any THRers into ham radio?


January 3, 2006, 06:01 PM
i was thinking about getting my technician license and a cheap radio. just wondering if there's anyone out there interesting to talk to :)

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January 3, 2006, 06:30 PM
Yep, General here in Ft Worth. Technician is just too easy NOT to get.

Find a handheld 2M and a repeater book and get after it.

If you haven't found it yet, read up on the IRLP thing. We could all have weekly THR chats with that thing just by linking a bunch of repeaters over the Internet. Very cool stuff.

January 3, 2006, 06:30 PM
YES .....Anywhere you go....

January 3, 2006, 07:28 PM
I have been into shortwave DX about as long as firearms Ė way before computers began to take up some free time Ė have a Yaesu FRG-8800.

January 3, 2006, 07:32 PM
--... ...-- -.. . -. ..... .-. -.- .

January 3, 2006, 07:51 PM
General Ham License, CCW. Great combination! :)

January 3, 2006, 07:52 PM
ex-KG6H, expired many years ago.

January 3, 2006, 07:52 PM
Glock Talk has a Ham forum also...I wish Gun Talk was on shortwave...

January 4, 2006, 06:51 PM
Find a handheld 2M and a repeater book and get after it.

This is how I got started. I was interested in the Skywarn thing and decided I should pick up my ticket. Lots of really nice people are involved in amateur radio.

January 4, 2006, 06:54 PM
I read the AARL book for the technician license a couple months ago, but never got around to taking the test. Perhaps soon...

January 4, 2006, 07:01 PM
Free online practice tests :D

January 4, 2006, 08:04 PM
I've been known to toss some RF into the ether.

January 4, 2006, 09:12 PM
Yes, I'm an Extra and my wife and son are Generals. There seems to be a lot of commonality (sp?) in both hobbies.

January 4, 2006, 11:46 PM
I've been studying for Technician here:

January 5, 2006, 12:09 AM
Here is KC4HGH, Extra Class! Git yer Tech Plus, then capture that General & get on HF as well as 2M- we've been granted some new freqs in the 60M band that're awesome!

Been in all phases of radio for 38 years now & still having the time of my life!

If you need help, please let me Bud.:D

January 5, 2006, 12:45 AM
Been a ham since 1978 or 1979.
Extra Class.
Used to be VERY active. Had a ton of gear. Spent lots of money. Went to the big conventions. Everybody I knew was a ham. Was active on a daily basis on everything from 160 meters to satilites for over 20 years. Had three complete HF stations set up in my shack: each with all the accessories including legal limit amps.
Totally lost interest when the license test was dumbed down to the point where they give you every possible question and every possible answer, word for word. This is a test of how well you memorize, not of your knowledge of radio. The people at the club meetings and on the air reflected this. We went from people building their entire station from the ground up using scrounged parts to people who don't understand how a repeater works. From hams inventing cutting edge electronic equipment to hams having no idea how to install a 2 meter antenna on their car. When the code went out, I sold all my stuff and invested it all into guns. The code was the only thing left that took some kind of commitment and effort to learn.
I sold $10k worth of gear to one guy and had plenty more stuff left over that I gradually sold off or in some cases just threw away. Sold my tower for $500 and never looked back. I haven't heard a ham radio in at least 5 years.

January 5, 2006, 02:46 AM
I'm a ham, off and on since the early 1970s. W9KIZ. Advanced ticket. Haven't been on the air in a long time but when I am on, you'll find me on HF CW.


January 5, 2006, 02:53 AM
I'm KB3EEE, but off the air for the time being as my set is toast. (It was pretty dumpy to begin with, i had to put most of the board back together. Now i've blown some tubes, and just getting a new set is WAY easier then continuing my perpetual hunt for the right vac tubes.) :)

Dwayne Russell
January 5, 2006, 03:10 AM


Optical Serenity
January 5, 2006, 03:19 AM

I recommend the Yaesu VX-7R, not the cheapest, but its submersible and rugged. Also does UHF, VHF, and 220.

January 5, 2006, 03:53 AM
i'm not on air anymore, but still carry a tech permit. I have an icom IC-W32A handheld, and i function test it once a month. Handy to have for SHTF scenarios. I probably should join the local ARES chapter.

January 8, 2006, 06:07 PM
Got the license to communicate on the motorcycle. The test was so easy, I wonder why they even give it? As someone already said, it's not a knowledge test, it's a memorization test. Still nice to have the license though.

Dave Markowitz
January 8, 2006, 09:04 PM
KB3MNK here. No-code Tech for now, but I'm planning to upgrade to General class this spring.

January 8, 2006, 09:16 PM
Looking forward to hearing you on the HF bands, Dave! :)

...:( I was just looking at my logbook and I haven't had time to get on the air since July, so when I say "looking forward," it's as much a hope for me was it is for you...


January 8, 2006, 10:11 PM
KB9LZD here! My wife, KB9UGM, brother KB9NKF, and his wife KB9RGM. We keep in touch....

January 8, 2006, 11:21 PM
Kitiara ( hasn't posted here in quite a while, but from what I understand she is an avid ham (and shooter).

January 8, 2006, 11:59 PM
N6EMM, General Class. Formerly WA6MKW.

January 10, 2006, 08:53 PM
K8IFU since 1957. Extra Class. 40M, 20M, Cw only.

January 10, 2006, 11:59 PM
K5CHF em15

January 11, 2006, 03:12 AM
Hey, this is a great thread! I hope to get the Tech license in a couple of months, and when I do I will be sure to come back and check this thread.

Optical Serenity
January 11, 2006, 09:43 AM
Are you studying with a book? I think the one I had was "Look Who's Talking" or something...or "Now Your Talking" and the General one is great too...

