Playing doggie doctor and radio stuff.

Tuffy the peke is not having a good start to 2014 either. He’s 12 years old and because he is the son of a former puppy mill dog he has quite a few of the genetic problems common to Pekes and they all seem to be catching up to him now.  He developed a bit of a cough and while not that uncommon one of his litter mates also has the collapsing trachea thing common to pekes, so that could be developing. I found a cough tablet at the dollar store that seems to be helping a lot even though it’s just the first day using it. From my research it is safe to use a human cough remedy if it isn’t an expectorant.  I’ll be changing the dog food to a meat base rather than grain base like so many are today. I ran out of the meat based doggie treats and gave the old biscuit type and it effected Tuffy badly so the local pound will get the old dry dog food  and doggie biscuits once I get the new food this week.

It might sound a little heartless but I can’t afford to pay huge vet bills on 12 year old dog with genetic problems. I am keeping Tuffy comfortable and happy as well as learning to treat minor stuff on dogs.  I have high hopes that going to a meat based dry dog food will help with his occasional seizures. About the only treatment for the seizures is drugging the dog with medicines like Phenobarbital and having my dog drugged out of his mind doesn’t seem like much of a life. There is some buzz about adding yogurt/probiotics to your dog food that seems to help with inflammation in the body as well as some yeast infections of the ear in the floppy ear type dogs.  While most of us can’t become vets we can have a few medications on hand to treat our furry friends on some minor things so you need to build a good animal 1st aid kit and prepare for your animals just like you do yourself and the rest of the family.

I finally got to do a little programming of the Baofeng radios using the Chirp software. I went to the homepage of the Chirp software and covers a lot of different radios besides the Baofeng. I like the using the software to program a bunch of channels at once. I  made sort of a starting channel package that covers two VHF Coast Guard channels, a NOAA weather channel, two each of the FRS and GRMS , along with the local Ham radio club frequencies. Programing a couple of freqs in the Baofeng isn’t to difficult but it does get a bit tedious after that and the software makes it super easy to setup a basic channel package for multiple radios so everyone has the same basic starting point. I left a few “channels” free for adding things like a repeater or different frequencies to be added manually.

I updated the Chirp software as it could not “see” the Baofeng 888 series I bought and I’ll try and program that radio in the next couple of days. The Chirp software is simple to use with the Baofeng 5 series and Windows XP. My impressions so far on the using the Baofeng radios is get the3 or 5 series to start and have the option of manually programming freqs.  Buy the USB cable and download the Chirp software especially if you are getting multiple radios for family or to set up a neighborhood communications network. You can punch all the numbers in by hand but the cost of the cable is about $8.00 and after you do one radio you will want to have that cable and software to simple upload the radios in a few seconds rather than scroll through all the radio options manually.  Plus Ham radios are finally getting some love in prepping/survival sites so if you have a new  person move in with a Ham radio with the Chirp software you could program their radio in less than 30 seconds that gives them all the local stuff.

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7 Responses to Playing doggie doctor and radio stuff.

  1. Matt says:

    I had to update the USB driver on my computer to use Chirp on my radios, but after that it worked great.

    “Plus one” on what you said about doing it by hand. Using Chirp is much easier, however everyone should make sure they know how to do it by hand just in case.

    • Jamie says:

      Matt, I got the daily build Chirpw software and it has the stuff for the Baofeng 888 and a lot of other radios. I can program the 888 with the GRMS and FRS for the USA and that gives me 2 FRS/GRMS handhelds plus a motorola GRMS/FRS Base station along with 2 of the 5 series Baofengs for VHF/UHF.

    • Jamie says:

      Matt, I forgot when I installed the original Chirp software I put it on my F: hard drive and the Chirpw daily build installs by default on the C:/ drive. Once I installed it the chirpw update on the F:/ drive it worked great!

  2. Stephen says:

    Now I’m lost. I’m Ham and electronics ignorant. Hand me any firearm and I’ll run it…tech stuff, no way. So, where do I find this Chirp stuff and is the Be-thang radio worth the cost and effort? Or, should I purchase one of the higher grade model hand held ham radios, like the Jap critters?

    • Jamie says:

      Stephen, The Baofeng can be found on Amazon here’s a link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FTV11W6/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=OJNMFEPS1CK1&coliid=I4YCTCX61LUTI
      The programming cable is around $10.00 at Amazon

      Heres the link for the Chirp software http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Download
      There is a lot of other radio software on this site too.
      The software is easy to use and understand and is set up like an Excel worksheet.

      There is a yahoo group for this radio if you are looking for more info.

      I’m new to the Ham community but this seems to be a very popular low end radio with a lot of Ham’s as well as us newbies starting out. I haven’t done any transmitting but the radio feels solid and all of the moving parts feel clean and not sloppy. I listened in to the local hams and the sound is is very good and clear.
      These radios are very popular and the Chinese are dumping under cost to undercut Japan’s radio market. I have no love for the Chinese but they are doing to Japan what Japan did to the US electronics market.

      • Stephen says:

        What about long range antennas? The Yahoo group link didn’t show. Thanks for the information.

      • Jamie says:

        Stephen, I don’t know a lot about after-market antennas but you might contact a local Ham radio club in your area. They might have more info.
        The radio has a 5 watt maximum transmit power so if you want to go long range your will need a bit more power.

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