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Camping, Hiking and Outdoor Activities Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities within.

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  #241  
Old 10-04-2011, 5:12 PM
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The books help, I studied the General once in a while at Frys and passed it a few months ago. HF is fun and more challenging, I hear people on the local repeater talking about how well they can get out but its technically always going to be the same because the position of the repeater doesnt change so coverage will be the same.

Highly recommend getting your general or higher, ive talked to people in Japan Ukraine, Hawaii and a handful of states in the US.
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  #242  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
...I hear people on the local repeater talking about how well they can get out but its technically always going to be the same because the position of the repeater doesnt change so coverage will be the same.
Repeaters are capable of enhanced propagation methods just like any other RF signal. A popular repeater here in SoCal shares a VHF pair with a repeater up in Mammoth Lakes. When conditions are just right there's a sweet 200+ mile path that traverses much of the southern Sierra's.

Enhanced propagation is lots of fun to play with...
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  #243  
Old 10-12-2011, 8:02 PM
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Default General Class Upgrade

Just upgraded to General Class.
Currently running a Yaesu VX-6R with Diamond SRH320A antenna. (I'll upgrade my HT to a VX-8R/DR/GR sometime over the next year.)
Right now, I am shopping for a Yaesu FT-857D to start working HF.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1surfguy View Post
Passed about a month ago. Been wanting to test for the last 6 months. Life got in the way.

Technician Class
Yaesu VX-6R
Rubber Ducky Antenna (Looking for a good recommendation to upgrade)

Just getting started programming the HT and getting on the air.
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  #244  
Old 10-12-2011, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1surfguy View Post
Just upgraded to General Class.
Currently running a Yaesu VX-6R with Diamond SRH320A antenna. (I'll upgrade my HT to a VX-8R/DR/GR sometime over the next year.)
Right now, I am shopping for a Yaesu FT-857D to start working HF.
Congrats on the upgrade.

I love my FT-857D. Though I'm partial to the VHF/UHF bands. I bought mine for the SSB ability on VHF/UHF and got a free HF rig.
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  #245  
Old 10-13-2011, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
Repeaters are capable of enhanced propagation methods just like any other RF signal. A popular repeater here in SoCal shares a VHF pair with a repeater up in Mammoth Lakes. When conditions are just right there's a sweet 200+ mile path that traverses much of the southern Sierra's.

Enhanced propagation is lots of fun to play with...
My point is that our MDARC repeater is not linked so it only gets out where it can get out. 200 miles isnt much compared to HF, where ive spoken to other countries

As for the HF rigs, the 857D is nice and portable, I recently just bought a FT-950 base rig, made my DX contacts with the 950 and a heil proset elite headset.

If you guys have rigs and after market mics and want to play with your audio settings shoot me a PM, we can chat on HF. I have my heil headset to give good audio.

Last edited by Darklyte27; 10-13-2011 at 6:59 PM..
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  #246  
Old 10-26-2011, 9:37 PM
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Hi All,

K6EWN
(Formerly KB6SJT)
General Class License
Home QTH: Livermore, CA

Many radios, bands & some repeaters. Contest station K6LRG (I am the Trustee).
I can be found on 147.045/+ 94.8PL repeater generally.

73,

Livermoron (AKA: Jon)
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  #247  
Old 11-06-2011, 11:03 AM
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ND6A
KNOW Code Extra

I don't operate anymore, and really haven't since the code requirement was eliminated. Miss it at times, and will probably get back into it when I get off this cookie cutter city lot.

Loved DX and contesting.

Fondest memories are passing my 20WPM code test, operating CQ WPX from Z3, Running a QSO rate of 250+ per hour on 10 meters in a contest (don't even remember which contest that was), and working CW while mobile (that was interesting trying to shift and send CW at times).
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  #248  
Old 11-06-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoforme2 View Post
ND6A
Miss it at times, and will probably get back into it when I get off this cookie cutter city lot.
ND6A,

I know I'm preaching to the choir, since your an Extra, however you know a simple wire will still get you on the air, especially when conditions are ripe.

The past few weeks 10 meters was wide open and with my mini G5RV was able to add 15 new countries; of course this was during the week before and the weekend of the CQWWDX contest..

