Ham Radio...Getting Started

Discussion in 'Community' started by hotwire132002, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #1
    "What? Hotwire's not talking about trying to start a TV station?! ;) "

    This time I'm trying to get in to Ham Radio...so I can try out ATV. So, I'm still working on TV stuff.

    Anyway, can anyone suggest where to start? I'd like some good resources to get started on Ham radio. Any ideas?

    Oh, and any hams around here on MacRumors?
     
  2. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    #2

    www.arrl.org

    I grew up overseas around a lot of hams, my mother and I were licenced for several years (general class), and I got my technician class in the US when in college. I built *a lot* of antennas, and got really good at soldering Amphenol PL-259 connectors onto RG-8 solid-core coax. Then I realised that ham radio was neither as cool nor practical here as in third-world countries in the 70's and 80's where there was *no* other means of communications, so I abandoned it. Now, satphones have taken the practicality out of it for ships and people living/working overseas (e.g. missionaries, peace corps, other NGOs), so the only reason to get in to ham radio is just as a hobby.

    The electronics knowledge required does help in general critical thinking skills (puts you a level above people who think they're 'leet' because they can plug a computer or stereo together), and as a communications art, it has a lot of heritage. See if you could find old ARRL publications from the late 60s - they're like collectors items now.

    The only interest I still have in it is that I'd love to have a pristine-condition Drake T4X/R4B transmitter/receiver pair just for the nostalgia factor, but they're expensive still and I don't want to pay that much for nostalgia!

    We had a Kenwood TS-120 transceiver, and later a Yeasu FT-757GX (that was a *great* rig).
     
  3. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #3
    Thanks for the help! I found a great study guide from there. Hopefully I'll be able to get a license soon!
     
  4. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan or Longview, Texas
    #4
    It's really not hard to get a technician's license, which is all that's needed for ATV. It got it on the first try. QRZ.com has practice tests. www.eham.net has reviews of ATV equipment.
     
  5. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #5
    I didn't find the test hard at all to become a Technician and I did that when I was only 15. And I'm 19 now. I read "Now You're Talking" which is the Amerature Radio Society approved book. It helped a lot and I just memorized a few simple frequencies of which I am allowed to operate on. There are plenty of practice questions as well.
    -KD7IWP
     
  6. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #6
    What's it cost for a basic radio setup? I discovered ATV is probably too expensive for me to start out with ($549 for the transceiver), but I'd like to start with basic ham radio, then move on to ATV in the future (possibly).
     
  7. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    #7

    How long is a piece of string?


    for retail, the biggest selection would be at www.hamradio.com (HRO). Their catalogue is downloadable as a PDF.

    Go to you local bookstore and get copies of '73' and 'QST' magazines, and look around for a local 'hamfest' event. A hamfest is a flea-market of sorts, where you can buy/sell/trade gear, usually used. You can also meet people in your area who can answer your questions better.
     

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