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Author Topic: NEW GUY  (Read 506 times)
MIKEW
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Posts: 6




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« on: August 10, 2009, 06:18:00 PM »

WELL IM NOT EXACTLY N E W  IM 66 YEARS OLD AND STUDYING FOR MY TECH WHICK I TAKE SAT AUG 15. MY QUESTION IS WHAT RADIO SHOULD A GUY LIKE ME (I HAVE SOME ELECTONICS BACKGROUND) BUY AND WHAT ANTENNA WOULD YOU RECCOMMEND . I LIVE ON A FARM AND I HAVE A NICE SHOP TO PUT MY RIG IN BUT I DONT WANT TO SPEND THOUSANDS ( AT THE START)


MANY THANKS

MIKE
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N0YXB
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 06:29:00 PM »

Check out the Yaesu FT-450.  A lot of bang for the buck if you spend time getting to know it.  Since you have space, try a wire antenna or two.  Perhaps a doublet and/or loop.
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W4KPA
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 08:16:23 PM »

An IC-706 mk2g will serve you very well as a Tech licensee, and then give you plenty of HF fun if you decide to upgrade.  New ones are about $800 plus or minus, and there are thousands floating around on the used market.  The Yaesu FT-857D is a very similar radio which also has a good reputation.

Antennas sort of depend on your budget.  A good dual-band, omni-directional vertical antenna will take care of your vhf/uhf FM needs, and will make a good starting place.  Check out the reviews here on eham for some ideas.  A three-element six meter yagi, and perhaps a similar antenna for ten meters might also be good investments, although you may want to hold off on the ten meter yagi if you plan on going for a General ticket any time soon.  In that case, you may want to wait and buy some kind of multi-band yagi for hf.

I'm not sure where your farm is located, but if activity levels in your area are high enough, you might want to consider some kind of horizontal antennas for VHF/UHF single sideband operation.

Good luck, and enjoy the station building process.  It's one of the best parts of this hobby.

Bruce
W4KPA
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KB3RHV
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 10:40:28 PM »

Hi Mike,

I would look at the Yaesu 857 for a starter radio new or used and it will allow you to use it as base and mobile radio. You will also need a power supply when you use it as a base radio. For the antenna, I would start with a 2M/70CM and 6M verticals. For 10M, I would go with a dipole.

I would also recommend that you also take the General test if you pass the Tech test. It wont cost you any more to do this, but if you do pass it, it will open allot of the bands to you. Its well worth it.

I would also hit the ARRL Web site and do a search for the local clubs around you and ham fests. Both are good sources for used equipment and it will give you a chance to try it before you buy it. It will also allow you to meet some of the local hams and get some hands on help with getting your self setup.

I would also get your self a few ARRL books, like the operators guide and an antenna book. These are grate for reference when you get stuck or need a quick answer.

Well good luck on Saturday and 73
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5523




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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 03:45:35 AM »

Good luck on the test!
Most techs start with the FM repeater operation nowadays.  First check for repeaters and radio clubs in your area.  The clubs can be found searching with your zip code at www.arrl.org and click on "clubs".
And repeaters can be located at...
http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/
Pick your state and city and you should have a list.
Once you know what repeaters are near, you can decide whether a single band (cheap!) or multiband (more expensive) radio would be a good choice.
Club members can be great at giving advise for your local area.  And they know about used eqpt availability, too!
HF is more expensive and the tech has fewer privledges, but sometimes it makes a lot of sense to get one of the "DC-to-Daylight" rigs.  It depends a lot on your interests.
Welcome to the hobby!

-Mike.
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WB5JEO
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Posts: 805




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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 07:00:37 AM »

And I'll point out that you have what a BUNCH of hams would love to have, lots of open ground to play with antennas. Even at VHF, you can play endlessly with wire antennas, with the advantage that the optimum heights you have to work hard for at lower frequencies are far easier to achieve at, say, 6 meters. That's where most hams today can still connect to the homebrewing old core of amateur radio. I find the propagation modes on 2, 6, and 10 to be endlessly fascinating, and high gain antennas are (compared to HF) relatively cheap, easy to erect at appropriate height, and easier to manipulate at our age. If that appeals to you, do indeed hook up with the nearest club where you should find some others ready to help with projects.
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2086




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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 07:17:12 AM »

I agree with getting a swiss army knife radio, 706, 857D....The last thing you want to do is start out with an HT. Have fun!

73 de Lindy
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N5LRZ
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 08:58:22 AM »

It is wise not to spend a bunch of bucks on a radio when you first start out until you see if you are going to hold your interst and seek advancement to the General or perhaps the Extra Class license.

I suggest to all new people getting a low end 2 meter mobile radio rather than a handi.  The reason is simply ecomic--hand held radios are in general overpriced for what they are.  For the price of a single hand held you can get one or two mobile radios that run 5 times more power.

Mobile radios are much easier to sell at a hamfest if you decide to get out of the hobby.

Mobiles retain their resale value much better than hand held radios (in general).

All the Big Three major radio manufacturers have low end 2 meter rigs for a reasonable price.  Yaesu has one 2 meter 50 watt mobile for right at 125 bucks.

Someone mentioned a Yaesu 897 rig.  This rig does indeed have both 2 meters and HF in the same package.  HOWEVER it should be run using a power supply rather than the internal optional batteries.  A good rugged, commercial grade power supply, non switching runnung 40 amps (I run a 40 amp triplite) can be gotten for about 200 bucks.  this would bring a total radio investment of right at 1000 bucks.  Which by the way is petty cash when you are putting together an amateur radio station--good mics alone cost hundreds of dollars.

I know that 40 amps for the 897 is overkill.  BUT it will have the extra juce to cover all the little extras you will be adding to your station in future years.
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