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YAN (yet another noob)

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KC2UYZ, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been studying for the Tech class and can pass the online preps 100% of the time. The General is still a work in progress, but I'll have my Tech license soon. Question now is what radio? My eye likes the IC-746/756 flavors and I've been told the Pro has DSP which is a well liked feature. So, while I could spend a lot less, I'm not the type to buy a budget anything when it comes to electronics. I'd rather have the features and grow into the radio. Aside from the models I listed, assuming they're a good choice, what do you folks like in the $600-$1200 new or used range? I'd like to be able to take the rig camping for some fun with the kids as well, so I assume I should stay with a radio that uses a external power supply?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. KA2P

    KA2P Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 746 series would be a good choice until you figure out exactly what segment of the hobby you find most interesting.
     
  3. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I don't really understand what you mean by "segment", could you explain a little?

    Thanks very much
     
  4. VK7GZ

    VK7GZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-897D might be worth looking at too, if you want to operate portable from a campsite. It has space internally for batteries that allow 20W max.
     
  5. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, I'll take a look at that one. What do you lose when going with a more portable unit like the 897 over something like the 746?

    We usually have electric at the site, but I can think of a few sites where we'd take the truck up on a hill and try from there. My truck has 2 huge batteries in it so I guess we could run it from there?

    Thanks
     
  6. VK7GZ

    VK7GZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Hard for me to say as I have never touched a 746. But the 897D is a great little radio - compact and lightweight. It runs 100W on HF and 6M, 50 on 2M and 25 on 70CM. But, I think the 746 will run 100W on all bands (someone pls correct me if I am wrong).

    746 looks pretty flash too ;)

    For me, if operating portable was going to make up part of my overall radio use, I'd be inclined to go with the smaller, lighter rig. That's just my preference though :)
     
  7. KA2P

    KA2P Ham Member QRZ Page


    Sure. Many hams seem to find a mode (Phone, CW, digital) they prefer the most. Additionally, some find a preferred style (fixed station, mobile, portable) they really enjoy. Or maybe it's contesting, QRP, or being a V/UHF rover.

    It has been found (at least subjectively) that certain radios are more suited to one activity than the other. You can read the reviews on eham or in QST. They will usually discuss how each radio performs on phone, CW, in a contest, etc.

    Just remember that propagation, antenna, and operator skill will always be far ahead of whatever radio you choose.
     
  8. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK..I think for the immediate future, I'll use phone mode (although the challenge of CW is of interest to me). By digital, can you explain what you mean there or link me to a description of how it applies to amateur radio?

    Thanks for the information. Problem is...I don't know what I don't know!
     
  9. KA2P

    KA2P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Digital meaning the carrier is modulated/demodulated with a software algorithm rather than your voice or, as in CW, turning the carrier on and off with a key/keyer to make characters. The most popular digital modes today are probably RTTY and PSK31. Google/youtube will return all kinds of information on how to run those modes. Using them is very much like internet chat. CW is well, CW. Simple, efficient, and highly effective.

    If you want to run phone (i.e., SSB), almost anything built in the last 20 years will work just fine. I'd stick with solid-state (i.e., no tubes) for your first rig. You'll want to operate on 75, 40, and 20 meters. Of course, to operate in the most popular HF band segments, you'll need to upgrade your license to General. To be honest, 2 meter FM is pretty boring and you'll quickly outgrow it. In most places, there isn't much activity and the QSOs tend to be between people who know each other already.

    I suggest picking up the ARRL Operating Manual at the library or purchase your own copy online. While most radios built today are very easy to set up, operate and almost impossible to blow up, things will be easier if you do a bit of reading. You can also read more about the myriad activities you can become involved with as a ham.


    What kind of antenna are you thinking about?
     
  10. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great information...starting to fill in the blanks...a little!

    What I want to avoid is buying a radio that will restrict me later on....same thing for an antenna...if possible.

    Antennas....I'm out in the woods, at about 1200' ASL on a hilltop in NY so there are no restrictions on what I can do. It seems the easiest/cheapest way to go (from what I've read) may be a long wire? I have lots of tall trees on the edge of my property and could manage about any length of wire needed, but I'm open to suggestions. I've looked at Arrow, Buddipole and several other more portable setups as well. I have a chimney on the house that used to have a scanner antenna on a pole clamped to it and I'd have no problem doing something like that again if it made sense. I'd prefer to have one antenna that can do it all (if such a thing exists, I assume it doesn't) or maybe a long wire and then something on the house? I'm still learning the basics, so suggestions are welcome!
     
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