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'Nother Newbie

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

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  1. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Nice meeting you at the WASH meeting tonight. To be perfectly honest, until I read this thread, I didn't realize you were 13; you came across as a little older (I'd've guessed 15).

    ... but I'm keeping you away from my daughter (she's 12)... :D

    As you've probably realized from reading these posts, opinions on brands and modes run the gamut. There are as many hams who swear at ICOM (or Yaesu or Kenwood) as who swear for them.

    The best thing to do is see if you can borrow an HT and try it out before spending the money. Personally, I've tried the Yaesu VX series HT's, and while they're very nice rigs, they don't suit me (I don't care for the menu setup and some other things).

    Regarding 2 meters:

    From the vicinity of your QTH, you may not need a 5 watt HT to hit the 146.955 Mt. Lebanon repeater reliably; it's not that far away (less than 5 miles line of sight). The 147.090 North Hills ARC repeater (antenna located high on Channel 11's tower) is pretty wide coverage, thanks to it's location. OTOH, you might need the power to hit Steel City's machine in Collier Twp on 147.030, and the Oakland machine on 146.88. You should also look into the Gateway FMA machine on 146.73 and the GPVHFS machine on 146.61. Offhand, I don't know how well you'd do into the repeaters down in and near Washington, Uniontown, and points in between (since I now take the T into work, I don't spend as much time on 2 meters as I used to!)

    I'm not the best person to advise you on the 440 side, although N3FB's machine in Scenery Hill on 443.650, with it's multiple receiver sites, shouldn't be much of a problem. 442.55 is the "other" Mt. Lebanon repeater (they're co-located), that should be a piece of cake.

    Now: I have an ICOM IC-W32A dual band 5W HT that I don't use heavily at present. If you'd like, you're welcome to borrow it for a few days to see (a) what machines you can hit, and (b) if you like this particular style of radio. I'm sure that some of the other guys in the club, especially among the Yaesu crowd, would be open to a similar arrangement. Give it some thought, and we can talk about it at the test session next week.

    Again, great meeting you, welcome to the hobby, and give Mrs. Palozzolo my best.

    73, ron w3wn
  2. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey, Ron. Glad to see that you're around here.

    As for borrowing a radio, I'm already going to order the 817ND today. It's more of a "I can't wait any more" kinda thing than a "I don't need no help from anyone" thing. I have been waiting and saving my money for a few months, after all.
    According to KB3LAZ, a smaller power supply will run it just fine. So I'm thinking of the Astron RS-12S. At $75, it seems good enough for my needs at present. As for the antenna, would a magnetic mobile antenna still work? Or do I even need one?

    On a side note, I think I just got my first call from a telemarketer. Weird, considering it was about medication, and I got the call on my cell phone.

    But yeah, I'll hit the books (Or internet, rather) and study up for the exams next week. When are the exams, anyway?

    And yeah, I'm 13. I don't think I look 15 yet. I mean, I've got the zits, but I don't quite feel tall enough...
  3. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, power supplies are getting expensive. $75 for a 12amp PS is crazy. Yes the RS-12s will do you fine but for the extra $20 I would still get the RS-20! That way if you get a rig that requires a larger draw down the read you will not have to buy a new PS. I wish I still had my 10a I would send it to you but sadly I sold it at a hamfest for $15.
  4. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I guess Lady Luck was on my side today.

    Turns out I had to order the RS-20S anyway, because the 12S was on back order. Lucky me.

    I should be getting my gear either this Monday or Tuesday. I would've done next-day shipping, but the weather here in The Pitt is getting exceedingly snowy today and tomorrow, so it probably wouldn't get here on time anyway.

    Oh, and Ron, if you're reading this, I might not make next week's exams. I took a practice exam on and scored 6/35. Maybe next month or something. Are there any classes coming up?
  5. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I am glad to hear that you are going to get your equipment soon. I really hope you enjoy amateur radio as much as I do.

    We are getting a lot of snow here as well.

    I see That you are studying for your upgrade, good luck.

    Hope to hear you on the air.
  6. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The RS-20 is a good unit; I've had one for quite a long time, along with a -12 and a -35 I picked up at the Butler hamfest last summer. You won't go wrong with an Astron.

    As far as the exams go, I understand completely. But come down and take it anyway. What have you got to lose? (OK, $15 for the VE fee) If nothing else, you have a look at a real exam in a real testing environment. I've known people (W3TSP for one) who could ace the tests in class, but froze up during the real thing the first few times; you might be the exact opposite.

    I haven't heard about any classes. WASH has sponsored them in the past, but we haven't had much of a demand the last few times we tried. Tell you what, though, we can arrange something. [Don't suppose you know anyone else in school who'd be interested?]

    The -817 is a nice rig. You may find that having an HT, even if it's just a 2 meter only one, is handy. Food for thought. Alinco has some nice single band units that retail (new) for under $100 (+ tax & s/h) -- see R&L,, Gigaparts for details. One step at a time.

    BTW, I'm about to send you the January club newsletter separately. You'll also get two notices from yahoogroups; one when I add you to the newsletter mailing list, one for the club reflector.

  7. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll try the exams. But it was more of a "Wait, what does that mean?" kind of thing than an "Oh crap, I forgot the answers!" thing. Of course, I'm still gonna study.

    About the 817 being good, I've heard lots of good things. Some people actually use it as a base when they're out at the beach and such. And they get good performance.

    And yeah, I'll probably get an HT soon. If I don't actually get one by the Hamfest, I'll just get one there, in addition to that amp for the 817.

    But I think I may be the only one interested in ham radio in the whole school (Besides Mrs. P of course). I've talked with Mrs. P about getting posters up (Recently, the school bought a poster machine instead of something slightly more useful), but we haven't gotten around to it yet. I could always ask around. I know of at least one guy who might be interested. I'll ask him come Monday.

    And if it's just me who's interested, you don't have to arrange anything. I still have my friend and teacher, the internet. (And a few other contacts. I've actually got two guys in my 'clan' from a video game that know a thing or two about ham radio.)

    73 (Even though I don't quite know what that means. I know it's CW for something. Although that's kinda obvious.)
  8. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    73= best wishes.
  9. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks again.
  10. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your welcome.
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