Passed my tec test and just got my call letters

Remsport Mfg

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I just got my call letters KC1ABV and I do not have any kind of radio.
I don't know what to get and what would be good in my area. I live in Wilbraham MA just east of Springfield. in Western MA.
I think I would like to get on 6 meter and would like a meter base and not an HF with 6 meter or maybe a 2 meter base. Where can I shop for this type or radio in the Springfield area. It seem as though there are no radio shops or stores in my area. I would like to shop for this equipment face to face not over the internet.
I am also not sure I would like a hand held.
Please school me on my next step.
I will be going for General at the end of the month, but would like to get on the air now.
Thanks John
413 579 1994
 
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Congrats. Wow, thats the first I have seen with the new KC1 call signs. I got my ticket about 2 months ago and it's a bunch of research. I would recommend the Yaesu 2900 as a Mobile/Base. It puts out 75 Watts on 2 meters and is affordable. It is a 2 meter only rig but easy and powerful enough with the right antenna to get you started. You may also want to look into in HT from the top of the line to the decent for the money Baofengs.

What is the interest of 6 meters?

Good Luck Have Fun
 

cockpitbob

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Welcome to the club John! Good going!

First, Field Day is the weekend of 6/22. I STRONGLY suggest you hunt down a local club and spend part of the day, or the whole weekend at their Field Day camp. They will want you since they get extra points for getting newbs on the air, and you'll learn more about gear and operating in that day than in months at home. Most clubs have several rigs and antennas going at once so you'll get some good exposure. Also, hams tend to be helpful and once you start asking questions you may have trouble shutting them up. All clubs are different, but like most, the Gloucester club I belong to puts as much focus on fun and food as on making contacts.

OK, down to the hardware.

For FTF shopping, that's a tough one. The only good store I'm aware of is Ham Radio Outlet in Salem,NH (2hr drive for you). I suggest getting a paper copy of their catalog. It's free and is great bathroom reading.

It's hard to beat the Baofeng HTs. See the other thread(s) about it here. I have a Yaesu FT-60R ($150) and a Baofeng UV-5RA($40). Both are 5W dual band HTs. The Baofeng will do 80% of what the Yaesu will do and 100% of what I need. The major difference are menu & software features.

Many people say passing the General is easier than the Tech. Before buying much gear I suggest getting the General. That opens up all the HF bands and will change your buying incentives. I love my Yaesu FT-857. It's a mobile (12V) that does 100W on every HF band and 50W on 2M and 70cM. It's my all purpose rig and moves from my shack to my car.
 

Realtor MA

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Congrats. I have a dual band mobile radio you can borrow. Icom 2720. I was going to list it for sale but I'm in no hurry.
 

Remsport Mfg

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Thank you for your comments and help. What is a Field Day and where is it? Do any of the NES Hams live in Western Mass.? My intrest in 6 Meter is because it is available to Tec class lic. does anyone here use 6 Meter?
Realtor MA please contact me.
413 579 1994
 
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cockpitbob

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Field Day is a once a year weekend event put on by the ARRL where everyone operates out doors and off the grid. The purpose is to encourage testing skills and equipment under adverse conditions so that when the SHTF people can still communicate.

It is the weekend of June 22 this year. Clubs usually start setting up tents and antennas Friday afternoon. The making contacts for points is from noon-ish Saturday to noon-ish Sunday. Clubs get extra points for doing it in a public place where the general public can get exposed to ham radio. They usually have a station devoted to G.O.T.A.(get on the air) where they get extra points for getting new hams and non-hams to make some contacts.

Google around for the clubs in your area. If they have a good web site they'll be posting where they will be for Field Day. Just show up and have fun. Better yet, show up early and offer to help set-up. You'll learn a ton and have fun.
 
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Thank you for your comments and help. What is a Field Day and where is it? Do any of the NES Hams live in Western Mass.? My intrest in 6 Meter is because it is available to Tec class lic. does anyone here use 6 Meter?
Realtor MA please contact me.
413 579 1994

Six meter has been on fire lately but it isn't consistent enough for me to be reliable.
 

In God We Trust

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I have been reading HAM radio for dummies and am interested in getting a license. Just out if curiosity, are there many decent conversations to listen to? Is it mostly just guys talking about their radios, or do people actually talk about stuff?
 
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Congrats John!

I'm taking my test this Saturday in East Greenbush NY. I have one of the Baofeng HTs ready to go, can't beat $38-40 off amazon. If you do get one of these, get a cable to program with the chirp software!

- - - Updated - - -

I have been reading HAM radio for dummies and am interested in getting a license. Just out if curiosity, are there many decent conversations to listen to? Is it mostly just guys talking about their radios, or do people actually talk about stuff?

My big interest is Severe Weather.. There are Skywarn Nets that are great to listen to during weather events
 

cockpitbob

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...Is it mostly just guys talking about their radios, or do people actually talk about stuff?
On the HF bands it's mostly that, plus old guys talking about their health problems. On VHF/UHF it's a lot more conversational, plus a lot of more serious business happens there. In addition to Skywarn nets during nasty weather, most large area events like marathons, parades and bicycle races have hams spread over the course with 2M rigs providing the communications infrastructure. It must have REALLY been something to be listening to the Boston repeaters during the marathon bombing. The cell towers were overrun and radios became the primary communications. One of our club members worked the marathon and couldn't believe it when he heard the call "stop all runners on the course".
 

timbo

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Congrats! I've been a ham since I was 13 (now 56)...Callsign is KB1MM. I worked at HRO in Salem for about 8 years many moons ago (I started when they were EGE for those that remember). Not very active right now but hopefully this fall I'll have my shack back up and running somewhat and get back on the air.
 

Remsport Mfg

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tdubbs how did you make out on Saturday? I will be taking my General test on Friday. What did you use for a study program? I used QRZ.com. I still do not have a radio. I just can't make up my mind what to get so I will just wait until I get my General and then look for an HF set-up.
 
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tdubbs how did you make out on Saturday? I will be taking my General test on Friday. What did you use for a study program? I used QRZ.com. I still do not have a radio. I just can't make up my mind what to get so I will just wait until I get my General and then look for an HF set-up.

Try this for 2M and 70cm. Small money and you'll get your feet wet with programming one of these suckers. There are a number of web resources that deal with the radio and are a real help. I'll send the URLs if you need them.

I've had a good time with mine learning the basics and doing some listening (I should be listed by next Friday!)
 
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tdubbs how did you make out on Saturday? I will be taking my General test on Friday. What did you use for a study program? I used QRZ.com. I still do not have a radio. I just can't make up my mind what to get so I will just wait until I get my General and then look for an HF set-up.

Hey John,

Passed the Tech exam on Sat. I felt real good going in and I was the first to finish, even checking answers twice! I'm going to look into general now

QRZ.com is great, also check out hamstudy.org hamexam.org and AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » General Combo is great, you tend to see more different questions over doing the same test on the same site over and over again.

Pick up one of the Baofengs. Everyone is pushing these, they are great just to have in the car or be mobile with it. I've been learning alot with it, soon I will get a real setup.
 
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Congrats getting your tech license. A cheapie dual band HT is a good start. I second the suggestions on Baofeng. I got the uv-b5 which is a newer model of the uv-5r with a little better ergonomics.

There is a deent amount of 2m activity on repeaters, and the conversation varies quite a bit in terms of topics. Ive found that its most active around drive time and mid evening, e.g. 8 pm or so.

im evaluating options right now on an HF transceiver. Problem is those babies are expensive.
 
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