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Thread: Another NOOB here

  1. #1

    Default Another NOOB here

    I'm an old guy, but new to HAM. Way back in the day before sunspots killed it I was a CB guy, but that doesn't really count. I have always had a passing interest in radio, but suddenly wife has discovered a need. She now commutes daily to Palm Springs and realized that in the event of a big enough emergency to clog cell towers she would be totally on her own. My suggestion over the years that we get radio equipped suddenly stopped falling on def ears.

    We are currently studying for our Tech license with plans to take it next month. I am primarily interested in car to car, car to base operation on 2 meter with and or without repeaters. After some research (lots of confusing and conflicting information out there) I have acquired 3 new FT-7900r, 2 FT-60, a 32 amp power supply for the base and a partridge in a pear tree.

    I am planning on joining the local HAM group and becoming involved in the club activities and learning how I can assist in emergencies, but have not contacted them yet.

    What I see as different about me VS traditional HAM operators is that my interest is primarily in local communication not talking to people all over the world. The internet has given the rest of us that ability which was previously primarily only available to you HAM operators. Perhaps with time that interest will grow in me.

    Since I have an accounting background not a technical one wrapping my head around the technology has been difficult but I am getting there. I still have a long way to go and am hoping to find a few patient members of the local club who don't mind a lot of dumb questions.

    Hoping to become a valuable member of this community.

  2. #2

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    local clubs are a very good way to get involved. You will find that there a lot more people interested in the VHF side of amateur radio than you imagined and depending on where you live, some groups are large enough that the emergency comm folks have their own club. Here in my area that is the case, there is the regular ham club and a ARES club, they meet in the same building on different days, some guys are members of both clubs. Have fun.

  3. #3

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    Thank you, lots to learn, and most of it seems foreign now, but I'm a fast learner. Can hardly wait to get licensed.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 40MACK View Post
    I'm an old guy, but new to HAM. Way back in the day before sunspots killed it I was a CB guy, but that doesn't really count. I have always had a passing interest in radio, but suddenly wife has discovered a need. She now commutes daily to Palm Springs and realized that in the event of a big enough emergency to clog cell towers she would be totally on her own. My suggestion over the years that we get radio equipped suddenly stopped falling on def ears.

    We are currently studying for our Tech license with plans to take it next month. I am primarily interested in car to car, car to base operation on 2 meter with and or without repeaters. After some research (lots of confusing and conflicting information out there) I have acquired 3 new FT-7900r, 2 FT-60, a 32 amp power supply for the base and a partridge in a pear tree.

    I am planning on joining the local HAM group and becoming involved in the club activities and learning how I can assist in emergencies, but have not contacted them yet.

    What I see as different about me VS traditional HAM operators is that my interest is primarily in local communication not talking to people all over the world. The internet has given the rest of us that ability which was previously primarily only available to you HAM operators. Perhaps with time that interest will grow in me.

    Since I have an accounting background not a technical one wrapping my head around the technology has been difficult but I am getting there. I still have a long way to go and am hoping to find a few patient members of the local club who don't mind a lot of dumb questions.

    Hoping to become a valuable member of this community.
    I'm not really sure then what you are asking or just telling us.

    I guess there is no rules pertaining to - for what reason - a person gets into amateur radio.

    For the most part - 2 meters FM is a lot like the old cb radio - since everyone here ( Where I live ) that operates 2m FM came from the cb radio.

    If you asked me which radio to buy, it most definitely wouldn't be a Yaesu - with a whole plethora of reasons why not to buy it.

    Its harder to program - especially while mobile, traveling down the road. There is a routine you have to learn when you try to program it - away from just using a computer and software.

    It doesn't do APRS - which is no big deal to me, since the children in my neighborhood that plays with that kind of stuff, mostly just do it because it amuses them, not because they are sincerely interested in doing emcomms.

    Where I live, the most catastrophic thing we experience is summer / winter storms. Hence there isn't as much of a need for trained people to respond to an event as there would be in say Florida.

