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geoStrider

A Humble Question

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Hi folks, I am not a HAM operator, but have admired the sport/field/hobby/practice (what is it you call it?) for some time. When I was younger, an old fellow down the road had a radio and I would sit with him and watch and listen as he checked in on others from all over the world. I have often considered joining in and still might someday.

 

My question is - why is there a combined discussion section for GPS and HAM Radios on this site? I mean, are the two inter-related in some fashion? What is the common thread warranting inclusion of HAM here? Be sure that I have no objection whatsoever, I'm merely trying to understand why.

 

Question two - if I should get into HAM, what are the start up costs, say, for a decent "starter" radio and licensing?

 

Thanks for the info.

 

I've never been lost, but I was a might bewildered for three days once. Daniel Boone

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Hmmm...never really thought about it. One very popular activity in ham radio is APRS (automatic position reporting system). With your GPS connected to a radio that operates in packet mode you can automatically transmit your position as your driving along. It's also used on boats and hiking as well. There is a national APRS 2 meter frequency and with the use of "digipeaters" and "internet links" your signal can go a long way! As far as getting into it, some clubs do testing for free and some for a fee. My club does it for free but I think a typical fee would be around $10.00 You can get started with a 2 meter handheld such as a Vertex VX-150 (great radio by the way) for around $130.00 It's a great hobby and you won't regret getting into it.

 

Eric

N3EF

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I would add two points to Eric's response:

 

1) While you may have to pay for the test (I believe the FCC currently limits the charge to $12 per test session), you can take as many tests as you like (there are four, three multiple choice tests and the Morse code test) for one fee. The license itself is free.

 

2) While I would never discourage you from becoming a Ham, it's only fair to warn you: this hobby can quickly become a money pit. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but there are lots of things out there that you can buy, and some of them are extremely expensive ($4000 or more). Again, you can enjoy Ham radio in its entirety on an extremely tight budget. What's more important than how much money you have to spend is how much space you have to put up an antenna. Cheap radio + cheap (but looooong) antenna = years of enjoyment.

 

Boyd / N5CTI

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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I carry and use ham radio while I hike. No APRS, just talking to my friends. So far I have gotten 8 new geocachers to get started because they listened or talked to me while I was geocaching.

 

For me, it is reason enough. Two hobbies combined.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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Geo Strider

 

The above information is good info on getting started in ham radio. A technician license is the entry level and will get you on the air on the most popular local VHF/UHF bands like 2 meters. To do long distance communication you need to have a general license to get on the HF bands.

 

It costs around $12 to go to a test session and you can take all the tests you want. To get started, you have to pass the Technician multiple choice test. A VHF/UHF radio (new) will cost around $150 and up.

 

I would suggest that you go down to a ham radio store or maybe even radio shack and pick up the book "Now You're Talking" published by the ARRL. Or get it from your local library if they have it. (Cost should be around $20.)

 

Read it. If you like what you read, come back here and get some more advice on practice tests and such. That will let you know whether or not you want to take the tests and invest in some equipment.

 

Go ahead ... jump in. We'll be looking for ya.

 

spiderteam KD7UEC

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Heads-up on the "Now You're Talking" book. A new version is now available (5th edition) targeting the Technician exam which will take effect July 1, 2003. If you plan on taking the Technician exam (AKA Element 2) before July 1st, you need a 4th edition book; if you're not taking it until after that date, be sure to use the 5th edition.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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Hello Geo Strider, Well a interesting point you bring up. Your Quote "My question is - why is there a combined discussion section for GPS and HAM Radios on this site? I mean, are the two inter-related in some fashion? What is the common thread warranting inclusion of HAM here?

Ok well one thing in common with GPS & Ham Radio are both, GPS has a receiver and a Transceiver has a receiver & Tranmitter built in it. Your GPS has a built in antenna and you have to build your own or Buy one in ham radio. The Gps recieves it signal from the satellites in the sky. We recieve our signals some from the sky and some from satellites as well.See some Hams work Satelites and others work Signals from all over the world. This is probally the most common thing gps & ham radio have in common. There is alot of Cachers that are Hams. I Have been a Ham longer than i have cached. Most Hams dont go out without a HT Handie Talkie , or 2mtr Rig in car or turck. They combine the two and work together as they or we have fun. If you remember the first time you found your first Cache? Ham Radio is ten times more Exciting , when you make that first Contact over the Mic or However you do it. I love both but, The bug will not stop biting you in Ham Radio. It's the most Exciting Hobby I have ever been in , Period. I have spoken with a Japan station while on my way to work at 7:00 AM local time here. It's not seven am there in Japan . With only a stock 100 watt radio and some cheap antenna's you can work the world. All my antenna's are wire I made and i have talked all over the world with just wire up in a tree about 30 feet high. But the simple fact of GPS and Ham Radio is kind of

the same. Think about who uses GPS ,,, WE do and now Local Police depts and sheriff depts are getting them and you hear all the time about Search & rescue Operations using them. In times of real Emergencies Ham Radio Operators will be there providing Communciations for who ever. GPS will most likely also be there. Hope I gave you some Insight and I hope you will consider getting your Amateur Radio Ticket and start having Fun while Geo-Caching.

Happy Hunting

WV5V

Continouswave

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perhaps a shorter answer...

 

We are techoweeb propeller-heads with a killer need to consume vast quantities of batteries.

 

icon_smile.gif

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00244% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!

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As Raouljan put it, we are the original geeks who need lots of electronic buttons and lights to get thru the day.

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quote:
Originally posted by Raouljan:

perhaps a shorter answer...

 

We are techoweeb propeller-heads with a killer need to consume vast quantities of batteries.

 

icon_smile.gif

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00244% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!


 

don't forget to add we spend a lot of money on our toys too

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Please visit the Ham Radio Forums at www.ham-radio.ca. Thank you.

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Ham radio doesn't have to cost alot. Just get your father in law involved first. Then after he has set up your base radio and antenna all you have to do is buy a handheld so you can tell your wife where you are. Then if you get your wife licensed she will buy 2 mobile units so she can find out where you are at any time.

 

Bushshiner

kd7fzt

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