Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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bblhd672
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:24 am

RoyGBiv wrote:
TexasJohnBoy wrote:Y'all, I don't need another hobby. Quit it!
bblhd672 wrote:What would be good equipment to get started with? Preferably mobile (handheld) first, then base station (home).

But I have the same questions....

IMO Buying a Baofeng UV-5R for about $30 from Amazon is the easiest, no-regrets, starter handset.
Low investment and more than enough quality to get started.
My $150 Alinco handset is great, but the transmit and receive quality of the Baofeng is equal.
Baofeng battery life is MUCH better. The only spec where the Alinco beats the Baofeng is that the Alinco has some water resistance rating.

Make sure to buy from a reputable seller with fulfillment via Amazon. I got one with a defective connector and Amazon made it right, no questions asked.

Also, I highly recommend buying a data cable for programming from a computer. While I find the Baofeng easier to program from the keypad than my Alinco, it's still much MUCH easier to program from the computer. The programming software is free from either Baofeng or you can use CHIRP. I prefer CHIRP.


The negative I seem to read most about the Baofeng is the antenna that comes with it. What would be a better antenna to purchase to go with it?
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby TexasJohnBoy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:38 am

bblhd672 wrote:
RoyGBiv wrote:
TexasJohnBoy wrote:Y'all, I don't need another hobby. Quit it!
bblhd672 wrote:What would be good equipment to get started with? Preferably mobile (handheld) first, then base station (home).

But I have the same questions....

IMO Buying a Baofeng UV-5R for about $30 from Amazon is the easiest, no-regrets, starter handset.
Low investment and more than enough quality to get started.
My $150 Alinco handset is great, but the transmit and receive quality of the Baofeng is equal.
Baofeng battery life is MUCH better. The only spec where the Alinco beats the Baofeng is that the Alinco has some water resistance rating.

Make sure to buy from a reputable seller with fulfillment via Amazon. I got one with a defective connector and Amazon made it right, no questions asked.

Also, I highly recommend buying a data cable for programming from a computer. While I find the Baofeng easier to program from the keypad than my Alinco, it's still much MUCH easier to program from the computer. The programming software is free from either Baofeng or you can use CHIRP. I prefer CHIRP.


The negative I seem to read most about the Baofeng is the antenna that comes with it. What would be a better antenna to purchase to go with it?

http://geekprepper.org/baofeng-antenna-upgrade/
For $12, why not?
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:41 am

bblhd672 wrote:
RoyGBiv wrote:
TexasJohnBoy wrote:Y'all, I don't need another hobby. Quit it!
bblhd672 wrote:What would be good equipment to get started with? Preferably mobile (handheld) first, then base station (home).

But I have the same questions....

IMO Buying a Baofeng UV-5R for about $30 from Amazon is the easiest, no-regrets, starter handset.
Low investment and more than enough quality to get started.
My $150 Alinco handset is great, but the transmit and receive quality of the Baofeng is equal.
Baofeng battery life is MUCH better. The only spec where the Alinco beats the Baofeng is that the Alinco has some water resistance rating.

Make sure to buy from a reputable seller with fulfillment via Amazon. I got one with a defective connector and Amazon made it right, no questions asked.

Also, I highly recommend buying a data cable for programming from a computer. While I find the Baofeng easier to program from the keypad than my Alinco, it's still much MUCH easier to program from the computer. The programming software is free from either Baofeng or you can use CHIRP. I prefer CHIRP.


The negative I seem to read most about the Baofeng is the antenna that comes with it. What would be a better antenna to purchase to go with it?


Yes, get a better (a/k/a longer) dual band antenna.

I agree with everything RoyGBiv wrote about Baofeng HT's. I have had a UV-5R for about four or five years now and it works fine. In fact, a similar radio (Wouxun KG--UV3D) is what got me back into ham radio after many years of being away from the hobby. A Forum Member posted about that radio and I did a little research before buying. It too has performed well, but it doesn't have the amazing battery life of the Baofeng.

I own one Baofeng UV-5R, a Wouxun KGUV3D and a Kenwood TH-F 6A. All have after-market antennas, but keep the short ones in case you decide to build or buy an Allstar micro-node.

