Passed the Technician Class test for Ham Radio today


classylady
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 4/23/2018 at 10:40 PM, JohnsonJones said:

No idea that they needed radio licenses to operate.  Hopefully we haven't broken any rules over the years.  Most of the ones I buy are from the stores and such.

Where would I find out the rules of what is or is not legal?  (Sorry, not the most technically literate).

The toy shops here are full of radio controlled models - cars, planes, helicopters, simple drones. I've bought several for our family over the years. I never gave a thought to them needing a license - but I can't believe that they do. If they did, the boxes would be covered with messages like "WARNING: THIS TOY NEEDS A LICENSE TO OPERATE".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

Mainly, I would like to use it as part of my emergency preparedness plan. Ideally, I would like to be able to communicate with my family that’s about 200 miles away; however, they will need to get their license if we are to communicate with each other, but, if not, at least I would be able to relay information to them.

But I also find this fun and interesting, so I can see this turning into a hobby.  I’m interested in DX and digital, and definitely repeater use. Unless I’m flying to client sites, I usually just work from home, so I don’t usually have a commute, but I like the idea of using a handheld with a mag mount and car antenna.  

How far have you been able to reach with a handheld? And what kind of handheld do you prefer?

For emergency preparedness, you still need to know how you're going to use it, what time of emergency you are preparing for, and who you are talking to in that emergency.  Worst case scenario if communications are out and you're communicating via radio, you can assume repeaters will be out as well, since they need power to operate.  Therefore,  your handheld will only be useful for communicating locally to other people who have handhelds.  By local, I mean 10-15 mile radius (I made that number up), depending on terrain.   If you get your antenna up higher and boost your power, that radius will grow.  I'm in hilly New England, so that affects my distance.  I'm able to hit local repeaters 15-20 miles out with my handheld and no external antenna

If you're looking to communicate with family 200 miles out, you'll want a base rig and probably multiple antenna, or an antenna tuner (I have a tuner).   That's still no guarantee of communication, as you'll have to find out what frequencies you can skip to their direct location and they'll also need a radio and tuned antenna.  In an emergency where you're communicating by radio, probably nobody will care who does or doesn't have a license.  However, emergencies aren't the time to see how your radio works.  You'll want to establish communications before hand, which would require them to have a license.  

I like my Yaesu handheld.  I also have a BaoFeng UV-5R.   I haven't tried the BaoFeng yet, but lots of people seem to think they are decent budget sets.  They're really cheap.  @classylady"s husband would probably know more than I do, since I still haven't set up my shack at my new house, so haven't been on the air in a few years.  Maybe I'll give it a go this month.  

I did a lot of PSK and digital stuff before I moved.  I had a crap antenna in the city and that was the best way for me to communicate DX.  I managed to get that little tuned wire to bounce all around the globe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Grunt said:

For emergency preparedness, you still need to know how you're going to use it, what time of emergency you are preparing for, and who you are talking to in that emergency.  Worst case scenario if communications are out and you're communicating via radio, you can assume repeaters will be out as well, since they need power to operate.  Therefore,  your handheld will only be useful for communicating locally to other people who have handhelds.  By local, I mean 10-15 mile radius (I made that number up), depending on terrain.   If you get your antenna up higher and boost your power, that radius will grow.  I'm in hilly New England, so that affects my distance.  I'm able to hit local repeaters 15-20 miles out with my handheld and no external antenna

If you're looking to communicate with family 200 miles out, you'll want a base rig and probably multiple antenna, or an antenna tuner (I have a tuner).   That's still no guarantee of communication, as you'll have to find out what frequencies you can skip to their direct location and they'll also need a radio and tuned antenna.  In an emergency where you're communicating by radio, probably nobody will care who does or doesn't have a license.  However, emergencies aren't the time to see how your radio works.  You'll want to establish communications before hand, which would require them to have a license.  

