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Thread: Where's the Alaska Ham Radio forum???

  1. #21
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    Default Station

    Her's a couple photos of my set-up. I use a 5 watt, quad band, Yaesu VX-7R HT that I connect to various antennas using a 25' run of LMR-195 (Times Mircowave low line loss, lower weight than RG-58, but uses RG-58 RF connectors) and a BNC connector and mounted to a Buddipole mast and tripod.

    The left photo is an earlier set up (this past winter) using an Arrow brand 2 meter, 4-element, 48" beam yagi antenna. I took that photo at our cabin in Trapper Creek. I can hit the Mt. Susitna repeater from there on 2.5 watts. (50 miles away)

    The photo on the right is more recent (last month) was taken on Flat Top Mountain. That is a home made 6 meter, 2 element yagi Buddipole that I made from schedule 80 pvc using a BNC to Binding Post adapter as a feed point. Below is an Arrow Satellite antenna with 52" beam, 4 elements on 2 meters (same as my earlier antenna) and 10 elements on 70 cm. That gives me two antennas and I only have to carry one beam. (I hit the repeater at Talkeetna Airport from Flat Top that day-90 miles away-with 5 watts)

    Not shown on those photos is my Arrow 5 element, 48" beam for 1.25 meters (223.5MHz) which works really good.

    Those Arrow brand antennas are great, but I need to find a lighter, less bulky alternative. That set up is perfect for at the cabin, because we drive there, can't imagine carrying all of that while hunting.



    IMG_5122.jpgIMG_5630.jpg
    Last edited by Brian M; 08-01-2012 at 19:42.

  2. #22
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    AL2N here.

    I just have a cheap VHF HT right now. The local repeaters were pretty active a few years ago, but have tapered off recently. Seems to come in cycles of high activity to low activity.

    I used to attend the local club meetings, but work got in the way and I have been inactive for the last 3-4 years. Pretty good group of folks and most will be more than willing to help out.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  3. #23
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    Word is that we're going to loose the 147.27 Mt/ Susitna repeater pretty soon. ACS bought the tower site and Pro Com, with whom KL7AA/ARES subleased the repeater site is being bumped off. That's going to negatively impact a lot of folks who live in cabins up BP42 who rely on that repeater (myself included) for communication in an emergency. I suspect that those of who use the 147.27 repeater will have to shift over to the repeater on Flat Top as the defacto Anchorage repeater.

    If you've got 2 meters (who doesn't) you should be able to get on the air. There is a simplex net on Tuesday nights at 8 pm that starts out at 146.52 FM, then moves to 144.20 USB, 446.0 FM, 432.00 USB, 50.525 FM, 50.125 USB, and 223.50 FM. It typically takes about an hour to move through all of the frequencies/bands and record the check ins. (Obviously, 2M FM has the most check-ins and averages about 15-20 each night.) Net control for that net is in Muldoon operating 10W off a 50' tower.

    Additionally, there is another VHF simplex net, operated by the Alaska VHF-Up Group, that operates on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm. They alternate weekends. Every other Sunday is all FM, and every other alternate Sunday is USB. They pretty much use the same frequencies and same format, although there is more rag chew on the Sunday net. Participation has been very weak recently. Net control for that net is in Nikiski, so A.) you need power or you need to be on Flat Top, and B.) Most of the participants are on the peninsula. (it's fun to try to QSO with guys in Soldotna and Clam Gulch from Anchorage on QRP.)

  4. #24
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    Default A Word of Caution about posting Call Signs

    Hey Guys,

    I just wanted post this word of caution about posting your ham radio call signs. As you may, or should, know, anyone with the know-how can convert your ham radio call sign into personal identifying information, including your home address. Many of us post elsewhere in these forums about what guns we hunt with, fishing gear/boats we have, etc. The combination of the two in the same website is a bad idea. Use caution when posting your call sign.

