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This is a great thread. Never would have thought Ham radio would have been so interesting. Taking my test in April and looking forward to setting up my vehilce with a 2M as well as a small home unit. I'll post up a follow up when I get things done.

Thanks for the great Thread.

JamieD

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Jamie Dodson
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Discussion Starter #82
This is a great thread. Never would have thought Ham radio would have been so interesting. Taking my test in April and looking forward to setting up my vehilce with a 2M as well as a small home unit. I'll post up a follow up when I get things done.

Thanks for the great Thread.

JamieD
Thanks for the feedback Jamie, and good luck on your test.
 

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A great source for user reviews of ham radios is at eHam.net Reviews.

Also if you join the ARRL, which is the largest ham radio organization in the country, you will get access to excellent lab tested reviews on their website. They have reviews of just about every radio out there, and the archives go back for years, even decades, which is great if you are looking at a used radio and want to see how well it performs.

It's good to join the ARRL, because they protect the ham frequencies from encroachment from commercial and government interests. Without them, we might not have anything left to use. It costs $39 per year, and includes their monthly magazine of equipment tests and articles. They are at arrl.org, and you can join here.

Michael
 

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Well, I read through the threads here and saw a cursory mention of cross band repeat.
Well, the main reason I have my FT8800 is for just that purpose. I have that radio in my 08 frosty white TT. It is a good fit. I have the radio in a remote location just forward of the jack compartment. The head is mounted (currently) up on the dash in a bean bag. I have a friend of mine making a replacement handle for the drivers forward pillar. I am building a custom tip down mount for the head to attach it there.

Anyway, getting back to cross band repeat. If you have that capability in a radio in your truck, you will be very happy you went that way. Think of it this way. With a good build on the antenna system, and the truck parked in a high location, that vehicle is positioned to be valuable to give local comms to you and anyone else during any emergency or event. And, you can use an HT (most folks think of them as walkie talkie) at low power till the dogs come home.

In another rig I have I ran cross band repeat after a typhoon on the island of Guam out to an Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) node to another island to the north. IRLP works with voice over internet protocall, or VoIP.Here is a link (IRLP - Internet Radio Linking Project). You will find that if you have a node on VHF or UHF in your area, the controller will let you talk to folks all over the world. Like your Vonage line at the house. Linking one emergency location to a network so you can work the local area on an HT is "the bomb".

The configuration I have set up is the FT8800 in the truck and I carry 2 HT's. One is a VX-2 (with lots of batteries) and a VX-7. At low power on both of those radios, I can work comms all day on one battery.

And, on getting your ticket, the easiest way is to hit the QRZ.com website and take the practice tests for a week or so. Once you consistanly get a score of 75 or better, go find a Volunteer Exam (VE) session and take the test.

Good luck and best 73

NH2BV
Tim
 

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Took my test last Saturday and got my sign : ) KB3VWH I bought a Yaesu 7900R and hope to get it installed later next week. Thanks again for a great post and introducing a new hobbie.

JamieD


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Jamie Dodson
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Took my test last Saturday and got my sign : ) KB3VWH I bought a Yaesu 7900R and hope to get it installed later next week. Thanks again for a great post and introducing a new hobbie.

JamieD


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Jamie Dodson
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Congrats to you! You will be able to do a lot of cool stuff now.

KE5WRH
 

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I have wanted to get a Ham ticket since High School. At 50 something, I finally did it. I think the code requirement was what held me back. I passed tech in July '10 and upgraded to General this past March, on my third try. :jester:

I'm running a Yaesu 8800 in the FJ and a 2900 in the shack. Haven't done any HF stuff yet, getting real funny looks when I mention a new radio...:rofl:

Scott KJ6JLZ
 

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Congrats on your tickets Jamie and Scott.

I live far away from any retail radio store, so I've always bought my gear over the internet - but I'm in Denver this week, and they have a brick-and-mortar Ham Radio Outlet store here. Think I will check it out today; hope that I don't walk out a lot poorer! :worried:
 

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Hey gang. Thanks so much for this informative/generous thread.

I'm taking my technician test on 4/20. I started the QRZ site practice qs... Frankly, this is in my wheelhouse (good memory and lots of experience w standardized test/POE) and I'm comfortable ill be able to nail this thing in a couple months...

My question is this: I can guess that 146.xx is 2m band, but when I see those questions, I want to know why... In other words, passing the test and learning the material are different. (No need to explain here what ranges of bands belong to which meters! This just an example. :)

What resource (other than pracapp) do you guys recommend to learn the material??


@RussLaraway
 

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You might want to check out the ARRL website. There is a lot of information there to help explain things and get you started. They also have a very good selection of books for just about anything you might ever need to know. I was just looking at a book they have called, Getting started with ham radio. Also try to get in touch with some of your area ham radio ops there is usually someone willing to help snd guide you.
Good luck and have fun!


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Lots of great information in this thread!

I had been thinking about getting my ticket for years. Finally got around to it and took the test on 29 January. Got my Technician - KG7BBY, planning on taking the test for General later this month.

I have been back and forth trying to decide between the Yaesu 7900, 8800, 8900 and the Kenwood TM-v71A. I think I am going to go with the 8800, but still trying to decide on the best antenna setup. I currently have a CB and Boztec mount and plan on keeping it, just trying to figure out the best Ham antenna setup. I live in a townhouse with covered parking/no garage and should have 15" of space between the top of the roof and my covered parking (sway away suspension is not yet installed)

I was thinking a K400 mount on the passenger side of the rear door along with a ??? antenna. Also, I am not against the idea of a shorter flexible antenna in the center of the roof, but I am most concerned with radio performance. i would even be willing to swap antenna's to a longer antenna when out on the trail, but I definitely want to have ham communication capabilities all the time.

Any suggestions/advice from the pro's is greatly appreciated.
-Scott
 

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I just installed an 8800 today but no antenna yet. Can't say anything about performance yet but will soon.


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Re: Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

Lots of great information in this thread!

I had been thinking about getting my ticket for years. Finally got around to it and took the test on 29 January. Got my Technician - KG7BBY, planning on taking the test for General later this month.

I have been back and forth trying to decide between the Yaesu 7900, 8800, 8900 and the Kenwood TM-v71A. I think I am going to go with the 8800, but still trying to decide on the best antenna setup. I currently have a CB and Boztec mount and plan on keeping it, just trying to figure out the best Ham antenna setup. I live in a townhouse with covered parking/no garage and should have 15" of space between the top of the roof and my covered parking (sway away suspension is not yet installed)

I was thinking a K400 mount on the passenger side of the rear door along with a ??? antenna. Also, I am not against the idea of a shorter flexible antenna in the center of the roof, but I am most concerned with radio performance. i would even be willing to swap antenna's to a longer antenna when out on the trail, but I definitely want to have ham communication capabilities all the time.

Any suggestions/advice from the pro's is greatly appreciated.
-Scott


FWIW the dude at Ham Radio Outlet told me skip either 8800 or 8900... (whichever one does simultaneous dual band monitoring and has no back light). "Old tech" and "lack of backlight" he says not worth it.

Went w 7900R on his reco + price + reviews. Cant transmit yet (license on 2/16), but listened in on some long range nets last night in my driveway. Sounded like combo of features + $, the 7900 was this guys reco. Rebate right now, too.

No opinion on antenna. I kept my CB on Bandi and then mounted Ham antenna on my ARB Bull Bar, which has pre-drilled ~1/2" holes on either side for exactly that. (See pics) Everything functioning very well.
 

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Re: Re: Ham Radio for Trail Use Primer & Radio Buyers Guide

i would also recommend the practice tests over at qrz...

Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM
YES! Assuming all 396 qs are identical to the test bank, this is easily best way to prepare.

I'm crushing Tech Class (35/36) on there but more like 50% on General Class (just started yesterday on GC)

So for anyone else coming to this thread.... skip the 1-day cram courses, and learn test qs at qrz.com.

method: do each unit (about 11-13 qs) until I scored 100%. (Usually 2 or 3 tries). About 5 units per night for 1 week.

After scoring 100% on every unit, start drilling full test.

5 tries later: scoring consistently over 85%
3-5 more tries later and I'm in 97% range.

Your results may vary (be faster)

This is cheaper than cram day and if you don't understand something you can just Google it.

The book mentioned above is great at explaining many concepts that will show up on Tech Class exam.

@RussLaraway
 
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