'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

    Just got my gear today. Apparently, the 817ND's antenna is a BNC, and it points in the same direction as the screen and buttons.

    As I type, it's charging its battery pack, with about another 7 hours to go, unless I get some AA batteries.

    Which brings me to my next question: If I have a power supply, do I need the battery pack to be charged to use the radio?
  2. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The simple answer is no.

    You need to hook the dc cord up to the power supply, much like a battery terminal in a car. Positive on positive an negative on negative.

    This should help.


    Also there is a SO-239 on the back of the radio for the connection of an external antenna. Which will add quite a bit more gain than the supplied rubber duck ant.
  3. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alright. I've got my RS-20S hooked up, but I've got the battery pack in the transceiver anyway.

    Now where in the name of Odin is everyone? I'm on the frequency of the repeater I want to use, yet I hear nothing. Is there just no one there, or is there something else I have to do.

    I'm on 146.995 USB by the way. Should I be on LSB?
  4. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its 2m man, you would have more luck on FM. Try the local repeater, or if you insist on SSB scan up and down the band. Listen for a while, if you hear nothing try calling CQ. Heck try 6m or even 10m (with in your license class of course). If you have the space the next thing you need to invest in are outside antennas for 2m/70cm, 6m, and 10m. If money is an issue any of these can be made with pvc pipe and some wire.

    Lets set a check list, you radio is obviously powered on, your antenna is installed, and your mic is connected so you should be good to go. Remember 2m is not a very active band (especially at this time of night,in my area at least). Also remember you are running qrp(5w or less) with a less than adequate antenna so it may just be that you are not hearing them and vice versa.

    On a side note, Im not sure that it is a good idea to use the power supply while the battery is installed. You may want to consult with someone else on that one. It should tell you about it in the book.
  5. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alright, FM. I wasn't aware that I should be using that.

    As for an outside antenna, there're lots of trees all over my backyard. I'm not sure where I could put it without using lots of coax. Even from my roof, there's a gigantic tree in the front yard. Pennsylvania has too many hills and trees.
  6. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can use SSB but I have never had much luck, just my preference to use FM simplex or repeaters. Personally I dont care for VHF/UHF at all. Nothing wrong with 2m SSB at all however if you want to use it you may have a better chance of striking up a QSO if you ask for one via the SKED board.

    Yes PA has a lot of hills.:p
  7. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sometimes I wish I lived in the Central U.S.

    But then I remember that they don't have the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  8. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be advised that the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes is this weekend, so, using USB on 6 m, 2 m, 70 cm, etc. will be encouraged! :) Listen between about 144.150 and 144.275 MHz for USB.

    (At most other times, yeah, FM would be a better choice for finding a QSO on 2 m.)

  9. KB3SAV

    KB3SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I made a step.
    I heard a few guys from Wash chatting on the repeater I'm using for 2m, but I was too shy to join in.

    I need to man up.

    Can I take classes for that?

    And how do I properly join a conversation in progress?

    Thanks for the info, WU8Y. I'll be sure to keep that in mind (And in my 817ND's memory).
  10. KI2Y

    KI2Y Guest

    Just key up, give your call, and introduce yourself! Mention that it's your first QSO. Ask questions! If there is a roundtable, just say that you are new, mic shy, or that you don't know what to say, or that you have nothing to add.

    You'll get the hang of it!
    We've all been there, just have fun!
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