January 11, 2006, 10:44 AM
I've been a ham almost as long as a shooter.
General Class. I do agree with the comment about code. Not much can be done about that.
I actually passed the 20 wpm but never passed the written text. Go fig.

January 11, 2006, 12:53 PM
Are you studying with a book? I think the one I had was "Look Who's Talking" or something...or "Now Your Talking" and the General one is great too...

Not yet. I plan to get ARRL's "Now You're Talking! It looks pretty good. I have a PDF file from the Internet that was put together by a ham that has the entire question pool for the Element 2 exam, and two others with the question pools for the General (Element 3) and Amateur Extra exams. (Element 4)

I also found a place on the Internet that has free practice tests for the Tech, General, and Amateur Extra exams. As of right now, I usually score just over a passing grade when I take one of the Tech exams. I want to get a little better before I go take the exam for real.

January 11, 2006, 04:33 PM
Technician class has limited use except for local stuff. General and extra class opens up the whole world ! Here we're involved with emergency communications with floods. Some have helped with 9/11 and Katrina. We also have automobile rallys where we do all the communications . AC2RC

January 11, 2006, 11:24 PM
Yep, I'm an OM, licensed since 1964 and enjoy playing with low power short wave gear (QRP) and burning solder.

Just a warning, the hobby will seriously compete with the shooting hobby $$$.

January 11, 2006, 11:40 PM
thanks for the replies everyone. i'm going to go for it. i just found out tonight that they're offering a test at the local university for $14 on friday. not a lot of time to study. anybody have a website i can cram on? (that's not already listed on this thread)

you think if i just practice the test on the qrz site that i can pass?

oh, and more to the point of the thread... are THR-type discussions typical faire on the radio? i realize something less than 100% of ham folks would be interested, and politics/religion is to be avoided, but would someone take a lot of flak or irritate anyone if conversations veered into shooting/gun subjects?

edit: i guess what i'm getting at, is that i don't want to be the ham equivalent of someone with an address on the internet, if you know what i mean

January 11, 2006, 11:52 PM
Go here:

Left side of page: Free (legal) Amateur Radio Exam Study Guides -- Amateur Extra, General, and Tech.

Here are free practice tests:

Oh, I see you know that already. I'll post it anyway.

March 12, 2006, 03:04 PM
K6YDW here for +50 years (original callsign). Dad was W6ZKH, now SK. When I get situated to my new property in WA I'll get back on HF and mainly run PSK31.

4v50 Gary
March 12, 2006, 03:29 PM
I've been a hamster for a few years now.

March 17, 2007, 05:24 PM
well, i got bogged down at work with work and stuff...delays delays... but I finally got around to taking the technician and general exams today. even better, my 8 yr old daughter passed her technician exam, so she'll be able to talk too. (she's an avid shooter, btw)

i hope to have a decent mobile rig installed before the THR trip to Whittington. I'm sure it'll come in handy there, and also on my trip to camp perry this summer for the national HP matches.

I can't tell you how much i'm looking forward to being somewhere that's out of cell phone range!

thanks again to those who responded. I should have my call sign in a week or so and will be looking for your calls on the air. w000t

March 17, 2007, 05:38 PM
And in case anyone reads this thread from long long ago, the Morse Code requirement is now gone for all US ham radio licenses so no more excuses :D

I passed my Extra last summer too so more for me to play with :)

March 17, 2007, 07:47 PM
KC4ALG hearing you 5 & 9!

315 countries confirmed, but the hobby has really suffered since the internet makes everything so easy to do.

Extra class...not as active since the sun spot cycle is down right now. Starting to trend upwards now though. Things will be hot again in about 5 years.

Derek Zeanah
March 17, 2007, 08:17 PM
KI4LXB here. Need to take a couple more tests now that code is hostory. Just been too busy to think about it, to be honest.

March 17, 2007, 09:20 PM
The Code requirement may be gone, but not all that math junk you have to memorize, or limp through. I'm no good with that math stuff. Years ago, I took my Novice test, with Code, but I have let the thing expire. I can see a need for knowing code for disasters. I'm just not too terribly interested in being a Ham.


March 17, 2007, 10:02 PM
General class here.

Was going to take the Extra class exam last Monday, but will wait until next week instead.


I'll be going to the Dayton Hamfest this year (in case any other THR'ers are going as well) :)

March 17, 2007, 10:17 PM
- .. W4AKR

Tech class. Grandfather got me into it, as he was a VEC and was on the question pool committee some time back.


March 17, 2007, 10:46 PM
it was interesting, because while i was standing in line with my paperwork and identification today, the guy in front of me was talking about using his TN handgun permit for ID. i'd be surprised if there isn't a LOT of overlap in the ham/gun communities

March 18, 2007, 01:11 AM
N0OBF here. For you guys still complaining about the dumbing down of the test by giving the answers, I was around ham radio when that first became an issue and I really had to laugh. The system that was developed with the ham tests was almost identical to the one that had been used for a pilot's license for a number of years and I never heard them complaining there would be a lot of dumb pilots in the air.

March 18, 2007, 02:37 AM
DE K8NMU here
Look for me at NV8N in the contest next week :)

March 19, 2007, 11:38 AM
got my call

ki4ukc and my daughter is


March 19, 2007, 11:47 AM
I'm a ham too. The tech test is really easy. All you have to do is memorize the answers to the test from the question pool to pass the tech test. All the rules and procedures are pretty straightforward so once you get the license, you can learn all you need. Besides, most of the questions are common sense anyways.

tele mark
March 19, 2007, 06:50 PM
WI1W -- been inactive for years, though.

March 19, 2007, 07:35 PM
Tech, with no desire to ever go after any other license. I have a mobile in the car and carry a HH while hiking.


