New to Ham
Hi all. I'll keep this short. I'm new to ham. Taking my test for technician today. I'm retired. I need to set my shack up and don't have a clue... I know that transceiver's are like cars and have their followers. Ford, Chevy. Chevy, Ford. I have to watch my coin, so I want to keep it in the Ford, Chevy range, not Cadillac, Lincoln. I've looked at the Icom 7200 and the Yaesu FT-950. I want one for base. Not sure about what will work best for my class license. Thanks in advance.
Good lucl on the exam!
If you haven't already, I strongly encourage you to buy the ARRL Handbook, and secondarily the ARRL Operating Manual.
They are references you will use for years, and are source you can rely on for accurate information, unlike many random websites.
"Lossy Traps, Oh my!"
"Supporting AMSAT-NA Fox-1 Cubesat Launch in 2013!"
The best way to select a transceiver, is to play with them at your nearest dealer. Asking me for my opinion, or anyone else's, is a sure way to be disappointed. After all, the things you might think are important, might be fluff as far as I'm concerned.
The capabilities of operations on the HF bands is limited for a technician license. The only phone operation you will be allowed is between 28.3 to 28.5 Mhz and you're limited to SSB only. That's it for HF on phone. If you can learn or already know morse code then you can operate on 3.525-3.600Mhz, 7.025-7.125Mhz, 21.025-21.200Mhz and 28.000-28.300Mhz with a maximum power output of 200W. On the 28.0-28.3 portion you can also run the digital modes.
For more HF operating privileges you will want to take and pass the General exam or if you can manage that continue on to the Amateur Extra. These tests will not cost you any more to take and you never know, you may surprise yourself.
Even if you don't pass the only thing you spent was the time to take it.
Now for your choice of transceivers the IC-7200, FT-950 and the TS-590S are excellent choices and will get you going in fine style. You will need to hook everything up to a proper antenna. For just starting out a commercial antenna will get you on the air the fastest. You will find a lot of various antennas that say they are the best. They might be but to keep it within the realm of just starting out the dipole variations are quite good. One multiband antenna that if installed according to instructions and will work right away is the Alpha Delta DX-CC. There are others and you may want to make some yourself.
Now I'm going to give you two books that you can download to your computer and read at your leisure. The first one is written for our troops in the USMC and it explains what happens and why it happens in very plain language. It's at; www.zerobeat.net/r3403c.pdf.
For more in-depth coverage this book is very good; www.eagle3.net/n4ywn/docs/PracticalAntennaHandbook-vol4.pdf
Remember to save them to your computer. They are both PDF format and if you don't have a PDF reader you can get one free on the net.
Oh, BTW, for a Technician class license another ICOM product would do well and that would be the IC-7000. It gives you three of the VHF/UHF bands that you would have full privileges on. It's probably one of the best rigs to cover almost everything. Just a suggestion (I do not own anything ICOM).
Good luck on the test(s) and welcome to QRZ and Amateur Radio.
73 (Best wishes and regards)
Last edited by KO6WB; 06-12-2012 at 10:12 PM.
Good group of amateurs in Hannibal/Quincy area. Good radio knowledge with Harris Corp. broadcast transmitter plant and their engineers -- usually in clubs. 147.03/63 MHz 2-meter repeater use to have a wide coverage area (WGEM-TV tower).
Hi all. I'll keep this short. I'm new to ham. Taking my test for technician today. I'm retired. I need to set my shack up and don't have a clue... I know that transceiver's are like cars and have their followers.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. -- Walt Disney
If you arre not close to a ham radio dealer, the go to the ARRL site and find a club near you.
Go to http://www.arrl.org - and click on CLUBS. Then enter your Zip Code, and use the drop-down menu to choose, say, "Within 25 Miles" ...
Find a nearby club - where you will find assistance, equipment recommendations, and fellow hams who know what will work for YOU in YOUR region.
Purchasing handbooks and operating manuals? Do that later. Find out what is happening locally by visiting a club or two.
Clint Bradford K6LCS
You won't get this in time but next test you take, as long as your passing just keep taking the next step up. I think you'll enjoy tech but quickly find it a bit limiting.
I agree with the idea you can't choose a rig for another guy but if your watching your coin, you might think used. Some of the stores sell on consignment and gear gets advertised places like QRZ. As with any shopping, do your "due diligence" -hi
Regards and good hamming