Someone push me...

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G.A. Heath
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Someone push me...

#1

Post by G.A. Heath » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:04 pm

I didn't want to revive a dead topic, or hijack someone else's so I'll start this one.

I am sitting on the fence, and I need to be pushed off one way or another in regards to Ham radio. Time is a commodity I don't have a lot of, but seeking a technician license would ensure my need to learn something is covered for a little while and could be handy. There is no local club I am aware of so my study materials will need to be online or in dead-tree format (I have read Carlson's thread about getting started). So folks convince me to pursue a technicians license or to forget about it, just remember that if I start down the ham path I might pester those who pushed me toward it with questions and gratitude.

Thanks in advance, start pushing...
I am also a Gun guy, Car Guy, and Computer Guy and a currently former podcaster.


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#2

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:11 pm

This is for Android, I passed the Tech test is about 3 minutes after studying this
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .test.prep
I almost passed General immediately after passing the Tech, missed 1 question to many and knew it right away.

Now on to General and Extra (I bought study books for Extra)

Free
Ham Test Prep
iversoft.com

I have no affiliation w/ anyone, but looked at lots of books and Apps between 1969 and 2018 when I took the test.


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#3

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:17 pm

I already benefited.
You can get car license plates with your call sign
I put in for disabled callsign plates last week, (my old plates expire next August) They gave me the windshield sticker, said I don't need a car inspection this year, and will mail me the plates. cost was $12.00 to $16 cheaper than if I just renewed old plates next August, and no car inspection expense needed this year.

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Charles L. Cotton
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Re: Someone push me...

#4

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:23 pm

Do it!!!!! There's no reason not to do it and many reasons you should. I have a dual band in my car, one in my office and three HT's. (I'll be buying an Icom IC-7300 soon.) The radios in my car and office are always on unless I'm on the phone. I don't have to set aside time for the hobby, it's there with me as I work and drive. Even if you don't wind up talking much, it's a good backup when traditional communications fail during disasters. When bad weather does hit, I get more information from my ham radios than from TV or radio weather forecasts or reports.

On Friday, my new Yaesu DR-2X repeater was delivered. It will be used for the Texas Youth Amateur Radio Club repeater. One of the nets will be on guns & the Second Amendment. If there's enough interest, I'll have a Forum net also. People who are out of range of the repeater will be able to get in via an Allstar link and possibly Wires-X and/or Echolink.

There are a lot of study options, but I'm sold on the Gordon West study guides and practice software. We used that for the free Technician Class Eric and I did for the kids and we're going to use it for the upcoming one as well. If you choose Gordon's material, I'll tell you the procedure I used to pass the Extra exam. Here's a link: http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=82&sort=5

Chas.
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Charles L. Cotton
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Re: Someone push me...

#5

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm

NotRPB wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:11 pm
This is for Android, I passed the Tech test is about 3 minutes after studying this
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .test.prep
I almost passed General immediately after passing the Tech, missed 1 question to many and knew it right away.

Now on to General and Extra (I bought study books for Extra)

Free
Ham Test Prep
iversoft.com

I have no affiliation w/ anyone, but looked at lots of books and Apps between 1969 and 2018 when I took the test.
One question - OUCH! When are you going back to upgrade?

Chas.
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NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#6

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:30 pm

Club I'm in just got a new VE guy who can give tests, the last one just moved away, so as soon as his paperwork is finished with W5YI-VEC Month or so
I'm anxious because a 13 year old who got his Tech and General on about May 6th ... passed his Extra at the June HamComm thingy up around Plano ...and now he's talking to an 11 year old girl who I believe just got her Extra class ... so Imma hurryup


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#7

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:35 pm

I use a triband 1.25 meter, 2 meter, 70cm radio in mobile, handheld and base.
QST magazine a few months back showed how to make a 2 meter antenna from two coathangers
It can get as cheap or as expensive as you want.
There are $30 USB thingys like a usb drive that are Software Defined Radios SDR that do much of what three of my $1,000 ICOM receivers do.
(NOW THEY TELL ME ... RIGHT? )

Exam locations (enter your city/State
http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-rad ... am-session

clubs (enter your city/State
http://www.arrl.org/clubs/search

Repeater search by State County
https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/MCsearch.php

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Flightmare
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Re: Someone push me...

