So new I squeak and lots of questions

mtand73

Hobo
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
57
Location
Iowa
Ok sorry if this gets long but I need help.

1. I have ADHD and major learning issues with math, have been trying to study the No Nonsense Tech study guide without much luck as it's going in my eyes rattling around in my head and dribbling out my ears it seems.
I found a youtube version that seemed to help a little more but it seems like this stuff is going over my head!
I have a club nearby but with covid going on meeting is pretty much a nope.
Anyone have any ideas to help?

2. I bought a Baofeng UV-82L hoping to at least listen to POLICE EMS and some local hams talking just to start I have watched videos on how to program with CHIRP and have a few channels programmed in but all I get is static and once in a while I get a channel lock but no audio comes out.
Anyone able to point a idiot in the direction of how to hear SOMETHING on this thing before I throw in the towel out of frustration?
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,801
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Ok sorry if this gets long but I need help.

1. I have ADHD and major learning issues with math, have been trying to study the No Nonsense Tech study guide without much luck as it's going in my eyes rattling around in my head and dribbling out my ears it seems.
I found a youtube version that seemed to help a little more but it seems like this stuff is going over my head!
I have a club nearby but with covid going on meeting is pretty much a nope.
Anyone have any ideas to help?
My son is ADHD, so I can understand. He's only 14, but I'd love for him to get his ham license at some point in the future.

But, Not much help. I think figuring out what learning style works best for you and working off that is your best shot.
If hands on learning works best, finding a club or "elmer" that will take the time to walk through it with you may be your best shot, but COVID is going to make that impossible right now.

There are some good videos, but some of the math can get a tad bit deep if they are not explaining it very well.

Again, pre-COVID days, there were "ham cram" sessions that would have you read over the questions/answers repeatedly until you had them memorized and then quickly take the test. My wife went that route many years ago and got her ticket.

Do NOT let anyone tell you that there is only one "right" way to learn this stuff. That's total B.S. The ham license just opens the door to the hobby. Some of the stuff they require you to learn will never be used again. Some of it will. Which is which will depend entirely on what parts of the hobby you want to get into. If you learn best by hands on, getting your foot in the door with your license will let you experiment and try out your radios and maybe learn better that way. The license, like I said, just gets you in the door, there's still a ton of learning to do, but you do it in your own way at your own pace. Don't let any hams give you grief for that. We all started where you are….

2. I bought a Baofeng UV-82L hoping to at least listen to POLICE EMS and some local hams talking just to start I have watched videos on how to program with CHIRP and have a few channels programmed in but all I get is static and once in a while I get a channel lock but no audio comes out.
Anyone able to point a idiot in the direction of how to hear SOMETHING on this thing before I throw in the towel out of frustration?
There could be a ton of reason for that:
Could be programmed wrong
Could be the agency you want to listen to is digital
Could be that your location is preventing you from hearing the radio traffic.

Might be best to get the radio outside and in the clear. Try putting in one of the NOAA Weather Channels and seeing if you can receive those. 162.400MHz, 162.425MHz, 162.450MHz, 162.475MHz, 162.500MHz, 162.525MHz, 162.550MHz
You may need an external antenna if you are trying to hear traffic inside your home.
 

mtand73

Hobo
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
57
Location
Iowa
Thanks! Yes hands on is best for my learning but as you said meeting the local club is on hold due to covid.
Yes I can tune in NOAA
I'll try to get back tomorrow night with info on what I'm trying to listen to.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
9,995
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I have a bit of ADD or ADHD as they call it today. I only did well in school in a few subjects, ok, so I only did well in a couple of science and electronic classes where I was memorized by the subject and I had good instructors. Everything else I might have received a D grade at best all throughout 12 grades of school. I never did any homework (ever!!!) and relied on final tests to barely get a passing grade.

After analyzing this for many years I find when a subject is made very interesting I can get wrapped up in it quite well and if it doesn't get my immediate attention its going to be a struggle. I'm much better now than in grade school or high school and I probably learned more about math and other topics in the first few years out of school than I did in all my school years because I could put things to practical use rather than scribble answers on paper. For the OP, if you are interested in electronics in general it should go ok and if you can find an Elmer or instructor that can put the subject matter into a story with examples it should make a big difference in retaining the information.

I tend to do well as an instructor because I know very intimately what its like to loose focus and drift off into ten other topics that seem more interesting while I'm supposed to be paying attention to the subject in front of me. Its good to go over the material several times and from different angles getting to the same answer so you might connect with one example where others might bounce off. For the instructor its all about making the topic interesting and captivating, pulling you in so its the only thing in your head and you can focus and retain the information.

If you were local I would be happy to help with technical and math questions and I suspect once you get hooked on the subject you would ace the extra class test in no time.
 
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ScubaJungle

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
614
Location
West Central Florida
Theres a good chance that the police are using digital or a trunked system, which the Baofeng UV82 can't decode. I could be wrong - you may be lucky and the police may be using conventional. non-trunked by you, but it is highly likely that isn't the case - your city/town/area would help determine that.
I would suggest going into "frequency" mode on your Baofeng - and scanning from 440 - 474.
Around 440 you will hear any local hams on 70cm, if they are there.
From 450-474, you will hear businesses, hospitals, etc - basically any industry/business - some will be digital (and therefore not monitorable with the UV82), but there should also be some conventional - varies by area.

