Where to begin with a HAM radio?

Topics that do not fit anywhere else. Absolutely NO discussions of religion, race, or immigration!

Moderators: carlson1, Charles L. Cotton


BeeKeith
Junior Member
Posts in topic: 3
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:59 am
Location: McLeod, TX

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#121

Post by BeeKeith » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:52 pm

Thanks Flightmare. Extra was close! Even though I've read some books and took some tests, now's the time to learn. Lol.

User avatar

Charles L. Cotton
Site Admin
Posts in topic: 15
Posts: 17040
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Friendswood, TX
Contact:

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#122

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:59 pm

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.
Image


BeeKeith
Junior Member
Posts in topic: 3
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:59 am
Location: McLeod, TX

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#123

Post by BeeKeith » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:40 pm

Thank you, sir. The journey being part of the experience and all. Now I'm thinking about cw.

Keith

User avatar

RoyGBiv
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 11
Posts: 7188
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:41 am
Location: Fort Worth

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#124

Post by RoyGBiv » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:11 am

Here's an example of next-level use for your HAM skills..
From ARRL.... Looking for volunteers to support Red Cross efforts in Puerto Rico.
Must be General class or above...
Dear ARRL Member:

There are few times when I have needed to reach out directly to you for your help. This is one of those times.

The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time ARC has made a request for assistance on this scale. Hurricane Maria has devastated the island’s communications infrastructure. Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of people are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services and people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire.

How can you help?

1) Volunteer. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment; for instance, familiarity with Winlink, an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher, and previous experience in disaster response. Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks (at ARC expense). If you would like to be considered for deployment, please complete the following online ARRL form, which asks for your qualifications and skills: Volunteer Deployment Form

...................
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
Image
Nothing tempers idealism quite like the cold bath of reality.... SQLGeek


Bennies
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:18 pm
Location: Conroe

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#125

Post by Bennies » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:17 pm

Great to see all the new hams on the forum! I've been re licensed for 10 months and I have been having a blast! Right now working on my HF portable man pack. Once it's done I can go back to throwing some money into shooting again haha.

Ft817-nd
Mfj-971
Chameleon mpas
12 ah sla battery

Just need solar panels and a few more items.
GOA member
NRA member
TSRA member
Glock 23 w/Crossbreed Supertuck


NotRPB
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 10
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:24 am

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#126

Post by NotRPB » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:34 pm

ok, I'm a procrastinator
For example: I got the CHL application in 1995, filled it out in 2007, got licensed in 2008

So ...

oldCannon got me re-interested in taking the Ham exams so I dug out my old books I bought and last night started reading...

starting with " Allied Radio Operators Handbook-copyright 1965" I think I bought it when I got my Citizens Band license ,,... Glanced through it ... ok this goes in the paper recycling bin ...

Next, "Gordon West ... New ... Novice Voice class .... cassette tapes" Well, I guess could go to WalMart and buy a cassette player for $29.00 ...

Next ... Gordon West Technician class (Effective through 2002) I read half the book last night, i got half way through and things popped into my head from Junior high school/ Middle school I hadn't thought of in years, like "coulomb is 6.241 times 10 to the 18th power of electrons in one second is an Amp .. or something ... so I thought I'd take the practice test at link you guys provided here... http://aa9pw.com/cgi-bin/exam2011.cgi

Results:
You scored 27 correct answers and 8 incorrect answers from a total of 35.

You would have passed the exam! Congratulations!


I need to get updated info because the technician class book i read halfway through talks about code test for General class is required and I have General and Extra class books (good through 2002)

So I need to get updated on stuff so I don't miss those 8 questions :)

Wish I could get a vanity call sign as my old cb call sign since I still know it, but I don't know if they do that (KXJ7011- Kilo Xray Juliette 7011)

My second job was Parts Dept manager at Johns Electronic Parts C (Jepco electronics and Teleradio In the 1970s in Bellaire/Houston off Bellaire and Bissonnett area. Jepco did warranty repairs on cbs/ham radios TVs video recorders clock radios etc etc etc Teleradio was sales
I got into computer building & design through modding Radio shack scanner radios & programming them etc (used to chat with Bill Cheek of Scanner Modification handbook fame in California before he passed on)
anyway

I'm way out of touch with what good radios are out there I own several icom receivers several AOR receivers, a digital data thingy that takes cw and the screen shows it in English & it used to connect to a computer serial port, but has a small LED screen ...

