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  1. #16
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    Getting my Technician license is on my to-do list and may work at it this winter. A co-worker is an instructor and he did recommend the Radioddity DB25-G as a good entry point for GMRS. Not a handheld, but small and can be vehicle mounted. For a handheld, he uses a Yaesu VX-7R which I'm guessing is a bit more advanced than the -6

  2. #17
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    Personally I don't think the higher levels are worth it UNLESS you plan to really get into HAM and get lots of expensive equipment. If you want to talk to people in South America or the opposite coast or something like that then go for it. If you want just local emergency preparedness stuff those things other levels are not going to help you at all. Basically they are for much higher power broadcasting and such as well as access to other frequencies.

    Plenty of people have those higher licenses but to me it depends on your goal.

    Also for the tests there are some free resources online that work really well. Paying $79 is not needed for this at all. I will try to put up a link later on where you can do practice tests for free. I passed mine on the first try using only that resource.

    I think the fee to take the test is like $10 at a local ham club but that fee can vary a little bit depending on where you are at. Also the fee for registration (paid to the government) is $35 for 10 years regardless of where you test. Before it was a little bit cheaper than that.

    Basically the costs are whatever the local to you club charges to administer the test plus $35 paid to the government after you pass.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerUp View Post
    Getting my Technician license is on my to-do list and may work at it this winter. A co-worker is an instructor and he did recommend the Radioddity DB25-G as a good entry point for GMRS. Not a handheld, but small and can be vehicle mounted. For a handheld, he uses a Yaesu VX-7R which I'm guessing is a bit more advanced than the -6
    That little radio looks interesting. I will ask around and see what others say about it.

    Also as it was mentioned that he possibly wanted to be in listen only mode, there is a scanner on their website for $40. You can buy one of those and listen however much you want.

    For two way comms though the basic stuff is good to go, at least for anything local-ish.

  4. #19
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    Here is the link for free online test/study material. It's 100% free.

    https://hamexam.org/

  5. #20
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    Free is good! That other site is just what I found on a quick search...
    The best way to survive a violent encounter is to be the one inflicting the most violence.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Free is good! That other site is just what I found on a quick search...
    If you memorize the stuff in those practice tests you should pass with no problem.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    If you memorize the stuff in those practice tests you should pass with no problem.
    I am going to share some info that I learned from a monk, who I met at the summit of MT Everest, and reducing the pamphlet from $$1999 plus $29.95 S&H to 3 Easy payments plus FREE shipping . Just 3 Easy payments of $49.95. All major credit cards accepted. Here is a sneak peak of the golden nuggets of wisdom I will share with you simply because you are a member of WEVO.

    HOW I GOT THROUGH COLLEGE: chapter 2 para 1.

    1. Young guys: Melt and recycle your bong, flush your weed and weld
    the door on your fridge, with beer on inside, shut.

    2. Old guys: Have your Ex wife sneak in your house and break your bottles of expensive hooch in the sink, and also weld the door to the extra fridge in the garage where you keep your w stash of beer and ice cubes for your expensive hooch.