Then, do the same for 140 - 174.
Around 147 you will hear hams on 2 meters, from 150 - 159 you will hear a range of things - business, police - if they are using VHF in your area, in which case you could probably pick them up with your Baofeng, maritime (if you are close to a body of water).
Then in the 160-161 range, there is CSX - railroads, which you can hear as long as they are not using NXDN (digital).
Then, from 162 - 174 is federal - everything from the Coast Guard to the FBI - but, they usually use P25 (another form of digital, and may also be encrypted), so it is highly unlikely you will be able to listen to anything there with the Baofeng.

This is just a basic guide, I may have missed some things - but for the most part - this would be your "map" the the two ranges your UV82 is capable of (VHF and UHF).

If you are interested in scanning, then you may want to look into getting a scanner in addition to your UV82, so you can do both.
I agree that you can definitely pass the test - you just need to find a way that works for you.
Also, I suggest looking at the whole question pool - use a specified approach where you focus on the questions light on math/no math. There are plenty of questions with no math, and diagrams that you can just memorize if you really dont understand them. I am the other way around - but I use the same approach - questions that require rote memorization, I tend to skip and not even bother, whereas questions that I can understand the answer to, I focus on. Thats not to say to ignore sections of the test - but prioritize what questions you focus on learning most by what you feel you are able to learn. Good luck!
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,801
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Thanks! Yes hands on is best for my learning but as you said meeting the local club is on hold due to covid.
Yes I can tune in NOAA
I'll try to get back tomorrow night with info on what I'm trying to listen to.
OK, good deal.
See, you are not alone! I probably have some level of ADD, but like PRCguy, if I find it interesting, I'm hooked. My son is the same way, unfortunately at 14 it's Fortnight, dreaming about a motorcycle and starting to get interested in girls.

Provide a location and you'll get pointed in the right direction for listening to local agencies. Keep up the work on the ham test. There are groups that are doing the tests online now, so it's possible to get your ticket even with the social distancing in place.
 

K4EET

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,365
Location
Severn, Maryland, USA
mtand73, you have been given given some really good information by the above three posters. The one thing that I and the rest of us really do not want you to do is to "throw in the towel out of frustration." We are in some really trying times and things not only need to be done a little differently, they also need to be done a little more delicately. A lot of folks are really getting edgy based on the unknowns with the overall COVID-19 situation and in your case, you have added stress factors of trying to learn the Technician Class license material and trying to program the Baofeng UV-82L. One bit of good news is you are able to copy one or more of the NOAA weather channels in your area that mmckenna gave you (which apparently you already had programmed in). That's great so let's start there...

To help out finding local ham repeaters, create a free account at Repeater Book:


There are 266 ham repeaters in the Repeater Book database for Iowa. The main page is found here:


Use the "Advanced Repeater Search" capability for Iowa to search by county and by either VHF Band (2 m) or UHF Band (70 cm) using this webpage (leave the other selections alone):


If you click on the resulting frequency(s) that are found, you will get the complete programming information. You are only going to be able to receive repeaters with FM modulation so if you see DMR, D-STAR, FUSION, or anything but FM, you will not be able to receive those repeaters with your radio. If you did see DMR, D-STAR and FUSION and you wanted to receive those also, you would actually need three more radios. But you don't need that right now because you only want what your local club members use and they will all use FM so you made the right choice!

Speaking of club members, have you looked at the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) database for local clubs? That database is found here:


Finally, and I see that there has been another post since I have been writing this rather long post so I hope that I did not duplicate anything, but consider using Skype or Zoom with a local club member as an Elmer (somebody that helps you get licensed and answers any questions that you have along the way). I use those all the time to attend local club meetings during this time of social distancing. If you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me a Private Message (PM) and I'll see if I can help you out. I am terminally ill with a disorder called MELAS Syndrome and I'm not the smartest cookie in the house either. But I'll try...

73 (best wishes in ham lingo) my friend, Dave K4EET
 

K4EET

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,365
Location
Severn, Maryland, USA
mtand73, I believe I am right on what I'm about to say...

The repeaters marked with "YSF" are all digital C4FM Yaesu System Fusion (YSF) repeaters and your radio will not receive that. You would need a specific grouping of radios from only Yaesu to access those repeaters. So exclude:

W0VHQ 443.9 MHz
W0VHQ 145.31 MHz
W0DRK 444.85 MHz
W0VHQ ???.?? MHz

The repeaters that you can listen to and access are:

K0QBI 146.67 MHz (-600 kHz) 141.3 Hz Transmit Tone
KC0TQU 444.875 MHz (+5 MHz) No PL Tone

Let me know if you need help programming those last two repeaters.

73, Dave K4EET
 

mtand73

Hobo
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
57
Location
Iowa
I have to say you all make this a great forum!
I was apprehensive to post here due to bad experiences in other forums about various things and being made to feel like I was a idiot.
You guys ROCK! Thanks for the encouragement and help so far!
 
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