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NotThePainter

I'm Not A Ham, But Need A Radio...

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After a geocaching trip that went too long (hey, I was home before midnight!) my wife thought I should get a cell phone so I could call if I broke a leg or something. The problem with this is, of course, that cell coverage is spotty out in the woods!

 

So I came up with the idea of a carrying a portable ham radio.

 

Would I need a license and how hard is that to get? How much do radio's like this cost? Is this a dumb idea?

 

Thanks!

 

Paul

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No, it's an awesome idea. The test to get a Technician's license is easy, and can be done in one day in some areas (called a ham cram). The way I did it is by listening to the Gorden West audio CDs.

 

If you are talking about something that you would take into the back country, you'd probably want an HT (Handheld Transceiver) that could do 5 watts. Those range from around $99 to $300+, depending on the options.

 

Feel free to ask more questions!

 

--Marky

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So I went and took and online test (my degree is in electrical engineering and computer science). I was curious how I would do. Got 17 wrong! (need max of 9 wrong to pass) so I guess I need to do some learning, which is to be expected.

 

Looked at ebay for hardware, what a bewildering array of choices. My guess is that asking for brand information is like asking for GPS brand reccomendations, everyone has good reasons to like one over another.

 

I did read up on Technician licenses. I can't remember all I read. I think I could only use VHF, the UHF and 2 meter rigs were for the higher licenses, right?

 

Are there any that take AA batteries? I only want to carry one type of battery in the field.

 

Paul

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So I went and took and online test (my degree is in electrical engineering and computer science). I was curious how I would do. Got 17 wrong! (need max of 9 wrong to pass) so I guess I need to do some learning, which is to be expected.

With a EE degree, you have the hard stuff done. Many of the other questions on the test are common sense type things. You will have to memorize the frequency bands you can use, though. Try looking for a book called "Now You're Talking." It's the standard study guide for the Tech test. Of course, for this to work, your wife would also need to get her ticket and a radio...

 

Looked at ebay for hardware, what a bewildering array of choices. My guess is that asking for brand information is like asking for GPS brand reccomendations, everyone has good reasons to like one over another.

Yep, but there are far more radios than GPS units. Start doing your homework now. As mentioned in a previous post, you would most likely want a handheld to carry with you. Again, like your GPSr, there are dozens of choices. One suggestion: the Yaesu VX-150. It's a handheld 2-meter only rig (VHF), and it's built like a tank. They go for around $120 new, you may snag one used or off Ebay cheaper.

 

To make it more complicated: the areas you commonly geocache may dictate what you might need for a radio. If you are out in the boonies away from populated areas (like vast stretches of my home state of ND), a handheld radio won't do you much good. Unless you are on a mountain, the effective range of a 5 watt HT is only around 10-20 miles. What you would then do is use your HT to hit a repeater, which retransmits your weaker signal on a higher power for greater range. But you have to be within rane of the repeater in the first palce. For more power (do I hear Tim Taylor?), you might look into mobile radios, that stay in your car, but transmit up to 50 watts. But then you can't carry it with you in the field...

I did read up on Technician licenses. I can't remember all I read. I think I could only use VHF, the UHF and 2 meter rigs were for the higher licenses, right?

As a Tech, you can use any of the ham-designated frequencies above 50 MHz. The two most common frequency ranges (or bands) in use are the VHF 2-meter band (144-148 MHz), and the UHF 70-cm band (430-450 MHz), with 2 meters being the most popular. The vast majority of the repeaters out there are 2-meter repeaters.

Are there any that take AA batteries? I only want to carry one type of battery in the field.

Several radios have this as an option, but you usually have to purchase a seperate battery case for them. The catch would be that in most radios, to my knowledge, you decrease the output power by switching to AA. For example, I have a 5 watt radio with the stock NiMH pack, but it drops to 1.5 W with the 4-AA pack. Most HTs come stock with NiMH packs, and few with Li-Ion.

 

Hope this didn't get too long and complicated. I don't want to scare you away from getting you ticket. Just like any new hobby, it seems rather daunting at first, but once you get into it, it's much easier than it seems. Good luck!

 

StarDoc, KC0NSR

Edited by StarDoc

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Keep trying, don't give up !!!! :laughing:

Just one other thing to keep in mind. If you want to "Talk" to your wife over a Ham radio she will need a licesne as well....

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Try looking for a book called "Now You're Talking." It's the standard study guide for the Tech test. Of course, for this to work, your wife would also need to get her ticket and a radio...

