Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ham Radio primer

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ham Radio primer

    This is an email I typed to a potential team member to give them an idea of what was involved to get started in ham radio. I will also be happy to help anyone here @ X colony as well:)

    An intro on getting starting: http://www.hello-radio.org/

    Ham radio is unlike many other radio services that you may be familiar with. FRS, GMRS, and CB are just several channels in one band. Ham radio is many frequencies on many bands.

    Ham radio is not unlike any other hobby. You can spend around $250 to several grand for ham radios. Quality brands are Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, and Alinco. The type of gear we prefer are handie talkie (2 meter and 70cm also known as 144mhz and 440mhz, VHF/UHF) as well as mobile radios in the same frequency ranges. However if all that can be purchased is a single band radio, 2m/144mhz equipment is the minimum standard.

    For comparrison I will link to 2m and then dual band equipment to understand the pricing differences.

    A good 2m Ht (handie talkie) like the VX-150 costs around $125 http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...ZYS-VX-150-64B This is a complete unit ready to go out of the box. A 12V DC "car charger" plug is also recommended as it may be the only means to recharge the battery when the power goes out... You can always charge it from the car or a small solar setup!

    A good 2m mobile radio is the Icom IC-V8000. This radio is very rugged and easy to use. http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...&sku=ZIC-V8000 This radio will give you much longer range communications (20+ miles or greater over open terrain depending on antenna choice) or even longer distances with repeaters.

    A cheaper alternative is the Kenwood TM-271A http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...ku=ZKW-TM-271A

    You will also need an antenna for a mobile radio. Such as a 2m antenna on a magmount for around $50 or if you wish to use this @ your home as well, you will need a 2m base antenna, for about the same price...

    A good dual band HT is the Yaesu VX-6r http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...&sku=ZYS-VX-6R, or I really like the tri-bander Kenwood TH-F6a http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...sku=ZKW-TH-F6A

    A dual band mobile rig is the Icom IC-2820H http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...&sku=ZIC-2820H , or the Yaesu FT-7800R http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?a...u=ZYS-FT-7800R

    There are expensive radios out there, but they do the local UHF/VHF and HF (HF is called high frequency , but don't let it confuse you, HF is lower in frequency than VHF (very high frequency) and UHF (Ultra high frequecny) is higher than either VHF or HF) HF allows you talk around the world if the atmospheric conditions are optimal and it is the correct time of day.

    What we are shooting for as for team/group commo is the local and regional comms capabilities of the VHF and preferably VHF/UHF dual band rigs. I do have the world wide capabilites of HF but as a team, everyone does not need that capability. However, you may find a new hobby that you will want to pursue further.

    Getting you license is not difficult. You must pass a test with about 35 questions on it that are pulled from a pool of over 600 questions. Just a few hours a week and in a month or two you will be ready. My wife is also a ham and it gives us alternative communications should the cellphones and phonelines go down for whatever reason. All it takes is dedication and a will to do it!!! Here is a license guide I would use: http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9639 Feel free to shop around for a better price if you wish. Alot of the questions you have about ham radio, will be answered by this book... how it will pertain to group/team communications is what you will learn from us.

    Once you feel like you are understanding the material you will want to take practice tests on http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl or http://www.eham.net/exams/ Your first license is the Technician class one and it will get you as far as you need to go with the team/group requirements. Like I said, you may want to go further if you want.

    Once you are making over 90% on the online practice tests, you will want to locate an exam testing session near your location @ http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml . If you find that you learn better in a classroom environment some clubs offer classes http://www.arrl.org/FandES/courses/ or if you want to learn from some of the locals try looking for a club near you http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/clubsearch.phtml

    The cost to take the test is $10-25 depending on what the local VE test team charges this will also include your application fee if you pass. License is good for 10 years. Renewal costs about $10-15 ,also depending on what the FCC charges the year of renewal. For comparrison a GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) costs $85 for 5 years.

    If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them, so feel free to ask.
    73

    later,
    ZA

    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
    beat you to death with it because it is empty.

    The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.


  • #2
    Outstanding info ZA! Thanks!

    I have recently acquired 2 VX-170's which i'm excited about they seem to be built like a tank. Still trying to figure them out etc
    WHAT IF THE AMERICA YOU KNEW, WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE?

    The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Diesel View Post
      Outstanding info ZA! Thanks!

      I have recently acquired 2 VX-170's which i'm excited about they seem to be built like a tank. Still trying to figure them out etc

      Ham radio is fun too. You meet a lot of people both locally and across the globe with it.

      The tests are not hard, a 9 yr old girl just passed two of the written tests here recently, and the test questions pools are created and controlled by the FCC, which require the test coordinators to not change the wording of the questions or answers, all they can change is the possible order of the answers. So memorization is the key to passing these tests, my wife passed hers back in 1995 right after we got married, just by memorizing the question pools, and that was when the testing was a bit harder! You had to take two tests to get the Technician license, as well as a morse code test was still required to get on HF then.

      Here is a site that I have sent to others that wanted to get their ham "ticket" and once they have memorized the information they have gone on to take the tests successfully.

      <removed the link that was here>

      And adding a new one, that hopefully won't be porn anytime soon :)

      http://myamateurradio.com/


      The cool thing is that you can download the podcasts on this site to your MP3 player for FREE and listen to them when you work out, run, walk, etc.

      There are also power point slide shows on the Internet that covers the information as well. So depending on what kind of learning you favor (visual, audible, combination) there are ways on the Internet for free to learn the information needed. And most Hams are always glad to help someone new to get their license.
      Last edited by wcdustoff; 04-13-2017, 05:49 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice addition and welcome to the board :)
        73

        later,
        ZA

        Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
        beat you to death with it because it is empty.

        The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the link wc!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks ZA I'm going to go for it !!!!!!! WOOO HOOOO !!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Cool FD :) Now get Kimber onboard and then YOU BOTH will be to chat it up :)

              Let us know if we can help!!!
              73

              later,
              ZA

              Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
              beat you to death with it because it is empty.

              The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well I failed my first practice test. Got a 69% !! Not too bad for not knowing anything I guess. I'm on my way ZA !!! WWWOOOO HOOOOOO !!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Kimber is ammo crazy right now. I'll talk to him tomorrow at church and see if I can talk him into taking the course with me. I'm ordering the book right now !!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    :) Groovy :)
                    73

                    later,
                    ZA

                    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
                    beat you to death with it because it is empty.

                    The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      At least your trying! Thing is they make the testing process so easy, I just think it is a shame there are not more people that want to get the license. As long as you can memorize the correct answer for each question. I am in the process of studying to upgrade my Tech ticket, so I can talk FM voice on HF, and finally get to use all 4 bands in my FT8900 mobile!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you for this info, I have been looking for a "Ham for dummies" guide for awhile,*L*

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In the near future I'll be meeting with a local group of HAM operators. Possibly seeing about getting into it myself with the wife or at least finding a way to keep contact with them. Main reason being, if a catastrophic event occurs I'm voted most likely recon with the vehicles, experience and equipment to get supplies or even people if necessary. Keeping in contact with 'base' would be extremely beneficial.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You've got me very interested, only 1 question do I have to learn Morse code.Vinnie
                            THE PERSON CONTROLLING YOUR FUTURE IS LOOKING AT YOU IN THE MIRROR - CARPE DIEM

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the info just signed up at QRZ.com so I can start the learning process.

                              Joe
                              SEMPER PARATUS

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X