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Author: Subject: Hook (and others) get in this thread and help me with a Baja comms package
PaulW
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 01:47 PM


Tom,
Good tips. The 2980 comes with fat and very flexible wires
Another tip from Weatherman is increase you engine rpms to get the voltage up when transmitting over long distances.
My trick when I have to use auto store stiff wires is use two of them. Sure makes it easier to install. So a couple of 14s will work better than 12 or 10s. Did not do the math but 2 flexy is much easier than one stiff.

I did not know that UTVs could handle such high amps considering most have high draw lighting on when using the radio?

Yes for a UTV most come with a plastic roof so they have a compromised ground plane. Not able to quantify the TX/RX degradation, but is sure matters. Get a metal roof for the UTV.

Quote: Originally posted by TMW  
A couple of things to consider about the radios. For best results you should wire the radio directly to the battery using the proper size wire. An 80 watt radio with draw about 15 amps. While a 14 gauge wire will work it would be best to use a 12 gauge or even a 10 gauge for less IR drop.

Also when you double the power such as 40 watts to 80 watts you increase the distant by the square root. For example if you could transit 40 miles at 40 watts, you'll go about 57 miles at 80 watts. Doubling the power does not double the distance.

Another thing to keep in mind is the ground plane. Generally speaking the more metal area under the antenna where it attaches will provide the best signal in that direction. In other words if you mounted an antenna in the middle of the roof the signal would radiate equally in all directions. If there is more metal toward the front than rear the best signal will radiate best toward the front.

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JZ
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 01:55 PM


Quote: Originally posted by PaulW  
1) Discuss intercom with the tech guy at Giga and ask for help or referral. Or search for "intercom for Ft2980"
For a 4 seater then choose another intercom. I always have only used a 2 position one.
Like I said before look into Rugged and evaluate his intercoms then call and ask how to do adaptability to an EXISTING radio to avoid the sales pitch for his radio.
2) One antenna for both. You probably will not be using UHF except for Noaa weather. There are other freqs you may want to use, but most of us are happy with a 5/8 tuned for "weatherman". Tune antenna with an SWR device or just follow the instructions on the antenna package Either way will be fine. Don't spend extra money for the dual band antenna, Not worth it - IMO.



Why do you have to "tune the antenna?" I didn't do this and it works fine.




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Jack Swords
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 05:26 PM


Couple of clarifications: MARS is Military Auxiliary Radio System and the CAP is Civilian Air Patrol. MARS/CAP modifications enable radios to operate on those frequencies (among others, of course). Antennas are resonant devices and should be lengthened or shortened for optimum efficiency at a particular frequency. The aforementioned SWR tuning is to assure maximum efficiency from a transmitter (and receiver) to the feedline (coax) and the antenna. A high SWR indicates reflected power back to the transmitter and not radiated from the antenna. When operating low power VHF and UHF equipment every radiated watt is important, usually called ERP or effective radiated power. Remember a licensed HAM can use up to 1000 watts of power. Also, solid state transmitters can be harmed by using a feedline and antenna with high SWR. The old tube type, not so much. In the interest of efficiency and results it is better to have a tuned antenna system.
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 06:44 PM


Ok, ok, but for the average person running this setup in Baja you can just buy an antenna and stick it on the top of your truck. We aren't running 1,000 watt radios in our trucks. TWM makes a very good point about putting it in the middle.

All this talk about "programming" the radio with a cable and "tuning" the antenna scares folks off. And that leads them to think they need to pay someone $2.2K to make a radio setup for them.


[Edited on 9-15-2018 by JZ]




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TMW
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 07:35 PM


JZ yes you can do as you say but what Jack is saying allows the radio to work at it's best. For the most part you may never notice a difference but should you get separated over a longer distance is when it makes a difference.

As to programming the radios somewhere I have the instructions for programming the Baofeng radios with a PC. For me I just tune it to the frequency I will be using and that's it. I normally use my Yaesu FT-2600M mobile and tuning is pretty easy just turn the front panel knob. My Baofeng radios are also easy. I usually use 151.625mhz (Weatherman) except during a SCORE race. I don't need to program a hundred channels but I do have a PCI radio with I think 140 channels programmed into it, every race team in the southwest I think. I never did get a list from PCI so I have to click thru to find what I'm looking for.
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[*] posted on 9-14-2018 at 10:34 PM


What band are the racers using? Sounds like a band between the 2 meter band and the marine band.
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[*] posted on 9-15-2018 at 04:50 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Hook  
What band are the racers using? Sounds like a band between the 2 meter band and the marine band.


Google score race team frequencies. About 5 pages worth.
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PaulW
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[*] posted on 9-15-2018 at 06:34 AM


lots of questions I will try to answer.
Please read all my comments and reply if I mis-stated anything.

Racers use VHF band which is around 100 to 216 MHz.
UHF is seldom (never ?) used and is 450 to 952 MHz
For a hand held:
They come with a utility antenna called a rubber ducky that can be optimized. Many places offer an optional antenna to improve range. Connecting a hand held to an mobile antenna greatly improves range.
Tuning for a mobile or handheld with a 5/8 antenna is done by cutting the antenna to a length defined by frequency. This is done with a SWR device to measure or by following the chart that comes with the antenna. Either way will result in acceptable result. The SWR method will be more precise because it will compensate for your vehicle - reflection or shielding from the metal body. Buy an antenna from PCI and they will ask you what frequency. Not recommended because they will send you the thing coiled up and it can not be straightened. Buy for a HAM dealer and it will come straight in a long box. I have four antennas for my hand held and use them for various vehicles or when walking around away from my vehicles.
The 4 antennas are the rubber ducky, the cheater whip which is around 18 " long (bought from the HAM dealer for a pittance), the 1/4 wave mag mount with coax, and the 5/8 with coax for my aluminum pickup (and tuned specifically with SWR for that truck and its unusual fender mount). 1/4 wave do not need tuning. 5/8 require a specific length for optimum range.
Antenna that comes with the hand held cannot be tuned, My cheater whip antenna for my hand held cannot be tuned. Some handhelds come with a rubber ducky with a pre-tuned extension for use with the higher frequencies.

Race frequencies are widely available from buddies or PCI or Rugged. Just do a search. Nice to have when watching a race. However maybe 1/2 of the teams are now using Sat radio so you will never be able to listen in on their chat. Program your radio to suit the guys you run around with. Most of us have alternate freqs and its nice to do a quick switch back and forth when switching friends. It is always a pain always ask what frequency and wait while some have to change their frequencies. I program my radios so the display is a name not a freq.
Please note that there is a band called GMRS in the UHF band and it requires a licence in the US ($70). Do not program your radio for these freqs.
Marine & NOAA & MURS are in the VHF band.
FRS is in the UHF band. If you use these freqs turn your power down as low as possible to avoid the anger of the feds.
Look up the aircraft freqs and program them for RX (receive) only. The local airport tower is interesting.
It is important in the states look up the commercial licensed freqs Search to find) and do not use them to avoid the anger of the feds. These freqs vary from place to place. I never use my VHF radio in the states. In the states use a CB to avoid all the regulations. They are in both VHF and UHF bands. Yup, 2 radios.
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[*] posted on 9-15-2018 at 07:44 AM


Paul, great stuff. Really clears up a lot of the lingo that is used and makes it easier to understand. Thank you for taking the time to do this!



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[*] posted on 9-15-2018 at 08:00 AM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
And that leads them to think they need to pay someone $2.2K to make a radio setup for them.


[Edited on 9-15-2018 by JZ]


Dude, it's not the radio that costs 2K. It's the blue tooth enabled, true stereo, four person capable intercom with four sets of carbon fiber, noise cancelling, 1.3 pound headsets. The radio that comes with their system adds like 300 bucks to the package. Damn.
If I just wanted a two way radio to plop on the transmission tunnel and an antenna to huck on the roof, I'd be done already. SMH.




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Hook
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[*] posted on 9-15-2018 at 08:30 PM


Well, based on this document I found on the internet, it appears that the racer's frequencies are about 99% between 150 mhz and 155 mhz. So, between the ham 2-meter band and the marine band.

This document also lists a few repeaters in Mexico that are generally within the accepted 2 meter band (144-148). There are also a couple teams using frequencies in the 70cm ham band. But not many.

I also found anecdotal evidence that the overall Weatherman frequency for race updates is usually 151.625.

This list appears to be about seven years old.

https://www.race-dezert.com/forum/attachments/raceradiofrequ...
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[*] posted on 10-2-2018 at 09:46 PM


Racers, input requested about a bumper or roof mount uhf vhf antenna e.g for Baofeng BF-F8HP to connect handheld or mounted mobile to longer antenna in vehicle? Looking for mounted antenna for uhf vhf variable handheld, bumper or roof mont magnet?

Baofeng BF-F8HP
https://amzn.to/2OAsB04

16 inch Nagoya antenna
https://amzn.to/2DR2uxV

SMA-F UHF+VHF Magnetic Vehicle-mounted Antenna
https://amzn.to/2NYFAsY
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Jack Swords
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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 05:05 PM


Do some reading on the fake Nagoya antennas. The 2nd one cited has reviews that are not good. Also it is rated for only 10 watts. Perhaps you need one for more power. Amazon does have the "authentic" Nagoya antenna for the same price ($16.99). Amazon calls it Nagoya whereas the one cited does not state the brand nor the model number (should be in the 700s).
See https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KC4PWQQ/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?ps...

Best if mounted on roof for height and additional ground plane effect. Mag antennas work well.

Jack, N1IY
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