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Thread: Starting Out Questions - the basics for a new user.

  1. #1

    Default Starting Out Questions - the basics for a new user.

    I read this "If you are starting to get into the hobby, feel free to ask Any Question" for this forum, so I hope this is the right place to ask.


    I know nothing about ham radio, but I've always been interested in it. Back in the 1970's, I used to go to a radio shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with used radios lined up on the walls, some with oscilloscopes, most with knobs and dials and controls that I know nothing about. I thought about buying one, but didn't even know the right questions to ask. So I bought a small hand-held radio for local traffic.

    I recently bought the book from ARRL, that will hopefully allow me to make a little more sense out of this - they sent me a magazine/catalog, but it might as well be written in Greek. I know and understand Photography. I do not understand radio. Yet.

    Before I ask a more detailed question here, is there a video for a newcomer, that covers what it takes to get involved? A one hour YouTube video would be great.

    Question #1 - can anyone suggest what I might want to buy, to learn "on the go"? I know I can't speak over the radio until I pass the test, but it would nice to be able to do something in the meantime. I live on a 9th floor condominium in Miami Beach, Florida. I have a balcony from my apartment, facing SouthWest. I guess the bottom of the balcony over me is about eight feet high. Is this a suitable space and room for an antenna?

    (If this is the wrong place to have posted this message, please move it as needed.)

  2. #2


    Web SDR is a good place to start. Here is one in Orlando, FL. There should be lots of signals on forty meters during the day and eighty meters at night, both lower sideband. Scroll down until you see the blue waterfall, then select a band from the box just above the waterfall(40m during the day, 80m at night). Then click "LSB"(lower sideband) in the center of the screen. I had to click "Chrome audio start" above the "Frequency" box to hear anything. To select a signal from the waterfall, click on the numbers beneath the waterfall. To fine tune the audio, click on "+100 Hz" or "-100Hz" beneath the "Frequency" box repeatedly until it sounds clear. On forty meters in the United States, voice signals are between 7125 and 7300 kHz and on eighty meters they are between 3600 and 4000 kHz. Tuning is much easier by using "+ZOOM" at the left of the screen, then dragging the waterfall left or right as needed. You can download a chart of all the ham radio frequencies here. Also, you might hear voice signals on twenty meters during the day, but they will probably be on upper sideband(USB).

    Last edited by KD3WB; Thu 10th Dec 2020 at 18:39.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2020


    Lots of info out there from the ARRL ,Clubs, youtube and others. Also this form .

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