Interested in Amateur Radio, but don't know where to start?


#1

Just ask your question on here, and we’ll get you started!

I’m hoping that our AR-SIG leader (@krgrantham) will organize a SIG meeting soon, and we’ll get some demonstrations set up for those who have never seen amateur radio in action.


#2

Richardson Wireless Klub, Plano Amateur Radio Klub and very many others offer free/cheap classes. There is no Morse code requirement, the question pool is published and exams are administered by the clubs that offer classes. Ham radio ain’t what it was when I first got in during the 60s. Technology is in use that we could have only dreamed of a few years back. Richardson Wireless Kub considered disbanding 15 years ago due to having only a handful of people. It now has 140 or so attending meetings and many more members. Due to the relaxed requirements and new technologies, amateur radio is booming. I’m sure we could do training at DMS. Please reply if interested in a class. Exams are available:
http://dfwlist.org/l.htm

Brady - W5LH

[Edit: I’m not trying to grab the lead on classes - just throwing out possibilities.]


#3

The only problem I have with those groups is the obnoxious misspelling of club.

An observation: since the elimination of the experience and then code requirements, we now have Extra class operators whose entire operating experience consists of using a 2m HT. A little sad, IMO.

I hope that we can change that, for at least a few new hams.

You are more than welcome to drive the classes! We need volunteers! :slight_smile:


#4

Mostly because my finances haven’t caught up with my license, but also because I haven’t committed to a stealth antenna plan yet either, and my HOA loves to hate me.


#5

40m SSB rig for less then $100

http://www.hfsigs.com

And magnetic loop antennas are easy to build and reasonably effective

This combination is perfectly capable of cross planet communication with ssb signals and/or most modern digital signals.


#6

I met Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE, in person at the Xenia (was Dayton) Hamvention last year. He’s an extremely energetic, bright guy! His design shows that it doesn’t take a $1000 radio to work HF, and that you get a lot more enjoyment out of building your own equipment.

@kbraby – your bluff has been called. I think both Walter and I would be glad to help you get operational with this setup. :wink:


#7

So I hear that there is a local club that does the tests and gives out a free handheld if you pass? Is this true?


#8

I don’t know, but I’m betting it’s one of those not-legal-on-2m HTs. That’s a bit ironic, since they were the ones giving a test with the questions about allowable spurious emission levels.


#9

I felt a bit guilty commenting on this subject before your reply. I have not been on HF in forever and actually very little VHF for the last year or so. No offense taken - I’ve been saying I need to get more active again so maybe this will move me along.

I’ll be glad to take any role in training but would rather do support and cheer leading.

The Ks in Klub - Where did that come from? It was probably hot in the 1930s.


#10

The K for club may be an attempt to double the number of club calls that function as vanity club calls. EX: K5LRK (Lakeside Radio Klub)


#11

I already have a bitx40 in hand. I haven’t put it in a temporary case yet, in part, for fear that it may become permanent. I should remind myself that a STL is a valid place to start, even if I do plan to try and install a random wire in the future.


#12

Have a look at this URL if you’re interested, but too timid to ask here:

http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio

… and then ask away! We’re a pretty nice bunch. :slight_smile:


#13

I now have an air variable cap on order that should handle 10-20W on a STL antenna. I just couldn’t convince myself to go with coax plus PCB trimmer.

My first idea for a temporary bitx40 case turns out to be a little too small. I’ll probably browse through bass pro to see if there are any suitable case ideas there later this week.


#14

Ok, guess I will pull the trigger and ask. Do I just jump in and order a manual or is DMS going to put on a class. Dad was a Ham radio operator and worked with MARS while in the service. Always been interested, just too many other irons in the fire to get started. Guess now is as good a time as any.

Don “Ho”


#15

Don’t order manual. Use online study material like qrz.com

My suggestion for those considering bitx is to mount on a piece of plywood. Use it awhile, then decide the best way to layout controls.


#16

I’ll take the counterpoint to Walter’s “memorize a question pool” stance.

If you’re the kind that can self-motivate to study, then I’d highly recommend the ARRL’s Ham Radio License Manual. The Kindle edition is $20, with the printed version coming in at $30.

This manual explains the background of the Amateur Radio Service, ARRL, and general operating procedures. You’ll understand the whys and hows of being a radio amateur, and a better operator when you get that ticket.

Once you’ve studied that, then you can use the free online tests to make sure you know the material well enough to take the test.

If we had 5-6 people interested, I’d consider leading a study class.


#17

You can use the qrz site to memorize the question pool; however, they also provide study guides at no cost.


#18

You get what you pay for; I think the ARRL book provides a well-worded background on the Amateur service, as well as the technical aspects of the hobby. The proceeds also help the ARRL continue to exist and defend our spectrum and operating privileges.

I still have my copy of “Now You’re Talking!” And the “Operating Manual” from when I was first licensed. I read those cover to cover, several times, before taking my exam. Good memories…


#19

I like books, so l I have ordered the book… The journey begins.
Thanks


#20

Glad to help out a prospective ham!