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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:24:32 PM EDT
Any HAM guys/gals in the Willamette valley willing to show me the ropes?

I'm interested in learning and getting licensed but would love some guidance

Thanks!.
Link Posted: 2/3/2013 11:32:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2013 11:32:57 PM EDT by jrollins]
Where in the valley are you? Lots of great radio clubs all over the place. Plenty of people around to talk to. Oh, and of course there is the ham forum right here on arfcom - click on the outdoors tab at the top.

The first step is to start studying. Pick up a study book, read up on the internet, some of the clubs occasionally have classes you can go to. Lots of options. Getting a Technician class license is pretty easy - just some basic electronic and radio theory and memorizing the rules and bandplans.

Link Posted: 2/4/2013 12:23:27 PM EDT
Yea the HAM forum here and a thread in GD peaked my interest. I am mostly curious to see things in action and have a live body to ping ideas off of. I have no issue reading materials on my own, already read a good portion of the tacked threads in the HAM forum, was more or less looking for someone that can show me how things actually work. Some practical knowledge/experience that isn't gained from reading text. I really think the only radio's i would ever own would be a HT and a slim chance of a mobile setup in some kind of a Pelican case and/or in my vehicle.

I guess it would really just be a backup comm option if other forms of comm were down.
Link Posted: 2/4/2013 3:26:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By S1ug:
Yea the HAM forum here and a thread in GD peaked my interest. I am mostly curious to see things in action and have a live body to ping ideas off of. I have no issue reading materials on my own, already read a good portion of the tacked threads in the HAM forum, was more or less looking for someone that can show me how things actually work. Some practical knowledge/experience that isn't gained from reading text. I really think the only radio's i would ever own would be a HT and a slim chance of a mobile setup in some kind of a Pelican case and/or in my vehicle.

I guess it would really just be a backup comm option if other forms of comm were down.


The sad fact is, most new hams start by buying an HT.
They then discover that the only people they can realistically talk to are in their backyard, and that many repeaters are dead air, those with activity are cliques that ignore you, or seemingly brain-dead and incapable of holding any sort of reasonable conversation.

The HT goes into a drawer and a few years later the license goes un-renewed.

When all other forms of communication are down, your favorite repeater will be too. An HT without a repeater has a reliable range that is practically useless.
The higher power of a mobile rig gets you a few miles more (maybe).

What you really want is to put in the extra effort and get (at least) a General license, then buy a decent small rig, like the IC7000, which also includes the VHF/UHF stuff if you want it..

Once you have that, if you still want an HT, then think about buying one.


Link Posted: 2/4/2013 7:23:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PhilipPeake:
Originally Posted By S1ug:
Yea the HAM forum here and a thread in GD peaked my interest. I am mostly curious to see things in action and have a live body to ping ideas off of. I have no issue reading materials on my own, already read a good portion of the tacked threads in the HAM forum, was more or less looking for someone that can show me how things actually work. Some practical knowledge/experience that isn't gained from reading text. I really think the only radio's i would ever own would be a HT and a slim chance of a mobile setup in some kind of a Pelican case and/or in my vehicle.

I guess it would really just be a backup comm option if other forms of comm were down.


The sad fact is, most new hams start by buying an HT.
They then discover that the only people they can realistically talk to are in their backyard, and that many repeaters are dead air, those with activity are cliques that ignore you, or seemingly brain-dead and incapable of holding any sort of reasonable conversation.

The HT goes into a drawer and a few years later the license goes un-renewed.

When all other forms of communication are down, your favorite repeater will be too. An HT without a repeater has a reliable range that is practically useless.
The higher power of a mobile rig gets you a few miles more (maybe).

What you really want is to put in the extra effort and get (at least) a General license, then buy a decent small rig, like the IC7000, which also includes the VHF/UHF stuff if you want it..

Once you have that, if you still want an HT, then think about buying one.




See, the above is why it would be nice to find someone willing to show me the ropes.
Link Posted: 2/4/2013 7:57:17 PM EDT
So tell us where you are. Oregon is a big place...
Once we know where you are, we can probably dig up someone to talk with you.
Link Posted: 2/5/2013 7:32:37 PM EDT
woops my bad.

Eugene/Springfield area. :-)
Link Posted: 2/5/2013 8:07:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By S1ug:
woops my bad.

Eugene/Springfield area. :-)


Thats a way from me ... hopefully there is someone else in the area that is willing to help?

You can always email/PM me with random questions.
Link Posted: 2/5/2013 10:16:01 PM EDT
I just did a Google search and found they sites. Hope this helps. I have been studying for the test also.

http://www.emerald-ars.us/


http://www.valleyradioclub.org/
Link Posted: 2/6/2013 8:25:48 PM EDT
Thanks for the links!
Link Posted: 2/7/2013 5:31:58 PM EDT
Hey, HT's aren't all bad. I was on a hilltop near Estacada talking to someone over on a hill near Forest Grove (70+ miles away) and was getting a good signal report, this was 2meter simplex and maybe pushing 4watts. It's really all about the location.

