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Thread: Newbie studying for my Technician Licence. - analog to digital migration?

  1. #1

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    Default Newbie studying for my Technician Licence. - analog to digital migration?

    Newbie here,
    Live near Las Vegas, retired (disabled) software test engineer, no experience in radio yet, Baofeng UV-5R on order. I am studying for my Technician Licence.
    I see that ham radio is experiencing part of the digital revolution.
    Can anyone give me a synopsis of the migration from HT analog (VHF-UHF) to HT digital (DMR) from the ham operator point of view?
    Thanks!
    Tim Barber

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Welcome! you should be OK with your background, not done any HHT digital myself, but from what I gather, there's a lot of setting up...

  3. #3

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    UV5R is not legal for use in the United States, not that it would matter, because they are junk and not very durable.

    They have a limited range, so even if you think it would satisfy your needs, you would quickly run out of people to talk to.

    In a concrete jungle like Vegas if it talked 2 miles you would be lucky!

    What you need is an Elmer, then you wouldn't be wasting precious resources on the wrong equipment.

    http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-cites-b...zed-rf-devices

    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-801A1.pdf

  4. #4

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    Unfortunately with unscrupulous dealers of electronic equipment such as Amazon dot com - everything you buy is buyer beware, caveat emptor.. it is up to you to ensure that the equipment you purchase and use is Part Type Compliant - since we seem to have no control of our borders and importers seems to have as many ways around our rules as we have rules.

    There is a fine which can be imposed for using the radio you chose. No real ham would even bother with one of those radios.

    TRUMP is going after those people, even as we speak!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...ion-crackdown/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/t...drone-ban.html

  5. #5

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    There is no reason or benefit of going digital in amateur radio.

    LMRS went digital just due to the fact that they only had limited bandwidth and they needed more bandwidth to piggyback their data to their voice. By splitting the signal, making the deviation half as wide, they were able to fit twice as many signals into the same amount of bandwidth.

    When they did that here, the radios refused to work when there was no line of sight propagation. Drive to the bottom of a hill, try to transmit over the hill or through the hill and they had no reception and no communications, which caused them to go back to analog and VHF in Pennsylvania for the State Police. Open Sky, the state of PA spent no less than 500 million dollars a year and never could get it to work in all 67 counties.

    With FM communications, you aren't dealing with the noise such as with single side band. At least with analog FM, if you loose a small portion of reception, your brain will guess the missing data and you can communicate. Digital it is all or nothing.

  6. #6

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    I have a couple of those baofeng radios living in boxes. In fact many hams have them. Very cheap & if they get stolen from your car or you misplace or drop them, it's no big deal.

    But it's already been said. FCC does not approve them. And there is a reason for that.

    But fine to listen in until you get your license.
    Then it may be worth checking the classifieds for a used Yaesu, Icom, Alinco ect. One that "is" approved for ham use. Although l don't see the FCC hunting down all hams who are using unapproved HT's, it's always a good idea to keep things legal.

    As for going digital. Yes many hams have done that. I don't personally have the experience to advise you on digital modes. But if that's what you want to do then l would say "go for it".
    Everyone has their own preferences.

    So l will take a back seat & let the hams with the digital experience advise you.

    Best of luck with that exam

  7. #7
    K7KBN's Avatar
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    Hey Tim - where are you in the Vegas area? I was born at the Las Vegas Hospital in 1944 (don't even try to find it today except in city historical records). The house I grew up in is exactly ONE BLOCK EAST of Pawn Stars. It's in the Las Vegas High School Architectural Control zone, so the building itself hasn't been changed since it was built in the early 1940s.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  8. #8

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    There is a difference in scope in using DMR versus just analog. It has to do with the scope of the repeater that you are connected to. You should look at the available repeaters. DMR has talk groups (TG) defined. They are to connections that your conversation is connected to. There are TGs for just your area, state, US, or several world areas -- like Europe and European countries.

    For the analog repeaters, you are just connected to the distance that the repeater can broadcast to -- that is unless you use echolink. Echolink is an internet connection to the repeater and it allows connection to the repeater broadcast area from any place -- but still has only the the area that the repeater can access.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    Unfortunately with unscrupulous dealers of electronic equipment such as Amazon dot com - everything you buy is buyer beware, caveat emptor.. it is up to you to ensure that the equipment you purchase and use is Part Type Compliant - since we seem to have no control of our borders and importers seems to have as many ways around our rules as we have rules.

    There is a fine which can be imposed for using the radio you chose. No real ham would even bother with one of those radios.

    TRUMP is going after those people, even as we speak!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...ion-crackdown/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/t...drone-ban.html
    ----------
    These articles apply to drones NOT radios.
    Please explain?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    Hey Tim - where are you in the Vegas area? I was born at the Las Vegas Hospital in 1944 (don't even try to find it today except in city historical records). The house I grew up in is exactly ONE BLOCK EAST of Pawn Stars. It's in the Las Vegas High School Architectural Control zone, so the building itself hasn't been changed since it was built in the early 1940s.
    -----
    I live in Boulder City.
    I was born on Long Island in 1959.
    Tim

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    UV5R is not legal for use in the United States, not that it would matter, because they are junk and not very durable.

    They have a limited range, so even if you think it would satisfy your needs, you would quickly run out of people to talk to.

    In a concrete jungle like Vegas if it talked 2 miles you would be lucky!

    What you need is an Elmer, then you wouldn't be wasting precious resources on the wrong equipment.

    http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-cites-b...zed-rf-devices

    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-801A1.pdf
    ------
    How can I find an Elmer?

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tbarber1027 View Post
    ------
    How can I find an Elmer?
    https://youtu.be/whUmxmp0YNI

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