• Interested in Ham Radio?

    From tmcca@VERT to All on Mon Mar 20 12:55:04 2023
    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the basics than they give you exam?

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From tmcca@VERT to All on Mon Mar 20 13:05:11 2023
    I seen this and wondering any good:

    https://hamradioprep.com/technician-license-course/?gclid=CjwKCAjwiOCgBhAgEiwAj v5whHqGty5npYSE6c9U5E0-bVN5pTSB2nIb8UxPh6OhlaWOlM2AK2E1URoC7L8QAvD_BwE

    Does the exam cost anything to take?

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Airmailman@VERT to tmcca on Mon Mar 20 13:25:46 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 01:05 pm

    https://hamradioprep.com/technician-license-course/?gclid=CjwKCAjwiOCgBhAgEi wAj v5whHqGty5npYSE6c9U5E0-bVN5pTSB2nIb8UxPh6OhlaWOlM2AK2E1URoC7L8QAvD_BwE

    Does the exam cost anything to take?

    The best Study Guides are FREE. The one I used to get my license were made by Jack Tiley, AD7FO. Took me a couple days to study for my Tech and Gen, another week to study for my Extra.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIS GUIDES!!!!!

    See: https://www.ad7fo.com

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Airmailman@VERT to tmcca on Mon Mar 20 13:36:21 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 12:55 pm


    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the basics than they give you exam?

    Absolutely, get your license first.

    I looked at used transceivers first but to tell you the truth, they hold their value so well that it wasn't worth it for me. I bought an Icom IC7300 for $1100 after rebate from DX Engineering and I'm really happy with it. Remember the antenna too. I installed a 1/2 wave, end feed long wire, running about 6 feet above the ground and it works very well. It's no 200 feet tall yagi but it cost me under a hundred dollars and doesn't need tuning to use.

    I've tried 2m and 70cm handhelds too using DMR but it was way to unreliable for me. I still have them but hardly use them any more.

    Find a family member or a local friend to advise you. Besides, that makes it even more fun. Also, see if you have a local Ham Club.

    Cheers,
    Dennis KD4LLC

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Airmailman@VERT to tmcca on Mon Mar 20 13:42:08 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: Airmailman to tmcca on Mon Mar 20 2023 01:25 pm

    Does the exam cost anything to take?

    Our Local Ham Club gives the tests and they charge $10. Not per test, it's per session. So, if you pass the Tech, you can opt to take the Gen, and if you pass the Gen you can opt to take the Extra. All for $10. So, I studied for the Tech and Gen and took both on the same day and it was $10. The Extra cost me another $10 because I came back the next week to take that one. Of course, if you fail and come back later it's another $10.

    Super cheap in my book.

    Cheers,
    Dennnis, KD4LLC

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Thomas Moore@VERT/ENSEMBLE to tmcca on Tue Mar 21 07:47:58 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 12:55 pm

    Get your license first then choose a radio so you can talk on the air.

    ---
    Synchronet War Ensemble BBS - The sport is war, total war - warensemble.com
  • From DaiTengu@VERT/ENSEMBLE to tmcca on Tue Mar 21 12:28:38 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 12:55 pm

    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the basics than they give you exam?

    I'm going to give you the opposite suggestion from what others have given, here. Sort of.

    Get yourself a cheap hand-held radio, or an SDR USB dongle that plugs into your computer, you can use these to tune around the 2m and 70cm bands and listen. Find local repeaters via repeaterbook.com and listen to them.

    While you're doing this, study for your Technicians license. You can go the traditional route and use a study guide, which will give you important context to the questions/answers that are on the test, or you can go the memorization route where you just basically memorize the answers to every question.

    Hamstudy.org is a great resource for the memorization route, and if you want to know why the answer to a question is what it is, it will expand a bit, and sometimes it'll give you some neat little tricks on how to remember the answer. It also has a companion app for Andriod and iOS. The app is a one-time cost of $3.99 but it's absolutely worth it.

    If you have a ham radio club that's local to you, they will probably offer testing. Usually there's a small fee to take the test, (usually between $5 and $15) which goes directly to covering the costs of administering the test. The FCC charges a separate $35 fee to issue your license.

    HamStudy.org also has a list of VECs that do online testing, which was first started back in 2020 because of covid. I took my Tech and General exams that way. The process is a little weird, as it required at least two cameras on me (my webcam, and my phone), to make sure I wasn't using notes and no one was feeding me answers from elsewhere. I guess lots of people just lock themselves in a bathroom with a laptop as it's usually a small area free of clutter.

    DaiTengu

    ...A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.

    ---
    Synchronet War Ensemble BBS - The sport is war, total war - warensemble.com
  • From Digital Man@VERT to tmcca on Tue Mar 21 13:02:09 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 12:55 pm

    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the basics than they give you exam?

    You don't need a license to receive, and that can be a lot of fun. So I recommend starting there, even an SDR (software defined radio) can make a great receive-only station.
    --
    digital man (rob)

    Sling Blade quote #25:
    Karl: they seen fit to put me in here and here I've been a great long while. Norco, CA WX: 54.5F, 88.0% humidity, 0 mph E wind, 0.52 inches rain/24hrs
    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Oldbieone@VERT/REALITY to tmcca on Fri Mar 24 06:17:19 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: tmcca to All on Mon Mar 20 2023 01:05 pm


    I seen this and wondering any good:

    https://hamradioprep.com/technician-license-course/?gclid=CjwKCAjwiOCgBhAgEi v5whHqGty5npYSE6c9U5E0-bVN5pTSB2nIb8UxPh6OhlaWOlM2AK2E1URoC7L8QAvD_BwE

    Hi there. Study guides can prep you for the exam to become a ham radio OPERATOR, but they generally don't teach you about the technology or the science behind the exam answers they teach you to remember. I would reccomend finding a local radio club and joining, find an Elmer - an older, experienced ham who will take you under their wing, to explain the science behind radio, electronic circuits, propagation, etc.

    Study guides prepare you for answering questions, I've never seen one that actually prepares you to understand them and why they're important to know.

    73s
    ---
    Synchronet .: realitycheckbbs.org :: scientia potentia est :.
  • From Airmailman@VERT to Oldbieone on Fri Mar 24 09:44:33 2023
    Re: Interested in Ham Radio?
    By: Oldbieone to tmcca on Fri Mar 24 2023 06:17 am

    Study guides prepare you for answering questions, I've never seen one that actually prepares you to understand them and why they're important to know.

    I agree but there are study guides that also teach each question, why when how and where. Those are good. I think the point is that you should totally understand each question before moving on to the next question. In order to do that, you'll have to do a lot more than just memorize each question/answer pair.

    When I got my ham license, I had my 1st Class Commercial License for 30 years and worked in the career for even longer as a CET so the technical side of all three ham licenses was not that difficult. Other people might not be that fortunate and could really use some in-depth instruction. There's tons of ham subjects that I can still learn. Love it.

    If the classes that you take just teach you to memorize the questions you might as well just use the online study guides that are free. There are some good ones available.

    Besides, learning is fun. Take some classes. Join a local Ham club...

    Cheers,
    Dennis, KD4LLC

    ---
    Synchronet Vertrauen Home of Synchronet [vert/cvs/bbs].synchro.net
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to tmcca on Fri Mar 24 07:35:00 2023
    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is
    suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the
    basics than they give you exam?

    The exams cover Part 97 of the FCC Rules and Regulations, which are on
    every license exam. You also need to know things such as Ohm's Law, RF
    safety, propagation, basic electronic theory, and basic knowledge of the
    metric system. Each are in more detail as you move up the ham radio license ladder...although the way technology is today with "internet radio", you
    only need a Techician license to talk around the world...without the extra expense of equipment and accessories.

    However, without a license, having a radio/rig does you no good, as you
    can just "listen only"...just as if you had a portable scanner.

    Unfortunately, one thing the Question Pools and exams don't cover is
    "On The Air Etiquette", especially in relation to nets. I've prepared
    a file, called "Mode Overview.PDF", which can be obtained by going to http://www.wx4qz.net/elk.htm -- and look for the appropriate link. It
    covers these, plus getting set up with the modes of D-Star, D-Rats, the
    QuadNet Array, and more...and a Technician Class license lets you do all
    of these.

    For study options, I *HIGHLY RECOMMEND* HamTestOnline, which is located
    at https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com

    It's all web browser based, with nothing to download or install...so,
    you can do it on dial-up, DSL, or broadband internet. However, there are
    no smartphone apps for it, and none are planned.

    Subscriptions are in 6 month increments, and the price(s) depend on
    how many elements you want to take. Instead of covering just the questions
    that may be on the exam, they cover the concepts...to explain why the
    answers are what they are. So, you're actually learning something, and not
    just memorizing answers.

    As a side note, FCC Rules require at least 10 times the number of
    questions in the respective pools, as there are questions on the exam...
    and that total is usually higher. So, the Technician and General Class
    exams have at least 350 questions in the respective pools, with the
    Amateur Extra exam has at least 500 questions in its pool. However, there
    are usually over 400 questions in the Technician and General Class pools,
    and over 700 questions in the Amateur Extra class pool. So, unless a
    particular question has been withdrawn, there's a chance that it will
    appear on the exam. If it does appear, it'll be in the exact same wording
    that was in the question pool. There are also schematic diagrams with
    each exam. If you have a docmented disability, and you can get exams
    without these diagrams.

