Jump to content

Newbie has question

Followers 2

Recommended Posts

My uncle Roger Hawe was K2ITI - (I believe); He passed on a few years ago, he was my favorite uncle - and always he wanted me to get into ham, but I was just to wild, and stuck with the "child's band", as he referred to it as. But I now want to get into the ham scene, and incorporate in my family's horse riding & Geocaching activities. I remember my uncle telling me about a "No Code" test to get my license, but I do not know where to find info on getting a test, or the rest of the info –


I also would like information on what is the best portable GPS unit; I was thinking the Garmin Astro 220 would be a good start for off road activities, like horseback riding, or Geocaching?


Next Question; What rig should I run for a base, a mobile unit, and hand held?? The idea is to be in touch when out in the brush, currently we are using Motorola MR350 GMSR radios, but are some time unreliable due to the dense mountain area.



Any help would greatly be appreciated. :laughing:

Link to comment

for any testing information you want to go to http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml that will show you where upcoming testing sessions are.there is also a club locator here.a club can help alot you can also find study information on ARRL.org as well as take practice test on QRZ.com http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl


there is currently no requirement to know Morse code so that makes it much easier. now unlike GMRS where you have a family license, anyone who wants to use Amateur frequencies must have a license.no worries there 6 yr old kids can pass the test. if others in the family do not want to get there license i would recommend MURS radios (multiple use radio service) it is just above the 2meter band and no license is required. some refer it as a vhf cb for that reason. not used much in my area.


best gps its hard to say there is so many i use a garmin gpsmap 60 cx and it works great for me.i have used it from the desert of iraq to geocaching.


my self i have came to like yaesu equipment. since you wont have hf privileges other then 10 meters i would just get a mobile for a base in till you decide how far you want to take the hobby

i will just list what i have and some pros and cons you will have to do some research on your own and ask other hams.



yaesu ft2900r 2meters, 75watts max power out, a very nice rig

cons. no fan design gets hot when you have to use full power not good for extremely long conversations at 75w

i also have 2800r same as 2900 but 65 watts


yaesu 897d HF-70cmpretty good radio



yaesu ft-8900r 70 cm, 2meter,6m fm and 10m fm 50watts out put. 2 dedicated radios in one case with there own controls. my favorite= cross band repeat. you can set this radio up in the car as a repeater for when your in bfe and a HT (hand held) wont make it you will need a duel band ht to make it work.

cons it is fm only on 6 and 10 meters.




yaesu ft-250r 2m 5watt output, very nice mono band radio easy to program and use.and you can get a big battery for it too, 2500mah

no real cons here


yaesu vx8r 70 cm 2 m 6 m 220 not a bad radio but not a great one either. you wont get far on 6m from a ht and there are not many 6m repeaters. 220 is only 1.5 watts witch is a joke. so now you have a "duel" band radio with aprs and2 useless bands

i would not recommend it for the cost and lack of normal function....


now i do not have this radio but i know people who do and recommend it.


yaesu ft-60r 70 cm and 2 meters 5 watts out. another simple to program and use radio you can also get the big battery for this one.

i would recommend you check out the forums at qrz.com and eham. eham has very good reviews from operators. you dont need to have a call to get into those forums you also do not have to pay.

look around and find radios that you like is the most important thing. if you can find a local club they can help you with alot of things.


also if you have trouble with gmrs radios i wouldnt use 70cm/440 out there they are very close in frequency i would use 2meters


i hope i have helped. any more questions dont hesitate to ask





Link to comment

I just recently got my ticket about a month ago, N5FAP. I found a free podclass that helped me pass my test. Podclass Also several websites have practice tests you can take to see how you are doing. These test don't count but they are a great tool. All the questions are multiple choice and all the questions and answers are available to the public. eHam.net QRZ.com


The QRZ tests have the new updated Technician question pool, technician is the first license.


Also you can even apply for your uncle's call sign, K2ITI, if you want. The FCC allows you to apply for a close deceased relatives call sign through the vanity call sign program. FCC.gov


A license only costs $15 plus a testing fee if they charge it. Keep us posted on how you are doing, maybe we'll hookup on the air.




Link to comment

I got my Tech Ticket in November. I used http://www.hamtestonline.com/study.jsp.


I had zero knowlege of radios and electricty before that. I studied a few minutes a night, took the test while suffering a major cold and on cold meds. Didn't ace it, but passed it just fine. I'm now studying for General just a bit...I use a Kenwood in my XJ for wheeling. Radio brand comparison is just like the Chevy Versus For debate.

Best advice as far as shopping is to stick with the same brand for mobile, HT etc. as the same brand programs in similar fashion.


