'Nother Newbie

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KB3SAV, Jan 7, 2009.

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  1. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I suppose I've been putting this off for a while, but hey, better late than never. I've got my callsign (Obviously), and I'm going to buy my first radio soon. But I've got questions.

    Do I need a mic with the Yaesu FT-60R handheld? And is the FT-60R a good choice?
    As far as I can tell, it looks fine. 5 watts output, dual band, water/dustproof, and it comes with a battery recharger. I'm getting an AS-20S Maldol antenna for it.
    Are there any problems with either of these that I don't know about, or am I fine with them?

    How do I go about getting involved with ARES?
    Is there a test I have to pass? If so, where do I go to take it?

    What is standard radio etiquette? I've read a beginner's handbook, but I can't remember this, other than needing to identify myself every ten minutes, and keeping a log of my radio conversations.

    Simplex? SSB? Which one is what I want to use? Do they each have the standard 2 meter? Or is 2 Meter something different entirely? (I don't think it is, but I'm questioning it anyway.)

    Also, I already have that little poster that comes with the magazine that new licensees get that says what frequencies can be used by who for what, so I don't think I need the whole frequency thing explained.

    And FYI, I'm only thirteen and I don't exactly get a paycheck, so suggesting anything over, say, 600$ (And that's about 3/4ths of a year and a birthday) is out. Although I doubt any handheld, even a tri-band would cost THAT much.

    If links are needed for any of the gear I plan to buy, I can provide them.
  2. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 60R is a good dual band handheld. It does 2M and 440, FM only. If you want to do anything more than repeater contacts or short range simplex, you need another radio.

    SSB is another mode that hams use, but it is not supported in the FT60, or in most handheld radios.

    Find a local club, and a local repeater that you can get into well with the HT. Listen to how things are done, most stuff is pretty casual.

  3. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info, Joe.
    As of now, I'm just getting the handheld with an antenna and headset to see if Ham Radio is really something I'm cut out for. If it works out, I'll try to get my hands on a good mobile station, specifically the FT-7800R+YSK7800, an MR77 Diamond antenna, and a an RS-12A or RS-20A power supply.

    So in terms of SSB and such, I'll go with simplex for now, I suppose.

    As for clubs, I think that one meets at a library near me tomorrow, so I'll try going there. It's WASH, or however you write out that acronym.
  4. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    First thing first, Congratulations and welcome!

    I would suggesnt getting a cheap, single-band 2 meter radio. This particular rig is a staple in most ham's arsenal.

    The reason I suggest starting out this way is simple; You can get on the air, introduce yourself to hams local to you. These hams are a wonderful resource for all the questions that you will have. They can introduce you to clubs, nets, etc. It has been my experience that there isn't much activity on 70cm, although this may not be true in your area.

    I would suggest the Yaesu VX-170. This is a single-band HT and built to mil-spec. (built like a tank) It is full 5 watts out and water proof! An optional speaker-mic is available for this radio, although it's not necessary.

    If you still feel you need a dual-band radio, then I would suggest the Yaesu VX-6R. This is also mil-spec and is actually a tri-band radio for only about $220

    I see you have many questions already, and I would like to help you with all of them. For now, getting a rig and getting on the air is step #1

  5. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    As far as etiquette goes, there are two MAJOR rules.

    #1 Don't be a tool on the air.
    #2 ID

    Everything else will fall in to place. SOP varies from repeater to repeater and usually there will be a website for it with the rules posted that they would like to have observed over and above part 97. Remember, repeaters are owned by a person(people) and they have every right to dictate what goes on with their repeaters, so long as it's within the confines of part 97

    I would STRONGLY suggest obtaining a membership in ARRL. They are a fantastic resource. They are a wealth of valuable information and services which you will surely use.

    Last but not least, make sure you have a copy of, and read your new bible, part 97. I will locate one for you and put the link on this post with an edit.


    Part 97 link
    I'm still trying to find it in a single pdf for you to download.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2009
  6. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Huh. I didn't even know there was a tri-band handheld for that cheap. 5 watts output and everything.
    But how do I recharge (Or replace) its batteries once they go out?

    EDIT: Didn't see the extra info until after I posted this. Thanks. I'll have to read over Part 97 and find out which repeaters to use, and who they belong to.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  7. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    Yea, the VX-6R is marketed as a dual-band, but it does do 220MHz at a reduced power. All the Yaesu radios (as well as the others) COME with the batteries and a charger. I managed to get mine on sale, HRO (hamradio.com) has them now for $245.

    The VX-170 has an optional AA battery pack you can buy. Then you can fill it with 2300mAh NiMH AAs.

    Also, the antennas that come with these radios were DESIGNED to be used for these radios. So just use the one it comes with to start.

    As far as the Part 97... These are the FEDERAL LAWS we HAVE to follow as federally licensed amateur radio operators. So, it's a good idea to keep a copy handy. I had a pdf file here somewhere. I took it to Staples and printed out a hard copy so I could keep it with me, now I can't find it.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2009
  8. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    Ok found it.
  9. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another reason why Yaesu is one of (If not) the best.
    I'll probably end up with the VX-6R for the tri-band and recharger.
    I mean, seriously. The only tri-bands I could find were $300 and up.
    The site I'm going to order from (Hamcity) has the 6R for $229.99, although the description of it doesn't say anything about a battery recharger.

    As for Part 97, don't worry too much about it. My local radio club meets tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, next week, so I can ask someone there about it. I probably won't be on the air for a few weeks while I wait for the radio in the mail, and I'm not even ordering the thing until at least Friday.

    EDIT: Okay, disregard that. Thanks again. I'm gonna save this to my hard drive, portable hard drive, and flash drive, so I can carry it with me everywhere, like an overreligious Christian with the Bible.
    Religious jokes aside, thanks again.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  10. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    Yea, the rig from ham city will have the same stuff mine did.

    Rig, charger, battery, antenna, manual, and a sticker.

    Keep in mind, the 220 is only 1.5W max. (not that you'll need more than that)

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