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 Post subject: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:50 am 
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Location: The call is coming from inside the house
I’m looking at getting into the world of Ham radio. There is a lot of information out there, but not much for the beginner. Any 101 websites or YouTube videos you can suggest? And what tips, recommendations or things you would do differently? And just general advice you can give? How about handheld vs. mounted in jeep?

:BINGO:

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:41 pm 
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I got this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0945053622/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It's very straight forward and easy to learn from.

You can take sample tests here:
http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/index.html

I've taken the test a few times and am getting 100% now. I just haven't found the time to take the test yet :oops:

When you're ready to take the test, you can find a testing center here:
http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session

I did some research and (for my purposes) decided to get a 2M radio for the Jeep. (Which is still sitting in a box in my garage) :roll:
Here is what I got:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WKH00M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2IHVTQHK5SYKV

I need to find some time to just go out and take the darned test.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:21 pm 
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thanks Ed. I took a practice test and missed passing by 3 questions. I was looking at a hand held, or an HT as I've learned. Really don't know if I can bite off 2 bills for this. The big test will be out on the trail with one.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:39 pm 
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I used Will's hand held in Moab, and it functioned very well.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:03 pm 
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The Corona police department puts on a training session and test for about 25 bucks. I used QRZ.com for the practice quizzes. http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/ No experience with these radios but they are cheap.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... =ham+radio

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Burchie wrote:
thanks Ed. I took a practice test and missed passing by 3 questions. I was looking at a hand held, or an HT as I've learned. Really don't know if I can bite off 2 bills for this. The big test will be out on the trail with one.


I have had this robust HT for two-years; it works great and recommended by many amateurs:

Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band U/V 136-174/400-480MHz Two-way Handheld Transceiver


Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band U/V 136-174/400-480MHz Two-way Handheld Transceiver by Wouxun
Link: http://amzn.com/B005M5XOZQ

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2014 Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon (2-Dr), GPS, CB Radio, GMRS Radio (WQIR250) & Amateur Radio
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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:35 pm 
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FYI BIG BEAR RADIO CLUB IS OFERING THE TEST THIS SUN IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN GETTING THEIR TICKET.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:04 am 
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Thanks for starting this topic Burch! I'm going to take the plunge as well and start studying. I'm going to go with a handheld so I can have it in any of the vehicles, including the scion, on or off road. I also like the portability so it can be used it to communicate outside of the vehicle as well. Used Wally's (IIRC) during a run and it worked great!

now to figure out for sure which handheld to buy.....

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:41 am 
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The Wouxun HT dual banders are good. They cost around $100.

For about $30 more, you can get a mobile unit. This is what I have and it works great. It's only a 2 meter, but that's all we use on the trials anyway. I reached Wally one time on it using simplex about 60 miles away. http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-011362


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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:37 pm 
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I'm still doing internet research. For everyone saying Ham people are friendly, I'm sure not getting that impression. They really want to hold their information close. Ask someone a question and you get a vague, beat around the bush answer. Kind of like asking someone about Amway. Or I get the, "you don't know that?" If I knew, I wouldn't be asking it... Then you get bombarded with all this technology stuff and you're left more confused. I think they do this on purpose because they really don't know the answer to my simple question. Little cliquish but it seams everything is that way. Do we come across that way on here when it comes to new jeep people? So I think I'm going to get a cheap $40 radio and dive right in.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Burchie wrote:
I'm still doing internet research. For everyone saying Ham people are friendly, I'm sure not getting that impression. They really want to hold their information close. Ask someone a question and you get a vague, beat around the bush answer. Kind of like asking someone about Amway. Or I get the, "you don't know that?" If I knew, I wouldn't be asking it... Then you get bombarded with all this technology stuff and you're left more confused. I think they do this on purpose because they really don't know the answer to my simple question. Little cliquish but it seams everything is that way. Do we come across that way on here when it comes to new jeep people? So I think I'm going to get a cheap $40 radio and dive right in.


Some of the Ham forums are extremely bad. They like to sound smart, so that's why you get those kind of answers. You should stop into a Ham Radio Outlet sometime, those guys and gals are extremely knowledgeable (and friendly) and will answer your questions even if you don't buy anything. They get a kick out of helping new people into the hobby.

I think buying a cheap HT and diving right in is the best way. Then you can upgrade later since you'll have a better understanding of what you want/need.


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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Burchie wrote:
So I think I'm going to get a cheap $40 radio and dive right in.

Be careful, some of those "cheap" radios will not meet the expectations of long distance communications. Also, the quality of the equipment may upset you. I would spend the extra sixty bucks for the Wouxun radio.

Here's a good reference tool: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8524

We have access to a vendor that will deliver you a radio today for $100. He lives in Pinion Hills and his E-Mail address is 25@crestcom.org. The radio team I belong to called CREST Communications http://www.crestcom.org explicitly use Wouxun HT's for our events and operations.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:59 pm 
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I believe Tim bought this one and it seems to work well. http://www.amazon.com/Handheld-Amateur- ... yt+2+meter


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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Thanks Ray and Will. Honestly, right now, i'm not looking at talking long distance. I'm just trying to keep up with you guys on the trail. And i'm so turned off by all the formal code talk. I get enough of that crap at work every day. What I think I'm looking for, is more of an upgrade from the Family Talk Radios. So I can give john or carlos a radio when we are out in the desert or mountains, and just use simplex 99% of the time. And I can program it with you all when on the trail.

And then if I want to play in repeater land I can give that a try. There seams to be a few close by that I would have no problem hitting. So I'm looking cheap, disposable, Dual Band HT radios. If they last a year i'll be happy. If I drop one in the lake, oh well. Any suggestions?

Help me out here... UHF / 440 and 2M / VHF

:5SHOTS:

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:45 pm 
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My HT is the WOUXUN KG-UV2D VHF/UHF Dual Band. It works very well and is about $100. So not sure if that fits the cheap category. This is what Wally has also. I've dropped it a few times and it still works well, never had a problem with it.

Here is info on it, but it's out of stock. You should be able to find it elsewhere though (I believe Ham Radio Outlet has it). If you go that route, make sure you get the right one as there are several models with different bands.

http://www.wouxun.us/item.php?item_id=216


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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Will, any accessories that you recommend getting with it? Programming cable, etc.?

is there a car charging cable available that you know of?

also, which one:
http://www.powerwerx.com/two-way-radios ... -band.html

see two different receive/transmit ranges.....

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Burchie wrote:
Help me out here... UHF / 440 and 2M / VHF

You mentioned repeaters; I would go for both bands, since there are a bunch of repeaters in the Big Bear at both frequency ranges.

The bottom line is choose VHF if you plan to only use the radios outdoors and in an area that is relatively free of obstructions, such as buildings. If you plan on using the radio indoors, both indoors and out, or outdoors but around buildings, choose UHF. UHF is the better all around signal and is by far the most popular.

UHF signals don't travel quite as far outdoors as VHF signals, but they do a better job of penetrating wood, steel, and concrete, giving you better range and performance in urban environments and around buildings. VHF signals travel farther, absent obstructions, and tend to "hug" the earth better, providing better performance outdoors or in hilly terrain.

Based on your needs, I would go with $31 radio called: BaoFeng UV-5R http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-136 ... B007H4VT7A

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:08 pm 
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RCGJ wrote:
Based on your needs, I would go with $31 radio called: BaoFeng UV-5R http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-136 ... B007H4VT7A


This was the one I was looking at.

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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:05 pm 
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JJsKJ wrote:
Will, any accessories that you recommend getting with it? Programming cable, etc.?

is there a car charging cable available that you know of?

also, which one:
http://www.powerwerx.com/two-way-radios ... -band.html

see two different receive/transmit ranges.....


You will probably want this model - KG-UV3D-2/420-520....This one is 2 meter and 440, which will be you're most popular repeater frequencies.

The programming cable will be useful if you plan on programming a lot of repeaters into it - much easier to do from the computer, but it's not necessary.

Yes, looks like there is a car charging cable - around $10...it's at the bottom of the link that you posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Ham Radio help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:45 am 
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HRO in Burbank is a great place to spend your money and they guys there are very helpful and nice.

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