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Everything posted by bnolan

  1. Where do you find heavy tree cover in Pocatello ?
  2. Just passed my Element 3 exam this morning. I passed Element 1 (5 wpm code) back in Feb, so now I will get my General license. KE7DGM/AG
  3. If the Blazer12 can handle UTM coordinates, that will get you to 1 meter of resolution on the display. Of course the GPS won't be that accurate.
  4. Tech Plus Code (just passed the code this morning)
  5. bnolan

    Element 1 Exam

    Thanks for the tips. I passed the 5 wpm today. Answered 8 of the then questions correctly, and they stopped counting at 38 correct characters.
  6. I will be takin the Element 1 exam ( 5 wpm morse code) in 2 weeks. I have been practicing using this website and can usually copy well enough to answer 8 or nine of the questions. Does anybody have any tips for taking the exam? Should I be doing something else to prepare? Also, about the Prosigns. Should I copy BT as BT or as = ? Perhaps it doesn't matter, but somewhere I read that you pass if you get 25 characacters correct in a row, so I wanted to make sure I am writing the Prosigns correctly. Thanks, BNolan KE7DGM
  7. One choice to consider is the Kenwood TH-D7A. A dual band HT with a built in TNC for APRS and packet. You can plug a GPS right into the HT and send your position.
  8. If everyone always followed the directions. we would still be in the shower doing later rinse repeat.
  9. About a year and a half ago, I had three different job offers in different cities. Unfortunately the town I picked has a local idiot who steals every cache that is put out. If somebody had warned me about that, I may have picked a different city.
  10. I have a job offer in Richmond Virginia. Before I accept the offer, I want to find out how good the geocaching is there. Plus any other info about the area you could provide would be appreciated. I'm sure it is going to be a huge change from the deserts of southern Idaho.
  11. bnolan

    Aprs Anyone?

    Ok, let me see if I've got this straight: ch A for the uplink at 145.990 MHz ch B for the downlink 145.800 MHz Data Band: A:TX B:RX Packet Path: ARISS, SGATE, WIDE What about Message Group? and UNPROTOCOL? Thanks, Bob KE7DGM
  12. I guess I should chime in here. Holding ID #19 has my ego fully inflated.
  13. bnolan

    Aprs Anyone?

