Scheduled test, Wanted to buy radio and wanted advice.

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KO4PRX, Mar 27, 2021.

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  1. KO4PRX

    KO4PRX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Test scheduled for April 15th. While I own a BF HT I waned something compliant and useful. I'm sure that my ignorance outweighs my knowledge and may be operating from many misconceptions. It appears to me that if I only manage to pass the Technicians test that my use of HF will be very limited CW Data and sideband, is the sideband voice communications? Are the allotted frequencies those that are badly affected by current conditions? Will HF be a worthwhile path for a new ham?

    If I went this way I was thinking FT891, MFJ945e tuner, Alinco DM30 PSU and I'm not sure of an antenna but I'm trying to stay below $1400

    I did see a nice multiband base unit but I cannot respond because I'm new around here, I don't have a callsign and consequently cannot get the sellers Email. Likely an unintentional shortcoming of a well intentioned policy change.
    Another option could be the IC7100 (some say its compromised, I cant say, some love it) , Alinco DM30 PSU, and it appears that I would need separate tuners for Vhf and Uhf not to mention Hf if I ever waded into those waters.

    If this was the wrong area please move it to the appropriate section, nothing seemed quite right. Please don't tell me to talk it over with my local club. They don't actually MEET in person any longer. They don't give tests either. I'm going to travel nearly 3 hours to SIT for the exam on the 15th with a different club. When the local clubs actually hold meetings I'll take a gander. Until then there are thousands of experienced hams out there. Please share your well tempered experience and wisdom. Thanks ahead of time.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  2. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    you wont need tuners for u/v but its good to have for hf if/when needed.
    you can check radio stores for used gear, just search ham stores.
    hf and all frequencies are a worthwhile path for a new ham 1 used your words !
    read new posts on ham forums. even if its not your topic you will learn.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  3. KO4PRX

    KO4PRX Ham Member QRZ Page

    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. KO4PRX

    KO4PRX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the input. I really never thought to actually check stores. The Coof restrictions has us all conditioned to look online for everything. and so many places have shuttered their doors permanently. I'll take a look!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Please don't forget once you get your call sign, to post in "Community Help Center" and request your account name be changed to your call sign... ;)

    KO4ESA, KJ7ZEI and N2EY like this.
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, you are correct. If you only pass the Tech test, your HF privileges will be limited. You will "CW Only" privileges on 80, 40, and 15 Meters and CW, RTTY, Data, and SSB Phone privileges on 10 Meters. Your study manual should detail your privileges and you can get a nice Colored Band Plan Chart from the ARRL. Note that Techs also have a 200 Watt limitation. So don't spill for that KW amp just yet.

    Yes, sideband (SSB Phone) is voice communications. Technician class licensees have these privileges on 10 Meters (28.3 to 28.5 MHz).

    Yes, the allotted frequencies are affected by current atmospheric conditions. In fact, all amateur allocations are affected by current atmospheric conditions. For example, 10 Meters is a good day light band. Good propagation can be had at various times of day. At night, 10 Meters is pretty useless. On the other hand, 40 Meters is limited during the day but at night, signals from all over the world will come through.

    However, you should not limit yourself to the Tech license. When you take your test, if you pass the Technician exam you can the take the General exam right away. And, if you pass the General, you can try for the Extra. Many wood be hams have walked in with nothing and walked out an Extra. There should be sufficient time to study before the test.

    To help build your confidence, you might want to try the sample tests available on QRZ. The sample tests use actual questions from each of the license class question pools. This will give you and idea of what to expect.

    As far as equipment, listen to the other responses. I don't own a piece of equipment that is newer than 30 or 40 years old.
    KO4ESA and WG7X like this.
  7. KO4PRX

    KO4PRX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, certainly!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  8. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I doubt it qualifies as well tempered, but...…….. One of the best expenditures you might make immediately would be to buy a used HF receiver, even if its thirty years old and functional. Then connect it to a long-wire or dipole antenna and listen...... a lot! Listen to several bands and at several times per day. Knowing what you will hear on HF can make all the difference to a newbie. No bones about it, this is a tough time to enter HF hamming, because of solar conditions. You will need an abundance of patience and be willing to work. On HF, a good antenna is key. I've used the gamut, from very poor homebrew ants to very good homebrew ants, to excellent commercial products quite high in the air. The average newcomer cannot imagine how vast is the enjoyment and success gained with a good antenna versus one bought as a "station accessory" or afterthought.

    Welcome to the hobby! It has been extremely good for me.
    KO4ESA and WG7X like this.

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