Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Arzosah
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Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by Arzosah » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:48 pm

https://www.essexham.co.uk/

I joined this yesterday :oops: Essex Ham run regular (monthly!) free courses "to help people in Essex (and beyond) discover what amateur radio has to offer, and to support the various local clubs and groups."

I can't currently say anything more than that - I'm still downloading their introductory video, and looking for the equipment and the Foundation booklet I bought about six years ago :shock: this has been on my to-do list for a long time.

Arzosah
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by Arzosah » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:53 pm

Shout out to cbp125, who had some helpful suggestions on an intro thread, though I don't currently understand some of what I'm summarising (a good enough reason to do the course in itself, actually):

- you can take the exam online when you're ready, and the practical is being waived right now (me).

- Just a quick tip don't give out your full callsign on the internet as it links to your home address, it's def not the time to be advertising where preppers live... (cbp125)

- Dover Amatuer radio club has code plugs for most radios, and covers most of the south east. If not I can give you a list of south east repeaters with all the various codes you would need. The biggest repeaters down here are Hastings, Worthing, Charing, Danbury, Rochester and Margate. All are quite busy. You can also listen online to most of them. Another good place to listen is HatGreen Web SDR. They cover most of the hf bands. (cbp125. Way above my head, but I can tell its important :D ).

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cbp125
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:59 pm

Unfortunatly they changed the licence last year so your old book is out of date, not by a huge margin but it won't cover the new digital modes section.

Below is a website that does mock tests, do as many as you can, and if you get stuck ask

https://radiotutor.uk/l/F/exam

Ps remember not to list anyones callsigns online as it links to your home address...

Arzosah
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by Arzosah » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:41 pm

More good tips, thanks for those :D

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cbp125
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm

Most radios are designed for companies, like security firms or building sites etc. These places set their own radios up and just hand them out to staff who are not expected to understand them, just push a butten to talk.

This means most radios are delivered to you blank, just like your brand new mobile phones, you have to add your contacts and set your phone up. Unfortunatly some ham radio's are very "choice" to set up. Usually you take your radio such as a UV5R then connect it to your computer and use a program called chirp to set it up.

Dover and most clubs in the UK put together a file called a code plug which has all the hard work done for you. You download this file for your area then upload it to your radio via a usb cable. Normally when you go on a foundation course, one of the tutors or club members brings along a laptop and offers students a hand to set up but obviously not now...

Also when on a course normally the club members would tell you what frequencies they chat on, local to me we use 145.400 for chatting, others use different frequencies. Once you know you can start listening in to get used to the general conversations in your area.

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korolev
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by korolev » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm

I'm gonna have a go at this, thanks.

One thing though, I have hearing loss in both ears (heavy metal) and have trouble understanding speech if it isn't very clear; do these here amateur radios have good sound quality ?

I supose I should dg out my Baofeng and have a listen to the repeaters, @arzosah can you pm me those codes and frequencies please.

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cbp125
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:32 pm

korolev wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm gonna have a go at this, thanks.

One thing though, I have hearing loss in both ears (heavy metal) and have trouble understanding speech if it isn't very clear; do these here amateur radios have good sound quality ?

I supose I should dg out my Baofeng and have a listen to the repeaters, @arzosah can you pm me those codes and frequencies please.
fm radios like your baofeng usually sound very clear and in similar quality to a mobile phone. Better some days... Think like fm radio heart fm or radio 1 etc. The trouble might come with hf radio's. These are the crackly radios you would normally see in films with someone tuning in a big dial etc. Some signals can be very poor, but you can just skip these and chat to people with a good signal instead. Also there are other ways of communicating on the air without your voice, plenty of computer programs which can send messages automatically, you can send pictures on air (SSTV) or try morse code?

There are also lots of devices you can get to help hearing loss. There are lots of very old hams about and I have met quite a few very deaf after a lifetime working on ships using morse etc.

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cbp125
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:39 pm

korolev wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm gonna have a go at this, thanks.

One thing though, I have hearing loss in both ears (heavy metal) and have trouble understanding speech if it isn't very clear; do these here amateur radios have good sound quality ?

I supose I should dg out my Baofeng and have a listen to the repeaters, @arzosah can you pm me those codes and frequencies please.
Sorry forgot the code plug bit, I have some but I would need to know where you live (roughly) to the nearest big town or city such as brighton, hastings or maidstone etc, then I can build up a plug for your local area. I have a baofeng and if I connect it to my house anntena it will easily cover over 100mile. on the little antenna's they come with the range is usually about 5mile lol.

This antenna fits the baofeng and is amazing, it can cover about 20 mile whilst walking...(which is a long way portable)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124cm-ABBREE ... 2749.l2649

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korolev
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by korolev » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:01 pm

cbp125 wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:39 pm
korolev wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm gonna have a go at this, thanks.

One thing though, I have hearing loss in both ears (heavy metal) and have trouble understanding speech if it isn't very clear; do these here amateur radios have good sound quality ?

I supose I should dg out my Baofeng and have a listen to the repeaters, @arzosah can you pm me those codes and frequencies please.
Sorry forgot the code plug bit, I have some but I would need to know where you live (roughly) to the nearest big town or city such as brighton, hastings or maidstone etc, then I can build up a plug for your local area. I have a baofeng and if I connect it to my house anntena it will easily cover over 100mile. on the little antenna's they come with the range is usually about 5mile lol.

This antenna fits the baofeng and is amazing, it can cover about 20 mile whilst walking...(which is a long way portable)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124cm-ABBREE ... 2749.l2649
Thank you. I am in Eastbourne. I am slightly elevated and have good line of sight to Hastings. Will have a look at that antenna.

Edit: just looked at the antenna, WHAT A WHOPPER !

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cbp125
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Re: Essex Ham Radio Free Learning Course

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:19 pm

korolev wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:01 pm
cbp125 wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:39 pm
korolev wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:56 pm
I'm gonna have a go at this, thanks.

One thing though, I have hearing loss in both ears (heavy metal) and have trouble understanding speech if it isn't very clear; do these here amateur radios have good sound quality ?

I supose I should dg out my Baofeng and have a listen to the repeaters, @arzosah can you pm me those codes and frequencies please.
Sorry forgot the code plug bit, I have some but I would need to know where you live (roughly) to the nearest big town or city such as brighton, hastings or maidstone etc, then I can build up a plug for your local area. I have a baofeng and if I connect it to my house anntena it will easily cover over 100mile. on the little antenna's they come with the range is usually about 5mile lol.

This antenna fits the baofeng and is amazing, it can cover about 20 mile whilst walking...(which is a long way portable)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124cm-ABBREE ... 2749.l2649
Thank you. I am in Eastbourne. I am slightly elevated and have good line of sight to Hastings. Will have a look at that antenna.

Edit: just looked at the antenna, WHAT A WHOPPER !
Super my dad lives in worthing and I am in mid kent so I'll email him for his code plugs and combine it with mine. It will take a day or two to assemble then I'll post it up.

For the moment tune your baofang to 145.675 this is hastings repeater, its very busy normally, plenty of people chatting through the day and a good bunch. This is the listening frequency (output), the input talking frequency is different, but it will be in the code plug once I finish. The other frequency to listen to is 145.500 this is the calling channel where people shout out for someone to talk to, then move onto a different free channel to chat. But is good to listen to find out who is about

And yes.... it is a big one, I thought they were a joke tbh, just another "prepper" style thing but a friend of mine got one and my god you could hear the difference

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