Grand staircase

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JeffStrom
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by JeffStrom » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:05 pm

Rick, if you are serious about using HAM radio, there aren't any sites in the monument, but across the river to the south there is a UHF repeater on Navajo mountain that should provide broad coverage for the entire area, as long as you have a view to the south horizon. Don't know if it would at all make sense to have a helmet communicator wired up in the Jeep to converse with bikes when they are very close. That might not be enough of the time to worry about. Also, did you say you upgraded to a Spot X?

Also, for GPS, I heard that Garmin got hit with a ransomware attack recently. I understand that they paid to get the decryption keys, which may mean they are restoring the compromised version of their systems. Map updates are probably fine, but I don't know about downloading software updates from them for a while. Were I that type of criminal, I could think of a lot of mischief to get into while I had access. But then, those guys are pretty focused on the pay day and there isn't comparatively a lot of money coming from individuals so maybe it isn't a big risk. Garmin might have learned a thing or two and actually hired competent IT leadership or perhaps properly funded their existing IT org, or contracted competent help. They may have been able to scrub their systems, and I'm just being paranoid.
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fixxervi6
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:11 pm

JeffStrom wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:05 pm
Rick, if you are serious about using HAM radio, there aren't any sites in the monument, but across the river to the south there is a UHF repeater on Navajo mountain that should provide broad coverage for the entire area, as long as you have a view to the south horizon. Don't know if it would at all make sense to have a helmet communicator wired up in the Jeep to converse with bikes when they are very close. That might not be enough of the time to worry about. Also, did you say you upgraded to a Spot X?

Also, for GPS, I heard that Garmin got hit with a ransomware attack recently. I understand that they paid to get the decryption keys, which may mean they are restoring the compromised version of their systems. Map updates are probably fine, but I don't know about downloading software updates from them for a while. Were I that type of criminal, I could think of a lot of mischief to get into while I had access. But then, those guys are pretty focused on the pay day and there isn't comparatively a lot of money coming from individuals so maybe it isn't a big risk. Garmin might have learned a thing or two and actually hired competent IT leadership or perhaps properly funded their existing IT org, or contracted competent help. They may have been able to scrub their systems, and I'm just being paranoid.
Yea I was serious about it, to keep riders connected with me in the jeep, the pace won't match - from experience. I was thinking just simplex for that purpose. Basically it would be like ok we are headed to X location on Y route and bikes would take off and jeep would slog behind slowly, comms would be used just for like safety or whatever in that case not necessarily chit chatting. GMRS would work too as my ham's are unlocked for that frequency and I can use Beck's license for that.

I do have a spot X. I almost considered a Garmin - I'm glad I didn't. For back country emergency comms in the big bend area a tech level license will get you talking hundreds of miles with the linked repeaters, for ham emergency comms in places like the staircase I'm working on a portable HF setup, I got my general ticket a couple months ago.
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JeffStrom
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by JeffStrom » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:21 pm

fixxervi6 wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:11 pm
Yea I was serious about it, to keep riders connected with me in the jeep, the pace won't match - from experience. I was thinking just simplex for that purpose. Basically it would be like ok we are headed to X location on Y route and bikes would take off and jeep would slog behind slowly, comms would be used just for like safety or whatever in that case not necessarily chit chatting. GMRS would work too as my ham's are unlocked for that frequency and I can use Beck's license for that.

I do have a spot X. I almost considered a Garmin - I'm glad I didn't. For back country emergency comms in the big bend area a tech level license will get you talking hundreds of miles with the linked repeaters, for ham emergency comms in places like the staircase I'm working on a portable HF setup, I got my general ticket a couple months ago.
I searched a different way and am now seeing 3 repeaters on Navajo Mountain. It was a bit odd since the repeaters are in UT, but closest city is Page, AZ.
146.9600 -0.6 MHz 100.0 Page (AZ), Navajo Mountain San Juan W7WAC OPEN ON-AIR
448.7500 -5 MHz 100.0 Page (az), Navajo Mountain San Juan NA7DB OPEN ON-AIR
449.9250 -5 MHz 100.0 Page (AZ), Navajo Mountain San Juan W7CWI OPEN ON-AIR
1st one is linked through Intermountain Intertie with coverage over most of the populated areas of UT.
I haven't looked but I'd be surprised if you could find a GMRS repeater that covers very much of that back country area, so that would be strictly point to point.

