When all else fails and you can’t get on HF, then VHF never fails right? I hooked up my Baofeng UV5R5 to my discone antenna using alligator clips because I didn’t have the right PL259 adapter for the Baofeng. I finally figured out the whole PL tone thing with the Baofeng, that’s why I wasn’t able to get in to the repeater. I also figured out how to program the offset. These little radios work great for how much they cost once you get to learn all the different functions and menu options. The software & cable would make it much easier, but who does things the easy way?!

So I called CQ into the N5OAK repeater -[147.320 PL tone 114.8] (a repeater I’ve been listening to on and off for some time now) – they even have a live streaming service into a server that you can listen in on – there’s about a minute or two delay on the audio, but works when I’m at work inside a basement and can’t bring my radio in! KG5CDP answered my call (Brandon), I introduced myself, and he did the same. We chat a little bit about the club and I expressed my frustrations with living in an HOA! Brandon was VERY helpful and said not to worry, that there’s plenty of options for guys living in an HOA. (relieved me a bit) I’m not into the formal type of amateur radio clubs, I think there’s too many politics and I don’t think anyone should have to pay dues to be in a group to learn about ham radio, but i’ll gladly support groups who are non profit and try to spread the word about this wonderful hobby.

Hobby?…. I almost hate calling it that…

A hobby is an activity that you have on the side that keeps your mind occupied when your bored (at least to me). Ham radio is more like a passion! And for some hams a way of life! I only wish that I would have learned more about this sooner in life. So that was my first VHF contact, thanks Brandon! The signal was so loud and clear! I can’t wait to get a 2m base station setup with my j pole, going to try putting the j pole in the attic at an angle (there’s not enough room to put it vertically). Although i’ll probably quickly find out that it needs to be outside again!

On a side note, I made another QSO on the Chameleon F Loop antenna to Kansas City, Missouri using 15 watts with the antenna inside my QTH. My report was horrible, like a 4-1. But he said he could hear me! Below was me behind the microphone when the receiving station responded to my CQ:


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