Chas.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:51 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:
RoyGBiv wrote:
TexasJohnBoy wrote:Y'all, I don't need another hobby. Quit it!
bblhd672 wrote:What would be good equipment to get started with? Preferably mobile (handheld) first, then base station (home).

But I have the same questions....

IMO Buying a Baofeng UV-5R for about $30 from Amazon is the easiest, no-regrets, starter handset.
Low investment and more than enough quality to get started.
My $150 Alinco handset is great, but the transmit and receive quality of the Baofeng is equal.
Baofeng battery life is MUCH better. The only spec where the Alinco beats the Baofeng is that the Alinco has some water resistance rating.

Make sure to buy from a reputable seller with fulfillment via Amazon. I got one with a defective connector and Amazon made it right, no questions asked.

Also, I highly recommend buying a data cable for programming from a computer. While I find the Baofeng easier to program from the keypad than my Alinco, it's still much MUCH easier to program from the computer. The programming software is free from either Baofeng or you can use CHIRP. I prefer CHIRP.


The negative I seem to read most about the Baofeng is the antenna that comes with it. What would be a better antenna to purchase to go with it?


Yes, get a better (a/k/a longer) dual band antenna.

I agree with everything RoyGBiv wrote about Baofeng HT's. I have had a UV-5R for about four or five years now and it works fine. In fact, a similar radio (Wouxun KG--UV3D) is what got me back into ham radio after many years of being away from the hobby. A Forum Member posted about that radio and I did a little research before buying. It too has performed well, but it doesn't have the amazing battery life of the Baofeng.

I own one Baofeng UV-5R, a Wouxun KGUV3D and a Kenwood TH-F 6A. All have after-market antennas, but keep the short ones in case you decide to build or buy an Allstar micro-node.

Chas.


It appears the UV-5R may be end of life. Would the BaoFeng BF-F8HP be a suitable replacement? https://baofengtech.com/bf-f8hp
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby TexasJohnBoy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:32 am

bblhd672 wrote:It appears the UV-5R may be end of life. Would the BaoFeng BF-F8HP be a suitable replacement? https://baofengtech.com/bf-f8hp

That or the UV-5X3 https://baofengtech.com/uv-5x3
I'm going to try and figure out the pros and cons of one vs the other in the next couple of days. Haven't dug in yet.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:45 am

TexasJohnBoy wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:It appears the UV-5R may be end of life. Would the BaoFeng BF-F8HP be a suitable replacement? https://baofengtech.com/bf-f8hp

That or the UV-5X3 https://baofengtech.com/uv-5x3
I'm going to try and figure out the pros and cons of one vs the other in the next couple of days. Haven't dug in yet.


Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:08 pm

Scott B. wrote:
carlson1 wrote:
Scott B. wrote:Fortunate timing. My packet from W5YI came today. Includes Part 97 of...FCC code covering amateur radio operations? the rules and regulations. A book about Technician Class. Two CD-ROMs, one is the HamStudy 14.0 software the other is with the book....ah, it's an audio CD of the book. A PreStudy Q & A booklet for Technician Class. And a two-sided chart with frequencies depicted.

I think this is going to get me where I'm wanting to go. :thumbs2:


Where did you sign up for the packet?


Here> http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=71&sort=5 that was in Charles' post hyperlinked as Gordon West study guide.

Came quick too...2 days? Must be here in Texas because they got me for sales tax.

Edit: Arlington.


Ordered Technician packet from W5YI this morning, rcvd email that it will arrive tomorrow!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby Scott B. » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:22 pm

TexasJohnBoy wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:It appears the UV-5R may be end of life. Would the BaoFeng BF-F8HP be a suitable replacement? https://baofengtech.com/bf-f8hp

That or the UV-5X3 https://baofengtech.com/uv-5x3
I'm going to try and figure out the pros and cons of one vs the other in the next couple of days. Haven't dug in yet.


