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  #41  
Old 02-17-2021, 09:30 PM
nsfr1206 nsfr1206 is online now
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Originally Posted by BuscaPlata View post
OK, so if I wanted to become a HAM, about how much would it cost me to become one, approximate total?

Not much... buy a book to study, take practice tests online and go take a test. I donít remember what testing costs... maybe 25$? And a 2M transceiver is less than $200. Buy an antenna and mount it in your vehicle. Or buy a Ringo Ranger if you live where they are acceptable and get on the air!

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  #42  
Old 02-17-2021, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Alan~ View post
You'll need someone in the US to answer that one.
Here in the UK it was just the cost of the evening classes to get my B licence.
The cost of radios and antennas varies enormously, depending on what you want to achieve.
Thanks for the info Alan.
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  #43  
Old 02-17-2021, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nsfr1206 View post
Not much... buy a book to study, take practice tests online and go take a test. I donít remember what testing costs... maybe 25$? And a 2M transceiver is less than $200. Buy an antenna and mount it in your vehicle. Or buy a Ringo Ranger if you live where they are acceptable and get on the air!
Ok so it's not as expensive as I thought, I was thinking way higher than that.
Thanks for the info nsfr1206
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  #44  
Old 02-17-2021, 11:04 PM
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You can spend much more buying or building antenna arrays, putting up a tower with a rotator, buying the latest and greatest rig etc. But itís pretty inexpensive to just get on your local repeaters and talk.


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  #45  
Old 02-18-2021, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BuscaPlata View post
OK, so if I wanted to become a HAM, about how much would it cost me to become one, approximate total?
If you can borrow the study guide, you can do that part for free.

If you take the test with a group associated with the Laurel VEC, there is no charge. If you take it with a group associated with the ARRL VEC, I think it is $15.00.

After that, the cost is in all the hardware you would need. Count on a power supply, an antenna, coaxial cable, and the radio. You *may* need an antenna tuner, possibly a balun (balanced to unbalanced transformer), but all these things are cheaper if you operate at QRP power levels (10 watts or less). Under good conditions, QRP stations can do well (I've almost got my DX Century Club certificate; I'm only about 8 or 9 entities short).

It is best if you have a ham or ham club near you that you can get advice and possibly deals on used equipment from. And even though Morse code isn't a requirement in the US anymore (I don't know about elsewhere), it will generally be easier to make low-power contacts with.

73,

-- Tom

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  #46  
Old 02-18-2021, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by achaios View post
If you can borrow the study guide, you can do that part for free.

If you take the test with a group associated with the Laurel VEC, there is no charge. If you take it with a group associated with the ARRL VEC, I think it is $15.00.

After that, the cost is in all the hardware you would need. Count on a power supply, an antenna, coaxial cable, and the radio. You *may* need an antenna tuner, possibly a balun (balanced to unbalanced transformer), but all these things are cheaper if you operate at QRP power levels (10 watts or less). Under good conditions, QRP stations can do well (I've almost got my DX Century Club certificate; I'm only about 8 or 9 entities short).

It is best if you have a ham or ham club near you that you can get advice and possibly deals on used equipment from. And even though Morse code isn't a requirement in the US anymore (I don't know about elsewhere), it will generally be easier to make low-power contacts with.

73,

-- Tom
Thanks for the info achaios, There is a ham club here in Grand Rapids but no meetings cause of the you know what, only cost 25 bucks to join so I might join just to see if I really want to get into it.
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  #47  
Old 02-19-2021, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BuscaPlata View post
Thanks for the info achaios, There is a ham club here in Grand Rapids but no meetings cause of the you know what, only cost 25 bucks to join so I might join just to see if I really want to get into it.
Our club is not having "in person" meetings, but they are doing Zoom meetings. Maybe your club is, too.

Good luck,

-- Tom

P.S. If you go the 2 meter mobile radio route, you may want to pick up a repeater guide from the ARRL, or look for local repeaters on line. That will extend your range a bit.

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  #48  
Old 02-20-2021, 04:14 PM
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KI5BRE here. Need to hurry up and get an extra.
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  #49  
Old 02-21-2021, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jordanmills View post
KI5BRE here. Need to hurry up and get an extra.
I missed 1 question on the Technician test, and 3 on the General test (taken the same day). I missed 2 on the Extra test. One of the questions I missed on the extra test had to do with whether current lead voltage or voltage lead current on a circuit with capacitive reactance. Someone in our club, who teaches at our licensing classes, told me that they teach "ELI the ICEman" to remember which way it goes. In that case, with "C"apacitive reactance, I (current) leads E (voltage). Just the luck of the draw, but I didn't draw any of those complex mathematics questions.

Good luck,

-- Tom

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  #50  
Old 02-21-2021, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by achaios View post
I missed 1 question on the Technician test, and 3 on the General test (taken the same day). I missed 2 on the Extra test. One of the questions I missed on the extra test had to do with whether current lead voltage or voltage lead current on a circuit with capacitive reactance. Someone in our club, who teaches at our licensing classes, told me that they teach "ELI the ICEman" to remember which way it goes. In that case, with "C"apacitive reactance, I (current) leads E (voltage). Just the luck of the draw, but I didn't draw any of those complex mathematics questions.