    A 50w rig doesn't need a 35a power supply, and not all power supplies are equal when it comes to reliability and service..
    You could have accomplished the same thing with a 20a Astron Linear power supply, although you will also need a battery bank if you plan to use it when the electric is out - so relying on commercial mains is about a joke.

    Using amateur radio to keep track of loved ones is rather silly - due to the fact that your range will be dictated by the location of your house and the type of antenna used on your mobiles. I never saw a woman that said OK to putting a 40 inch antenna in the middle of the car roof. I never saw an 18 inch antenna mounted to the side of the fender or trunk that talked more than a couple of miles reliably.

    What doesn't work in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, might work in Ohio, I don't know - because I don't live there.
    I can only tell you my experience..

    As far as clubs goes, most clubs are Fraternal.. They are ok if you want to eyeball the people you choose to hang out with on the radio, but most of them offers absolutely no help as far as having technical people available that will offer you sound advice as per radios, antennas, coax, power supplies, mounting instructions for antennas etc.. All you will get is opinions - just like you get when you ask a question on the internet.

    The answers are based solely on the opinions of the person responding and has very little technical merit.
    I belonged to one club that told a new - visiting ham, that all they needed to check into their Sunday night net was a 5 watt handheld, when the person lived 30 miles away, and I can't hit their repeater with a 50 watt mobile and a Larsen NMO 270 antenna in the middle of the roof of my truck - not even when I am in an optimum location - let alone where these people lived - out in the middle of the woods in a secluded valley.

    Ok so it turned into a big fight - right there on the spot, with the wife of the club President swinging here fists at me and telling me to get the hell out of there and not come back... Only the people visiting - were looking for a club to join, I doubt if they ever did join, and I never did hear them on the radio.. Even though they studied and got their General Class License...

    My opinion - 6m is a lot better mobile than 2m FM.
    Plus you don't have to put up with all the scanner listeners and rubber neckers that will interfere with your conversations.

    Your biggest problem is that you are looking for personal communications to take the place of your cell phone, when the cell phone doesn't work.
    ONly you have to believe that in a real disaster - most repeaters are on the same tower as the public service stuff, and if one goes down, so will all the others. Some towers uses a circulator and a half dozen radios shares the same antenna...

    Hurricane Katrina, 911, the earthquake in Virginia all taught us one thing - when a disaster happens it is too late to worry about wireless communications.. I can remember talking to a guy in College Park Md when the power went out after the earthquake in Virginia, where the Nuclear power plant went off line and all the lights went out.. Funny thing - there was no one talking on the 2m repeaters and very few if anyone listening on the repeaters. Most people were more concerned with - What happened? Standing outside of their buildings - wondering why they had no power...

    The Technician Class License exam isn't hard - I've had 5yr olds pass it on their first try..
    That in itself bothers me, because of the class of people amateur radio attracts today..
    Most of the intelligence has left amateur radio...

    Good Luck!

  5. #5

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    Hi 40MACK,
    Welcome to the forum and the hobby! I have 5 Yaesu transceivers and I'm very pleased with them. Im have 2 FT7900s, Ft250, FT450, and FT857. I'm familiar with 2 local clubs, and they both are very welcoming and very helpful. My power supply was a little underpowered because I kept adding power demands to my shack, so you will likely appreciate the extra power in the future. In my location, VHF and UHF are used every day for local comminications, using the repeaters and also on simplex. Very busy day and night with traffic. I am active on High Frequency but I've said repeatedly that if I had to choose, I would choose VHF and UHF over HF.
    In central VA, when the power is down or there is a weather event, etc., the ham frequencies are very active. Have fun with it, you made a good choice for communications!

  6. #6

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    Good info there 6meters. I suspect we will transition to 6M once we get comfortable. As for the Power supply I got a used one, but I'm a big fan of buying once so I got enough amps to cover future needs.

    And yes I was more sharing myself then asking a question. Personally I feel I have a lot of reading and learning to do before I even know a good question.

    APRS sounds interesting-one more thing on my list to learn.

    Thanks

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