    3. Now study your ass off, and do not smoke, drink or otherwise ingest certain chemicals, at least until you pass test.

    Genius and simple plan to improve your grades

    Plus, if you call within the next hour, you'll get a free 8 track cassette of Boxcar Willie's top hits singing about his life as a rail car hobo. Just pay extra shipping and handling.
    Last edited by FortTom; 22 November 2022 at 05:01.
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  8. #23
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    It really boils down to what you want to listen to, and if applicable, talk on. A simple whip antenna isn't going to receive much from far away, especially in a more urban area. If you're trying to go more than a few miles, setting up a long-wire is going to be needed.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatordev View Post
    It really boils down to what you want to listen to, and if applicable, talk on. A simple whip antenna isn't going to receive much from far away, especially in a more urban area. If you're trying to go more than a few miles, setting up a long-wire is going to be needed.
    I was very surprised to learn about how little distance these things would work att. In the early to mid 70's some friends of our family had a whole rack of equipment full of CB equipment and since they lived in the country they had a big tower with antenna. It had some kind of powerful amplifier, and something I think, if i rememger called Single Side Band. It was supposed to be illegal to use over 5W or so. Anyway, they would talk to their family in Tacoma, and "radio friends" all over the states.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatordev View Post
    It really boils down to what you want to listen to, and if applicable, talk on. A simple whip antenna isn't going to receive much from far away, especially in a more urban area. If you're trying to go more than a few miles, setting up a long-wire is going to be needed.
    Im not trying to prove you wrong but recently I set up a new comm setup for my PC and wanted to make sure I was transmitting and my setup was working well. I chimmed in on a local HAM radio channel and asked for a radio check and a guy came back and said I was coming through LAC. He asked what I was sending on and told him it was a handheld (VX-6R) with a small 13" flexible antenna with a PTT and my OPS CORE headset. He was blown away that my signal was so strong and clear from just a handheld. I just checked on google maps and the town he is in is 41 miles away... After we were done chatting a guy from Iowa chimmed in as he was amazed by the fact he was picking us up at 150 miles away but he was on a home setup I beleive. I dont understand the underlying logistics of transmitting and receiving and using a local repeater but thought I would just share my initial experience on a handheld...

    I am just a few miles from a large city with a major airport close by...
    Last edited by Stone; 22 November 2022 at 11:52.
    The best way to survive a violent encounter is to be the one inflicting the most violence.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Im not trying to prove you wrong but recently I set up a new comm setup for my PC and wanted to make sure I was transmitting and my setup was working well. I chimmed in on a local HAM radio channel and asked for a radio check and a guy came back and said I was coming through LAC. He asked what I was sending on and told him it was a handheld (VX-6R) with a small 13" flexible antenna with a PTT and my OPS CORE headset. He was blown away that my signal was so strong and clear from just a handheld. I just checked on google maps and the town he is in is 41 miles away... After we were done chatting a guy from Iowa chimmed in as he was amazed by the fact he was picking us up at 150 miles away but he was on a home setup I beleive. I dont understand the underlying logistics of transmitting and receiving and using a local repeater but thought I would just share my initial experience on a handheld...

    I am just a few miles from a large city with a major airport close by...
    I don't think you were trying to prove anyone wrong. Hell, I don't know squat about Ham Radio's. I kind of like it that way because when I begin studying and learning about this, I won't have any preconceived bias's or notions one way or the other. I'm starting from a clean sheet of paper.

    My point was how in the 70's my friends from South Central KY could talk to their friends once or twice a week, in Tacoma Washington with a CB radio, albeit a very expensive one with all kinds of add on doo-dads and equipment. They talked all over the U.S. to people with that thing.
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  12. #27
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by gatordev View Post
    It really boils down to what you want to listen to, and if applicable, talk on. A simple whip antenna isn't going to receive much from far away, especially in a more urban area. If you're trying to go more than a few miles, setting up a long-wire is going to be needed.
    Gator, I live in a condo, so that's going to be kind of difficult. However, I'm curious as to whether I could rig something up in the loft space over my garage. But right now I'm not too worried about it until I can hit the books, learn some things, and get rolling on my own. My radio is supposed to get here tomorrow, and I'll start reading the manuals. I bought one of those Ham radio for dummies books, They have a good series of books that will get you from absolutely ignorant of the subject, to a somewhat competent person on the subject. If I get that far, I'll get some more advanced books. And use the web as a Tutor.

