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Thread: Noob trying to listen to repeater, baofeng uv-5r

  1. #1

    Default Noob trying to listen to repeater, baofeng uv-5r

    Brand new to this hobby, dont yet have my license. Will be taking the technician exam very soon.

    I just received my baofeng uv-5r and I am trying to listen to a local repeater. I programmed in the output frequency, offset, and CTCSS. I can see that there is activity in the frequncy because the green light keeps blinking, but I cant hear anything. What am I doing wrong?

    I havent yet been able to listen to any radio traffic at all, still trying to figure out how to operate.

  2. #2
    Sudden's Avatar
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    Hi, Post a picture of your settings.
    Are you using the Baofeng progreamming software?
    Also what is the callsign of the repeater?
    I'm leaving now to go find myself....if I arrive before I get back, please ask me to wait!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    You might need to get some elevation.

    If you're getting a green light but no audio, it sounds like the squelch is being opened and the volume is down?
    Maybe CTCSS is only needed for transmit and is blocking receive?

  4. #4

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    No I am not using the Baofeng software because I havent yet received the programming cable. the callsign of the repeater is W1QI

    Frequency is 147.300

    programmed in frequency,0.600 offset, + direction, 100 ctcss

    I was actually able to listen in on weekly net tonight. I had assumed the green ligh blinking with static was radio activity, unsure why I am receiving this.

    I also was assuming I could more easily locate radio traffic. I have tried scanning frequncies and keep getting static. How can I find activity?

  5. #5

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    check the repeater directory for repeaters in your area, if you do not have a directory, there are lists on line that you can google.
    Just google amateur radio repeaters. with your ht, you will only receive repeaters in your immediate area. There are about 14 local repeaters here in the Houston area that I can get with mine. If i use an adapter and hook the ht up to the antenna on top of my tower that number increases to about 25 repeaters...just depends on where you live and how many repeaters are in your area.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator pmh's Avatar
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    Have you tried entering the frequency (147.300) directly into the radio, rather than select the memory you programmed?

    If this works fine, then you may well have made a mistake in the programming. Might also be worth going into the squelch menu and running at 0, gradually increasing it. Mine is set to 3 on the Baofeng, but I often go down to 1.

    My local repeaters only need the CTCSS tone to open them. They are not needed to receive.

    Kind regards,



    Phil

  7. #7

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    It appears to me that he turned on the DCS or the CTCSS and that it won't receive until it sees the right CTCSS or DCS code..

    Throw it away, buy yourself a real radio - those things are junk.

    Where I live they are entirely worthless - because with its limited range, you aren't going to find anyone to talk to - except net night..

    Get yourself a decent 50 watt mobile and a good Diamond Base Station antenna, some low loss coax - Belden 9913 or LMR 400 and a power supply, some tower or a couple of sections of galvanized conduit and get that antenna up in the air 30 - 40'...

    You will quickly graduate to a HF radio when you get sick of listening to nothing at all or the garbage you will hear from the other NOOBS and BOOBS that hangs out on the nets..

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixmeters View Post
    You will quickly graduate to a HF radio when you get sick of listening to nothing at all or the garbage you will hear from the other NOOBS and BOOBS that hangs out on the nets..
    Or hang out on the forums for the same reasons...

  9. #9

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    It's funny how some people can learn by other peoples mistakes, while other people just has to go out and remake those mistakes to learn the same lesson..

    In the movie The Grapes Of Wrath, when the one man told the Jodes about how he lost his whole family, how they were willing to work, and starved to death, while working, but not being paid a livable wage, the elder Jode said -that maybe it was just a case of sour grapes and that it probably wouldn't happen to them.. Then when they got to working and were cheated out of their wages and were too poor to stay and too poor to leave, they loaded up their truck and left, running out of gas / coasting into a labor camp that offered them shelter, a verifiable employer and better living conditions.. If it wasn't for the fact that the one family member got in trouble and they had to leave, they probably would have stayed at the apple farm and starved to death, not even being able to afford to buy / eat the apples / peaches that they were picking..

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixmeters View Post
    It appears to me that he turned on the DCS or the CTCSS and that it won't receive until it sees the right CTCSS or DCS code..

    Throw it away, buy yourself a real radio - those things are junk.

    Where I live they are entirely worthless - because with its limited range, you aren't going to find anyone to talk to - except net night..

    Get yourself a decent 50 watt mobile and a good Diamond Base Station antenna, some low loss coax - Belden 9913 or LMR 400 and a power supply, some tower or a couple of sections of galvanized conduit and get that antenna up in the air 30 - 40'...

    You will quickly graduate to a HF radio when you get sick of listening to nothing at all or the garbage you will hear from the other NOOBS and BOOBS that hangs out on the nets..
    That's a bit steep? Define junk? I'm old enough to remember my first radio being a 3 channel hand-held with 1 W and 3 crystal controlled channels. a calling frequency and 2 where you could go to chat. In EVERY way, a Baofeng, even the most cheap one is infinitely better as a product. HF is as different to VHF and UHF as you can get. Different everything. That's like me telling my wife her car is rubbish, and she should move to a huge 4x4 because it's a real car, and not a toy. She goes house-work-house-shop-house-work. Her car is perfectly good enough.

