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  #1  
Old 02-03-2008
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Ham Radio Operator

Im interested in it...i kno theres a member on here that is one i cant htink of who...im just wonderin how you go about becoming one? and wat all is involved....some one point me in the right direction
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Old 02-03-2008
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John Griggs (n3elz)
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2008
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Go to Radio Shack and pick up a book on no-code ham operators licensing. That should be your first step.
Step 2=Study it until you know and understand the basics.
Step 3= locate the nearest ham club to you, you need to take a test given by a certified tester, who will be another ham operator with skills and knowledge far beyond yours.
Once you get your certificate you are good to go. Untill you are certified you can't legally buy a transceiver.
To just listen in on SW I recommend a Sangean 909 which is small, portable, and covers both upper and lower side bands. The FM stereo quality is also quite good w/decent PC speakers. My home FM radio is a Sangean 808 going through PC speakers [the 808 lacks upper and lower sideband, so listening to ham operators isn't possible]. The 909 is used in my truck as its radio. DX'ing after dark while camping is quite entertaining. A SW radio is also what I consider a must have if you live where Hurricanes are a possibility. After Katrina I listened to the SW and knew more than most of the locals what was happening long before it made it onto national news [ I live in da yooper].
Hope this helps.

Last edited by bazzman1953; 02-03-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 02-03-2008
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yea this helps....how much was the 909?
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2008
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There's at least 6 or more of us here. I'm just the most "notorious", lol.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2008
 
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Ok first off, there is no longer a requirement to know morse code to become a licensed ham in the US.

Second off, there are 3 classes of operators: Technician, General, and Extra. Most people start out as techs, as that gives them all operating bands above 50mHz, and some privs in the 10 meter band. as you move up in class (if you want to) you get more privs to use bands below 50mHz, and those are the ones that generally let you talk around the world.

Pick one of these up and give it a read and get the concepts:
http://www.amazon.com/Arrl-Ham-Radio...2092222&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Technician-Cla...2092222&sr=8-3

You can take practice tests on http://www.qrz.com, and read up on more hammy stuff at http://www.eham.net.


Bazzman, your certified tester is really called a Volunteer Examiner, who like the title states, is volunteering their time, and they don't always have knowledge "far beyond yours". You can buy radio before you get your license, because I did.


Chevy, read up in the reviews section on eham, they have reviews of almost every piece of gear out there. the big names in ham radios are Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, and Alinco. I have a Yaesu mobile radio that is absolutely bulletproof, my uncle has a Yaesu portable that is the same, and I also have an Alinco portable that has seen better days but still chugs along. For HF radios, the big ones are Kenwood, Yaesu, and Icom.
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Old 02-03-2008
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http://www.ask.com/web?q=Sangean+Ats...rc=6&o=0&l=dir
start here for an overview. I bought my 909 10yrs ago and the 808 about 13years ago, before I understood upper and lower sideband. I assure you that the price has dropped quite a bit since then. My radios are badged as Radioshack DX 380 [808] and DX 398 [909], similar to my Mazda B-4000 being a re-badged Ranger. My 909 does dual duty as I also plug it into my pc, and uses 4-AA batteries [NiMh].
Two of a very few products I have ever owned that, after all these years, I have no desire to replace
There is a company that does mods on the 909 and if I had the spare cash I would send mine in, but my quad needs work done on it first.
http://www.radiolabs.com/products/re...s/super909.php

Last edited by bazzman1953; 02-03-2008 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 02-03-2008
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"Bazzman, your certified tester is really called a Volunteer Examiner, who like the title states, is volunteering their time, and they don't always have knowledge "far beyond yours". You can buy radio before you get your license, because I did."

I stand corrected. I am no ham operator, just a dx'er. I was just giving him a starting point. As for being able to buy a transceiver, that is news to me, I was under the impression that a license was necessary to buy one.
Anyhow, the lad now has a place to start from.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 02-03-2008
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thanks alot guys...i just ordered the books so they shud be here by friday
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Old 02-03-2008
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good deal. now, while you're reading through them, you need to find a local ham radio club (or two) and sit in on a few meetings, get to meet some of the folks, and let them know you're interested. They'll be able to tell you when and where the next testing session is going to be held. (And, you can almost certainly count on there being a testing session on field day [in June])

PS: John - notorious, really?

73 de AI4AI
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2010
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Icon5

Did you end up getting your lic?
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2010
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Jay, NS4J here. Been a ham since 1992. There is a lot of information on the ARRL web site www.arrl.org. The Amateur Radio Relay League (an old name for a very modern association) is the national organization for amateur radio operators.
Jason, I too highly recommend that you find that local club. Having what we call an "Elmer" to guide you through the study process and answer questions is a great help. If you don't want to go it alone, most clubs will have No-Code Technician class. Ours is one evening a week for 10 weeks then ends in a test session.
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Old 03-26-2010
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Studying for the HAM Tests are more often the worst part of becoming a HAM Radio Operator.
Buy one of the suggested books, me I liked the ARRL Books but my daughter liked Rat Shaq Books, said they were easier to understand, so everyone to there own.