(X Flight Engineer)

March 19, 2007, 07:57 PM
I'm real close to membership in the Quarter Century Wireless club, in December it'll be 25 years since I got licensed.

I'm an Amateur Extra now, and getting interested again after a bit of a hiatus. HF is my first love, I was a SWL for years before I got my ticket.

There is a lot of crossover between the two hobbies. Or should I say, lifestyles?

March 19, 2007, 08:03 PM
I've been a ham since i was 13.

March 22, 2007, 01:44 PM
KC0HBR in NW Kansas. General Class.

March 22, 2007, 02:40 PM
KE6FJG Technician Plus, but may be upgrading to general.

March 22, 2007, 03:15 PM
No HAM yet, just GMRS - WPXQ778

March 23, 2007, 11:03 AM
I have been radio active since 1959,took my first novice class ticket on board the USS charles j Badjer DD-657 . Now on low bands as well as vhf/uhf . Listen for my call on E.C.A.R.S.
or the vhf / uhf hailing freq.

March 23, 2007, 11:05 AM
No HAM yet, just GMRS - WPXQ778

People are actually using that mess?

Where did you get a repeater?

I have a GMRS license that is about to expire and have no intention of renewing it.

Without a repeater it's useless IMO.

shooting time
March 23, 2007, 01:50 PM
KO4ZB here extra class I like guns horses and ham radio also

March 25, 2007, 04:52 PM
and guns

short story: hiram p maxim, whose father, hiram s maxim invented the maxim machine gun, was not only the the founder of the ARRL and "father of amateur radio" but also the inventor of the maxim suppressor.

March 25, 2007, 05:08 PM
Oddly enough, My license expires this year. I'm selling my radio, as I haven't used it in about seven years or so.

March 25, 2007, 05:09 PM
Advanced @ 13 2 m local only though.

April 19, 2007, 06:13 PM
Just got mine KI6JEH

April 19, 2007, 06:35 PM
Yep, KB0PJG about to go for General

April 19, 2007, 07:09 PM
hamming since '85, and I'm only 33 :)

inactive most of that time however. run an aprs digi in the DC area.

congrats to the new and newly upgraded hams in the thread!

April 19, 2007, 07:11 PM
General class hammy here... since 1997!
April 19, 2007, 09:09 PM
KI6GRQ is my call sign, got my tech licence end of 2006. I use a Yausu VX7R handheld on 2m, 6m, 440mhz & 220mhz.

Not sure if it's common knowledge but the GMRS radios require a icence that is only good for 5 years & is $80 the ham licence is $14 & good for 10 yrs.

April 19, 2007, 09:37 PM
you guys want to get on the air one of these days together? After May 25th, I should have a new rig to replace my current broken one. All I have as of the moment that works is a 2m HT.

Derek Zeanah
April 19, 2007, 09:42 PM
/me needs to get his higher certs, and a HF tranciever.

April 20, 2007, 12:14 AM
Derek - what are you now? I'm only General - I've been putting off the extra level exam until after I graduate school.

Derek Zeanah
April 20, 2007, 01:17 AM
Derek - what are you now? I'm only General - I've been putting off the extra level exam until after I graduate school.I've been too busy to look at the books.

Well, that's not exactly true. I've been messing around with electronics as well, but haven't given much thought to more licenses. Prolly in the next 60 days though.

April 20, 2007, 07:21 AM
My father has had his ham license for about 50 years now. (wonder what the record is) I spent a lot of my childhood at hamfests and field days.

I really need to get a license and carry on the tradition.
Dad says there are a few hams still active here in East TN

Molon Labe
April 21, 2007, 06:40 PM
I have my Technician's License. Am looking to get my General.

April 21, 2007, 11:29 PM
I'd love to see an informal gathering, perhaps 80 meters?

Anyone? :)

April 22, 2007, 05:46 AM
Well as if my SN/ Callsign was not a giveaway I am a HAM and have been since I was 12.

April 22, 2007, 02:45 PM
Did they removed the Morse code requirement?

Two Cold Soakers
April 29, 2007, 02:07 AM
No more code link (

Passed Tech. today.

April 29, 2007, 03:20 AM
Me too since 1988. I haven't been very active in recent years though. I'm what they used to call a "Technician Plus," never got into HF.

April 29, 2007, 11:49 AM
Passed Tech. today.


April 29, 2007, 12:42 PM
i'm definitely up for a ham get together. (it's why i started the tread)

somebody pick a freq and a time

April 29, 2007, 01:47 PM
Tech here, though I passed the General written at the same time last December. Just haven't gone back to upgrade since I don't have an HF rig yet. Working on Extra :)

May 18, 2007, 09:44 PM
Yep... I'm a General Class. Only have HF antenna for 10 meters right now. Have 2 meter rig too. I haven't been very active the last few years either.

May 19, 2007, 08:44 AM
I have been licensed over 25 years i currently hold an advanced class but i havent been active for awhile either "well some 2 meter for skywarn". I have been thinking about throwing my G5RV back up for my set of Drake twins.
Since the sunspot cycle is starting to coming back, last time it was high i really liked to work the 10 meter repeaters down in the carib basin, I got a yaesu 901DM with 10 meter FM.

May 19, 2007, 05:19 PM
eolian, put that g5rv up and shoot me a PM... we can meet on 80m!


May 19, 2007, 05:45 PM

May 24, 2007, 10:06 PM
WB8YYG General class

Let it lapse, as I hadn't been on for years. When it got to be too much like CB way back when, I lost interest. BTW, N5RKE, an aspiring tech won't know what you said! I was devastated when I learned that there are no more Coast Guard Radiomen...and no more code, no more SOS's...ah, what's the point? I feel so obsolete!