I like my Yaesu handheld.  I also have a BaoFeng UV-5R.   I haven't tried the BaoFeng yet, but lots of people seem to think they are decent budget sets.  They're really cheap.  @classylady"s husband would probably know more than I do, since I still haven't set up my shack at my new house, so haven't been on the air in a few years.  Maybe I'll give it a go this month.  

I did a lot of PSK and digital stuff before I moved.  I had a crap antenna in the city and that was the best way for me to communicate DX.  I managed to get that little tuned wire to bounce all around the globe.

BaoFeng products have a very bad reputation among the Emergency Alert System community because of several incidents in which people have used BaoFeng-manufactured products to hack into their local emergency alert communications network. 

There was actually an incident from a few months ago where a 14-year-old used one to shout out his friends during the middle of an alert, and literally did not know that what he did was a crime. It wasn't until after the video he put online got a deluge of comments telling him he needed to confess to his parents so they could find a lawyer that he realized he'd done something very, very wrong and was now in danger of life-altering consequences. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Ironhold said:

BaoFeng products have a very bad reputation among the Emergency Alert System community because of several incidents in which people have used BaoFeng-manufactured products to hack into their local emergency alert communications network. 

There was actually an incident from a few months ago where a 14-year-old used one to shout out his friends during the middle of an alert, and literally did not know that what he did was a crime. It wasn't until after the video he put online got a deluge of comments telling him he needed to confess to his parents so they could find a lawyer that he realized he'd done something very, very wrong and was now in danger of life-altering consequences. 

This is even more reason to own one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Grunt said:

This is even more reason to own one.

In the United States, breaching the Emergency Alert System is a federal offense, and is taken so seriously by the FCC that there *will* be federal officials after whoever did it. 

The legal consequences can and will include time in federal prison. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ironhold said:

In the United States, breaching the Emergency Alert System is a federal offense, and is taken so seriously by the FCC that there *will* be federal officials after whoever did it. 

The legal consequences can and will include time in federal prison. 

I'm well aware.  If someone is going to operate they should be aware of the laws.  If I'm going to have a radio for emergency use, I want one with a full spectrum of capability.

Edited by Grunt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 3:44 AM, Grunt said:

For emergency preparedness, you still need to know how you're going to use it, what time of emergency you are preparing for, and who you are talking to in that emergency.  Worst case scenario if communications are out and you're communicating via radio, you can assume repeaters will be out as well, since they need power to operate.  Therefore,  your handheld will only be useful for communicating locally to other people who have handhelds.  By local, I mean 10-15 mile radius (I made that number up), depending on terrain.   If you get your antenna up higher and boost your power, that radius will grow.  I'm in hilly New England, so that affects my distance.  I'm able to hit local repeaters 15-20 miles out with my handheld and no external antenna

If you're looking to communicate with family 200 miles out, you'll want a base rig and probably multiple antenna, or an antenna tuner (I have a tuner).   That's still no guarantee of communication, as you'll have to find out what frequencies you can skip to their direct location and they'll also need a radio and tuned antenna.  In an emergency where you're communicating by radio, probably nobody will care who does or doesn't have a license.  However, emergencies aren't the time to see how your radio works.  You'll want to establish communications before hand, which would require them to have a license.  

I like my Yaesu handheld.  I also have a BaoFeng UV-5R.   I haven't tried the BaoFeng yet, but lots of people seem to think they are decent budget sets.  They're really cheap.  @classylady"s husband would probably know more than I do, since I still haven't set up my shack at my new house, so haven't been on the air in a few years.  Maybe I'll give it a go this month.  

I did a lot of PSK and digital stuff before I moved.  I had a crap antenna in the city and that was the best way for me to communicate DX.  I managed to get that little tuned wire to bounce all around the globe.

We have over ten BaoFeng radios in the house.  They’re relatively inexpensive and not too difficult to program by computer and cable. Of course these are for VHF/UHF, which is mostly local. If your area has linked repeaters you will be able reach greater distances. The more you use your radio the more you learn. You’ll want an HF radio for long distances. Antennas make a big difference. A directional yagi antenna will get you greater distance with lower power, but is directional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 2:06 AM, Jamie123 said:

When I was a kid, I had a friend whose father and elder brother were ham radioists. When the father found out I was interested, he lent me a whole load of textbooks so I could study up for my own license. (I still have one of those books in my office....guilt, guilt, guilt...) I never did take the test, though I did later take a degree in electronics. I'm curious to know what they asked though...was it all about transistors and Ohms law and stuff? Or was it more about deciphering Morse code messages? Or both?

