Any HAM operators?

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Branth, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. Branth

    Branth Member

    I just got done with a HAM technician exam - My license should get posted later this week, and I'm gonna get on the air with my little Baofeng handheld. Next step would be to get an HF transciever tk really reach out there!

    Anyone here do HAM radio? I'm open to suggestions for an inexpensive HF rig, preferably mobile.
  2. sarahsmom

    sarahsmom Supporting Member

    MaryB does! I would like to take the exam, hopefully in the spring. There is a thread that she recommended some things to me, I will try to find it and post the link.

  3. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    Congrats, Branth!
    That has kind of been a side interest of mine, we had CB radios
    when I was a kid. Dad would buy CBs that were inoperable, and
    brought back to the store. He fixed them up and sometimes sold
    them, or used them. He would have made a good HAM Operator,
    but just tinkered with CBs. Great way to keep on touch in a
    Grid Down Scenario!
  4. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I used to run a 10 meter radio when I was actively driving. Not done anything with it since the late 1990's early 2000's though.
  5. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    You will rapidly get bored with just that handheld. 10 meters is pretty dead these days except for some e-skip.

    Yaesu's FT-857 is an okay mobile rig but unless you can use morse code you have little access to HF. Upgrade to general class as soon as you can!
  6. Branth

    Branth Member

    I actually took my General exam this go around, and missed it by one question. I figured it wasn't too bad for having known practically nothing about HAM radio 2 weeks ago. I'm gonna study up on General and Extra and see if I can't get those two sometime next year.

    My handheld is just the 2m and 70cm bands, so I'm very limited on range even with repeaters. I gather that with a good antenna and clear line of sight, I might make 10-20 miles with my HT, but I don't know how far the repeater will take it.

    I'd like to spend as little as possible to get reliable communications up to maybe 200 miles away, preferably something commonly used so it could be useful in a disaster scenario. It sounds like HF is the way to go if you want any distance. I guess if I wanted to go really cheap I could learn CW and get one of those little nano kits. I'd like to be able to do voice, though.
  7. Not2ManyGuns

    Not2ManyGuns Member

    My wife is planning to get a HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas.
  8. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    I've carved some ham, but never operated on one.:eek:

    I've got a neighbor that has a 2 meter rig, but that's all I know about it.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  9. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Would cleaning a hog after shooting it make me a ham operator.
  10. Branth

    Branth Member

    I'm thinking of maybe a QRP kit. I don't necessarily want a QRP transciever (I really just want reliable communications, regardless of power), but they are very cost-effective, seem to get good enough range for my purposes, and would be very easy to power from a battery in an emergency. This little guy might do it:
  11. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    I have an FT-7900 mobile rig on my desk for 2m/70cm FM and a 17' tall vertical outside fed with hardline. I am listening to the 28/85 repeater out of MPLS 125 miles away as I type this!

  12. Branth

    Branth Member

    Interesting... I didn't know you could get that kind of distance out of a VHF/UHF without a huge tower!
  13. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Spend twice that and get an FT-817nd. 160m-70cm in a small package the size of a paperback book. Can be powered by AA cells. 5 watts but there are amplifiers available to boost it to 100 watts. 75m QRP is being a glutton for punishment unless you use digital or CW!

    And put up the best antenna possible! The antenna is MORE IMPORTANT than the radio!

  14. Branth

    Branth Member

    I just don't have the coin to dump into a $500 radio right now. It's on my list for the future, though.
  15. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Then look for 40 or 20 meter QRP stuff... better bands for low power contacts unless you plan on running JT65 digital on 80m. Also keep in mind the FT-817 gets you on 2m and 70cm and 6m!
  16. lumindragon

    lumindragon Member

    Been a HAM since 1992 here, (extra+GROL)... have an FT-817 as well and it's absolutely great. You would be AMAZED what you can do with 5w -- under the right conditions..

    I've done 700 miles "barefoot" in the right propogation with a good resonant antenna. Some of the newer digital modes could probably do even better than that if the cycle was right, but it's definitely dependent on what the space weather is doing.

    In an emergency, QRP will get you places -- just not necessarily repeatably exactly where/who you want. (Moreso, though, with the digital modes... ) But it sure beats nothing at all.
  17. Branth

    Branth Member

    What kind of antennas do you guys use?

    Like I said, I'm not into QRP as a field, but it does seem like it gets me what I want for a reasonable price. Right now, I've got a UV-5R with a Nagoya whip antenna, but I should have a Slim Jim antenna soon. That'll be my BOB radio - If I need to reach out, I can always throw the slim jim up a tree and see how far it goes. A HF rig would be WAY more versatile though. Maybe I can trade off a gun and get one...
  18. 00volunteer

    00volunteer Member

    Any Ham Operators - FCC License

    Sadly no, the FCC might not take it kindly if you started transmitting on an amateur rig just 'cause you cleaned a hog LOL. Also, the other REAL hams would hunt you down and set you straight. I'm not a ham yet, but; I'm studying for my General Class license.
  19. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member


    Hey, quick question for you, did you see this topic on a search engine and
    decide to register to comment? I notice we get quite a few "hits" like this,
    usually on things that are a bit uncommon or off-beat. THIS is quite "off-topic"
    for a gun forum, but a great topic.

    In short, just wondering how yu found us? :confused:

    Hope you stick around, anyway! Do you shoot much?