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-   -   Ham radio (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f40/ham-radio-219920.html)

Idriveoverstuff 02-16-2013 08:27 PM

Ham radio
 
Highly recommended to add or make the switch to amatuer radio! When you have no cell service you can usually hit a repeater tower to get help, if needed. In some cases you can actually call 911 from a repeater tower. The test can usually be taken local and is only about 15 bucks! Just spreading the word! No need for a bulky radio and can talk from a hand held just fine with almost unlimited range

chipmonk66gt 02-22-2013 09:53 AM

Ive been studying for about a week now, Im guessing 2-3 more weeks and ill be ready. Looking foward to it.

VaJeepster 02-22-2013 10:52 PM

Test hard? Sound pretty cool would like to sit on top of the Mtn and talk to people

BlueRidgeYJ 02-23-2013 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VaJeepster
Test hard? Sound pretty cool would like to sit on top of the Mtn and talk to people

No. You'll need to understand electricity, radio theory, be able to read an electrical diagram and identify symbols, be able to identify radio circuitry by schematic, and know a bit about part 97 of the FCC (amateur radios "rulebook").

There are online practice tests that are very realistic. Have confidence, you'll do well.

Also, joining a local HAM club will give you the best resource you can have. The 'ol timers' have forgotten more about radio than we will learn in a very long time, so take advantage of it. Most (all) clubs are extremely welcoming and helpful to entry level amateur radio enthusiasts.

Yes, sitting atop a ridgeline and talking/listening to others is a really cool thing, particularly after dark. Not sure where in VA ya are, but there are ample places along Skyline Dr. and the BRPkwy.

BlueRidgeYJ 02-23-2013 11:09 AM

American Radio Relay League, ARRL, is a great place to answer questions.

http://www.arrl.org/

Should've put that earlier. :)

VaJeepster 02-26-2013 07:55 PM

Sorry I haven't posted on this Ina while yeah skyline drive is like 15 miles I live in Elkton (holler hick) lol I'm not sure where the other one is I'm pretty close to GWNF. We call it Pitt springs

BlueRidgeYJ 02-26-2013 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VaJeepster
Sorry I haven't posted on this Ina while yeah skyline drive is like 15 miles I live in Elkton (holler hick) lol I'm not sure where the other one is I'm pretty close to GWNF. We call it Pitt springs

I'm on the other side of the mountain from ya, near Dyke ( :rofl:, it still cracks me up).

They administer a test up in Harrisonburg, in the Woodmen of the World building. I drove over there and took mine, 3 very generous gentlemen volunteered their time to proctor, and it was really a pleasant experience. ARRL can let you in on details about your closest test sites & clubs.

VaJeepster 02-26-2013 09:01 PM

Haha cool ill probaly look into it. I like fooling with electronics. I'm coming over that way often. I have season tickets to football and come to the baseball too. Uva . I guess it's what radio to get lol

VaJeepster 02-26-2013 09:01 PM

I heard their expensive though

Sccafire 02-26-2013 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VaJeepster (Post 3425153)
I heard their expensive though

Don't forget $15 of it goes to the FCC. The rest most likely goes to a club they may be involved with. I paid $25. So, only $10 of it was for them.

BlueRidgeYJ 02-26-2013 10:12 PM

The test? Out in Hburg it is 15$, they volunteer their time 100% (at least when I went last year they did).

They also do a test at the Observatory on 250 in Cville. Not sure about the details there, but still 15$ I think.

My mobile 2M radio setup was ~250$ or so originally. I could have gone dual band for just a little more, but figured I'd start small. Compare it to other hobbies (like guns) and it isn't bad at all. It is addictive, though, and soon you may want diff frequency band coverage or a HT and base to compliment your mobile. Just like jeepin, you'll find a way to pump $$$ into it, and you can easily find radios that cost more than many old cars.

VaJeepster 02-26-2013 10:19 PM

Wow wonder if handhelds would be any good ? And true about the jeep lol

BlueRidgeYJ 02-26-2013 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VaJeepster
What would be a good radio or setup ? I see some truck with the amateur radio sticker than and antenna that's so tall haha

Learn the hows, whats, and whys and you can answer that question, it really depends on what you find neat-o.

