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I was just given a iCom IC2100 (FM) and the handset is a iCom HM-133S. I have no idea about HAM other than you need a license and you can talk a whole lot further than a CB. So I have a few newbie questions.
1. Is this a decent set up for a mobile platform?
2. Can you talk to a CB with a ham?
3. What kind of antenna and cable do I need.

Thanks for any info you can give.
 

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1. Yes, it has been discontinued, but it is reletively new and very workable. It will have all the features that you need.

2. No, that is illegal. Also this radio operates in a diferent frequency band. Once you have your license you cal still use a CB radio though. Your Jeep would have two radios installed. Not uncommon.

3. You need a 2 meter antenna. Very common and not expensive. Some come with the coax included, others you have to buy seperatly. For a vehicle instillation it is the same type as a CB uses.

Your first step is to find a local amateur club. Use the ARRL's club locator. American Radio Relay League | ARRL - The national association for AMATEUR RADIO
They can help you find licensing courses and exam sessions. They can also assist with equipment selection and setup.
 

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If I could get in on this. Could I use my current 4' Firestik with a 2 meter radio?
 

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Way OT, but this thread title made me chuckle a bit.

In hip-hop and basketball circles, going HAM has quite a different meaning (to go all out)

Hard As a Motherf****r

As in....D-Rose went HAM last night......dropped 35 and 10 on the Knicks domes...

OK...carry on...
 

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If I could get in on this. Could I use my current 4' Firestik with a 2 meter radio?
No, two very different sets of frequencies. CB is 11 meter, centered around 27mhz. 2 meter amateur is 144 to 148 mhz. Just won't work.
 

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If I can throw in my shillings:

1. There are practice tests online I found very helpful, as well as sites that will allow access to part 97 of the fcc (what governs ham radio in the US) free of charge. I can give links if ya like.
2. The morse code requirement is gone, making the exam much easier. You will need to know how to read a wiring schematic, though (or at least what the symbols mean).
3. Get good coax, and an equally good antenna. Buy once cry once. Learn about mounting options, then buy a mount.
4. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
5. Listen to Sparky. He has sage RF wisdom.
6. I did not go the club route yet, for my own reasons, but I would 2nd what Sparky said about joining a club 1st. Best source of info available, and friendly folks too.

Happy to answer any other questions.

73 ;)

And on the antenna thing, we tune swr to a specific frequency, right? So we need diff ones for each band of frequencies. Citizens Band, CB is, as said, 27mhz. It borders next to a ham band, but it still isn't "convertable". There are many different bands, and the type of license gives access to different bands, which reach generally further and further as you progress.

Panthermark, you can imagine how confused I getnwhen I see it. I think in both worlds, lol.
 

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BlurRidge, I'd like to see those links! I have been in CBs for years, nearly got into HAM when the code was required and considered it several times since. I need to study up and go on and pull the trigger.
 

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I have many more ham questions, I will have to compile them and post them soon =)

Looking forward to starting.
 

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AARL, great resource.
Homepage:
http://www.arrl.org/

All about licensure:
http://www.arrl.org/licensing-preparation-exams

Here is their posting and pdf of part 97, the rules of radio:
http://www.arrl.org/part-97-amateur-radio

All about HAM, products, and forums:
http://www.eham.net/

This site I found very usefull and well layed out. It was the one I went to most before passing the exam.
http://aa9pw.com/radio/

Bands/license allowances in the US, in a (sort of) easy way to read (posting from my tablet, this may not work. Google AARL Ham bands, you'll find it.):
www.aarl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf

Another great reference, especially for finding what repeaters are around or emergency personnel channels (FD, PD, EMS, etc):
http://www.radioreference.com/

Licensing, at least for me, meant driving to meet a few VERY friendly volunteers to give me a short (35 ques) multi-choice written test. It cost iirc 15$, which is for 10 years + a 2 year grace before expiration. Best deal in town.

I am a Tech class, the lowest available; you can usually go general (second up) if you can pass the Tech, it is harder though. Or so I am told. I just wanted a 2 meter band for now, so I went Tech only. I can reach many repeaters, pretty much anything within 40-50mi of my Jeep, without turning by broadcast strength past low (5w). My radio is capable of 75w TX. You will be heard on 2M, especially if repeaters are near. 4 of the 5 counties surrounding me use the band just above 2M, in the 150-160mhz range, for all their emergency comms - which I can listen to, as long as it isn't trunked. I live in the sparsly populated mountains, cities tend to be digital or trunked now. But being in property management it is nice to have, I have heard 3 distress calls from houses I know the owners of or watch. Sometimes the stuff I hear is better than any movie you could write. Sometimes you know what road to take or when a firetruck is gonna come up behind you.