    FT

    I may even sign up for that web based class that Stone alluded too, for $79.00. Not a major risk of cash if it doesn't pan out, but it looks like a pretty good way to go, at least for me. Maybe tomorrow after I get to unpack it and start reading the manuals so i can at least figure out how to turn the thing on.
    Last edited by FortTom; 22 November 2022 at 20:36.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Im not trying to prove you wrong but recently I set up a new comm setup for my PC and wanted to make sure I was transmitting and my setup was working well. I chimmed in on a local HAM radio channel and asked for a radio check and a guy came back and said I was coming through LAC. He asked what I was sending on and told him it was a handheld (VX-6R) with a small 13" flexible antenna with a PTT and my OPS CORE headset. He was blown away that my signal was so strong and clear from just a handheld. I just checked on google maps and the town he is in is 41 miles away... After we were done chatting a guy from Iowa chimmed in as he was amazed by the fact he was picking us up at 150 miles away but he was on a home setup I beleive. I dont understand the underlying logistics of transmitting and receiving and using a local repeater but thought I would just share my initial experience on a handheld...

    I am just a few miles from a large city with a major airport close by...
    That's why I said what I did the way I said it. It really depends on what you're trying to talk on. 2 meter with repeaters isn't the same thing as SSB at 20 or 40 meters. Sounds like you have your rig working great, so I'm certainly not trying to take that away from you. My personal (again, albeit much older) experience was with SSB where it was being used to talk 1,000 miles or more from the Carribean back to the U.S. (this was late 80's). Later (early 2000's), my parents were using SSB for data (email and weather) as well, which required getting stations in the US or Europe (when they were in the Atlantic) or from Australia when they were in the Pacific.

    That may not be what FT is looking for, so that's why I was clarifying what he actually needs/wants. And it sounds like taking a class will give him more insight into what he actually wants to accomplish.

    Quote Originally Posted by FortTom View Post
    I was very surprised to learn about how little distance these things would work att. In the early to mid 70's some friends of our family had a whole rack of equipment full of CB equipment and since they lived in the country they had a big tower with antenna. It had some kind of powerful amplifier, and something I think, if i rememger called Single Side Band. It was supposed to be illegal to use over 5W or so. Anyway, they would talk to their family in Tacoma, and "radio friends" all over the states.
    Yup, it will really depend on what band you're trying to use and what rig you have. On my last deployment, I was talking to my parents on their boat with our HF in the helicopter. We could put out as much as 100w (according to my Mx guys), but our system was just so old and not maintained that my dad could hear us a little bit, but I just couldn't hear more than a couple of words from him, and that was with our long-wire oriented towards him and his rig was pretty well dialed in. We were less than 1,000 miles away (although it was during the day, which is noisier). With more maintained gear, I'm sure our end would have been better.

    Quote Originally Posted by FortTom View Post
    Gator, I live in a condo, so that's going to be kind of difficult. However, I'm curious as to whether I could rig something up in the loft space over my garage. But right now I'm not too worried about it until I can hit the books, learn some things, and get rolling on my own. My radio is supposed to get here tomorrow, and I'll start reading the manuals. I bought one of those Ham radio for dummies books, They have a good series of books that will get you from absolutely ignorant of the subject, to a somewhat competent person on the subject. If I get that far, I'll get some more advanced books. And use the web as a Tutor.

    .
    You could certainly try to rig up a long-wire in your loft. You'd have to do some figuring on how to set it up for whatever freqs you want, but that's stuff you can learn from your class (and I'm sure online). Also keep in mind, you don't want to be touching the antenna when transmitting. Unless you need a jolt in the morning to help you get going.

  14. #29
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    Gator......hahahhahaha, I'll keep that in mind. Guess if I stick it to my plate carrier and take a walk in the woods to check it out, I'll also try to remember not to take a leak and key it up at the same time.
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  15. #30
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    Disco32 has a great PTT for the Yaesu and also a VMAS (vest mounted antenna system) which is just a cable that winds through your molle. Great low pro setup.
    They are having a 24hr BF sale friday if you decide to go that route... I have 2 PC's setup that way and all I have to do is drop the radio in the radio pouch and im off...

    https://www.disco32.com/collections/...talk-for-yaesu

    https://www.disco32.com/collections/antennas/products/vest-mounted-antenna-system-quick-detach-bnc


    The best way to survive a violent encounter is to be the one inflicting the most violence.

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