    For what it is worth, I have a rather nice Icom big HF rig and it has not been switched on for two years. Not everyone considers HF to be better, you know?

  11. #11

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    Every year The ARRL runs a booth at the Dayton Hamvention. At that booth, they test ( for free) every handheld radio that is brought in for them to test.

    Out of all of those radios - it has been found that 100% of the Beofungs and Whoushuns fails even the most basic tests for spurs and splatter.

    Add to that, the antenna connector - might as well be a piece of gum.. Drop the radio a couple of times and you will be buying a new antenna or radio..

    10 years after his Baofeng is dead and buried in a landfill, my Radio Shack HTX 202 will still be operating - on the air, with the original antenna..

    And by the way - 95% of all the Icoms, Yaesus and Kenwood handhelds tested at the Hamvention - tests near perfect - within tolerance and specifications - proposed in The Part 97!

    I don't know who you would talk to on a handheld where I live.. Most days I can't even hail anyone with 50 watts and two dozen repeaters to choose from!

    Other than a net, there isn't anyone on FM anymore...

  12. #12

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    Sixmeters, what you say is true, but not really too relevant to the op.
    What you say about FM only being used for nets, and having no traffic in your area may also be true, but that would not be the case here in the Houston area.
    Lots of guys use several different repeaters here and there is almost always traffic on several repeaters here in my area all day long...and of course there are several nets in the evening here. I mostly do HF work myself, even most of my mobile work is HF... I do a regular net on HF every morning on the way to work at 5 AM local time...I have two of the radios he is talking about. They work fine and can work multiple repeaters in my area...but your are correct in that they are cheap throw away radios...lots of guys here use them for fox hunting for that reason...if they drop it, or what ever, on the fox hunt, they have not lost much in the way of money...
    I have some Icom HTs and while they meet all testing better than these cheap things, in the range that HTs work...they do not get you any more qso's though the audio quality is much better. I figure that down the road the OP will either lose interest and move on, or he will move on up to other radios, but for right now I hope he is just enjoying the hobby. That is one of the nice things about amateur radio, there are so many avenues to go down that one can do what he/she wants to do and there are so many options in equipment that one can do budget operation or go whole hog.

  13. #13

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    There are also independent tests, available on line if you do a bit of Googling, that tell a different story about the spurii, complete with screenshots of the results. How many dB down do you want your spurii?

    And I'd point out that one of my two Baofengs has been dropped a couple of times (not my me I hasten to add) and has survived. As for the antenna connection/mount, that seems sturdy enough, it's been swapped between the stock rubber duck and the car's 2/70 antenna enough times now.

    Cheap, cheerful, working as advertised, no problems hitting the local repeaters as required.The only adverse comment has been about the audio from one of the external mike/speakers. Supposedly genuine and from Amazon, it's not. The 'questionable' one, also from Amazon but arriving from China two weeks after the second Baofeng, is better made and works fine - presumably genuine. It was a great, cheap way for me to get back chatting to other local hams. I could spend out more money on an Icom or Yaesu H/T but I'd rather not. That money would pay for something more useful to me in radio gear.
    Last edited by AndyG0CCX; Mon 23rd Jul 2018 at 17:53.
    Current radios: VHF/UHF: 2 x Baofeng 2/70 Handhelds. VHF: Kenwood TR9130 2m multimode. HF: Kenwood TS930S-AT
    Home antennas planned: G5RV / G7FEK / end fed wire. 1/2 wave vertical for 10m. 6 element beam for 2m. Vertical collinear for 2/70
    Website for the 'day job': www.andrew-gilbert.com

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixmeters View Post
    It appears to me that he turned on the DCS or the CTCSS and that it won't receive until it sees the right CTCSS or DCS code..

    Throw it away, buy yourself a real radio - those things are junk.

    Where I live they are entirely worthless - because with its limited range, you aren't going to find anyone to talk to - except net night..

    Get yourself a decent 50 watt mobile and a good Diamond Base Station antenna, some low loss coax - Belden 9913 or LMR 400 and a power supply, some tower or a couple of sections of galvanized conduit and get that antenna up in the air 30 - 40'...

    You will quickly graduate to a HF radio when you get sick of listening to nothing at all or the garbage you will hear from the other NOOBS and BOOBS that hangs out on the nets..
    I can't add anything to the tips already given, but I hope bterrier can pin down the trouble. We all have had problems to concer in the radio world.
    The Baofengs are very popular in central Virginia. Not only new hams either - some keep them as readily available transceivers in several vehicles. It would take me considerable time to list all the repeaters I can hear, and to list all the nets. Nets around here are informative and very welcoming to new hams, old hams, or people passing through. We have clubs that are extrememly active in community events and public safety. All this relies on VHF and UHF, and almost always on repeaters. So, areas differ in activity and evidently in attitudes also. I have many good friends locally that I could only have met via nets. We work together to erect antennas, solve problems, and have monthly meetings and programs. My club holds exams and classes regularly. Also, I have made some surprising contacts on 4W on simplex VHF.



