Soon to be licensed - Radio Question

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by NG7E, Sep 10, 2009.

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  1. NG7E

    NG7E XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    so... becoming a HAM operator has been something that i've wanted to do for over 20years now and hopefully tomorrow, i'll pass my test and get licensed.

    I come from the CB world, and yeah, things sounds the same, but very different here in HAM land.

    In the CB world, radios were easy to find, but here, there are lots of options based on licensing and direction of meter preference. My question is, should i be looking at starting off with a HT unit or go with a mobile unit? Both a UHF and VHF units for base are on the horizon, but, my biggest challenge is HT or mobile.

    Another question is, what is a good starting radio for HT, mobile, Base?

    I hope to someday have a good collection of radios, but for now, i'm staying focused on what will bring the most satisfaction, what ever that might be.

  2. KB1JFQ

    KB1JFQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Soon2belicensed,

    good luck with your exam! I started with just a simple 2m HT when I got my license, and picked up a few mobles later down the road, my self I'm a YAESU fan, have been for a long time now. I would suggest picking up something like the Yaesu VX-150 a great little HT that will get you on a lot of local repeaters right off the bat, then once your comfortable with making contacts and your ready step up to something like Yaesu ft-7800r the you get a great dual bander (2m & 440) with a wide receive that you can double as a scanner if you want. 73 Chuck KB1JFQ
  3. NG7E

    NG7E XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    Thanks for the info. I've currently visited with 2 local HAM operators and one has a Yaesu FT-2000 and the other has multiple Yaesu. The second person recommended the Icom 706MK2G, which is what i'm leaning towards, as i can't afford the FT-2000.

    But, thanks for the info and i'll do some research on the radios you mentioned.
  4. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good luck with the ham test.

    And with all due respect, I point out that the term is just "ham". It's not in all capital letters; it's not an acronym. Some will point out that it's really "amateur radio" - which is what your license will call it - but I'm a ham, and my hobby is ham radio.

    Radios? I have an older ICOM 738 that does everything I need it to do, and an Alinco dual bander. It all works.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  5. NG7E

    NG7E XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Chuck... i love to learn. ham it is.

    I'll welcome soon becoming an amateur radio operator. I'll look at them radios shortly.
  6. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good luck on your test Soon!

    Where you live should dictate whether you but an HT or a mobile rig. I live in a rural area and we had some wise and all knowing ham advise the new guys to start with an HT. Now all the new guys are unhappy because they can work exactly 2 repeaters if they bought a dual bander.

    If you are in the city, and you have lots of repeaters in the area, an HT may work well for you. If not, you'll appreciate the extra power you'll get with a mobile rig.

    Also, regardless of where you live, there will be some (allot around here) simplex stations for you to work. Unless they are very close, a HT won't work well for that either. Unless you can put up a very good antenna 5W isn't going to work well for you.

    I am not anti HT (I own 2), I find find them pretty useless first radios.

    A frustrated new ham is not a ham for long.

    Start thinking about your antenna system now as well. That is the most important part of your ham radio station.
  7. NG7E

    NG7E XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    kc0rey, thanks for the info. I have been looking alot at various radios, ht's, mobiles. Still undecided, but with money in hand, all that goes away.

    I agree with the antenna, know about them, from the CB side, but not too much from the Amateur side. I'm also looking at options there. Since i'm renting, I have to be careful with what i get. I also have powerlines about 60-70 feet away from the location i want to put a tower at.

    I've been looking for towers and had the opportunity to get a 40' this past weekend when i was in arizona, but the person selling it didn't respond to my email in time. Now, i'm back in california and a trip to get that antenna would be quite expensive in my truck. My wife suggested i hold out for something local, and her advice paid off as i found an 80 crank up for $150.

    At least this way, i can raise the tower only what i need and when the time permits that i move to my own house i can crank up that tower to full height.
  8. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I rent also....what a pain that is.
    My landlady didn't know what an antenna was (she's in her 20's and always had cable I guess), but after I explained it to her she allowed antenna as long as they did not connect to the house and weren't massive.

    I've been here almost 2 years now and I finally have permission to put a 40 foot push-up pole for my VHF/UHF antennas and I can attach it to the house. WOO-HOO!

    No towers here though...not yet anyway. :D

    BTW, funny story. When I paid the rent the other day, the land lady asked me what my fire evacuation plan was. I told her get Mellisa and the boys out of the house and then save the radios.....My wife (Mellisa kc9nse) got'd think I said get the radios first and then her.

    OH YEAH (and the reason for the edit) Nice score on that crank up!
  9. NG7E

    NG7E XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    too funny!!! love the story.

    I'm trying to get my wife into this, told her it looks easy, only 35 questions. But, she's not budging.
  10. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, It is easy enough, but don't push her too hard. You'll only alienate her or worse yet........Not be able to get near the radio when 10 meters opens up.
    There is a fix for that as well.......when 10M is open and she hollers, "Are you working 10?" I just tell her, "No honey, it is that net I like to check in too on 40"

    I look forward to working you one day.
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