#8

Post by Flightmare » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:42 pm

I used www.hamstudy.org at someone's suggestion last year. Took my tech after studying for 2 days and I think I may have missed 2 questions. A week later (field day 2017) I passed general after studying for 3 days. Another week later, I took extra and passed. Very handy site!
Deplorable lunatic since 2016


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#9

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:44 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:23 pm
Do it!!!!! There's no reason not to do it and many reasons you should. . Even if you don't wind up talking much, it's a good backup when traditional communications fail during disasters. When bad weather does hit, I get more information from my ham radios than from TV or radio weather forecasts or reports.

Chas.
Yes, whenever bad weather comes around Burnet / Blanco / Lampassas Williamson counties (Central Texas) we start up ARES net and many Hams have weather stations that give more immediate more accurate info than the TV or online radar can

www.hamstudy.org is another real good option, as well as Gordon Wests books (for the humor)


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#10

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:51 pm

After getting licensed, Echolink is something to look at too. A person can talk all over the world to repeaters using WI-FI on a computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone.
a local repeater here I can hit but am really noisy due to a 1,500 foot hill between me and that repeater, I am clear as a bell through the Echolink Internet direct to the repeater ... friend of mine spoke to Alaska and Mexico repeaters using Echolink ... a VHF antenna in Central Texas hill country can't do that under normal conditions. You have to have a license/ call sign to use it. EchoLink links SOME Repeaters and Internet together. ...

Example, I have a friend who lives way too far away to reach by radio, but a repeater near him is on Echolink, so I use Echolink to listen to that repeater and can talk to him when he uses his radio in to that repeater.... yeah I'm cheap on cell phone minutes (you can also make phone calls via some radio repeaters, though people may be listening)
Last edited by NotRPB on Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Flightmare
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Re: Someone push me...

#11

Post by Flightmare » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:57 pm

I went thru skywarn earlier this year. While this storm season has been mild compared to others in the past, it' has been fun to show my friends who don't have their ham ticket (yet) what amateur radio operators contribute during severe weather.

I remember being out front of SkullCop's house when we had some storms roll thru Collin County back in April. As I heard the spotter reports coming in about 1.5" hail at Legacy & Alma and then 5-10 minutes later the report was hail at Bethany and Allen Heights. I was able to figure out that the storm seemed to be tracking due east.

SkullCop's wife comes out the front door with Skullcop in tow; "we need to get the vehicles under cover, they're reporting egg size hail at Legacy and Alma".
I told her that was more than 10 minutes ago.
She argued that she's watching the news live, and they JUST reported it.
I held up my HT and said "no, you're listening to a delay, I'M listening to it live!"

A week later, another storm front moved in and I took my HT in their house so she could hear the Collin County ARES group host the net. She was intrigued by the fact that the National Weather Service in Fort Worth would have operators chime in every so often asking for spotters to verify some of the reports they were getting, or things that the meteorologists were seeing on radar. I managed to get her to go HamCom in Plano a week ago and take the basic Skywarn class herself. She's even looking at getting her radio license so that she can participate in spotting (not necessarily chasing, although she is pondering that).
Deplorable lunatic since 2016

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G.A. Heath
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Re: Someone push me...

#12

Post by G.A. Heath » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:05 pm

My interest in HAM comes from a number of factors. First is the weather, I'm about an hour south of Lubbock so Tornadoes are less than common, but not rare either. Hail, high winds, and more are more common weather threats. The second reason is Offroading in my Jeep, While most events has everyone use CB radios to communicate, many people also use Ham radio for better (read more reliable) coverage. The third reason is redundancy, for those who don't know me I tend to have a backup, for the backup, of the backup, to the primary spare... The main reason I am interested in my technician license though is that it gives me something else to learn (and I may attempt to go for the general license at the same time).