The CW contest will be 11/26-11/27....get your key out!!
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  #249  
Old 11-07-2011, 3:49 PM
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Hey "Hams?"
I am interested in getting into the Ham Radio arena.
Does anyone have a particular HAM study guide for an especially slow learner.....ME.
And maybe a quick overview of what is needed to get up and running.
1. Study guide..
2. Where to take a test/cost?
3. What type of license is best to just get started?
4. How little can I get away with spending and still have a decent portable unit?
Thanks guys...
Jim
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  #250  
Old 11-07-2011, 3:51 PM
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The Modesto Ham Cram coming up this weekend is a good choice. Show up, everything is provided. I think it's like $30 including the test, maybe less. You walk in knowing nothing, walk out with a certificate of passing the test, and get your call sign online a few days later. Hard to beat! they do it once every other month or so.
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  #251  
Old 11-07-2011, 6:17 PM
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ExAcHog,

PM sent
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  #252  
Old 11-12-2011, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DiscoBayJoe View Post
The Modesto Ham Cram coming up this weekend is a good choice. Show up, everything is provided. I think it's like $30 including the test, maybe less. You walk in knowing nothing, walk out with a certificate of passing the test, and get your call sign online a few days later. Hard to beat! they do it once every other month or so.

Just got back from the Modesto ham cram. It was easier than I expected, missed 1 on the test. Looking at radios now
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  #253  
Old 11-12-2011, 5:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranemech View Post
Just got back from the Modesto ham cram. It was easier than I expected, missed 1 on the test. Looking at radios now
Congrat's!

I don't know if you are thinking Mobile or Handheld, but a 50w Mobile will significantly out perform a HT. People tend to start off with the HT, but I've herd plenty of people recommend to start off with the mobile first. Eventually you'll own both

I think the Yaesu stuff has the most intutitive menus and the most rugged build quality.
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  #254  
Old 11-14-2011, 9:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch View Post
ND6A,

I know I'm preaching to the choir, since your an Extra, however you know a simple wire will still get you on the air, especially when conditions are ripe.

The past few weeks 10 meters was wide open and with my mini G5RV was able to add 15 new countries; of course this was during the week before and the weekend of the CQWWDX contest..

The CW contest will be 11/26-11/27....get your key out!!
I know you are right, however I just don't think I can do it. Especially for a contest. After having been so competitive with it before I would have a VERY hard time just "goofing off" with it.
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  #255  
Old 11-14-2011, 10:44 AM
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Missed this one -
Hmmm...

WA1QDI/6 Advanced, never could get the 20WPM to make extra class
back in the day.

Presently inactive, got lazy and let it lapse.
I design the stuff for a living now
so that's "sorta work" these days.

Massachusetts issue, but been in CA many years now.

vy 73 OM
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  #256  
Old 12-22-2011, 10:52 AM
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Thought I would add myself to the list, since I'm getting back into it now.

KE6***
Technician General
Yaesu VX-8DR

I first got my license back in 1994, when I was a 15 years old. Various other interests came and went (guns are still very important, obviously), and 17 years later, I'm coming back around to it. I'll be taking the General class test in about a month or so, and hopefully Extra shortly thereafter. I studied electrical engineering in college, and I even though I'm not working as an engineer, I do a lot of work with RF technologies in my day job, so I'm hoping the learning curve won't be as steep as I remember the tech license being when I was in high school.

73

Last edited by SamsDX; 02-23-2012 at 1:19 PM.. Reason: Recently upgraded to General
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  #257  
Old 12-23-2011, 1:07 PM
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KE6***, west of San Jose along foothills.
2M, 440MHz handset with 5W output and external whip.

I tried many repeaters recently listed online and found exactly no one monitoring. Does anyone in the SF Bay area actually ever use their radio?

Didn't there used to be a disaster preparedness net up here, or was that down in LA... long time ago for me.
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  #258  
Old 12-23-2011, 7:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzotzo View Post
KE6***, west of San Jose along foothills.
2M, 440MHz handset with 5W output and external whip.

I tried many repeaters recently listed online and found exactly no one monitoring. Does anyone in the SF Bay area actually ever use their radio?

Didn't there used to be a disaster preparedness net up here, or was that down in LA... long time ago for me.
Checkout the WIN System. It's a network of local repeaters connected via IRLP. It's pretty neat!

http://www.winsystem.org/
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  #259  
Old 12-26-2011, 1:06 PM
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I'll second the WIN system. There's a lot of things going on all the time from a tech questions net, insomniac net, and so forth. If you can get on from up there, I would be able to QSO with you from Orange County via the repeater on Santiago Peak.

My city of residence has a RACES group that I'm contemplating getting involved with. Since it's closely tied with the professional civil service, there's a background check (nothing that would be a problem if you've ever DROSed a firearm, I imagine), participating requirements, and training requirements. I think they host a net every week, a meeting once a month, and they help out with various events such as marathons and parades and such throughout the year.
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  #260  
Old 12-26-2011, 1:52 PM
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You can try the following repeaters in the SF Bay Area from your current QTH:

N6NFI 145.230 -offset, PL 100.0 Hz
WA6TEM 147.855 -offset, PL 100.0 Hz
W6CX 147.060 +offset, PL 100.0 Hz

As for the Santa Clara County emergency services net or something similar check out: http://www.svecs.net/.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tzotzo View Post
KE6***, west of San Jose along foothills.
2M, 440MHz handset with 5W output and external whip.

