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New User / Getting Started Forum - The place for new users to discuss how to get started, and generally feel safe from the rest of the rabid technical community. If you just got your first scanner, this forum is for you. Please note: Posts are only moved from this forum by OP's request only.

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Old 05-14-2018, 1:22 PM
  Amateur Radio Operator
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Richmond, VA
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Smile New Am. Radio Technician... Slightly Overwhelmed

Hello all,
My name is Michael, and I recently got my technician class license for amateur radio. I tried for my General class as well (did not prepare for this, but only failed by 4 questions). I'm feeling slightly overloaded with information, and I'm wondering, "What is the best way to dive into conversations on the 2m and 70cm frequencies using my Baofeng UV-5R (V2)?" I've already been listening in on some local 2m repeater chatter, and I'm pretty confident that I have my HT programmed, via chirp, properly. I also have a non-stock antenna upgrade on the unit(only 7.5 inches though). I understand that the UV 5R, although popular, is not exactly ideal for scanning frequencies, and a lot of the repeaters I've attempted to listen to seem to be void of any traffic. Any advice for this newbie would be much appreciated, and I'm still hoping to make my first contact on the ham sometime today! Thanks, and have a nice monday.
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Old 05-14-2018, 7:29 PM
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Congrats on getting your ticket...

In order to check the radios programming.. Try to trip your local repeaters. Best thing to do is press the PTT, announce your call sign and then let go. This will do two things..

- If you hear the repeater ID or kerchunk when you stop transmitting, you'll know the radio is programmed correctly and that you are reaching the repeater.

- When you announce your call, sometimes someone will respond to in order to meet you and have a chat.

It's not uncommon for some repeaters to be idle for long periods, so if you're hearing no activity, this could be why.

Best bet is to get involved in the local ham community. That way you get to meet people and have a better idea who you are talking to. Check for local clubs and see when they meet. You might have a club that maintains a repeater or system of repeaters. That's who you want to get involved with to begin.

Welcome again and lots of luck!
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:11 PM
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I'm not going to repeat all the things I have said a number of times on various Threads under the Amateur Radio part of Radioreference. Specifically posts under https://forums.radioreference.com/ge...new-operators/
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Old 05-15-2018, 4:37 AM
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Congratulations all good info
Also look into echo-link
And if I can try to answer your questions drop me a email at kc5akb@arrl.net
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:40 AM
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To go along with what jwt873 said, if you go to ARRL's website you can search for Ham clubs in your area that you can connect with.
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Old 05-16-2018, 7:09 PM
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Welcome Mike,

I understand. Ham radio has so many options, it can be intimidating for newbies. Don't worry, be happy...many new hams I've known said they were very nervous when first using their radios. They were scared of losing their license or getting yelled at for doing something wrong. Reality of it--not going to happen unless you so some really, really bad stuff. Just throw out your call sign every now and then and see what happens. Don't expect too much activity at first as most answer people they know...don't hurt to try. There is a club in Richmond that I found...never been there so can't vouch for them. Clubs can be good or bad...you'll have to find out for yourself. This one has classes--looks good. Whatever direction you take your hobby, remember to not let the bad side of amateur radio get you down. You will run into a-holes from time to time that believe they make and enforce the rules or own certain frequencies. Know the laws and give them heck (nice version). Again, don't worry, be happy and have fun.


http://rarclub.net/
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Old 05-17-2018, 4:38 AM
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Don't become a repeater "ker-chunker". If you want to see if you are hitting the machine properly, say something like " this is KN4MFS on test and requesting a signal report....", then you might find that there are many people just waiting to talk.... you'll never know.....
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Old 05-17-2018, 6:47 AM
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There a good number of hams in the Richmond area. It's been a number of years since I was last through that area, but I also know there are a number of repeaters on both 2 meters and the 440 band.

A good place for repeater searching is to use the repeaterbook web site. It seems to be much more correct as to current information than many of the other repeater data bases you can find. The other thing you could do is just do a search on Richmond VA 2 meter or 440 repeaters.

It is important to keep in mind that many repeaters use a sub audible tone in order to key them up. Not all repeaters in the same region seem to use the same tone. Most of the data bases contain wrong info on the required tone or it's not there. Another way you can find the repeater info is to get the call sign the repeater is under and then do a search on the internet for that call sign. Many times you can then obtain the correct information on what and how the repeater functions as well as it's location. Some times it's a dead end. Then move on to the next one.

Asking the person your talking to once you make a contact is another way to obtain information. Many times the different clubs will publish a list of the local repeaters and the sub audible tone (CTCSS) they require. (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System)

On another note, you might look intro going to one of the local ham club meetings. You will run into all sorts of people at the club meetings. You might even find a mentor that can help you learn the ropes around radios and coach you on working towards the general license.

Hope this gives you some help on your quest to the local repeaters in the Richmond area.

Jim
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:05 AM
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Do what I did when I was a newbie: find an amateur radio club net that acknowledges check ins from any station. If you come across more than one, the better! Wait until net control calls for check ins, state your callsign, name & QTH (location). Net control will then acknowledge each station that checks in. When they come around to you, you can give a brief intro about yourself and request a signal report if necessary. This way you'll know if you're coming in loud and clear on the repeater. This is a good way to get to know your fellow hams & eventually develop the confidence to make your first QSO.

Welcome to amateur radio, hope you enjoy the hobby & 73
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoco View Post
Don't become a repeater "ker-chunker". If you want to see if you are hitting the machine properly, say something like " this is KN4MFS on test and requesting a signal report....", then you might find that there are many people just waiting to talk.... you'll never know.....
I think it would be an interesting idea to setup a system that just replays your message back to you as it received it. You would key up, say your message and 3 seconds after you finish, it would play it back.
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Old 05-20-2018, 7:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDS3 View Post
I think it would be an interesting idea to setup a system that just replays your message back to you as it received it. You would key up, say your message and 3 seconds after you finish, it would play it back.
Some repeater controllers can do it.
Most VoIP linking systems have a node that does it.
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