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Author Topic: A Brand New Ham Looking for Some Advice....  (Read 807 times)
AMATUREBEGINNER
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Posts: 4




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« on: September 20, 2005, 11:10:38 AM »

I am a university student (and brand new ham) that that will recieve my ticket this weekend (I've been getting between 90 and 95% on the practice exams), being a university student I have almost NO disposable income (I might be able to weasel my parents out of $100 cad though).  I'm looking for some advice on a handheld that would make an excellent first purchase, about my only criteria is that it be cheap, 2m, and able to receive the aviation radio bands (I am licenced for these bands so if it can transmit too thats a plus)...

Any extra features are really nice but I'm pretty sure finding a radio that meets the above criteria will be pretty hard to begin with, I appreciate ANY suggestion (especially those may that may help convince the parental units) that anyone may have, and I thank you for your time.
-David
(if all goes well - VE6NHZ)
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20543




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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 11:20:25 AM »

Best buy is the Yaesu/Vertex VX-150.  It's small, light and cheap and works very well.  5W output on "hi" power, or 1/2W output on "low" power, and settings in between; long battery charge life; it does receive the Aircraft band; sounds good on the air; has all the modern features without a high cost point.

It cannot transmit outside the amateur band, which is a good thing since specially certificated equipment is required to transmit outside the ham band.

Good luck on the test!

WB2WIK/6
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AMATUREBEGINNER
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 11:22:12 AM »

I forgot to mention: I would be quite happy with a decent used radio...
-David
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AMATUREBEGINNER
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2005, 08:48:07 PM »

Hey Steve,
Thank you so much for your suggestion but I have a copule of questions about the vx - 150 if you don't mind.  I've been looking at the 150 seriously it looks like just about the perfect radio for me but every indication from the (numerous and glowing) reviews on this site and others say that the 150 does not have a wide recive range, I was wondering if you may have been mistaken or if there is something that is not mentioned on the various websites.

Thank you sooooo much for your help, wading through all the various available models to find that radio for the first purchase after you get your ticket is incredably difficult! Cheesy
thanks again,
-David
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KA3RFE
Member

Posts: 185




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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2005, 01:08:28 PM »

"Wide recieve range" refers to the ability to monitor frequencies that are outside the ham bands. Many radios do have this feature but they cost more.

For instance: I have a dualband handheld radio that allows me to monitor the local fire department's distpatch channel on 154.01 and the medical radios on UHF. Those are two "wide receive" frequencies and they are well outiside of any ham bands. I have a portable radio that connot pick up much outside of the ham freqs, so it doesn't have a wide receive range. It can pick up all amateur bands but not much anything else. And it has nothing to do with a radio's performance on the ham bands.

73
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W4TME
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Posts: 299




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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2005, 07:28:35 AM »

Your university may have a ham radio club.  If so you could use the clubs equipment if you join.

-Tim
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2005, 11:55:07 AM »

"Wide Receive Range" is, at best, a mixed blessing.  Yes, you can hear things outside the ham bands (i.e.: NOAA weather radio) and that can be very convenient.  The tradeoff is usually poorer selectivity, poorer intermod rejection, and generally poorer receiver performance in the ham bands.  I would much rather have an HT that received what it's supposed to well and doesn't receive all kinds of interference because it's widebanded.

Where this really matters is anyplace with RF congestion (i.e.: most cities).  The problem becomes far worse if you use your HT with an outside antenna to extend it's range.  A ham bands only HT is probably the best answer for you if it will be your only radio.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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AMATUREBEGINNER
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2005, 12:02:57 PM »

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions! they are very much appreciated!  Up here in edmonton I am an avionics engineering student that is located VERY close to the airport.  So being close to the airport (and eventually working on one) I wish to keep tabs on whats going on.  This feature is very important to me, If I could find a transceiver that will just recive the 2m band and the airband I would be happy....

Currently I am looking at the Yaesu Ft-60R, it's a little out of my price range but I'm saving and hope to have it by the end of the year....

73's
-David - VE6NHZ
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KC0VCU
Member

Posts: 138




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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2005, 12:11:33 AM »

You may be better off picking up a good/used HT that works only in the ham bands, and suplementing that with a used scanner that can pick up other bands, and program that for the local aviation frequencies. Unless your airport is far bigger than I would expect, you can probably cover all the local and several of the regional frequencies using an old 10 or 20 channel scanner that operates in the VHF bands.

I see that there is a pro-42 available on ebay for 44.99 + shiping (us) which might fit your needs. I have one and it is a very nice, if somewhat old, scanner.

One reason to consider this is that a good handheld that works in the aviation frequencies is going to run in the $300 or more. I seem to recall seeing a VX-300 in the latest AES catalog, though I don't see it on their site. That is apparently the aviation radio from Yaesu that they based the VC-170 2-meter rig on.

Where I was going with this is you might consider just going with a 2-meter ht and a scanner, with the expectation of replacing the scanner with a dedicated aviation radio as your funds become available.

If you insist upon getting something that supports both now, a vx-2R has the 'wide band' receive and is being advertized here by giga for $159 or so (us). I have one and like it very much. It does have both 2-meter and 440, but it appears that it would mostly cover what you are looking for.

-Rusty - kc0vcu
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AB8JC
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2005, 10:31:47 AM »

Check out the Yaesu Spirit VXA-700.  Airband nav/com, 2M ham band transceive, & FM broadcast receive.
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KI4JQB
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2007, 03:28:33 PM »

As WB2WIK said, the VX-150 would be a great choice. It was my first HT, and I liked it. Several dealers sell it for under $110. The only other source of expense for it that is needed is a better antenna. You might try the Smiley TAQ2 quarter-wave whip, which is available from AES for $10.95. I'm making my antenna recommendation based on its low price. You can do some with the stock duck, but not very much.

73, John
KI4JQB
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