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New To Gps And Ham

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Hello Airwave masters,


I am new to HAM radios and I just bought my first GPS yesterday and completed my first GeoCache today! While reading up on all this... I found something else I always wanted to get into and learn how is done... HAM Radios.


Currently I own two CB's a Bearcat scanner and an 800Mhz scanner. I have done research on how they all work and the tips/tricks to both. I want to go higher and get into HAM radios... Can someone direct in the right direction to go about on all this... Good recommendations on HAM Radio and equipment, recomended places to get it, Tips on resource information regaurding HAM radios, and an estimated cost including FCC licensing... I couldn't get a right answer on their website on how much fees were and how to go about doing it. Also, the FCC licensing test... Are they difficult?


I would appreciate any information that could be given... I want to really get into this stuff....


Also on the GPS part, any good resources there? I have a Dell Axim and found a few programs to help on part of GeoCaching.


Thanks everyone for your time on reading this.


Justin Dunsworth

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One site should answer most of your questions:




This is the site of the American Radio Relay Leauge. They are probably the largest organization in the US of licensed radio amatures.


Licensing is easier than ever. The entry level licence, no-code technician is a fairly easy multiple choice test that can be taken at many different locations. The FCC no longer gives the tests, but has created pools of Volunteer Examiners, fellow Hams that will give the tests. The licence itself is free, the cost of administering the test, etc., will run about $5.00.

There are many sources of study materials for the test, both online and in book form. "Now you're talking" book was one of the most popular when I took my test 15 or so years ago (before Gore invented the internet). Like I said, the test is easy and covers basic electronics as it pertains to radio, operating practices, RF saftey and band plans/frequency allocations. It is easy enough that there are many Hams as young as 7.


Equipment cost is really open. It really depends on what you plan to do. Low end 2meter (VHF 144-148MHz) radios can be purchased new for less than $100.00. Some Hams have several hundred thousand dollars invested in equipment, antennas etc.


There are a lot of resources out there for folks like you. Search the net for Radio clubs in your area. Contact them, they love to help introduce people to the hobby.

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:rolleyes: The McKenna's are right..the ARRL is the place to be...to bad you don't live near Norwich NY, I am running new ham class starting March 10th at our local BOCES. Check links below to see what I do and where I am, I use APRS a lot (Automated Postision Reporting System...GPS+Two meter radio=internet location!!)

Good luck and have fun...73's de Bob Benton N2RXK

Edited by tasis
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I've been a Ham for over forty years. Happy to find you interested in advancing the service. I believe these are in your area. Any local club should have something that will help you achieve your goal(s) if you're serious.

Here's what I've found that may help:

Club Contact

Info at bottom of page is probably most helpful

Personal Contact

Getting Started in Amateur RadioGo to this page and click on "Licensing". Just follow the menu items provided.

Now, it's up to you..... good luck. :P

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I'd add one little tweak. The cost for taking Amateur Radio tests is normally $12 per session, if any fee is charged at all. Some organizations give the tests for free. My first test session, where I took three exams, was $12. My second test session, where I took the one remaining test, was free.

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:D Hey sniffer, glad to hear you want to get into HAm radio AND Geocaching. Like has already been stated got to arrl.com for all the info you need. Also www.qrz.com has a good practice test page for amateurs.


As for GPS equipment and the like, it all depends on what you want/need. The same goes for HAM radio equipment. There are so so many brands and types out there that you will just have to shop around for what you want.


Welcome to the wonderful world of radio communications (coupled with GPSr's for geocaching).

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Thank you all for the warm welcome and the links and information! I really appreciate it and am very glad to see the type of people who do this thing are very welcoming and glad to help! I have ordered a book from WWW.ARRL.ORG already and am ready to get cracking on this stuff, and I have also found my first cache yesterday, 'twas a very exciting time actually....

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