Where to begin with a HAM radio?

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locke_n_load
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#166

Post by locke_n_load » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm

strogg wrote:
locke_n_load wrote:
Paladin wrote:
locke_n_load wrote:Passed my tech exam today.
Congrats!!! :txflag:

It's typically only a few days wait.
VE guy who was helping with Exams said it took around 10 days. Hope he's wrong and you're right!
Congrats!

I'd still expect 10 days. I took my exam on 2/25 this year, and the FCC issued the call sign on 3/7. The FCC usually runs on an oddball schedule, where they will sit on application for a set amount of time, then process them in batches only a handful of times per week. I suggest you get an FRN number from the FCC so you can track status, print your license when available, etc.

What equipment are you planning on getting?
Well I gave them my email so hopefully I get notified once the callsign hits the database and I can print out my certs if I wanted to.
Currently have a Baofeng UV-5R with NA-771 antenna for now, once I get proficient I don't know - would like a rig upstairs with an antenna on the roof. And one in the truck too, as funds permit.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

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locke_n_load
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#167

Post by locke_n_load » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:29 pm

KC5AV wrote:Depending on which VEC the team works with, they should have the ability to electronically submit results for Technician licensees. I'm the contact VE for my team, and we submit our results to W5YI-VEC. Unfortunately, we don't submit enough tests for them to allow me to submit electronically, and I'm not going to send a blank roster every month to have that ability.
Went to the Gilruth center at Nasa to take my exam, and we had at least 20 people taking the exam. Something tells me they still snail mail the results based on the 10 day timeline thought.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

EDC - Glock 26 Gen IV
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Paladin
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#168

Post by Paladin » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:12 pm

locke_n_load wrote:
KC5AV wrote:Depending on which VEC the team works with, they should have the ability to electronically submit results for Technician licensees. I'm the contact VE for my team, and we submit our results to W5YI-VEC. Unfortunately, we don't submit enough tests for them to allow me to submit electronically, and I'm not going to send a blank roster every month to have that ability.
Went to the Gilruth center at Nasa to take my exam, and we had at least 20 people taking the exam. Something tells me they still snail mail the results based on the 10 day timeline thought.
Once you are online in the ULS database you are GO
Your operating authority begins when your license grant information appears on the amateur service licensee database of the Universal Licensing System.
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Charles L. Cotton
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#169

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue May 29, 2018 3:51 pm



Chas.
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Flightmare
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#170

Post by Flightmare » Tue May 29, 2018 3:53 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:51 pm


Chas.

I saw this earlier and thought it was awesome! :fire
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locke_n_load
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#171

Post by locke_n_load » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm

Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

EDC - Glock 26 Gen IV
CHL Holder since 10/08


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#172

Post by Abraham » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:46 pm

I don't understand the appeal for HAM radio?

What am I missing?

I don't even like speaking on the phone when a call is legit, I yank the receiver off and hand it to SWMBO.

Of course, I can't for all practical purposes speak any longer, a few croaks and I'm done.

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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#173

Post by G26ster » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:34 pm

Abraham wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:46 pm
I don't understand the appeal for HAM radio?

What am I missing?

I don't even like speaking on the phone when a call is legit, I yank the receiver off and hand it to SWMBO.

Of course, I can't for all practical purposes speak any longer, a few croaks and I'm done.
While I too have no interest in HAM, I know I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to the civilian radio operators who participated in the MARS program while in I was in Vietnam. While the program is much reduced today, due to the Internet and email, if not for those fine folks I would have not had the oportunity to talk to my wife while there. I got to do it twice, as access was on a very limited basis So. :cheers2: to HAMs everywhere.

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Flightmare
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#174

Post by Flightmare » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:11 pm

There are numerous reasons people get into the ham radio hobby;

Storm spotting/chasing
Helping with public service (ie outdoor warning siren testing, festival communications, national traffic system)
CERT
Experimentation with different home built and store bought equipment
Conversing with people on the commute to/from work

These are but a few, and there are many more.
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#175

Post by Abraham » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:09 am

Thanks for the feedback!


2farnorth
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#176

Post by 2farnorth » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:16 am

Abraham, It's not for everybody. My wife has your aversion about phone conversation and just hears noise from a radio, my granddaughter thinks it take up too much of my "her time". Some people think antennas are ugly even when it's only wire hung in trees

I've always had an interest in radio and how it works. I love building antennas that can reach out to communicate with someone on the opposite side of the planet with minimum power used.

Recent disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico have really shown the need for emergency assistance and health and welfare message relay. The phone systems were down for extended periods. Hams were heavily involved in these operations. Ham radio Field Day (next weekend, Jun 23, 24) is training for emergency ops with limited resources. We go to location, set up, and operate for a set period of time with portable antennas and equipment. We have government officials come out and see what is available in an emergency condition. As a club we have things set up to operate radios at the Sheriffs dept and local hospitals as needed.