I'm thinking as a first radio maybe Yaesu FT-60R & doing the mars/cap mod ... unless something better is suggested by locals here in the hill country local club I need to get in touch with is HLARC Highland Lakes Amateur Radio Club http://hlarc.org/


mojohn
Junior Member
Posts in topic: 6
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:32 am
Location: Lake Travis TX

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#127

Post by mojohn » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:01 pm

73's, John here. KF5ZMD
My successful methods to passing each test was to take the practice tests at http://aa9pw.com/radio/ until I felt confident I could pass in a classroom setting. It was several months. I believe highland lakes ARC hosts test sometimes? I'm on Lake Travis, looking forward to hearing you on the air.

User avatar

Flightmare
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 15
Posts: 1806
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:00 pm
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#128

Post by Flightmare » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:12 pm

Congratulations NotRPB. I've used hamstudy.org and was able to pass Tech, General, and Extra in less than 1 month.
Deplorable lunatic since 2016


NotRPB
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 10
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:24 am

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#129

Post by NotRPB » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:31 pm

mojohn wrote:73's, John here. KF5ZMD
My successful methods to passing each test was to take the practice tests at http://aa9pw.com/radio/ until I felt confident I could pass in a classroom setting. It was several months. I believe highland lakes ARC hosts test sometimes? I'm on Lake Travis, looking forward to hearing you on the air.
yeah they do usually in June I think.. I think a Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Dept guy is connected with HLARC as well as C.E.R.T. under FEMA for Burnet County, so I may do that too.

Looks like Williamson County ARC, I think in Georgetown will do exams if you email them & set it up, HLARC, I saw in a few old newspapers,once a year (in 2010 or 2015 papers) offered a day long or weekend class, followed by a test, not unlike the CHL class/test I guess.
I retook the practice test, passed Tech one second time too ...

My old book said part of 10 meters is ok for CW AND VOICE for Tech Plus Code if a Tech takes the 5 wpm code test along with the Tech test, but someone told me that's only for general class now ... I need a new book I'll keep doing the practice tests too for Tech and and when I get it down, the General in case I decide to try to sit for both. The electrical/electronics stuff I haven't thought of since the 1960s is coming back, mom was a columnist in the Bellaire newspaper and once wrote about her putting tape over electrical sockets so nothing leaked out but she thought I may break Ohms law if I wasn't careful...
Weird that I can't remember why I went in the kitchen minutes ago, but beginning to remember formulas, schematics, & some circuit stuff from back then.


mojohn
Junior Member
Posts in topic: 6
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:32 am
Location: Lake Travis TX

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#130

Post by mojohn » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:03 pm

I've really enjoyed meeting with the Volunteer Examiners and testing here:
http://austinhams.org/hamtests
ARRL/AARC Session - 1st or 2nd Saturday at Bethany United Methodist Church

Regularly scheduled amateur radio exam sessions at Bethany United Methodist Church, Disciple Bldg, Rm 203/204. 10010 Anderson Mill Rd, Austin TX 78750

$15 fee. Exams are held monthly, usually on the 1st Saturday of the month at 2:00pm. However, please visit the ARRL link above to verify exam date/time as the day may change due to holidays. You can also download the latest AARCover newsletter and check the last page for the next couple of exam sessions.

For more information, contact: Joe Makeever (W5HS) 512-345-0800 / Email:  W5HS ((at)) arrl.net


RSX11
Member
Posts in topic: 2
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:26 pm

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#131

Post by RSX11 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

My old book said part of 10 meters is ok for CW AND VOICE for Tech Plus Code if a Tech takes the 5 wpm code test along with the Tech test, but someone told me that's only for general class now ... I need a new book
I just had a look and there is still space reserved on the 10 meter band for Technicians (and even Novices) to use SSB voice and CW. See http://www.arrl.org/images/view//Charts ... RL_Web.jpg

This applies to Technician and Tech Plus license holders. There's no difference now that morse code has been eliminated from all license classes. This is moot in any case since the last Tech Plus license expired June 12, 2010. If someone had a Tech Plus license and renewed, it turned into a Technician license.


NotRPB
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 10
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:24 am

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#132

Post by NotRPB » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:22 pm

RSX11 wrote:
My old book said part of 10 meters is ok for CW AND VOICE for Tech Plus Code if a Tech takes the 5 wpm code test along with the Tech test, but someone told me that's only for general class now ... I need a new book
I just had a look and there is still space reserved on the 10 meter band for Technicians (and even Novices) to use SSB voice and CW. See http://www.arrl.org/images/view//Charts ... RL_Web.jpg