All my cash is going into reloading equipment and components now, and I still NEED a good 1911, another nice revolver, a better spotting scope, maybe another nice revolver, maybe put together an AR15...I also really NEED a gun safe,

maybe ham has to continue to take a back seat!


May 25, 2007, 01:17 PM
Advanced class. Not too active in radio, but do keep a dual band going in the vehicle. Occasionally do a little HF. Most $ and effort goes into firearms. Hope to get grandsons interested in radio and firearms a few years down the road. Meet a lot of great people that way!

May 31, 2007, 11:06 AM
I am thinking about getting into ham this fall. I used to install 2-way radio equipment and some ham gear but never got licensed.

Are there some good ham forums or websites that I can get some more info?

Correct me if I am wrong but ham uses wavelength(meters) and 2-way uses frequencies(Mhz) ?

May 31, 2007, 11:34 AM

There are a number of sources out there. One is Another is
The first will answer a lot of your questions regarding licensing.

As to wavelength v frequencies, it is just a way that we express a range of frequencies. For example, the 2 meter band includes frequencies between 144.000 MHz and 148.000 MHz. When we say 2 meter, we are referring to the approximate wavelength of a signal on a given frequency. Mainly, it's just a lingo that most hams use.

Hope that helps and good luck. Hope to catch you on the airwaves for a QSO (conversation) one day. N5QNS

June 11, 2007, 03:59 PM
I just passed my Tech on Saturday. I'm as confused as can be about what gear to get for my first rig, so I'm waiting to go to a local Field Day on June 23 to see what all is out there.

I'm more interested in long-distance contacts, so I hope to get the General very soon. Hence the confusion on what to start out with.

June 11, 2007, 04:06 PM
mean streaker, dayton is home to one of the largest hamfests in teh country, so you're probably in luck there.

for those of you in TN, there's a very small hamfest on the western edge of putnam county this saturday. probably 50 minutes from nashville.

June 11, 2007, 04:07 PM
That it is... and I just missed it!

June 12, 2007, 12:08 PM
Yep -- W9RCL. Look me up on the 2M sometime. If we're going to do an online, let me know!


June 12, 2007, 01:14 PM
I never got too far into it. I used to use 11 meters alot on the road.
I had an Rci 2950 and used to talk all over the place on 10m. Lots of fun.

Then I picked up an Rci 2995 I think it covers 10, 11, 12 meters, but haven't heard any skip anywhere for some time. I don't mess with it much anymore also because it's just gotten too much like the radio rambo hour, and no courtesy is left like the older days.

June 12, 2007, 01:51 PM

June 12, 2007, 03:04 PM
WD9GET (extra), xyl is KA9MHO, son KC9GUU

January 20, 2011, 07:15 PM
if any of you gun nut/ham nuts are also space nuts, you can get a QSL card from a solar sail here

speaking for AR lovers everywhere, i hope NASA is planning to offer a nano-satellite/compact solar sail boom launcher with a picatinny QD mount. though i would take one that mates to the grenade launcher cut-out in the M4 barrel.

January 20, 2011, 07:15 PM
if any of you gun nut/ham nuts are also space nuts, you can get a QSL card from a solar sail here

speaking for AR lovers everywhere, i hope NASA is planning to offer a nano-satellite/compact solar sail boom launcher with a picatinny QD mount. though i would take one that mates to the grenade launcher cut-out in the M4 barrel.

January 20, 2011, 10:44 PM
I run hot and cold on the ham bands and currently I'm HOT!

I installed a 2 meter rig in my airplane and I get a lot of call backs when I advise "airborne" on a CQ. When I plan a trip I cross reference my repeater call sign book for my fly-over cities and program my rig with the proper tone and send/receive freqs.

My usual arial haunts are the flyways from South Florida to Jackson MS to middle and southern Texas. If you hear a CQ with "airborne" then get the handle "Doc" it will probably be me. 73s

January 20, 2011, 11:01 PM
"i was thinking about getting my technician license and a cheap radio. just wondering if there's anyone out there interesting to talk to "

Since the thread has popped up again, I observed that the question really hasn't been answered. At least not the unstated part of it.

Ham radio is great, esp. for bad situations like weather emergencies or anything that shuts down the power and communications supply. But unlike guns, it's a technical service. With guns, you might just buy a revolver to drop in your pocket for protection, very simple, or you might develop a sophisticated hobby out of it involving lots of time, money, training, expertise, etc.

With ham radio, there's a basic amount of study and knowledge needed to make practical use of it. It's not hard, you just have to like it or you won't follow through.

So you need to ask what you want to get out of it, and how much effort, time, and money you want to put into it.

I figure it cost me about $300 to get started with study, testing, and my basic radio equipment. It was useful but no fun until I upgraded to General class and HF equipment, adding another $500. That's cheap fun over a period of 15 years. (You can spend tens of thousands if you buy high-end equipment and money is no object, or you can go the traditional route and make do.)

I have used my radio for good, practical purposes in real tornado emergencies and other weather situations. I have one older model HF radio (long distance communications), using a simple wire antenna in my attic, and it's good enough. I've made contacts in Europe and South America. I also have two HTs (hand held radios) and I keep one with a spare battery in my briefcase due to many tornadoes in my area. HTs are for local short-range communication only, but very useful and there is plenty of activity on local repeaters.

I also have two very good GMRS radios. You get a license for about $75, it covers the whole extended family, and there's no test. It's like an FMRS radio on steroids, or a junior ham radio. I use them for camping with my wife. The difference is that no one listens on GMRS except your partner, so it's useless for emergency communications. It's for personal use, but it's cheap and high quality.

