Programming Your Hand Held (HT) Radio

Do you feel comfortable programming your hand-held (HT) so that you have all the settings for the repeaters in memory? We do that so that we don’t have to fumble around setting frequencies and tones when we need to switch operations.

You can find another ham with the same equipment, but the chances are that they will be wondering about the same problems as you – we don’t use the features on our radios often enough to become proficient.

I recently spent several frustrating hours with an ICOM HT. It’s a dandy little radio but a “bear of beast” to program. Even following the instruction book word by word did not produce good results. The internet indicates that the model I have is one of the easiest to program! So I wonder what some of the others are like!

Before I was about to give up I found that it is possible to purchase after-market cables for most brands and models. With drivers for the cables, and software, programming my HT and my Yaesu base station each took about 15 minutes. I have all the repeaters in Central Vancouver Island and on the Sunshine Coast entered into the radio memories.

Suddenly my equipment has become versatile, flexible and useful. What a joy! And if I need to amend the file I have it on my computer and can amend and update anytime.

The company RT Systems based in Broomfield, Colorado produces US-made products. Look them up online. I have purchased the software and cables for both of my VHF/UHF radios and am more than pleased with the service and quality. The downside though is that they are priced in US$ and the shipping is expensive.

 I tried the freeware Cricket and a cheap cable purchased through Amazon. I wasted my money there – it simply didn’t work – and I advise against it. Some people report good success but I had a dismal failure with it.

 So if you are frustrated trying to control your gear – here is an alternative to try. It will help you become more radioactive!

73s John (VA7PX) webmaster

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Lifetime Friendships in Ham Radio

On air friendships can last a lifetime.  MIRA Club member Gordon Sanders will pleased to find out that I was recently contacted as Club Webmaster and asked to relay this message to him from Robert Watson G4CVM:

“I was looking through some old QSO cards and found one from a friend/work colleague G4BJZ back in 1974 when he was living in England.  I note he is now VE7SGS.  I would be grateful if you would pass on my greetings to him.  I am not sure if he will remember me.”  73s Robert Watson G4CVM

I formed many of my own on-air friendships over the years – and some I actually got to meet in person. It is an unanticipated benefit of working on HF. Become radioactive! Meet some new friends on-air!

73s John (VA7PX) webmaster

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Weekly Club Net Moving to UHF

As of Sunday January 29, 2017 MIRA will be changing venue from VHF to UHF for the 9:00 am net.  After reviewing the results of 9 weeks of testing VE7SYD it was decided at the recent executive meeting to make this major change that will result in members being able to hear net control much more clearly as well as to see an improvement to their signal quality.

Often signals from VE7RPQ have been so poor that net control has been unable to copy and other members have had the same difficulty.  This has not always been the case but reliability just isn’t there.   MIRA members all recognize the good work Mark VA7IX has done over the years to keep VE7RPQ on the air.

We will continue to use VE7RPQ as a backup repeater in case VE7SYD should fail. On January 29 and for several Sundays following we plan to QSY after the net to VE7RPQ to pick up any members who can’t operate on UHF.  We expect this number to be very few or nil.  We would appreciate hearing from members who are not UHF capable so that we may assist them.

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