New to ham radio, looking for some advice.

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KN4SMQ, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. KN4SMQ

    KN4SMQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone, I am new to the world of ham radio (only had my ticket a few weeks now) and need some advice on a mobile rig.
    I am looking to get something I can put in my truck and possibly carry it into the garage on weekends and evening that won't be to crazy expensive, the websites that sell radios and equipment are a little overwhelming when you don't really know where to start. I will be on 2m 70cm for a while until I get the hang of things and learn my way around and feel knowledgeable enough to try for my general license. I am currently using a hand held and want to upgrade and also don't want to have to stand in the cold all the time. As for antennas I have a j-pole and ground plane nothing special just regular antennas that new hams build. If anyone has any advice for me I would really appreciate your time.
     
    NM9L, KE8JNU, WZ7U and 2 others like this.
  2. KM6XP

    KM6XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome! As I am pretty new to ham radio, 5 months now, and I know nobody else in the hobby here is my take. A good small mobile dual band + digital Fusion radio is the Yaesu FT7250, I have one of these and love it. Mine is set up as a base, the are on sale right now for like $200, I paid $259 back in Oct. there are other options but I went for the Yaesu. Feed it with some LMR400 and you are money.

    Good luck
     
  3. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a handheld for a long time on 2 meters when I started in ham radio. The Kenwood TM-V71A is a great mobile dual bander. I own one. ICOM IC-2730A looks like a bargain at $100 less than the Kenwood.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    KN4SMQ and K4RKY like this.
  4. KN4SMQ

    KN4SMQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, this sound exactly like what im looking for.
     
  5. KM6XP

    KM6XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was wrong, HRO has them on sale for $209.00 but there is a rebate this month so it’s $189.00. Damn, I paid $70 more, oh well.
     
  6. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Travis, do you have enough local activity on 2/440 FM to warrant buying another FM only rig? If you are going to explore vhf/uhf (which is underrated IMO, go for it!) you might consider looking into an "all mode" radio. One that has CW and SSB as well as FM. New they can really bite you, but I see used ones from a couple decades back going for way more reasonable money. If you have people in a club that can help personally guide you towards what is good and not so good that is helpful, because I would find it difficult to give pertinent, detailed advice about a particular radio over the typewriter, unable to see said example. Of course, you will want a better antenna for SSB/CW, one that is horizontally polarized like a 3 or more element Yagi beam which can be easily made at home because the sizes aren't particularly daunting. With plenty of resources on the web already detailing construction parameters and dimensions it wouldn't be too far out of the realm of possibility for you to have a great antenna built yourself which is a great learning experience as well. Whichever way you choose go, get with it and have fun.

    PS - You would be surprised how much fun a hand held hooked to a bigger antenna can be. You might look into the antenna upgrade first...
     
  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    KN4SMQ, Welcome Aboard!

    You've just begun a live long adventure in radio. 73, Bill
     
  8. KN4SMQ

    KN4SMQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought about just biting the bullet and getting myself a good used “all mode” radio and using it for a while until I’m sure this is a hobby I want to really invest in. I went to my first club meeting last Thursday and they mentioned the club had 2 older icom radios that they were thinking about upgrading, I can’t remember the exact model but one of them would be great and I could use it for years to come and be able to monitor modes I am not able to talk on yet but would be a good chance to learn proper etiquette. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
    KA0HCP likes this.
  9. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is great Travis!
    There are all mode rigs that do vhf & uhf exclusively. I had an Icom 211A (2 meter all mode) back in the day that served me very well till I went and upgraded equipment. Your current license will allow vhf/uhf as well as some slices on hf so you don't necessarily need an exclusively hf rig right away. Not that one wouldn't be cool. If money is the question, just get yourself into the best antenna situation you can pull off because the truth is a crappy radio on a great antenna will always be better than the best radio on planet earth on a crappy antenna. If you want to just stick with FM for now, put yourself up a strong vertically polarized antenna (omni or beam) and enjoy that HT to it's absolute best possible performance. Unless its a Baofeng; those are notorious for taking a huge crap when given a decent input signal through its antenna.
    Now, maybe if you get your ground plane antenna up as high as possible and run the coax into the house, that might just be enough to do what you want. Ask questions, don't pay any mind to the haters out there either. Stay in touch with your progress. Carry on!
     
    KN4SMQ likes this.
  10. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another option is an all mode HF thru 440 meter rig. IC-7100 fits, but close to $1K cost.
     

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