'Nother Newbie

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KB3SAV, Jan 7, 2009.

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  1. KJ4GXU

    KJ4GXU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm also fairly newly licensed (About 3 months ago) and I've got a nice handheld that another ham was nice enough to lend to me (Icom ICt81 A) It does 6 meter, 2 meter, 70CM and 1.2GHZ. I run it on an external antenna (Comet SBB2) and I do alright with it.

    Now having said that this is not the course of action I recommend. Up until recently there was not a good active 2 meter repeater in my city. I was stuck driving around listening to repeater traffic from Nashville which is about 60 miles from here but not able to join in. I could hear other HAMs in town who were hitting that repeater on their mobile rigs but I couldn't hit it due to the low power of the HT.

    Luckily a local club put up a very capable repeater that I can connect to now but that just takes me to 1 2 meter and 1 440 (Light traffic) that I can hit. I am in the process of saving up for a dual band mobile, I could honestly survive with a 2 meter mobile but I occasionally take a road trip and would like to be able to hit the 70 cm on the road too.

    I recommend you first go http://www.artscipub.com/ and check for repeaters in your area.

    Next go to the club meeting and find out where the action is and how much power is it taking for others in the area to hit the repeaters.

    THEN pick and buy your rig. It's going to be awfully disappointing if you get a 2 meter or even dual or triband HT only to discover that there's lots of activity you can hear, just none close enough to reach with 5 watts.

    The club members may even be willing to let you check out their rigs so you can base your decision on what rig to buy based on your own first hand experience and not the opinions of others.

    Welcome to the hobby
    Eric
     
  2. KE6DON

    KE6DON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  3. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, my first thread and it's already got this many replies.
    But anyway, thanks a ton for the info, KJ4. I'm probably going to do just that and find out what's what around the Pitt. Like I've said before, one of the local clubs meets tonight, and I'm gonna go.
    As for the FT-817, K0R, all I could find was the FT-817ND. Is that good enough? Pretty expensive, but from all of the other tips I've received, a mobile is a good starting point, especially if it's one like that.

    I checked out repeaters, and it turns out that the Pitt has around twice as many as Phillie does.

    There's just about nothing in the way of repeaters at 10 meters and above. There's one repeater for 23cm, twelve for 2 meters, thirteen for 70cm, and three for 33cm.
    There's also one 6 meter repeater at Homestead, about 5 miles from "Dahntahn" Pittsburgh.
    In addition to the other 2 meter repeaters, there's one at Allison Park, about 7 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.
    If I were to get the FT-817ND, I could use 70cm, 2 meters, and 6 meters, so I wouldn't have to worry about 23 and 33cm.
    So it seems the 817ND would be a good choice, in terms of frequencies.
    Now I just need to find out how active the 70cm, 2 meter, and 6 meter frequencies are.
    Now, is the 817 a handheld or a mobile? It looks pretty small, and it has 5 watts, whereas most mobile transceivers have 50 watts.
     
  4. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 817(nd) is not a mobile or a hand held it is a portable. Larger than a hand held yet smaller than most mobiles and has the advantage of HF. If you wanted a mobile or even a base with 100w then you could go with the 857(d) for just a little bit more money.

    As for the 817nd it is the upgraded version of the 817. You will find that people will use just the model number rather than the model number and the special characteristic because they are accustomed to people knowing what they are talking about.

    GL OM
     
  5. W2NAP

    W2NAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    i would just spend the x-tra $ and grab the 857.
     
  6. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As would I unless I wanted it for portable/QRP only.
     
  7. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's a flaw with that.

    From what I've seen on Hamcity, the 857 is $680, and I don't think I can afford that, a $90 power supply, and a $35 antenna.

    So unless there's a cheaper version of it (I'm looking at the FT-857+YSK-587), I'm gonna have to go with the 817.

    It's $560, and I can afford that and everything else I'll need.
    It also covers (I think) every commonly used frequency in my area.
     
  8. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could always go the used route but if you are anything like me you will not.
    ...but you gotta do what you gotta do. The 817 will do you just fine for what you want it for.
     
  9. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Then that's what I'll get.
    In the meantime, do I need a power supply for a portable? In the 817's description, it said that it came with a battery recharger, a battery pack for eight AAs, and a normal battery pack.
     
  10. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It will run off of the batteries for a set amount of time(Im not sure how long), at 2.5w but with a power supply it will run at 5w. So no you dont necessarily need a power supply but if you are going to use the 817 at home then it may be a wise investment. It cant take more than a couple of amps so a rather small power supply or an external battery would give you the extra 2.5w out at a relatively cheap price. The best part is that you can run with what you get first and then get the power supply at a later time if you deem necessary.
     
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