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ArkansasFan30

Help me HAM........Please!

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For anyone that knows about ham......please help me, lol. The information for getting a tech license isn't bad although I still am lacking any clue about how to apply that to real world problems such as antenna tuning, etc. I've been looking at the ARRL site as well as radioreference.com and have made some regional contacts via email.

 

What I need help with is picking a radio. Granted, I'd LOVE a namebrand HF/VHF/UHF, but at this point I don't think that would be a wise decision to jump on in to a deluxe model when I don't know anything about them.

 

I'm looking at some of the Chinese handhelds on Amazon such as Baofeng which has good reviews and unfotunately a very complex instruction manual. Another option are the Wouxun models that have good reviews as well. These two manufacturers would be dual band VHF/UHF.

 

Yaesu is another option, and I've owned (and currently own) VHF work-related (police) Vertex Standard radios although in Arkansas we're all switching to digital systems. That's why I sold my VHF mobile. I like some of the Icoms as well.

 

Any thoughts, advice, or suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Edited by ArkansasFan30

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Arkansas,

OK, first things first. Since you indicate you know little about it, stay away from the "boat anchors" - older tube rigs (transmitters/receivers) as they contain lethal voltages (even the low powered stuff) and can be damaged by mishandling.

 

Look at places like the QRZ.com sale pages http://forums.qrz.com/forumdisplay.php?7-Ham-Radio-Gear-For-Sale

 

Also try to find a local club that can help you learn. The ARRL does have some decent books on antennas and portable operations that might help. As a Technician you have limited HF privileges so I encourage you to follow up with a General license as soon as practical.

 

If you are looking for close in comm in the vhf bands, Alinco is tough to beat. The also do a decent HF rig, all solid state and not tough to use. I'm a fan of Ten Tec radios but the new stuff is NOT cheap. Look at older but still solid state Japanese radios for the best deals. ICOM, YAESU, KENWOOD (I favor Icom and Kenwood; nothing bad about Yaesu just prefer Kenwood) are great HF rigs, make decent VHF stuff and excellent handhelds. The Chinese stuff is doubtful for me but I admit no real experience with them.

 

An antenna matching unit is necessary if you cover many frequencies. If you can give me an idea of what you're trying to do, I'll try to be more helpful.

 

I'm an Extra class ham, spend most of my time using CW (code) but I can occasionally find a mic!

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