Need advise on buying my first radio
I'm trying to decide between the Yaesu FT-7900R and the FT-8800R. Seeing as I'm just starting out do I need or, will I miss, not having a dual recieve radio?
Thanks for any advise
I wont recommend a rig because we all have different requirements. A hundred people here could recommend a hundred different
rigs.. What I will recommend is that you try to make it down to Portland and visit HRO. Play with some of their display models..
Better than that would be to join a local club and visit some members shacks to play with their rigs.. Personally, I wouldnt
buy a 2 meter rig to start out.. I would go for an HF rig or perhaps an HF rig that also had 2 meters or/and 70 cm.. I wouldnt
pay too much heed to any rig specific advice you get here. Good Luck
Thanks Lee, but that radio seems a little steep price wise for a starter radio. My main purpose for getting into the ham radio scene is for emergency communication in the case of a disaster or other event that takes down traditional communications.
Am I correct in thinking that most emergency units (police, fire, ambulance) operate in the 2M and 70cm frequencies?
Even for emcomm stuff there are different needs. A lot of police, fire, ambulance is now using trunked radio systems that a traditional amateur radio won't pick up. If there was a real disaster and you need long distance communication you will want HF. If there was an EMT pulse than the radio wouldn't work anyhow unless it was an older tube type. My suggestion is as stated is to shop around, decide what you really want to spend and get what you want.
We couold get into a long long discussion about Emergency communications and ham radio... but we wont.. If traditional communications are downm, so will amateur radio.. I dont really
believe that, today, ham radio will have much to do in that kind of emergency.. There are too many other ways that are far more reliable than ham radio.. Sat Phones come to mind..
Anyhow, I would still recommend you join a club and get some hands on with different rigs.. before you spend the bux..
Originally Posted by KF7UUC
It would be a good idea to get acquainted with the local hams who are preparing to do emergency communications, and get an understanding of what they do. http://www.wastateares.org/
For the most part, ham gear can't be used on the public service frequencies, and most public service agencies are moving to equipment that's not compatible with the radios hams use, too. There are some exceptions. Here in MN, the agencies are almost all digital trunking, but each county typically has one analog 'back channel' for emergencies, and some of the EMCOMM hams have their radios modified to work on those channels. Personally, I don't think modifying the radio is a good idea - in some states it can even get you in hot water, and if you actually use it on a police frequency, it better be to stop WWIII. FCC says that you can use 'any means at your disposal' to attract attention in a situation where loss of life or significant loss of property is imminent. Some states and cities, though, have their own laws about possessing or using a radio that's been modified to transmit on the public service frequencies, so look out - the Feds might be happy, but that may not be the whole story.
If you have a valid reason for wanting to use a public service frequency, and have written permission to do so, you can often buy a surplus commercial radio and have it programmed to work on both the public service and a few local ham frequencies. Using a ham rig on the commercial/public service bands for non-emergencies can earn the agency involved a HUGE fine from FCC, and cost you your ham license.
Typically, for ARES work, you want a good dualband mobile rig, and external antenna (magmount is fine). In your area, an HT might be useful if the high mountain-based repeaters are operational, but if not, you'll want the 50+ watts from a mobile rig and a 'real' antenna.
You're probably well acquainted with the potential threats in your area. Outside Alaska, that has to be one of the most vulnerable areas in the U.S.. So, I think you're on the right track. I would advise you to get a General or Extra ticket and get on HF as well. Get familiar with some of the daytime SSB nets on 40 meters - when the fecal matter hits the impeller, they will come in handy if you know how to use them. The only way for you to prepare for a disaster is to actually use the radio. At least find a local net to check into. Don't expect that you're just going to dig up the radio and call for the police. The skills needed to use it are just as important as the equipment.
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Thanks for all the input.
The more I look into this and research the more I realize that I've only discovered the tip of a large iceberg!!
Don't worry, you won't stop at one. lol
Originally Posted by KF7UUC
Every ham should be honey baked and spiral sliced
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