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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. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You've yet to learn what "scary" vintage means. :D
  2. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ya, I've seen some rigs online that are 50-60 years old and still running!
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As an HF only rig, I'm not sure how I would rate a 746 PRO vs. an FT-1000.
    I'm not a big Yaesu fan when it comes to their top end rigs, but that one is usually considered a great rig. I own a 746, non-PRO, and I really like it, but my IC-7000 can hear things it can't. The PRO should be better than the 7000 on paper. But I still like the old 746.

    One thing I think you should consider, though, is that the 746 PRO does have 2 meter capability - 100 watts, in fact. And from your location, I would expect that with a decent yagi, you should be able to work people on 2 meters from Michigan to the Carolinas under fairly normal conditions, assuming that they're on the air. The 756 ProIII has a better receiver than the 746, and it covers 6 meters, but not 2.

    IF DSP can make a real difference in the comfort level in operating a radio. DSP noise reduction does work quite well, and can make it more enjoyable to listen to a radio.

    I'd suggest you also look at some other gear in your price range. The Ten Tec Omni VII and Ten Tec Orion are American made, and the company that makes them has legendary service.

    If you are 'tech-oriented' you might even consider the FLex 5000 - a fully software defined radio. I don't think anything else out there has the features, with more being added all the time.

    A new radio has one big advantage - a warranty. The next best thing is a used one from a major dealer. I just got Ten Tec's used list and there were Omnis and Orions on it.
  4. KA2P

    KA2P Ham Member QRZ Page

    DSP is a nice feature and most of newer radios will have it. The 746 has Pass Band Tuning which I found effective and intuitive. The Yaesu's have a slightly different system but it works well and isn't hard to figure out. DSP filtering is really just an improved software version of crystal filtering used many moons ago. It helps when band conditions are crowded or noise levels need to be knocked down. Youtube can help you find examples of what the difference sounds like on a real QSO. In certain conditions, it makes a huge difference.

    Ham radio isn't like buying a PC where your processor is too slow after one year. CW and SSB, the two most popular modes on HF are very old and any radio built in the last 50 years could be used (and was used) to communicate all over the world. Most of the antennas used today are no different than what was used in WWII--some designs are as old as radio itself.

    Yes, I believe the Elecraft K3 will do what you describe.

    I saw you asked about which bands to use. Right now on HF the higher bands (17, 15, 12, 10 meters) are only usable for short periods during the day. Many days may go by before you hear another QSO on these bands because the solar flux is so low. However, 80, 40, 30, and 20 are open reliably every day and you'll easily make contacts. 20 and 30 are open during the daylight hours shutting down around sunset, 40 is open locally during the day and internationally at night with strong peaks to the west and east during sunrise/sunset. 80 is open for local and DX contacts during the evening and early morning hours.

    440, 2 meters, and 6 meters are VHF bands and normally propagate locally (line of sight). With the exception of ducting modes or Echolink, you won't hear any DX. Most people use these bands for repeaters, some of which are linked over wide areas like an interstate radio highway of sorts.
  5. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought I saw an Icom video on Youtube that showed text being displayed on the radio as if it were decoding Morse on the fly? I'll see if I can find the video.
  6. KA2P

    KA2P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably the ic-7700/7800 doing RTTY or PSK31 decode. There are several computer programs that will decode/generate CW and will interface with some of the newer radios.

    That being said, I found working CW contests a great way to build your speed. Just find a loud station and you'll hear his call a dozen times in a minute so there's little chance you'll mess it up. If you listen to a few exchanges, you can get everything you need to know about the exchange (or just look it up online if you are unsure). Send your call, he'll repeat back your call, add the exchange info (which you already know except maybe a qso number-hint it'll be +1 over the previous station XD). Then you send the info back with a "TU" or "73" and that's it. Most ops will slow down to the speed you sent your call. Almost fail-proof QSO, and an easy way to build speed. Again Youtube "cw contests" and you'll come up with all kinds of stuff.
  7. KC2UYZ

    KC2UYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. I watched some of Randy's (K7AGE) videos on Youtube and found the one where he explained how to use Digipan and PSK31. Pretty neat stuff and that looks like what it may have been.
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some pretty good CW programs, too. CWGet is the one I've used that I like best. It does a really good job of copying machine-sent code. Hand sent code is usually a different matter, but I have copied some people that way, fairly well.

    I haven't seen many yet, but I know some Techs are trying to use these programs to have CW QSO's. As long as you keep it to a reasonable speed, like 18-20 WPM most good CW people should be able to read you, and as long as they are using a keyboard to do their sending, you should be able to copy them reasonably well.
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