I have finally gotten the software for my 2 meter and 440 rigs and I'm pleased. Both of these radios are a bitch to program by hand.
The 2 meter and .7 meter bands are generally bands that use repeaters. Most of the traffic on these bands uses repeaters and they have to be programed into the sets for them to be useful.
A repeater is another radio that is generally located in the highest place in the area and it takes the sender's signal and rebroadcasts it on a different frequency. It enables the operator to make himself heard on the other side of the mountain, so to speak.
I have a 2 meter rig in my pickup and it works pretty well except that it is a first class brain teaser to program.
It's a whole lot easier to program the rig with the software. You fill out the channels with the pertinant data, frequencies, offset, tone etc. and plug it into the radio and with a few mouse clicks it installs it into the radio and you're good to go.
If you are planning on a trip you can sit down with the repeater handbook and in a few minutes set the rig up so you can simply select any repeaters within range all along your route. It's a pretty good deal because hams are generally somewhat busybodies and will cheerfully help you out if you get lost.
They'll also tell you where you can get something to eat along the route, too. It's always nice when you are on the road to know which ptomaine pits and botulism botiques to avoid.
Just because a place is called Mom's Diner doesn't mean YOUR mother is running it. The title 'Mom's Diner' doesn't say which mom.There are a number of mothers out there that are crackheads and/or just plain lousy cooks. Some of them can burn water to a crisp.
I suppose hams will also tip you off where there's a speed trap, too which can save you having to cough up a few unnecessary bucks to some small town tinhorn sheriff in order to pay the jerkwater hellhole's bills.
It's actually worth it to check in every so often because one time I was lost and another ham heard me ask for directions and he was better than a GPS. He was a local and pointed out a few extra details and got me right back on course, walking me through the route in real time. GPS is good, but you can't beat local knowledge.
Anyway, it's pretty amazing how easy it is to program one of these rigs with the software. It sure beats sitting there pushing dozens of buttons and wondering if you got everything in order or not.
Update: The software works like a charm.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY