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Author Topic: Another new tech  (Read 6815 times)

medic photog

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Another new tech
« on: October 20, 2013, 02:28:52 PM »
Just got home from Perkasie PA, took the tech test and passed, now to do some serious mobile radio shopping.

gil

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 04:22:24 PM »
Congratulations!
Gil.

Joe

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 09:02:07 PM »
Congrats !!! Study up and take the general while the tech is still fresh, it will be much easier.

Joe

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 09:04:47 PM »
Awesome! Congratulations and welcome to amateur radio.


Joe has some excellent advice, now is the time to continue studying.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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gil

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 09:17:59 PM »
Quote
now is the time to continue studying.

Yep, General isn't much harder. Also don't forget that you do have privileges on 80m and 40m  ;)

Gil.

Flatus

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 02:30:15 PM »
I passed my Technician test on Saturday! For giggles the guys gave me a general test to take ... "Why not" they said.  Of course I did not pass that exam but I agree with the earlier post it didn't seem to be extremely difficult (I was able to get about 20 questions correct).  I have purchased a General class textbook and our next testing will be in December.

I am very interested in QRP and by convention CW.  For now I am going to explore SSB and maybe some PSK31 (must feed my inner gadget geek).  I have received a cheap Baofeng handheld from Amazon for 2m/70cm work and I have a Yaesu 817ND en route as my beginning GRP rig.

I would like to ask the experts a few questions:

1. I have a Par Enz Fed trail-friendly 40/20 meter antenna to use with my 817ND ... do I need a tuner and if so which one (size and weight constraints being paramount)?

2. I want to build a small portable CW QRP kit.  Any suggestions on a kit and an antenna to go with it? I would like to put this in my bug-out-bag and I have standardized all of my other equipment on AA batteries.

3. What iPhone app would you suggest and what method would you suggest for me to learn CW?

Thanks for the website and for any advice!

Kevin

gil

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 03:04:21 PM »
Quote
I have a Par Enz Fed trail-friendly 40/20 meter antenna to use with my 817ND ... do I need a tuner and if so which one (size and weight constraints being paramount)?

Nope. You shouldn't, especially if you operate in the CW part of the band. For SSB, high up, you might have to, or trim the wire per PAR's instructions, but then you'll need a tuner for the CW part... I left mine as is, works great and bandwidth is wide enough for me, even using SSB.

Quote
Any suggestions on a kit and an antenna to go with it?

I would really suggest an Elecraft KX1, even if you have to save up a bit to get it, with the ATU and later, the 80/30m module.
The "Trail Friendly" version of the PAR 40/20/10 would be the best choice for an antenna, though with the ATU, the KX3 can use simple wires.
I would bet a hundred bucks that the PAR would get you better results though.

Quote
What iPhone app would you suggest and what method would you suggest for me to learn CW?

"HamMorse," hands down!

Gil.

KK0G

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 03:25:05 PM »
Congratulations Kevin! Welcome to the ranks of amateur radio, I'm very happy to hear you want to learn code. Another great tool is LCWO, a very handy online way to learn code. Remember that Morse code is an audible language, do NOT try to learn it visually. Use the Koch method of a high character speed with longer inter-character spacing so you can't mentally count dits and dahs. You want to learn to recognize each character instantly by it's unique sound, counting dits and dahs and the then mentally translating that to a character takes lots of brain time and will come back to haunt you as you try to increase your code speed.


Another bit of advice is to get on the air as soon as possible after you know all the characters even if you don't think you're ready because of your slow speed. Trust me, there are plenty of operators out there, including myself, that are more than happy to slow way down for you and put up with your inevitable mistakes, learning is so much faster when you're having fun making contacts as opposed to using software. Good luck.


I'll second the recommendation of a KX1, in my opinion it's the perfect trail radio when combined with the auto tuner and 30/80 meter module. The integral paddles are well worth the added expense also.




"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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Flatus

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 07:35:09 PM »
Great advice and thanks again! I will definitely look at the kx1. I had looked at the kx3 instead of the 817 but it was so much more expensive for what I want to do and I got the Yaesu with the Harris cw filter, battery pack etc for 460 on ebay used in good condition. After I get my feet wet I may move up to a kx3 ... Definitely a fine radio but not sure how trail-hearty it is?

Archangel320420

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 09:02:27 PM »
Congrats on youse guys getting licensed. This is wonderful news!

gil

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 10:12:27 PM »
Quote
After I get my feet wet I may move up to a kx3 ... Definitely a fine radio but not sure how trail-hearty it is?

The KX3 is an awesome radio. I use mine at home only though, so far. It is just a tad big for me to put in my bag. I also wouldn't want to damage it in the field. For camping, I use my Weber MTR, but good luck finding one  :-\ I do plan on building a KX1 at some point because of it's small size and four bands. If there is a new MTR ever release though, I'll jump on that, maybe even buy two! I saw a guy sell his unbuilt kit for $300; he paid $120 for it... A KX1/FT-817 would be a good combination. The KX1 would assure you a long time of operating on a few AA cells... You would only turn the electron-hungry Yaesu if you heard something interesting on the KX1 requiring SSB... I suspect however that you would soon leave the Yaesu at home once you got comfortable with the code.

Gil.

medic photog

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 10:30:11 PM »
I'm already reading the general book.  I initially hoped to take both the same day but that pesky thing called a job got in the way of studying.  They test every odd month not far from me and I've met and chated with a couple of the folks in the club that do the testing and they are looking forward to seeing me next month.  Now to get my radio picked out and bought.  Ive decided on a multi band Yaesu, either an 8900, an 857D, or an 897D.  I'm actually leaning more towards the 857 right now and with a couple photo jobs coming up in the next couple of weeks the cash flow will be fine for any of the three.

gil

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 10:33:16 PM »
Quote
I'm already reading the general book.

Try the practice tests on QRZ.com, they haelp a lot.
Why not try for Extra at the same time? It's just a bunch of formulas to remember and a little more material...

Gil.

RichardSinFWTX

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 08:34:10 AM »
Ive decided on a multi band Yaesu, either an 8900, an 857D, or an 897D.  I'm actually leaning more towards the 857 right now and with a couple photo jobs coming up in the next couple of weeks the cash flow will be fine for any of the three.

I've got the FT-8900R right now.  I'd say save up the extra money and go with the 857.  I'm gonna pull the trigger on one of those very soon myself!

Welcome to the group!

John Galt

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Re: Another new tech
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 10:24:09 AM »
Ive decided on a multi band Yaesu, either an 8900, an 857D, or an 897D.  I'm actually leaning more towards the 857 right now and with a couple photo jobs coming up in the next couple of weeks the cash flow will be fine for any of the three.

I've got the FT-8900R right now. 

That's what I have as well.  I'm curious as to the shortcomings of the 8900.   Other than it's FM only?