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Author Topic: New Ham Seeking Advice  (Read 7044 times)
KA8OCN
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 07:18:25 PM »

Hello everyone,

I'm brand new to amateur radio. I got my license over a year ago and haven't done a single thing with it since. The reason is that I don't know what equipment to get, and I don't even know where to begin. I don't even know whether to go HF or VHF/UHF. I don't know anything. What questions do I need to ask myself before getting the equipment I need?

At this time I think I have a price range of up to $1000 or so, for everything.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

If it were me I would pick up a cheep 2 meter rig on eBay, you should be able to find one for around 100$ and buy some coax and make a vertical antenna. There are lots of plans out there for a Jpole (not a bad antenna and easy to make) or a 1/4 wave.

Scan the band and listen, find some local people and get to know them. they will be able to give you glues about used equipment in your area and help you lean to make your first HF antenna (normally just a wire) coax will be the most expensive thing you will need at first in the antenna department.

Once you get a idea from talking with your new friends of what HF rig you would like start looking. I have had better experience on eBay than I have had on Ham Classifieds or Swap and Shops. On eBay you have the persons feedback to look at and if you pay via paypal they have a guarantee if things go wrong and you cant get the seller make it right.

I have purchased on eBay in the last 5 years when I got active again, a ICOM 756 Pro III, Kenwood 2000, Kenwood 480 sat, ICOM 2820, 2 Ameritron ALS-600 Amps, and lots of other stuff I just dont remember now. I have had good luck but and this is important you MUST READ every word in the auction!

Your best resource will be the local gang, you will have to scan for awhile, In my experience you will find the people that have been doing it awhile and willing to help you on Simplex.

Have fun, I hope to catch you on the bands someday. if you are a computer nut download echolink software (its free on the web) you will have to register (prove you are a ham) and give me a call on echolink (KA8OCN-L) we have a echolink simplex link on 223.420 and there is a good group of guys on that freq.

73 KA8OCN
Delbert McCord
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K6LCS
Member

Posts: 1568


WWW

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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 10:47:45 AM »

You need to do a little research - and see what amateur radio activities are happening in your area!

See which of these clubs is near you - and attend a meeting or two ... Assuming you're still in Minnesota, here are a few
great clubs near you ... you'll find interesting people doing interesting things with amateur radio at any of these clubs ...

Anoka County Radio Club
http://www.anokaradio.org

TWINSLAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
www.twinslan.org

COURAGE HANDIHAM SYSTEM ARC
http://www.handiham.org

Twin City DX Association
www.tcdxa.org

Gopher ARC of Universty of MN
http://www.w0yc.com

Twin City FM Club
www.tcfmc.org

Minnesota QRP Society
http://www.mnqrp.org

Minnetonka Minnesota ARC

St Paul Radio Club
http://www.stpaulradioclub.org

MAPLE GROVE RADIO CLUB
http://www.k0ltc.org

MINING AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/W0MR

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS AMATEUR RADIO

Ramsey County Amateur Radio Assn
www.twinslan.org/~rces/

STILLWATER ARA
www.radioham.org

ST. CROIX VALLEY RADIO AMATEURS
www.scvhamradio.com

And if you think working the amateur satellites may be fun, visit my site at ...

http://www.work-sat.com

Clint, K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AF6AU
Member

Posts: 39




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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2011, 02:30:11 PM »

As others mentioned....
1. you are a tech, gongrats. You have all UHF/VHF + 10 meters. Bang for the buck, get a wouxun dual band handy talkie, and a decent mag mount antenna for the car. Also add a speaker microphone. Now you have full mobile and portable too. Not a powerhouse, but it will hit local repeaters. Check out the internet for any big linked open repeater systems in your area, they are fun.
2. If you want to run 10 meters, then you can invest in a used HF rig, like a icom 751, Kenwood ts newer. Try to stick with solid state rigs, unless you want to learn to tune tube plate finals. Try making the antennas. 10 meter antennas can be made from modified CB antennas, or use 12 gauge copper. Making a 10 meter dipole from wire or copper plumbing pipe is a great biginner project.
3. Join a local club!!!

4. Do something, even if you just go to www.winsystem.org and listen to their internet audio link. You will learn how to chat on repeaters, and they have several international nodes in England, Australia, japan and a few other places.

5. have fun!

JML
AF6AU
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K7EE
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2011, 06:50:19 AM »

I'm not sure you are still following this thread, but if you are, my suggestion would be look into working the birds (satellites) or take a look at the TARP site. If you are very competitive check out contesting or DXing, both are addictive. From the looks of your rocket blog it will not take you long to find your niche in the ham world.   
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