There are multiple classes of licenses that allow access to different bandwidths, which travel differently through the air. Some folks like DXing, or talking at great distances, while some prefer to use the clarity of uhf to converse like a cell phone with friends locally. I like 2M, a decently powerful "line-of-sight" frequency. It also allows me to eavesdrop on local fire/ems and pd, which is nontrunked old school equipment out here.

I run a Yaesu FT-2900R with a Firestik 4' 2M antenna. The ft2900 is about 200$, maybe a touch more. For another 100$, you can have a simple dual radio, and for another 50-100 a true dual.

VaJeepster 02-26-2013 10:46 PM

Would A cb antenna would work with these?

BlueRidgeYJ 02-26-2013 11:06 PM

No. They are electrically different, though they look alike.

rkwfxd 02-27-2013 05:51 AM

FWIW if you get a HAM license (and I think more people should) your first radio should be a simple 2 meter mobile. I started with a Yaesu FT-60 dual band hand held. BIG mistake. PITA to program and super hard to make contact with anyone. Matter of fact, they sold me the computer software to program it when I bought the radio. That should have been a huge clue. Spent $200 on it and then probably close to another $100 on antennas until I found one that would work. Yes it was cool that ONE time when I was camped alone and had it out by my camp fire and talked to a guy in the next state. But otherwise, I have been disappointed in it. Heck when I want to listen to local nets I usually just use my scanner because I know the wont be able to hear me with my handheld anyway.

I then installed a Yaesu FT-2900 in my jeep. SUPER simple by comparison. I did not need a computer to program it and I can actually talk to folks with it. I wish more of my wheeling friends had HAM. I went out with a fellow HAM a couple weeks ago and it was so much nicer than the CB. Even after he lost a portion of his antenna it was as if we were sitting next to each other.

Idriveoverstuff 03-14-2013 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rkwfxd
FWIW if you get a HAM license (and I think more people should) your first radio should be a simple 2 meter mobile. I started with a Yaesu FT-60 dual band hand held. BIG mistake. PITA to program and super hard to make contact with anyone. Matter of fact, they sold me the computer software to program it when I bought the radio. That should have been a huge clue. Spent $200 on it and then probably close to another $100 on antennas until I found one that would work. Yes it was cool that ONE time when I was camped alone and had it out by my camp fire and talked to a guy in the next state. But otherwise, I have been disappointed in it. Heck when I want to listen to local nets I usually just use my scanner because I know the wont be able to hear me with my handheld anyway.

I then installed a Yaesu FT-2900 in my jeep. SUPER simple by comparison. I did not need a computer to program it and I can actually talk to folks with it. I wish more of my wheeling friends had HAM. I went out with a fellow HAM a couple weeks ago and it was so much nicer than the CB. Even after he lost a portion of his antenna it was as if we were sitting next to each other.

I started with a yeasu 2900 then ft60 x2 a couple tri banders, then yeasu 8800 then yeasu 8900 I beg to differ. The ft60 is a cake walk... A simple manual scan and your set. Now I have too many and I hardy have time anymore to key up and it bumms me out.

sparky 03-16-2013 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccafire (Post 3425371)
Don't forget $15 of it goes to the FCC. The rest most likely goes to a club they may be involved with. I paid $25. So, only $10 of it was for them.

You were charged incorrectly. The test cost is $15 as mandated by the FCC.
None of that money goes to the goverment. Part goes to the VE orginization for processing costs and prepairing the material. The club can retain funds to cover their costs, like room rental.

Sccafire 03-16-2013 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccafire (Post 3425371)
Don't forget $15 of it goes to the FCC. The rest most likely goes to a club they may be involved with. I paid $25. So, only $10 of it was for them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sparky (Post 3511182)
You were charged incorrectly. The test cost is $15 as mandated by the FCC.
None of that money goes to the goverment. Part goes to the VE orginization for processing costs and prepairing the material. The club can retain funds to cover their costs, like room rental.

Them equals VE's not FCC. I should have explained it better.

BlueRidgeYJ 03-16-2013 06:33 PM

So for a point of clarity - the FCC mandates a 15$ charge to cover expected VE costs, and this money goes to the VEs. None of it goes to the FCC.

