Beginner Ham shopping list (links please)

Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
1,952
Likes
141
So still trying to get going on this. I've got the books and am reading them/will take the exam and get licensed.

I'd like to start putting together a shopping list to know what kind of investment I need to make in order to have a good foundation of equipment including:

1) Handheld unit
2) Desktop unit
3) Antenna
4) Accessories, power supplies, etc

I usually like to spend a bit more than the absolute beginner model to have room to grow. I'm even willing to spend beyond that in this case. I'm sure no one model will have it all but looking for suggestions.

Any links, lists would be greatly appreciated
 
Rating - 100%
49   0   0
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
23,187
Likes
995
Location
The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
QTH.com is a good spot for used gear. I've bought a few things off of there... hamradio.com, they are in NH just over the line...so that's a great wealth of information and gear.

I don't know what to tell you other than what I know. I seem to have gravitated towards ICOM and Yaesu. I have found that I like the Yaesu's a little more...but that's a user preference I believe.
 

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
I would strongly recommend joining your nearby ham club. Every club has a few people who are experienced and willing to "elmer" you through much of this. We were all newbs at one time.
 

jar

Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
6,372
Likes
698
Location
Needham, MA
Requesting link for a good base antenna please.
For what bands?

Also to the OP, you're going to need to be more detailed. What type of handheld and base radios are you looking for? What bands and modes are you interested in? If that's still greek to you, more generally, what do you want to use the radio for? To put it in NES terms, your questions are like, I want to buy a pistol and a rifle, what should I get?
 
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
1,716
Likes
157
Location
Wild West (of Boston)
1) Handheld unit
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0066.html
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/1817.html
2) Desktop unit
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/0718.html
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/0748.html
3) Antenna
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamants/0520.html
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamants/0178.html
4) Accessories, power supplies, etc
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamps/astron.html You want the RS-35M
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/meters/2315.html You want the SX- 600


I personally own and can vouch for all these items, if you are near me I can show you some items and talk to you about other things you may need but that list would be a good start and keep you busy for a while :)
 
Last edited:

Twigg

NES Member
Rating - 100%
72   0   0
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
13,639
Likes
3,470
Location
Live Free or Die !
For what bands?

Also to the OP, you're going to need to be more detailed. What type of handheld and base radios are you looking for? What bands and modes are you interested in? If that's still greek to you, more generally, what do you want to use the radio for? To put it in NES terms, your questions are like, I want to buy a pistol and a rifle, what should I get?
2 meter, I have a mobile rig I want to use indoors .
 
Rating - 100%
49   0   0
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
23,187
Likes
995
Location
The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
2 meter, I have a mobile rig I want to use indoors .
I went to Freecycle and got a 5/8th over 5/8th Cushcraft for free from an old timer in RI. It's worth putting a call out there first...then going to places like QTH and eBay.

I love this vert...I have it up on the peak of my roof and I can hit some pretty distant places with good signals. I'm thinking that it's around 40 miles from me to Paxton as the Crow Flies...so it's giving me prettty good reach.
 

CaptDan3

NES Member
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
345
Likes
54
Location
Boston
Why not get started on 2 meters try talking on a few of the repeaters. Not a lot of $$$$ and you can use the rig at home or in car.

Dan Long,
Boston N1WPS
 

jar

Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
6,372
Likes
698
Location
Needham, MA
2 meter, I have a mobile rig I want to use indoors .
I built one out of a SO-239 connector and some welding rod that worked pretty well and cost under $5. I'll see if I can find a description online. Failing that, I 2nd c-pher's suggestion of keeping an eye out for something used.
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
897
Likes
43
Location
Where there once was a man in the mountain
So still trying to get going on this. I've got the books and am reading them/will take the exam and get licensed.