I keep seeing this book mentioned, it is certainly a good idea. And no, Jeannette wouldn't need a license. She isn't worried about me being late, she's worried about me being late because I broke my leg or something! I just need to be able to talk to someone who can call 911...

 

To make it more complicated: the areas you commonly geocache may dictate what you might need for a radio. If you are out in the boonies away from populated areas (like vast stretches of my home state of ND), a handheld radio won't do you much good.
Fortunately for me I mostly cache in southern NH, it is hard to image that I'd be far from a moderately populated area and given the density of high-tech jobs around here, I'd also guess the area has repeaters.

 

Several radios have this as an option, but you usually have to purchase a seperate battery case for them. The catch would be that in most radios, to my knowledge, you decrease the output power by switching to AA. For example, I have a 5 watt radio with the stock NiMH pack, but it drops to 1.5 W with the 4-AA pack. Most HTs come stock with NiMH packs, and few with Li-Ion.
Oh, that's a shame, I certainly don't want the drop in power. On the other hand, I believe tha Li-Ion have great shelf life, right? So I can leave it in my backpack and when I do need it, then it will be ready. I only wanted AAs because I always travel with charged AA batteries for the GPS, Camera and flashlights.

 

Hope this didn't get too long and complicated. I don't want to scare you away from getting you ticket. Just like any new hobby, it seems rather daunting at first, but once you get into it, it's much easier than it seems. Good luck!
You all have been most helpful, thank you!

 

Paul

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Paul:

 

Greetings from an Eastern Maine ham!!

 

YES there are a ton of repeaters in your area so a 5 watt HT would probably serve you well.

The test is quite basic in any electronics. Part is general common sense, some revolves around RF safety issues and the rest is stuff ya just need to memorize.

NOTE>>> Every 3 years the question pool, from which the tests are drawn, gets updated to stay with current technology & legal affairs. The current pool expires on 01 JULY 06!!!! The current edition of "Now You're Talking" (ed-5) will become obsolete. SO... nail it soon or wait till the new stuff comes out.

Check with your local libraries for "Now You're Talking" (ed-5) & give it a read thru..

 

Then..

Take sample exams

http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl

 

Then seek a test session in your area

http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml

 

MAKE SURE>>> you call the examiner for any final instructions, bring TWO forms of ID & be early.

 

BINGO..DONE!!

 

If you want reviews on a particular radio you like go to

http://www.eham.net/reviews/

Enter the model number in the box & read what other owners say about the rig, service..etc..

 

A good forum to check out is

http://www.qrz.com

 

Look for repeaters & info

http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/

 

Hope this helps Paul.. feel free to give me a holler anytime..

 

JW

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If you ONLY ever use the radio to call MAYDAY, no one is going to care much if you have a license.

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If you ONLY ever use the radio to call MAYDAY, no one is going to care much if you have a license.

 

Yes, but to have the skills to operate an HT in the wild under emergency situations, you would most likely need to practice operating the HT (setting the frequency, setting the tone, etc.) and people might have something to say about that. An HT in the hands of someone that doesn't know how to use it isn't going to be of much help. Plus, it's a fun and useful skill to have (plus a great way to spend more money!) ;)

 

--Marky

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If you ONLY ever use the radio to call MAYDAY, no one is going to care much if you have a license.

 

Yes, someone will care, the FCC. after you are rescued, then the FCC will string you up!

 

<sarcasm>

why not just use a modified radio to operate on police or fire freq's. you'd probably get rescued faster. :)

</sarcasm>

Edited by Nero

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I got my ticket in December and the main reason I did was on a caching trip on the AVT's I crashed and burned, the result of the crash was a shattered left wrist, I was in extream pain and 30 miles from the trucks, the disission was made to call Life Flight because I really didn't know if I had other problems and I wasn't really looking forward to riding 30 miles to the truck not to mention I wasn't feeling well at all, to make a long story short the people with me tried several locations to get out on the cell phones with no luck.

 

I ended up riding out which was not a plesent ride, 7 hours after the crash I walked into the ER and the very next day I was in the operating room getting my arm put back together.

 

A few days later I was talking to a local Ham operator and we figured out I could have hit at least 3 repeaters from the crash site.

 

The rest is history, I soon had my ticket and have been wondering why I haden't done that before, I've been having a blast and am working on my upgrade.

 

Get your ticket, take it from me you never know when something is going to happen.

 

KE7FWH

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The fastest way to get through the test:

Get the book.

Go to the back where all the questions are.