The way I studied with the ARRL Book, read a section of the book, attempt the questions at the end of the chapter, check the answers at the end of the book. Any questions you got incorrect reread until you find the answer, mark the correct answer for each question.
After you have completed the book, questions and marking the correct answer for each question start reading the question pool each day or at least as many questions as you can.
Question, correct answer, question, correct answer, question, correct answer, question, correct answer, question, correct answer, over and over until the test date.

The test consist of multiple choice questions an the correct answer is there too.
I know this is memorization but the point is to pass the test, if you reread the question five or more times you should get a good picture of the answers in your mind.
Also, there are sample tests on-line, find them and take the test a few times so you are used to the format before actually taking the real thing.

Good Luck, Get Started, you will enjoy it.
W1IO
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2010
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my dad does ham radios he has a 300ft antenna 6radios hooked up to it i think he can talk on any channel he wants he has all of his lincense. his radio reached china before
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Old 03-28-2010
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KE7NRH, and it's well worth it! Its an expensive, but fun hobby!
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Old 03-29-2010
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Expensive because there are so few HAMs.
The Emergency communication part of Amateur Radio is not only fun but rewarding.

chevyslayer925,
What do you think, you going for it ?
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2010
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I'm a HAM

KC6TIF here.

My understanding is that you can technically buy a HAM radio without the license to operate it, however, some sources of retail trade for this stuff "reserve the right to refuse service" and won't sell to unlicensed individuals.

The license must be fairly easy to get because I managed to get one. I studied the material at home and barely squeeked by...... The Volunteer Examiner had a bunch of questions about packet radio and baud rate and things of that nature that I didn't study up on enough.

I got my license before I got my radio, so my opening comment might be all wrong.

I second the motion on finding a club. There's a lot of public service type stuff you can do with your license, equipment, and skills, and a local club will help plug you in to that stuff. Also useful for sharing knowledge, moving up in license class, and so on. Plus, everybody knows that the coolest people in the world are those who strive for a SWR ratio of 1.2:1 or less and know how to make a J-pole antenea out of an old wire coat hanger. I was a member of the West Coast A-R club in Orange County, California -a pretty big one. I met a lot of VERY COOL people and there wasn't a geek among 'em. I had a ball wth that group.

Kinda makin me homesick for California.........

JP
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Old 03-29-2010
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Google Ham Practice tests, and take those until your blue in the face, and passing with flying colors... Then go take the real one and it will be easy as hell.
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Old 03-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPShelton View Post
KC6TIF here.

My understanding is that you can technically buy a HAM radio without the license to operate it, however, some sources of retail trade for this stuff "reserve the right to refuse service" and won't sell to unlicensed individuals.

The license must be fairly easy to get because I managed to get one. I studied the material at home and barely squeeked by...... The Volunteer Examiner had a bunch of questions about packet radio and baud rate and things of that nature that I didn't study up on enough.

I got my license before I got my radio, so my opening comment might be all wrong.

I second the motion on finding a club. There's a lot of public service type stuff you can do with your license, equipment, and skills, and a local club will help plug you in to that stuff. Also useful for sharing knowledge, moving up in license class, and so on. Plus, everybody knows that the coolest people in the world are those who strive for a SWR ratio of 1.2:1 or less and know how to make a J-pole antenea out of an old wire coat hanger. I was a member of the West Coast A-R club in Orange County, California -a pretty big one. I met a lot of VERY COOL people and there wasn't a geek among 'em. I had a ball wth that group.

Kinda makin me homesick for California.........

JP

and you are correct, you can buy one, but you may not transmit until your callsign shows up in the QRZ database. (QRZ.com)
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Old 03-29-2010
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Expensive is relative. What about that $700 tounneau cover I want or the OEM fog lights that didn't come with my XLT. There is a lot more used ham radio equipment in great shape, that a newbie can learn on, then there are used Ranger tonneau covers.
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  #21  
Old 03-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLT_geek View Post
Expensive is relative. What about that $700 tounneau cover I want or the OEM fog lights that didn't come with my XLT. There is a lot more used ham radio equipment in great shape, that a newbie can learn on, then there are used Ranger tonneau covers.
haha I hear ya there! Used radios are good to learn on, but I prefer new stuff. In fact, I may be willing to part with an old radio of mine for a new ham to learn the basics on. I dont have an antenna that i am willing to give up tho. The thing is kindof a ***** to program, but once its programed, your set. Its a Radio Shack HTX-252. 20W 2m radio. Its a decent little radio. I'd part with it for $40 plus shipping. It sells on Ebay for $60 ish plus shipping. I have the manual for it, and I think I still have the original packaging. I have hit repeaters as far as 50 miles away with it on a good antenna. (1/4 wave J-pole mounted on the chimney, and a comet 5/8 wave when i had it mobile). It gets out. I'm sure you could find a good antenna on craigslist for cheap.

Anyways, Good starter radio for $40 plus shipping if you want it.
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