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Old 03-28-2019, 04:10 PM
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Default Entry-Level Portable Ham Radio EMCOMM Kit



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For those interested in starting a ham radio kit, I just posted a page about how I built my entry-level portable comms kit. It's mainly focused on assembling a kit you could leave in a vehicle or toss in for road trips, but it would be pretty much the same for backpacking minus some of the antenna mounts. Antenna and battery upgrades would still be the same.

http://www.tothewoods.net/Comms-vehi...EMCOMM-kit.php

It's written for new-ish hams who aren't yet willing to invest in one of the big three's handhelds--Yaesu, Kenwood, ICOM. That's more than a lot of people are willing to spend, especially as a first step into the hobby, so I started with two Baofengs and some relevant accessories for each vehicle...antenna upgrades, better batteries with flexible charging options, etc.

I'm not arguing that Baofengs are the answer to everything or are better than the big three...just that they're adequate for a beginner. I just bought a Yaesu FT-818ND and will get a Yaesu handheld at some point, but I still consider the Baofengs useful additions. I can leave them in the cars without a financial burden, and I care a lot less if I drop a $50 radio into the river than a $150 Yaesu, and for the price of two Yaesus I can outfit ten people with adequate comms.

So I see the Baofengs as a separate capability from the nicer, more expensive radios...an entirely different category even though they're all handhelds, just like how three commuter cars are a different capability than one Porsche for the same price.

Anyway, have a look if you'd like, and I'm interested in feedback if you have any.

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Old 03-30-2019, 08:08 AM
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I like it. Say what you will, but if I have a $200+ radio and a $30 radio, I would wanna use the $200 more often, and for emcomm, it'll do.

I used a jeintai 6188 in a little plastic ammo can with a battery and an NMO mount. There is a switch on the outside and, of course, the 2 band antenna. It is a decent enough box, but not waterproof.

Nice job. You have been posting interesting projects here, Just Jeff.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for the compliment.

Like I said, I consider Baofengs as a different capability than the Big Three even though they perform similar functions. Clearly they appeal to different market demographics.

Had a blizzard here a few weeks ago and the Baofengs were entirely adequate to get me info on power restoration during an outage. (Cell coverage here is terrible so I couldn't look it up on line.) And then I had to go get my son out of a snowbank, and there was a ham net coordinating responses b/c the first responders were overwhelmed. They were getting people from their stuck vehicles to warming centers, taking road condition reports, etc. When I passed up a road report, the net controller said something about my Yaesu...except I was using a Baofeng.

For a beginner who doesn't have unlimited income, it's good to focus more on an antenna than a radio if you can't afford both. In this case, I had the BF-F8HP with a Nagoya NMO-72 antenna on a multi-axis mount so the whole truck roof is a ground plane...and it's kind of a big truck so elevation is good for a vehicle.

But like I said, they're different capabilities. I'll end up with a Yaesu handheld in the not too distant future...and I'll probably use it more often than the Baofengs, like you said.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:44 PM
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I made a mistake in the antenna section of the page, and wanted to correct it here in case anyone actually bought one on my recommendation. I had the NA-771 listed as a tri-band antenna to match the UV-5RX3, but I should have said the NA-320A is a tri-band.

The NA-771 is a dual-band antenna to match the UV-5R or BF-F8HP (or other BF dual-banders).

Sorry for the mistake...I hope nobody was affected by it.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:40 AM
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you might consider resizing that image

edit: it corrects itself if you wait long enough
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPLSeraphim View Post
I like it. Say what you will, but if I have a $200+ radio and a $30 radio, I would wanna use the $200 more often, and for emcomm, it'll do.
Typo I just noticed.... I meant the $30 will do... I use my baofeng for all satellite comms and emcomms as well. With field day today, my HF rig is a Xeigu. practicing comms that I would have. Again, keep up the awesome work, Just Jeff.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:15 PM
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Id rather read your site than this one
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
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Id rather read your site than this one
Appreciate the compliment. I know I had a hard time putting all the pieces together because there's so much disparate info on the web, so I figured other folks were having the same problem. Might as well share what I learned so people don't have to retype it every time there's a question.
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