Curious to hear your verdict.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:41 am

bblhd672 wrote:Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1


Got my new radio last night (gotta love Amazon same day delivery!). Didn't get home till 10:30 so haven't done anything with it but unbox and skim the manual. Lots of new terms/acronyms to learn!

It's been 35 years since I was Radioman in Navy, but hopefully some of that stuff I learned is still recall-able in my brain!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RoyGBiv » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:39 pm

bblhd672 wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1


Got my new radio last night (gotta love Amazon same day delivery!). Didn't get home till 10:30 so haven't done anything with it but unbox and skim the manual. Lots of new terms/acronyms to learn!

It's been 35 years since I was Radioman in Navy, but hopefully some of that stuff I learned is still recall-able in my brain!

You Navy guys are brave... I don't like transmitting @5 watts close to my melon. At 8 watts I'd be using an external speaker/mic for sure. :lol:

Here is a lesson for Apple... :thumbs2:
the BF-F8HP maintains full cross accessory compatibility with all previous UV-5R accessories


This is a really nicely-spec'd radio... I might have to have one. Looks like it's already supported on CHIRP too.
The only missing improvement I really wold like to see from Baofeng would be some better level of waterproofness.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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bblhd672
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby bblhd672 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:44 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1


Got my new radio last night (gotta love Amazon same day delivery!). Didn't get home till 10:30 so haven't done anything with it but unbox and skim the manual. Lots of new terms/acronyms to learn!

It's been 35 years since I was Radioman in Navy, but hopefully some of that stuff I learned is still recall-able in my brain!

You Navy guys are brave... I don't like transmitting @5 watts close to my melon. At 8 watts I'd be using an external speaker/mic for sure. :lol:

Here is a lesson for Apple... :thumbs2:
the BF-F8HP maintains full cross accessory compatibility with all previous UV-5R accessories


This is a really nicely-spec'd radio... I might have to have one. Looks like it's already supported on CHIRP too.
The only missing improvement I really wold like to see from Baofeng would be some better level of waterproofness.


The most powerful radio on the sub was 1200 watt HF.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby locke_n_load » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Ordered a UV-5R with data cable for $33 from amazon yesterday, will be here tomorrow. First jump into ham. Look forward to listening to the police/fire department frequencies until I get my technician's license.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby locke_n_load » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:27 pm

bblhd672 wrote:
bblhd672 wrote:Just ordered this one and a USB programming cable. The description says it has an "improved" antenna, so I didn't order another one until I get an idea how well this one that comes with it works.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAULSOK?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fdetailpage%5Fo01%5Fs00&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1


Got my new radio last night (gotta love Amazon same day delivery!). Didn't get home till 10:30 so haven't done anything with it but unbox and skim the manual. Lots of new terms/acronyms to learn!

It's been 35 years since I was Radioman in Navy, but hopefully some of that stuff I learned is still recall-able in my brain!


I looked into this with the 8 watt transmit power, but from what I read, it doesn't really put out 8 watts on most bands, and in reality a better antennae would be a better investment over a 3 watt jump in transmit power. But that is just from 2 hours of reading, I'm sure they're both great and I'm literally just getting started.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby RoyGBiv » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:55 pm

locke_n_load wrote:Ordered a UV-5R with data cable for $33 from amazon yesterday, will be here tomorrow. First jump into ham. Look forward to listening to the police/fire department frequencies until I get my technician's license.

Around here (Fort Worth area) the police use a digital trunked system, not compatible with that radio. I'd need an expensive scanner to listen to the PoPo here, or you can download a phone app called "Scanner Radio" and listen via a smartphone, assuming your local area is being rebroadcast.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Postby locke_n_load » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:21 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
locke_n_load wrote:Ordered a UV-5R with data cable for $33 from amazon yesterday, will be here tomorrow. First jump into ham. Look forward to listening to the police/fire department frequencies until I get my technician's license.

Around here (Fort Worth area) the police use a digital trunked system, not compatible with that radio. I'd need an expensive scanner to listen to the PoPo here, or you can download a phone app called "Scanner Radio" and listen via a smartphone, assuming your local area is being rebroadcast.


Hopefully harris county is a little more old school... thanks for the heads up though.
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