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Author Topic: Island Station Building (first station)  (Read 4717 times)
MEHAM
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Posts: 14




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« on: January 04, 2011, 07:44:16 PM »

Hello!  I'm new to Amateur Radio.  I am going to take the exam for my license in about a week.

I'm looking for some suggestions for a beginner station setup.  I currently have an R20 scanner which I love.  I really dig the ICOM gear/interface but I am definitely open to any brands.  I have been researching all sorts of equipment which has been great fun, but I need some experienced advice to move further and figure out the right direction(s) I should go with this.

Install location:
- Setup will be on an island, approx 2.5mi by 1.5mi, minimal elevation on the island, but many trees. 
- Can install antennas on the house roof

Main goals:
- Initial setup I can grow with and continue to learn/experiment with
- Be able to setup a crossband repeater (for coverage on the island + experimentation)
- Be able to cover the island so I can reliably use 5W handhelds with the repeater
 (if required)

Some specs that I would like in the setup:
- VHF/UHF
- HF (ideally all in one unit, may want a separate HF dedicated unit later)
- Dualband/Dualwatch receiver
- Crossband Repeat (if needed for HT island coverage)
- Full wideband receive (ideally, but can use my R20 hooked to an antenna for this)
- Computer programmable (controllable?)

Other questions:
Is VHF or UHF better to cover a tree covered island?
Do I want a 'base station' transceiver, or a 'mobile' transceiver?

I'm sure I left a bunch of info out so please ask questions if there is anything else
I can tell you to help clarify what would work best for my setup!  Thanks!

Louis
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 10:40:24 PM »

A first class "do it all" base station is the Kenwood TS2000.

A good mobil type radio that can also be used as a base (And will crossband repeat) Is the Yaesu FT8800

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MEHAM
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 09:16:39 AM »

Thanks for the input.  I have seen the Kenwood but I haven't looked at it too deeply, I will take a further look at it today.
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2238




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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 11:08:36 AM »

The TS-2000 will do cross band repeat.

http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Amateur_Radio/HF_Base_Mobile/TS-2000-B2000-2000X

Quote
Is VHF or UHF better to cover a tree covered island?
I really don't know.
But on and island that small, either rig listed above will
easily give you coverage on both 2m & 70cm.

That's a small island, sweet! What will be your power source?
73, Ken  AD6KA
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MEHAM
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 12:34:37 PM »

Very cool, didn't know that the TS2000 does crossband repeat.  Going to jump into the manual this evening and see what I can learn about it.  Also want to check out the computer interface (mainly for programming).

>That's a small island, sweet! What will be your power source?
There is power that is run to the island (under water) that is usually working, will likely get a standby backup generator in a year or so as some sort of backup (fridge + freezer + coffee pot + communication gears).  Falling trees have a habit of causing the island to loose power after a storm there.

The tallest spot on the island (ground) appears to be about 55ft, maybe 60ft.  The house ground height is at 23ft, I imagine the roof is about 20ft or more high (my sense of measurement is awful).  I'm hoping that mounting an antenna on the roof will cover things across the island for VHF/UHF, as well as give me VHF Marine receive capabilities for all the boat traffic roaming about.

Still plenty to learn!  The ARRL books have been a fantastic resource.

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NO6L
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 07:28:55 PM »

Also, the TS-2000 manual is a real pleasure, unlike Yeasu and Icoms. My take for a mobile is the FT-857D. Basically it's four multimode radios in one box for $800 or less. Makes an excellent first base station to "get your feet wet", then if you like what you hear, move it to the mobile and grab the TS-2000, for example. Get the cheat sheet for it (FT-857D) though, the manual completely blows.

That's all.
73
NO6L
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 04:35:00 AM »

I'm just increadibly curious as to where the island is!!!! Sounds great for radio!!!  Grin
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
MEHAM
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 07:25:28 AM »

It's an island off of the coast of Maine.  I figure HAM radio is the perfect thing to keep me busy there when there isn't any work to do on the house; can't wait to get my license and get some equipment up and running.

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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 09:29:01 AM »

I remember in the 1990s there was a small island for sale in the Great Barrier Reef  that had a shed, a water tank, some trees and not much else. It wasn't legal to live there, but I suppose if you owned it you could have camped there. It was $25,000, and I was tempted alright.....
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
KF5IZN
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 08:58:09 AM »

I'm such a newbie that I have never even operated a ham radio.
I also live on an island although more urban with not many trees.(Galveston)  I have used GMRS hand held to Hand Held reliably at 4 to 5 miles or more, at around 462MHZ  So I believe that UHF to base in your situation will work very reliably, and Probably so will VHF.
If you have family who will go wondering around you might consider GMRS if they don't have a Ham license.  1 GMRS license covers the family.
 
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