In addition to this, the VEs may charge an additional fee to directly cover additional expenses, like facility rental.

So if charged 25$, 15$ went to the VEs for anticipated costs, while the additional 10$ went also to the VEs, but this is earmarked for a particular expense incurred with testing.

Right?

Sccafire 03-16-2013 08:02 PM

I will make it easy, FCC mandates they receive $15 for administrative fees. Any amount paid beyond $15 goes to the VE's.

If you pay $15 when you take the test. $15 to FCC $0 to VE's

If you pay $25 when you take the test. $15 to FCC $10 to VE's

A VE is a Volunteer Examiner. The VE could be a member of a HAM radio club. In my area most of the testing sessions are done by local HAM radio clubs. Some clubs may use the testing sessions to raise funds for the club. Such funds then may be used for repeater maintenance or whatever the needs of the club are.

sparky 03-17-2013 04:19 PM

No. FCC mandates $15 is the max. Also my fault. Money goes to the VEC (the VE orginization), some can be retained by the local VE group for cost associated with the tests. These monies cannot go into the general club fund. They can only be used with direct testing costs.

The VEC uses the money for test related costs also. Test printing, mailing, test preperation.

Anyone charging more is doing it incorrectly. While the FCC mandate a fee, that is a maximum. Orginizations do not have to charge anything, and sometimes they do that and provide testing for free.

chipmonk66gt 03-20-2013 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chipmonk66gt
Ive been studying for about a week now, Im guessing 2-3 more weeks and ill be ready. Looking foward to it.

The wait for my call sign is killing me. Is it normal to check daily about 5 times?

chipmonk66gt 03-22-2013 12:48 PM

Got it, I'm KF5UOB

mzbrandi 03-23-2013 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chipmonk66gt (Post 3538543)
Got it, I'm KF5UOB

Congratulations
Brandi
W6FPT

Idriveoverstuff 05-14-2013 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chipmonk66gt
Got it, I'm KF5UOB

Congrats!
What is your location?
I'm in southern OC
KJ6YWC

PhotoWrangler 05-14-2013 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueRidgeYJ (Post 3408724)
No. You'll need to understand electricity, radio theory, be able to read an electrical diagram and identify symbols, be able to identify radio circuitry by schematic, and know a bit about part 97 of the FCC (amateur radios "rulebook")..


I'm a 911 dispatcher so communication is kind of a 'thing' for me, and I would love to be able to have the security of a HAM radio, especially in down here in hurricane alley.

I purchased the ARRL manual back in October, and started studying on my own. I read each chapter word for word, and made flash cards for each of the questions from that chapter. I made it through about half of the book before setting it down one day, and forgetting about it.

The problem is that I have absolutely no interest in the 'technical' part of it. I don't have any interest in understanding electricity, I don't have any interest in building radios, and I don't have any interest in learning radio schematics. I'd like to simply obtain my license, buy a pre-built radio, and push to talk.

I'm planning on attending the local radio club's meeting this Thursday, and speaking to them about the classes they offer. I don't learn well on my own, when forced to read a book, so hopefully taking a hands on approach may help me.

OhSixTJ 05-15-2013 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhotoWrangler (Post 3756015)
The problem is that I have absolutely no interest in the 'technical' part of it. I don't have any interest in understanding electricity, I don't have any interest in building radios, and I don't have any interest in learning radio schematics. I'd like to simply obtain my license, buy a pre-built radio, and push to talk.

Just bite the bullet and learn the info for the test. It's worth it.

PhotoWrangler 05-17-2013 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhSixTJ (Post 3758362)
Just bite the bullet and learn the info for the test. It's worth it.

I got my ARRL manual out again, and brought it to work with me. I'm going to redo my flash cards and make a push to at least pass the test in the next month or so.

Sccafire 05-17-2013 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhotoWrangler (Post 3766810)
I got my ARRL manual out again, and brought it to work with me. I'm going to redo my flash cards and make a push to at least pass the test in the next month or so.

There are on-line practice exams. My favorite. You can take a practice exam after studying to see where you are at. It will grade you for total right/wrong and also for each section.

AA9PW FCC Exam Practice Amateur Radio Exam Practice


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