    bterrier

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obed View Post
    Sixmeters, what you say is true, but not really too relevant to the op.
    What you say about FM only being used for nets, and having no traffic in your area may also be true, but that would not be the case here in the Houston area.
    Lots of guys use several different repeaters here and there is almost always traffic on several repeaters here in my area all day long...and of course there are several nets in the evening here. I mostly do HF work myself, even most of my mobile work is HF... I do a regular net on HF every morning on the way to work at 5 AM local time...I have two of the radios he is talking about. They work fine and can work multiple repeaters in my area...but your are correct in that they are cheap throw away radios...lots of guys here use them for fox hunting for that reason...if they drop it, or what ever, on the fox hunt, they have not lost much in the way of money...
    I have some Icom HTs and while they meet all testing better than these cheap things, in the range that HTs work...they do not get you any more qso's though the audio quality is much better. I figure that down the road the OP will either lose interest and move on, or he will move on up to other radios, but for right now I hope he is just enjoying the hobby. That is one of the nice things about amateur radio, there are so many avenues to go down that one can do what he/she wants to do and there are so many options in equipment that one can do budget operation or go whole hog.
    OP said - he is not yet a licensed amateur..

    Bottom line is - the easiest way to loose a newly licensed ham is to get them licensed and then not talk to them..

    Most of them do not understand the theory behind the physics involved in radio - hence since all they do know is their cell phones and computers, when you try to explain things to them, or get them to invest in better equipment, their reply is WHY? what will I gain if I take your advice?

    My advice is sound! I listen to something on my HF radio every day.. Most days I won't even bother to turn on one of my FM radios - because there is no intelligence there and nothing that I want to listen to - most times you can't even hail someone when you do decide to throw out your call sign and say LISTENING... My money would have been better spend just buying two FM radios, one for in the house and one for in the truck and forget about emcoms and clubs and everything else, because in the end, they didn't work out - because no one wants to do anything, even after they get licensed. All they want to do is TALK - like the old party line telephone or the cb radio...

  16. #16

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    Sixmeters, I hope bterrier will ignore some of the comments, and post again. I would be ashamed of myself if I didn't welcome new hams or those interested in becoming a licensed ham. I'm not sure why it matters what you listen to everyday. The OP was not asking about HF, and all of us start on FM UHF and VHF. If I had to choose between HF and VHF, hands down it would have to be VHF. I've had more help and community spirit there.
    You're stating your personal and local experiences as though they were prevelant. They are not. You have done damage to this thread, while adding little. Let the OP feel encouraged (like I was not long ago) that he can ask established operators for help. I think this forum is dying because of negative posts.
    Last edited by essbee; Mon 23rd Jul 2018 at 18:56.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixmeters View Post
    OP said - he is not yet a licensed amateur..

    Bottom line is - the easiest way to loose a newly licensed ham is to get them licensed and then not talk to them..

    Most of them do not understand the theory behind the physics involved in radio - hence since all they do know is their cell phones and computers, when you try to explain things to them, or get them to invest in better equipment, their reply is WHY? what will I gain if I take your advice?

    My advice is sound! I listen to something on my HF radio every day.. Most days I won't even bother to turn on one of my FM radios - because there is no intelligence there and nothing that I want to listen to - most times you can't even hail someone when you do decide to throw out your call sign and say LISTENING... My money would have been better spend just buying two FM radios, one for in the house and one for in the truck and forget about emcoms and clubs and everything else, because in the end, they didn't work out - because no one wants to do anything, even after they get licensed. All they want to do is TALK - like the old party line telephone or the cb radio...

    I have to disagree with you here, I do not believe your advise is sound for most beginners today. When you and I started, HF was what we were interested in because it was a new world to us. A world where we could talk to folks from all around the world, and technology of the day was completely different than it is today.
    In the late 50's and early 60's we could not even imagine cell phones, computers and internet...if someone had told me that was possible in the future back then, I would have thought that they were out of their mind. HF was where it was at. 6 Meters was mostly used as a mobile radio for local comms... CB had not hit it's popularity yet...the new ham today is coming out of a completely different world, with a completely different mind set.
    I have worked as an elmer for a lot of new hams over the last 25 years and what I found changing in the last 15 is that more new hams are not the least bit interested in HF and prefer to dive into VHF/UHF ventures...as much as you listen to something on HF everyday, there are thousands of hams who do the same with VHF/UHF everyday..I would venture to say that in my area active hams on VHF/UHF tremendously out number the HF only folks...
    I also disagree with your concept of what the quickest way to run a new ham off is....IMO the quickest way to do that is to be judgemental and condescending in your treatment of them the way you are. I know what I enjoy most, but I have come to realize that other folks may not enjoy the same things I do and that they should do what they enjoy doing. I try and help them grow in knowledge and experience in the area that interests them. I am not by any means a guru in the new digital VHF/UHF world so I show them what I can and then pass them onto to folks who know more about that than I do.

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