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I am trying to think about where to go with HAM radio from my Tech license. PSK was kind of interesting, but I could just as easily just get on a chat room on the Internet (and for a lot less $).

 

I am interested in ARES and getting involved with weather spotting/emergency radio support. I am also interested in trying to use the HAM with my treks across Nebraska and thought about getting together a little portable QRP rig.

 

Does anyone do QRP here? Would such an investment be helpful to me in terms of getting involved with ARES? Can I get into this end of HAM without big $ outlays? (figuring I will have to invest in a mobile 2M/70cm rig for regular use.)

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Well QRP is generally an HF activity so it might be a good reason to get your General ticket. The money outlay is up to you when it comes to it. You can by a "QRP radio" which can tend to run you many hundreds of dollars or you can put together a tiny QRP CW transmitter for far less. In fact they sell kits on Ebay that fit in an Altoids can.

 

As far as 2m and 70cm they really aren’t referred to as QRP because for the most part the handheld units operate from 1-5 watts anyway. ARES and Storm trackers and such, you might want to invest in a good Mobile and Handheld. This was you can be sure to get into the local or not so local ARES/RACES repeaters (assuming there is one in your area.)

 

A lot of times with the Storm tracker you can take one of their courses and become certified. From there when you see something important it is your job to contact the proper agencies. So maybe it would be necessary to be able to bring up an Auto patch from your radio and let the local authority know of sever weather etc... \

 

Hope this helps a little. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

 

Andrew

KC2HUX

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