Thursday, August 25, 2016

HAM update

Just a quick update while my tech fixes my phone... :-)

I haven't posted about the next issues, but it's NOT forgotten. I actually haven't read in several days because of other busyness.

Vanessa and I went to the Huntsville Hamfest last weekend and we bought a couple of mobile units. We went with TYT brand because the HT's we've been using are the ones from her volunteer work and we've been VERY pleased with them! The 7800 is a 50watt mobile that has channels A & B for monitoring two frequencies at once, just like the HT's! This was a VERY important feature for Vanessa, so we went with that.

I installed mine Monday night but it was so late no one was on for me to test it with. I solved that on the way to work the next morning and have been chatting between buildings and on the way home from work all week long now. :-)

Oh - the antenna system... Vanessa did NOT want me drilling a hole in the roof, plus a four foot antenna might rub on the carport entry (and parking garages, etc.) so we opted for something else. The Diamond dealer showed me a 'stick on' mount that will work on the back glass, but the vendor we bought from didn't have it at the show. Add to that the more Vanessa thought about it the less happy she was with something 'sticking' on the glass, so we opted for the Diamond trunk mount. It mounts to the trunk of a car and the antenna moves with the trunk. Well, we don't have trunks, but the same mount works PERFECTLY on the hood!

The antenna itself is a Diamond 770 dual band. Mounted on the side of the hood I've been able to talk to repeaters MANY miles away, even on low power, and I'm hearing traffic from people I've never been able to pick up with the HT's. I even spoke to a guy in a helicopter in Osceola, Arkansas the other day! And that was on simplex, not via repeater!

I'm proud of being able to install this stuff myself. I've gone through life thinking it was too hard and above my skill set, and I regret not being able to help our boys when they hooked up radios and such. I won't point fingers and place blame publicly, but it IS a regret I now have and I endeavor to NOT let ignorance of a particular thing stop me!

That being said, I've been scared to mount Vanessa's siren in her truck, thus it's waited for MONTHS. Well that, and her radio, are planned for installation tonight! That should get her up to speed on her volunteer work and set us up for storm chasing & weather spotting - things that we are BOTH interested in pursuing!

Well I've rambled enough... If you hear a CQ from Kilo Michael Four Uniform X-Ray Victor, be sure to answer. :-)

Jimmy - KM4UXV
Vanessa - KM4UXW

One last thing... We bought from the booth, but they do mail order as well. Here's the link - tell J.T. that Jimmy sent you...

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