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Author Topic: New Tech question  (Read 777 times)

Posts: 2

« on: May 08, 2008, 08:08:58 PM »

I just got my tech license but I am a couple of weeks away from getting a radio. I did install Echolink and got all the ports configured correctly. I can connect to a repeater. However, I can't figure out what to do next. Do I just press the space bar, give my call sign and wait for somebody to come back? I don't hear many others talking so I don't have anybody to copy from. Is Echolink a good way to make your "first contact"? I would like to make a contact, but just am lost for the moment.

Posts: 9930

« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 08:40:13 PM »

welcome.  echo link is like using the internet to access a machine, and you dio need a license to use it but I don't think I would like it as my first contact.

go to  ARRL.ORG and in the upper left click on exams, type in your zip code and hit enter. this will bring up a list of ham tests in your local area.  most of these are sponsered by a ham club. they all have a contact person and phone number. call and ask about  the next meeting, for an elmer , how do I ....
some one will take you under their wing.

 If you were local to me here I would offer you the use of my station and perhaps even loan you a radio till you got yours.  so see if there is some local hams to make contact with. and welcome and good luck.

Posts: 3331

« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 08:52:27 PM »

"Is Echolink a good way to make your "first contact"? "

Not in my opinion, no.  

If you have an amateur radio license issued by the FCC, you have the authority to operate a radio, under Part 97 and to the limits of your license class.  You took a test to earn this license.  That is a pretty big deal!  The hobby has a lot to offer, and frankly, Echolink is not really representative of the amateur radio experience.  You might as well call the other guy on the phone.

If you need a radio, you can buy an older used FM handheld for about $50, or borrow one from a friendly ham at your local radio club.

There are EIGHT clubs within 20 miles of your zip code.  I **strongly** encourage you to join at least one of them.  Here is the list:


Posts: 6613

« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 04:28:40 AM »

Congratulations on the license!
Echlink can be fun, but its a bad place to start.  You need a local Elmer that can help you along... check the ARRL list for clubs in your area.  Someone will be glad to help you get started!


Posts: 87

« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 11:52:01 AM »

If you are having a hard time deciding which local Amateur Radio Club to join, find out which clubs sponsor the repeaters in your area.  Through monitoring the various repeaters, if you find one that you want to chat on because of the other persons you've heard using it, seriously consider joining the club that supports that repeater.  Repeaters are expensive to purchase and maintain, so it is proper to help support that effort by being a club member.  A portion of the annual club dues is used to pay the repeater operating costs.  If you are going to become a "regular" and hang-out on a particular repeater, then help out with the operating costs of that repeater.

The ARRL Repeater Directory is a great reference tool to find out what repeaters are in your area.  Not only will it list the repeater frequency, but also the call sign and the sponsoring club or individual.  If the repeater requires a sub-audible CTCSS tone (called a "PL" tone by many because of the Motorola "Private Line" design)the directory will list the required tone as well.  It is a good investment for the new ham interested in getting active on the local repeaters.
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