Open Roads Radio forum for Ham, Amateur Radio and RV camping


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Old 01-25-2016, 06:06 PM   #1
accumack
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Default New to the site and studying for my license

Hi, I retired and am studying for my first license. My dad is a ham W2NZH for some reason I was never interested in getting a license until now. I'll have plenty of questions such as a good first radio and antenna for a fiberglass class A RV.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:06 PM   #2
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Well, welcome aboard!

I'm a 5ver guy myself but the motorhome folks will be along in awhile with lots of answers.

If you need help prepping for the test just let someone around here know.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:20 PM   #3
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Hi there, Accumack. For each of your "plenty of questions" you'll get plenty of answers here, each wildly different from any of the others and each sensible and worth reading.

Welcome.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:28 AM   #4
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The answer depends on the band. For VHF/UHF most any of the NO GROUND PLANE offerings from Diamond, Comet and others are nice (mine are Diamond). though for 2 meters I also use either a J-Pole or a coxial dipole (Again depending on different things.

Be sure to keep the tip of the antenna BELOW 13'6" (I keep 'em to 13 or less) and spring mount so if you hit a low hanging tree limb (Seen it happen) the antenna survices (It was a motor home that hit the limb not an antenna, thankfullly low speed so only the limb (Dead) was damaged).

For HF, the Screwdriver line is one of the more popular but there are other options. I use 50-100 feet of wire (Currently 50) supported on fishing poles and flag poles around the rig or on trees (this park has no trees)
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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Welcome accumak, I am a late bloomer also. My dad was a ham also, k6vhg, and I didn't get my tech license till I was 66 and my general at 68. I don't know why I waited so long, I love the hobby now. Fell in love with JT65. Last year I. Requested a new call sign and am now the new k6vhg, to honor my dad.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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Don't know where you live but you may check arrl.org to see if there are any classes in your area. Here in the West Atlanta area we will be starting a 3 session class for Tech license on Feb 6th and 2 more Saturday sessions with an exam at the last class. Right now we are full up with 60 people going to take the class so we will be busy. And 2 months later another 40 for a Tech class. As a VE I suggest you get an ARRL license manual, you can get it from Amazon in print or download to a Kindle or any online/store ham radio dealer, and also check out http://www.hamstudy.org online. Do online testing at http://www.aa9pw.com for practice.
Since you have a class A I would suggest a Yaesu FT-857D for all bands and small size since space may be a premium that won't break the bank, but you may want to wait on getting that much radio at first. Also check on an Eagle One vertical antenna that can mount on your rear ladder, not for mobile use though.

Welcome to the forum, Wade is the gate keeper and great to work with. A great bunch of guys here. Good luck on your studies and don't stop with just a Tech license, jump right in to upgrades.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:15 PM   #7
accumack
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I've been taking online practice tests and I am consistently over 85% for the technician test.
The earliest test date I see is mid March so I will keep practicing until then. I'm currently in Southern California until end of March beginning of April.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #8
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Would this be a good first radio?
http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:10 PM   #9
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They are good radios I have one in my truck. They are FM only units so using 6 meters will only be good for simplex or repeaters on the upper end however 6 and 10 meter FM when the band is open can be a lot of fun. I my case I wanted the 6 meter band because we operate several 6 meter repeaters and really had no real need for the 10 meter band so I can get by fine with a 3 band antenna that gives me a full 1/4 on 6. It's pretty rare to see an FM 10 meter opening but the radio is a great price for a 4 band radio. Another nice thing about them the head can be remoted with a standard 6 pin phone cable no need for an expensive kit.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:08 PM   #10
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Looks like a nice radio, but if I were you I'd get a 2m-only radio for 1/3 the price until I had my "sea legs" -- so to speak. Then, as you develop a knowledge of which parts of the hobby are most interesting for you, you can consider more-complicated rigs, including ones with hf and multi-mode capability. The little you spend for that first 2m rig won't be wasted -- it'll continue useful forever despite its almost throw-away price. I have a nice all-mode all-band radio that I very seldom use (Icom IC-7000), and no fewer than four 2m rigs (Kenwood TM-281A) -- one in the motor home, one in the toad, one on a little electric scooter I use at hamfests (it's like the electric carts in grocery stores), and one still in the box. That's in addition to two TM-261As that are APRS trackers, and several handhelds that I never use.

In other words, don't spend much money until you've got a little experience. On 2m you can get to know local hams and get a feel for what you most enjoy.
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