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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Choosing Your First Radio

from Chris Levin, KB7YOU on October 8, 2006
View comments about this article!

"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles."

Choosing Your First Radio

http://radio.rocklizard.org

1 Introduction

Ham radio is an exciting hobby and there is a lot more to it than just talking on the radio.

Amateur radio provides a framework that supports a wide variety of interests. With amateur radio as a resource and guide you can experiment with digital communications and RF/Internet gateways, you can design and build electronic devices and talk to stations in outer space.

You can study propagation and atmospheric conditions or listen to interstellar signals created by the explosion of stars and much more.

Of course, communications is an important part of the amateur radio world. Meeting new people around town and around the world is tremendous fun.

Whatever your interests and goals, amateur radio can provide value to your endeavors.

The very versatility that makes ham radio so interesting can also cause problems. As a new ham or even as an experienced operator trying out a new aspect of the hobby, the huge amount of information available can be difficult to sort through. The Internet can be a valuable tool but with so many people giving conflicting advice, how do you know whats right? Thats where this paper comes in. My goal is to give the new ham some basic, general information on radio types, their pros and cons and the ways that they can be used.

The information in these pages is based on my first hand experience. I dont write about things I have no skill or experience with. By following these rules I can ensure good accuracy in the information I present.

I hope that you enjoy reading this document and that it helps you with your radio purchase. If you have questions, comments or corrections I would enjoy hearing from you. You can visit my web site at http://radio.rocklizard.org to see more information or to send me an email.

2 Radio Types

2.1 Terms you need to know:

  • DC to Daylight Refers to the new breed of radios that cover the HF (1.8MHz 30MHz + 50MHz to 54MHz), VHF (144 MHz 148 MHz) and UHF (420 MHz 450 MHz) amateur bands. These are all mode radios and are available in a variety of form factors and feature sets.

  • All Mode A term used to describe radios that support CW, SSB, AM, FM and various digital communication modes. Most modern HF radios and some VHF/UHF radios are all mode.

  • Dual Band Generally refers to a radio that covers the 2 meter and 70 centimeter amateur bands.

  • HF - The 160 meter to 6 meter amateur bands.

  • VHF The 2 meter amateur band.

  • UHF The 70 centimeter amateur band.

Choosing a first radio is one of the most important decisions you will make and one of the toughest. The right radio for you will depend on what you want to do now and in the future. It can be hard sorting through all the advice. To get you started I have listed each of the common radio types and some reasons to consider each.

2.2 Mobile 2 Meter and Dual Band Radios

The mobile 2m or dual band radio is the workhorse of local communications. These radios are most commonly used for communications via local repeaters and for short haul simplex communications. Most of these radios will also let you do PACKET or APRS communication with the addition of software and hardware. Some dual band mobile radios are also suitable for basic satellite communications. The majority of mobile radios are FM only and the most common bands they support are 2m and 70cm.

There are many radios available in this category. Prices range from under $200 for a basic 2m mobile up to $500 for models with built in PACKET modems and APRS software.

Things to consider:

  • If you live in an area with an active ham community chances are good that there is a lot of activity on the 2m and 70cm FM bands. One of these radios will give you lots of opportunities to communicate.
  • If you have a Technician license and plan on waiting a while to upgrade then your HF choices are very limited. A 2m, 70cm or dual band radio is an excellent choice for day to day communications.
  • If you are interested in PACKET or APRS then you need a 2m FM radio. A basic mobile rig or one of the more sophisticated rigs with a built-in PACKET modem is a must for these modes.
  • If you drive a lot or like to take road trips the mobile dual band radio is an excellent choice. In remote areas, the relatively high power output of these radios (usually 25 to 75 watts) will allow you to make contacts over distances of 20 to 50 miles.

Advantages:

  • High output power These radios have power outputs ranging from a low of 20 watts up to 100 watts for some models.
  • Flexible You can use these mobile radios in your car or your house (with the addition of a deep cycle battery and/or power supply). They also work with a wide variety of antennas allowing you to choose an antenna that suits your needs.
  • Feature rich The larger form factor of these radios makes it simple for manufacturers to add extra features. The larger size also means that buttons and displays are larger and easier to use. You can purchase mobile radios with built in TNCs (PACKET modems), cross band repeaters, general purpose scanners and other features.

Disadvantages:

  • Power requirements are higher than for handhelds. Most mobile radios are not going to be suitable for QRP or camping applications because of the large batteries required.
  • Limited modes and bands These radios only work on the 2m and 70cm bands (some also cover 220MHz, 6m and 10m). Most of these radios only support FM communications.
  • External power supplies or batteries are needed for home use.

2.3 The DC to Daylight Radio

The "do it all" HF/6m/2m/70cm (and even higher!) radios are relatively new to the market. Often referred to as "shack in a box" radios they can be a great way to explore all of the common modes and bands available to the curious ham.

So why should you consider one of these radios? There are several reasons. First, they give you a little bit of everything - HF, 2m SSB, local repeaters and more. They are also great space savers if you don't have room for multiple radios. If and when you decide to add a specialized radio to your setup or if you decide to buy a better performing "built to task" rig, your DC to Daylight radio will make a fine secondary rig. In many cases you can use it in conjunction with your other radio (especially if they are from the same manufacturer) to facilitate things like full duplex satellite operations. These radios will serve your needs as your license privileges grow and as your interests change.

Advantages:

  • Ready to go as you upgrade your license.
  • Space saving.
  • Many DC to Daylight rigs have rich feature sets and support things like satellite communications, packet cluster tuning and other digital modes and computer control.
  • Good features per dollar. These rigs give you a lot of "bang" for the buck.
  • Available in mobile and base station sizes and recently in portable/backpack sizes.

Disadvantages

  • Can be complex to operate with many menus and options.
  • Price premium over a similar quality HF only or VHF only all mode radio.
  • Generally they do not perform as well as dedicated built to task radios.

2.4 HF Base Station

The traditional 160 meter to 10 meter HF base station rig provides more features, more capable components and a larger form factor than mobile or portable rigs. Most HF base stations provide 100 watts of output power and many have built-in antenna tuners. There are a huge number of new and used rigs available in every price range.

With its larger form factor, the HF base station generally has a better receiver, more features, easier to use controls and will generally perform better than a similarly priced portable or mobile unit. Some HF base stations give you all mode capabilities on 6m and 2m in addition to their HF capabilities. Since there are so many HF base station radios to choose from you should spend some time on the ham radio web sites (eHam, ARRL, QSL.NET) reading reviews and examining features.

2.5 Handheld Radios

Handheld radios are nice, some are full of bells and whistles and many are less expensive than mobile or base radios. But I think you should consider a handheld as a second radio. Why? Modern handhelds are marvels but they have limited features, power and antennas. Yes you can add an amplifier and an external antenna but the amplifier + handheld will cost you as much as a mobile rig. Handhelds have limited frequency coverage and sensitivity. You are not going to get the most out of radio with just a handheld. If you absolutely must have one (I did!) then start with something simple while you save for one of the rigs described above. The ICOM Q7A is an excellent choice. Its $99, uses 2 AA batteries, puts out 300mW and does 2m and 70cm as well as having an excellent general coverage VHF/UHF scanner built in.

3 The KB7YOU Station Setup

I like to explore all aspects of amateur radio. I don't have a favorite mode and I like to try out lots of different things from CW to meteor scatter to digital modes to portable operations while camping. Here is the equipment that I have collected over the last 2 years. It might give you an idea of what a typical but modest station looks like.

  • Antennas - I have several permanent antennas and I'm always experimenting with them and building new ones. Since I like to check out all the bands and because I do a lot of portable operation my antennas are pretty simple. Here is what I have:

Inverted L - Up 35 feet and 220 feet long. This antenna is connected to my radios via an AH-4 antenna tuner, the internal tuner in my rig or a QPAK antenna tuner. The antenna runs east/west and, with my tuner, gives me all or partial coverage of all bands from 80 meters to 6 meters. I experimented with this antenna for several months, adding station grounds, radials and adjusting its length and height to get it working well. I made the antenna from a scrap length of CAT-5 networking cable.

40 meter dipole - I had an old G5RV floating around and I strung it up about 25 feet between a few trees in my yard. I connect this antenna to my AH-4 tuner or directly to the internal tuner in my radio. It works well on 40 meters through 6 meters. Since it runs north/south it complements my "L".

Force 12 40 meter vertical dipole - This is a really neat antenna. It is car portable (breaks down into 4 foot sections) and can be setup in about 30 minutes. It comes with great instructions, a series of matching coils and all the hardware you need to get it up and running. I've learned a lot about dipoles and antenna matching methods playing with my Force 12. I plan on setting it up permanently at my home so I can use it more frequently. It performs very well and if you set it up for 40 meters and leave off the matching coils an antenna tuner makes it useable on 80 meters through 6 meters.

Backpack portable vertical whips - Last summer I spent some time designing, building and experimenting with vertical antennas. I now have a collection of verticals that I can strap to a pack or setup in 5 minutes or less. I use these for QRP and occasionally set one up at my house. If you are interested in experimenting with and building your own antennas this is a great place to start. Some hardware, wire, PVC tubing and a selection of whips and ham sticks are all you need. I built 5 antennas for less than $50.00.

2m/70cm collinear antenna - A basic omni directional base antenna for 2m & 70cm FM contacts. I've also had good luck using this antenna for 2m and 70cm SSB contacts even though most SSB folks use horizontally polarized antennas.

  • My handheld: Icom W32A dual band radio. Nice radio. You can receive on 2m & 70cm at the same time or receive 2 2m or 2 70cm stations at the same time. Not as small as a lot of handhelds but a good size AND you can use a $20 battery pack that takes 6 NiCad's. Much cheaper than the $80 to $100 battery packs most radios need. This radio costs about $250.00.

  • My first "real" radio: Icom IC706mkIIg. This is a really great rig. I use it as a mobile and as a base. It lets me use 2m and 70cm repeaters during my commute plus it gives me 2m & 70cm SSB, digital and CW for DX'ing, satellites and other stuff. It's got HF coverage from 160m to 6m and you can get the AH4 antenna tuner which is a very handy device. All around a very solid radio will 100w output on HF, 50w on 2M and 30w on 70cm. You can get one new for about $700.00

  • My base station HF rig: My base station radio is a DC to Daylight Kenwood TSB-2000. This is an all mode radio that covers HF, 6 meters, 2 meters, 70 centimeters and 1296 MHz. The B version is a 100% computer controlled radio. The front panel has a power switch and nothing else! I've really been enjoying this radio. The receiver seems excellent, the transmit audio is great and I have received many good reports from other hams. This has become my workhorse rig. With a built in TNC, satellite capabilities, computer control and excellent DSP IF filtering, the TS-2000 is meeting all of my needs. It is a good "bang for the buck" rig at about $1,300. The TS-2000 (has the normal front panel displays and buttons) runs about $1,500 as of November 2004.

  • My 2m/70cm FM mobile: I have a Kenwood TMD700A which I got because it has a built in TNC and APRS. Plus it's a very good, computer controlled dual band rig with some extra features like cross band repeating and the built in TNC. This is an expensive radio at $500.00 and probably not a good first choice. If you are interested in packet or APRS you can use a program on your PC and any 2m rig (like the 706 or a handheld) to explore this mode.

4 Radio Purchasing Tips

My first piece of advice is: Do not spend too much money on your first radio!

Why? Well, you are also going to need an antenna, wire, coax, grounding rods, dummy loads, test meters, books and all kinds of other things to get on the air at home or in your car. It's sort of like buying a new car or computer. You need more than just a radio to get on the air. Also, since you are new, you don't yet know what your tastes and preferences are going to be. So, be careful and go slow.

1. Do lots of research. Talk to other hams and read reviews. But be careful of advice. We hams are a passionate lot and can be blinded by loyalty to a brand or a mode. Figure out what you like.

2. eHam and ARRL are very good resources for information. Use them!

3. Don't forget accessories: Coax, antenna, ground rods, power supply, desk (for base) or mounting equipment (for mobile) and other miscellaneous startup equipment. These initial purchases can use half your budget but are well worth it. If you skimp here to get a super duper rig you will probably be disappointed or operate in an unsafe manner.

4. A couple of reference books are a good idea: My choices: ARRL Handbook, ARRL Antenna Handbook, ARRL Operating Guide.

5. Used is OK but get help from an experienced ham. eBay has lots of deals but lots of junk as well. A local ham store (if you have one near you) is a good place to buy your first radio even if it costs a little more.

6. Join a radio club. Even if this is not your thing, a membership for a year can give you access to lots of other hams. And, you might like it.

I hope all of this helps you to pick a good first radio. You should check out some of the ham radio web sites. One site, eHam, has thousands of equipment reviews (note: These need to be taken with a grain of salt!). Go to http://www.eham.net. If you are not an ARRL member you should consider joining. Members can access comprehensive and impartial reviews at the http://www.arrl.org website. There is also a technical information section (TIS) that has all kinds of documents on antennas, modes, electronics and other stuff that is good to have. I use these sites weekly.

Have fun and good luck.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by NS6Y_ on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
There seem to be as many different radio/user combinations as atoms in the Universe.......

I could say my faithful VX-170 (simple 2m handheld, built like a tank) is the way to go, but there are just as many people happy with one of the little "jewel like" mini-HTs, or a do-all HT like the W32A or VX7, it just goes on and on.

A "do all" HF rig can be a good place to start, I just read some GLOWING reviews of the Kenwood TS480AT I think is the model number....

In general buying brand new is going to cost you. Buying slightly used or an older model they're blowing out the last of, can make a lot of sense.

With any new product, radios included, there are always a few bugs to work out, so there's a certain amount of sense in buying something that's been on the market a while and the kinks work out.

And in the end, it's Antenna, Antenna, Antenna!
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by LNXAUTHOR on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
- tks for reposting this... i just wish i had read it before splurging on my rigs when i first got licensed!

:-)

- actually, i did pretty well, considering... but i did go overboard on the HTs... fortunately i somehow ended up with the best (ie., reliable, efficient) selection of under $1,000 modern DCD/HF rigs....

- eventually though i'm going to just use only homebrew or kit-built QRP gear...
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KG4RUL on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
No mention of Software Defined Radios (SDRs).

Dennis KG4RUL
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by WR8D on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Any older kenwood, icom, or yaesu that's solid state with general coverage receive will be great to just start out with. Forget the older yaesu 101's etc they drift just way to much. A kenwood 830 with 6146b's and the 230vfo is solid as a rock though, if you feel you just gotta dip the plates. I would never part with my 830 setup. It's one of my all time favorites. Kenwood 430's, 440's, 450's...i could go on and on. All under or about 500.00 and still real performers. I have a complete Drake C line that i restored and never have to reach up and touch up the dial. Running it through my eq setup it sounds like anything else in my shack both new and old. There's honestly tons of really great older rigs out there to start out on. Now you got me thinking about the tubes and i'm gonna have to fire up the twins today after church. It's the antenna though that is the trick. 1 good piece of wire, and i'm sure not talking about a ripoff G5RV, will really make one of the old babies stand up and be heard. Depending on where you live just about anyone can make a dipole themselves that will out perform any G5RV, and still have money left over to go to wendys while they're out gathering up the stuff...hi hi. 73 John WR8D
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by WR8D on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I have one of those Dennis, works great but all of them are a little expensive. It's nice and "weird" to get a download and update it when they come out with new versions. It's like you got a new rig with each download. --... ...-- John
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K0BG on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
This article should be required reading for any new and/or potential amateur.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KC2NOD on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My 1st radio was a Yaesu VX-5 handheld, but I wish I had bought a good mobile. While the VX-5 is a nice radio, it only puts out 5 watts. If you live in a bigger city, thats fine since you can hit most repeaters. But if you live out in the boonies it isn't powerful enough when the closest popular repeater is 15 miles away over a couple of 1500 foot hills. I have a Yaesu FT-897 now and sometimes I need 25 - 50 watts to get to a repeater. The VX-5 turned into a police scanner for the XYL.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by SSB on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The best advice is experience. New people should take what they hear for what they paid for the advice. New people, LISTEN TO NO ONE. Buy a few used radios, play with them, sell them for what you paid. Done right, anybody can use dozens of rigs and pay only for shipping. Unless someone over pays grossly, any radio on Ebay can be sold for what you paid.

Everybody has advice about whats good or bad, its subjective and you may loose out on something really nice that you might like yourself if you listen to someone else. This site is full of bad advice.


Alex...
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W4LGH on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
This is a GREAT article that should be read by all the posters in the "Radio for ARES" thread! Maybe there is enough info here to set them in the right direction. After reading that thread...its enough to scare one away from ever trying the hobby. Not to mention, they now have all the govt certifications to offer emergency communications, but have no idea how to work their radio, which is the MOST important part of suppling Emergency comm.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K3AN on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Unless someone over pays grossly, any radio on Ebay can be sold for what you paid."

Maybe, maybe not. Remember, the fact that you were the successful bidder means no one else was willing to pay what you paid.

I would buy a used radio anywhere but Ebay, but I would make sure to sell it there.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K8MHZ on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Do you think people that don't have ham licenses come to eHam for advice on their first radio?

I don't.

The lack of posting good articles has brought us many re-runs.

