ) the formulas for dipoles, verticals etc.; they aren't challenging. However, years ago I would not have have come up with a bobtail curtain, a rhombic or a bazooka. How many would "invent a J-pole for 2 meters without some help? Or using a zip tie for strain relief for a wire dipole, OCF or end fed?

    I totally agree with you; If I was @Seepalaces, I'd find a current or even an old copy of the antenna book.

    This is inspirational:
    The Birth of the Quad « LIGHTNING's "True CB Quad" Antennas
    Seepalaces and Tevin like this.
  11. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yes, and I read it often. Good stuff!!
    Tevin likes this.
  12. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    Hoo boy, that's a trick question!

    In no particular order:

    • Electrical cords, jumper cables, coaxial cable, and every other source of copper wire. It's always in demand, and always cheaper at a hamfest.
    1. You can use the coax braid for grounding straps if the coax turns out to be bad.
    2. The electric cords will come in handy when your significant other wants to borrow yours.
    3. Extra coax is really handy when you want to match an odd antenna: you can sometimes get a much more effective antenna by adding coax in your feedline.
    4. Jumper cables are handy at Field Day and other ham events, because someone always forgets that the car battery can go dead if they leave a rig on overnight.
    • HT's. Sometimes, you'll come across a dealer with a boatload of one particular model. Be sure to test before you buy, and assume that you'll need a new battery.
    • Specialized chargers, power supplies, and other "matching" accessories for rigs you already have.
    • Antenna Tuners, especially the Johnson KW matchbox.
    • Oddball parts, like .206-inch microphone connectors for Collins, Drake, and other boat anchors, or SMA-to-SO-239 adapters, and antenna rotor control boxes when you already have a rotor, etc.
    • Classic accessories in excellent condition, such as Astatic D-104 mikes. You can trade them or sell them to CB users to stretch your budget.
    You get the idea: the trick is to think of everything a part can be used for, and to be able to make a decision in the few seconds you'll have at each table.

    By the way, the best advice is to wait for the Fall before buying any big-ticket items: Spring is for selling!

    William Warren
    Seepalaces likes this.
  13. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I like the approach of trying things I can try for free, first. You want to do a lot of listening and not so much sending at first, whichever radio you start with. You probably already have a shortwave radio; shortwave and high frequency mean the same thing. And if you're lucky, it can pick up SSB transmissions. You can put a wire up and hook it to the telescopic antenna on the radio, to improve reception. If you have a scanner, you can pick up the local repeaters.
    UHF and VHF are what you can get to easily as a Tech, but I would recommend just avoiding that for now and jumping directly to HF. We can go into reasons if you like, but if you have used Radio Shack walkie talkies or FRS, then you already know how to use FM on VHF and UHF. Yeah, yeah, you have to learn some jargon to do it on the ham bands, but it's not different or special, not like bouncing signals off the ionosphere.
    Build your antenna. Start with oh, say a 20m dipole, that should get you on the air right quick and whet your appetite for more. Don't transmit on other bands but you can listen with this setup. Wire antennas that you build are better than what you can buy.

    And for anybody else getting inspired to go take the tests, ALWAYS try the next level test when you complete one. It never shows on your record if you try and fail, and it doesn't show how much you make it by. You get to try for free. You pay one price for the session. You crammed and passed the Tech test, now even if you never cracked a book for General, TAKE THE TEST. You might pass! And if you don't, well it'll be less scary when you come back, you've seen it already.
    People seem to think that something they've never said out loud, should be easy when speaking for an audience of thousands. The trick here is to say it when you're by yourself, actually out loud. A bunch. Not just your callsign, but the whole thing you plan to say, which you've based on what you hear others say.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  14. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    For the call sign, I use to answer the phone with my callsign. Confused the hell out of the calling party, but hey what ever it takes.

    To get used to working HF listen to starions on www.websdr.org

    I did this for a few months before getting my HF rig. Made it very easy when I made the transition.
    Seepalaces and Idahoser like this.
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