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Posted: 8/11/2007 11:42:55 AM EDT
Thanks to this forum an old interest of mine was renewed. I was introduced to Ham radio in the 60's while in High School and after 45yrs of excuses and procrastination I recently decided that it was finally time to get my Amateur License. I got the ARRL books, studied and today I took and passed the Technician exam given by the Ft. Pierce Amateur Radio Club. I am also planning to upgrade to a General license soon. (I hope it won't be another 45yrs before it happens...lol) I'm planning to join a local club here in S.FL and I just joined the ARRL. I know I'll need to re-read the sticky "everything you wanted to know about Ham radio" which I'm sure will answer most of my questions but I would like to ask what would you recommend to a newly licensed ham operator, like myself, to get started? A Technician who will upgrade to General.
How about some recommendations/preferences of mfg.'s for VHF/UHF/HF transceivers. Single band units? Dual band? Full coverage? A handheld unit? A mobile/portable radio that would double as a base station? Antenna's? Dipole/Vertical/J-pole mfg. preferences? This assumes no antenna restrictions in the neighborhood and sufficient room on the property to put 1 up. Any extra equipment you need to operate?...Everyone has an opinion and their personal favorites (I know this hobby can get expensive) but if you could just list a basic station set-up a newly licensed ham radio operator would need and include items/extra equipment one should have to get started.
Thanks
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 12:06:58 PM EDT
congrats to you !!!
you have asked the same q's me and others have had. check out the sticky at the top of this forum and you wil find a wealth of info. expect to spend around $300 to get going. or alot less if you chose a single band (2 meter) radio and antenna for your car/truck.
I got a Yeasu FT-1802 for $130 and mag mount antenna for $60. there were cheaper antenna's but I got a duel band antenna to use with my FT7800.
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 12:15:21 PM EDT
Well, I'm not quite a year ahead of you. Tech last November. General just a couple of months ago so I'm going through the same thing coming up to speed. I started with a Yaesu VX-6R handheld and quickly got a Yaesu FT-2800 mobile (can be used as base for VHF/UHF as well). I just a couple days ago got my Kenwood TS-480SAT HF 160m - 6m station on the air.

I don't know if you are retired or not but if you plan on doing mostly base work I'd go with something like the FT-2800 and a simple vertical antenna (or make one like I did). That would get you on the air on 2m/440 with plenty of power to hit the repeaters in your area. Even if you buy a base station later that does 2m you will still want a second 2m radio in your shack for local comms and higher speed digital work if you get into that.

There are tons of radios to pick from. It took me literally 3 months to decide. I went with the TS-480SAT because I can remotely operate my station over computer connection (once I hook up a computer to the base station locally).

Something like this:


HF RIG ----local connection ----> Computer on network <----remote connection -----> another computer with sound card/mic/speaker


This way if I want to work my radio from my home office (across the house from my shack) I can or I can work it from across the country. Additionally, the TS-480SAT is just a nice radio period. Can be used for base and mobile and field.

I have the subdivision nazi's to worry about so I have to be stealth. That makes it a lot harder. If I didn't I'd put up a Butternut HF9V to get me going and work toward a tower.

It'll keep you busy and poor for a long time to come.

Lots of good info in the threads in this forum to help you and much more experienced hands than me to give good advice. That's what this forum is for.

Oh, and CONGRATS on getting your ticket.

Link Posted: 8/11/2007 12:37:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jjglith:
How about some recommendations/preferences of mfg.'s for VHF/UHF/HF transceivers. Single band units? Dual band? Full coverage? A handheld unit? A mobile/portable radio that would double as a base station? Antenna's? Dipole/Vertical/J-pole mfg. preferences? This assumes no antenna restrictions in the neighborhood and sufficient room on the property to put 1 up. Any extra equipment you need to operate?...Everyone has an opinion and their personal favorites (I know this hobby can get expensive) but if you could just list a basic station set-up a newly licensed ham radio operator would need and include items/extra equipment one should have to get started.


this work-in-progress thread should cover most of what you are looking for...
ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=20&t=604477

scroll down to the sections like "setting up a station at home using a mobile radio", "buying a radio (VHF/UHF-centric)", "suggestions on radios and accessories", "constructing a J-pole antenna for VHF/UHF", etc etc etc.

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 8/11/2007 1:06:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar-jedi:


this work-in-progress thread should cover most of what you are looking for...
ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=20&t=604477


ar-jedi


WOW!!!! What a great compilation of information for us new guys in Ham Radio....It looks like you are going to cover everything and then some!
Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 3:47:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 4:41:22 PM EDT
For you first rig and antenna I would recommend the Yaesu FT-7800 and a Arrow J Pole antenna. The Yaesu rigs that I have had and come in contact with have been bullet proof. The J Pole antenna from Arrow is rock solid. Its built with 100% solid bar stock aluminum. For $39 you cannot go wrong. There are about 7 pages of solid reviews on Eham.net. If you want a inexpensive HT right away take a look at the Yaesu VX-170. The case is aluminum and it can take a beating. Its also water proof and for $120 shipped at Hamradio.com it cannot be beat.


www.arrowantennas.com/j-pole.html

www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=3C10CFA04DF2657239AEACCA0D33FF2E&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=7A3213027D790BCFC558E51B3306C192&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 5:14:36 PM EDT
Congrats on the ticket and good luck studying for the upgrade!
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 5:59:13 PM EDT
Congrats on your tech ticket, I got mine last year. I'm in Martin County.
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 8:01:53 PM EDT
I would get a Yaesu FT-857D.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 1:23:04 AM EDT
Congrats one more time on the ticket. The phase you are in right now is a great one. Picking out your first set of gear. There is alot of great gear on the market and sometimes it takes a few trades to get where you want to be.

The best approach is to educate yourself. Read as much info as you can get your hands on. eham.net has some great radio and accessory reviews. Personally I've found the rigs with the most features have stayed around my shack the longest.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 2:14:23 AM EDT
Congrats and welcome to ham radio.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 6:24:20 AM EDT
I'd strongly suggest you go to Eham.net and look over the equipment reviews. They're product specific in layout and really useful.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:33:27 AM EDT
Thnaks to all who replied. I'll be checking the FFC site for my new call sign. Until then I'm researching what to buy for my 1st radio.
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