New HAM with questions

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG4JYS, Jul 16, 2021.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow, almost the opposite here with our local radio clubs.

    It's mostly the "oldsters" who campaign to draw in new hams from local schools, emergency/rescue/fire/police groups, boaters, hikers and anyone they can attract and then they run the training and VE test sessions.

    Every time someone passes a test and the VE is ready to send in the results, there's a small party and whoever passed gets the free breakfast. Then, the same organizers try best they can to offer "We'll come help you set up an antenna!" assistance to the newcomer.

    A lot of that "stopped" almost all last year due to COVID restrictions, but it's started up again recently and hopefully will continue without interruption.
    KO4ESA, KK0SD, WZ7U and 2 others like this.
  2. KG4JYS

    KG4JYS Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, I really don't have a plan. I got the license mainly just to make sure I was doing the right thing with the RC drones given the recent revelation that many transceivers falsely claimed part 15 authorizations. Turned out I got lucky and the stuff I bought had genuine authorizations, but I had already prepaid for the ham test by that time. The FAA is mostly killing off recreational drones (not sure if that applies to other fliers like planes) with some legislation that will make it cost prohibitive for all but the most hardcore so I need a new hobby anyway. Well unless the class action suit pans out... Really I got into the drones because I wanted to do some scratch electronics projects and I'm not all that into actually flying them.

    Ok. Sorry for the wall of text intro. I guess I should have known that some would find it annoying.

    That's interesting, I didn't realize until I looked it up just now that even General doesn't require code these days. The tech test was pretty simple with only 2 nights of studying to pass with a wide margin, I think I may do just that. Hopefully many of the questions will be technical in nature rather than rote memorization of specific rules. I guess I'll find out!

    As for my location/capabilities for mounting equipment. I own a single family home with a small lot. There are large oak trees about 125' apart on either side of the house I could pretty easily string an antenna between them. Although I do have a minivan that would be perfect for setting up a radio in, I don't really drive much locally as I've been a full time telecommuter for about 10 years now. Road trips up north to NC/GA a couple times a year most yaears but I can't very well play with a radio while driving my family around. No HOA to worry about but my city has lots of hoa-esque rules. I've yet to look up antenna rules on the city website.

    Finding a club sounds like a good idea. I tried and failed to find local RC clubs when I got into that hobby. Well, technically I found two clubs but couldn't get them to answer emails or phone calls... Hopefully I'll have better luck with HAM in this regard.
    KO4ESA, WZ7U and W4NNF like this.
  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome to ham radio.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Honey glazed and spiral sliced is really good.:)
    KO4ESA and KG4JYS like this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Does the HAM and "into HAM" business irritate me? Sure. But.

    It is far outweighed by seeing these wonderful words: "New HAM."

    I don't care if the new guys call it "HAM sandwich radio." I'm just glad there are new guys.

    Also, let's face it, slang and terminology changes in any pursuit or field. The old guys don't like it...but...we'll be gone a-fore long and ham (or HAM) radio will be for the new guys to make of it what they will. :)
    KO4ESA and KA4DPO like this.
  6. KG4JYS

    KG4JYS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess that's a bit of a social faux-pax in the community 'eh? Noted.

    I decided to get a little 2m/70cm radio, probably a yaesu ft-65r but I haven't actually bought it yet.

    According to repeaterbook, there's 13 repeaters within 5 miles of my house. The closest 5 seem to be either sponsored directly by Pinellas County Auxiliary Communication Service or at least affiliated with it. The ones owned by that service seem straightforward as emergency use, but others seem to be affiliated in some way. Here's an example of one of their websites: . I've emailed the contact on that site. In general do I need to find a repeater that doesn't list any of the emergency systems under affiliate or sponsor?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
    KO4ESA likes this.
  7. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our local club here is very welcoming for newcomers, I have personally helped several. I strongly advise the OP to check out CARS, the Clearwater Amateur Radio Society. I remember them from years ago, and they were always a good club. I bet he can find plenty of good advice there.
    W5ESE and KG4JYS like this.
  8. KG4JYS

    KG4JYS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I plan to. Unfortunately, their next meeting is 4 weeks away so I've got a bit of a wait.

    Unfortunately, repeaterbook says their repeater (at least the one closest to me) is offline. That makes me wonder; is repeaterbook the go-to repository for finding repeaters or is there a better location on the internet?
    KA4DPO likes this.
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thing is a LOT of repeaters are not active for one reason or another. Locals active in the repeater scene can tell you which ones.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The repeater book is always out of date. I can't use it for anything.

    Internet lookups "may be" more updated, but no guarantee of that. Some very active repeaters have no website, no I.T. person, no anything to post what he/she/they are doing.

    To find "local activity," I usually set my rig to "scan and store," which means it would scan the band looking for activity, and any time it scanned across a signal, it would just store that in memory so I could look at it later. A "whole lot later" works best, as some big-signal repeaters may only be used a few times a day. They work fine, just not much use.

    Then, after it stores a lot of frequencies, I can go look those up to find the correct offset for TX and the correct CTCSS tone, and then add those to the memory program. Now, I have many repeaters "all set up" in the rig, whether there's anyone to talk to or not.:p

    Even my very old Yaesu FT-3000M had that feature (scan and store). That was a real long time ago.

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