Using the answer key, highlight the question and the correct answer. Don’t even read the other answers!

Read and re-read the questions and the correct answers.

Do this a few times and practice with the online test.

When you’re nailing the online test, schedule your real one.

 

If the only answer you’ve ever seen is the correct one, then that’s the one that will look familiar when you see it again on the test. I went back later and read some of the book, but never found it necessary beforehand.

Edited by Criminal

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I have read these posts and they gave me a LOT of info. I too have a similar need for a radio. I mainly want a radio to talk to others while on a trip or something as well as in the woods. I currently use FRS radios, but find the range VERY disapointing. The box says "14 miles", ya right! More like 1/4 mile. I have even tried the GMRS ones with not much luck (range). Basicaly I just want something like these radios that actually get a range of say 5 to 10 "real world" miles in the woods or city. Are there any units like this that don't require a licence to use?

 

Thanks for any info...

 

Dennis

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Oh, that's a shame, I certainly don't want the drop in power. On the other hand, I believe tha Li-Ion have great shelf life, right? So I can leave it in my backpack and when I do need it, then it will be ready. I only wanted AAs because I always travel with charged AA batteries for the GPS, Camera and flashlights.

This would not be a problem with the VX150 from Yaesu/Vertex. The optional AA battery pack hold 4 AAs and will give you a full 5 watts on high power.

As another cacher mentioned the VX150 is a rugged little 2 meter radio. I bought one for my Girl freind when she got here ham ticket and I liked it so much I went back and got one for myself as a spare.

 

You should also compare the prices of accesories when you look at radios, on manufacture "Icom" charged top dollar for there accesories.

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If you ONLY ever use the radio to call MAYDAY, no one is going to care much if you have a license.

 

Yes, but to have the skills to operate an HT in the wild under emergency situations, you would most likely need to practice operating the HT (setting the frequency, setting the tone, etc.) and people might have something to say about that. An HT in the hands of someone that doesn't know how to use it isn't going to be of much help. Plus, it's a fun and useful skill to have (plus a great way to spend more money!) :unsure:

 

--Marky

What Markey said. Plus licensed hams can be fined for talking to non licensed radio operators. A ham radio is not like the garbage FRS/GMRS. The Ham license is about $10.00 and is good for ten years. The fines for using one without a license start at $7,500.

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If you ONLY ever use the radio to call MAYDAY, no one is going to care much if you have a license.

 

Yes, someone will care, the FCC. after you are rescued, then the FCC will string you up!

 

This is actually untrue. They way I read this, the FCC allows the use of any available frequency in an emergency, regardless of license.

 

No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

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As an example, a few years ago an injured hiker in the mountains near Juneau, AK used a marine band vhf to call for help. He got a substantial fine for using a marine frequency for a non-marine use, even though it's unlicensed, and even though it was an emergency. Imagine if licensed frequencies were used.

 

The key words in 97.403 above are "by an amateur station" which means a licensed Ham (amateur radio operator).

 

That said, if a human life hangs in the balance, you use any means available to get help. It's just if you PLAN to ignore the rules, you should expect to pay the piper.

 

Mark

KL7MK

Edited by Gavia01

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As an example, a few years ago an injured hiker in the mountains near Juneau, AK used a marine band vhf to call for help. He got a substantial fine for using a marine frequency for a non-marine use, even though it's unlicensed, and even though it was an emergency. Imagine if licensed frequencies were used.

KL7MK

 

Do you have a link for this? A search comes up with nothing and I would sure like to read how they got it overturned, unless of course it was not a life threatening situation, in which case it was appropriate to fine.

 

To the OP, that said , get the license and once the two of you have that, get a ARRL repeater book. Unless there is a repeater you can hit, you might have a better chance with a cell. There are some other ways to work it that are too much to worry about at this point (dual band as a repeater, etc.). Also, everything after the first few responses in this thread you can probably disregard. Those of us with liocenses have a hard time staying on topic as well. You'll see when you get on the air. :grin:

 

It can be addictive. Many get a license for a single purpose and suddenly find themselves spening 1/4 or more of their waking hours on the air.

Edited by baloo&bd

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To the OP, that said , get the license and once the two of you have that, get a ARRL repeater book. Unless there is a repeater you can hit, you might have a better chance with a cell.

 

Get a licence, pick up a dual band handheld, and a nice dual-bander for the car (Kenwood TM-D700A, for example). When you get to the site where your hike is to begin, find a 2m repeater you can hit with the car radio. Set the 70 cm band to a simplex frequency, and configure the car radio for cross-band repeat. Set your handheld to transmit and receive on UHF simplex, and you're rocking for a large radius around your car.