Look at Hamstudy.org. It is a good resource for what you need to study for the exam. At least here in the U.S.  Morse code is no longer required for the exams. But, it is a hobby within the hobby of ham operators. Back when I was a teenager, and Morse code was required, I would listen to my brother transmit and receive. I tried learning it, but didn’t stick with it. I’m thinking if I ever have the time, I’d like to learn code.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 5:44 AM, Grunt said:

For emergency preparedness, you still need to know how you're going to use it, what time of emergency you are preparing for, and who you are talking to in that emergency.  Worst case scenario if communications are out and you're communicating via radio, you can assume repeaters will be out as well, since they need power to operate.  Therefore,  your handheld will only be useful for communicating locally to other people who have handhelds.  By local, I mean 10-15 mile radius (I made that number up), depending on terrain.   If you get your antenna up higher and boost your power, that radius will grow.  I'm in hilly New England, so that affects my distance.  I'm able to hit local repeaters 15-20 miles out with my handheld and no external antenna

If you're looking to communicate with family 200 miles out, you'll want a base rig and probably multiple antenna, or an antenna tuner (I have a tuner).   That's still no guarantee of communication, as you'll have to find out what frequencies you can skip to their direct location and they'll also need a radio and tuned antenna.  In an emergency where you're communicating by radio, probably nobody will care who does or doesn't have a license.  However, emergencies aren't the time to see how your radio works.  You'll want to establish communications before hand, which would require them to have a license.  

I like my Yaesu handheld.  I also have a BaoFeng UV-5R.   I haven't tried the BaoFeng yet, but lots of people seem to think they are decent budget sets.  They're really cheap.  @classylady"s husband would probably know more than I do, since I still haven't set up my shack at my new house, so haven't been on the air in a few years.  Maybe I'll give it a go this month.  

I did a lot of PSK and digital stuff before I moved.  I had a crap antenna in the city and that was the best way for me to communicate DX.  I managed to get that little tuned wire to bounce all around the globe.

I was thinking of getting a Yaesu. What model do you have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/5/2021 at 12:43 PM, Grunt said:

I honestly don't remember, but I'll try to dig it out later.  I have 2, a mobil base and a handheld.

Well, I passed the Technician’s exam yesterday. 

I ordered a Yaseu FT-60r along with a Diamond exchangeable antenna.  I plan on getting an Icom for our base station, but I’m taking more time with that as I research what I need, and how I want to set it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 4:17 PM, Jedi_Nephite said:

So, I’m interested in getting on the HF bands. However, as I decide on either a base station or mobile radio, I realize I’m going to have to get an antenna. What antennas do any of you use to get on the HF bands? Furthermore, how did you set it up?

There’s a lot of variables in choosing an antenna. Where you live, what your surroundings are, hoa/pud restrictions (legally they can’t keep you from putting up an antenna, but there might be restrictions in how high), are there power lines in the way, etc.  Will you be getting your general or extra class license to get on HF?

My husband is working on a fan-dipole antenna for HF. He has a Kenwood TS-850S. It’s about 30 years old. I’m setting up a base station in my office with a TYT radio and a small external power supply. Probably will be using a Potkus dual band j-pole antenna. Up until now I’ve just used my handheld Baofeng UV5r with a larger battery. Occasionally I will use my husband’s base station which is a QYT 980+, a dual band uhf/vhf radio. In my car I have a BTech 25x2, with a 19 inch dual-band mag mount antenna, and my husband has a BTech 50x2 in his pickup truck with a 30 year old Larsen dual-band mag mount antenna. In Hubby’s ham shack he also has an ICOM 2340h, Kenwood TH71, a smaller 2 meter Yaesu, and can’t remember exactly how many baofengs.  I also have an old ICOM 2AT. 

