ham radio operators?

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durangopipe
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:54 am

Jocose wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:53 am
Stanley76 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm
So I'm looking at transceivers and I'm thinking that to start out I'd be better off to get a handheld because (1) Price, (2) I can use it without stringing up some dipole antenna that I don't know crap about (but I will get a longer magnetic mount vehicle antenna). 3. I won't have to set up things like a power supply etc. because I can use integral batteries or plug it into my truck power outlet and (4) i plan on just listening and basically keeping my mouth shut to learn the ins and outs on the bands I'm allowed to use.

I plan on upgrading to a base unit and all that entails later when I've actually learned something. So far all I'm doing is basically studying exam questions to get past that. This is what I'm looking at. I can spend up to five or six hundred but if a less expensive transceiver would serve my purposes that would be great.

https://www.dxengineering.com/search/de ... =Ascending

Any recommendations?
If you're thinking about a HT definitely take a look at a Baofeng, they're very inexpensive ($25-$30 ) on Amazon and if you decide that you want to go the HF CW route you'll have more pennies in yer pocket for a HF rig.

I bought a Yaesu HT before I was licensed and honestly I dont use it much, looking back I would have just saved my money for a HF radio, maybe something like Steve's ICOM 7300.
I agree with Jo.

Find out (internet search) what 2m and 440MHz repeaters are available in your area. Given that you haven’t found any local ham clubs, it’s possible that 2m repeaters are both relatively distant and not often used. 440MHz repeaters may be non-existent. VHF and UHF simplex (direct communication between two radios) may be impossible if there aren’t hams nearby who use those bands. It really would help if you could find a local ham to fill you in on what’s going on nearby.

If you go to QRZ.com, you can search for hams by location. Just put some nearby towns into the search window after choosing “search by name/address” and see what you find. If you find a few, send them emails and tell them you’re a new ham hoping to learn about the local repeater and activity situation. Hams tend to be both very welcoming and very helpful to new hams.

If it is the case that there actually are no hams nearby, your best operating opportunities may be on your allowed HF frequencies with more distant hams.

Spending a lot of money on an HT might not be a good idea given your location, but having an HT is always handy - especially when you travel. 2m is more active than 440MHz in most places. I have never used 440, but most of the emergency communication and public service ham supported communication here takes place through the two 2M repeaters maintained by our club and an HT is more than adequate most of the time. Lots of volunteer ham communication here is handled by Tech license holders with HTs.

If you can swing it, I also agree with Jo about the Icom IC-7300. Terrific price/features. If not, a lot of good used HF radios can be had for base station use on HF for less.

We can talk about antennas when you get an HF rig.

The Tech license will allow you to get started, but the world of ham radio will really open up as you upgrade your license. (Ask Jo 😁).
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:38 am

Thanks to both of you for your advice. I value it. I do plan to get the ICOM 7300 fairly soon. After I pass the Technician Exam, I'm going to immediately start studying for the General License. Like I said I have so much to learn, so everything I've done so far has been geared towards passing the exam. There is so much that I just don't know but I'm loving every second of it.

I also will be working on learning Morse Code. When I get to that point I will have questions regarding apps or programs or websites that will help me learn. What I'm hearing so far is to try and approach it almost like a second language rather than looking at the visual di's and dah's.

I really do want a HT so that I can use it while out of the house. The four closest repeaters are in Oriental (28 miles), Plymouth NC (30 miles), Columbia (38 miles) and Englehard (34 miles) as the crow flies. The terrain here is dead flat but there is lot of trees (pine plantations) around. Hope I can reach at least one of them. If not I probably can when I am out in my truck not in this area. I have also been looking into signing up with Echolinks(?)

There is a HAM club in Washington NC in my county and they are hosting the examination process so I will talk to them about joining when I take the exam on Saturday.

Thanks again to you guys for all your help and encouragement. Wish me luck.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:30 pm

The four closest repeaters are in Oriental (28 miles), Plymouth NC (30 miles), Columbia (38 miles) and Englehard (34 miles) as the crow flies. The terrain here is dead flat but there is lot of trees (pine plantations) around. Hope I can reach at least one of them.
Glad you checked that out.

I bet you will be able to reach at least some of them. If not, or if they're "noisy", you might look into a better antenna for the HT and a mag mount for your car/truck.
There is a HAM club in Washington NC in my county and they are hosting the examination process so I will talk to them about joining when I take the exam on Saturday.
Excellent! I'm sure they will prove to be a valuable resource.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:22 pm

I ordered a Kenwood TH-K20A HT, the recommended magnetic mount antenna and cable for my truck, a 15" dual band antenna and a desk charger for it. I bought this one because it seemed reasonably priced and most of the reviewers commented on how easy it was for beginners to set up but performed well. We'll see. I am getting an IC-7300 later though.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Cobster » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:54 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm
So I'm looking at transceivers and I'm thinking that to start out I'd be better off to get a handheld because (1) Price, (2) I can use it without stringing up some dipole antenna that I don't know crap about (but I will get a longer magnetic mount vehicle antenna). 3. I won't have to set up things like a power supply etc. because I can use integral batteries or plug it into my truck power outlet and (4) i plan on just listening and basically keeping my mouth shut to learn the ins and outs on the bands I'm allowed to use.

