Yet to hear a single peep on my Baofeng UV-5R

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Apr 22, 2024
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Georgia, USA
I get FM radio stations on the HT clear as a bell. I'm using the larger/folding ABBREE antenna. I don't feel like being inside versus going outside is really doing much.
 

ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
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Ok, I take that back, I just got a brief voice of "slight chance of showers" on the NOAA frequency
I wonder if the problem might be your antenna.

Just for testing, remove the "rubber duckie" antenna and put an aprox 12-18"" piece of wire in the center part of the antenna connector of the radio. The length isn't critical, but the part of the wire going in the antenna connector needs to be clean and shiny. Then try the NOAA weather frequency and see if there's any improvement.
 
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I'm glad there are mute buttons for these conference calls...

I have been able to pick up two NOAA stations fairly clearly in certain parts of my house and outside.

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K4EET

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On the frequencies where I asked you to set them all to "Tone", change them to "None" or "CSQ", however it is marked. That will stop the transmit PL tone (CTCSS) on your HT so you will not be able to key the repeater up when you get your license. What I want to see if those repeaters within 10 miles of you start to be received. Be sure to walk around your place to see if reception might be improved in a different location. Set the HT on a window sill if possible. Even put the HT on the window that faces the Marietta repeater sites. Let us know what you observe.

As for the wire antenna, your antenna jack may be a "male" sex where the center conductor is a pin sticking up. If that is the case, whereby not being a "female" sex with a hole to shove the small gauge wire into, you may not be able to make a reliable connection. See what you can do but please do not mess up the connector. SMA connectors tend to be somewhat fragile.
 
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I blanked out the Tone setting in CHIRP for all, which per the internet, should mean the same as "none" and I uploaded the amended channels to the HT. I walked around my house, upstairs/downstairs/basement...I walked outside all around my back and front yard. I did not hear a single voice or sound from any of the set channels within 10 miles of my house. In further research, that particular repeater is actually 21 miles from my house

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When I leave my HT on that frequency (145.490), every ten minutes there is a short morse code sounding bust, that's it.

The closest repeater with further research seems to be (147.535), which is about 6 miles away. I'm not hearing anything on it at the moment.
1713994844893.png
I've been able to pick up both of the NOAA frequencies fairly clearly...that's the extent of my contact with this radio. I'm imagining, while there is probably a lot of user error ongoing at the moment, a $30 HT isn't really going to cut it if I want to actually connect to something from my house.
 

K4EET

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<snip> I'm imagining, while there is probably a lot of user error ongoing at the moment, a $30 HT isn't really going to cut it if I want to actually connect to something from my house.
Cheap Chinese Radios (CCRs) do have a lot to be desired. But I'm not convinced that that is the problem.

The 147.535 MHz repeater (WC4RAV in Marietta) appears to be a digital repeater with a non-standard offset (-0.940 MHz). If it is in-fact transmitting digital 100% of the time, with your PL tone (CTCSS) blank (carrier squelch), you should be able to hear low volume "noise". I say low volume because it is a "narrowbanded" repeater according to the RepeaterBook.com database (which has been known to be wrong a time or two). RepeaterBook is dependent on input from the repeater's custodian(s) and then keeping that information up-to-date if changes are made.

What we really need at this point is some input to this thread from local hams in and around Marietta, GA. Perhaps if this thread were moved to the Georgia sub-forum, better information on these repeaters may become available. If you want this thread moved, click the "Report" link in the lower-left of this post. Ask the moderator to please move this entire thread to the Georgia sub-forum. Moving is preferred over creating a new thread because the new thread would not have the historical information already discussed. If it is moved, I'll still continue to follow the postings.

If you should start looking for a better quality HT with more features, look at ICOM, Kenwood, and Yaesu (the big three in ham radio). I personally prefer Yaesu radios now. They have both analog-only and analog/digital HTs. Their digital HTs are a proprietary Yaesu System Fusion (YSF) format. ICOM and Kenwood share a proprietary digital format called D-STAR. There are other digital protocols such as DMR, NXDN, P25, etc. BEFORE buying a digital radio, be sure to ask the local clubs and hams that you might want to associate with. While Yaesu System Fusion networks are a lot of fun, you don't want to miss out on local fun if everyone is running around with a DMR HT. Research, research, research!

73, Dave K4EET
 
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Thank you for the input. I've submitted my request to the moderator. I have an errand to run tomorrow during the day that will take me closer to that repeater. I'm going to take this HT with me and see if I can at least obtain a signal and go from there.

I am 100% looking into what actual home radio to purchase, why all I will need to get it up and running, antenna, etc. I would ultimately like something I can put on a tripod on my back deck and extend/retract as I use it...but I don't even know if I'm going in the right direction with that thought.

The radio I've had my eye on is the Yaesu FT-991A. I've got a Ham Outlet store without 45 minutes of my house. I figured once I have my tech license, I'll make a run up there and throw down some $$$.
 