I tried many repeaters recently listed online and found exactly no one monitoring. Does anyone in the SF Bay area actually ever use their radio?

Didn't there used to be a disaster preparedness net up here, or was that down in LA... long time ago for me.
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Last edited by domokun; 12-26-2011 at 1:54 PM..
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  #261  
Old 01-10-2012, 1:47 PM
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Not sure this is the right forum for this question, but are there any handheld transceivers that cover 2m, 440, AND the aviation band? I am a private pilot and will be getting my technician ham license next week, and such a transceiver would be perfect for me as a back up radio in the airplane.
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  #262  
Old 01-10-2012, 1:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1surfguy View Post
Checkout the WIN System. It's a network of local repeaters connected via IRLP. It's pretty neat!

http://www.winsystem.org/
I am ALWAYS hearing people on 442.900, which is on the WINS system (I think). Definitely one of the busier freqs in this area.
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  #263  
Old 01-10-2012, 2:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scowdrey View Post
Not sure this is the right forum for this question, but are there any handheld transceivers that cover 2m, 440, AND the aviation band? I am a private pilot and will be getting my technician ham license next week, and such a transceiver would be perfect for me as a back up radio in the airplane.
The VXA-700 from yaesu/vertex/standard/horizon will cover Aircraft (tx/rx), Radio Nav and 2m (tx/rx) ... if you can find one...

http://www.standardhorizon.com/airba...2&isArchived=0
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  #264  
Old 01-14-2012, 8:31 AM
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VHF/UHF has its place, but it never did anything for me. HF was always my passion with AM being what really got me excited. I had a HUGE collection of vintage gear in the mid 90's....read over 800 pieces of equipment.

A small, efficient HF station can be set up pretty easily. I live in a condo and my last station took up a small table in the bedroom and my antenna was a loaded vertical using the back chain link fence as the counterpoise. The results it yielded were amazing. I was pretty sure that it was going to be a very compromise antenna system with me being able to make some contacts once in awhile, but man.....I never felt it was a compromise when operating. If I could hear someone, I could work them. I would get comments on my strong signal quiet often and when I told the other op that I was using a 6' mobile antenna on a 4' fence they could not believe it.
I mainly worked 20,40,and 75 meters.

A little more on the antenna's. I started with a bunch of parts from Bud W3FF who makes the BuddiPole antenna's and lives here in town.
This antenna worked very well, but was limited to 40m and up (not enough coil for 75/80m). Having had good success with the that antenna I broke down and bought a Hi-Q mobile antenna with the 5" coil. This is a motorized, remote tunable antenna. So I could change bands from inside the house. Plus it allowed me to work 75m with no problems.

So as you can see....with a little imagination a decent HF station can be ran from just about anywhere.

Below are some pics of the setup. The top pic was the BuddiPole setup. And the the 2nd the Hi-Q antenna.

The station consisted of:

Yaesu FT-950 with DMU,matching speaker, and desk mic.
Amplifier was a SGC Power Cube 500+ watt DC (mobile) amp powered by a 100 amp switching power supply.

Hope this gives some ideas on what can be done with limited space.

Take care,Stan W6ON





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  #265  
Old 01-14-2012, 9:10 AM
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I also have the FT-950, no amp though. My current antenna is a N6BT.com Bravo 7k 10-40 meter bands.

I also have a budipole dlx kit that i use when i go camping with my 857D radio.

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  #266  
Old 01-29-2012, 7:32 AM
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General KJ6
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  #267  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:27 PM
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If you're in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, or even Santa Clara county and want to get your license in 1 day, the San Benito County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (SBCARES) is doing a "ham cram" on Saturday, February 18, in Hollister.

Info:
http://www.sbcares.org/files/ham_cram_test_2012-02.pdf

SBCARES website:
http://www.sbcares.org/
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  #268  
Old 02-08-2012, 4:24 PM
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KG6NS*
My Yaesu VX-8R is about unused and needs a new home....
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  #269  
Old 02-08-2012, 4:35 PM
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KG6NS*
My Yaesu VX-8R is about unused and needs a new home....
you looking to get a diff radio?
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  #270  
Old 02-22-2012, 7:39 AM
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Just got mine last week.
K6**O Technician
PM for call.