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As an example, a few years ago an injured hiker in the mountains near Juneau, AK used a marine band vhf to call for help. He got a substantial fine for using a marine frequency for a non-marine use, even though it's unlicensed, and even though it was an emergency. Imagine if licensed frequencies were used.

KL7MK

 

Do you have a link for this? A search comes up with nothing and I would sure like to read how they got it overturned, unless of course it was not a life threatening situation, in which case it was appropriate to fine.

 

 

Baloo&bd:

 

I don't hasve a link. I live in Juneau, so know the story. It was followed by the Juneau newspaper for a while. There were also a number of "letters to the editor" as you can imagine......not much help.

Edited by Gavia01

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Hi, I have a 5W Handheld Transceiver (non brand name) and I've proven that it gets great radio reception for at least 10km and even further if it's a Ham channel because of the repeaters, but I've never tried to transmit yet. I'm wondering, in general, how many km away will it still transmit loud and clear?

- 8th Member of Insideoutworlder Society

Edited by Insideoutworlder Society

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The range of the VHF frequencies used in HT's are pretty much "line of sight". Repeaters are generally located at highpoints so they can "see" more ground.

Edited by Gavia01

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NotThePainter Good Luck on your exam its well worth the time and investment. I have had 13 years of enjoyment from the hobbie and most of that on the VHF/UHF bands

don't let the prices of Radios get ya discouraged.

 

Just figure out what would be suitable for your aplication and go from there.

also arrl.com has links to local clubs in your area so talking to them might be of help and a good source of some used gear most used gear is in very good shape.

let us know how ya do

VE9FC

and welcome to the hobbie

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WooT Passed my Tech tday, in a few Ill check ULS to see if I can TX. :-)

 

1) The Tech exam is EASY, compared to when I took it 10 years ago (and failed). Then it was a 2 part written with 5 WPM CW. I couldnt beleive how more simplified it was now! If I got a GED and you got an EE, theres no reason you cant pass. Brush up on FCC regs, brush up on some RF theory, and the rest is common sense.

 

Heres a few facts to always remember:

- Emergency traffic has priority

- The FCC is God

- You have to be FCC linc. in order to participate in ARES and RACE

- You cannont Tx if your linc. has expirted

- No one has exclusive use of a freq.

- You are responsible for any illegal transmissions

- You must identify every 10 min and at the end of your Tx

 

2) Keep taking the sample test at qrz.com. I didnt buy a book or take a class or anything, I studied qrz for 2 weeks, the last 2 days real hard. When I took the test I only missed 3 questions! (One Im sure of was EIR question, I didnt have time to learn all that over again so I just picked an answer).

 

Good luck bro, you can do it!! Dont give up, wuss. :D

 

BTW, Alinco has an HT thats waterproof (MIL SPEC) that Im looking at real hard! 5W 2M rig for $150? Can find it even cheaper on ebay... This is the *perfect* outdoor companion, its the one Im looking at for hiking, geocaching, camping, traveling, etc...

 

Heck, Ive seen a 35W Alinco mobile unit thats small as a tiny dash sized CB go for $50 on ebay... if you cant bring up a repeater with that your REALLY in the middle of no where!!

 

Good luck!

Andrew

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Hi, I have a 5W Handheld Transceiver (non brand name) and I've proven that it gets great radio reception for at least 10km and even further if it's a Ham channel because of the repeaters, but I've never tried to transmit yet. I'm wondering, in general, how many km away will it still transmit loud and clear?

- 8th Member of Insideoutworlder Society

 

I know Ive been here in Roanoke and heard traffic in Martinsville clear as a bell, probley 30W unit, but anyway with a repeater on top of Poor Mountian, it reached over 100 miles. :D

 

Yeah, Ham radio is kQQl g33k stuff, and no.. its not just for the old farts, some young peeps do it too! :-)

 

HTH,

11B

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WooT Passed my Tech tday, in a few Ill check ULS to see if I can TX. :-)

 

1) The Tech exam is EASY, compared to when I took it 10 years ago (and failed). Then it was a 2 part written with 5 WPM CW. I couldnt beleive how more simplified it was now! If I got a GED and you got an EE, theres no reason you cant pass. Brush up on FCC regs, brush up on some RF theory, and the rest is common sense.

