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Author Topic: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?  (Read 1582 times)

LWolken

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2018, 09:45:21 PM »
Doesn't do you any good how long the battery lasts if you can't  make a contact, complete a relay etc....I'll take 650mah draw with 20 times the output any day of the week.  The key to running portable qro is simple, use enough power when necessary to complete the contact.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 11:37:14 PM by LWolken »

CPR

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2018, 02:58:13 AM »
Yeah... Like when I was talking Croatia Moscow 1850km on 5W SSB and some wise guy flattened me with his 1.5kw station. Great stuff! The guy in Moscow was not amused, my S meter almost blew up. Of course it's great to have a power reserve in the sleeve to activate if necessary. I'll get an amp myself, the small portable 50W amp for the 817.
But, what's your goal in emergency preparedness? Doing DX contacts with 100W, even considering that there could be a grid down and most of the hams are out of order and the air is much cleaner?
I don't know. For me its enough to get continental, staying inside Europe. I mean, that could secure your survival. It depends on what goals you have for your emergency ham stuff. I see no need to talk to USA or Japan if a disaster strikes. It's enough to hear what is happening there, if I have to communicate I don't see a reason to go outside Europe. That said, 5W is an acceptable power, also considering the ease of carrying that rig around. Someone using 100W for +2 days of field use has to haul more than 4 times the weight (even more) than I do.
Id rather be mobile and quick on foot in a SHTF and using 5W, than slow, overloaded and burning all my calories just to haul my 100W righ with solar power and 2 kilos of batteries around.


Check that out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_u1ss3GXcI
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 03:06:07 AM by CPR »

gil

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2018, 04:21:14 AM »
Quote
considering that there could be a grid down and most of the hams are out of order and the air is much cleaner?

Oh yes! I bet most amateur stations will be down the minute the power goes down. Some will stay on the air a bit longer, 2-3 days, maybe even a week. After that, it's only going to be small CW rigs and a handful of people with big solar panels.

If you watch my latest video, posted yesterday, I make an easy contact on 80m using 3W out maybe, with eight AA batteries, and they last a long time. Add a solar panel and a charger, you're on the air for months, maybe years...

Gil.

CPR

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2018, 04:31:18 AM »
Yes, CW is the top of the energy efficiency.. It's like a VW BlueMotion or a state of the art hybrid car. But not everybody can afford (learn) it. Although CW seems like a really useful thing to know, I personally prefer talking SSB.
I can charge my 18650 via USB and my Anker solar panel. It can deliver 2A tops, enough to charge my batteries to stay online. I have my diy 3s2p 6Ah 18650 pack. I can take out 3 and run 3Ah while the others charge. With my 817 I can stay online quite a time with 3Ah. Although I would not waste energy too much, rather stick to the 3-3-3 rule for SHTF.
I built in a BMS to that pack, I could even charge them with solar. But this panel delivers 5V, converting it to 12V won't do the trick as the Amps will drown.
Maybe, I'll get a decent 12V panel someday, but I don't see the need right now, not when I don't have a current-hungry amp.

If you buy your rig primarily for fun, then go with 100W, if you buy it from the prepper side of view, I'd suggest for QRP rigs. There is no need to get through a pile up when SHTF  ;D

gil

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2018, 05:05:49 AM »
The 817 is at the limit. I like it, it's an excellent radio. Actually, if I had 600 Euros now I would probably buy one... Especially that it has 2m and 70cm SSB. Make a portable 2m Yagi like I did and you'll have a lot of fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6quIk_X3QIE

Gil.

vwflyer

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2018, 01:41:17 PM »
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But not everybody can afford (learn) it. Although CW seems like a really useful thing to know, I personally prefer talking SSB.

You can afford what you value.

CPR

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2018, 04:08:46 PM »
I value cw as it is but have no intention to learn it for now as I see no need.

Via TapaTalk


LWolken

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2018, 11:00:34 PM »
Personally I would love to see a 30-50 watt variant of the FT-857d.  If I can't make it with 50 watts its probably not happening.  On the contrary there have been numerous occasions where 5-10 watts would not make the trip but 20-30 worked just fine.  The 817 is a fine rig and I'm sure I will get one eventually but just not in the doldrums of this solar cycle.