Ever stop to wonder why there are not more good articles posted by eHam members?

Clue: It's the way the authors were treated. Many times by members with no calls.

Result: No help from the moderators, no more submissions. Pretty simple logic.

Enjoy the re-runs and the rubbish.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KF6HCD on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"I dont write about things I have no skill or experience with..."

That's why the article has no mention...

Nifty article... Good read.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by N5LX on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
K8MHZ

I disagree.

People that write bad articles should not expect a "pass" simply because they wrote something.

I have seen good articles with good comments (10%) and bad articles with comments that were appropriate (90%)

And I don't blame folks for not using their callsigns. The hate mail and literal death threats one gets when you disagree with a moron is enormous. I have seen it when guys have posted that they have looked up someones address on QRZ and am going to go over and slash tires, etc etc...
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8DPC on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"The hate mail and literal death threats one gets when you disagree with a moron is enormous. I have seen it when guys have posted that they have looked up someones address on QRZ and am going to go over and slash tires, etc etc... "

If everyone treated everyone else civilly and respectfully, this wouldn't be an issue.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KB3MKD on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent article, even if it is a rerun

Ought to be required reading for anyone showing an interest in ham radio.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by WX1F on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Gang...how about this? Ignore the morons!! Don't repond to crass comments and derogatory opinions. Those bozos will fade into the woodwork and find another forum to troll. I can garuantee you, the "No call sign", mean-spirited dolts just sit there watching what they started, drinking cheap beer and bragging to their CB friends.
AND I STILL ASK THE MODERATOR..."Why do you find the time to delete ads for non ham classifieds and yet totally ignore the crap in the forums, that makes EHAM look bad. Are the bozos sharing their beer with you? Is that why you let this continue?
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K8MHZ on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"And I don't blame folks for not using their callsigns. The hate mail and literal death threats one gets when you disagree with a moron is enormous."

The only threats I have ever got via e-mail were FROM people that were not using call signs, if they even had any. Since I use a program called Mail Washer that fakes my address as non-deliverable they never know for sure if I got the threat. I can view the entire post, paths and ISPs and all, without touching it. I can even copy the entire post including headers and then bounce it. Mail Washer is great.

"People that write bad articles should not expect a "pass" simply because they wrote something."

Those articles should have never made it to the boards.

"I have seen it when guys have posted that they have looked up someones address on QRZ and am going to go over and slash tires, etc etc..."

Anonymously I am sure. And did the actions ever come to pass or were they just a pimply faced cowardly attempt at scaring someone?

If my first post was correct, you will see more rubbish and re-runs. Time will tell.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by NI0C on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
KG4RUL wrote:
"No mention of Software Defined Radios (SDRs)."

There's an article topic for you, Dennis, if you have the time and are inclined.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
All I can say is that I have enough knowledge of electronics, receivers and transmitters that I have no need for advice as to what to buy and not to buy.

What I have is the best on the market that money can buy including my antenna system.
.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by WB4QNG on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
While I agree with the article is good I have found if you ask a hundred hams what the first radio should be you will get about 90 different answers. First thing you need to know your location and what activities there are in the area. If you live in the country an HT might be a waste a money but around here I always suggest a new Tech buy him an HT for his first his radio. I suggest a 5 watt $100 rig. With an ouside antenna for the house and a mobile antenna for the car he will be able to hit a dozen repeaters. If he enjoys ham radio it won't be long before he buys a mobile for the car and the house and he will still have the HT for hamfest and emergencies. If he doesn't do anything with ham radio he isn't out much and he will still have the radio for emergencies. As for as a duel band radio in my QTH it is the biggest waste of money you could spend. I bought an old HTX 404 and while I get bring up at least 6 reapeaters no one is every on them. As for as HF rigs with the price of the Icom IC 718 selling new for about the same price as a used rig I tell them to buy new. As for as the Ham shack in a box rigs I see no need to spend the money on them. Like I said nothing on 440, you have to make an appointment to talk to anyone on 2 meter SSB and 6 meters well it is 6 meters. Actually the buys in used rigs are the Heathkits or the old Swans for around $150 you can be on HF. I bought an old Swan 240 for around $125 workds great but I have been a ham for 30 years when tuning a radio was the norm. Don't know how many new hams could handle it. Just my two cents worth.
Terry
WB4QNG
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by NI0C on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"All I can say is that I have enough knowledge of electronics, receivers and transmitters that I have no need for advice as to what to buy and not to buy."

So, Vito tell us about your first radio-- what did you use when starting out?
73,
Chuck NI0C

 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8DPC on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"While I agree with the article is good I have found if you ask a hundred hams what the first radio should be you will get about 90 different answers."

True. What I did was ask the hams that I knew, then check the different reviews that I could find, and finally decide what I could afford. My first 2M mobile was an Icom 2100H, same kind that a local ham had, and I loved it. I went through the same process with my first HF rig, and ended up getting something that none of my ham friends had, a Kenwood TS-440. I LOVED that radio. Later I ended up getting an Icom 706MIIG, again, a radio that a fellow ham has. I've enjoyed it alot.

As long as you stay away from JUNK, and check as many user reviews as you can, you will find you have alot of good choices. It ends up being a matter of what you need, and what you can afford.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8JII on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"All I can say is that I have enough knowledge of electronics, receivers and transmitters that I have no
need for advice as to what to buy and not to buy."

So share your superior knowledge with us Vito. What would you suggest for a first radio-------------What are you running? It might also be helpful if you told us why you picked the particular equipment you're using. We're all willing to learn . 73, Ron
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by VK2HJW on October 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Good article that could actualy help a newbie but I'd like to add a little.

Here in VK land you are given HF privalages as well as VHF/UHF from the start, so we have a lot more choices in what we can do. The advise I was given when I sat the licence test was a Radio like the FT-857ND not an HT or 817 (like I wanted as I'm a keen outdoors person) and although is not the cheapest it really was good advise. There is enough power on HF to get out (import at current sun spot activity levels) and can do all I'm allowed and more with VHF/UHF.

