Your OP on Handies

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KC0WVM, May 22, 2006.

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  1. KC2PFV

    KC2PFV Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you get a HT, look into IRLP. It's really awesome. Just find a local IRLP node and if the HT has DTMF capability, all you need to do is press the node number and you can connect to any repeater in the world and talk with your HT like you would to the local repeaters. It is a nice twist and it's hard to get bored when you are talking to everywhere around the world and not Joe the plumber who has a ham ticket in the next town over.

    -KC2PFV
     
  2. KE5FRF

    KE5FRF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with Jim, Glen, and the rest.

    I'm a new Extra, but not too long ago, (about 8 months) I was a technician with ONE HT, just as you propose. I haven't seen your age, but lests just say I am married with a kid, a mortgage, two cars, and a more than adequate household income. But I just don't have money lying around for radios and stuff, and I especially didn't want to spend a heap of money on something that I wasn't TOTALLY sure people still used any more (believe me, I had doubts that there were still people really into it)

    So, I got a cheap used HT from a local (an HTX-202)...Real great guy, btw. Well, all I had was the rubber duckie, and from my house in the "burbs" I was lucky to hold three local repeaters solid on a fresh battery.

    BTW, my wife wasn't head over heels for me spending ANY money on ham gear.

    My point in telling you all of this is that as frustrating as the first two or three months was for me, I improvised. I made my own j-pole, and stuck it on a push-pole outside. Well, that nearly doubled my range, and I was holding three or for more repeaters solid. I took an old CB mobile antenna and modified it for two meters by cutting out the loading coil and cutting the whip to 1/4 wave. So, I could take the HT mobile and get into repeaters mobile. I ADAPTED to the circumstances, and provided myself with opportunites to learn and tinker while I was at it.

    Well, soon enough, I managed to get a dualband rig for the car, another HT, this time a dualband, and a 2 meter rig for the house. I put the j-pole in the attic, and I started playing with EchoLink, and got a soundcard interface to set up my own link. Again, I wasn't satisfied with sitting on my duff BSing on the repeaters in town (though I've met many a great ham here locally doing just that)...I was playing around and experimenting within the narrow limitations that I had.

    So, whatever you do, and whatever you purchase, make THE MOST out of what you've got, and always keep in mind that with a little more effort, a little more study, and truthfully, very little money, you can keep building on what you've got and put together a pretty nice shack. Keep the eye on the ball and don't stop at Technician. Go ahaead and work on the Tech Plus, get the code out of the way. Consider CW...it's a whole lot of fun.

    Remember, I'm advising you from the point of view of someone who was in your same position not to long ago. Here I am today organizing QSL cards to respond to, got an album with three or four dozen already. Making DX contacts all up and down the bands, building antennas, and having a blast. Ham radio is what YOU make of it.
     
  3. N5GFX

    N5GFX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first radio when I got my ticket in January was an Icom T7H dual band HT. I then picked up an ADI 2 meter mobile that I started using as a base radio and quit using the Icom. Much happier for day to day use.

    Sold the Icom and picked up the VX-7R I should have got to begin with. As much as I love the VX-7r I still prefer to use my ADI 2 meter mobile unit at home.

    It just got to be a pain having power cable, speaker mic and antenna cable all growing out of the HT when I was at home.

    So if I had it to do over again, I would not have gotten an HT as my first radio.
     
  4. N1MLF

    N1MLF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started out with an HT and like others immediately wanted more. So I would have to side with the thought of "pay once..cry once" and get a good rig.
    Even though we have a wonderful statewide linked repeater system here in Maine I was still stuck with VHF/UHF.
    So I scraped, saved, begged & pleaded till I had the cash for a decent all band / all mode rig.
    Took my general & cw and can work a good part of the world.
    Voice is a small part of the picture.. theres a dozen digital modes, Slow Scan Television, and of course the fun of Morse code.
    Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck, many hours of enjoyment & best 73.
    Congrats on the license. Maybe we'll have a chat someday.

    JW
     
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