    Back to HamTestOnline...once you reach 80% studying, start taking the practice tests. When you get to 85% passing rate on a regular basis, you
    are ready to take the exam, and will likely pass the test. You can miss
    as many as 9 on the Technician and General exams (35 questions each), and
    13 on the Amateur Extra exam (50 questions), and still pass...a win by 1
    is as good as a win by 10.

    The best part though, is that compared to study guides that you buy
    (which are YOURS after purchase), is that they offer a money back
    guarantee if you fail the exam. Send them proof of the failure (which
    is usually a Certificate Of Successful Completion Of Examination (CSCE),
    but with NONE noted in the area of "License Class Earned". They will
    cancel your subscription, and refund your money.

    For me, it was the best money I ever spent in amateur radio, in the
    32 years that I have been licensed.

    As for radios, there are rigs for every budget...from a handi-talkie
    around $50, to a DC To Daylight all band, all mode, rig...for over
    $20,000. It depends on what license class you have, and what modes you
    want to operate. I would ask for feedback from other amateur radio
    operators in your area...but, you likely will get a wide range of
    opinions. It's best to buy a new rig, even though it may be more
    expensive...as with used gear, the saying "you get what you pay for",
    applies.

    Daryl, WX4QZ

    ... I CQ. Therefore, I HAM. -- DE WX4QZ
    --- MultiMail/Win v0.52
    Synchronet The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to tmcca on Fri Mar 24 08:12:00 2023
    Does the exam cost anything to take?

    Yes and no. Depending on which Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC)
    Team is doing the exams in your area, the cost can be free to $15.
    The $15 fee covers one exam attempt for each element, as long as you
    pass the prior exam (there are 3...Technician, General, then Amateur
    Extra). If you fail the exam, you can re-take it, with a different
    set of questions, for another $15.

    Howevever, if you fail the same exam twice in the same session, you
    likely need more study before trying again. See my previous post on HamTestOnline.

    As of April 19, 2022, amateur radio licensees in the US and Canada
    MUST also pay $35 to the FCC for a NEW or RENEWED amateur radio license,
    or for a VANITY CALLSIGN CHANGE request. There is NO FEE for a license
    class upgrade (Novice to Technician, Technician to General, or General
    or Advanced to Amateur Extra), or for a SEQUENTIAL CALLSIGN CHANGE
    REQUEST. With the callsign change requests, once granted, the former
    one is no longer valid.

    Also, you have to pay that fee to the FCC within 10 days, or it'll
    be as if you never took the exam.

    The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the National Association For
    Amateur Radio in the United States and its territories, does offer a
    reduced exam fee of $5 for those 17 years of age or younger, and they
    will do a one time reimbursement of the $35 fee for these individuals.
    They must bring a birth certificate (with the proper seal) to the exam
    session, to provide as part of their identification to the exam team.

    Normally, a photo ID (drivers license, passport, state ID, school ID, military ID) will suffice...but lacking that, one needs 2 forms of
    non-photo ID (a utility bill, bank statement, or piece of mail addressed
    to the individual). They must also provide a Federal Registration Number
    (FRN), which is obtained by going to the FCC CORES website, and providing
    their Social Security Number.

    Plus, they must also answer whether or not they've been convicted of a felony, in state or federal court. If the answer is YES, they must supply
    all the pertintent documentation to the FCC within 14 days of the exam
    session, or the license grant is canceled. A "YES" answer is NOT an
    automatic disqualification, but it depends on the circumstances that
    surround the conviction.

    For first time licensees, they don't need to worry about the original
    and a photocopy of their license. However, those who are license, or
    whose license has expired (the term is for 10 yeras) or lapsed (expired
    more than 2 years), they are "starting over". If they formerly held a
    General, Advanced, or Amateur Extra Class license, partial exam credit
    is available, once they take and pass the Technician exam. If they don't provide the license documentation, including data from a recent CSCE (Certificate Of Successful Completion Of Examination) from a prior exam session, which isn't reflected on their license...they'll have to take
    that exam element again, even though they passed it previously.

    But, without the photo ID, exam fee, Federal Registration Number, or
    license items, they won't be able to take the exam.

