Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Wheeling trips, camping trips, meet-ups etc.
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DamageWagon
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:01 pm

thedriver21 wrote:Officially have the day off!!! So I'm definitely going on the trip. Do you guys know if we are going to be on any BLM land? I wouldnt mind bringing a few guns to do a little shooting :lockedandloaded:
As far as shooting areas go, I only know of Arrastre Creek and one or two mini ranges. They're just a hill with a sign lol. No really good shooting areas that I officially know of. I've heard good things about Arrastre Creek but I've never found the actual shooting area, I don't think it's right at the creek. We would be close to it though. I don't think I've ever seen a Ranger up there in 9 years outside of the big obvious forestry spots. We could do some exploring...

Separately, we are having a friendsgiving that weekend in Ocotillo Wells I would really like to make. I may head up to Big Bear Friday night and dispersed camp and then head out for Ocotillo mid- or early- Saturday when we finish a trail.


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by BlkWgn » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:04 pm

There are 2 on arrastre creek, both are short ranges, but not bad. It is one of my normal spots. As of this point all shooting spots on the mountain are still closed for fire danger and most likely will not be open before the trip but I can point out the spots if we go by


I am assuming it would not be an issue, but I have a buddy with a 2500 cummins that wants to tag along
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by BlkWgn » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:07 pm

as for the trails, I just ran Jacoby on Saturday pulling the trailer through the hard line, there will be no issue, the trail is pretty simple. also did Tip Top Mountain which is in the area of cactus flats, awesome view but no challenge for our trucks
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:50 pm

Looks like I'm not the only HAM radio operator going to Big Bear. Should we pick a frequency to hang out on for the day?

Maybe something like 144.350?
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:20 am

I was thinking channel 14 :lol:


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by Allen8511 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:32 pm

I need to get HAM radio certified.

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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:36 pm

Allen8511 wrote:I need to get HAM radio certified.
Getting the initial license is really very simple and straight forward. I can post a couple of links to good study / training resources online
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:08 pm

LagunaH1 wrote:
Allen8511 wrote:I need to get HAM radio certified.
Getting the initial license is really very simple and straight forward. I can post a couple of links to good study / training resources online
That would be nice if you could. Do you have a suggestion on an entry level radio as well? I don't want to pay 6 months of gas money for a HAM, they seem very expensive.


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:15 pm

Sure thing. I wonder if this thread is the right place for that?

With regards to radio: Think about what you'd like to use it for. Who do you want to talk to? Under which conditions? -There are really cheap (Chinese manufactured) HAM hand held radios, but as with anything: You get what you pay for.
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:26 pm

LagunaH1 wrote:Sure thing. I wonder if this thread is the right place for that?

With regards to radio: Think about what you'd like to use it for. Who do you want to talk to? Under which conditions? -There are really cheap (Chinese manufactured) HAM hand held radios, but as with anything: You get what you pay for.
I think we can dish it out here. If it turns into a sweet discussion we could start a new thread not we could just start/find a HAM thread.


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:03 am

Here is the website I used to study and train and memorize (yes, memorize) for all the 3 tests I went through:

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/index.html

I don't know whether they charge these days, they used to have a free and a paid option.

Regardless of which study website you choose, I'd suggest this:

The FCC will test you on a range of topics, from basic radio signal propagation over how to conduct yourself on the radio in an emergency to other topics. In my opinion, it is completely fair to memorize the correct answers to the tests (all the questions and the correct answers are public) and get your license that way, assuming you continue to learn, grow and use your license after you get your license. In fact, many HAM's say that the real learning starts once you have your license. The reality is that there are topics you will never need again after you get your license, but there absolutely also are topics which are really relevant and IMO could be expanded upon.

For an entry level radio, go look at amazon or eBay for a Wouxun or Baofeng hand held radio. These are decent (and very cheap) low power, hand held HAM radios which will get you started. the biggest downside is that they are pretty strange / difficult to program and configure. If you want an easy-to-use and easy to configure entry level quality hand held, go find a Yaesu FT-60. Those radios are built like tanks and provide all the functionality you need to get started, and nothing you don't.

Feel free to ping me with *any* questions you might have about this, always happy to help :-)
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:39 am

LagunaH1 thanks man, this is great! We ran VHF and UHF handhelds and vehicle and base radios on the fire department. Working up in big bear we saw the big differences between them. We are planning a 3 month trip here off the beaten tracks (overland if you want to call it that) and I have a CB but I want a radio that I can reach out more with. I am looking for a higher powered vehicle based radio since there are two of us in one vehicle and that's it.