I'm in the Portland area so wouldn't be of much help, but you should contact your local HAM club.
Link Posted: 2/8/2013 8:37:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By knifehitter:
Hey, HT's aren't all bad. I was on a hilltop near Estacada talking to someone over on a hill near Forest Grove (70+ miles away) and was getting a good signal report, this was 2meter simplex and maybe pushing 4watts. It's really all about the location.

I'm in the Portland area so wouldn't be of much help, but you should contact your local HAM club.


I have had contacts of well over 100 miles with 1W (and a decent antenna), and talked to the MIR space station with 10W.
However, at ground-level, and especially in towns with a crappy rubber-duck antenna a *reliable* range is well under a mile.
That is the big disappointment for a a lot of people, as are the empty repeaters, the closed repeaters and the "unfriendly" repeaters.

A lot of people get very disappointed very quickly.

How many hams do you know that have been licensed for more than a couple of years that make a lot of use of an HT?
Link Posted: 2/8/2013 9:23:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PhilipPeake:
A lot of people get very disappointed very quickly.
How many hams do you know that have been licensed for more than a couple of years that make a lot of use of an HT?

Plenty of em out there. Lots of people who only use them. There's a reason the 2m band has so many repeaters. There are several issues leading to people not using their VHF/UHF gear, or being "disappointed" by the gear or the hobby. Part of it is people coming into the hobby with unrealistic expectations. Poisoned by ads from FRS/GMRS radios that are cheaper and advertise 10-15 mile ranges(even though they don't deliver on that, well it SAYS IT ON THE BOX so it must be true!), not understanding that they can't just hand out radios to their buddies for use whenever unless they are licensed(again, spoiled by FRS/GMRS), not willing to talk to the old-timers that know everybody and everything which means they don't learn jack shit about anything or anyone, expecting it to be like a CB radio where you can get away with cursing and blabbering about nothing(OK, so a lot of hams blabber about nothing too. But at least it's a step up from listening to half the 400lbs dudes at the truck stop whispering "I ain't got no panties on" into their mics all night long). And of course time constraints limit a lot of activity(people have jobs/school/family to deal with). Once people have been in it for a while, they tend to specialize in something - emergency communications, contesting, ragchewing with their favorite regulars on whatever frequency/repeater, building antennas/radios, digital modes, QSL cards and DX awards, there's all sorts of stuff to do. And a lot of people concentrate on doing just one or two of those things for a long time. And of course, ham activity tends to run in cycles. Some follow the solar cycle peaks to get the good propagation on the upper HF bands, other patterns involving who is getting licenses and why and who is actually active on the air on a 2m repeater are a bit harder to nail down. But in general, if you don't participate in SOMETHING, it's going to get pretty damn boring in a hurry.

Link Posted: 2/8/2013 10:50:34 AM EDT
Another link is

Www.Lcsaro.org

The vrc group is general and does testing and classes. the lcsaro group is all about emcomm.

You can just show up to the vrc meeting but for the lcsaro meeting you need to arrange in advance.
Link Posted: 2/8/2013 7:57:46 PM EDT
I got my general license with out a ton of effort. Once you start studying for the tests, take the tests and get your license, things get a little clearer. That said, my main reason for getting into it was 1.) because a bunch of guys I know all went in to get their tests at once so I tagged along and 2.) I do a lot of trail building and high risk outdoor activities where there is no cell coverage. Atleast with a 2m radio a decent antenna and a good location and I can most likely get a contact and get help. It really is reassuring to have. My first rig and one that I still have is a basic 60 some watt mobile unit I mounted in my 4runner. I was able to just barely make simplex with Phillippeak once and he is up over a pretty decent hill from me. Granted I was pushing full power through a 1/4wave antenna. But I was able to get a few words over to him. I also got an inexpensive Yaesu handheld and have done well with it. I got some coax cable and some other bits and made a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna that I hung from the rafters in the attic. On 5w I was able to talk to people about 15miles away with lots of buildings and such in the way. Plus where I mounted the antenna is kind of a dead spot for some reason. But its not hard and you don't have to spend craploads of money on 300ft tall antennas that piss off your neighbors. If you have even the slightest skills with electronics or are a quick study, you can do a ton with very little cash outlay. After all this, I don't think I have even talked on the air in over a year or so. Life gets busy and I just don't have the time sadly.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:27:29 PM EDT
I'm a ham and have been for many, many years. I just got my general a few years back. Really the only reason I got my license is for those times I'm out in the woods shooting where cell phones won't get out. It's a great back up that can save a life.

Link Posted: 2/16/2013 1:51:47 PM EDT
I use my HT quite a bit; but not the first one I bought. My 2M only HT sees very little use; I should have got a dual bander right off the bat. Same for a mobiel. my 2M only mobile has not seen power in a couple of years. My local CERT repeater is on 70cm, and I use the dual band HT with the dual and mobile to do cross band repeat once in a while. I've also got some HF gear. They are all tools, meant for different things, and with some of each, I have a pretty wide range of capabilities. I use the mobile mounted in my truck the most. I chat on it weekly during commute, and use the APRS functions when off the beaten track, whcih does not happen as much as I would like.

That being said the black radio disease hit me pretty good back when I had the funds to support the habit.

I'm near Portland.
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