How do renewals work on ham licenses, and how frequent? We all know the LTC is a 5 year online renewal while my Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate is 2 years and requires that I visit a testing center.

I will say this, I am sure glad I didn't ask you folks to push me off a bridge! Thanks for all the input and I am very interested in hearing more advice or tips. Charles I will probably go with your suggestion of the Gordon West material along with NotRPB's suggestions regarding the free materials too (My habit for redundancy).
I am also a Gun guy, Car Guy, and Computer Guy and a currently former podcaster.


bblhd672
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Re: Someone push me...

#13

Post by bblhd672 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:08 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:23 pm
Do it!!!!! There's no reason not to do it and many reasons you should. I have a dual band in my car, one in my office and three HT's. (I'll be buying an Icom IC-7300 soon.) The radios in my car and office are always on unless I'm on the phone. I don't have to set aside time for the hobby, it's there with me as I work and drive. Even if you don't wind up talking much, it's a good backup when traditional communications fail during disasters. When bad weather does hit, I get more information from my ham radios than from TV or radio weather forecasts or reports.

On Friday, my new Yaesu DR-2X repeater was delivered. It will be used for the Texas Youth Amateur Radio Club repeater. One of the nets will be on guns & the Second Amendment. If there's enough interest, I'll have a Forum net also. People who are out of range of the repeater will be able to get in via an Allstar link and possibly Wires-X and/or Echolink.

There are a lot of study options, but I'm sold on the Gordon West study guides and practice software. We used that for the free Technician Class Eric and I did for the kids and we're going to use it for the upcoming one as well. If you choose Gordon's material, I'll tell you the procedure I used to pass the Extra exam. Here's a link: http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=82&sort=5

Chas.
I used Gordon West study guide as well as online practice tests. The tech test is pretty easy.

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Flightmare
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Re: Someone push me...

#14

Post by Flightmare » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:30 pm

G.A. Heath wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:05 pm
My interest in HAM comes from a number of factors. First is the weather, I'm about an hour south of Lubbock so Tornadoes are less than common, but not rare either. Hail, high winds, and more are more common weather threats. The second reason is Offroading in my Jeep, While most events has everyone use CB radios to communicate, many people also use Ham radio for better (read more reliable) coverage. The third reason is redundancy, for those who don't know me I tend to have a backup, for the backup, of the backup, to the primary spare... The main reason I am interested in my technician license though is that it gives me something else to learn (and I may attempt to go for the general license at the same time).

How do renewals work on ham licenses, and how frequent? We all know the LTC is a 5 year online renewal while my Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate is 2 years and requires that I visit a testing center.

I will say this, I am sure glad I didn't ask you folks to push me off a bridge! Thanks for all the input and I am very interested in hearing more advice or tips. Charles I will probably go with your suggestion of the Gordon West material along with NotRPB's suggestions regarding the free materials too (My habit for redundancy).
Renewals are done every 10 years. The license itself is free, you only have to pay the fee for a testing session, typically $14-15. I have seen people pass Tech, General AND Extra in the same session. Therefore they only had to pay for the single test session. If you pass a test, most VEs will offer you the opportunity to take the next one. There is no risk to taking it, no extra cost, and you might walk away with a higher license class than you intended. Once you have your license, there is no continuing education required to maintain it. Just renew for free on the FCC website.
Deplorable lunatic since 2016


NotRPB
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Re: Someone push me...

#15

Post by NotRPB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:38 pm

custom (Vanity ) call signs are free too now ,,, so if the first call sign you get triggers dyslexia or is a tongue twister (mine did lol ) then I got one with WW5 and my name .... others remember me too after I tell them I can remember my name after two Whiskeys :biggrinjester: :mrgreen:

There are repeaters in Levelland too, as well as Lubbock and Plainview and all over, I'm pretty sure there is a club nearby :cheers2:

It sure makes my new "free" car license plate easy to remember, I can remember my name after two Whiskeys
( I don't drink, but it's funny)

Apparently, you can get multiple license plates with your call sign too if you have more than one car, and get them for trailers too, I have a flatbed and a boat trailer, ...

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