Installed a Yaesu 1900R/E in my Jeep with a Hustler SF-2 antenna all from Ham Radio Outlet
Uniden CB above and the 1900 below, Small DC fan inside just in case. Both are installed in a lockable upper center console. The antenna is mounted to a Dual mount made by, arizrockyroad. Designed to mount on Jeeps between the spare tire and the tailgate. Gets the antenna out of the way and near center of the back of the Jeep. Still can use with the hardtop on or off.
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  #271  
Old 03-06-2012, 8:38 PM
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General Class

KI6XXX

An old Radio Shack 2m HT

An IC-706MKIIG which I still have not set up - I listened in on some 2m a bit when I first got it, a but nothing more! Arrg I am so frustrated with myself! My wife is going out of town - I'll hope to convert the guest room into a ham shack when she is gone - I have my ground poking in that room but nothing else set up.
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  #272  
Old 03-26-2012, 2:21 PM
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N4TKS,

New Vanity call when I passed my General. I spend the vast majority of my time on the air for mutual aid. When I have a peace officer or fire figher standing over my shoulder and he hears my callsign, they always mistake it for "10-4, TKS" (or Acknowledged and thanks). They forget they are talking to a "ham" operator.
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  #273  
Old 03-27-2012, 10:24 AM
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N4TKS,

New Vanity call when I passed my General. I spend the vast majority of my time on the air for mutual aid. When I have a peace officer or fire figher standing over my shoulder and he hears my callsign, they always mistake it for "10-4, TKS" (or Acknowledged and thanks). They forget they are talking to a "ham" operator.
I have a designator for when I work mutual aid on LASD frequencies which is Lincoln-nn. For deputies they always immediately think 'L' = Lieutenant. Its kinda funny sometimes after an event.
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  #274  
Old 04-05-2012, 12:37 AM
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Vanity call K6*** Technician as of a couple months ago. Got my assigned KJ6U** call after taking Gordon West's class and really didn't like my letters, so immediately applied for a vanity call.

Have been studying the General and Extra questions and am hoping to test for both at the next available date.

If I pass, I will reward myself with a Yaesu FT857D so that I can start working HF =]

Right now, I've got a few Yaesu HTs - VX3R, VX6R, VX8DR and a Baofeng UV3R and I like Diamond/Comet/Maldol antennas.

Affiliated with Newport Beach RACES and regularly monitor the WIN system.
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  #275  
Old 05-02-2012, 4:31 PM
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Hello all,

KJ6WAD
Technician
Woodland, Ca
Yaesu FT-60 & FT-2900

Only been licensed for about a week, trying to get the hang of all this. Got the 2900 installed in the truck yesterday. looking forward to making my first contact.
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  #276  
Old 05-06-2012, 9:24 AM
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fw10ring fw10ring is offline
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KJ6UQK
Technician
Tracy, CA
Yaesu FT-60R

I would like to add a mobile unit in the future, but the HT has been fun. I got my license recently during a ham cram for the local CERT.
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:32 PM
rubdub rubdub is offline
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KG6YOA, Tech (studying up for general - ready for test, just need to go take it).
Mostly Yaesu stuff: FT-50r, vx-7r, FT-8800, FT-350AR
Various antennae, couple of homebrews too (8 segment collinear 70cm array (hand made), and 2m j-pole (purchased)).
Hang out mostly on the CARLA network, or N6NFI (south SF bay resident).
Do a lot of camping and backpacking. Avid hunter as well. Consider myself to be reasonably well "prepped", though not insane about it. Know my way around emergency medicine too (was at one point trained and certified EMT, though have let that lapse).

Name's Ryan.
Cheers!
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:46 PM
Reilandlaw Reilandlaw is offline
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I don't mean to ask a question that's been covered, but I just scanned this thread quickly but ...

I've always been somewhat interested in ham, but never took the dive. Is there an inexpensive way to get started, and is there a good website/reading material that you could recommend to start basic information gathering?

Thanks for humoring me,

Bill
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Old 05-23-2012, 3:08 AM
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BillCA BillCA is offline
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Ryan,

Try the WIN System (442.900 -tone 162.2) sometime. That's where I listen in around Sunnyvale.
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Old 05-23-2012, 3:28 AM
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BillCA BillCA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reilandlaw View Post
I don't mean to ask a question that's been covered, but I just scanned this thread quickly but ...

I've always been somewhat interested in ham, but never took the dive. Is there an inexpensive way to get started, and is there a good website/reading material that you could recommend to start basic information gathering?

Thanks for humoring me,

Bill
If you're looking for an inexpensive hobby, HAM radio is like shooting. It's not terribly expensive until you want to do a lot more.

Start here: http://www.arrl.org/getting-your-technician-license

To get started with some sort of study guide, check out http://www.qrz.com/ht/

Costs are reasonable to get your license and it's good for 10 years.
You can get into a single-band radio for around $100 or so if you want to start small. Single-band radios allow you to operate on only one band, such as 6 Meters (50-54 MHz), 2-Meters (144-148 MHz) or 70CM (420-450 MHz).

You can spend between $175 - $250 for a dual band radio (most popular are the 2M/70Cm radios). My hand-held Yaesu FT60 also doubles as a scanner on many other frequencies too.

Car mobile and base stations can start getting expensive, depending on the features and start hitting $300 and up.

Rummage around on the two websites above and you'll learn lots more.
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