As an example, and a serious lesson to me... We were driving up to the station one night in the Chiefs car and we lost our radio channel and started hearing a weather report... With an accent... We kept listening and they started talking about London news! We were driving to the station at midnight in Southern California during a thunderstorm and hearing the morning news report in London. It is amazing how weather can affect radio signals. The chief used to work at Aerojet and explained it all to me :)


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:11 am

A good place to start for a "mobile" radio (that's HAM speak for a radio intended to be installed in a vehicle or as a base station) could be something like a Yaesu FT-8800R. This is a dual band (vhf and uhf) dual receive(it has 2 receivers so you can listen to 2 frequencies at the same time) radio. It's "basic" meaning it's analog FM only (no P25, DMR, D-Star, Fusion etc) but it has very good audio quality and its been on the market for a while so it tends to be very reliable. -Combine that with a good mobile 2m / 440 antenna on the roof of your truck (you could start with a magnet mount) and you should be in business.
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:50 pm

If I get a HAM radio, it will almost solely be for weather updates and distress calling, and for use for group communication, which is rare. Is there a fixed group of distress/mayday channels? Obviously non-marine and non-aeronautic. I don't want to spend a lot, I will rarely use it and I'm not looking to have radio friends I chat with every day. I would prefer a fixed antenna over a mag mount. HT is fine, obviously a Mobile will be easier and cleaner and I assume clearer and more powerful.

The brands you mentioned seem nice quality like you said. I see that Baofeng is way cheaper, obviously it looks like the Harbor Freight of the options, but would one of those suit me better? Or a good used radio? I want to buy once, be happy enough and have it meet my needs. I don't plan to expand on this.

PS I have a CB, but they are much lower power and I want to be able to reach out some of I am in the boondocks of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming. This is a serious consideration for us.


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:41 pm

So, I think this all will come down to this:

From where would you anticipate calling? -And who would you want to call?

The hand helds and the mobile VHF / UHF radios have "line of sight" coverage range. In other words: Ii you can see it, you can talk to it. If you want to talk to it, you need to be able to see it. -This is of course just a simple rule of thumb, but it's a good place to start. Depending on where you are, you may be able to reach a repeater or a networked repeater which in turn can carry your call to someone.

In HAM radio, there aren't any really "dedicated" emergency frequencies where you would be guaranteed to be able to reach someone. If you were to join a local radio club which operates one or more repeaters, then your odds of reaching someone in an emergency goes up some, but there still aren't any guarantees.

Depending on where you are planning on going, you may want to think about other options such as HF radio or maybe a Sat phone or something like a "spot" emergency beacon?
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:19 pm

That answers the needed questions then I think. If I have LOS I can use my CB or something different. I would only be worried in areas of rough terrain like canyonlands or the Rockies or cascades, or Death Valley/Mojave. Things like that. I was hoping HAM had NLOS capabilities. If that is the case, maybe I will do a SPOT or inReach and a NOAA weather radio. Maybe I'll grab a cheap HT just for group runs and things like that. How involved is HT programming with a Baofeng or a used Yaesu?


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:23 pm

Almost regardless of which radio you go with, you can program it using software on your PC.

My vote would be for a used Yaesu. I'm a fan of that brand:)
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:34 pm

If I get an HT, would I need to program the exact channels would use for a group run ahead of time, or could I adjust to a wavelength when we meet up?


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:37 pm

DamageWagon wrote:If I get an HT, would I need to program the exact channels would use for a group run ahead of time, or could I adjust to a wavelength when we meet up?


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The latter. You'd simply agree with your buddies about the frequency and then set the radio to do that. -This is one of the big differences between commercial / professional equipment, and HAM radio equipment: HAM radios are just about always "front panel programmable"
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:40 pm

Okay sweet :) I'll see what I can find. Might just grab an HT before the run. I'll see what the prices look like. It's funny to me because we would run 800 radios (UHF I think) and they were 5 grand :O then I see a Chinese crappy HT for 30 bucks...


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by LagunaH1 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:48 pm

LOL yeah, but... again, you get what you pay for. Those expensive radios no doubt were engineered to withstand heat, moisture, vibration, dust and VERY very difficult operating conditions from an RF perspective. That quality of engineering is expensive
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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:04 pm

Definitely right. At my last company we built command-control-communications systems/vehicles/centers for first responders. We made our own computers our of extruded heat sink. They weren't really fast, but they had to be special. They were $40,000 each :jawdrop: I see posts about people not buying the AEV snorkel because it means cutting a hole in the fender :) I chuckle a little because the first thing I would do when a brand new Suburban rolled in the door is drill 20 holes in the roof for a roof rack, antennae, air conditioning. It was fun :) definitely measure twice cut once type of work, but now that I'm used to it I don't have any hesitance to do it to my vehicle. Definitely daunting the first time...


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:40 am

Is it just me or is the steering wheel height adjuster lever right where your friggin knee goes when you get in the truck?


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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by Gunshotwoundshurt » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:16 am

Checking to see if this GTG is still a go. If so, I'll be there. Coming up from Carlsbad Ca.

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Re: Big Bear Run, Novemner 2016.

Post by DamageWagon » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:39 am

I'm planning on it. I would like to head up Friday night and camp, but I'm open to just going up Saturday. I am probably staying Saturday night and coming home early Sunday.


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