I have been licenced for 2 years, and have fallen in love with HF. I find it a lot like fishing and the thought of communicating over thousands of miles station to station excites me for some reason. If I had got a dual band mobile rig I wonder if I would have stayed interested.

If you get a shack in the box as your first radio I think you will be more likly to discover what you really like about amateur radio with just the one radio. If you are not licenced for HF, listening will probably get you motivated to upgrade.

Don't get a cheap Valve radio first up - you have to love them to use them as they require constant tuning particarly when searching the bands. However they are a very worthwhile purchace later on, I use my 101EE (good transmit) or 520S (beautiful recieve audio) more for HF than my 857. Incedentaly these 2 radios purchased together cost little more than a 25amp power supply - Go figure.

Best advise - Get a Shack in a Box type radio.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8DPC on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"So, Vito tell us about your first radio-- what did you use when starting out?
73,
Chuck NI0C"

Chuck, he already told you, it's the best you can buy. A superham needs a superradio.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W4LGH on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I guess if you really think about it, don't we ALL have the "Best that Money can buy"? What I mean is, we have all bought what we thought was the best for the money we could spend, right?

Now I am sure this next comment is gonna get a lot of flames, but if you really think about it, you'll see where I am going with it. Ham radio today, has gotten a lot like CB radio, in the respect that the manufactures build new radios every year with more bells and whistles, flashing lights and displays to entice us into buying their products. New buzz words like roofing filters, which is no more than the 1st IF filter, which EVERY radio that has an IF has. 40 or 50 years ago, Hams built most of their transmitters, and used commercial receivers, some even built receiver! So in that respect, the manufactures have attempted to make all of us appliance operators, just like CB radio. The really funny thing about it is I have been in many shacks where the operators really have no idea how to fully operate their Top of the Line radio.

Times have changed, people have changed, and hams have changed, good, bad or indifferent, it has all changed and you either go with the flow, or you do your own thing. Because the masses have mostly "gone with the flow", those of us who like to do our own thing are usually the subject of the flamers.

Buy what you can afford, build what you can, and learn how to operate it to the best of your ablity and continue to be the BEST Ham radio operator out there, and it will continue to be one of the best hobbies out there.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KT6K on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Do any of you have advise on 'building your own' either from scratch or are there any interesting 'kits' these days?

How about suggesting a few good books about radio and antenna construction instead of free advertising?

 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by AI4NS on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
For an awesome HF tranceiver kit the Elecraft K2 is about the best there is. Assembly is straightforward.
Mike
AI4NS
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N0AH on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
You need two. An HF radio and a VHF/UHF all mode radio. The rigs that have all of the bells and whistles in one can not effectively monitor what you want to hear. Any used Icom 756 or 756 Pro will do on HF. VHF/UHF is anyone's guess.....

But if you only want one radio, the FT-847 with the upgraded filters is the one I would use. Worked EU from WY on 6M and enjoy the birds with it's all mode capabilities. HF is ok- Not great without a VOX, but ok-
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KC0SHZ on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Great article. Agreed, it should be added to the curriculum of the Tech classes around the country.

+++++++++++++++++++

"I would buy a used radio anywhere but Ebay, but I would make sure to sell it there. "

I am no longer certain that I would buy anything from Ebay. There is essentially no protection for the buyer in the transaction (at least the times I have been involved with.)

I would certainly not buy a radio on Ebay.

 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
I choose a radio that has the best selectivity and sensitivity regardless of the cost; that is the one that fits my pocket book.

When I started out in ham radio which was in the 1930's, my ham gear was all home brew.

My best for receiving was the SP-600-JX and the Racal RA 17C. The transmitter was the Hallicrafters BC 610.
.......I also had the Collins KWM-2.......

Today my preference will be the receivers that again have the best selectivity and sensitivity for the money and I am not considering the radios with all those bells and whistles; there is no need for my use of such.
.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
Forgot to mention;
I have at present two Icom 718 radios and the Icom 756 Pro III. This is all I have at present and think I have more than enough.

73
.:
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"So, Vito tell us about your first radio-- what did you use when starting out?
73,
Chuck NI0C"

"Chuck, he already told you, it's the best you can buy. A superham needs a superradio".

" It's a bird, no, it's a plane, no...IT'S SUPERHAM".

Sorry, couldn't resist. :o)
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"So, Vito tell us about your first radio-- what did you use when starting out?
73,
Chuck NI0C"

"Chuck, he already told you, it's the best you can buy. A superham needs a superradio".

" It's a bird, no, it's a plane, no...IT'S SUPERHAM".

Sorry, couldn't resist. :o)
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.

N8QBY. Patrick,

Are you still on the government welfare roll?

When are you going to quit and get yourself a real job and take the load off the tax payers government spending?

.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by NI0C on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Well, my question to Vito was sincere, not sarcastic, and he's answered it quite nicely.

 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
From W6TH: N8QBY. Patrick,

" Are you still on the government welfare roll?

When are you going to quit and get yourself a real job and take the load off the tax payers government spending."

Vito, the sensitive one...are you still living in your dream world?? Yes, I am still protecting the likes of yourself by keeping the bad guys locked up. See, I don't run from taxes, and have a real job, (18 yr. Corrections Officer). Did you ever have a job Vito? Oh sure, we all know the bullsh** that you put on here but really?
I see you are still overly sensitive. That comes from having an inferiority complex, due to having to brag about yourself to get attention. If you can read, you should check it out.
Sorry folks, I apologize for this. There will be no more bantering with the old fella, he is back in his place.
73 to all. Pat N8QBY


 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
NI0C wrote: Well, my question to Vito was sincere, not sarcastic, and he's answered it quite nicely.

