Let me show you how little I know....

rnArmy

Adventurer

Bummer.
Ok; thanks for the answer. I have a hard enough time trying to remember all my user names and passwords.
Still waiting for the USB cable thingy to arrive so I can try and Chirp my little RR 5watt hand-held radio to get down to the 140's ham frequencies.
And then of course start studying for my ham technician license so I can be legal.
And then start thinking "if 5watts is good, how much better would 25watts be?".
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
I have conversed over 15 miles away with guys in our group, on flat ground. But my 2-meter has 55 watts, not 5.
 

camp4x4

Adventurer
Bummer.
Ok; thanks for the answer. I have a hard enough time trying to remember all my user names and passwords.
Still waiting for the USB cable thingy to arrive so I can try and Chirp my little RR 5watt hand-held radio to get down to the 140's ham frequencies.
And then of course start studying for my ham technician license so I can be legal.
And then start thinking "if 5watts is good, how much better would 25watts be?".
Don't worry, the ham call sign will be much easy to remember, you can even get vanity calls if you like. The GMRS signs are a bit longer and less memorable.
 

Garbinator

SeekTheMoneyTree
The missing link/s here are clear understandings of Bandwidth versus wave length.

Then we have the FCC Bandwidth plan. See it sorta-like a states vehicle Code to organized mayham on our roadways. The reading about how and what exactly happens when a transciever transmits a signal needs at least a basic understanding. It is very important to know anytime operating off the grid. Specific external antennas even where they are positoned on a vehicle can result in terrible signal strength.

Even earths mineral content can strongly interfer with transmission and receiving capabilities. Solar flares. I see folks in here speaking about 55 watts. In fact, most if not all such radios do NOT come near such output. 27 Watts is more like it. Again, location of antenna, wave length, grounding, in fact. Yakking about this is no difference than say Jeep Claiming my Pentastar V6 puts outs 275HP yet, watch some YouTube video selling us jeepers a super charger and watch the dyno numbers!

WHAT!!! My friggin” JK only puts OUT 131HP!!!!!!!! Purposturous!!! BUL:L-FARTS!

My being old old Army... I did pretty crappy on my ASVAB back in the day. Which translated into being placed in a rather phyisical crappy job where upon brains were never considered an issue item. Push the mop boy, Ride the Buffer till we'd get thrown plumb-off!

I say if your out in the boonies humping it with outward bound buds pirate the frequency—-enjoy!

Its not like FCC cops are spread all over the forest and deserts in search of yahoo low powered yakiddy yak trail blazers. Most all of commercial frequencies require a specific tone before the dispatcher is able to hear anything. A moving convoy is almost impossible to track unless your Enforcement Agency is armed with NSA/DIA high dallor gear. Even then, the Eastern Land Warrioirs have it going on!

ICOM—The big sand pits biggest 2 meter tactical field radio. Kind of hard to regulate them fellas I suppose. $200 Ham radio versus American hundred thousand dollar G.E. Stuff.
 
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BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
Even earths mineral content can strongly interfer with transmission and receiving capabilities. Solar flares. I see folks in here speaking about 55 watts. In fact, most if not all such radios do NOT come near such output. 27 Watts is more like it. Again, location of antenna, wave length, grounding, in fact.
Fine. My Yaesu 1900 is rated at 55 watts. Happy now?

My point was not the awesome power of my transmitter, but rather the relative power compared to a 5-watt rated handheld, let alone one without an external antenna.
 

camp4x4

Adventurer
Garbinator, lets keep Fireside Chat in Fireside Chat and try to be constructive and informative around here. Nothing you just said has added to this conversation.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Ya'll know I'm starting from scratch here, and yes; I know I could have bought a 5watt BaoFeng radio and wouldn't have to be going through this with my little hand-held. So save your comments - I'm enjoying the challenge here. This might help someone later down-the-line.
I got the cable for my radio, so after I download Chirp to my computer, I can connect the radio to the computer and do the Chirp thing to get the ham frequencies.
The cable came with a small CD disc (see picture). Do I have to download that disc into my computer, or will downloading Chirp from the internet and then connecting the radio to the computer with the cable be sufficient to do what I want?
I'm assuming if I get a larger (say 25watt) dual band radio, I'll have to do the Chirp thing to program frequencies and labels into that too, so this Chirping my little hand held should be a practice for the real thing.
radio cables 5watt.jpg
 
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craig333

Expedition Leader
You shouldn't need that cd. You won't have to start over with a new radio. Just copy the img file over.
 

camp4x4

Adventurer
Ya'll know I'm starting from scratch here, and yes; I know I could have bought a 5watt BaeFong radio and wouldn't have to be going through this with my little hand-held. So save your comments - I'm enjoying the challenge here. This might help someone later down-the-line.
I got the cable for my radio, so after I download Chirp to my computer, I can connect the radio to the computer and do the Chirp thing to get the ham frequencies.
The cable came with a small CD disc (see picture). Do I have to download that disc into my computer, or will downloading Chirp from the internet and then connecting the radio to the computer with the cable be sufficient to do what I want?
I'm assuming if I get a larger (say 25watt) dual band radio, I'll have to do the Chirp thing to program frequencies and labels into that too, so this Chirping my little hand held should be a practice for the real thing.
View attachment 429186
That disc is gonna be the driver for the cable, not any programming software. Do you know if it is an FTDI or Prolific chip in the cable?

