The easy part is over.

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by N4QFY, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome to amateur radio...
    Now get out there and enjoy it :)
  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats on passing the Tech test.

    As others have already said, your existing call is not to bad for working SSB. What you need is one of those nifty Call Sign Plaques that they sell in one of the other forums. In the end you will get very use to it. However, should you decide to learn Morse Code, it is a little bit of a handful.

    You might take a good look at the 1x3 calls. There is a lot of them and many seem to work pretty nicely. When I went for a vanity call sign (1999), I already had my Extra and had access to lots of 1x2 and 2x1 calls. The siphoning of good call signs hadn't started yet. But I thought this one, with my initials, worked best for SSB and CW. I don't need a sign to remember it, because Arizona supplied me with two plates and only one is required on a vehicle. The other one is in my shack.

    Vanity Plate.jpg

    As far as your Grandfathers gear, using his equipment would be great, but you have no idea what shape it might be in. Unless your already skilled at keeping boat anchors alive, you might consider selling. (Not to me. It doesn't matter what you have, I don't want/need anything more than I already have.) But if your Grandfather did buy some nice equipment, there are lots of people that would be very interested in it, dead or alive, and willing to pay. You could use the funds to finance a really nice rig that will get you going and require less maintenance.
  3. NY2EB

    NY2EB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haven't noticed anyone else say this, nor did i notice you reference for or against - but have you considered a simple dual-band handheld? There are some VERY cheap HT's that you can find on amazon that will allow you to get your feet wet with radio programming (if you dot know what this is don't worry, but you WILL come across programming a radio to use repeaters), talking simplex or using repeaters (including irlp to other countries/continents!) and generally learning how to use the amateur bands for VERY little cash. If you move on, you can always leave one of these in your car as an emergency spare.
  4. KK6DCT

    KK6DCT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Baofeng 2m/440 HTs can be picked up new with several accessories for 50 bucks. Thats's pretty cheap to get started. I just passed my tech and general and have been toying with the idea of picking up one of these. I'm more interested in jumping straight in to some HF though, otherwise I would have one by now.
  5. K0SPN

    K0SPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can get any vanity call sign which matches (or is lower than) your current license class / call group.
    N4QFY is a group C call, which are for Tech, Tech Plus, and General licensees, so it would be perfectly legal for you to have that call sign, all you have to do is apply and pay the fee.
  6. KG7DBZ

    KG7DBZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would +1 a modern HT to start. Especially if you have other equipment that to fiddle with. The HT is a station in a box, power supply transceiver and antenna. Very easy to use. The Baofong's are good deals and do well, a friend of mine has one, but make sure you get the programming cable and don't treat it like a doorstop. An HT will get you on the air very quickly while you play around with your grandfather's equipment and learn what you have.
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    He's in pretty mountainous terrain, so it's hard to guess what kind of repeater coverage there is there. The K5EHX website shows a lot of them, on all bands from 6 meters through 900 MHz.. But, if he's at the bottom of a canyon between some of those peaks, he isn't going to hear a lot with an HT. I remember driving through that area, and there were repeaters in North Carolina and Tennessee, but you'd be in and out of them as you wandered through the mountains.
  8. N4QFY

    N4QFY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been without internet for awhile so I don't know how long its been since I looked to see any replies.

    At this time I've had a Baofeng uv-5r for a few months and at my home with an exterior antenna (a twinlead j-pole mounted on the house in PVC.) I can reach 2 of the local repeaters. As soon as I come down into town I can reach several more on the stock ducky. If I use the simple 1/4 wave mag-mounted whip I made from an old cb antenna I can reach The big daddy of our local repeaters. Its on top of Mt. Mitchell and has unbelievable range.

    So far I have been unable to make any contacts on the 70cm band but repeaterbook has the closest repeaters to me marked wrong. Just today I got the local frequency lists from a local club's webpage. I'll update again in a few days after I reprogram the correct frequencies.

    The Baofeng was very easy to program manually from the keypad. I haven't had a problem with it at all. It seems very straight forward. I did receive an alnico ht from my uncle, I still haven't figured out how to program it. I guess since I started with the hard impossible one that the "normal" radio seems impossible to me.

    I'm working on a tape measure beam to try satellites. There is a local ham N4JRC who has been very kind and helpful. He has loaned me a SWR meter to tune my homebrew antennas. So far the 1/4 wave whip seems to work better then the twinlead j-pole. I used RG-174/U for the whip and RG-8X for the j-pole. Its what I had.
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