I'd like to start putting together a shopping list to know what kind of investment I need to make in order to have a good foundation of equipment including:

1) Handheld unit
2) Desktop unit
3) Antenna
4) Accessories, power supplies, etc

I usually like to spend a bit more than the absolute beginner model to have room to grow. I'm even willing to spend beyond that in this case. I'm sure no one model will have it all but looking for suggestions.

Any links, lists would be greatly appreciated
Take a ride up to HRO in Salem, NH.

They have a lot of display and you can talk to some of the sales people to see what is good/bad.

Then check online links, etc. There are so many things available, it's hard to give u links. That's what google is for!
 

Zappa

Road Warrior
NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
46,335
Likes
18,704
Location
Living Free In The 603
I would strongly recommend joining your nearby ham club. Every club has a few people who are experienced and willing to "elmer" you through much of this. We were all newbs at one time.
Agreed.

You've come to the right place because there's plenty of "Elmers" out here.



Some even own a mansion and a yacht.

[laugh]
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
192
Likes
25
Location
Lancaster, MA
I'm fairly new here as well, this is what I got and what I think about it now

1. Mobile for car - I Knew I wanted 2m & 440, but thought I would play on 6m FM as well, so I went for a Yaesu 8900. In hindsight if I looked at what I actually do (95% on 2m, 5% on 440, nothing else), could have got away with a single/two channel for 1/3 the price. I got the quad band antenna to go with it. BUT now I have a capable dual band mobile with cross-band repeat which might be useful (?). Yaesu is fine, no issues to date

2. Needed a HT - went low end to start, got a dual channel Yaesu FT60R. Right choice, not missing any functions I would use (yes I thought about GPS/APRS, not missing it so far). It is also my main packet station for Winlink. I have the PL259 cable adapter and external J-Pole (Arrow dual band J-Pole)

3. Wanted to get on 220 - picked up the Wouxun dual 2m/220 - great little HT at a *great* price. Works well.

4. HF Rig - Went back and forth on this a lot - got talked into going lower/beginner end at HRO, and don't regret it. Got a Yaesu FT450D with a simple wire dipole antenna. I did look at the Kenwood TS-2000 as it could go VHF/UHF as well, but got talked into keep-it-simple. Downside has been getting another (used off ebay) 2m/440 mobile for the shack. Uses J-Pole which is on the roof, and picks up Alton NH repeater for cripes sake !

5. On wish list is Icom IC-7000 for portable/mobile HF. I do some camping and looks like a good package.

Hope this helps. My experience at HRO has been great, but do suggest you first pick bands/features you (a) Need and (b) want. Just resign yourself to buying/selling many radios, just like guns in fact, except have no 4/yr rule :)

-Tim
KQ1Y
 

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
The Icom 7000 is a great HF radio. I have one in my truck. HF is the only time I use ham radios anymore, though. For the other ham bands, I use commercial/public safety radios almost exclusively.
 
Rating - 100%
49   0   0
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
23,187
Likes
995
Location
The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
I'm fairly new here as well, this is what I got and what I think about it now

1. Mobile for car - I Knew I wanted 2m & 440, but thought I would play on 6m FM as well, so I went for a Yaesu 8900. In hindsight if I looked at what I actually do (95% on 2m, 5% on 440, nothing else), could have got away with a single/two channel for 1/3 the price. I got the quad band antenna to go with it. BUT now I have a capable dual band mobile with cross-band repeat which might be useful (?). Yaesu is fine, no issues to date

2. Needed a HT - went low end to start, got a dual channel Yaesu FT60R. Right choice, not missing any functions I would use (yes I thought about GPS/APRS, not missing it so far). It is also my main packet station for Winlink. I have the PL259 cable adapter and external J-Pole (Arrow dual band J-Pole)

3. Wanted to get on 220 - picked up the Wouxun dual 2m/220 - great little HT at a *great* price. Works well.

4. HF Rig - Went back and forth on this a lot - got talked into going lower/beginner end at HRO, and don't regret it. Got a Yaesu FT450D with a simple wire dipole antenna. I did look at the Kenwood TS-2000 as it could go VHF/UHF as well, but got talked into keep-it-simple. Downside has been getting another (used off ebay) 2m/440 mobile for the shack. Uses J-Pole which is on the roof, and picks up Alton NH repeater for cripes sake !