K4EET

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<snip>

The radio I've had my eye on is the Yaesu FT-991A. I've got a Ham Outlet store without 45 minutes of my house. I figured once I have my tech license, I'll make a run up there and throw down some $$$.
The Yaesu FT-991A is a very nice radio. I have a few friends that have that model. They are super pleased with it. As for having a Ham Radio Outlet nearby, you are one lucky ham! One of the ultimate "candy" stores! See you in the Georgia forum... 73, Dave K4EET
 
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The Yaesu FT-991A is a very nice radio. I have a few friends that have that model. They are super pleased with it. As for having a Ham Radio Outlet nearby, you are one lucky ham! One of the ultimate "candy" stores! See you in the Georgia forum... 73, Dave K4EET
I'll be doing as much research as I can ahead of time...but I'm hoping the folks at the store can be my guide. My luck, I'll spend $2,000 on equipment, get it setup and then realize I'm in some amateur radio black hole in my neighborhood lol

Appreciate all the current and continued insight!
 

MTS2000des

5B2_BEE00 Czar
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Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Cheap Chinese Radios (CCRs) do have a lot to be desired. But I'm not convinced that that is the problem.

The 147.535 MHz repeater (WC4RAV in Marietta) appears to be a digital repeater with a non-standard offset (-0.940 MHz). If it is in-fact transmitting digital 100% of the time, with your PL tone (CTCSS) blank (carrier squelch), you should be able to hear low volume "noise". I say low volume because it is a "narrowbanded" repeater according to the RepeaterBook.com database (which has been known to be wrong a time or two). RepeaterBook is dependent on input from the repeater's custodian(s) and then keeping that information up-to-date if changes are made.
RepeaterBook is very wrong. Lots of paper repeaters and Georgia trustee omits relevant information. The WC4RAV VHF repeater is P25 full time. So yeah, O/P's CCR isn't going to work. The UHF analog is currently offline. I know, I am the trustee of both.

Repeaters that may be receivable on a Bowelturd in his area:
145.47, located on one of my sites in Sandy Springs. Very active- linked during nets to 444.475 from same location.
146.82 located downtown Atlanta on the old Bank of America building.
146.655 located in Marietta, linked to K8MDM repeater
146.805 located in Jasper on Mt. Oglethorpe. Wide area coverage.
147.015 located on Pine Log Mountain, wide area coverage.

O/P, PM me and I can assist you once you have your ham license. The 991A is a great radio, but a lot of coin. There are good quality VHF/UHF rigs available for much much less that aren't Chinese trash. You'll be amazed what you can do with a good QUALITY analog dual band, a QUALITY vertical and QUALITY feed line. I don't mean EXPENSIVE either, but not $30 Bowelturd. Those radios are trash and should be avoided at all costs. Good luck on your exam. I am sure you will do well!
 

w2xq

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Burlington County, NJ
MTS2000des and K4EET have given you good advice, but at this point I suspect you need something more in help. I would encourage you to join a local radio club or find a local ham that could help.:

1. Ask the person(s) administering the test.

2. Find a local ARRL club at ARRL - Home

3. Find local amateurs using RadioQTH - Zip Lookup and/or Amateur Radio License Map | Ham Info or ask at your local amateur store.

Judging from your comments, I would recommend you go slow on the purchase of a transceiver for the house. Visit your local library and do some reading on introductory amateur concepts to develop focused questions to ask here or of your local amateurs. Spending four figures for a new radio setup without having an understanding may lead to wasted money.

Hope this helps.
 

paulears

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Lowestoft - UK
The interesting thing was when you heard the morse code. If the repeater ID comes through it could simply be nobody is talking? Our town has two repeaters, one uhf and analogue and one digital. Many days i dont hear anything. If the antenna you are using is the military style foldable thing, folded, they are dreadful. Strong signals only, even opened up. The antenna supplied with the radio is streets better. If you buy a quality radio, you might still get better quality silence. The baofeng can only receive what is actually there at your location. Find your weather broadcast, and experiment with moving the radio and swapping the antenna, you could discover your normal listening location is a dead spot!
 

mmckenna

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I am a lineman for the county.
The interesting thing was when you heard the morse code. If the repeater ID comes through it could simply be nobody is talking? \

Reading through this thread, that's what I was thinking.
Many ham repeaters are very quiet and it's not uncommon to not hearing anything on them. If you hear the Morse code ID, then you are receiving the repeater. There just may not be anyone talking.
 

MTS2000des

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146.805 is linked for a net every Wednesday night, it was active form around 8P-10:30 last night non-stop. 145.47 is active right now.
A Bowelturd and rubber duck antenna could easily be overloaded by anything near field to it, and if the squelch is too high, CTCSS tone wrong, etc- hard to diagnose over the internet.

I haven't gotten a PM from the O/P who was asking about my repeaters. I am more than willing to meet in a public location and look at his/her radio and assist but they have to take the first step.
 

nd5y

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Wichita Falls, TX
It's probably not the squelch. Baofeng UV-5R/UV-82 type radios have 10 squelch level settings. 0 is open and 1-9 on unmodified radios the factory settings are too close together and too low to not open on strong stations. That's if you happen to not have overload and desense which can give the appearance of the squelch being too tight.
 
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Reading through this thread, that's what I was thinking.
Many ham repeaters are very quiet and it's not uncommon to not hearing anything on them. If you hear the Morse code ID, then you are receiving the repeater. There just may not be anyone talking.
The only problem with that is that K4EET was having a conversation with someone on that repeater, I never heard any of it...
 

tweiss3

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If you are experiencing significant differences between inside and outside, you likely have too much RFI interference in your home for that radio to be effective inside.
 
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