This applies to Technician and Tech Plus license holders. There's no difference now that morse code has been eliminated from all license classes. This is moot in any case since the last Tech Plus license expired June 12, 2010. If someone had a Tech Plus license and renewed, it turned into a Technician license.
Yes I was browsing radios, found some 2m/70cm that had 10 meters too but not SSB 10 meter, so until I get General, that part of the radio is useless, (and no 1.25meter/220 band, and there's a couple repeaters near here in 1.25m/220) The problem was finding a tri or quad band radio with SSB on 10 meters since Techs are restricted to SSB in 10 meters ... I found none but ...(I know, I'll probably take General soon after Tech, but instead ... I went shopping down the route of first, let's see >>What repeaters are close? ... I found 1.25 meter, 2 meter and 70cm ... so


I searched all the repeaters in my town (there are only 2 repeaters-small town, you can walk across town in 2 minutes) and nearby cities... and came up with repeaters for 1.25m(220) and 2 meter and 70cm so ... I researched radios and found several tri- or quad- band radios that cover those most were 25 watts on all bands, a couple were 50 watts on 2m and 75cm but only 5 watts on 220(1.25m) but one stood out ...
AT-5888UV-III tri-band ( not the AT-5888UV-DualBand)
Grapevine has 3 radios left after I bought two http://www.grapevineamateurradio.com/st ... -5888UVIII ... (I have no affiliation with anyone yet, Was invited to and will be attending the local CERT classes/Meetings, looking into ARES and RACES & joining HLARC, ARRL, & some other stuff. I can monitor till I pass and my name gets in the FCC database)
http://www.wouxun.us/item.php?item_id=343
136-174 MHz, 200-260 MHz, 400-490 MHz
can do crossband repeater
*Cross-band Repeat Mode:
144 <-----> 220 No
220 <-----> 440 Yes
144 <-----> 440 Yes
Functions:
Working Mode Full Duplex - UU, UV, VV
Repeater Mode* - UV, VU
Dual Receive Side A & Side B
Dual Scan Scan Both Sides - at the same time
Output Power 50 Watts VHF, 40 Watts UHF, 25 Watts 220
Low Power Steps, 5/10/20w (5/10/15w on 220MHz)
758 Memory Channels / 10 Memory Groups
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOrvsTH0_Tw

I can turn the watts down, but there are lots of hills etc here. We used to get only 1 TV channel ... so better to have extra if needed I think, then turn it down to run cooler
I need to shop for good triband antennas for base/Mobile on those bands all I have now is hustlers for each individual band now for scanner reception and a discone for radials monitoring HAM repeaters with a uniden BCD536HP with wifi and GPS which I upgraded with Provoice and dmr to get the digital police etc ec that no one can hear with old scanners ,,, https://www.uniden.com/scanner/id-BCD53 ... with_Wi-Fi


2farnorth
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 17
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: Leonard, Tx

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#133

Post by 2farnorth » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:29 am

You don't really need 10 meters right now as it's only sporadic openings. Think I've made only about a dozen contacts all year on 10. Most of them followed the gray line. But that said it might be an ideal time to buy a separate 10 meter ssb rig since their demand is low right now. One caution is that some were illegally converted to 11 meter CB. I have a rescued old all mode Uniden 2510 10 meter rig that is on scan any time I'm in the shack. That is how I found the activity and responded to it. 25 watts on a home made ground plane antenna. From Sao Palo to Battle Creek.

The other option is to buy a full featured HF rig and use the 10 meter band when it's open. Some even cover 6, 2, and .75 meters (all mode, such as the ICOM 706MkIIG). That way you have a start on things when you pass General and Extra. I have found that Ham rigs are VERY pricey compared to when I started back in the 80s. My old ICOM 720A (new in 80s) had become irreparable due to failing IC Chips. I had to settle for a 50 year old tube rig to get back on the air. (It does help to warm up my unheated shack when I'm operating ).

There are used rigs available for a variety of prices and conditions. You might try Main Trading Co.(Paris, Tx) and Ham radio outlet (Plano and other locations) Both have accessories that you will need. Both good reputable dealers. QRZ.com has a lot available when you get your call. Be cautious of some of the on line sites as there are scammers out there claiming to be hams that talk a great deal and disappear with your money.


Dave
N5PNZ

User avatar

The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 23769
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#134

Post by The Annoyed Man » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:00 pm

So one of my gifts this morning from my son was “Ham Radio for Dummies”, and he said “You need a hobby.” LOL
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy


2farnorth
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 17
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: Leonard, Tx

Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#135

Post by 2farnorth » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:So one of my gifts this morning from my son was “Ham Radio for Dummies”, and he said “You need a hobby.” LOL
"See" ya on the radio... :headscratch :biggrinjester:
N5PNZ

Post Reply

Return to “Off-Topic”