    Incidentally, if you have posted your call sign, either here or in another thread, you can contact forum admin BrianM, and he will redact or delete your call sign for you. (As he did for me.) I will not be posting my call sign here. It's sad, but it's the world in which we live.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Word is that we're going to loose the 147.27 Mt/ Susitna repeater pretty soon. ACS bought the tower site and Pro Com, with whom KL7AA/ARES subleased the repeater site is being bumped off. That's going to negatively impact a lot of folks who live in cabins up BP42 who rely on that repeater (myself included) for communication in an emergency.
    I've never understood why all cellphone repeaters aren't required to accept 911 calls from any cellphone, subscriber or not. But I don't know zip about telecommunications laws...

    About not posting call signs, very smart, FL. I had to laugh at a post on here a few days ago from a new member... Just to the left of his post it shows his info (join date, post count, etc...) and where it said "location" it showed his complete street address including zip code. Doh!

  6. #26

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    I think the problem is not telecommunications laws but the software between the carrier is not compatible. Several years ago when both carrier were analog there was no problem using 911.
    You can always carry two cell phones.

  7. #27
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    Default Radio Frequency Lists and Ham Radio Refrence websites

    Below is a list of website URL's that list frequencies for different radio services (Maritime, CB, Aviation, GMRS/FRS, MURS) or local and state agencies (APD, AFD, AST) and other radio-related reference sites. Some of this might be useful in a desperate or dire situation, or used just for listening entertainment. BE ADVISED THAT IT IS ILLEGAL TO TRANSMIT ON EMERGENCY SERVICES AND ON AVIATION FREQUENCIES (without an aviation station license). (In fact, a guy in Kenai just got fined $12,500 for interfering with aviation radio traffic.) ( http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-fines-a...using-cb-radio )

    Anchorage Police and Fire Department Frequencies: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=70

    Alaska State Troopers Statewide Frequency Listings: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=1001

    Alaska Amateur Radio Coordinated Repeaters statewide: http://www.alaskarepeaters.kl7.net/v..._Recordset1=63

    Here's a discussion in AOF on frequencies commonly used by Alaska bush pilots: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...adio+frequency

    American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles Nationwide are on 47.420 and 47.500 MHz (No Link on this one, I got it from a Yaesu Yahoo user group)

    CB Radio Frequencies :http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/citi...and-cb-service

    FRS/GMRS/GMRS Repeater frequency list: http://gmrsfrequencies.com/gmrs-frequencies-chart.html

    Another GMRS/FRS Listing. This one includes MURS as well, plus the "standard" PL codes for privacy settings on most GMRS/FRS radios. DON'T USE THE CB LIST IT'S NOT CORRECT (I'm not certain myself of the accuracy of the PL tones because I haven't tested them.): http://www.tcoe.trinity.k12.ca.us/~tcarc/cbf1.html

    Maritime Marine Band Frequency list: http://www.offshoreblue.com/communications/vhf-us.php

    World Aero Data. You can select virtually every airport in America and get all of its associated frequencies: http://worldaerodata.com/

    Ham Radio Low Earth orbiting Satellite Repeaters Frequencies: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/satel...requencies.php

    Ham Radio Low Earth orbiting Satellite Repeaters Operational Status: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/satellites/status.php


    Soviet Satellite Frequencies (really it's a global satellite frequency site) http://www.zarya.info/Frequencies/FrequenciesAll.php

    TV audio frequencies for the old analog TV System. Mostly useless now dues to DTV, EXCEPT FOR LOW POWER STATIONS, which are still on analog (Anchorage has one station) Also, you can use a DTV converter to split out the signal and then tune in just the audio, if you wanted to.: http://www.tvtower.com/Commercial%20...encies.html#tv

    Free online Shortwave Listening (SWL) guide: http://www.naswa.net/swlguide/ (I like the iPod App better.)

    QTH Locator using Google Maps: http://f6fvy.free.fr/qthLocator/fullScreen.php

    List of amateur radio emission type classifications: http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/in...Classification

    VHF Line of sight calculator: http://www.qsl.net/kd4sai/distance.html

    Municipality of Anchorage Building Code 21.45.263 Amateur Radio and Receive Only Antenna height regulations: http://library.municode.com/HTML/127...63AMRASTREONAN

  8. #28
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    I've never understood why all cellphone repeaters aren't required to accept 911 calls from any cellphone, subscriber or not. But I don't know zip about telecommunications laws...