There you go Sam. You have a month to get a ham license. You can get Chinese dual-band hand-held radios on Amazon for less than $25. The test is just subset of questions randomly selected from a published question pool. You can download an app that will let you walk through all the questions or randomly generate a test from the pool. If you don't want to actually study the subject matter, you probably have enough technical knowledge that the questions will make sense and you can just use the app in your spare moments. Just need to find a local Ham club with an exam scheduled in the right window. Some of the clubs are pretty good and put paperwork in electronically right away. I've heard of people showing up in the database with a call sign in just a few days after the exam, but it could take longer, and who knows with the COVID stuff.
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fixxervi6
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:36 pm

Also, I can go the other way with the dates too, further out.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:46 pm

Online ham tests are a thing now, I did my general online.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by Telomere » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:28 pm

JeffStrom wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:21 pm
fixxervi6 wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:11 pm
Yea I was serious about it, to keep riders connected with me in the jeep, the pace won't match - from experience. I was thinking just simplex for that purpose. Basically it would be like ok we are headed to X location on Y route and bikes would take off and jeep would slog behind slowly, comms would be used just for like safety or whatever in that case not necessarily chit chatting. GMRS would work too as my ham's are unlocked for that frequency and I can use Beck's license for that.

I do have a spot X. I almost considered a Garmin - I'm glad I didn't. For back country emergency comms in the big bend area a tech level license will get you talking hundreds of miles with the linked repeaters, for ham emergency comms in places like the staircase I'm working on a portable HF setup, I got my general ticket a couple months ago.
I searched a different way and am now seeing 3 repeaters on Navajo Mountain. It was a bit odd since the repeaters are in UT, but closest city is Page, AZ.
146.9600 -0.6 MHz 100.0 Page (AZ), Navajo Mountain San Juan W7WAC OPEN ON-AIR
448.7500 -5 MHz 100.0 Page (az), Navajo Mountain San Juan NA7DB OPEN ON-AIR
449.9250 -5 MHz 100.0 Page (AZ), Navajo Mountain San Juan W7CWI OPEN ON-AIR
1st one is linked through Intermountain Intertie with coverage over most of the populated areas of UT.
I haven't looked but I'd be surprised if you could find a GMRS repeater that covers very much of that back country area, so that would be strictly point to point.

There you go Sam. You have a month to get a ham license. You can get Chinese dual-band hand-held radios on Amazon for less than $25. The test is just subset of questions randomly selected from a published question pool. You can download an app that will let you walk through all the questions or randomly generate a test from the pool. If you don't want to actually study the subject matter, you probably have enough technical knowledge that the questions will make sense and you can just use the app in your spare moments. Just need to find a local Ham club with an exam scheduled in the right window. Some of the clubs are pretty good and put paperwork in electronically right away. I've heard of people showing up in the database with a call sign in just a few days after the exam, but it could take longer, and who knows with the COVID stuff.
I did it in 7 days so it can be done. It is stupid easy. There is a website (for a fee) you can study and there are apps for the phone that just go over the questions. If you want to understand the material, use the website.
Chance favors the prepared mind.

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fixxervi6
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:27 pm

Telomere wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:28 pm
If you want to understand the material, use the website.
Or ask a ham
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fixxervi6
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:46 pm

Funny enough, I did just find some GMRS headsets.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:20 am

Ok so I gotta push this OUT - to the first full week in October, a crucial piece of equipment that I need is on back order and wont be here until end of September, so I need time for that to arrive and to get it installed.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:40 am

I got my hands full with school as it is... I'll get the HAM license, maybe, after I finally finish my damn degree. Glad this is being moved out to October, but work is picking up now through December. I'm still tentative.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:44 am

You'll want at least 1 other bike with you
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:39 pm

Just got back - it was amazing. Being in the area had me thinking about another road trip on 2
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by dufremle » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:16 am

Nice
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fartymarty » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:55 am

That looks like it was a great trip! Beautiful photos as well! :grin:
Looks like you got to the North Rim a few weeks before it closed for the season, best time to be there IMO.
I thought about getting a car top tent and maybe putting it on top of a trailer.
So how was it getting in and out of during the night? Oh wait...you're still
young you don't need to do that....yet......never mind.

That canopy doesn't seem to have any ground support, all cantilevered off the roof?
I'll go search for it, I'm sure it must be in the recent purchase thread somewhere...
....no, don't see it.....270 degree gull wing? Bush brand? Regardless, it all looks like a great set up.

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fixxervi6
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:39 pm

The drive out to north rim was way better than expected

They make purpose built trailers with these tents but they are pricey. To get it and out during the night I grab a headlamp and just get out, since it's usually dark and I'm in bfe I don't have to walk far to take a piss then dash back up into the tent. If your solo just use a Nalgene bottle - just make sure it's labeled so it doesn't get mis-used.

The tent is cantilevered off the roof with internal support, I can kneel on the edge and it holds it no problem, I'm 255lbs.
The awning is the Alu-Cab ($$$$$$$$$$$$) I chose it because it's free standing and has a reflective coting on top - this was a huge win on the trip, it works really well, deploys fast and folds up fast. You can get cheap ones but they deploy slower and have to be staked down. This one is literally like a 45 second deployment and folds up in like a minute, no stakes or guy wires required.
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