    Daryl, WX4QZ, UALR Ham Radio Club VE Team Liaison

    ... H.A.M. Radio Operator: H)ave A)nother M)eal.
    --- MultiMail/Win v0.52
    Synchronet The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to Digital Man on Fri Mar 24 08:13:00 2023
    Rob,

    You don't need a license to receive, and that can be a lot of fun. So I recommend starting there, even an SDR (software defined radio) can make
    a great receive-only station. --

    I've heard that in some cases, SDR actually stands for "Spousally Declined Radio" (hi hi).

    It's like the memes, where the woman asks her husband/significant other, if he bought another ham radio. The results are as follows:

    1) She says "Look me straight in the eye, and tell me you didn't buy another radio"...he's now cross-eyed.

    2) She has 3 items behind the door, as her husband came home from being out
    on errands...they are (for her use):

    A) Metal Spoon - Came Home Late
    B) Rolling Pin - Came Home Drunk
    C) Rifle/Shotgun - Bought Another Ham Radio

    3) In the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" format, the answers are:

    A) I won it at a club meeting/hamfest.
    B) I got a good trade for it.
    C) I'm keeping it for a friend while he's moving.
    D) You look wonderful today (is that your final answer??).

    4) The apartment building is on fire, and he hands the fireman a fancy HF
    rig, saying "Take this...I've got to go back and get my wife!!".

    Daryl, WX4QZ

    ... Ham Radio QRP: When you care the most to send the very least.
    --- MultiMail/Win v0.52
    Synchronet The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas
  • From Jimmy Anderson@VERT/FINALZON to tmcca on Fri Mar 24 20:05:00 2023
    tmcca wrote to All <=-

    Is it best to get licensed first than get first radio? What is
    suggested first radio? The technician license class teaches you the
    basics than they give you exam?

    You do NOT have to have a license to own one, just to use it to transmit.

    So you can get one and listen all you want! If your area has a lot of
    local repeater traffic, you could get a 'cheap' $35 radio and listen
    to see if it's something you're interested in...



    ... 1024x768x256.... sounds like one mean woman.
    --- MultiMail/Mac v0.52
    Synchronet Final Zone BBS - final-zone.net - finalzone.ddns.net
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to Jimmy Anderson on Mon Mar 27 06:46:00 2023
    Jimmy,

    So you can get one and listen all you want! If your area has a lot of local repeater traffic, you could get a 'cheap' $35 radio and listen
    to see if it's something you're interested in...

    It'd be cheaper than buying a "scanner". But, I think the temptation would
    be too great to key up instead of just listen.

    However, the only time I'm on the air now is when I do my nets.

    There's a ham who apparently doesn't believe in "good amateur practice",
    as twice now, he has come onto a net in progress, calling CQ. When I said
    "a net was in progress", he disappeared.

    I told him that what I'm doing now is right before I start early checkins
    to my nets, I ask if the reflector, etc. is in use, and give my callsign.
    This is in case there's an emergency traffic situation in the process of
    being resolved. If I hear nothing, I start the early checkins 30 minutes
    before the net. Then, right before the net starts, I ask if there are any stations with Emergency Traffic, then clarify that, noting "This is Life
    And Death Urgency to those involved right now".

    One ham in west Texas considered it an EMERGENCY if his ROUTINE traffic wasn't given PRIORITY, as his HEALTH AND WELFARE (ego) would be shattered otherwise. He had pulled this on several other nets, and I understood that several net controls were getting ready to ban him.

    Then, one night, he had the audacity to say to a net control "This is
    not the way a net should be run". The guy thought that "the world, ham
    radio, and nets revolved around him".

    I sent him a stern warning letter, telling him that "If I had been an
    FCC official, he would've had a Notice Of Liability for Forfeiture (an expensive monetary fine) and/or a Notice Of License Revocation in his
    mailbox in short order. I also told him that if he got banned from a
    net or reflector, and still showed up, the repeater or reflector
    trustee or owner could block him...or they could turn him into the
    Virtual Monitors and to the FCC.

    I sent the letter overnight, return receipt requested...and I have
    not heard him on the air since. I felt it was better I told him to
    "cool it", rather than the FCC and law enforcement show up at his
    door with an arrest warrant.

    Back to the first individual, I emailed him, and said "if this
    happens again, I will email the admins, and have your callsign
    banned from usage of this system"...adding "if necessary, I'd get
    him banned from D-Star as well".

    Too many hams are so impatient...they think that missing checking
    into a net is "the sin that will send them to Hell" (there is such
    as sin, but this isn't it)...and they feel they can barge right in,
    without asking if the frequency is in use first.

    Now, I've been doing nets for 32 years, every since I first got
    licensed in 1991...and have had situations where emergency traffic
    broke into the net. At that point, regular net operations were
    obviously suspended, until "systems were returned to regular use".
    I tell folks now (in my preamble), "During the net, if you have an
    EMERGENCY or PRIORITY traffic situation develop at your location,
    break in with the prowords EMERGENCY or PRIORITY, followed by your
    callsign. At that point, we'll stop the net, and try to help you
    deal with your situation...or clear the frequency, if that'll be
    the better option".

    This also applies if the National Weather Service comes on,
    asking to use the system for Skywarn Operations. At that point,
    I immediately terminate the net, and turn it over to the NWS,
    without hesitation.

    Before I quit doing weather and ham radio (which was what got
    me into the hobby 32 years ago), tornadic storms had moved into
    western Arkansas, and were approaching the Little Rock County
    Warning Area (CWA) of the NWS Office. They called the Arkansas
    Skywarn Coordinator, who called me, asking if I could start "The
    Weather Watch Net", which was a precursor to "Arkansas Skywarn".
    They were working to get net controls out to the NWS office, but
    needed someone on the air before then.

    Well, this was on a Thursday night, right when the club was
    to do their regular traffic net. When I announced that "The
    Weather Watch Net has been activated", one elderly ham (who
    had gone bad senile after his wife died) demanded to know "Who
    The Hell Made This Decision??!!". When I tried to explain it
    to him, the guy went ballistic. Thankfully, the club president
    was on the repeater, and I said "Mark!! Tell him!!". So, Mark
    did, but it so angered the guy, that he always interefered with
    me from then on. He thought checking into a regular traffic net
    was far important than notifying folks of tornado warnings. (The
    guy is a silent key now).

    That, plus the club politics, folks wanting to know exact
    specifics of severe weather or winter weather, and some other
    issues (that I won't discuss here) burned me out in early 2019,
    and I nearly quit the hobby. I changed my emphasis from weather
    to trains and railroad crossing safety...and do NOTHING related
    to weather nets anymore.

    The callsign now stands for "Whistled Crossings For Quiet Zones".
    Some railroads will use W for the warning to the engineer of an
    upcoming highway grade crossing, and some use an X. QZ stands for
    "quiet zone", where the engineer doesn't sound the whistle/horn,
    unless meeting a train on another track, for a maintenance of way
    (MOW) work crew on the tracks, if someone is trying to beat the
    train at the railroad crossing, or they're trespassing (the
    railroad right of way is private property).

    I do the Trains Net on the QuadNet Array every Friday at 7pm US
    Central Time...where we discuss anything and everything about trains
    and railroading, and even have railroad trivia. However, I have not
    been able to do the net the last 2 weeks...first for illness, and
    last week for weather...and the same may be true again this Friday.
    So, the ham who normally does the railroad trivia, takes the net when
    I can't be there.

    Daryl, WX4QZ

    ... Ham Radio D-Star, Echolink, D-Rats Net Spreadsheets: wx4qz.net/elk.htm
    --- MultiMail/Win v0.52
    Synchronet The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas
  • From Jimmy Anderson@VERT/FINALZON to Daryl Stout on Fri May 5 19:20:00 2023
    Daryl Stout wrote to Jimmy Anderson <=-

    However, the only time I'm on the air now is when I do my nets.

    <snipping stuff about immature and impatient people>

    I'll tell you, the bad seeds or bad apples or whatever you want to
    call them can ruin ANY hobby!

    I do the Trains Net on the QuadNet Array every Friday at 7pm US
    Central Time...where we discuss anything and everything about trains
    and railroading, and even have railroad trivia. However, I have not
    been able to do the net the last 2 weeks...first for illness, and
    last week for weather...and the same may be true again this Friday.
    So, the ham who normally does the railroad trivia, takes the net when
    I can't be there.

    I knew you were into trains too. :-) That's cool, and I'm glad you're able
    to experience your hobby still!




    ... WOW! Short runway, but look how WIDE it is!
    --- MultiMail/Mac v0.52
    Synchronet Final Zone BBS - final-zone.net - finalzone.ddns.net
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to Jimmy Anderson on Sun May 7 23:21:00 2023
    Jimmy,

    I'll tell you, the bad seeds or bad apples or whatever you want to
    call them can ruin ANY hobby!

    Everyone wants everything yesterday.

    I knew you were into trains too. :-) That's cool, and I'm glad you're
    able to experience your hobby still!

    My late uncle was the only other ham radio operator in the family
    (K3VRM, SK)...and he was the youngest engineer hired on by the Penn
    Central Railroad.

    Daryl, WX4QZ

    ... Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
    --- MultiMail/Win v0.52
    Synchronet The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas