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View Full Version : Oldie Newbie with a weird Baofeng Problem



W4TAU
Fri 2nd Sep 2016, 09:54
This is strange. I was on the air once in a while for a couple years at the end of the 1950s. Dad was an Army radio guy in WWII, then recalled to instruct for Korea, and had his license and some Army surplus stuff he let me use, legally under his supervision, which in reality meant if he was home. 3 yeArs ago he died in Florida and without bothering with the involved explanation, his gear is now on its way to me by FEDEX from my sister in New Hampshire to me in Utah. The old Army stuff got left behind when we moved in 1961 and he didn't get back on until the beginning of the '90s, after retiring, so I have no idea exactly what it is.

Sh told me she was ooing to send it on a Thursday, I tested and finally got muy own license that Saturday. Once she'd actually shipped it, I picked up a Baofeng BF-F8HP so I'd have a portable. I programmed it with all the repeaters Repeaterbook lists as nearby, a total of 25. At about 1:30AM I started it scanning. Every once in a while I'd pick up some static, nothing else. After a bit, I tried some CQ calls through 3 specific repeaters. On 2 of them, it seemed I was getting responded to, but heard nothing but static. On the third, someone was obviously transmitting morse. But in all 3 cases, it was obvious that whoever was on the other end was both hearing and understanding me.

I wondered if they might be DV repeaters, and maybe that's what happened if you received them on a radio that couldn't handle digital. Didn't think so, since I'd heard nothing but static when scanning and everything couldn't be DV, but I checked repeaterbook anyway and none of them were marked DV that I could see.

So what's wrong? Is it me or the radio? Did I not set some important setting somewhere? I'm obviously both transmitting and receiving but, except if it's morse, receiving nothing but static. Oh, and the radio's "voice" is fine, I can hear it telling me channel numbers when going up or down channels, as well as other "notifications" it has programmed into the firmware, so it isn't the speaker.

I'm hoping someone knows this radio and can tell me something I neglected to do that causes this.

Sheesh. I'm all for progress and efficiency and all, but the really old radios were a whole lot easier. Whether it was the transmitter or the receiver, all you had to do was turn a dial to the freq you wanted. And you could scan the whole spectrum by slowly turning the frequency dial on the receiver. No messing with computers, no needing to load certain freqs then being limited to those until you reprogrammed, it was all just simpler to use. No worries about maybe some setting hidden someplace in the software that you should have made but didn't.

5B4AJB
Fri 2nd Sep 2016, 14:06
transmitting morse

They do that automatically, the code is the callsign of the repeater so everyone (including the blind) know which box they are tuned to.

You'll probably have to go and sit up on a hill to make use of that handheld, unless they are within about a mile in reality...

W4TAU
Fri 2nd Sep 2016, 21:41
As I said, this is strange. One of the repeaters IS within a mile or so, and line of sight from where I am ( a couple blocks from the mountain it's on, with no structures between it and me.). I'm TXing 8 watts, not 5. And I was able, even though I only got static for replies, to determine that people actually heard me. I do have a better antenna on the way, a Nagoya NA-771. But if someone can hear me through the repeater, I ought to hear them, regardless of the antenna.

K6CPO
Sat 3rd Sep 2016, 00:29
Have you actually put your call sign out there on the repeater and asked if anyone copied you? Not everyone responds to a call on a repeater just because some states they're "monitoring" or "listening." (I'm one of them...)

Getting involved with that club you mention in one of your other posts is a good way to find people to talk to.

Baofeng radios are notoriously tricky to hand program and it's also possible you have a wrong setting.

I wish i could help more, but I'm a little too far away...

W4TAU
Sat 3rd Sep 2016, 05:56
Have you actually put your call sign out there on the repeater and asked if anyone copied you? Not everyone responds to a call on a repeater just because some states they're "monitoring" or "listening." (I'm one of them...)

Getting involved with that club you mention in one of your other posts is a good way to find people to talk to.

Baofeng radios are notoriously tricky to hand program and it's also possible you have a wrong setting.

I wish i could help more, but I'm a little too far away...

Yup. Like I said (I think I said it anyway), I did some CQs. And a couple times a bit of conversation, and a second or so every time after I overed and unkeyed the receive lihght would come on and I'd get static. Someone was hearing me, but i was just receiving static.

W4TAU
Sun 4th Sep 2016, 21:32
I finally got it solved, with the fantastic assistance of W0KP. He made a suggestion that hadn't even occured to me, being a little bit stuck back in the late 1950s rsadio-wise. Digital. The two nearest rerpeaters are both analog/digital. Maybe the guys who seemed to be hearing me, but from whom I could only hear static, were using digital. And my HT is strictly analog. So while we were on the phone, he tuned, using analog, to one of the repeaters, I tuned to it and transmitted, and everything was clear as a bell both ways. Then we tried the other repeater that I'm near, same result. So I've been whacked with a wet noodlle by the digital age once again.