I use a Yaesu FT-2900 2M mobile transceiver. I like it, it has a massive heat sink built in which is great if you are long winded or have to juice it up. I use the heat sink to use a cable gunlock to secure mine to its mount. The only thing I could say is a detachable face is much easier to mount, and nearly all duel band (or more) radios have them. I also have echolink, an app for that from the Play store. It lets me use my tablet on any linked repeater. You must have a license to use this app at all.

Tons to learn, but I think it is a LOT of fun. That should get ya guys far enough to know if ya want more or not, lol.

Happy to answer, as usual.
 

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Wow thanks so much for the info. I am also interested in the FT-2900 as a first radio. Question: Why does it (and others) have adjustable wattage? Why not run at 75w all day?
 

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Blue,
I am picking nits I know. To clarify, the test cost $15 a session. If after passing the technician exan and you wish to try for general, there is no additional cost. The license itself is free from the goverment. When you renew in 10 years it is just fill out the form online, no retest, no fee.

lope,
One of the principles of amateur radio is to only use the ammount of power needed to maintain contact. No need to use 50W when 10W will work. In the real world, in general with a vehicle mounted radio most operators just run at full power.

However, for those times you are running from a seperate battery, maybe in an emergency communication operation, running lower power keeps the battery from draining quickly. As example, those hams providing communication for hurricane Sandy. If they are in a location without power they need to stretch the battery reserves as long a possible. Running 5W versus 50W will keep them communicating a lot longer.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Love this stuff =)
 

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sparky said:
Blue,
I am picking nits I know. To clarify, the test cost $15 a session. If after passing the technician exan and you wish to try for general, there is no additional cost. The license itself is free from the goverment. When you renew in 10 years it is just fill out the form online, no retest, no fee.

lope,
One of the principles of amateur radio is to only use the ammount of power needed to maintain contact. No need to use 50W when 10W will work. In the real world, in general with a vehicle mounted radio most operators just run at full power.

However, for those times you are running from a seperate battery, maybe in an emergency communication operation, running lower power keeps the battery from draining quickly. As example, those hams providing communication for hurricane Sandy. If they are in a location without power they need to stretch the battery reserves as long a possible. Running 5W versus 50W will keep them communicating a lot longer.
Absolutely correct. Thanks.

I thought I remembered the 15 being to cover the admin costs of the volunteers, not being a cost of licensure, but I couldnt remember for sure.
 

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I've got the ARRL Ham Licensing Manual for the Tech level. I'm currently on Chapter 3 but I've been making flashcards using an app on the iPhone. If anyone's interested I could share them.

I'm hoping to take the test in a few months at the longest....
 

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BlurRidge, I'd like to see those links! I have been in CBs for years, nearly got into HAM when the code was required and considered it several times since. I need to study up and go on and pull the trigger.

I started a thread over "there" and I've gotten a lot of good information as far as test links and pratice exams go. Check it out...

Why are you a HAM?
 

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I also have echolink, an app for that from the Play store. It lets me use my tablet on any linked repeater. You must have a license to use this app at all.
OK wait... so I can use my wifi only iPad on a linked repeater?? Am I understanding you correctly?
 

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PhotoWrangler said:
OK wait... so I can use my wifi only iPad on a linked repeater?? Am I understanding you correctly?
Yes. The repeater must be hooked into the interwebs, but if it is you can TX via your tablet on that repeater (and RX). Your tablet sends it via interweb to the repeater which broadcasts, opposite happens to recieve. According to echolink, there are 2088 active nodes in America right now. There is also a echolink finder app which will tell you which repeaters are usable.

You can actually be a ham without a transceiver with this software, but it will not work without the internet - so it isn't really radio. Neat toy though.

It is the same technology that some repeaters use to allow radioing in to 911.
 

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Question: Why does it (and others) have adjustable wattage? Why not run at 75w all day?
§ 97.313 Transmitter power standards.
(a) An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.

That said, 75 watts is a lot of heat, wasted DC current, and RF exposure when not necessary. When using repeaters, my jeep rig is rarely over 10 watts.
 

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Thank you
 
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