[QUOTE=N0BOX;2257724]For those who want to jump on him for not 'knowing the band plan by heart':
No one teaches anyone anything these days. I only knew one ham operator when I got my tech license 12(?) years ago, and I didn't like him. I worked with him at RadioShack. I had the benefit of being able to read the study guides in the store on slow summer days, but RadioShack no longer carries the study guides. So, where do new ham wannabes turn? The Internet, where the only study guides are the cram guides. Now he is looking for the info he *should* have had to begin with, and him being here asking questions is an opportunity for us to build a well-informed, considerate operator. If we are supportive and give him good information, then we won't have to worry about him becoming one of those people so many people here like to complain about.
It's easy to get a cheap 2m/70cm handheld radio and chat a bit on the local repeaters, but it gets really boring really quick. That's what I did when I got my tech license. I gabbed a bit, participated in maybe 2 weekly nets, and my HT turned into a really expensive police scanner for 10 years. I just got back into the hobby, grabbed my general license, and have been spending my time listening where I can and planning on how to get a decent antenna up so I can talk to those people I hear out there. HF frequencies give you the opportunity to talk to people around the world, which is nice if you find that the people on your local repeater don't make particularly good company.
Having a radio that will do Single SideBand (SSB) on the frequencies that you have access to as a technician will give you a huge head start on what you'll need to know as a general class licenseholder and above. This would also give you access to far more satellites if you decide you want to try your hand at that. Unfortunately, most radios that will do SSB are going to have a lot more features, and that drives up the price. You can probably find a relatively reasonably priced Yaesu FT-857D or Icom IC-706(mkII/mkIIG), which will give you all-mode access to 10m, 2m, and 70cm, which you have privileges on (and also gives you access to the full HF range, which you'll be interested in if you upgrade your license later... you'll be able to listen to those frequencies to get a taste of what upgrading could bring you).
So, start out with this band permissions chart provided by the ARRL. It will lay out what frequencies are available to what licenses, and what modes are allowed on those frequencies: Color Band Chart
You can usually find an old, outdated listing of repeaters in your area on the internet with a quick google search. Hopefully there is an amateur radio club in your area that has a website, and hopefully they put up a list of current repeaters. Otherwise, show up for a meeting and get them to fill you in on what is available. Generally there is a lot of support for 2m and 70cm. Some areas have a D-Star thing set up, some like 220, and there might even be a group of people using 23cm or 900MHz. Most of that stuff is better answered by the locals than by the internet.
Welcome to the hobby, congratulations on passing the test, and ask any questions you need to ask! Keep in mind that QRZ isn't a great representation of ham radio. It is just another chunk of the internet where trolls hang out like anywhere else. This chunk just happens to have some decent radio information and myths. Don't let anyone here run you off from the hobby, because generally you don't run into those people on the air!
-- Matt, N0BOX[/QUO
I must take a few issues with a couple statements you made.
1.Yes a study manual is easy to purchase from ARRL or W5YI (online) and several others and should be studied and this question wouldn't come this often.
2. The Tech license just gets your feet wet study now for the general and pass it. There is a lot of information on it that appears on the Tech keep studying now while your used to it. Then you can get a feel of what the hobby is really about and find your niche. There are 2 books that any radio operator should have it is the ARRL Handbook and the ARRL Antenna Book even older ones will help a lot and answer many questions. I even have both loaded on 3 of my computers and use them often.
3. If you plan on the above route then save a little more money and purchase a all band all mode like a Yaesu FT-857 or a Icom IC-7000 new or used they are mobile radios but used a base stations radios around the world. It is very important to have a all mode radio even as a tech gives you more band width.
I do want to wish you well and welcome you to the hobby it is a great one with many different things to do in it. In the beginning it's very hard to know what really it is you want to do so make sure you do gain HF privilege before you decide.
73 de Fred N0AZZ
The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
DX the thrill of the chase
""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""
" Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado