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Starting Ham


Geojeepin17
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chris here,

im a 15 male in eastern Mass. i've been doing an awful lot of reading and research on the HAM radio, and have become very interested in learing more/getting some hands on experance. im very avid in use gps and have tried useing CB radio but it seems that it is out dated and hardly ever used or talked about. im looking for someone with much experance and knolege on the subject to help get me more involved

 

 

--thanks

christopher :rolleyes:

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Hello,

 

It sounds like you have taken your first steps towards a rewarding hobby. It is a very cultured and vast one that has so many facets I could never cover them all here. Might I reccomend you look at the ARRL website (Search for ARRL) and also QRZ.COM. Both of these have areas to click on regarding new hams and are great learning experiences. If you have any questions please ask and I am sure either myself or others can answer them all.

 

For the record my name is Brad and I am located in Wyoming where I have held a general class callsign for several years now. I was licensed when I was 12 initally and now I am 21. My wife is also licensed as well as my parents and many friends.

 

Brad

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Chris,

I would suggest studying for a no code tech license. that is the easiest and fastest way to get your license that will will allow you to operate on VHF/UHF frequencies which are the most popular. it will also allow you to use aprs and possibly talk to the astronauts on the ISS and space shuttle . There are a lot of satellites that you can try too. I have worked hams from california, mexico, wisconsin and colorado, while standing in georgia with a 5 watt walkie talkie. follow this link to the tech question pool. http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/tech2003.txt you can print them out and study them for free. here's a helpfull hint, go through all the answers and hilite the correct one then when you study , you can just remember the correct answer. but be carefull. the order of the answers can change on the test. thats why i suggest you hilite the correct ones. there are 200 questions in the pool but you only have to answer 35 on the test.

 

If you would like to see where i live via aprs click on this link http://www.phrozen-neon.com/alarc/aprs.php

and in tne upper right hand corner of the page enter kb4put then click submit.

if you have any questions you can email me at kb4put@yahoo.com

 

good luck hope to see you on the radio

 

robert \kb4put :rolleyes:

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Chris:

 

Here is a great free on-line course to get you started in ham radio.

 

http://www.transworldradio.8m.com/tutorial/tutorial.htm

 

It is not necessary to be an electrical engineer to be a ham and I believe the author of this course was 17 when he put this course together at least that information used to be on the site. Anyway, he kept this course simple to understand, so you should be ready to take the test at the next exam session in your area.

 

It could be helpful to you to pair up with an "Elmer" (hamspeak: for anyone, male or female-young or old, who acts as a ham radio mentor to someone new to radio) you can locate these folks through any amateur radio club in your area.

 

Don't worry a lot about the cost of equipment. There is tons of used equipment available and I have recently bought basic hand-held and mobile tranceivers that are fully functioning for as little as $5.00 plus if you align yourself with a local club it's almost a certain that someone will help get you started with some type of a rig.

 

Ham radio is an exciting hobby with many interesting facets. Some folks like to simply "ragchew" (talk to their friends--ham radio was the original "chat room"), many do emergency communications work, thousands enjoy "working the birds" (communicating through satelites), there are "moon-bouncers" who do EME (earth-moon-earth literally using the moon as a relfector to send their signal across the globe), QRP'ers use tiny low powered radios to talk great distances, vhf-uhf guys often communicate using a technique known as "meteor scatter".....there are hundreds of other modes and methodes to choose from.

 

Good luck and welcome to the fraternity of radio enthusasists.

 

73 (hamspeak for best wishes)

 

John H. Bigley N7UR

President

Nellis Radio Amateur Club

Nellis Air Force Base

Las Vegas, NV

Edited by N7UR
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The Tech license is pretty easy. It is certainly no harder than the science classes you are already taking.

 

www.eham.net has online exams that you can take to practice for the exam.

 

From ARRL, you can find local clubs in your area. Many clubs have classes for the Tech exam and some have this weekend program where you are in class for all day on Sat and then take the exam on Sunday.

 

I am a tech, though I am studying for my General exam. The VHF/UHF bands have repeaters, and access to IRLP and Echolink that allow you to use HAM radio to talk all over the place.

 

I have had simultaneous conversations with 2 guys in Juneau, and a guy in the Mohave desert on IRLP.

 

APRS is fun if you go caching in remote areas.

 

Good luck.

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From another teen, ham radio is cool especially when you can get your friends into it!

 

I studied using "Now You're Talking"(an ARRL book), hamquick.com, and the practice tests at qrz.com and the AA9PW practice tests. I passed the test in 2-3 weeks.

 

I am limited by only owning a 2 meter handheld radio with a rubber duck antenna (a setup which can be common for beginning teens). I still use amateur radio every day though. I participate in a local weekly youth net, and ragchew sometimes after school. I listen to a CW teaching net every week and to the IRLP repeater where have heard people from all over the world. I have Echolink on my home PC, which is great if you've just got a tech license. I've talked to people from Canada, England, and many, many places in the US, as well as checked into an Echolink youth net. I'm planning to do some public service in January and February, as well as on some spring parades.

 

There's a lot you can do with just a little!

 

I've also used my radio when geocaching with some ham-geocacher types (like all those here).

 

73!

KC2MOK

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thanks guys the info is really helping but i am still looking for a more sure way to get started (like a group or person i can go to) in my local area (lower eastern MA) also at the current moment i have nothing (supplys, equipment, books) so any way of helping me would make great segestions (ie where is a to shop for equipment that is used in good condition and CHEAP!) thanks for all the help

 

--Christopher

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thanks guys the info is really helping but i am still looking for a more sure way to get started (like a group or person i can go to) in my local area (lower eastern MA) also at the current moment i have nothing (supplys, equipment, books) so any way of helping me would make great segestions (ie where is a to shop for equipment that is used in good condition and CHEAP!) thanks for all the help

 

--Christopher

Tech exam book (Now You're Talking) available from the ARRL (www.arrl.org).

Equipment: Ham auctions (AKA Hamfests) are best. You can see the stuff and inspect it. I would not go the Ebay route. I did on my first HT and while the HT works, getting replacement batteries is a big pain the backside. Probably for your first HT, I would go either used at a hamfest or new.

 

Go to www.eham.net. Click on the link called "product reviews". The website is like an encyclopedia of ham stuff. Go to the general heading that you are interested in (handhelds, mobiles, etc) and read away. People take this site seriously and you get good reviews of the gear. I will not buy anything without looking here first.

 

New radios are available from dealers like Burqhardt, Ham Radio Outlet and others, all have big websites. I would look into HRO given your location as they have a store in New England. Especially when it comes to dualband mobiles, form factor is important. Some of these have menus that are so complicated, you practically have to stop your car to change the volume. Always avail yourself of a chance to buy one that you have touched and know will fit your situation.

 

I now have a Yeasu FT 51R (good dual band HT, sucky battery situation), an ICOM 2 meter HT (much better battery situation given the ability to fall back to AA's in a pinch), and a Yaesu dual band mobile (8800...Really good radio. No APRS, but I don't want to use APRS, so no problems).

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Check the ARRL.ORG site. They could direct you to a local club, that can help you out. Clubs are more than willilng to help teach you the hobby and give you the required test. There are a lot of onilne "elmers", but you'd be better off meeting the locals and having them "school" you.

 

Jon KC9AXZ

www.kc9axz.com

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Christopher:

 

I've been a Ham for only a year... and the single, biggest piece of advice that I can provide is: join an Amateur Radio Club.

 

At times I've felt like Amateur Radio is not for me because this-or-that makes no sense to me... then I open my mouth to talk and my fellow hams always come through with advice, encouragement, patience, some giving-me-a-hard-time when I ask those it-should-be-obvious-but-I-still-don't-get-it questions... but, more importantly, they've welcome me as one of their own.

 

Like JROHDE said earlier, go to http://www.arrl.org and look up your local Amateur Radio Clubs... then find one that looks interesting and attend a couple of their meetings. You won't regret it.

 

73 DE Alvin/N7SPY

(Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club, Phoenix, AZ)

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Clubs in the local area are also good for getting to know local conditions like what repeaters are used rarely and what are used all the time, is your town an ARES or RACES town, and so on.

 

I got interested in QRP and found a small group that does QRP and homebrew kits. Learned how to solder electronics last Saturday. Around these forums that doesn't sound like much, but when my pico keyer gave me the 73 that tells you that its assembled correctly, I was really buzzed. Turns out that it will be a great add to my QRP project given its speaker and stored messages!

 

The clubs have been great for me as a new Ham.

 

As for buying stuff, they also know what is out there locally and can give you tips on what hamfests to haunt. I went to our club's fest and was let down. I went to Lincoln's auction and was blown away. Wouldn't have made the effort to go without getting the tip from the club members that the Lincoln auction was a good one. (Still, stick to my earlier point about eham.net. DON"T buy anything without checking the product reviews here!)

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