I plan on upgrading to a base unit and all that entails later when I've actually learned something. So far all I'm doing is basically studying exam questions to get past that. This is what I'm looking at. I can spend up to five or six hundred but if a less expensive transceiver would serve my purposes that would be great.

https://www.dxengineering.com/search/de ... =Ascending

Any recommendations?
I would like to recomend is the mighty ft-817 by Yeasu!
Its a 2m -160m qrp radio. Its only 5w but the little bugger is too handy not to have kicking around! Attach the sholder strap and a ht antenna to the front bnc and its a ht. Stick it in the car with a magmount and plug it into the car's 12v system now your mobile!! It has a inturnal battery. Great audio. Small size. I wont part with mine!

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:29 pm

I I passed the Technician License exam. I missed one question and scored 97. I have to wait until my license shows up in the FCC database which will take around ten days before I can attempt to contact someone but I can listen and learn in the meantime.

I met some guys there from a local club, the Pamlico Amateur Radio Club. They meet one Thursday a month in a church near me so I'm going to join it. They gave me some good information. For example they told me the frequency of a repeater in Bath and the PL tone number. For some reason it didn't show up on the repeater locator website I used but it's only 14 miles from my house. I drove past it on the way home. They also told me that the repeater in Columbia NC is over 1000 feet tall, so I should be able to connect with that and the one in Oriental. They said the one in Oriental is connected to repeaters all up and down the coast so i will be able to contact people all over ENC. They also told me that they will help me when it comes time to upgrade and get a serious base unit. The guys in the club always help new guys and help each other putting up antennas. I expect I'll learn a lot from them. Really nice guys.

When I got home the FedEx guy was pulling out of my driveway. He had delivered my first radio, perfect timing. It's a Kenwood TH-K20. It was pretty inexpensive but according to the reviews very easy for a beginner to learn to use. According to the guys I met I should be able to connect to local repeaters with no problem. I'm charging the radio now and will read the manual while it's charging. I also ordered a magnetic mount mobile antenna so that will help even more.

So now the first step is done and the real learning starts. I'm going to start studying for my General License and also CW. The next exam session is 3/19 which gives me time to really study.

Thanks to you guys for the advice and encouragement. This is going to be fun.
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:16 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:29 pm
I I passed the Technician License exam. I missed one question and scored 97. I have to wait until my license shows up in the FCC database which will take around ten days before I can attempt to contact someone but I can listen and learn in the meantime.

I met some guys there from a local club, the Pamlico Amateur Radio Club. They meet one Thursday a month in a church near me so I'm going to join it. They gave me some good information. For example they told me the frequency of a repeater in Bath and the PL tone number. For some reason it didn't show up on the repeater locator website I used but it's only 14 miles from my house. I drove past it on the way home. They also told me that the repeater in Columbia NC is over 1000 feet tall, so I should be able to connect with that and the one in Oriental. They said the one in Oriental is connected to repeaters all up and down the coast so i will be able to contact people all over ENC. They also told me that they will help me when it comes time to upgrade and get a serious base unit. The guys in the club always help new guys and help each other putting up antennas. I expect I'll learn a lot from them. Really nice guys.

When I got home the FedEx guy was pulling out of my driveway. He had delivered my first radio, perfect timing. It's a Kenwood TH-K20. It was pretty inexpensive but according to the reviews very easy for a beginner to learn to use. According to the guys I met I should be able to connect to local repeaters with no problem. I'm charging the radio now and will read the manual while it's charging. I also ordered a magnetic mount mobile antenna so that will help even more.

So now the first step is done and the real learning starts. I'm going to start studying for my General License and also CW. The next exam session is 3/19 which gives me time to really study.

Thanks to you guys for the advice and encouragement. This is going to be fun.
Yay!
Well done, Stanley.

Belonging to a local ham club, and having ham friends there, will be a huge help - not to mention, fun.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:20 pm

Congrats! Well done Stan! Looking forward to hearing you here on the Moonbase, I'll have to dig my HT out and get on the repeaters, If I can remember how to set the tone and stuff..

Add a little Morse practice everyday with the General study guide and you'll be pounding brass in no time.

Oh, forgot, you already have HF privileges on 40 and 80 CW!
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:51 am

Thanks y'all (that's North Carolinian for "you all", similar to NYC "youse guys"). I signed up for this website to get me started in learning CW. https://lcwo.net/

Thing is I still have to learn the practical knowledge at a Technician level since all I've done is memorize exam questions and learn a few formulas. I pick it up pretty quickly I think and I will be studying hard for my General License.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:10 pm

So now I'm researching transceivers and other equipment such as power sources to build my extraterrestrial base. So far all I have is that Kenwood HT. I've also ordered a scanner so I can know what is going on real time in my area. I am getting a Uniden SDS100 scanner preprogrammed for my county and the four surrounding counties. Pricey but L.E. and other Emergency Services are on 800 Trunking and VIPR systems now so it's the only way to monitor.

So here's a question: I am looking at the ICOM 7300 which I think is HF so I would need to get a 2 meter and 70 meter (look at me throwing out these terms!) base unit, maybe a mobile unit to keep in my house first until I get my General License. I could mount a vertical antenna for the VHF/UHF transceiver on my house maybe like this: https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dmn-hv7a?rrec=true

The other option would be to go ahead and get an all band transceiver like the Yaesu 991A (1130.00) or the ICOM IC 7100 (880.00).

I will also need to get a power supply if you guys have opinions on those.

Any advice will be appreciated.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:26 pm

Is there an HRO near you?

My first HF rig was a Yaesu FT-891 and the power supply was inexpensive.

The FT891 can be mounted in yer truck and used at home, very versatile, has 6 meters on it too.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

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