 

Heres a few facts to always remember:

- Emergency traffic has priority

- The FCC is God

- You have to be FCC linc. in order to participate in ARES and RACE

- You cannont Tx if your linc. has expirted

- No one has exclusive use of a freq.

- You are responsible for any illegal transmissions

- You must identify every 10 min and at the end of your Tx

 

2) Keep taking the sample test at qrz.com. I didnt buy a book or take a class or anything, I studied qrz for 2 weeks, the last 2 days real hard. When I took the test I only missed 3 questions! (One Im sure of was EIR question, I didnt have time to learn all that over again so I just picked an answer).

 

Good luck bro, you can do it!! Dont give up, wuss. :)

 

BTW, Alinco has an HT thats waterproof (MIL SPEC) that Im looking at real hard! 5W 2M rig for $150? Can find it even cheaper on ebay... This is the *perfect* outdoor companion, its the one Im looking at for hiking, geocaching, camping, traveling, etc...

 

Heck, Ive seen a 35W Alinco mobile unit thats small as a tiny dash sized CB go for $50 on ebay... if you cant bring up a repeater with that your REALLY in the middle of no where!!

 

Good luck!

Andrew

 

Congrats. I got my Tech ticket yesterday, too. It feels great to have that behind me. I like your summary of the questions, it is dead on. On a whim I took the General exam and just missed by a few q's so I'll study the tests on QRZ and re-take element 3 in a few weeks instead of starting on CW.

 

For caching and such, there's a VX-7R with my name on it waiting for me at the Cleveland AES location. :D

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Are there any that take AA batteries? I only want to carry one type of battery in the field.

 

Mine takes AA batteries standard and has an optional NiCd (maybe NiMH, I don't have it) pack. It puts out 6 watts on the AAs, and they last FOREVER in it.

 

Icom IC-T2H sport.

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Amateur Radio and GPS make a great pair, we do a thing in ham radio called A.P.R.S. (Automatic Postation Reporting System.)

 

You take a TWO meter radio and add a TNC (or get a radio that has one built in) you set the radio to Beacon on 144.390 simplex.

with a newer radio like the Kenwood TM-D700A/E ( about $500.00)

 

You can pass small messages ( like e-mail ) and see where people are it in their travles.

 

YOU MUST HOLD A VALID FCC AMATEUR LICENSE TO USE APRS

 

Please feel free to contact me for more information about Amateur Radio & GPS, I'm in the S.F. Bay Area.

 

www.sfarc.org

www.fundu.com (enter a call sign)

http://concord.ampr.org ( bay area map ) runs JAVA, <_< loads slow

 

MY FCC Call is WØWEB

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APRS...

 

Here's one of the best websites on the subject: http://eng.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs.html

 

And rather than a $500 radio, you can get a normal handheld, and a packet encoder/cables from http://www.byonics.com/tinytrak/ .

 

You should be on the air with APRS for less than $50 (assuming you've got a radio, which you don't, but the other stuff you need is about $50.)

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APRS...

 

Here's one of the best websites on the subject: http://eng.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs.html

 

And rather than a $500 radio, you can get a normal handheld, and a packet encoder/cables from http://www.byonics.com/tinytrak/ .

 

You should be on the air with APRS for less than $50 (assuming you've got a radio, which you don't, but the other stuff you need is about $50.)

 

Not intending to hijack this topic, but I will end up doing that anyway. Could this be used with an HT to track a persons position while in the field? Would a seperate website need to be set up?

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Not a dumb idea at all. The Technician license isn't very hard at all. My daughter got hers when she was about 11-12. As for a radio... you can get a 2 meter hand held for $100-150 new. There is always the used market route. Another consideration might be distance from a repeater. A handheld with a "rubber dicky" antenna may not have enough to get to a repeater...... should be good for a few miles. You could also carry a short run of coax and a dipole or a twin lead j-pole (both easily made).... Either can be coiled up and put in a fanny pack or back pack... you may take one of these with you already. either could be fastened to a walking stickane elevated by hand to increase transmit range. Any further questions... feel free to email me at ks9wi@tds.net.

 

good luck

 

Keith,

(callsign) KS9WI

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WooT Passed my Tech tday, in a few Ill check ULS to see if I can TX. :-)

 

1) The Tech exam is EASY, compared to when I took it 10 years ago (and failed). Then it was a 2 part written with 5 WPM CW. I couldnt beleive how more simplified it was now! If I got a GED and you got an EE, theres no reason you cant pass. Brush up on FCC regs, brush up on some RF theory, and the rest is common sense.

