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Never Underestimate The Power Of A Pissed Off Woma
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How do I get started in ham radios? What do I need to do first? I know about CB's because I drive a trk and I plan on putting a CB into the suburban I just got but was interested in a ham radio. Any idea's?
 

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AK4FU
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club nearest to you

go to the ARRL site and find the club nearest to you lots of nice people there to help you.
 

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Function over Form
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txplowgirl, can you tell us what you'd like to do with radio in your system of preps? That will help with a starting point and make the best of your time.
 

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Still waiting for the zombies.
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If you just want to listen, then all you have to do is buy a receiver. If you want to participate then you have to become licensed with the FCC. It really isn't that hard. There are 3 levels. Technician, General and Extra. You can get a book on each, read up, take the practice tests (which contain the exact same questions as the real test) and then spend your $15 and take the test. The starting point is Technician and I spent $25 on a book, $15 on the test and a little bit of reading each evening for a month or so and passed.

Once you pass the FCC issues you a call sign and you can now legally transmit.

I used Amazon.com: Ham Radio License Manual with CD (Arrl Ham Radio License Manual) (9780872590977): arrl: Books.

It does get a bit more complicated as each level gives you more rights to legally use additional frequencies. Also, a cheaper radio ($100-$300) will usually only work on one or two bands while a higher end radio ($1000+) can work on all the bands. Then you get into different kinds of antennas and filters and lots more.

If you're still interested, get a basic book and study for your technician license. You should have a good handle on the basics by the time you get it and can then decide how far you want to go and which direction to pursue from there.
 

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I need to get back into it. I am thinking of putting a 2 meter and a 10 meter in the Minivan that is the current BOV.
 

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I got my technician class license when I was in high school. It's expired now and I didn't use my radio much when I had it. Now that I'm older I want to get back into it for the civil defense / preparedness aspects of it.
 

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Well, as was stated above, it's not that difficult, and has never been as easy as it is now. There are only three levels instead of the five when I first got my ticket, and no code at all (there were code levels at 5, 13, and 20 wpm a number of years ago). Best bet is to find a club and ask for help. I didn't do that, and undoubtedly worked harder...got a manual and a couple of cassettes to learn the code, and had to drive up to Chicago (this was '78) to take the test. Now local volunteer examiners can administer the exams....all much more convenient.
 

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I've long since giving my lic up... but I do have many of the old books in pdf format...if you want to drop me an email I can try to send you a few...

BTW you dont need code to get your Tech Lic anymore... just general and above...

I guess the big exciting news from the ham radio world is "D-star" that lets us link our computers together... with some access to the Internet too... I'd have to look at the books but transfer rates are still kind of low 126kbs???? I'm guessing here so dont quote me on it..

last bit of advice... that is a very expensive hobby... So my plans to get back into it will have to wait until after I win the Power Ball
 

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Getting started in amateur radio

Hi friends,

I was licensed many years ago, but I've come across an online training site to which I have referred some aspiring hams. It's HamTestOnline™ - Ham Radio Exam Courses. They let you try it for free, and the cost for Technician license traning is $24.95. They claim that ten hours of online training will prepare you to pass the Technician test, and that makes sense to me. Once you are prepared to take the Technician test, you will need to take the test from a volunteer examiner.

ARRL (the U.S. amateur radio society) has info on license classes and exam sessions at ARRL | Licensing, Education & Training | Getting on the Air.

A low-cost and versatile series of handheld radios are the Wouxun dual-band handhelds (manufactured in China and marketed worldwide, including the U.S.). These cover the VHF Hi-Band (136-174 mHz) and UHF (420-470 mHz) bands. (Actually, there are several slightly different band ranges, so be sure to get the radio that meets your needs.) There are also versions which cover VHF Hi-Band and the 220 mHz band. These radios are legal to use in the ham bands, and also legel (for properly licensed users) to use in public safety and commercial bands.

Furthermore, the Wouxun radios meet the techncial requirements for operation on MURS, GMRS, and Marine VHF frequencies, although the manufacturer did not explicitly apply for FCC equipment authorization in those bands.

These radios will also operate on FRS frequencies, but the power of the radios (1 watt and 4 or 5 watts) is higher than that authorized by FRS rules.

Note that only the very latest version -- the KG-UV6D -- can transmit and receive on the new Part 90 (commercial and public safety) 7.5 kHz spaced channels. The earlier versions of the radio will be off by 2.5 kHz.

I only mention this specific brand of radio because 1) I own two of them; 2) They work reliably for me; 3) They are cheap!

Here is a review of the Wouxun dual-banders from ARRL's QST magazine: http://www.powerwerx.com/download/WouxunQSTReview.pdf.

I bought mine at Wouxun KG-UVD1P - KG-UV2D - KG-UV920R Mobile Transceiver. Some other reputable dealers who are selling lots of thse radios are Powerwerx: Online Shopping for Anderson Power Products Powerpoles, Wouxun Radios, Wire & Cable, Adapter Cables, Powerpole Power Splitters, West Mountain Radio RIGrunner & more and Home.

In my car I use a roof-mounted mag-mount antenna with my Wouxuns for much better range.

David, K7DB

How do I get started in ham radios? What do I need to do first? I know about CB's because I drive a trk and I plan on putting a CB into the suburban I just got but was interested in a ham radio. Any idea's?
 

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Ham Radio License

Most clubs will lend a book ...at least the clubs in my county will lend a book as well as a person to contact if the book is a little difficult.
Some clubs give classes or know where classes are held. On the ARRL site test dates and locations can be found.

HamTestOnline™ - Ham Radio Exam Courses is where you can spend $25 for practice tests and prep for your first license. I used it for testing only and it was great! I read the book and took 4 out of 10 classes. Most of the questions were on etiquette, FCC rules ( staying on specified band locations), 2 or 3 math questions ( you can skip these and still pass ) and some easy questions from a pool of questions in the book.

After you pass the test call a club to join and ask for an Elmer. These are operators that help out others in the "radio world".

Radio equipment can be purchased easily these days through craigslist , ebay , hamfests or from club websites ( they usually have a buy and sell page). You can luck out and get a hand held for under $150. There are lots of bargains for mobile and home radios too.

Ham radio is an independent communication system that gives networking a whole different aspect.

Good luck!!
 

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Passing any Ham Radio test these days is a sheer matter of memorizing the relevant information. I got my amateur license over 30 years ago, but even then the exams were based pretty much directly out of the ARRL study materials. Now, with the VE system, I suspect that is even more the case.

I knew people back in the day who couldn't get an amateur license because they just couldn't hack the code, or could go no further than Novice (which had very few voice privileges). Those days are gone forever, and there's no reason why anyone who's willing to put in some hours studying can't pass the exams.....and since the code requirements are gone, voice privileges are immediate, even at the Tech level.
 
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