Just got my Tech license, kinda confused now...

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N5WLF, May 31, 2011.

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  1. N5WLF

    N5WLF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been wanting to get a start in ham radio ever since one of my friend's dad showed my his radio and let me listen to it, now I've gone and got my Tech license and am trying to figure out what a decent starter radio would be, I've read through a bunch a information, and it is a little overwhelming and confusing...

    What bands can I transmit voice on, that what I'm interested in for now, I might look into the data mess sometime later...can anyone help me out here?

    Thanks in advance, Bo (KF5LDZ)
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    10 meters 28.3 to 28.5 MHz SSB only.
    6 meters, 2 meters and all VHF-UHF-SHF-EHF bands above that (to "forever"), you have voice privileges on all of them, including SSB, FM and AM.

    Isn't this stuff part of the test? (Maybe not...haven't looked in a long time.)
  3. KD8OUR

    KD8OUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    2 meters and 440 are the most active( here anyways), but don't neglect 222mhz! those 3 are a good start. if i had to choose again i might have started with 440... but UHF is a bit more tricky as far as transmission line.
    2 meters is a good bet as is 6. i started with 2 meters. i used an htx-202 for a few months and saved up to buy the yaesu ft1900. i got a motorola gm300 for 440 recently.
    i also upgraded to general, but i have yet to get anything that will get me on the air.
    it will be unlikely that i will be on HF anytime soon as i don't have funds for a radio. some people have offered to loan out radios, but i am very very cautious about that.

    sure the band plan tells you what you have permission to do, but not where to start. best bet, get a good scanner that covers the bands and find the active areas.
  4. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Print this out and then you will always know.

    THink about what you want to do with your license. Talk and meet people, work satellites, work all states (10M), EMCOM, etc.

    Just don't get an HT for your first radio! FOr me I would start out on 10M or 2M
  5. K4RKY

    K4RKY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't mean to be rude but you took and passed the tech and do not know this? At least you are asking questions. GL and keep reading and find a local club. They can be of good help to you.
  6. W4WXP

    W4WXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd recommend getting a radio such as the Yaesu 857 or 897 as they have VHF, UHF, AND HF, that way you will have a HF rig already once you pass your general :)
  7. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Plano TX hamfest is coming up on the 11th of June -- if you can make it into town it might be worth checking out. You can also talk face to face with many hams and find out what you need to know.


    There are many opportunities for techs to get on the air -- even with an HT. If a local club is doing something for ARRL Field Day you might look at going out and sitting in with some of the operators, and perhaps getting on the air.

    Looks like the closest field day site might be in Emory or Marshall -- here is the abbreviated contact info:

    109 Wood St.
    Emory, TX

    Marshall Amateur Radio Club
    N Fulton
    Marshall, TX
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  8. N0BOX

    N0BOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    For those who want to jump on him for not 'knowing the band plan by heart':

    No one teaches anyone anything these days. I only knew one ham operator when I got my tech license 12(?) years ago, and I didn't like him. I worked with him at RadioShack. I had the benefit of being able to read the study guides in the store on slow summer days, but RadioShack no longer carries the study guides. So, where do new ham wannabes turn? The Internet, where the only study guides are the cram guides. Now he is looking for the info he *should* have had to begin with, and him being here asking questions is an opportunity for us to build a well-informed, considerate operator. If we are supportive and give him good information, then we won't have to worry about him becoming one of those people so many people here like to complain about.


    It's easy to get a cheap 2m/70cm handheld radio and chat a bit on the local repeaters, but it gets really boring really quick. That's what I did when I got my tech license. I gabbed a bit, participated in maybe 2 weekly nets, and my HT turned into a really expensive police scanner for 10 years. I just got back into the hobby, grabbed my general license, and have been spending my time listening where I can and planning on how to get a decent antenna up so I can talk to those people I hear out there. HF frequencies give you the opportunity to talk to people around the world, which is nice if you find that the people on your local repeater don't make particularly good company.

    Having a radio that will do Single SideBand (SSB) on the frequencies that you have access to as a technician will give you a huge head start on what you'll need to know as a general class licenseholder and above. This would also give you access to far more satellites if you decide you want to try your hand at that. Unfortunately, most radios that will do SSB are going to have a lot more features, and that drives up the price. You can probably find a relatively reasonably priced Yaesu FT-857D or Icom IC-706(mkII/mkIIG), which will give you all-mode access to 10m, 2m, and 70cm, which you have privileges on (and also gives you access to the full HF range, which you'll be interested in if you upgrade your license later... you'll be able to listen to those frequencies to get a taste of what upgrading could bring you).

    So, start out with this band permissions chart provided by the ARRL. It will lay out what frequencies are available to what licenses, and what modes are allowed on those frequencies: Color Band Chart

    You can usually find an old, outdated listing of repeaters in your area on the internet with a quick google search. Hopefully there is an amateur radio club in your area that has a website, and hopefully they put up a list of current repeaters. Otherwise, show up for a meeting and get them to fill you in on what is available. Generally there is a lot of support for 2m and 70cm. Some areas have a D-Star thing set up, some like 220, and there might even be a group of people using 23cm or 900MHz. Most of that stuff is better answered by the locals than by the internet.

    Welcome to the hobby, congratulations on passing the test, and ask any questions you need to ask! Keep in mind that QRZ isn't a great representation of ham radio. It is just another chunk of the internet where trolls hang out like anywhere else. This chunk just happens to have some decent radio information and myths. Don't let anyone here run you off from the hobby, because generally you don't run into those people on the air!

    -- Matt, N0BOX
  9. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would say N0BOX AND Fred both have good points, from my outsiders point of view. If I had been limited in where I could operate when I got my Foundation licence I would have got one of those all band rigs too; as it was we have pretty much all the spectrum to play with right from the start, so being a former SWL and Utilities listener I wasn't really interested in much except HF so I snapped up an Icom 718 at the right price.

    As Fred says, don't set yourself on a course before you have fully sampled the delights of HF radio, and therefore to do that you need the General. HF is the "soul" of ham radio. :)

    As many of the guys have told me, talking into repeaters in the local area can get a bit dull. I have never tried it. If you can go for the all-mode rig and setup a nice antenna (BUILD a nice antenna I should say!) at home for 10m if things improve a bit you can talk a long way - to me in the UK for instance! 28.400 - 500 is where a lot of the SSB DX hangs out.

    all the best,

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