 

Heres a few facts to always remember:

- Emergency traffic has priority

- The FCC is God

- You have to be FCC linc. in order to participate in ARES and RACE

- You cannont Tx if your linc. has expirted

- No one has exclusive use of a freq.

- You are responsible for any illegal transmissions

- You must identify every 10 min and at the end of your Tx

 

2) Keep taking the sample test at qrz.com. I didnt buy a book or take a class or anything, I studied qrz for 2 weeks, the last 2 days real hard. When I took the test I only missed 3 questions! (One Im sure of was EIR question, I didnt have time to learn all that over again so I just picked an answer).

 

Good luck bro, you can do it!! Dont give up, wuss. :laughing:

 

BTW, Alinco has an HT thats waterproof (MIL SPEC) that Im looking at real hard! 5W 2M rig for $150? Can find it even cheaper on ebay... This is the *perfect* outdoor companion, its the one Im looking at for hiking, geocaching, camping, traveling, etc...

 

Heck, Ive seen a 35W Alinco mobile unit thats small as a tiny dash sized CB go for $50 on ebay... if you cant bring up a repeater with that your REALLY in the middle of no where!!

 

Good luck!

Andrew

 

Congrats. I got my Tech ticket yesterday, too. It feels great to have that behind me. I like your summary of the questions, it is dead on. On a whim I took the General exam and just missed by a few q's so I'll study the tests on QRZ and re-take element 3 in a few weeks instead of starting on CW.

 

For caching and such, there's a VX-7R with my name on it waiting for me at the Cleveland AES location. :anibad:

 

Just remember one thing.... once you pass the general written, you have 1 year to complete the code exam or your general written will expire and you will have to take it again.

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Not intending to hijack this topic, but I will end up doing that anyway. Could this be used with an HT to track a persons position while in the field? Would a seperate website need to be set up?

 

Absolutley. As a matter of fact there was something called a PocketTracker http://www.byonics.com/pockettracker/ All you had to do was attach a GPS to the unit. It's gone out of production because of part changes. I've flown high altitude weather balloons with dual redundant APRS setups. One radio, one tinytrack (or similar), and a GPS.

 

If you want the smallest option, pick up a OEM GPS. http://www.garmin.com/products/gps15h/ This unit is amazing. Build your own power supply and attach a small patch antenna and it's good to go. We flew this several times and the lock time was extremely fast and held lock even through some crazy flights.

 

Since all these go together, we built a common power supply to power the GPS and the tiny track. Seems to me we also powered the radio off of it one time. If you know you're going to be in the same area as the people, mount a good 2m radio in the car and hook up a laptop via an audio line and run some kind of APRS software. We use to run this setup in each car chasing the balloons so everyone else in the chase knew where the other people were and could position themselves accordingly.

 

KG6PGG

Edited by twostar

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Oh, that's a shame, I certainly don't want the drop in power. On the other hand, I believe tha Li-Ion have great shelf life, right? So I can leave it in my backpack and when I do need it, then it will be ready. I only wanted AAs because I always travel with charged AA batteries for the GPS, Camera and flashlights.

This would not be a problem with the VX150 from Yaesu/Vertex. The optional AA battery pack hold 4 AAs and will give you a full 5 watts on high power.

As another cacher mentioned the VX150 is a rugged little 2 meter radio. I bought one for my Girl freind when she got here ham ticket and I liked it so much I went back and got one for myself as a spare.

 

You should also compare the prices of accesories when you look at radios, on manufacture "Icom" charged top dollar for there accesories.

 

Many newer radios have AA battery packs. I use a Kenwood D7A which has a built in modem for APRS. I can connect the radio to the GPS unit to the radio and it will actually transmit my packets back to the APRS network so my position can be seen by anyone that is looking for me.

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Are unlicensed people allowed to purchase a radio prior to being licensed with the understanding that they CANNOT transmit? I'm asking in case I see one for sale before I take my test.

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Are unlicensed people allowed to purchase a radio prior to being licensed with the understanding that they CANNOT transmit? I'm asking in case I see one for sale before I take my test.

 

YES

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Are unlicensed people allowed to purchase a radio prior to being licensed with the understanding that they CANNOT transmit? I'm asking in case I see one for sale before I take my test.

 

YES

 

Thank you, Krastic.

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I'm waiting for my ARRL Technicians book to get here. I ordered it from Amazon thinking I'd get quickly but that might not be the case. A local club is giving the test on 10-14 and I'd really like to be ready by then. Does anybody know of a good website that I can start working on some of this material? Thanks a lot.

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