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Author Topic: Back on the air, already burned out  (Read 2941 times)
WA1RNE
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Posts: 825




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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2009, 10:10:44 AM »

by K9FON on November 12, 2009       

Pick up an old Kenwood Ts 520 or 530 or an 830. You can get them about 250 to $400.00 used. Put up a cheapie dipole, tune it, and get on the bands.


 >>> K9FON was reading my mind. After listening on the bands for a couple of months, you may decide the upgrade is worth the effort. Running 6 meters is fun but as others have said, there isn't enough activity to keep the average ham occupied without having HF privileges. Forget about 2 meter FM DX, that's even worse.


 Have you gone over Element 3? Since Tech's can upgrade to General by passing Element 3, a 35 question exam, and no CW test is required, you may change your mind.

 
 ...WA1RNE
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N8XXX
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2009, 10:39:23 AM »

You could try adding a 5 element beam. Only about $50, not including mounting.  Mine is on a mast that I turn by hand.  Find every repeater you can hit, research  each one on the internet. Check into all of the different weekly nets.  You can spend months just checking out different repeaters and their nets (depending on your location.)

The only repeater I talk on is quite a distance from my home.  I only found it by participating on a dozen other repeaters first.
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N6ORB
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2009, 10:44:58 PM »

I got back into ham radio nearly four years ago after a long hiatus. I was originally a tech and found 2M FM uninteresting. Over 20 years later my interest level didn't get any higher.

I got a paper upgrade to general and purchased a Yaesu FT-897D hf/vhf/uhf rig so I could try out a wide variety of bands. HF was tough at first. Antenna restrictions greatly limited my options. I then discovered six meter ssb and sporadic-E. With a loop antenna on a short mast, I was hearing and working people with strong signals all over the western third of the US and Canada that first summer. The June and September VHF/UHF contests surprised me with the amount of activity and the distances I could work on VHF with very modest portable antennas. This was something I could get into.

After the summer sporadic-E season was over and six meters went quiet, I improved my hf antenna setup somewhat and tried working in the October CQ World Wide DX contest. Suddenly I was working stations as far away as South Africa and Macau. The DX bug had hit.

I had already upgraded to extra and began working toward DXCC, but I stayed active on the higher bands. I still haven't settled into a niche.

Since you want to see what else is readily available to you beyond VHF/UHF FM, I suggest you acquire one of the "DC to daylight" rigs that have been available for a while now. It shouldn't be hard to find a used one at a tolerable price. SSB is a more efficient mode than FM and will let you make VHF+ contacts at distances that may surprise you. If you do decide to upgrade, you'll have HF capability at your fingertips.

Dave
N6ORB
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KI4QPU
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2009, 05:22:33 AM »

To KJ4AUR: I don't have a general class license, but I do have a TS 570 D and a 160m dipole. Just because one cannot talk doesn't mean they cannot listen. And yes I'm telling him to not upgrade. Why be invested that much more when he's not happy now. Radio+Tuner+Coax+Balun+Antenna= a lot more money
Why push someone that doesn't like vhf,uhf into something more expensive. And then be in the boat i'm in by having a hf radio you can't sell for what you invested. This "tech" is commenting because I wish someone would have for me. OP think about the options.
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KG4DGF
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2009, 08:03:35 AM »

The VHF repeater route is good for some, but not all hams.  I advise the original poster to upgrade to general anyways, HF does not have to be expensive.  In fact with a little ingenuity you can even build radios that work on HF. There are so many facets in radio that if you look around you will find your niche.  I will also give the advise that if you want a rewarding challenge, learn CW.  I am still a new CW op, but let me tell you the QSOs I have have been more memorable since I started using CW.  Also you meet a lot of good guys.  Most are welcoming to the community since we all have to start somewhere.  Also CW radios are easy and cheap to assemble if you are on a budget and enjoy tinkering.  That's been my niche lately, but it is liable to change.  Look around and see what you like.
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N3JJT
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2009, 10:33:48 AM »

Well, KG4DGF said it right...there are so many facets to the radio hobby!  Finding one may take a little time.  I think you should upgrade, this will give you the chance to try some other modes.  CW to PSK31, phone, and many others.  You do not need a new rig.  The comment on the 530/520, and such us the perfect suggestion.  Do some reading, join a local club and find out whats going on.  Ask someone in the club what they do, and hopefully someone will elmer you in the right direction, invite you over and do a little operating.  Maybe the local club has a club station to use, and you can get some air time to find out what you may like, or use until you can put a rig at home.  That is the main purpose of having club stations, was so hams could have a place to operate, because not everyone can buy a rig right away!
Good Luck!

To KI4QPU:  I am sorry you have such a bitter taste of the hobby. An elmer in your area should have been helping you out with some type of guidance in the hobby.  Maybe if you looked at the concept of upgrading yourself, and trying some of the modes available you might see there are good things out there!  You should also go to a local club and ask questions too, and see what is really going on in the hobby.  Get involved with your club, go to Field Day, help out on some public service events.  Help an OM work on some antennas. Learn about it, your way of thinking is able to be changed!  Good Luck to you too, and I hope you open up a little and look for some change, and put that KW570 to use.  That is a very nice rig to just use as a receiver. Have some fun!

73..Scott
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K4DPK
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Posts: 1077


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« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2009, 02:24:25 PM »

This is an interesting thread, because it illustrates what I think is an important difference in the people that are involved in ham radio today.
   
I think when people become hams because they are caught up in the magic of electronic over-the-air communication, they will educate themselves and do what is necessary to expand their activity, however meager the funds available.  To many, this means learning the code and building their own equipment, or at least settling for less than optimum radios and using them as stepping stones.   One of the reasons we older guys stayed with it and learned how to homebrew was simply that we didn’t have the money in those days, and we had sufficient interest to press on.  

On the other hand, when one gets a license only because it’s an interesting bauble, and just the memorizing of a few answers is involved, he might consider the additional effort unjustified.  He might be disappointed and inquire why he can’t be happier with what he has without the expending of more thought and funds.  It isn’t quite what he thought it was.  That’s sad, but it’s no worse than someone buying a set of golf clubs only to learn that he really doesn’t like being outdoors.

It is all a matter of motivation.  

I don’t think anyone should attempt to persuade the OP to upgrade, because if he had sufficient interest he would already have done that.  It’s like begging someone to buy a fishing license and tackle and fishing rods, when he’s already said he doesn’t like the water.

Not everyone who acquires a ham license really, really wants to be a ham.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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K4DPK
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« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2009, 04:55:58 PM »

KI4QPU said:

" This "tech" is commenting because I wish someone would have for me."

I think you mean you wish someone had stopped you from investing more money in something you really didn't like in the first place.

Yes, that's too bad.

But it's not too late.  You could advertise on QTH.com and trade your radio for a set of golf clubs or some fishing poles.

Much happiness in your new endeavors.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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K9FON
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Posts: 1012




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« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2009, 05:05:38 PM »

That's sad. I am in situation right now were i was forced to move back home and without ANY radios except my 2 meter mobile.
I bought a used Kenwood TS 530SP/MC-50 combo, MFJ tuner and made tuned dipoles for 160 75 and 40 meters and put up an A99 for 10 12 and 15 meters. I alo have an antenna coming to get me on 20 meters. I am having fun but i miss my equpiment that my ex now has in her posession. I wouldnt give up on this hobby for anything, In fact, due to my situation that i'm in I needed the radio for consolation when i start to get down. I think if i didn't have a radio to talk on id be in worse shape than i'm in now.
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