One problem -- hams tend to overstate technical things at times. Yes, science is a real and important part, but many people get so intimidated that they don't actually enjoy the service. When you get past that and tell yourself, "I'm just gonna throw a damned length of wire over a tree and see if I can contact someone" instead of agonizing over the perfect antenna design, you'll have some success and have some fun. And you'll learn the first lesson in SHTF communications -- how to do what you can with what you've got. Then you can advance to more technical things without sacrificing the fun.

Finally, it really isn't hard if you are willing to join a local club. Dues are cheap and you'll make friends and get lots of help.

73 (Regards) and Good Luck,

January 21, 2011, 01:43 PM
One of the few necro threads I'm glad to see :)
Does anybody else run the digital modes? I run PSK almost exclusively. Usually on 15m or 17m and occasionally 20m during the day (20m gets real busy) and 40m or 80m at night. It never ceases to amaze me what 10w and a dipole 25' AGL will do. Been off the air a while, but there aren't too many cobwebs on the rig. If anybody wants to schedule a contact, PM me....

January 21, 2011, 03:35 PM
I'm not into HAM, but I collect and conserve vintage radios. My pride and joy is a rather rare Midwest that came out of Cincinnati's Union Terminal train station.

January 21, 2011, 04:12 PM
i rarely transmit and all i have is a 2m handheld
i say go for it though

January 21, 2011, 05:08 PM
I have a ham license, but I wouldn't say I'm "into" it in the sense that some people are. I got my license primarily for hiking and secondarily for general emergencies.

I have no real interest beyond the Tech license.
January 21, 2011, 05:25 PM
K0WHI here. I have found out a lot of people who shoot Muzzleloaders like
myself are Hams.

January 21, 2011, 10:32 PM
Started making SW receivers when I was eight. Did a lot of DX listening. My family was po' so I scrounged parts from local repair shops. Still have one of the first, a super-regen.

Did not get a license until a few years ago since I'm into technology more than talking. But, figured a 2m transceiver might save my bacon in a remote camping mishap. I gather frequencies local rescuers monitor before heading into the wild.

Answering the questions on the test brought back good memories. I'm planning to get a two band setup for my Jeep.

January 22, 2011, 08:59 AM
KB1TKQ.....Haven't been on in awhile. I should get back into it.


January 22, 2011, 02:35 PM
tech no code here.

January 22, 2011, 07:34 PM
N2oam here, Advanced class, lifetime interest in electronics & shooting.

73 de bob

Black Toe Knives
January 23, 2011, 02:52 AM
KE4OZO here. I been a technician for twenty years.

January 27, 2011, 09:19 PM
I have my technician, and unlike some of the techy people into ham radio, do just fine with 2m or similar. I recently bought a mobile radio so I can stop borrowing equipment when I do what accounts for the majority of my radio activity, helping with communication at rally races. There I learned the benefit of having options, and to not get tied up in the ham radio. I've used everything including FRS, GMRS, runners, cell phones, etc. Put it simply, use whatever you have at the moment, even if it means cobbling a two way radio to your car's radio antenna. (I don't recommend it, but it can be done)

@GTD: What do you classify as a "good GMRS" radio? I have some of the cheap FRS/GMRS combo radios, the Cobra CXT450.

@Gottahavone: I wanted to get into digital modes back in HS/college, I should look back into that stuff. Well, after I clean up the living room, and put together some sort of bench to hold the radios I have currently. (A kit aircraft reciever, kit shortwave reciever, broken 2m HT, and the previously mentioned mobile rig.)

January 27, 2011, 09:41 PM
Ham threads pop-up from time to time---still, this one surprised me. I get bored with the same old roster style check-ins with call sign and "no traffic" reports of the typical ARES net so I logged in here.

I spent 41 year wishing to be a ham. Family, job and kids got in the way.

Last spring I popped for the study guides, logged 31 hours with an online 'flash card' study system and sat for all three elements one afternoon in May. License grant appeared 8 days later, paper copy arrived early the next week. Silent to Amateur Extra in one move-AE5RY.

I'm still building the station: 160m thru 70cm/cw,phone, digital and my code (CW) is up to about 22 wpm. Little old Albuquerque, NM and surrounding communities boast of about a dozen different clubs and statewide of something called the Mega-Link. A 2m-70cm linked repeater system (about 35 repeaters) blanketing the state with voice coverage and digipeater packet capability. Check it out: Mega-Link (

January 27, 2011, 10:15 PM
My license expires this year, thanks for the reminder.

I'm not terribly active. I have a 2m rig somewhere, sold the HF stuff.

January 27, 2011, 11:23 PM
I'm still a licensed Ham, but I only got it because it was a condition of my fathers to get my drivers license. Was a RTO while I was in the Marines, but it was never really my intrest.

Bear 47
January 29, 2011, 02:04 PM
I would like to know how the hearing impaired ham operators use their radio's.
Are they limited to morse code with visual light flash for recieving code or what is out there in technology advancements. I was wondering if ham radio operators can recieve in text similar to captions on tv. ...............I would like to get started in this...

January 29, 2011, 06:49 PM
I would like to know how the hearing impaired ham operators use their radio's.

Read up on the digital modes, PSK31, RTTY, etc. Plenty of ways to operate and contest without having to hear a sound. Don't know of any speech to text conversions but it wouldn't surprise me if they existed.

January 29, 2011, 06:51 PM
I did see a radio that was rigged up with a light in addition to the speaker for those whom can't hear.

Black Toe Knives
January 29, 2011, 10:14 PM
Read up on the digital modes, PSK31, RTTY, etc. Plenty of ways to operate and contest without having to hear a sound. Don't know of any speech to text conversions but it wouldn't surprise me if they existed.
There are plenty of text to speech programs. Dragon Naturally Speaking, IBM via Voice and now Windows 7.


