Search found 15 matches

by Charles L. Cotton
Tue May 29, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?



Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

mdubtx wrote:Well, I am now as over-licensed as I can get. Passed a level 4 test tonight to upgrade to Amateur Extra. :smile:

And, I'm still running with only a Chinese HT and mag mount antenna. :???:
Congratulations! Chinese HT (Wouxun) got me back into ham radio a few years back. I still have that HT along with a Kenwood, TYT DMR, and a Baofeng. I also have two Kenwood TM-V71A (one mobile and one in my office) and a new Kenwood 281A. Be careful, it can be addicting -- somewhat like collecting guns.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

BeeKeith wrote:After over 33 years with a company when they decided to close up and move 1/2 way across the U.S., whadda' ya' do? For me? Start the business I've been wanting to..... And for a little mental therapy, Get a ham license. Ordered Tech and General from ARRL and began studying a little at a time. Once I was sure I could pass Tech, I peaked in the General book and was a little intimidated. But with nothing to lose, I took it on like you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. When I was sure of passing General, the Extra book was ordered. Long story short, ( studying a few minutes a day for 9 months ) I went to Latourneau University in Longview and "grand slammed" it. Passed all 3 in one sitting. LETARC VE team are a great bunch of folks. That was on the 16th, the wait for the FCC posting continues. Now I need a "Go Fund Me" page started. Lol. Business is started, just not profitable yet.
Congratulations! Passing all three in the same test session happens, but it's rare.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

mojohn wrote::hurry: Just upgraded to General License ...yay me!
John
KF5ZMD
Congratulations!

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Scott B. wrote:At the Charles R. Hooks Education Center in Spring. I needed a little extra motivation to buckle down, so I attended a class run by Keith Dutson NM5G and Skip Ferguson K5LLR the week before the test and did a review session day of the test.

I know they also do some testing at Tomball Regional Hospital. At the Hooks center they're doing some CW classes but I didn't see another license testing session on the calendar. I may have to go down to TranStar to take the general/extra.
Thanks, I'll let my folks know. They live in League City, but they have a schedule conflict for CLARC at NASA on the 2nd Saturday. A friend and I taught a 1.5 day Technician Class course on the 18th and 19th, but I'll post that in a separate thread rather than hijack this one.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Scott B. wrote:Passed the Technician's test last Saturday. Got my call sign from the FCC at 1 AM last night.

Now I just need UPS to deliver my HT radio so I can start listening and plotting my first transmission. Delayed yesterday for weather, of course, but says it's out for delivery today. Not sure I believe them. :waiting:
Congratulations Scott! Where did you take the exam? I have some folks that may need to find one on the 3rd Saturday.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

TexasJohnBoy wrote:Pass my tech exam today with 100% correct; I was surprised!
Tried to go General at the same time and missed that one by four questions. Not surprised that about that at all since I hadn't looked at question 1 on the general pool...

Now I wait!
Congratulations! Welcome to the hobby.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

mdubtx wrote:Got the same radio myself. Already looking into a little better mobile setup. Repeaters around the house have been quiet but was able to get my first conversation going this morning on a busier repeater.

Should have my vanity callsign approved any day now.
I have a Kenwood TM-V71A dual band in my car and one in my home office. They are great radios if they are in the price range you want to pay. The one in my car is coupled with a Comet SBB5-NMO antenna. That is a half wave on 2 meters and stacked 5/8 waves on 70cm. I had to go that route because I drive a Corvette and there's no metal to serve as a ground plane. At home, I'm using a Comet GP-3 dual band antenna. It's a single piece antenna and this is important in terms of it surviving in high winds.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Flightmare wrote:Just got back from taking my tech test. 33 out of 35 right. Now to play the waiting game.
Congratulations and welcome aboard!

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

locke_n_load wrote:So far, I have been able to listen to the humble VFD, and the weather. Guess I need to find the repeater frequencies around here.
https://www.repeaterbook.com/ There's also an app for Repeater Book that's very handy.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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.
by Charles L. Cotton
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

MustangGlocker wrote:One big word of advice for anyone wanting to study and receive a license, make sure you are obtaining the current question pool. If you buy direct from W5YI or ARRL, you are getting the most current one. I know W5YI destroys outdated stuff when new pools come out. I assume ARRL does also. If you buy from a retailer or online(Amazon, Ebay, etc), triple check you are getting the current questions. There are some ham radio retailers that will sell outdated material.
This is very good advice. Also, the question pool for each of the three license classes (Technician, General & Extra) expire at different times.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

cheezit wrote:There are also a number of easy to build 2m and 440 antennas that work well.
:iagree: It's very easy to build your own antenna for minimal cost. Probably the most common easily-built antenna is a quarter wave ground plane. Most folks new to ham radio start with a cheap dual band handheld radio (HT). They typically have both 2 meters and 70 cm (a/k/a 440MHz). If so, they you need to make a dual band antenna.

Chas.


DIY 2-meter ground plane antenna


DIY dual band (2 meter/70 cm) ground plane


DIY dual band OSJ antenna (built like a battleship!)
by Charles L. Cotton
Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

MustangGlocker wrote:You can also attend Ham-Com(http://www.hamcom.org) which is held at the Irving Convention Center on June 9-10.

73,
N5AFD
I'm going with a friend. We'll be up there sometime Friday.

Chas.
by Charles L. Cotton
Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: Where to begin with a HAM radio?
Replies: 203
Views: 30296

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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.
As others have noted, there are free or fee-based websites with practice exams. However, Gordon West's study guides and software do so much more. Gordon grouped all same or similar questions together so you study the entire subject matter at one time. He also gives a short explanation along with the question and answer meaning you actually learn something, rather than merely memorize the correct answer.

I used Gordon's book when I upgraded to Extra about 4 years ago. I read the book first, then started taking practice exams with the software that came with the study guide. That make the exam very easy. I've recommended Gordon's study guides and software to a lot of people and not one person has told me they were dissatisfied. As with everything, people have their own preferences.

Chas.

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