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Ham radio - I'm W8BBS
Royce said, in relevant (post #19) part:
"I have a collapsible mast and a j-pole antenna that I use while camping."

My reply:
J-Poles are great. I've used them for fm voice, APRS, terrestrial packet, and satellites. They're so great, in fact, that it would be wise for all hams to keep a "roll-up" version of one of these, easily made with TV Twin-Lead and a short hunk of coax (I use '174 for this). Keep it rolled up, along with a lenght of line and sinker to toss it up into a tree, and your only limit would be the tree and/or coax length. Line loss is insignificant in shorter lengths. I used to keep a couple on hand. Great for bicycle mobile and camping/fishing.

By the way, I don't need a normal slingshot....I use a small pouch with two rubber bands mounted on my thumb and index finger to launch the sinker/line. Don't underestimate how powerful this is....I once hit a guy upside the head and decked him with a 1/2" hollow gumball. I like 1/4" rubber bands used to wrap celery stocks best, but I've used really huge ones over a foot long and 1/2" wide. Be careful with this. It'll kill small critters, even with small bands. This is also stored with the antenna.

Never under-estimate the j-pole.
73 de kc8lcy
“Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~Elizabeth West
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I still have everything packed away for the winter but the J pole is like this one:
I stash it behind the couch in the Minuet in transit, and the mast is this one:
I made a PVC socket for the bottom with a spike and tie it to the A-frame when parked.

I am not as happy with the mast as the top two sections are not that usable, they are to spindly. There was a Ham that made an aluminum one that was much better but I have been unable to find one of those.

With that setup and the J pole about 22ft off the ground I have been able to communicate without being on top of the world from a camp site at about 9,000 foot to COS at about 6,500 ft 50 miles away. Have to be careful how the J pole is turned to get the best transmission. To be fair the line of site is sorta down a pass from that camp site.
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I have been looking into getting licensed. I bought a handheld (icom) and really need to make time to taken the test. Then maybe I will install a base station in the ambo.
1994 International Road Rescue Ambulance, 2003 Jeep Wrangler
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I finally got my license, but only after after procrastinating for 50 years or so! I'd wanted one ever since I was 10, after listening to my neighbor chatting with folks in Germany while sitting in his ham shack in TX.

I put a CB in my truck last summer, and discovered just how bad the CB airwaves have
gotten since I last used them in the mid-70's. That prompted me to go ahead and get the
Ham license.

Passed Tech and General in March and then went ahead and got my Amateur Extra ticket this past April.

I would advise anyone who's boondocking and traveling extensively to at least get their Technicians
license so they can access 2 meter repeaters. Very handy for emergency situations.
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good for you psytechguy. it's on my list of to do things. highdesertranger
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The following 2 users say Thank You to highdesertranger for this post:
offroad (05-21-2015), psytechguy (05-20-2015)
(05-20-2015, 05:16 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: good for you psytechguy.  it's on my list of to do things.  highdesertranger


DO IT!!!!

Just get the ARRL study book for Technicians license and practice with the online tests.
There are several sites with them, is one that I used.

Tech test is easy, 35 questions, very simple electronic formulas and FCC regs, basic operating procedures, etc.
You can read through the pool of questions they draw the test questions from, too. Makes it very easy.

General is not that much harder, and it's easy to study for it once you're into the Tech material. Also 35 questions.

Extra will make you sweat! It did me, anyways. 50 questions. Gets into the more advanced stuff, RC formulas, propagation, antenna tuning, etc. Made me dig up all that old stuff from back in electronics school that I haven't used in 30 years and re-remember it. Extra gives you full band privileges, and as long as you keep your license renewed you'll never have to take another radio test.

Now, I've just gotta get on the air!   Big Grin

I'm getting ready to spend the summer in the mountains of NM. I'll be trying to make some contacts from up on the Continental Divide.

Them ra-did-io waves roll downhill, right?   Tongue
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(05-20-2015, 05:16 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: good for you psytechguy. it's on my list of to do things. highdesertranger

Same here!
1994 International Road Rescue Ambulance, 2003 Jeep Wrangler
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Two meter radio (145mhz frequency) is good for five to twenty five miles on typical power available to ham radio users. Most counties have a ham radio tower for emergency communication, as well as the police-fire radio systems.

At night many locals do a NET CHAT kind of scheduled activity to make contact with others.
Cool “Get busy living or get busy dying.” - Stephen King in his novel Shawshank Redemption
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I carry a Short Wave Receiver and wire for a dipole and a pack of insulators if I set up an array.

I have a list of Stations I monitor and the UTC for when they are on.  My HAM buddies are always on me
to go get my no-code but I keep putting it off.   I'm in "8" here.

The ol analog I carry along looks about like this

[Image: m8ey5QCyJqqT_OYji6MQReQ.jpg]
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I used to listen to shortwave all the time when I was in the boonies. however in the last 10 or so years there doesn't seem to be as many stations. I remember a pirate rock and roll station that was based in the Caribbean some where, I remember listening to sporting events on armed forces radio. I am not sure but I think the AFR and VOA are off the air. of course the Russian and Chinese propaganda stations still come in loud and clear. I still enjoy the BBC every now and again. anyhow happy listening. highdesertranger
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