January 30, 2011, 01:29 AM
Got my license 2-3 years ago. Haven't upgraded yet.
I have a Yaesu (is that how you spell it?) FT-60. Very nice for the price. I've sorta' been out of it for a while, but recently built a j-pole from some twinlead wire. Works extremely well and can be rolled into a nice small package. Tons of instructions online and if you build it to the specs, you shouldn't have to check it with a swr meter. I haven't been able to test it with the Yaesu yet as I don't have the right connectors, so I have to make do with an old Kenwood ht from the '70s. But when I solve that problem, it should work nice for hunting when I want to keep in touch with the family.
Have a good one. Matthew (KE7PXR)

January 30, 2011, 09:31 AM
Yep, the Yaesu FT-60 is a good one, when I was helping my college club get started we bought a few of them for club radios. They can take a beating and keep on going. They aren't the "sexiest" or anything, but they are easy to figure out, and have good capabilities.

If I were to get a handheld, I'd probably go with one of the VX line. I had an Icom IC-V8, but finally managed to kill it, and haven't been able to get it apart to see if I can fix it. It was largish, simple, but dang it worked good. And took quite a bit of abuse it never should have.:o

(BTW, not be be paranoid, but does everyone posting callsigns know that you can be found by your callsign fairly easily? Personal policy is I treat it like a cell phone number, and only those that need it get it.)

January 30, 2011, 09:51 AM
There are plenty of text to speech programs. Dragon Naturally Speaking, IBM via Voice and now Windows 7.

Yes but can they translate a static filled HAM radio conversation is the question. Text to speech is simple, doing it out of a noisy HF background, that's different entirely it seems.

January 30, 2011, 04:48 PM
Been a Ham since 89 ........

Great hobby too .....

You can't have enough guns, radios, motorcycles, and babes .......

January 30, 2011, 05:13 PM
I've got the guns and motorcycles part covered, working on the other two.:D

January 30, 2011, 08:11 PM
K1TRM here. General for about 2 years now.

ICOM 308H - In the truck
Yaesu VX7R - In the hand
ICOM 756PROII - In the shack

If anyone wants to sked with someone in VT, let me know!


January 30, 2011, 08:26 PM
Just got back from the range and eating supper. Relaxing while listening to some friends on 160m (1.950mhz) and reading some forums. I do this most every night. I love my HAM radio friends the best of all my friends. They all have an off button.:neener:

January 30, 2011, 10:39 PM
I've also got the guns, motorcycle and babe thing down. I've often thought of trying HAM. I happen to have access to a 500W GMDSS transciever that many of you would probably kill for. For me it's more of a chore since I have to maintain the system for a ship as the Electronics Tech. I could probably get myself a decent transceiver in this community.

January 31, 2011, 02:12 AM
KE7VZW here :)

I have an FT-450 HF+6M rig, DM-710 uhf/vhf, astron power. I do a lot of digital modes, PSK31, RTTY, Hellschrieber, JT65 (WSPR), usually on 20 meters w/my PC and signalink USB. I work AO-51 with my handheld TH-F6A and arrow satellite also. I'm also on 20 meter CW usually on the weekends. Still trying to get over 10wpm though.

I have a compromise antenna at my QTH since i'm in an apartment, but I can still get out pretty good worldwide if the bands are doing OK.

Seems like ALL the hams I know are gun guys! Nice to see some ham guys on the gun boards as well. Anyone here on QRZ also ?


January 31, 2011, 10:34 AM

General. Don't do 2 or 6M as it's too short range and mostly guys talking about traffic or supper....LOL

January 31, 2011, 01:38 PM
I'm just a lowly Tech, but I'm interesting to talk to ... or so I'm told. (Well, maybe once.) :D

I'm looking to upgrade to General, and I'm watching this thread hopin' that the enthusiasm generated herein will rekindle the fire.

January 31, 2011, 02:09 PM
Don't do 2 or 6M as it's too short range and mostly guys talking about traffic or supper..

There is one 2M repeater close to me that I swear is busy all day with this guy and his wife shooting the breeze about the kids, groceries, etc. He's a local truck driver and she stays at home on her handheld. It's a club owned repeater but I never hear anyone else using it.

It's pretty funny....

January 31, 2011, 02:28 PM
Don't do 2 or 6M as it's too short range

Not really. Using this type os setup, you can communicate all over the world. I've used my Yeasu FT90 in the mobile to speak with another ham in Europe.

Steve Raacke
January 31, 2011, 04:37 PM
KC5SAS here. Licensed as a Tech since 1995 and serve as RACES Officer for my Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness. I work 2m/440 FM voice and APRS. Played with low power Amatuer TV but haven't done that in a couple of years. Active in public service events several times a year.

January 31, 2011, 04:43 PM
I'm also a ham. I don't have any rigs currently up and running, though. I've been an advanced operator since about '92, but don't get on the radio much, since my office is now full of computers and reloading equipment. Ham radio is fun, though. You can talk all over the world for free -- once you've sunk about $7000 in gear. You also never know for sure who you're gonna end up talking to. Two meters is a good start and lots of local clubs have repeaters that expand coverage.

February 1, 2011, 12:14 AM
I'm not, but my good buddy Josh is. He is currently at KD5PTL, and yes, I do have his permission to his # up here. :D

shooting time
February 1, 2011, 07:48 AM
I am a Ham also extra class KO4ZB I get on 80 meters daily and also 2 meters and have a Icom which uses the digital mode DSTAR but i don't get on that often.I have ham radios in every vehicle and my wife is a ham also. I will always be able to communicate in a SHTF situation.Sometimes i have a handheld when i am out riding my horse .I have always liked radio, got my first CB radio in 1971 been in it ever since.Made a lot of good friends with it. It is amazing you can put up some wire in between 2 trees and talk around the world.