    Just got the Kenwood TH-D7A and have been playing with APRS. Has anybody used their D7 to sent APRS via the ISS ? KE7DGM
  14. KE7DGM in Pocatello Idaho Passed my Tech exam back in March, but didn't get a radio until yesterday. Got a Kenwood TH-D7A because I was interested in APRS. You can see me at: Findu
  15. It depends on how you use your GPS. If you shoot bearings with a magnetic compass and don't want to adjust for the local declination, set your GPS to magnetic north. If you can adjust you compass for declination, you can set the GPS to true. If you use a protractor to project directions off of the edges of a quad map, set the GPS to true north. If you use a protractor to project directions off of the UTM lines on a quad map, set the GPS to grid north. If you don't do any of these things, then it doesn't matter how you set it.
  16. Both of those radios are GMRS/FRS combo radios. The Midland can transmit at 3 watts on the GMRS frequencies and the Motorola can transmit at 1 watt. Either unit can only transmit at 0.5 watts on the FRS only frequencies. Because they are GMRS/FRS combo units, they must qualify for FRS type acceptance with the FCC, which means they must use the FRS antenna. This antenna is the biggest limiting factor in range. What this boils down to is the range figures given by the manufacturers are greatly exaggerated. You might possibly get 10 miles range with the Midlands if you are standing on top of a mountain and your partner is standing on top of a mountain 10 miles away with nothing in between. In reality, you can expect about 0.5 miles range on the FRS and about 1 mile on GMRS. This varies greatly with the terrain and what kind of obstacles are in the way. If 0.5 to 1 mile range works for you, then either of these radios is probably a great deal. I would lean towards the Motorola because of the accessories. The difference between 1 watt and 3 watts won't mean much in transmit range, but your batteries will drain 3 times faster at 3 watts. Most of the time I use a pair of Cobra FRS only radios when geocaching. We rarely get split up by more than a few hundred yards so FRS works just fine. Please note, however, that to use the GMRS channels, you must get a license from the FCC. That costs $80 for 5 years but is good for your whole family. If you don't want to get a GMRS license, there are FRS only radios out there. The ICOM 4088a gets great reviews. It has the best (and largest) antenna available, which helps maximize range. There are GMRS only radios that can accept an external antenna which can greatly increase range. They can also work with repeaters if there are any in your area. The ICOM F21GM is often recommend as an entry level "Real" GMRS radio. Another option is a MURS radio. MURS radios use VHF frequencies which travel better through trees (GMRS and FRS use UHF frequencies, which are absorbed by trees and groundcover.) The only MURS radio currently available in retail that I am aware of is the MURS Alert. I have heard reports of 2 miles range with these handhelds. The last option is to get a HAM license. The technician exam doesn't require morse code, you can study a few hours and pass the test. There are a variety of options available in HAM radio in UHF and VHF with a vast network of repeaters. The downside of HAM is that every user has to pass the test and get a license. I know this is probably way more information than you needed. Since this topic comes up a lot, and I had done a bunch of research, I figured I would take the time to write it down. I'm sure many other people have the same questions.
  17. Are you talking about Burley proper, or would that be the greater Burley metropolitan area?
  18. Passed the tech exam two weeks ago and got my mail from the FCC yesterday. KE7DGM
  19. Oh no! What have I done?! I just read about APRS and the Kenwood 7H-D7A(G). This appears to be the ultimate Geocacher plaything. Tell me if I have this right. If I plug my GPS into the 7H-D7A, I can send my coordinates onto the internet and my wife can call up a web page and see my location. It also looks like I could send a short text message directly to her email account. Too bad it is out of my price range. I'm not ready for such a radical cashectomy.
  20. Just checked the FCC database and my callsign was posted: KE7DGM Now I need a radio. I have given up on the idea of having 1 radio for HAM and GMRS. Can you give me some suggestions as to what features are important and which radios I should consider ? - Dual Band HT (2m and 70cm) - DTMF keypad - CTCSS tones - BNC connector for antenna - Li Ion or NiMH Battery ( no NiCd ) with optional AA. - Reasonable small - under $250. Any other features you think I should be looking for ? Thanks for your help. KE7DGM
  21. I just passed my tech exam thursday night, so I don't even have a call sign yet. Now I am thinking about buying an HT and I have a few questions. Currently, my family uses FRS radios to keep in contact in car caravans, amusement parks, between campsites etc. Also if we split up while geocaching we will use the FRS. Much of the remote cacheing in this area is out of reach of cell phones, but there are several 2 meter repeaters on the mountains, some with autopatch. This would sure be handy in an emergency, or to get word to my wife that I am OK, but will be 3 hours late getting home. Here is my dilema: I don't want to carry 2 radios. At first I had hoped to be able to get a dual band HT and use it for GMRS and 2 meter Ham (after getting the GMRS license of course.) But a little research revealed that to use a radio on GMRS, it must be certified to part 95. This rules out most HAM equipment. I did find a part 95 certified radio (midland 70-440) that can be programed for 70 cm Ham frequencies as well as GMRS. But I don't think there are any repeaters around here on 70 cm. Do any part 95 certified dual band HTs exist? MURS radios would also work for the family communication. Perhaps there is a radio that is certified for MURS that could also be programmed on 2 m? Thanks for any help you can give pointing me in the right direction.
  22. bnolan

    Rino Questions

    I just download the new manual for the Rino 120. It confirms that the 120 does indeed have repeater channels and sends position information over GMRS. Another question for you rino owners. How much extra range do you feel the GMRS gives you over the FRS channels ?
  23. bnolan

    Rino Questions

    I just noticed that Garmin posted firmware updates for the Rino's I looked at the Rino 120 when it first came out, but did not get it because it was not capable of accessing repeaters and did not do position reporting over GMRS, just FRS. This new firmware update states that it will now do position reporting over the non repeater GMRS channels. Also, there were 2 firmware updates. One for version 5.0 and newer which mentions the repeaters, and one for older than 5.0 which does not. Can somebody confirm for me that a Rino 120 with firmware 5.0 can access semi-duplex repeaters ? Do I have to get one with firmware 5.0 ? and if so how do I know what rev the firmware is before I open it ? Thanks,
  24. Princeton Tec Yukon HL is the king of headlamps. check out some reviews by experienced backpackers. It has two modes: - 3 regular LEDs give good light for close-up work like reading a map or looking at your GPS. This mode gives very long battery life >100 hrs - A 1 watt high output LED that can be focused on the trail ahead. You get 25 hours in this mode. It runs on 3 AA batteries. The battery compartment is in the back to balance the weight on your head.
  25. bnolan

    To Color Or Not

    I like the color screen with topo maps. On my III+ I couldn't tell if that line on the map was a path, road or stream. With color screan on my 76c, the streams are blue and the roads are red so I am doing a lot less driving in the water.
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