Good luck and go for it !!!



aka "bluedog23"


Link to comment

My "Two Cents":

Antenna. This is the least expensive part of a station. It is also the most responsible for effective communications. The greatest improvement in signal, TX & RX, can be obtained for the least amount of money by upgrading the antenna first.

Base vs. Moblile vs. Handheld. This is like asking what TYPE of underware should I buy. What do YOU need?

Using an HT connected to a Base antenna will result in all kinds of out-of-band signals overloading the RX.

A mobile unit will perform much better, and a power supply/base antenna is the best use of resouces for a mobile and base.

Icom vs. Yaesu vs. Kenwood. This is like asking what BRAND of underware should I buy. What do you need?


Icom. Very rugged, "Industrial type" radios. Of the 3 brands, Icom is the least vulnerable to 'Front End Overload'. Excellent choice for Urban use. If you are going to primarily be 'Downtown' in the heart of the city, these radios will resist RX overload from out of band signals (Police, Fire, Taxi, etc.). They are difficult to program and some have limited features. If you are involved in very active outdoor activities, they are a good choice from the standpoint of being difficult to 'screw-up' the settings.

HT, Mobile, or Base; they are known for 'heavy duty' transmitters too.


Kenwood. Very well balanced between features and performance. Very good RX overload resistance. Transmitters are 'very reliable' for extended transmit times. Very good audio quality TX & RX. What do you expect from a Hi-Fi electronics manufacturer? Advanced features may be difficult to use when mobile.

Not as rugged as Icom when used in outdoor activities like bicycling, rock climbing, etc. but are still able to take some punishment.


Yaesu. These are the easiest to program. Very 'intuitive' operation. Most models have more features than you will ever use. Poor front end overload and small heatsinks on transmitters make these radios a poor choice for 'Urban' usage, or extended transmitting. The extremely high sensitivity RX of these radios makes them stand out above the other two when 'out in the sticks'. The biggest drawbacks are easy to 'bump' the buttons and wind up on another part of the band; and very poor TX audio quality. Yaesu has introduced "Heavy Duty HTs". They are very rugged and reliable. The 'Waterproof' versions have a reputation for extremely poor audio quality on transmit. Non-ruggedized Hts can be very fragile, especially the multi-band units. Yaesu's are very popular because many retailers offer the HTs pre-programmed and pre-charged. Pay money, open box, start talking.

Easiest to modify for Business Band, VHF-Maritime, GMRS use.

Link to comment

Thank you all very much for your ins-site, I will try and use it to make an educated guess... However, I have found a nice ham radio training aid, and the best part is that I don't need a ham license to use it right away, I can communicate on a java scripted "radio", with a call sign assigned by hamsphere.com, or if you already have a ham license, they let you use it, any way it is basically virtual ham, but you treat it like the real thing, where you can gain experience, and knowledge to help aid in passing the real license test -


However, on that note, I have noticed that getting my ham licence, is not like going down to the local licence office, where your in and out the same afternoon, what i a mean is you actually have to hunt for a test site that is close to where you live...


SO, my big question is; IS there a way to request a testing station or certification exam area close to me?


if so, How do i make such request, and filed with who?


Thanks again..

Link to comment

The easiest way to find classes and testing for a license is to look in the yellow pages for a ham radio store near you and either vist their webite, if they have one; or just stop in. You can also try http://www.arrl.org that is the home page of the American Radio Relay League.


if this link goes through, it will take you to the page that allows you to search for testing sites by zip code or state. If it doesnt work, copy/paste it into the address bar of a new browser, (window or tab).

Google and Bing will give you the same results if you enter 'arrl'.

Some Volunteer Exam Coordinators (VEC's) require you to make an appointment in advance. Some do not, they accept walk-ins.

God Bless You and Good Luck!

Link to comment
SO, my big question is; IS there a way to request a testing station or certification exam area close to me?


if so, How do i make such request, and filed with who?


I think you might just be in luck!




Time: 2:00PM (Walk-ins allowed)












Sponsor: ARAST

Time: (No walk-ins)








I would try contacting Bryson to see if it would be possible for him to come to you (or meet halfway)...

Link to comment

My "Two Cents":

Antenna. This is the least expensive part of a station.


...unless you're buying Mosley. :) :) :lol:




Everybody on the air keeps saying they and Cushcraft are no longer in business, yet HRO still has them in stock. You know the antenna is working when running 1 watt on VHF simplex, and a brand new ham shows up on your simplex freq and says: "Well, I tried -600kHz and +600kHz, so, you're either running an odd split, or, you guys are on simplex." :D You get what you pay for.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 2
  • Create New...