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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by mossy500camo, Sep 24, 2005.
Ham Radio? A nice beginners package? And what is required?
Well, it's been somewhere around 15 years ago since I became a HAM, but all I had to do was pass the written exam. I bought a book that had the type of questions which were asked. And that's about it. You'll be asked about electronics, you'll need to learn phonetics... um, I really can't remember everything. If you want a "higher" license, then you'll need to learn how to communicate with morse code.
Here's a good introduction from the American Radio Relay League to help you get started:
I got a book called "Now You're Talking". It is published by the ARRL and it has the entire question and answer pool for the technician license. Then you start pooring over catalogs to start aquiring equipment. My first rig was a Yeasu FT-2400. The mic died so I then picked up an FT-2500 off ebay. Then I got a Yeasu VX-5R handheld then a Kenwood TM-D700A. And my wish list hasn't even begun to be filled. ;f
I think I had a Yeasu 8100 in there somwhere too. Maybe it was an 8500. ;g
Sooo.... Where should I start?;f
I second the book, "Now You're Talking".
I would say, purchase the book and read it. The book also includes the entire question pool. So there are no surprise questions. Then find a place to take the exam.
I got my ticket over 10 years ago so I'm sure some things have changed since then.
Today, there are just three license classes: Technician, General, and Extra. There will probably be 45 questions for the technician class license. And you need to score a 70% I believe to pass.
Firstly, what county are you in?
Secondly, get the ARRL book.
Really the best place to start would be to contact your local ham club. About 2 minutes on google should locate the local club. Find out what they suggest, they will suggest learning material, the will tell you when local testing will happen and will get you started down the right path.
The really cool thing about ham radio is that it's not a solitary experience. There will be plenty of people who will help you out and work with you along the way.
They people who help you get into ham radio or teach you something are called "Elmer's" So the best thing to do is find someone local to Elmer you.
Once you get into ham radio you will find that there are many facets, packet, digital, UHF/VHF voice, CW (morse code), satallite, Slow scan TV, and the list goes on. Once you find an area that interests you you can find someone local to help you or if there isn't anyone local you can probably find that particular intrest in a Yahoo group or message board somewhere.
Right now I am having problems with APRS but I am working through message boards to figure out my problem.
I would suggest getting the book as well, you can get one at any large bookstore. On another note you can also go to http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl and take the practice exam.
To be honest the Tech license is so easy to get I bought the book made it to chapter 2 and then just started taking the test and memorizing the answers. I missed 2 out of 35 and that was 3 days of study with no previous exp. When you get to where you can get 80% consistantly your ready.
Make sure you read the book though afterwards while you wait for your callsign or otherwise you won't have a clue what to do when you get it ;a
I see you're from "the south." In the south, there's a lot more hams per capita than elsewhere, so if you live anywhere near a population center, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a local club (prowl around on the web) that will help you get started & also adminster the license test & submit your application paperwork.
If I recall arent you from bama mossy? If so, what part, I may can help you, or contact someone who can.
Is it expensive? I am in college and on a budget but it looks useful and interesting.
Not unlike guns (or cameras, or any other "toy" hobby), you can start off small and buy your way up from there.
Most new hams buy a 2 meter (either mobile or handie) as a first purchase. Ebay has over 100 items right now when I searched for "2 meter". Of course the dual band radios (144 and 440 mhz) are nicer, but they cost more. Folks like to use the 440 mhz repeaters because they aren't as crowded but 2 meters traditionally has a little better range. Of course with VHF/UHF, we are talking "local", although you can get into IRLP (linking to the internet) and all sorts of other things to stretch out your chat range.
From there, you can start looking at HF gear to "talk to the world". This CAN be pricey or fairly inexpensive with some searching for good deals on used gear. Not sure if the morse requirement will be dropped in the US for HF operation... seems to be pointing in that direction right now.
As well as ebay, local ham clubs always have swap nets with used gear.
If you are going to buy a 2-meter (VHF) rig you might as well by new. I have seen new mobiles on sale for as low as $165. CHeck out www.hamradio.com www.aesham.com www.randl.com