New at this and would like some advice

Started by lowetom65, September 02, 2012, 11:06:22 am

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lowetom65

I am preparing to get my first Ham radio and wondered if you have any advice on what to purchase.  I want it to be mobile but don't want to buy something I will be wanting to upgrade in 6 months.

Also does a ham radio tune standard AM and FM stations?

Scott

Broadcast AM is almost never available in a mobile package, unless you're looking at a mobile HF rig like the Yaesu FT-857 or Icom IC-7000.  I'm going to assume that you're a Technician just barely, so mobile HF is probably not what you had in mind.

Hopefully you saw my review of the Icom IC-208h in here.  Great radios, if you don't mind paying for them, and the lighter feature set would actually be useful for a newer ham just to have less confusion.

If you want a radio that's more like an investment that you won't outgrow, might I recommend the Kenwood TM-D710A.  Dual band, dual receive, APRS-upgradeable, cross-band repeat, and all fancy digital interface / computer programability fun you could ask for.  The philosophy here is, "Do it right, or save your money."  This is a more expensive radio than most dual-band mobiles, but you really will get what you pay for.  Big time.

If I were buying a radio right now, I don't think I'd look at anything else.

Gear porn.

Enjoy.

gil

Hello,

I got a Yaesu FT-270R and I really like it. It isn't too complicated but has all the features you want. It is also waterproof, with is a nice feature for an emergency radio...

Gil.

Scott

No.

The FT-270r is an HT.  This is not a primary radio -- this is a backup to a primary radio for someone who isn't going very far.

Quote from: lowetom65 on September 02, 2012, 11:06:22 am
I want it to be mobile but don't want to buy something I will be wanting to upgrade in 6 months.


On topic please.

Mitch

Quote from: lowetom65 on September 02, 2012, 11:06:22 am
I am preparing to get my first Ham radio and wondered if you have any advice on what to purchase.  I want it to be mobile but don't want to buy something I will be wanting to upgrade in 6 months.

Also does a ham radio tune standard AM and FM stations?


For the first part you have to give some more suggestions like how mobile (Go box on a cart weighing 200lbs, installed in a vehicle, man pack sized, radio kit in a standard bug out bag, something to fit in your pocket) and if possible the bands you are interested in using. It would also be useful to know if you want extended battery operation or possibly full portable solar/battery operation.

It depends on the radio if it gives you standard AM/FM stations, but my experience tells me if the radio operates in that mode/band AM or FM they will generally provide "wide" receive coverage so you can listen to standard stations. I agree with Scott's statement on that.

gil

My opinion is that a new Ham will eventually want to use HF, probably get a General license later.. Lots of dual band vhf/uhf have all kinds of bells and whistles I have no use for, like APRS and such. The only VHF radio I have is the FT-270R, which I agree isn't enough. I might get a Yaesu FT-2900R, a simple and rugged 2m at $160 with a 75W output, or find an all-mode 2m SSB/FM radio on Ebay. If I had the money, I would get an FT-817ND or FT897D, which have all the bands you might want, and general receive. That for me would be the ultimate radio. Add an amp for VHF (FT-817ND) and you're all set.. The question is, do you want to  stick to VHF/UHF local communications, or expand to worldwide contacts on HF? Honestly, most conversations I hear on 2m are rather lame, with lots of people bickering and cutting each other off with keying-over. There are good ones for sure, but there is always some idiot on VHF to mess it all up. So, if you want VHF/UHF/local, get what Scott suggests. If you want it all, see my suggestions above, either an all band model, or a cheap VHF radio plus an HF model, which there are plenty of new models and a ton for cheap on Ebay..

Gil.

Scott

No.

Statistically, most Technicians never upgrade. 

gil

Well, they're missing out a great deal. Maybe they are afraid of the General exam, which isn't much harder than the Tech..

Gil.

Jonas Parker

Quote from: lowetom65 on September 02, 2012, 11:06:22 am
I am preparing to get my first Ham radio and wondered if you have any advice on what to purchase.  I want it to be mobile but don't want to buy something I will be wanting to upgrade in 6 months.

Also does a ham radio tune standard AM and FM stations?


At the tech level, I'd recommend you go cheap, probably a Wouxan hand-held. When you get your general ticket, opt for a portable that can sit on the desktop in your "shack" yet be quickly moved to your vehicle. I bought a Kenwood TS480SAT with just this in mind.

wc4r

Quote from: Scott on September 16, 2012, 09:56:15 am
No.

Statistically, most Technicians never upgrade.


Incorrect. MOST technicians DO upgrade although it is not much more than half.

gil

This is an old thread, but I would now suggest at least a four-band radio, 20,30,40 and 80m, with a general coverage receiver. A VHF/UHF handheld is a must also of course.

Gil.

red90

Quote from: gil on September 16, 2012, 10:51:02 am
Well, they're missing out a great deal. Maybe they are afraid of the General exam, which isn't much harder than the Tech..

Gil.
I'm new here as well but I bought a Yaesu ft-60r just because I got a really good deal on it so I didn't pass it up but I'll be upgrading already looking.

Sent from my 5049Z using Tapatalk


cockpitbob

You can't go wrong with the FT-60R.  It was my first radio and is still a popular choice.