New to the hobby and need advice please.

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KC3QHV, Sep 28, 2020.

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  1. KC3QHV

    KC3QHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I’m planning on taking my technician test on the 10th I’m confident I will pass I haven't had a failing practice test yet….anyhow I’m looking for some advice on new gear.

    I defiantly want a HF rig for the shack… but I am also super interested in parks on the air, we camp all the time. Tent camping not RV.

    I would also like to work UHF/VHF mobile and shack.

    For HF I’ve been eyeing up the Yaesu FT-991A, Icom IC-7300, Icom IC705 and the IEGU G90

    The FT-991A would kill two birds with one stone. The IC-7300 has good reviews but is limited to HF, The IC-705 and G90 would be good for parks on the air.

    Would it be crazy to run the G90 with the XIEGU XPA-125B HF QRP Amplifier as a base?

    A super portable solution is tempting to me as I travel all the time for work, commercial flights and personal vehicle. Making the IC705 tempting.

    Bottom line is I have between $1500 - $2500 to play with possibly $3000

    If you had my budget and wanted to work all modes hf/vhf/uhf and have some portable gear what would you buy

    I am new to the hobby so any help would be appreciated.

    I hope this is the appropriate topic to post this under. I tried posting to general but I do not have sufficient rights to post there.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  2. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    A key question is whether you need VHF/UHF from home. And if so whether you need SSB.

    If not then an FT818 for portable and an IC7300 at home would be a good combination. And maybe a cheap 2m/70cm FM rig if you need that for home.

    These links to my QRP website discuss equipment and could be helpful.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Technician license doesn't have access to much HF. Put away the $$$. Don't worry about all band all mode, unless you are just listening before getting General. Then, not so much about the rig, it's all about antennas!

    Buy something simple, a mobile 50w VHF UHF rig, and a good magmount antenna. No permanent installation, can remove it at the carwash, vacation, at home etc if needed...
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. KI7ZRF

    KI7ZRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would say study for General and get the 7300. Take some time to learn it. From there you may decide your needs will change.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    True, but it grants access to the most fun portion of HF, the CW portion of 40m. 80m and 15m aren't bad, either.

    No doubt many people will find it easier to pass the General exam than to get on the air with CW. Either way, lack of a General license or lack of CW skill is a temporary condition. I'd encourage anyone to take whatever route they choose to expand their enjoyment of this hobby.
    KO4ESA, KC3QHV and K6CLS like this.
  6. KC3QHV

    KC3QHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow the FT818 is a cool little raido. Thank you for the suggestion. This one is going to the top of the list.

    I'll definitely check out the links after work.

    Thanks again for the help!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  7. KC3QHV

    KC3QHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm definitely going to sandbag on HF for a bit while I study for general... I'm a hands on learner.

    Technician + gear will motivate me to keep at it.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  8. KC3QHV

    KC3QHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Definitely temporary for me... at least I hope it's temporary.

    I've been putting off getting my license for years. Manly due to the cost of equipment and living in apartments with no antenna space. Now i have room for an antenna and have some disposable income.

    I remember playing with CBs when I was a kid and drooling at the ham raidios in the radio shack catalogs... remember those, man I was always excited to get a new one in the mail.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  9. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    30% of your budget is the HF radio itself

    40% of your budget is the antennas, matching devices, feedlines & supports, lift rental, tree contractor etc.

    30% of your budget is the "everything else" meaning tools you don't already own, dummy load, metering, wire stock, connectors, club dues, software, XML subscriptions, etc. (you can roll your whole VHF/UHF plan into this corner of the budget, they're that cheap)

    A Xiegu with outboard amp is completely fine as a base station. I don't even have the amp yet, still just using the built in 20w and there's plenty of action, not bored at all.

    I'm new at this sport myself but I can't stress it enough: the HF game is more antenna than appliance.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  10. N3CDF

    N3CDF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since Most all I do is Parks on the air. My suggestion is get the general license. For about $1000 you can buy a FT891, a couple of ham sticks with mag mounts or a wolf river coil antenna. Purchase a Biaenno 20ah battery and a tuner, a hard case to put everything in and you have a perfect travel radio. Buy a EFHW 80/10 wire antenna to use at home.
    Since we are on the uptick to the solar cycle you will be able to work the world with 100w and a wire.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    KO4ESA likes this.

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