If FTDI you can download the drivers here: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm
If Prolific you can download the drivers here: http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?pcid=41&showlevel=0041-0041

If Prolific and the current driver doesn't work, you probably have a knock-off cable with an older chip that requires an older driver.

Check out this page for Windows: http://pdxpiedmont.net/node/52
Check out this page for general Mac advice as there may be multiple issues at play: https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/MacOS_Tips
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
That disc is gonna be the driver for the cable, not any programming software. Do you know if it is an FTDI or Prolific chip in the cable?

If FTDI you can download the drivers here: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm
If Prolific you can download the drivers here: http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?pcid=41&showlevel=0041-0041

If Prolific and the current driver doesn't work, you probably have a knock-off cable with an older chip that requires an older driver.

Check out this page for Windows: http://pdxpiedmont.net/node/52
Check out this page for general Mac advice as there may be multiple issues at play: https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/MacOS_Tips
I don't know what the driver is for the cable (and I'm still trying to figure out what this "driver" terminology means - but I can rebuild a carburetor for what it's worth). Here's what it said on Amazon where I ordered it if you can tell from this:
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2 Pin USB Programming Cable for Kenwood / WouXun / PuXing / QuanSheng Walkie Talkie

Price: $7.86 & FREE Shipping

Ships from and sold by IDS Online Shop.

• This USB programming cable is compatible with all 2 Pin Kenwood radios
• This cable is perfect to connect your radio and PC to write the program setting and frequency of the walkie by PC
• This programming cable connects the two-way radio directly to the computer and allows you to program your two way radio from your laptop or computer
• Compatible with: Kenwood: TK-278/TK-278G/TK-378/TK-378G/TK-2107/TK-2118/TK-2160/TK-3107/TK-3118/TK-3160 + more WouXun: KG-UVD1/KG669/KG659/KG679/KG689/KG639/KG699/KG801 + more PuXing: PX-777/PX777PLUS/PX333/PX888/PX328/PX999/PX-666 + more QuanSheng: TG-UV2/TG-K4AT/TG-93A/TG3160/TG6A + more
• 85cm programming cable
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Somewhere along this thread or in a link in this thread this cable was recommended. Do computers that read discs read these smaller discs (before I go loading it into the disc drawer and see what happens)?
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So if I'm understanding this (please correct me if I'm wrong!), I need to download a driver, and then download Chirp, and then connect the computer to the radio (via the cable) and then start Chirping (if that is now a verb)? Just think how smart I'm going to be when this is all done.

Radio cable 5 watt.1.JPG
 
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Klierslc

Explorer
The disc is likely worthless although it can be read by any computer with a CD drive. Download chirp, plug in the cable and the radio and then we can troubleshoot if things aren't working. There are too many variables out there to troubleshoot all of the what ifs.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
So I can forget about the little disc, and just download Chirp, plug in the cable and radio and start making changes? That would be cool. But what is the disc for then - why include it?
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According to the paperwork that came with my RR RH-5R, it says "Unlike most radios, with the RH-5R you can save a custom frequency without a computer and software". So my goal is to drop the lower limit of my radio (which is now set at 150MHz) to around 136-140MHz so I can get on the ham channels like they did on this thread:
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http://dualsport-sd.com/forums/index.php?/topic/20693-need-help-with-my-rugged-radio/
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It will be for simplex use on group runs. I don't think I'll be doing a lot of scanning channels; just set-it and leave-it. They designate a channel, I punch it in (if I understand this radio's ability correctly), and go about our merry way. If all this works, then I'll seriously consider a stronger hard-mounted 25watt or greater dual band radio like the one that was suggested to me on an earlier post. But I've gotta start somewhere (see next post by me).
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And I just ordered a technician book on Amazon: HamRadioSchool.com Technician License Course Paperback – June 11, 2012 by Stu Turner. It had good reviews.
 
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rnArmy

Adventurer
This is what kinda started all this: I was hoping to go on a run with a group from the North West Overland Forum http://northwestoverland.com/ (I wasn't able to go, but it got me thinking). Their little blurb said (bold font added by me):
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Let's meet at the Shell Station on Easy Street, on the north end of Wenatchee. Very easy to find, and a good spot to top off that fuel tank.

We'll focus our run on Swakane Canyon, and the extent of it will depend on weather and road conditions. I expect that there will be snow and ice on the dirt roads. Sometimes there is a lot of snow on these roads, sometimes not much at all.

Please be prepared for winter weather & roads.

Vehicle recovery points front and rear are essential
Good tires are necessary

I'd highly recommend at least one set of good tire chains, a shovel and a set of Max Trax or some other boards for recovery.

This is intended as a family friendly, stock vehicle friendly, fun, one-day event.

Comms: (XXX) XXX-XXXX is my cell. We'll use CB channel 22, and HAM 146.61 (did I get that right HAM operators?)

Come on and join us!

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And this is what got my whole interest in finally getting one of these dual-band radios to supplement my CB. Rugged Radio was having a sale on their little hand-held trail package, so I bought one (didn't realize the RR radio didn't go below 150MHz, or why that was significant). And I've been on a steep learning curve ever since.
 
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