Chuck, I realize that your question was sincere. My original comment was in reply to one that someone made of your comment. I was just adding to the humor. That is when Vito went into attack mode, and thus my last comment. 73 Pat N8QBY
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8DPC on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Sorry folks, I apologize for this. There will be no more bantering with the old fella, he is back in his place."

On Krypton?

Hey, the old dude accused me of selling licenses at VE sessions, and he's never met me face to face. He likes to run his mouth to feel superior.

He'll have you as a hobo on a train to New Orleans next.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by NI0C on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I find it fascinating to hear from a ham who was working with home brew equipment before I was born. W6TH said he owns not one, but two, IC-718's. That's quite an endorsement for a radio, I think. I also know a relatively new ham who really enjoys this radio.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8DPC on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"I find it fascinating to hear from a ham who was working with home brew equipment before I was born."

I backed him fully in an article he wrote where alot of other hams were coming down hard on him. I took his side, and he repaid me by making false (and potentially damaging) remarks about me just because he didn't agree with something I said. He had alot of respect from me until he turned around and attacked my character for no reason.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by KD2E on October 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
These days I have some pretty nice rigs...but I sure had a load of fun as a rock-bound novice in the '70s with my DX 60 and HQ170!!! When in a QSO, and the other guy said "Rig hr is.." You could almost put money on the next letter being an 'H' for heathkit something or other. I am slowly forgetting those days, but I remember there being almost one 2NT for every 10 hot waters, DX something or HW16 you would work!!
I'd hear a CQ, and get his call on paper with one hand and fiddle through my pile of crystals with the other. Pop one in and answer the CQ....hmmmm.. I am 7 Kcs away...I wonder how good a tuner he is? Will he hunt around for me?? We'll find out!! Cool beans!!
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by N1XBP on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
After finally having some room to put up an HF antenna, I starting looking for a cheap "starter" HF rig. I was able to try out about 5 different radios via eBay and I didn't lose a penny (except shipping costs). I ended up finding what works very well for me (in case you are interested, that turned out to be an IC-718.. I love it). I also discovered that little things that other people could live with made me absolutely not want to touch certain radios.. so expect to experiment.

As for someone looking for their VERY VERY first radio.. assuming you aren't in the boonies, I still recommend a functional Radio Shack HTX-202 or Icom 02AT 2 meter HT. These radios can be had for around 50 dollars in good shape, and are very rugged. Get on 2 meters and start looking for "elmers" with experience in the area of the hobby you are interested in.. and who may be able to lend you a radio or help you find a good deal. If you like two meters and wish to continue using it, you can always sell the HTX-202 or 02AT to help fund a different radio, and this way you won't be out a fortune in the meantime. Personally, my "perfect" HT turned out to be an Icom Z1A because of the full duplex available which is nice for satellite work. It's very similar to the W32A mentioned in the article but it has a detachable faceplate. I bought it new, and it wasn't cheap, but since I got exactly the features I wanted it hasn't left my side in 12 years.. so I got my money's worth.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by W8ZNX on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
no matter what you read

WE HAVE NO BASE STATIONS

taxi cab co. have base stations
police departments have base stations

cb ops buy base stations

we have not base stations

the proper term is fixed station

amateur radio service

has mobile stations
portable stations
and fixed stations

Mac

 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
by NI0C,
I find it fascinating to hear from a ham who was working with home brew equipment before I was born. W6TH said he owns not one, but two, IC-718's. That's quite an endorsement for a radio, I think. I also know a relatively new ham who really enjoys this radio.

73,
Chuck NI0C
...................................................

Chuck, I run these two Icom 718 radios using one with a vertical and the other with a horizontal antenna, I then combine the audio into one speaker. This type of radio is great for new to ham radio and at a good price. A cw operator will need the cw filter of 250 Hz as the front end are very broad. A terrific buy for a low price.

73, W6TH.
.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by G8KHS on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I concur 100% with Mac W8ZNX,

Amateur Radio has Fixed, Mobile and Potable stations.

We do not have Base stations or dare I say it Homebases!
Read your Licence notes guys, because if you use these terms on the air, you sure will sound like a Lid.

If you don't know what a Lid is then ask an elmer.

Hope that clarifies the point,

73 to all, John G8KHS
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by G8KHS on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I should have spell checked my posting, I meant Portable.

73 John G8KHS
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by N5XM on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, John, some of us do have potable stations, even in the same room as our radio gear, hi! Seems like I read elsewhere that the degree of selectivity is inversely proportional to exactly how much potability!

There is nothing wrong with this thread. Do your research, newbies, and ask questions. I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone any of the older Ten Tec's, such as the Omni D or even a Triton IV. When in doubt, listen, listen, listen! G'day to all...Richard, n5xm
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KC8VWM on October 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, John, some of us do have potable stations, even in the same room as our radio gear, hi!

-----------

- Potable QRP gear for the wilderness radio enthusiast.

"Equipment for Disaster Relief, Hurricane and Earthquake preparedness."


http://www.bumperdumper.com/bumper2.htm

73
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
KX8N on October 9, 2006.
"Sorry folks, I apologize for this. There will be no more bantering with the old fella, he is back in his place."

On Krypton?

Hey, the old dude accused me of selling licenses at VE sessions, and he's never met me face to face. He likes to run his mouth to feel superior.

He'll have you as a hobo on a train to New Orleans next.
..................................................
I quote kx8n,"Hey, the old dude accused me of selling licenses at VE sessions".

This is untrue and is a lie, a lying statement as I have never said such a statement.

This is a VE, oh my, his jealousy has turned to hatred.
.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KB9CRY on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article but it's heavily slanted toward NCTs; there's only a brief paragraph concerning HF radios. Also the article doesn't even mention some of the more important features/capabilities that should be considered (particularly HF), i.e. selectivity, sensitivity, filtering, CW waveform, etc.

