Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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DavidMS
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Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DavidMS »

I just passed the Ham Radio Technician exam! I should be issued a call sign by Tuesday.

Does anyone have advice on budget (read BaoFeng) HT radios and other things that I should get as a new licensee on a budget? Anything to avoid? I know that you should only get the official programing cable because 3rd party ones are known to have driver issues.

My interests are use while camping, etc. I do know that 2 Meters is fairly popular in this area.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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:clap: :yahoo:

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by senorgrand »

Cool!
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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Excellent.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by OldCoastie »

Congratulations. Way back in the 70's I took the 3rd Class Radiotelephone License and passed but never did go on to get a ham license. My Brother did. He loved it. I used to listen a lot. It's great fun.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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:clap:
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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Nice!

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DispositionMatrix »


DavidMS wrote:I just passed the Ham Radio Technician exam! I should be issued a call sign by Tuesday.

Does anyone have advice on budget (read BaoFeng) HT radios and other things that I should get as a new licensee on a budget? Anything to avoid? I know that you should only get the official programing cable because 3rd party ones are known to have driver issues.

My interests are use while camping, etc. I do know that 2 Meters is fairly popular in this area.
Are there repeaters near where you like to camp? If not you might want to consider your limitations on HF as a tech and get your general. There is only so much you can do with 2m if your area is not active.

Baofeng does make transceivers that are >5W. The BF-F9+ is capable of 8W, provided the transceiver meets its own specs. Maybe $50. You would need to be careful about transmitting on frequencies on which it is disallowed with a Baofeng. It's always good to check out used Yaesu or Kenwood HTs.
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by K9s »

AWESOME!!! Congratulations!
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by Heretic »

Congratulations! Now start looking at getting your General... :)

As to getting an HT - there's a lot out there, but I can endorse the Alinco DJ-500T dual-band, having had one for a year or so now. It's straightforward, relatively rugged, and solidly made; it runs about $90. It has a lot of features, too many to cite here, though - check it out.

The programming via computer could be better, since it's really simplistic software - can't even copy/paste into the fields when programming it, you have to enter everything via keyboard. There's one other slightly irksome thing - there's no power input jack to power the radio or charge the battery; it has a charging dock which must be used instead, and they caution against using the radio when it's charging. (Minor stuff, but full disclosure & all that regarding my experience.)

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by K9s »

Do you have to re-test to recertify?

I considered taking the test(s) but won't be able to put a lot of time into HAM probably until I retire... some day. I even bought a handheld in anticipation of testing, but changed jobs to one that doesn't really need that sort of certification or technology.
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by SubRosa »

Congrats!

Watch out, ham radio will suck all the $ out of your wallet. If there is any left after guns, that is.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by TrueTexan »

Congrats on passing the test. I was in one of the first groups to take the Tech class without the code.
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DavidMS »

Thanks! Still planning on a BaoFeng at least for now. Once I get my feet wet, I will probably get a better radio.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by MayhemVI »

I don't know if the reference is still used but when I was in the Army I ran MARS radio stations on 2 different assignments (Ft. Bliss and Ft. McPherson). MARS is Military Affiliated Radio System, meaning being a Ham operator and drawing a paycheck. I think they phased MARS out pretty much when I was getting out in '95. Damn interweb.
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by K9s »

MARS is Military Auxiliary Radio System and they run a military to amateur crossband communications test and a message-receiving test every year. At least they did last time I checked.

And... Fort Bliss? Awesome! Love that place! And I love El Paso food!
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by Hasaf »

K9s wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:24 am
Do you have to re-test to recertify?

There is no test to renew your license. I got my Technician in the early '90s and now have my Extra. I recently moved, so I am not too active. I expect to have aa tower in the next couple of years.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

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K9s wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:52 am

And... Fort Bliss? Awesome! Love that place! And I love El Paso food!
Back in my day, the MARS station was 5 minutes drive from the FT. Bliss Rod and Gun Club, which was where I went every day after work. Right after I got orders for Germany, the Club moved to another location with upgraded facilities.
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by bajajoaquin »

DavidMS wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:18 pm

Does anyone have advice on budget (read BaoFeng) HT radios and other things that I should get as a new licensee on a budget? Anything to avoid? I know that you should only get the official programing cable because 3rd party ones are known to have driver issues.
I'm not an expert, but a friend is the guy who runs the radios for the the local fire departments when they're called up to go to a disaster area. On his advice, I bouth a couple Baofeng UV-5RA 2019 5w 1800 MAh radios ahead of FCC regulation October 1. $29 each. There's also an 8w version for $69.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DavidMS »

bajajoaquin wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:28 pm
DavidMS wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:18 pm

Does anyone have advice on budget (read BaoFeng) HT radios and other things that I should get as a new licensee on a budget? Anything to avoid? I know that you should only get the official programing cable because 3rd party ones are known to have driver issues.
I'm not an expert, but a friend is the guy who runs the radios for the the local fire departments when they're called up to go to a disaster area. On his advice, I bouth a couple Baofeng UV-5RA 2019 5w 1800 MAh radios ahead of FCC regulation October 1. $29 each. There's also an 8w version for $69.
If you have a Ham Ticket, all you need to do is set the frequency limits to restrict them to the 2 m and 70 cm ham bands. Then you should be legally fine as I understand it. I have a BF8-F8HP w/ a Nagoya NA-771 antenna and can pickup the local repeaters very well. The stock antenna leaves much to be desired.

