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Old 06-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Learn about Ham Radio

This weekend June 23 (4th full weekend in June) is Field Day. Its an organized Ham radio event held throughout the United States and Canada. If you ever wondered about how Ham radio operates, or how it can benefit you, this event is it.

Each location is independently organized and operated. Our Club treats it as a combination Contest/Educational/Promotional/Social gathering. Many Clubs (ours included) participate in what is called GOTA (Get On The Air) where inactive hams and non-licencees are welcome to grab a mic, spin the dial, and make contact with distant stations while being supervised by qualified operators.

Here is a blurb from the ARRL (American Radio Relay League)
ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. Each year over 35,000 amateurs gather with their clubs, friends or simply by themselves to operate.

ARRL Field Day is not a fully adjudicated contest, which explains much of its popularity. It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, most groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to local elected community leaders, key individuals with the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.


So if you are interested in what Ham radio can do for you while you are on your remote expeditions, check out a local Field Day setup. Our Club will operate "off grid" using emergency power at the Santa Rosa Youth Skate Park. If you are in the area, stop on by and check us out. If you are participating, try and reach us. Our call sign is W6SON.

Here is a link to help locate a setup in your area.
http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

Thanks for the tip. I've been wanting to look into getting into Ham Radio as a form of emergency communications when I'm out in the middle of nowhere. There is a field day location within 15 miles of my house in Vancouver Washington.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

I will be attending our Ham Field Day in Las Vegas on Saturday. I just acquired my Technician License a few weeks ago and am pursuing training and involvement in RACES or ARES. I'm already involved with MARA. My call sign is KF7WAW. It should be fun and interesting this Saturday.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

just renewed my license so I might just be on. KG6NBH
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

With the recent weather problems I've been thinking about getting a ham radio for emergency use. Would any of our ham experts care to make suggestions as to make and model? It would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

My only advice is to KEEP IT SIMPLE !!!!! Especially if you are not using it all the time, it's easy to forget what all those little knobs are for.
Buy the Repeater book and figure out how repeaters work.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

Dave,

Do you already have a ham license? That, of course would be the first step. My handheld radio is a Yaesu FT-60. It's a great radio. Later I will get a radio for my rig, but the handheld works great off of the repeaters. I haven't been far enough in the boonies yet to not be able to reach a repeater. So I don't know if I need the bigger unit.

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
With the recent weather problems I've been thinking about getting a ham radio for emergency use. Would any of our ham experts care to make suggestions as to make and model? It would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
Like macmcintire stated, get your license and then worry about equipment. Some things to consider before buying stuff. First know your budget. Second try radios that your interested in. Look up your local radio club and talk to its members. They will be very helpful while you study for your license and with choosing your first radio. You have 2 basic types: Handheld (HT), Mobiles. HT's are inexpensive and Are great for repeater use and short range communication. The have limited power output (1 to 5 watts) If the areas you travel are within range these are a good choice. If wanting it just for emergencies just remember that if there is NO power then the repeaters won't work. Mobiles are a better choice in that situation. Mobiles come in various forms. You can have single band, dual band, tri band, quad band, HF and all mode radios. Examples of bands are 2 meter(VHF), 70 cm(UHF), HF bands (6m, 10-160m). The more bands and or features the more the price goes up. Mobiles offer 50 watts and HF will run 100 watts typically. HF radios can do 100's to several 1000's of miles. To give you an idea I have a Yaesu VX-8DR (HT), Yaesu FTM-350 in my van and have a Icom 746pro in my house. A great website to post questions about everything radio (Ham and CB) related is: http://www.worldwidedx.com/. I have been a member for several years and it's well worth it to find answers. Check it out.

Cheers
Darryl - VA7DTP
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

Once you determine what radio you're interested in, check out the classified ads at the link below for used radios (some barely used).

http://www.eham.net/


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Old 11-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: Learn about Ham Radio

Thanks for the help guys. I see more study will be involved. I've already found out what "CQ" means. It's used in the famous Orson Welles "War of the Wards" radio broadcast. Always wondered what it meant.
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