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Author Topic: Welcome to Youth  (Read 7406 times)
N2MG
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« on: June 11, 2001, 12:04:47 AM »

Welcome to "Youth" - a new Forum on eHam, added 10-June-2001.

Post your youth-related questions here.

73 Mike N2MG
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9921




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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2001, 08:08:56 PM »

Hi guys, and ladies. Welcome to all whom choose to peruse this forum. I'm not a youth, (age 52) but I got the ham bug in the sixth grade so I know the itch it causes.  Don't dispair, it seems like you will never learn the code, you will never understand all these rules, and figure out this electronics stuff.  Keep at it, and it will come.

 As for the code, there are several ways to learn but the newest "old " way to learn is called the Koch method. Find a code program for your computer then start out at around 15 words a minute, but only 2 letters, say a and o.  After you can copy these for 3 solid minutes with less than 10% mistakes with these two, add another character, say the Y.  This way you learn the sound of the characters as a language as opposed to learning the letter as dit dah, think "a", then translate it to paper. It might be the way for you, or team up with a friend and practice with each other this way.  Once you have learned all the characters and puncuation this way you know code at 15 wpm and the test is nothing, and you can get on hf and talk with the big guns with out problem. If that doesn't work for you try a different method, but do learn it, it is a blast to do on the air.

There are lots of places where you can find and study the test for tech, general and extra. They give you the questions and the answers. Ya know if you memorize all of them you can pass the test, but by doing so you also learn a lot about what you need to know. Lots of folks memorized the book. You can take the practice exams here and also on QRZ.com. Take the test over and over till you score around 80% to 85% consistently, then you are ready.  Good luck, have fun.

Another big problem is getting enough $ up to buy gear.  You can buy used gear fairly cheap, if you know what you are doing.  Find a club in your area, check at the ARRL site or here or at your local ham store, and get into a club. I know most of the folks in the club are old guys, but they will welcome you, help you learn, and give plenty of advice. Some of them my even loan you extra gear, or give you a good price on used gear.  Qrp is usually cheaper, but it can be frustrating , trying to build up your on the air confidence using low power to start with.  See if you can find a used transciever that puts out a hundred watts . There are lots of them out there. Then look on the web, in books at the library, or in books you can borrow, and find a wire antenna to use.Then you build it and put it up. We are talking lunch money here folks, a half wave dipole, on ten meters(28- 29 mhz) is a piece of coax with a 6 inch, 10 loop balun made from coax and tape at the antenna end, going to a wire around 8 feet and a couple inches to the center conductor stretched that way and another the same length stretched the other way.  This can be a big T or an inverted v.  Get it up as high as you can , hook the other end to the back of the radio, and go.  It can be that simple. If you can get a hold of a tuner,it makes it easier, and a longer wire and a tuner will work on other bands. Check with your ham friends at the club, they know all about this stuff.

I think the most important part is to have fun doing it. There will always be someone with a better radio, bigger amplifier, taller antenna etc., so don't get into playing that game.  There are also folks with less than what you have.  Can you imagine being in the center of some place like Iran or Iraq and wanting to be a ham. It could be worse , see.  I have been in and out of the ham radio for around 30 years and I still enjoy it. If I meet some one who is rude or ignorant I change frequencies or bands.  There are still some jerks out there, but most folks are great. Its a hobby you can enjoy for a long time. Welcome home.

tom   N6AJR
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