Also regularly using the radio is a good thing as you will get practice in good operating procedures. At least for now, I am mostly listening.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by HuckleberryFun »

If you are going to get a Baofeng get it NOW. They will be banned from further importation after September 30th.
They are capable of operating outside of allocated frequencies on the FRS channels and the FCC is banning the UV-5r series ostensibly for that reason (but its really Trump wanting to stick it to China).

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DavidMS »

HuckleberryFun wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:00 pm
If you are going to get a Baofeng get it NOW. They will be banned from further importation after September 30th.
They are capable of operating outside of allocated frequencies on the FRS channels and the FCC is banning the UV-5r series ostensibly for that reason (but its really Trump wanting to stick it to China).

https://www.jpole-antenna.com/2018/08/1 ... eal-story/
It seems that its not a ban. My BF-F8HP has an FCC ID (https://fccid.io/2AGNDF8HP). This article does help to clear things up: https://www.kb6nu.com/did-the-fcc-just- ... answer-no/

Also the ARRL states that in their view, the Baofeng is legal to use on armature bands by licensed operators. Its also legal to use to listen but not transmit on other bands. http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-fcc- ... ansceivers.

Based on the information available to me, it appears that the Baofeng is legal to use as an amateur radio. Its not legal for transmitting on non-amateur bands.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by HuckleberryFun »

DavidMS wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:19 pm
HuckleberryFun wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:00 pm
If you are going to get a Baofeng get it NOW. They will be banned from further importation after September 30th.
They are capable of operating outside of allocated frequencies on the FRS channels and the FCC is banning the UV-5r series ostensibly for that reason (but its really Trump wanting to stick it to China).

https://www.jpole-antenna.com/2018/08/1 ... eal-story/
It seems that its not a ban. My BF-F8HP has an FCC ID (https://fccid.io/2AGNDF8HP). This article does help to clear things up: https://www.kb6nu.com/did-the-fcc-just- ... answer-no/

Also the ARRL states that in their view, the Baofeng is legal to use on armature bands by licensed operators. Its also legal to use to listen but not transmit on other bands. http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-fcc- ... ansceivers.

Based on the information available to me, it appears that the Baofeng is legal to use as an amateur radio. Its not legal for transmitting on non-amateur bands.
Yup. I said they will be banned after September 30th, ie, *no longer offered for sale*, so if you want one buy one before the end of the month. Transmitting out of allocated bands/freqs has always been illegal no matter what radio you’re using.
Think of it as an AWB for HT’s ;-)
§ 95.591 Sales of FRS combination radios prohibited.
Effective September 30, 2019, no person shall sell or offer for sale hand-held portable radio equipment capable of operating under this subpart (FRS) and under any other licensed or licensed-by-rule radio services in this chapter (devices may be authorized under this subpart with part 15 unlicensed equipment authorizations
https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... ice-reform
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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by DavidMS »

We were talking about two different things. I am sorry for misunderstanding you. I am fairly certain that this is to crack down on some unscrupulous sellers who are selling Baofengs for use as race / off road radios at massively inflated prices and fail to tell the buyers they need a Technician Licence to push the button. I would not be surprised if this problem is fixable via firmware changes. I emailed BaopfengTech and am curious how they will respond.

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Re: Just passed the Ham Radio Technician test!

Post by AndyH »

Hams don't have to do anything special to use a Baofeng/Pofung aside from operating in band. The challenge with the radios as far as the FCC is concerned is that many of the radios are usable on FRS and GMRS channels. Even with the FCC number for the radio, FRS and GMRS have power limits and other features like a fixed antenna requirement, and that makes the radios illegal for use on those services. I bet if they dumped the FCC number and locked-out GMRS and FRS channels, this would be a non-issue.

My UV-82 has been rock-solid. Plan to get more to make budget Raspberry Pi digipeters.

ETA
HuckleberryFun wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:01 am
Yup. I said they will be banned after September 30th, ie, *no longer offered for sale*, so if you want one buy one before the end of the month.
The radios are still available from Amazon. The prices are up, tho, and advertising copy is different.

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