Black Oxygen

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KM6WTJ, Nov 16, 2018.

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  1. KM6WTJ

    KM6WTJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Ron, and I am a Brand New Ham Technician Operator. I have not
    purchased my Handheld Radio yet. I plan on acquiring it next week. Needless
    to say, I have a lot to learn. Any guidance and/or assistance will be appreciated.

    KC5AKB likes this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Welcome to Amateur Radio, Ron!

    Maybe explain what it is you want to do with amateur radio. How do you envision using your new radio? Do you have a specific radio in mind already? or just looking for suggestions... knowing what you'd like to accomplish is the first step in us helping you. And if you've not picked one out yet, what is your budget? What bands of interest? What is your general "technical level" regarding programming things?

    Oh, and what is the meaning of the subject line, "Black Oxygen"? I don't know that term

    Welcome aboard!! It's a wonderful hobby I've enjoyed for over 43 years now and glad to have you be a part of it :)

    KI4AX likes this.
  3. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congratulations on your Ham ticket.

    I think your first steps may be connecting with a local club, and, once you buy a handheld, finding a net on a local repeater. There's a lot of facets to amateur radio, and you may find your interests evolving over time---I started out interested in VHF and quickly became addicted to long-distance contacts on HF---so it may not be easy to decide exactly what you want out of the hobby, or out of a handheld.

    That being said, there are two basic routes. You can plunk down a small amount of money and get a Baofeng cheapie, or you can plunk down more money and get something with more features. I bought a cheapie, and it works just fine for connecting with local repeaters, but I think I would have been better off if I bought something that could receive modes other than FM, and something with a broader range for receiving. On the other hand, the cheapie didn't set me back very much.
    NH7RO likes this.
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Skip the handheld and get a 20 to 50 W mobile radio , a 15 Amp, 13.6 volt AC power supply, some low loss coax and an antenna to go on the roof.
    KG7OOM and KB0MNM like this.
  5. KI4AX

    KI4AX Ham Member QRZ Page


    It's a cost vs. features analysis... Do you want to work the Amateur Satellites with it? Or are you just looking for something that will get you on the local 2-meter repeater (assuming you have one in your area)? Are you going to be using it outside in inclement weather? Are you going to use it while traveling? And, of course analog or digital - which is your flavor?

    Some people have to have one and others don't care for them. IMO a Handheld is almost a necessary item if you are going to join a club and/or volunteer for events like Hamfests, Walk-a-thons, and other similar events.

    If you want to work more distant repeaters and/or engage in simplex operation you might consider spending a bit more and purchase a 50 watt mobile rig, power supply, and outdoor antenna, as a previous poster suggested, and set it up as a base station at your home QTH.

    I would recommend that you purchase a 2nd battery and a better antenna as accessories with the HT. HTs usually come with a Rubber Ducky Dummy Load - um, I mean antenna - which doesn't work very well. Your better antenna could be a 5/8 wave, base loaded, magnetic mount antenna for your car. Those are available for around $50 or less and will probably double the distance you can cover. It will also allow you to use your HT in your car with pretty good coverage.

    Good luck and have fun...

    Dan KI4AX
  6. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    While it is important that a new ham be able to receive immediately and may only be able to do so in the car, mobile transmit in many areas can get them into trouble. For example, if you put a two-ear headset on in Minnesota- you can get a ticket for that. If you wear a one-ear headset and the local policeman has not read the more recent version of the rules ( about 20 years ago ), you could also get a ticket. If you do not carry a copy of your FCC license with you, in many states- you could get a ticket ( note that there are now folks who would print it on Kevlar for a small fee ). In general, that mobile used as a base might be a much better beginner's experience- if it fits the budget. The antenna system is the part where an 'elmer' can really help. Too many folks run into trouble with soldering a PL-259 or inexperience with static suppression and/or cable routing. The rewards of a good antenna are many. Save up at least $100.00 then select a good used rig, supply, cable, and an attic antenna. No real need for static suppression if the antenna is inside and not too far from the rig.
  7. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    This the very issue I have been working on since January. Have not gotten a reply from FCC. I plan to follow up soon and continue to insist on a Ruling. Basically, I contend that states cannot supercede Federal CFR's with arbitrary rules that attempt to govern the operation of two way radio licensed by the Federal government. Such rules now approve and encourage said use for both commercial, civil, emergency, and amateur/CB use. In fact, there is court precedent in the form of a court brief filed on behalf of amateur operators that makes that very point. Of course(and it is a good thing, too) many states have recognized FCC's overriding oversight of two way radio and have exempted them from state laws. Those that haven't (California, Minnesota(?), New York(?) just haven't been challenged in Federal court over it (yet). They *think* they have a state interest in regulating two way radio, and I believe otherwise. IOW, that amateur radio, two way radio, CB, etc. is solely governed by FCC, Federal regulations (CFR's), and other two way radio uses are as well. One example is US government and military stations under NTIA. One agency that is governed by NTIA is Civil Air Patrol. It has a Federal interest in the use of its mobile two way radios, and local Bubba cop has no business sticking his nose IN that under arbitrary, unnecessary "laws". I can see a situation where it and its otherwise "civilian" CAP person could be stopped while responding to a USAF-authorized mission. At this point, that person is under the orders of USAF (for aircraft missions, ground sorties), or under the direction of a CAP incident commander. Being stopped by some ignorant copper while responding to an emergency constitutes interference to and with an authorized mission. So there ARE good arguments against these state laws that are unnecessary and do little to further the state's interests and none to further the Federal interest, either. That also applies to the Amateur Service as well. Such laws could be used to harass innocent, duly licensed citizens. Tho one might be able to get a ticket thrown out in Federal court, where he would prob'ly have to take it, it still constitutes expense, time and unnecessary hardship for that person!
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome aboard, Ron! bill
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ron, regarding Black Oxygen: Once you go black, you never go back.

    Although I'm not sure what that has to do with ham radio.:p

    Congrats on the new license...use it well.

    Hey, I just looked to see you're in Sandy Eggo. Pat WA6MHZ, who frequents, is a very experienced ham near SD and give him a shout if you need advice.
    K9ASE likes this.
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    One slight differing recommendation. While a 15 A supply MAY be adequate for a mobile, be aware most supplies are rated for peak, or instantaneous Voltage, not continuous operation. Thus, a 15 mp supply may only be able to supply 12 Amps on a continuous basis, severely straining under the load of a 50 Watt mobile radio, if not failing in short order. IF you have any intention of upgrading and running HF, you would (most likely) need a new supply, as a 100 Watt HF radio can take up to 22 Amps. Better to budget for a good quality supply with reserve, even if you don't immediately upgrade.

    An Astron RS-35 is a good choice made by many hams, and is quite reliable. But again, while it can supply 35 Amps temporarily, it is only rated 25 Amps for continuous operation.

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