5. On wish list is Icom IC-7000 for portable/mobile HF. I do some camping and looks like a good package.

Hope this helps. My experience at HRO has been great, but do suggest you first pick bands/features you (a) Need and (b) want. Just resign yourself to buying/selling many radios, just like guns in fact, except have no 4/yr rule :)

-Tim
KQ1Y
I have the 8800...but haven't put the damn thing into my car yet. I'm a'scared to do it alone as it would be my first one and I don't really know the best way to run everything.

I have an FT-60R and love it.

I have two HF rigs, the ICOM-706MKII and the Yaesu FT-757GX.

As for my the 2m/70cm in the house, I have a Yaesu FT-1802 and an ICOM-207.

I didn't spend a lot of money for these...and they have been kick ass radios.
 

Knob Creek

NES Member
Rating - 100%
74   0   0
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
7,836
Likes
2,647
Location
South Coast Mass
Passed my Technicians test last night so I'm following this thread. Someone taking the test with me was picking up a Handheld unit Wouxun KGVD3D. For short money at $120 just to get on the air. Anyone have any experience with these?
 

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
Passed my Technicians test last night so I'm following this thread. Someone taking the test with me was picking up a Handheld unit Wouxun KGVD3D. For short money at $120 just to get on the air. Anyone have any experience with these?
Ah, you must have taken Tony Souza's (NN1D) tech class and the VE session was last night. You'll be glad to know that this VE Team has a great reputation. The paperwork is probably already in the mail to the ARRL VEC. Tony's last class had people getting call signs on the FCC site within a week.
 

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
And NN1D is a great mentor, elmer and resource on the south coast. I've been involved with many repeater projects with him. Maybe you should think about getting on 900 MHZ. His Fall River 902 repeater is one of the best in the state.
 

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
I don't even know where to start to get on 900...
I've given my talk and powerpoint presentation about getting on 900 at a lot of clubs and Near-Fest. Last month, I gave the presentation to the Framingham club. I'm sure there will be plenty of 900 radios to be had at Near-Fest and plenty of groups doing programming. 10 channel GTX mobiles and handhelds can be found for around $70 and 16 channel MTX9000's can be found for about the same money. I am giving a presentation next week at the Whitman club on iDAS/Nexedge equipment. This is a digital voice protocol that has just been adopted by all the American railroads and features the same vocoder as Mototrbo and P25 phase II, but for a lot less money. There are currently 4 operational iDAS VHF repeaters in southeastern Mass for ham use (Taunton, Norwell, Swansea and Plymouth).
 

Realtor MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
3,760
Likes
624
It's something else for you and I to dink with at night...

[smile]
Great. I have a list of antenna/tower work that I need to do. Not to mention my list for the shack. Plus I have a list about a mile long of things I want to buy. So now a 900mhz radio has to go on the list?
So two more questions;
1)Does anyone know what time the swapmeet opens this weekend?
2)Is 900mhz better for range or anything like that.

ETA When are we going to try SSTV? I understand it's relatively easy to do.
 
Last edited:

n1oty

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
2,668
Likes
1,188
Location
SE Mass
I can do a presentation for the Sturdy club. I actually have three powerpoint presentations for 900. They are the Beginner's Guide to 902, MCS2000/MTS2000 series radios on 902 and the GTX family of radios on 902. Each presentation runs about 30 minutes each plus Q&A time.

902 has advantages and disadvantages as compared to other bands. It is superior for building penetration and carries a very long distance with minimal power. Downsides include increased shadowing from hills, mobile flutter is more pronounced (especially on repeaters not using Hearclear) and Part 15 users on the band increase the noise floor in the urban areas.
 
Top Bottom