Edited by classylady
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/26/2021 at 12:27 AM, classylady said:

There’s a lot of variables in choosing an antenna. Where you live, what your surroundings are, hoa/pud restrictions (legally they can’t keep you from putting up an antenna, but there might be restrictions in how high), are there power lines in the way, etc.  Will you be getting your general or extra class license to get on HF?

My husband is working on a fan-dipole antenna for HF. He has a Kenwood TS-850S. It’s about 30 years old. I’m setting up a base station in my office with a TYT radio and a small external power supply. Probably will be using a Potkus dual band j-pole antenna. Up until now I’ve just used my handheld Baofeng UV5r with a larger battery. Occasionally I will use my husband’s base station which is a QYT 980+, a dual band uhf/vhf radio. In my car I have a BTech 25x2, with a 19 inch dual-band mag mount antenna, and my husband has a BTech 50x2 in his pickup truck with a 30 year old Larsen dual-band mag mount antenna. In Hubby’s ham shack he also has an ICOM 2340h, Kenwood TH71, a smaller 2 meter Yaesu, and can’t remember exactly how many baofengs.  I also have an old ICOM 2AT. 

@classylady After reading your post, my initial response was this:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m thinking of going with the Icom 718, but what I find somewhat confusing is what I need to purchase along with it or any base station (other than the antenna), and it’s rather difficult to find straightforward answers online. What is typically required for a base station if you want to do HF? Is an antenna tuner necessary? Many videos I see seem to have their radios connected to watt meters and power supplies or batteries. Is that really necessary for base stations or just for mobile rigs? I’ve also read that you can sometimes connect the radio to the outlet of your house, but I’m not sure if that’s typical practice. I currently have my Technician License, but am preparing for my General, which I will probably take in a week or two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

Well, last week I passed my General license exam.  This is exciting, as I can now transmit on the HF bands.  I’ve also gotten one of my older brothers excited about ham radio.  He got his Technician license about a month after I did and will be testing for the General this week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

Well, last week I passed my General license exam.  This is exciting, as I can now transmit on the HF bands.  I’ve also gotten one of my older brothers excited about ham radio.  He got his Technician license about a month after I did and will be testing for the General this week.

Nice.  I never went past General, myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/2/2022 at 2:31 PM, LDSGator said:

@classylady-what exactly is a “ham radio”? I am asking out of sheer ignorance

Vort’s link is very informative.

People from all walks of life get involved with ham radio. Men seem to be predominantly involved, though women, such as myself, also get into the hobby. I’ve known of children as young as eight pass the test for their license.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/2/2022 at 2:11 PM, Jedi_Nephite said:

Well, last week I passed my General license exam.  This is exciting, as I can now transmit on the HF bands.  I’ve also gotten one of my older brothers excited about ham radio.  He got his Technician license about a month after I did and will be testing for the General this week.

Congratulations! I need to start studying so I can pass my general.  Also, want to pass the extra class. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know guys, if I was the Stake President, I might be looking for radio operators for the Stake's Emergency team (or ward, some wards also had them in the past and a need for radio operators...just in case).

Not a Stake President or (probably) in your Stakes though, so...has no effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, classylady said:

Vort’s link is very informative.

People from all walks of life get involved with ham radio. Men seem to be predominantly involved, though women, such as myself, also get into the hobby. I’ve known of children as young as eight pass the test for their license.

Very cool! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/17/2022 at 1:22 AM, classylady said:

Vort’s link is very informative.

People from all walks of life get involved with ham radio. Men seem to be predominantly involved, though women, such as myself, also get into the hobby. I’ve known of children as young as eight pass the test for their license.

True, in fact, I heard a lady on the 20m band sending QSOs last week.  As for me, I made my first HF contact with someone from South Dakota responding to my CQ.   

By the way, has anyone ever attended a hamfest, or ham radio convention?  My brother and I were thinking of going to one, but not really sure what goes on there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share