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Posted: 1/12/2021 9:59:31 AM EDT
Are there any amateur radio operators in the Lincoln area that would tolerate some very uninformed questions?
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 11:35:16 AM EDT
[#1]
I work in Lincoln. I got my tech license 2 weeks ago. I am pretty ignorant regarding amateur radio. If it’s a question a moron can answer, I may be your guy.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 7:55:02 PM EDT
[#2]
@alemonkey

I am one too, but in the northeast part.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:05:08 PM EDT
[#3]
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Originally Posted By DirtyHandsRob:
@alemonkey

I am one too, but in the northeast part.
View Quote
You need to get a HF rig so we can talk over the air.  Instead of just texting each other

IDK if I can answer OP's questions but I'm willing to try.  I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff, so if I can pass the General test anyone can.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 12:05:16 AM EDT
[#4]
You all are giving me hope.
Started the process for a tech license.

Did you use anything to study?
Or just the book?

What did you get for your first radio? Antennae?  Rig?
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:19:49 AM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By alemonkey:
You need to get a HF rig so we can talk over the air.  Instead of just texting each other

IDK if I can answer OP's questions but I'm willing to try.  I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff, so if I can pass the General test anyone can.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By alemonkey:
Originally Posted By DirtyHandsRob:
@alemonkey

I am one too, but in the northeast part.
You need to get a HF rig so we can talk over the air.  Instead of just texting each other

IDK if I can answer OP's questions but I'm willing to try.  I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff, so if I can pass the General test anyone can.


I have your phone number?!?!?

Can we go hunt, plz?

Maybe HF someday.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:23:04 AM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SperlingPE:
You all are giving me hope.
Started the process for a tech license.

Did you use anything to study?
Or just the book?

What did you get for your first radio? Antennae?  Rig?
View Quote


Having an electronics background helps, but all I did was use my knowledge and then take a massive amount of practice tests on qrz.com (I think).  I passed tech and general in the same sitting. I suggest you study and take both in the same sitting, it's the same cost, IIRC.

I just use stupid bfengs with upgraded antennas. I don't have a mobile or land station.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 9:59:17 AM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DirtyHandsRob:


I have your phone number?!?!?

Can we go hunt, plz?

Maybe HF someday.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DirtyHandsRob:
Originally Posted By alemonkey:
Originally Posted By DirtyHandsRob:
@alemonkey

I am one too, but in the northeast part.
You need to get a HF rig so we can talk over the air.  Instead of just texting each other

IDK if I can answer OP's questions but I'm willing to try.  I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff, so if I can pass the General test anyone can.


I have your phone number?!?!?

Can we go hunt, plz?

Maybe HF someday.
I wanted to call coyotes this month but work is kicking my ass.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 10:08:16 AM EDT
[#8]
I used the No Nonsense study guide at https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/ and took practice tests at Hamstudy.org.
My first radio was a Baofeng but I found pretty quickly that it doesn't handle strong signals and interference in an urban environment very well.  The receiver gets overloaded and it starts to cut out.  I bought a TYT handheld and it works much better.  

For an antenna, the whip that came with my radio will just barely hit the local repeater 5 miles away if I stand outside on my back deck.  Forget about it inside the house.  I live in a little bit of a valley.  I also bought an Ed Fong J pole roll up antenna that really extends the range.  It's great for activities like hiking - just throw one end up in a tree.

At home I built a homemade 1/4 wave ground plane antenna and put it on my roof.  That drastically extended my range.



Link Posted: 1/13/2021 6:14:25 PM EDT
[#9]
@SperlingPE I forgot to ask - what do you plan to use the radio for?  That will make a big difference in what works best for you.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 6:48:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: SperlingPE] [#10]
@alemonkey

well, I am still investigating what I would use it for.

My initial is....
hobby use
move into disaster/weather volunteer
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:28:12 PM EDT
[#11]
Local communication, nationwide, or both?  I'm assuming you know the differences already between the capabilities of VHF, UHF, and HF.

If you're thinking of doing something like being a weather spotter you might look into a mobile unit to mount in your vehicle.  You can also run that as a base station from your house.  Handheld radios have very limited range, mainly due to the antennas.  You can't really mount an effective antenna on a handheld and still make it portable.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 10:12:58 PM EDT
[#12]
Both.
Are there single radios that are good at both local and nationwide?
Or is it more of a single radio dedicated to each?
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 11:27:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: alemonkey] [#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SperlingPE:
Both.
Are there single radios that are good at both local and nationwide?
Or is it more of a single radio dedicated to each?
View Quote

Some radios will cover multiple bands but most are either HF or VHF/UHF.  Generally speaking, HF is for longer distances and VHF & UHF are for local.  That's not a hard and fast rule but the radio waves on different frequencies behave differently.  

The other day I talked to a guy in Barcelona, Spain on 40 meter with my HF radio, but I've tried without success to talk to someone in Omaha on that same radio.  HF signals bounce off the ionosphere, and depending on your antenna that bounce could go almost straight up and back down, allowing you to talk locally (this is called NVIS, Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) or it could take off at a shallow angle, letting you talk thousands of miles away but shooting right over the head of someone just down the road.  Arfcom has a Tuesday night HF net on 40 & 80 meters that's run by Gyprat.  

VHF and UHF are generally line of sight, so they don't travel over the horizon.  You can use a repeater to extend your range - the local club here in Lincoln has a publicly available repeater that anyone can use.  They also have a nightly 2 meter net on that repeater that anyone can check into.

HF radios are usually a lot more expensive and the antennas take up a lot of room.  Nothing wrong with starting out with a basic 2 meter radio to see if you like it, and if you find that it's a fun hobby you can always buy more gear.

Then there's DMR, which is digital radio.  My handheld TYT can talk to a local digital repeater or a UHF hotspot I have set up in my house and then via the internet I can talk to anyone around the world who is on that same network.  It's kind of a mashup of ham radio and VOIP.  There's a Thursday night Arfcom DMR net, too.

I've only had my General license a little over a year and I'm definitely not an expert.  The Ham forum in the outdoor section is full of very helpful guys so if there's anything I don't know they can definitely point you in the right direction.
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 4:41:25 PM EDT
[#14]
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 10:10:20 PM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
Ok, ok, ok.... this is too much chatting in the NE forum..    Lol

This group is going to be doing some HAM classes soon.  I want to do it, finding time is my problem.
https://mewe.com/join/nebraskatrainingcoalition
View Quote
Cool.

The Lincoln Amateur Radio Club puts on classes designed to get you to pass your Technician test.  Or at least they used to, that may be suspended for the time being.
Link Posted: 1/16/2021 7:24:36 PM EDT
[#16]
Glad I clicked in here.  I just picked up a copy of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual.  I've been wanting to look into HAM for years but it always gets pushed back for one reason or another.
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