As you can see with Julian's videos there are many great power options for QRO rigs in the field.  A 7-10Ah LiFePO4 battery and 30-50 watts of solar is more than enough.  I used this combination on Dry Tortugas Island for 4 days.  That's what I'll be running on field day.  Most shtf situations I can dream of are going to be more listening than anything else, maybe a quick wellness check to family.  I seriously doubt I will be running around performing comms ops like some guys plan.  More than likely it will be if and when its time to move to a new location.

This thread got me thinking though, when was the last time I even heard a QRP station?  Maybe its just my area?  Here in Texas, we're about 800 miles wide and tall which is about 1200km both ways.  European DX contacts are still regional where I live.  Its all about perspective I guess...

vwflyer

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2018, 12:19:01 AM »
Code: [Select]
This thread got me thinking though, when was the last time I even heard a QRP station?
Do you do much CW? Iím in the El Paso area and I have regular QSOs with QRPers on CW. Iíd estimate that ľ - ⅓ of my CW QSOs are with someone running QRP.

CPR

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2018, 03:40:42 AM »
Quote
I seriously doubt I will be running around performing comms ops like some guys plan.  More than likely it will be if and when its time to move to a new location.

Running high power rigs in the air in SHTF is like drawing a target on your back. Also you need to change locations often or your shack will become a target.
In the civil war in Yugoslawia, HAM operators had an important role in relaying information to the army as the Croatian army and informational infrastructure was not present / cut off. Resulting in pinpointed attacks from the aggressor on villages with active ham operators. Just sayin. If they saw an antenna on your roof, your house was gone.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 03:44:25 AM by CPR »

LWolken

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2018, 10:04:29 PM »
Code: [Select]
This thread got me thinking though, when was the last time I even heard a QRP station?
Do you do much CW? Iím in the El Paso area and I have regular QSOs with QRPers on CW. Iíd estimate that ľ - ⅓ of my CW QSOs are with someone running QRP.

I was referring to QRP on SSB, I don't do any CW yet but it is on my serious to do list this coming off season (HVAC Contractor).  I will probably go ahead and get MRP40 just to play around until I can become proficient with CW.  The digital modes such as FT-8 are neat for testing antennas but I really don't see them being useful as much as CW in SHTF.

vwflyer

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2018, 11:12:42 PM »
You defiantly will not regret learning morse code. Itís not like buying a computer interface to run FT8 and after a few contacts getting bored of it and regretting the purchase. Learning morse code is a lot more rewarding and even if you eventually bore of it, it will always be useful. Itís not a product, itís a skill.

I agree that digital modes like FT8 have limited usefulness to the preppers but thatís not their target users. On the other hand, FSQ was designed specifically for emergency comms. Modes like FSQ and Olivia are very handy to the emergency communicator. FSQ can even send messages while the receiving station doesnít have an operator present at the radio.  They perform better than CW. They can send faster and in worse conditions. Their only downside is that they require a computer. This adds weight, complexity, points of failure, and power requirements. If you can afford the additional weight and power requirements they are a good way to go.

I have an IC-706 in my suburban and am setting up a mobile station that can run digital on all HF bands. This mobile station will be able to run digital modes for extended periods of time until I run out of gas. Then the foldable 22 watt panel will allow me to run the station for short intervals.

madsb

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Re: New to HAM Community What is a good beginner rig?
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2018, 04:15:51 PM »
Hi new here just passed my tech and general tests this past weekend. I am looking for suggestions on a good solid rig to start with. I am looking at a Yaesu FT-8900R as a potential starting point and a chameleon F Loop Plus or Alpha Antenna 10-80M Multiband Military 2.0. I would welcome any comments or suggestions and looking forward to learning more and hopefully being able to contribute to the site at some point.


Thanks Phillip   KE8JWD
The mentioned radio and antenna is kind of a strange combination. The two antennas cover a lot of HF bands but the radio only has 10m. On the other hand the radio has the 6m, 2m and 70cm VHF/UHF bands which the antennas won't cover.

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