Author Topic: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1  (Read 13890 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2016, 12:34:18 PM »
Just for the sake of discussion, suppose I want to buy the above "AK-47" and operate in the 145 Mhz range which is the 2 meter band. If a half wave is one meter, that is 39 inches. I am also considering the Yaesu FT-60R which is 144-148Mhz & 430-470Mhz, the later is the 70 cm.

That is what I am considering at this point, subject to change as I learn more.

I cracked open my book and see that for Technician-levels can mostly operate above 50 Mhz. That would preclude me from putting up 10 meters of wire in my attic unless I took the General licence test.

The vast majority of the time dipoles are for the lower HF bands that travel long distances.  Most often VHF (2 meter 145mhz) is better served by either a vertical whip or "j-pole" style antenna.  Personally for a mobile, I think a total newbie could do worse than getting a magnetic mount like this:


http://www.amazon.com/Tram-1185-Amateur-Dual-Band-Antenna/dp/B0045EQUB

It requires a metal ground plane (the roof of your car) to work properly, but you can fake it with a steel cookie sheet in your kitchen.
If you get that far, you'll find various instructions for DIY J-pole antennas that work for VHF/UHF


Offline PrepperJim

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2016, 07:01:05 PM »
The vast majority of the time dipoles are for the lower HF bands that travel long distances.  Most often VHF (2 meter 145mhz) is better served by either a vertical whip or "j-pole" style antenna.  Personally for a mobile, I think a total newbie could do worse than getting a magnetic mount like this:


http://www.amazon.com/Tram-1185-Amateur-Dual-Band-Antenna/dp/B0045EQUB

It requires a metal ground plane (the roof of your car) to work properly, but you can fake it with a steel cookie sheet in your kitchen.
If you get that far, you'll find various instructions for DIY J-pole antennas that work for VHF/UHF

So, dumb question follows (DQF). Imagine having a Yaesu FT-2900r set up in my home. Would I then want to mount the Tram 1185 antenna in my radiant barrier attic or on the top of a bookshelf with a cookie sheet in the same operating area, aka the home office?

Second dumb question (SDQ). I am reading Ham Radio for Dummies. If I had to pick following educational material, what would that be?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 07:07:23 PM by PrepperJim »

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2016, 07:32:55 PM »
So, dumb question follows (DQF). Imagine having a Yaesu FT-2900r set up in my home. Would I then want to mount the Tram 1185 antenna in my radiant barrier attic or on the top of a bookshelf with a cookie sheet in the same operating area, aka the home office?
Mostly it depends on how far to the repeaters you want to reach.  Higher = more range, but if a cookie sheet on the bookshelf works (and I have a friend who reaches ~20 mi to a repeater this way), it's probably easier to start with.  You can always put it in the attic later if need be.

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Second dumb question (SDQ). I am reading Ham Radio for Dummies. If I had to pick following educational material, what would that be?
It depends.  If you have any kind of electronics background, you can probably jump right in with the "No Nonsense" study guides.  If you need more info than that, more of a study-from-scratch than review-what-you-once-knew, the ARRL study guides will be a bigger help.

Glad to hear you're reading HRfD.  I hope it's helping; do you feel like you're getting much out of it?  I feel like it got me un-lost and out of the woods in the run-up to actually studying, but it'd be interesting to hear if it helps others as much.

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2016, 08:06:25 PM »
If you have any kind of electronics background, you can probably jump right in with the "No Nonsense" study guides.  If you need more info than that, more of a study-from-scratch than review-what-you-once-knew, the ARRL study guides will be a bigger help.

Glad to hear you're reading HRfD.  I hope it's helping; do you feel like you're getting much out of it?  I feel like it got me un-lost and out of the woods in the run-up to actually studying, but it'd be interesting to hear if it helps others as much.

I don't have an electronics background; I am an engineer of another kind.  As such, math is my old friend so things like the conversion between the speed of light, frequency and wavelength are easily understandable. Passing a technical test after 10 hours of study is right up my alley. Mind you, I am not demeaning the amateur licensing process or any of its holders at all. I understand it is just the first step in a journey of near-infinite knowledge. It is a gate to keep people out who won't take the time for the first step.

I find that the "for dummies" books are a sufficient primer to talk at a very low level. And yet, through the "for dummies," I am seeing that amatuer radio (ham) is a gateway to a very technical field with knowledge and skill that takes time, skill and knowledge to apply.  I know that I know next to zero if not zero. I know that I have applied exactly zero when it comes to radios.

So, I am just at the starting point where I realize how much I don't know. That means reading, studying, and fiddling around to figure out what works, what doesn't, and how to work within my constraints. *Sigh* /sarcasm Why couldn't I just go to the Verison store, have them hand me a Ham Radio "setup" and I could communicate across the world with anyone with a touch of one button. /sarcasm.

Nothing is easy.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2016, 08:27:57 PM »
I don't have an electronics background; I am an engineer of another kind.  As such, math is my old friend so things like the conversion between the speed of light, frequency and wavelength are easily understandable. Passing a technical test after 10 hours of study is right up my alley.
Then I'd say just jump right in with the "No Nonsense" guides, and wring things out with some free online tests (I used qrz.com's, but there are several).  Shouldn't take you more than a couple of hours each to study for the Tech and General tests.  Glad to hear that HRfD has been a help.

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Nothing is easy.
;D  According to one infamous Tour de France champion, "It doesn't get easier.  You just go faster."

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2016, 02:12:10 PM »

I cracked open my book and see that for Technician-levels can mostly operate above 50 Mhz. That would preclude me from putting up 10 meters of wire in my attic unless I took the General licence test.

Actually, 10 meters or the one place Technicians have voice privileges below 30 MHz.  There are other lower bands where CW is authorized too.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Regulatory/Band%20Chart/Hambands_color.pdf

Good luck
Jerseyboy

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2016, 05:47:44 PM »
Actually, 10 meters or the one place Technicians have voice privileges below 30 MHz.  There are other lower bands where CW is authorized too.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Regulatory/Band%20Chart/Hambands_color.pdf

Good luck
Jerseyboy

I guess I ready the HfD book incorrectly or incompletely. I guess that does not let me off the hook from putting an antenna in my attic or elsewhere.  ;)

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2016, 09:46:07 PM »
I guess I ready the HfD book incorrectly or incompletely. I guess that does not let me off the hook from putting an antenna in my attic or elsewhere.  ;)

Too funny. You said 10 meters of wire which is a dipole for 20 meters and I read 10 meters as in frequency.

Anyway, the chart is good. Voice on 10 meters and CW on 20, 40, and 80 meters.

Jerseyboy

Offline armymars

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2016, 09:32:06 AM »
CW on 15, 40 and 80 meters. Ask an old novice with his HW 16.  Grin ::)

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2016, 04:44:46 PM »
Too funny. You said 10 meters of wire which is a dipole for 20 meters and I read 10 meters as in frequency.

Anyway, the chart is good. Voice on 10 meters and CW on 20, 40, and 80 meters.

Jerseyboy

So the yellow bar with the SSB phone can be used by technicians. Got it.