February 4, 2011, 03:41 PM
I have my GROL, one day when the kids finally don't need me every second of the day ;) I'd love to get into amateur radio. :)

February 5, 2011, 03:01 PM
Just joined THL ...

I am very active in the local amateur radio community...

Put together a 13 hospital network...

Trustee of a wide area repeater (70 mile radius near marker 314 on IH-35)

Run a VE test group (The Belton Ham-fests are our big test sessions)

Bell County EOC volunteer (EOC is run by the volunteers)

Teach license courses

SKYWARN net control

February 5, 2011, 04:17 PM
welcome to THR, Joe

February 18, 2011, 02:12 PM
KE5TTL checking in...Tech license from 2009.

I only have a mobile rig at the moment....hope to get an antennae up at the house one of these days...just not enough hours in a day and money in the bank :)

February 18, 2011, 03:10 PM
KK0G Extra Class. 73

February 18, 2011, 07:17 PM
Something I've been thinking about, Have a feeling these and CB's will make a big come back.

February 19, 2011, 11:58 AM
Licensed in '93
Upgraded to Advanced in '94

I run a modest HF station at home (TS-480 and 4btv)
and HF mobile (FT-857D and TARHEEL II antenna)

I don't do a lot of VHF/UHF, but....

On the way to the gun club last summer, I talked to Colonel Warlock on the International Space Station.
we were driving down the highway in my friends truck.
Used his FT-7900 dual bander

February 19, 2011, 12:28 PM
KF6OSK, General. I am down to an unistalled FT100 and a VX5. Not real active now.

Gadzooks Mike
February 19, 2011, 04:23 PM
Yup, here's one.

March 27, 2014, 02:39 PM
Revived thread!

HF Station:
Collins S LIne
Icom IC-736
Icom IC-720A

Icom IC-47A (440)
TYT TH-9000 (220)
Icom V8000 (2m)

Running all homebrew antennas.



PBR Streetgang
March 27, 2014, 06:56 PM
Running a Icom 756 Pro2 into a AH-4 tuner and a home-built 80 meter full wave horizontal loop.

I'm also a VE and am starting to see a influx of new hams.......we have a group that runs a class to teach theory and not just answers to pass the test..............

March 27, 2014, 07:26 PM
I have been licensed since 1976. I have a very modest station. My main HF station is an old Ten Tec Paragon with an AL 811. I am normaly active on 40 Meter fone and 60 Meter fone on a net 3 times a week. I have been off the air since about Christmas because my dipole is on the ground. My call is November 3 Oscar Delta or n3od. I would be happy to run a sked when I get an antenna up.73 de n3od.

March 27, 2014, 07:28 PM
Yep, ARO here, too. Been licensed since 1967 when I was 14 years old (quick math will indicate I'm 61).

Yeah, back in myyyyyy daaaaaaay, we didn't have any wimpy, mamba pamby, no code licenses! :-) all in fun of course. Had to pass 5 WPM for the Novice and Technician classes. I started as a Novice and all Novice calls back then started with WN (or KN for the older guys). Got my General with a 13 WPM code test and changed my call prefix to WA, had my Advanced for a short while, but quickly got my Extra Class with the 20 WPM requirement. No way around it. If you wanted to advance, you HAD to know Morse Code.

Hmmm, wondering what an equivalence to having a license would be in the shooting hobby. Maybe we shouldn't go there. It is off-topic and can see that discussion going to the lowest common denominator real fast.

73s to all hams!


PBR Streetgang
March 27, 2014, 07:42 PM
KingContraryMan,,,as a novice,I remember dreaming of those Collins radios when I was running a crystal controlled HW-16 with a straight key...........

March 28, 2014, 10:51 AM
one of these days it would be cool to have some THR discussions on HF

Bob Bonillas
March 28, 2014, 02:28 PM
General Class, studying for extra

March 28, 2014, 06:19 PM
one of these days it would be cool to have some THR discussions on HF
Who would moderate? :D

August 11, 2014, 09:43 PM
Amateur Extra. Mostly HF (40, 20, 15 and 10) with a local 2m ARES net thrown in occasionally. Love it.

Willie Sutton
August 11, 2014, 10:08 PM
Ran KC4AAC for a while and then KC4AAA (look those up). Used the military Collins KWM-2A setups... magic.

Run a Furuno marine HF radio opened up for ham bands when I am on my boat in the Caribbean. PACTOR Modem and SailMail is my email link to civilization when I'm there. Plus we have several good cruising nets running every morning with weather and security and social news for boaters.



August 11, 2014, 10:23 PM
34 years a ham and an Extra Class for quite a while a couple Yaesu's that are HF only FT-950 and FT-2000D and A couple rigs that do it all...TS-2000 and Icom IC-7000...amps...antenna tuners...160 meters to 70 CM...SSB / CW / Digital too!

August 11, 2014, 11:16 PM


August 12, 2014, 12:40 AM
Extra here.........K4jpf.........qrz gives the background. Not terribly active but I enjoy the occasional cw qso & do manage to check in on the MM net.

A useful tool that I've used during the Ak. quake and several hurricanes.

August 12, 2014, 06:38 AM

Currently have a handheld Baofeng UV-5R. Used for hiking communications, but that's about the extent of Ham-ing.

August 12, 2014, 04:26 PM
Who would moderate?

The FCC :)

PBR Streetgang
August 12, 2014, 09:15 PM
anyone want to run a straight key net?

August 14, 2014, 07:08 AM
KE4OAR, Amateur Extra.

My original FCC issued call sign. I just could not bear to part with a call sign that spells something.

Dave Markowitz
August 14, 2014, 10:49 AM
Since this thread was started, I upgraded to General class, and I'm now studying for Amateur Extra. I mostly operate on digital modes -- PSK31 and Olivia -- on 20M, with a little 40M thrown in. I'm also setup for portable HF operation with my Icom 7200, a battery, and an end-fed antenna supported on a 31' telescoping fiberglass pole.

The digital modes are great for those of us without the ability to put up large antenna farms, since they use the processing power of a PC to pick out and decode signals. E.g., I have been doing PSK31 with only 30 watts to get QSOs into Eastern Europe and South America from my QTH near Philadelphia, PA. (Obviously, CW would work well for this but I have no ear for code.)

August 14, 2014, 04:06 PM
KD8USS in Michigan

August 15, 2014, 06:52 PM
KD5ZGX, General class for about 15 years now.

August 16, 2014, 11:13 PM
Hello all, I live up in Alaska and was hoping to get started in HAM Radio this winter as a hobby. Do you guys have any recommendations for a decent inexpensive radio to start out with after I pass my test?

August 17, 2014, 01:35 AM
Baofeng GT-3 is a good handheld. cheap but a good radio. get on and join the forums they will be a huge help.

August 17, 2014, 10:06 AM
Hello all, I live up in Alaska and was hoping to get started in HAM Radio this winter as a hobby. Do you guys have any recommendations for a decent inexpensive radio to start out with after I pass my test?

Which bands are you planning to operate on? To talk the world without the use of an internet portal, you will need HF and at least a General license.

Just like shooting, amateur radio has many different ways to get involved, voice, morse code, digital modes, slow scan and fast scan television, APRS, and more.

Winter in Alaska would be a good time to study for the amateur radio tests.

Dave Markowitz
August 17, 2014, 07:42 PM

Now that Morse Code is no longer required, I highly recommend studying for and taking both the Tech and General tests in the same sitting. The test for General has a lot of overlap with that for Tech, going into many of the same topics just in more depth. A General class license gets you a lot more operating privileges on HF, which was what you need for continental/intercontinental communications. Personally, I got bored with Tech privileges fairly quickly.

When it comes to choosing a radio, the typical ham progression is HT (handy talkie, AKA a handheld) to mobile VHF/UHF rig, and then to an HF rig. Radios from any of the Big Three (Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu) are generally a safe bet. In the past few years the Chinese have entered the HT market in a big way with the radios from Baofeng and Wouxon. I recently picked up a Baofeng UV5RA from Amazon and for the price I'm impressed.

CHIRP ( is a nice piece of software that allows you to program many VHF/UHF rigs, and it's free. I'm using it with my Baofeng and my Yaesu FT-7800R. (Programming VHF/UHF radios by hand is really tedious.)

August 18, 2014, 09:13 PM
K0RX. Been a ham since 1973 - I guess that's 41 years now. Time flies...

DXer, contester, APRS developer, JOTA (K0A), etc... lots of fun over the years.

Kind of like shooting - at different times of my life I've been interested in different aspects of the hobby. Its all fun, though!

August 21, 2014, 12:04 AM
KD9ASP. Took and passed Tech and General last spring. Working now to get an antenna up high enough to be more effective.

August 21, 2014, 01:59 AM
Ham since 1961. Extra since 1968. Operate mostly 40 meter SSB/CW/AM with TS-2000.

August 21, 2014, 12:42 PM
Just got my Technician-class on Monday.

Currently, I just own a Baofeng UV-5R but I'd like to get something with a bit more powah.

Living in NYC w/o roof or street access, it's going to be tricky to hit a distant repeater.

The Alaskan
March 15, 2015, 06:29 AM
Just joined here.

First licensed 2011. Upgraded to General about 3 months later.

I have everything in my F-150. A fully mobile station.
Yaesu FT-857 to a triband mag mount on the roof for 6m/2m/70cm. Hamstick and tuner on the HF side for 10/20m or can go stationary portable with a Buddipole to run 40 through 10. I also have a J-38 straight key in the truck.

Yaesu VX-7R to a tri band lip mount on the hood for 2m packet/Winlink 2k using a Kantronics KPC-3+ and an older Dell with XP Pro. That also serves as my 1.25m voice and my back up 2m/70cm voice.

Everything, including the TNC and lap top, is powered from the truck's batter through a Rig Runner, plus I have a backup SLA battery.

The 857 comes out of the truck and goes in my pack, along with the buddipole antenna and a small (7ah) SLA battery for hunting trips, camping, etc.

June 7, 2015, 10:54 AM
Just found this thread. KC9VFG. General ticket since Jan 2012. Currently running a Kenwood TS-480 as a home base but can go mobile fairly easily. I'm mostly on 17 or 20 meters trying to work DX.

June 8, 2015, 12:09 PM
Tech license, no desire for any other.

Currently running a Yaesu 8800 dual-band in my jeep and 110 watt VHF and UHF Ericsson Orions in my M1009.

Hairy Clipper
June 8, 2015, 12:19 PM
I have been licensed for over 40 years. Extra.

June 15, 2015, 08:17 PM
I am currently a tech, but now that Iím retired Iíll start studying for the General license.

I run a 2M/70cm Yaesu with a 2M beam and two groundplane antennas at home.

Also, I am installing a 2M Kenwood rig in my airplane. Actually the rig is in, but Iím trying to figure out where the best place to put the antenna that will absolutely not cause any interference with the avionics.

If thereís an Elmer out there that has some experience with this I would appreciate some help.

73.Ö. Doc

Just to keep this thread legal, I plan to use the radio to advise members at my shooting range that Iíll be doing a water bomb drop at a target near the berm. ;)

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