While not my interest, some people like "contesting". That involves making as many contacts as you can in a limited period of time.
Others just plain "love to talk". Round-table nets among friends from many different states or countries. Most discussion is about radio equipment and how it works or how it doesn't work. Some are religion centered, others involve RVs, still others are dedicated to training for emergency operations.

Another big part of all of this is the comraderie and fellowship with others with like interests. The pot luck dinners are fabulous. ;-)
N5PNZ


2farnorth
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#177

Post by 2farnorth » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am

locke_n_load wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
Congrats on getting the ticket. Check google amateur/ham radio clubs for your area. Here are a quick couple of clubs I could find in your general area. http://www.houstoncountytexasarc.org/ and http://setxac.com. Not all participate in Field day. Our club will be setting up in the pavilion at the park a Lake Bonham up here in north Texas.

There is some 2 meter and 6 meter participation but mostly on SSB. If 10 meters is open there will be some activity there also. It has been opening sporadically for a couple of weeks. I believe your radio is limited to FM operations only but scan the 10 meter band and see if anything happens. There are a few 10 meter repeaters out there also.

Best bet is find a nearby club and get involved. Be sure to tell them you just got your ticket. Congrats again.
N5PNZ


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#178

Post by strogg » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:19 am

Here's the thing. I really don't care for the engineering and design of the radios and antennas (although I do like circuit designing in general). And therefore, the things people talk about over the radio (90+% about radios) don't interest me much either. Radio technology is neat, but you have to admit, cell phones and the internet have put a huge damper on this hobby.

Despite that, though, it has amazing uses. Imagine if a tornado touches down or a hurricane makes landfall, and it knocks out power and cell towers in your area. How will you coordinate with relief efforts or warn people of danger or communicate with anyone outside of earshot? Radios. A charged battery or a working vehicle plus a radio will overcome many obstacles. That's why I got into the hobby. I can make a difference when a big storm hits by spotting, or helping coordinate relief efforts, or any number of things. It's a niche role, but it's a very important and key niche role that fewer shoes are filling. Even the simple act of storm spotting plays a key role for the National Weather Service. They rely heavily on spotter reporting to get important information on storms, including when tornadoes actually touch down. Their equipment is not able to pick up that event. They can only detect tornadoes by picking up their debris field after much damage has been done, and even then, it could be minutes after that if it's even picked up at all.


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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#179

Post by locke_n_load » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:08 pm

During Harvey here in Houston, civilian rescue efforts probably outpaced military/police rescues. The success rate greatly depended on comms - most people were able to drop pins of gps coordinates on their phones to groups with the same apps and get picked up. We got mostly rain here - had we experienced high winds, like those to the south of us - phone data/comms would have been knocked out. If that had happened, we would probably have doubled or tripled the amount of people who died here in harris county.
That's why I got into HAM radio - emergency comms. And with the latest legislatives changes, those who are emergency volunteers may be exempt from 30.06/30.07 prosecution (but that was not my motivation). I have already made my own antenna that was able to hit a repeater 20 miles away - and I learned a lot too. It's something about never stop learning, for me, as an engineer, makes ham radio a cool hobby as well. With my solar panel, radio, and antenna, I can communicate indefinitely with those 10 miles away, without a repeater. Very cool.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

EDC - Glock 26 Gen IV
CHL Holder since 10/08


locke_n_load
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Re: Where to begin with a HAM radio?

#180

Post by locke_n_load » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:11 pm

2farnorth wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:53 am
locke_n_load wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:12 pm
Alright, got my callsign a while back: KG5ZOO.
Currently have a baofeng UV-5R with 771 antenna, and a TYT TH9800 quadband transceiver with a TRAM 1480 antenna in the attic. I like the crossband repeater function for emergencies - can use my handheld in my neighborhood and hit my base station which relays to a repeater too far out for the handheld itself.

Ham Field Day is next weekend - If I am not able to go to a location, how do you participate? I do not have SSB or CW btw, and I was told that was primarily the methods used for comms on ham day.
Congrats on getting the ticket. Check google amateur/ham radio clubs for your area. Here are a quick couple of clubs I could find in your general area. http://www.houstoncountytexasarc.org/ and http://setxac.com. Not all participate in Field day. Our club will be setting up in the pavilion at the park a Lake Bonham up here in north Texas.

There is some 2 meter and 6 meter participation but mostly on SSB. If 10 meters is open there will be some activity there also. It has been opening sporadically for a couple of weeks. I believe your radio is limited to FM operations only but scan the 10 meter band and see if anything happens. There are a few 10 meter repeaters out there also.

Best bet is find a nearby club and get involved. Be sure to tell them you just got your ticket. Congrats again.
I have recently found out that field day is mostly 10m operation. My radio does output 10m FM, but I do not have a good antenna for that and I hear that the action is SSB or morse. I just particpated in a nearby club (TEAC) net, and they will be setting up about 5 miles from my house, which I hope I can get away to go check out, as 10m really sounds cool (the availability to have comms 100+ miles away, without repeaters, is amazing). Thank you for the information. Either way I will be scanning the 10m band.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

EDC - Glock 26 Gen IV
CHL Holder since 10/08

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