Good luck,

-- Tom
I had a new kid, had only studied for tech, and basically did not sleep the night before. Woof. I missed general by two questions. I'm an electrical engineer by education, so the electronics stuff wasn't that hard. The stinking procedural and administrative questions for the higher licenses weeded me out.
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  #51  
Old 02-21-2021, 06:22 PM
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Building an antenna. Radio coming this week.

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  #52  
Old 02-22-2021, 11:30 AM
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I was just wondering the reason for the word "HAM" being used to describe that hobby so I did a search online and seems there are at least two different answers given.

Here are links to where I found the 2 different answers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio

https://www.rfcafe.com/references/el...gin-of-ham.htm

.......and no, the pic below is NOT what is meant by HAM radio
Name:  HAM_radio.jpg
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  #53  
Old 02-22-2021, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jordanmills View post
I had a new kid, had only studied for tech, and basically did not sleep the night before. Woof. I missed general by two questions. I'm an electrical engineer by education, so the electronics stuff wasn't that hard. The stinking procedural and administrative questions for the higher licenses weeded me out.
At the classes our club teaches, the cost of the class includes the license manual and the $15 ARRL test fee (as I mentioned above, our club is associated with the ARRL VEC). I actually tested at a nearby club, since I had my own copies of the license manuals already, and that club is associated with the Laurel VEC, which doesn't charge a test fee.

I recommend reading the book and taking the test questions, which covers the administrative questions as well.

I first studied the book called, I think, "From 5 Watts to 1000 Watts", a novice/technician/general study guide I bought at Radio Shack. I even had the code down @ 5 WPM, but then the money I had set aside for a radio had to go elsewhere, and I didn't get my license until over 30 years later.

73,

-- Tom

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  #54  
Old 02-23-2021, 04:31 AM
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Is Radio Shack still going in the US ?
Over here in the UK it was known as Tandy, but they went out of business
around 2000 I still have a few things I bought in there, including a bench top
multimeter and a couple of books on electronics. The books were very well
written, and easy for a beginner to understand. I just liked to go in their
shops to look around at what they had for sale, wile my wife was looking
around the clothes shops It was like an Alladins cave of electronics.


They even did some cheap metal detectors .


We don't have any shops like that now

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  #55  
Old 02-23-2021, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Alan~ View post
Is Radio Shack still going in the US ?
Over here in the UK it was known as Tandy, but they went out of business
around 2000 I still have a few things I bought in there, including a bench top
multimeter and a couple of books on electronics. The books were very well
written, and easy for a beginner to understand. I just liked to go in their
shops to look around at what they had for sale, wile my wife was looking
around the clothes shops It was like an Alladins cave of electronics.


They even did some cheap metal detectors .


We don't have any shops like that now
Radio Shack is if not entirely out of business, almost so. All of my ham radio equipment has come from online sources. One of my favorites Universal Radio, just recently went out of business. Ham Radio Outlet seems to be still going strong. Gigaparts is also still running. There is a Ham Radio Outlet down the road from me, and the members of my club shop there often.

My boss just recently replaced the Heathkit transceiver he had been using for years with a new Icom 7300. The Heathkit could have been resurrected, but the vacuum tubes it used are hard to find now. Heathkit has been making noises about coming back to life, but I don't think they'll be able to do so in the middle of a pandemic.

73,

-- Tom

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  #56  
Old 02-24-2021, 10:43 AM
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I inherited my uncle's 10m rig in 2019. Its OLD and I'll probably never do anything with it. I have an interest in such things and have studied for exams to a point but never took the plunge so to speak. I have a couple of 2m radios and am thinking of at least getting the $70 no-exam FRS license for a start.
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  #57  
Old 02-24-2021, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ~Alan~ View post
Is Radio Shack still going in the US ?
Over here in the UK it was known as Tandy, but they went out of business
around 2000 I still have a few things I bought in there, including a bench top
multimeter and a couple of books on electronics. The books were very well
written, and easy for a beginner to understand. I just liked to go in their
shops to look around at what they had for sale, wile my wife was looking
around the clothes shops It was like an Alladins cave of electronics.


They even did some cheap metal detectors .


We don't have any shops like that now
Loved RS, bought a lot of stuff there back in the late 1970ís/80ís. They had just about everything in electronics that I needed. Bought/built my first set of 3-element beams when I was 14. Thing was huge! Now itís not possible for me to find components from any local stores at all. I recently setup an AM station and everything I had to buy online including coax connectors.

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  #58  
Old 02-24-2021, 01:10 PM
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It's similar where I live. We used to have a really good Amateur Radio
emporium called Waters & Stanton, who also did TVs etc. They were very
good for new and used equipment as well as kits, also doing a lot of mail
order and repairs. They packed up a few years ago, and now we have
nothing local.
There are a number of mail order businesses, but it's nice to go into a shop to
browse and have a chat.

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  #59  
Old 02-24-2021, 08:07 PM
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I'm not a Ham, but one of my friends was. KC9NP, Bob East. A silent key,he passed away last November.

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