Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Ham Radio Setup

Radio nerd time.

Figured I would post this up in case anyone is interested in a highly-versatile solution for 2m and 70cm communications. Plus, all told, this equipment costs less than an entry-level "mobile" setup that is hard-wired to the vehicle. The tradeoff for versatility is lower power and thus decreased range. I regularly make 30+ mile calls from my vehicle to a repeater, no problem. The repeater does the heavy lifting from there.

It is also possible to use this radio to *monitor* the FRS band. You can physically transmit on those frequencies, but even with the "low" power (1 watt) setting on this radio, you're transmitting at double the legal power limit for the FRS band... which is illegal. I won't tell the FCC if you won't ;-)

You can also monitor many EMS frequencies from this radio. Of course, transmitting on those frequencies is *very* illegal.

Radio: Baofeng UV-5R

Run the radio off vehicle power (cigarette lighter)

Programming cable with free CHiRP software (highly recommended!)


Longer antenna for portable use (out hiking, I once got a 46 mile contact on this antenna)

Mag-mount vehicle antenna:

Antenna adapter to use above antenna: