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  #1  
Old 02-18-2005
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HAM licensing

Hello everyone... I'm considering going for an amateur radio license and have a couple questions. First, I want to go with the standard technician license because it doesn't require morse code and can be upgraded with code later. Is this a good way to go since I don't know code yet?? I'm interested in APRS like John has in his truck and to be able to get long-range communication in case something bad happens while wheeling. The FCC website never really states what bands a technician can use other than VHF and UHF. Are there 2m, 10m, etc bands within VHF/UHF that a technician can operate or are the "meter" bands specific to HF?? Lastly, what would I look for in a radio if I'm not planning to expand further than the technician license??

Obviously, I have no idea what I'm talking about but I'm interested in finding out. Any information would be a HUGE help.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2005
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You can operate voice on 10m from 28.300 to 28.500 as well. That's an HF segment.

Basically "HF" is various bands from 1.8 mhz to 30 mhz

"VHF" is the 50 mhz, 144 mhz, and 220 mhz bands

"UHF" is the 430 mhz and 900 mhz bands, and above that is a bunch of microwave allocations.

You can operate EVERYTHING from 50 mhz up on just about any modulation scheme with a tech license, and the one 10 meter band segment on single sideband voice.

It's a great choice for getting your "feet wet" in ham radio. Go for it!

Get a study guide -- they have them at Radio Shack or you can get them from the ARRL web site: http://www.arrl.org

The VHF stuff is pretty cheap and you can get many more miles than CB easily and have communications out of the bush when problems arise. Used radios are plentiful, there are repeaters EVERYWHERE to boost your signal -- you're virtually never out of range of a communications resource on the 144 mhz segment (so-called "2 meter" band because thats the approximate length of a single cycle of the radio waves at the frequency).
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Old 02-18-2005
 
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You can goto http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl if you want to take a few practice tests, to see if your ready to take the real test.

Also, http://www.eham.net/ has a few resources that may be helpful in your pursuit.
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Old 02-18-2005
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Hmm... So the tech license will allow voice on anything above 50mhz which includes 2m and 10m. What about data?? Does the tech license allow for data as well??
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Old 02-18-2005
 
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All operating privledges (Voice / Data / anything) above 50 mhz, but I don't know about the 10 meter stuff, as that is news to me.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2005
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Unless they changed it, Techs have always had SSB voice on 28.3 to 28.5 -- they may have changed that with the new licensing, but even no-code techs had that privilege when the class was first created in 1987 or so.

Yes, ALL MODULATION METHODS are allowed to techs at 50 mhz and above, including digital codes. You can't encrypt things, they must be sent with "approved" coding schemes, but there's plenty of them to choose from.
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Old 02-18-2005
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Cool... Time to start studying.
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBarCYa
Cool... Time to start studying.
I bought the..um..AARP..or AH..whatever the Amateur Radio group is study guide. I got half way thru it and the math destroyed my dreams of hamming it up. I will give you the book if you give me the address to send it to.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2005
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Don't give up, goto QRZ and take their practice tests until you are getting 90%+ consistantly then go down and take your test. If you really study it, you will get it down within a week or so.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2005
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Is the Kenwood TM-261A a decent radio??
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2005
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Yes. Kenwood doesn't make any "bad" radios.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2005
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I've been a tech for 5 years now. I have no need or desire to lean morse code and have not had the need to desire to operate below 144mhz either, so it is perfect for me. I am very active on 440 and 900 up here and we have a good group of people on it. I found the test very easy but things like that tend to come naturally to me. If you study and take the practice tests, I have no doubt you can pass it with flying colors.

Kenwood makes great radios, you can't go wrong. Find out what repeaters and groups are in your area and base what band radio you will benefit most from on that.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2005
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Yaesu and ICOM also. My VHF voice rig is Yaesu, my APRS transmitter is ICOM, and my HF rig is Kenwood -- I'm sort of spreading it around, lol.

I'd stay away from Alinco, by and large. They are inexpensive and not all that impressive to me in terms of construction, though they work quite well in most cases.

There may be other brands now for all I know. I'll look at QST (main magazine for amateur radio) and see what's up.

Tom, go to http://www.hamradio.com and look for any specials on rigs you like. My friend manages the Ham Radio Outlet store in New Castle, DE, and we might just be able to get you a better deal.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2005
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i have been thinking about going for this as well... my grandfather has had his since he turned 15... in 1930 and i want to get it since i know it would make him really proud... ICOM imho is one of the best radios you can buy... i dont know if there is a ham band of the SEA 222 models but i have used a lot of those that were marine band SSB older but built like tanks
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2005
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Acquired my Technicians license in July and enjoying the use of 2 meter. My recommendation for a radio would be as the other have stated; Yaesu, ICOM or Kenwood. My preference in 2 meter radio are the Yaesu FT 1500M due to its compact size and performance and the ICOM IC 2100H for durability.
Use one in my Jeep for offroading and the other in my daily driver for local communication.

OR 4x4
KG6VVM
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2005
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Hey, Charles! Welcome to the site.

Like you, I am running the ultra-compact FT-1500M in my truck. Good rig. Check my Cardomain page (link in my sig) to see more about my setup. Right now the HF rig is out, replaced by a laptop for using in offroad navigation in areas I don't know (like Wharton State Forest over here). But it goes back in easy enough.

I got my Tech back in 1985, but eventually upgraded to Extra. I waited until the code requirement was reduced though since I've never been a morse code afficionado. You only need a 5 WPM cert for the higher licenses now.
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