    About not posting call signs, very smart, FL. I had to laugh at a post on here a few days ago from a new member... Just to the left of his post it shows his info (join date, post count, etc...) and where it said "location" it showed his complete street address including zip code. Doh!
    I didn't realize that there was an issue with making 911 calls on another provider's tower. My first 3 years in AK I had T-Mobile and was "roaming" on ACS' network. It took T-Mobile 3 yrs to figure out that they were paying ACS everytime I made a call; they promply cancelled my contract. I never had an issue making calls. I use ATT&T now.

    Oh, by the way, the repeater to which I refer is a ham radio repeater for FM Voice communication, not a cell phone repeater. As I understand it, ACS has purchased the tower for their own use. It's located approximately where Sleeping Lady's "shoulders" would be as viewed from Anchorage. (You can see it on the USGS maps; it's marked radio tower.)

  9. #29
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    Default Acs/gci/att

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I didn't realize that there was an issue with making 911 calls on another provider's tower.
    A few years ago I was hunting many hours north of here. Took two cell phones from two different providers: ACS and GCI.

    The ACS one went signal-less first. Another 20 miles and the GCI phone became a doorstop too. I ATV'd in an additional 10 miles or so, and found two guys broken down, having busted two different things during one creek crossing. I helped them with some equipment I had that they didn't and (I digress) was surprised to find that they were not only forum members here, but had actually communicated with me for advice on the area (which I had given him).

    Then he pulled out his ATT cellphone. I told him he won't get any signal. He got thru right away. His provider was ATT. My two doorstops did not even know there was a repeater within range.

  10. #30
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    That may have as much to do with the differences between the three individual phones as anything. I use an armored Samsung Rugby, and I consistently have less signal than people standing right next to me with any other type of phone. A T-Mobile rep once told me that flip phones have poorer reception in general than do brick type phones, just by their antenna design. Also, you mentioned that you moved 10 miles down the road and found those guys and their cell phones worked. Did you try yours at the same spot? Word of mouth, and this is purely anecdotal with no evidence to support it, is that ACS is the best at coverage along the road system, out to about 20 miles from the Parks, I'm told.

  11. #31
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    Default I like waterproof phones

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    A T-Mobile rep once told me that flip phones have poorer reception in general than do brick type phones, just by their antenna design. Also, you mentioned that you moved 10 miles down the road and found those guys and their cell phones worked. Did you try yours at the same spot?
    Both my phones were flip phones. My kids have accidently called me 30 times during a date just by pressing against a brick phone during that date while it was in their pocket. I don't ever want to auto-call like that so I only use flips.

    Yep, tried both of mine there. Zero bars, while my new friend had more than one bar and conversed without difficulty.

    My ACS phone lost signal (for good) while I was ON the Parks. The GCI was good for the first few miles ATV ride. The ATT phone worked well a long ways after that on the same heading (away from the Parks).

    Thanks for the heads up on brick phones having inherently better antennas. I might consider one (and I'd password it, so no auto-calling) next time, but right now I'm really liking my Motorola Quantico. Ruggedized, waterproof (vs. "resistant"), good camera, 8 GB memory card, etc... I mean really, who refuses to use their cell in a light sprinkle? My previous phone died from water (so the warranty was voided), and a light sprinkle was all it was ever subjected to.

  12. #32
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    Started thinking about HAM radio again yesterday from talking to a fellow coworker when the subject somehow came up....looking at my "vintage?" HF transceiver box sitting patiently in the corner now as I/we speak. So I thought I'd revive an old thread to see if maybe there are any new HAMs on the forum, and to maybe help get my butt active again....(haven't set up my gear again since I moved awhile back). Though I guess I may want to renew my callsign that I let expire a couple years ago first....lol. QRZ anyone...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  13. #33

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    This old thread got me thinking about how communications have evolved over the last 30 years. When I was trapping and hunting the Brooks Range, my original go-to radio was the Spilsbury HF and a dipole antenna. Later on, various hand helds in aircraft vhf, marine vhf, ham 2 meter, gps, etc. depending on the location and situation. Now the InReach does emergency and basic comms in a compact, affordable, reliable package. It still fun to fire up the old Spilsbury when I'm out at the cabin though.
    Attachment 97305

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