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Old 12-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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Beginning Ham Radio

I'll start the thread on Ham, lets see where it goes.

Rather than repeat the basics, here is a link to Expedition Portal Forum that has a lot of great information on Ham radio for beginners.
http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=24082

Here is my story on Ham.
I have a Spot but wanted a 2-way method of communication, and satellite phones just didn't seem the right method of achieving that goal. At the October Meet I was so impressed with Angel having HAM abilities, that I immediately signed up for the next Ham class in our area, passed my Tech test and bought a Yaesu 8800, dual band rig. Mounted the rig with a comet 1/4 wave antenna on top of the cab. When I took the class, my Elmer (advisor) warned that based upon my application (remote area camping), I might have trouble making contacts through repeaters on 2 meters. My first trip with the rig kind of proved that out. While camped in the slot canyons of Anza Borrega I was able to listen in but not transmit through the nearby repeaters. Elmer's advice was to study a little more and get my General license and move up to HF. So thats what I am doing now. I'm ready to take the exam as soon as its offered. I have been researching HF units. Had I only exerted a little more patience before buying the 8800 I would have bought a different model (Yaesu 897D) and solved the situation I am in now. Of course shelling out $1,000 will solve the problem and get me a HF/2m rig, but I think I am now going to purchase a used dedicated HF low power rig for the SMB. My current plan is to build a loop antenna just under the penthouse top for 20 meters and up.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

Yaesu 7800R (2M/70cm) mounted in my Bronco.

Have used it very little, and that's more or less all my HAM radio experience.

KI6DZD.


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Old 02-05-2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

I got a license.. but could never afford a radio. One of those things I'll wish I had when I get stuck alone...
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

There are a LOT of used radios available for sale. I bought mine off eBay, but there are many sources of used amateur radios.


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Old 02-06-2010, 07:07 AM   #5
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

I got mine used and it is good as new. Also the guy gave me the antenna and all the cables and small parts that purchased new really would have added up. Mine is a Yaesu FT8900.

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Old 02-18-2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

For those with a Ham license, there is a Net every Thursday evening at 7:30 pm (PST) that might interest you. Its put on by a group called Outdoor Adventure USA. It's on the Keller Peak repeater in Southern California, but I participate in it over the internet via Echolink. (Think Skype for Hams). Every week there is a discussion of outdoor gear, safety, adventures, etc. For more information, here is a link to the online forum.
http://www.oausa.net

All of the Nets are recorded so non-hams can listen to them as well.

Information on Echolink.
http://www.echolink.org
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

I'm in the middle of my SMB build, and have done a ton of research into it. My conclusion matches yours, in that a General License and HF rig is necessary. (I spend a lot of time in Anza Borrego.) My choice went through 3 models of Yaesu's before I hit gold in a tried-and-true ICOM.

A friend has been an advanced ham for 30 years, and swears by the ICOM IC706MKIIG. He has had two of them. Others also swear by them (google it). It goes from low HF way up into UHF. It will even do the CB bands, if you play nice and stick to the FCC power limits. It has two antenna outputs, 100watt power, and on and on.

But ICOM just discontinued the model in favor of some undefined replacement...!

Anyway, I got mine already, plus antenna tuner, etc. Its installation must be done very carefully given its high power output. So, I also have the name of a professional installer in San Diego who is very reasonable for Hams. His name is Hank Wayne (hankwayne@aol.com). Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamFarNWide
I'm in the middle of my SMB build, and have done a ton of research into it. My conclusion matches yours, in that a General License and HF rig is necessary. (I spend a lot of time in Anza Borrego.) My choice went through 3 models of Yaesu's before I hit gold in a tried-and-true ICOM.

A friend has been an advanced ham for 30 years, and swears by the ICOM IC706MKIIG. He has had two of them. Others also swear by them (google it). It goes from low HF way up into UHF. It will even do the CB bands, if you play nice and stick to the FCC power limits. It has two antenna outputs, 100watt power, and on and on.

But ICOM just discontinued the model in favor of some undefined replacement...!

Anyway, I got mine already, plus antenna tuner, etc. Its installation must be done very carefully given its high power output. So, I also have the name of a professional installer in San Diego who is very reasonable for Hams. His name is Hank Wayne (hankwayne@aol.com). Good luck!
Awesome radio, I'll have study up for the General license from tech to do HF.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Beginning Ham Radio

I have my Icom 2800 in my SMB.

When I get HF privileges, the Icom 706mkIIg will be my radio of choice, too. I also have a friend that owns two of them and swears by them.

Something you can try if you're on the fringe (RX but no TX) is a better antenna on a mast. You can make a "J-Pole" antenna out of wire or copper pipe, preferably at 1/2 wave or better, and mount it high (while stationary.). You might be happily surprised at the results.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:03 PM   #10
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Re: Beginning Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamFarNWide
I'm in the middle of my SMB build, and have done a ton of research into it. My conclusion matches yours, in that a General License and HF rig is necessary. (I spend a lot of time in Anza Borrego.) My choice went through 3 models of Yaesu's before I hit gold in a tried-and-true ICOM.

A friend has been an advanced ham for 30 years, and swears by the ICOM IC706MKIIG. He has had two of them. Others also swear by them (google it). It goes from low HF way up into UHF. It will even do the CB bands, if you play nice and stick to the FCC power limits. It has two antenna outputs, 100watt power, and on and on.

But ICOM just discontinued the model in favor of some undefined replacement...!

Anyway, I got mine already, plus antenna tuner, etc. Its installation must be done very carefully given its high power output. So, I also have the name of a professional installer in San Diego who is very reasonable for Hams. His name is Hank Wayne (hankwayne@aol.com). Good luck!
So what are you going with for the HF antenna?

I'm currently trying to figure out the best solution for a screwdriver antenna.
For Non-hams, this is a vertical antenna that is raised and lowered via a electric "screwdriver" motor. Depending upon what model you get it can function on bands between 6 and 80 meters. The overall height is 10.5' when fully extended so finding a mounting solution that meets my needs is not easy. I'm thinking it may only come out when I arrive at a base location rather than traveling with it installed and risking damage. When traveling I will just use the 2 meter antenna.

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