It's a nice start but the newbie should do more homework. The ARRL beginners books go into more detail and to me should definitely be referenced prior to purchasing a first radio.

Phil
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by N3OX on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Nice article but it's heavily slanted toward NCTs"

But most new hams are NCT's, so I think that's fine. The first HF rig after the upgrade is going to be whatever you can afford, and for a lot of new hams, that's going to mean compromising on filters and specifications.

I think whatever radio gets you on HF will get you hooked on HF, even if it's not a great radio.

That's not to say the ARRL beginner books are not to be recommended.

73,
Dan
 
Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by KC0ATC on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If you are a new Technician and have aspirations toward
moving up, I suggest that you consider buying a radio that will allow you to participate on 2M and/or 70CM
SSB and CW.

We have had some success in our area with people learning CW by practicing on the 2M and 70CM bands with local elmers.

So, something like a 706Mk2G as a first radio is not an outrageous idea.

Chris
w0ep
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by KC8VWM on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
We have had some success in our area with people learning CW by practicing on the 2M and 70CM bands with local elmers.

-----------

Many simply don't have this opportunity. Your'e luck if anyone is on a repeater let alone a person who is using CW. It's an unfortunate reality but I am forced to practice CW using the internet instead of using radio equipment.

This is because current day Tech's have no HF operating privleges that permit them to engage in live on air practice with others. Some will disagree and say this isn't true, but it's really the common reality on VHF these days.

My suggestion is to use the internet to practice learning CW. Now I know this is not supposed to be following the original intended spirit of ham radio tradition, but what I can tell you is that it works to get the job done.

You can send CW to other users live via the internet using a program called CW Communicator.

http://morsecodeonweb.homestead.com/CWCOMMUNICATOR.html

See you there sometime.

---... ...--- -.. . -.- -.-. ---.. ...- .-- --

 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by W8DPC on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Good Ole Vito said:

"I quote kx8n,"Hey, the old dude accused me of selling licenses at VE sessions".

This is untrue and is a lie, a lying statement as I have never said such a statement.

This is a VE, oh my, his jealousy has turned to hatred."

-------------------------------------

On July 10th, in this article:
http://www.eham.net/articles/14293

You said to me:
>We didn't have VE's who could pass a friend not >knowing the 5 wpm code or the simple theory of today. >How many friends have you passed illegally?

Then you said:
>Wow, you certainly love yourself, do you go to the >movies and hold your own hand and slap your face when >you get fresh with yourself?

>Pour it on David as I have plenty more for you.

THAT is why I have no use for you...
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by W6TH on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
kx8n.

You're one enemy I don't need.

It was a question; "how many of your friends did you pass with no code or theory tests taken"? (you never gave me an answer).

I was told when a person lies, he is a devil, so your frienship will never survive with me or otherwise.

I'll reverse it and now say you are the big mouthed sad sack of s**t.

I would rather have you as a enemy, at least I know what you are made of and can be prepared.

Again, your jealousy shows, because I am a better ham than you will ever be, with a non vanity call letter and you are so jealous it turns your jealousy into hatred.
.:
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by K8MHZ on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"I'll reverse it and now say you are the big mouthed sad sack of s**t."

If this is not a personal attack, can someone please tell me what is??
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by W6TH on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
k8mhz
Read Davids remarks, kx8n he made of me before you get started Mark. Don't become another him.

I am going to sing for you Davids Theme Song.

He, David kx8n loves this.

I think I'm great, I think I'm grand.
I go to the movie and hold my hand.
I put my arm around my waste,
and when I get fresh I slap my face.

.:
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by W8DPC on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Before I move on from your fantasy world, let me clear something up:

"It was a question; "how many of your friends did you pass with no code or theory tests taken"? (you never gave me an answer). "

Here's your answer: I have participated in almost 30 VE session since becoming an Extra. I have never once given credit to anybody who did not earn it outright. Every single CSCE goes out with THREE VE signatures on them. Never once has anybody at any VE session I've attended either paid for or been given free credit for ANYTHING. Absolutely never.

I thought this was too bizarre to even answer the first time, but since you ask it again, I give you your answer.
 
RE: Learning code ... 2m and 70cm CW  
by K8MHZ on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Read Davids remarks, kx8n he made of me before you get started Mark. Don't become another him."

I did.

Your response was deplorable and it crossed the line. If the moderators let it slide they deserve every accusation they get about running a garbage site.

And getting worse by the day.

"Don't become another him."

Who died and left you in charge? I will do as I please. I wouldn't even consider taking orders from you or the likes of you.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
You better watch it Mark, Vito will tell you that you are on welfare, no matter what kind of a job you have. Didn't you know that he is a legend in his own mind? :o)
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K8MHZ on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"You better watch it Mark, Vito will tell you that you are on welfare, no matter what kind of a job you have. Didn't you know that he is a legend in his own mind? :o)"

If you are talking about Social Security, one of our nation's several forms of welfare, I'm not that old yet.

But Vito is!!
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
:o)

.
..
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KC8VWM on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, this welfare thing sounds pretty good.

What's with this idea of getting up everyday, getting taxed to death, paying high fuel prices just so you get the privledge of operating your car, just so you can go to work, so you can just pay more taxes for supporting more illegal immagrants, free healthcare for other people while working class have none or while you pay for your own heathcare from your own out of pocket expenses.

Heck, the government should give working class citizens free gas and free heathcare. After all, the time you spend working is ultimately for the purpose of increasing the governments tax gains and benefit right? Don't they wan't you to get to work and be healthy everyday so it increases thier tax revenues?

What do you or I really get out of working in return? More taxes, more illegals, more money from my pocket going to the latest fashionable big shaft for being a taxpayer? Again?

So, where's the incentive in working for a living exactly? ...Am I missing something here?

Ok, I want to know who came up with this national social model called working for a living because it's not working in favor of those that are participating for some apparent reason.

Welfare is looking better for working taxpayers every single day. Heck mabey the ARRL has special rates for welfare recipients. Perhaps we can get 10% off all gas prices for Welfare recipients. Free housing!! Free Groceries!! Free Ham Radio Equipment!!

What are you waiting for??!!

73 /rant off

Thank you for putting up with me. :)
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W6TH on October 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.

K8MHZ on October 11, 2006.
"You better watch it Mark, Vito will tell you that you are on welfare, no matter what kind of a job you have. Didn't you know that he is a legend in his own mind? :o)"

If you are talking about Social Security, one of our nation's several forms of welfare, I'm not that old yet.

But Vito is!!
...................................................

Sorry to bust your bubble Mark, but Social
Security is my own money that I paid in, I earned and am now collecting it back.

I thought you and I knew everything, but now I have my doubts about you.

As far as my work, I will be happy to talk about my job in the military as a veteran of foreign wars with two battle stars keeping the bad boys out of our country.

.......Compare my government job compared to yours as a security guard Patrick.......

.:
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Vito, ok, let's question my job as to yours. Your's is and was all in your head. As for your military, there is nobody around to ask, so most take your word. I believe otherwise. As for a securtiy guard, not sure what that job entails but as for my job, you couldn't have done my job at any time in your life. We don't let cowards into Corrections. Nuff said. Back in your hole and hide.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I did say that I wasn't going to exchange banter with the old fart but he stuck his ugly mug out of his hole again, and I just pushed him back. Taking shots at just about anyone now hey Vito? I have to wonder if you have any friends, other than all of your egos. 73 to all. :o)

:.
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by N8QBY on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My apologies to the original poster. Much time went into your post and is appreciated.

73

.:
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K8MHZ on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Social Security is my own money that I paid in, I earned and am now collecting it back."

Not exactly.

Your money was gone quite some time ago. You are now living on current contributors money (like me and Patrick.)

Some people collect Social Security benefits that have never paid into the system.

You were taxed. Your taxes were put into a general fund. If you die before you collect more than you put in, you cannot will the remaining amount to anyone. If you live longer than it takes to get more out than you paid in, you will still get it.

Your ability to collect depends solely on your welfare, not the amount you falsely consider 'your money'....as it should be.

Enjoy it. You are definitely entitled to it.
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by WB4QNG on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I have been reading all of this BS and no idea what any of it has to do with choosing your first radio. Frankly if you want to have priviate discussions about who works and who doesn't, who is a superham and who isn't, who knows code and who doesn't and while I am not sure if this has been brought up or not but I am sure it will be the sexual preference of a person I think it should be taken else where. I will say this though social security is not welfare. I have been working for over 40 years and I hope there is something left when I retire. I paid into the system so I would have some security when I retire or if I become disable. Just like I pay into my 401 plan and pay for my health insurance. I know our great leaders in Washington spent the dollars I put in it on such things things as silly wars and computers so they could write young boys love letters. I am still insulted when you call Social Security welfare. It is a right that we earned by paying into it. I think when people in the private sector blow the money in their employees retirement fund they call to jail. Now why don't we get back to the topic.
Terry
WB4QNG
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by K8MHZ on October 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"I am still insulted when you call Social Security welfare."

Nothing derogatory is meant by calling Social Security a form of welfare. You and Vito are both entitled to it, most certainly.

I think you took it the wrong way. Vito has something against welfare, not me. I do not dismiss that fact that some, in fact many, people abuse welfare benefits of all types, but the same welfare benefits for those not required to work are needed in a benevolent society. It is an equalization of resources and for the most part works rather well. Personally, I would like to see the amount retirees receive from Social Security increase as what most people get now is rather a pittance. But what we pay into Social Security by being taxed is not our money anymore. It belongs to the Federal Government and it will disperse it back into the population in it's own prescribed manner. Outside of a change in legislation, we have no say in how it is done. It's not a bad thing, really!
 
Choosing Your First Radio  
by NJ6F on October 16, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My suggestion is to just get a DC to light radio..
You will notice the FT100-D is one of the best and smallest out there with a outstanding receiver, noise blanker, DSP and mike equalizer in the smallest box.
It is the favorite of the Yaesu repair people and goes up to 980Mhz does all modes. Next best might be a FT857 but limits you to 500Mhz top end.

People have a tendoncy to talk down about a rig that is small because they think a lot of knobs makes the rig. Hey 2.4 Khz is fine by me, I will use AM if I want 6Khz BW. So the big knobby expensive rigs only offer a bunch of expensive filtering basically.
Menu driven is a great advancement from those dusty knobs that you can not quanify... AM voice set to 17... on a standard monster radio you will never know.
The FT100-D should be your main radio not some backup radio like some will have you believe. Forget ICOM by the way...
Look at the tunable small loops or larger loops if your tight for space. G5RV is fine. I use a 130 foot version on all bands including 60 meters. Get a VX7 to cover 6, 2, 220 and 440 in one handheld. Then you will be set.



 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by KA4KOE on October 17, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Potable QRP gear for the wilderness radio enthusiast."

Does this mean one gets a cool beer after the contest is over?
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by W4HEY on October 18, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I'LL SECOND THAT!
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by NI0C on October 18, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Phil,
Some beer is more "potable" than others. (My current favorite is Schlafly's Coffee Stout.)
 
RE: Choosing Your First Radio  
by VE3MIG on January 9, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Vito
My name is mike and my call is ve3mig.I would like to tell you that my life long freind N8QBY is the most honest man and ham any one will ever meet.He is my best freind and is a great asset to the ham comunity as well as mankind.You should be very ashamed of the coments you have made against him.He has not asked me to write this and i am sure i will hear from him on this matter.as for the goverment welfare you are so wrong as he has worked for the micigan state corrections dept.for close to 20 years.Get your facts right you pompus old man and stop bashing good hams .

ve3mig
MR.Mike Geall
 
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