• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

I was bitten!

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JeramyJ

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Bitten by the Amateur Radio Bug! :) This is only my second post in this forum but I wanted somewhere to share this with others who may help me along in the journey into Amateur Radio. I have posted some of my progress on a local forum as well but I figure this will be more radio specific.

So, after years of a curiosity about Amateur Radio I decided to start doing some serious research of late. After reading much information and watching many videos I had concluded that a MT was the best to start off with. I like the Yaesu FT-7900r : Amazon.com: Yaesu FT-7900R Mobile Dual-Band Amateur Ham Radio 50W/45W VHF/UHF Transceiver: Electronics

I assumed that would be my best starter rig for the house based on reviews and recomendations. However, I started to second guess the expense of such a unit and had a fever. A fever, where the only cure for it was HT in the form of immediate gratification. Thus, the Dr. Ordered this: The Baofeng UV-5R Plus : Amazon.com: New Baofeng UV 5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM 5W Amateur Radio UV-5R Transceiver - 2013 Latest Version with Enhanced Features: Car Electronics

I received that little radio the very next day. (Apparently there are better B&M Radio places to order from but Amazon was easiest to organize!)

So, Obtained that radio and love it! I found myself listening to everything I could on it and that was just last week. I have sat in on a few Nets locally and programmed all the local repeaters in. I even heard several conversations today where folks are just checking on the weather. Impressive reception clarity but I really have nothing to compare it to. I am now studying for my Tech exam! :)

Moving forward, I have made my first mistake! I began reading about 10 meters. Now, I understand I will need an additional level of licensure for the use of 10 M but I sure would like to listen to whatever I could! So, to that end I ordered: The Magnum 257 Amazon.com: Magnum 257hp 10 Meter Amateur Radio: Electronics Only thereafter to determine that this unit is apparently frowned upon based on its' ease of modification. Darnet! Not to be outdone though. I then ordered the Venerable Radio Shack HTX 10 from a dealer on Ebay that same day. So, these units should both be here next week. Not sure what to do with the Magnum as I fear it is unlawful to sell. Not certain though as I was able to buy it. Hmm...

At any rate. I welcome any and all commentary or recommendations for antenna or other accessories that I will need to obtain. At first, I will likely just use a mag mount and stick it to a metal pan in the house until I am familiar with the operations of the radios. Then likely a mount in the truck and a more permanent antenna.

Anything else I need? Glad to be a part of the group. I will post updates as they come. Thanks.
 

WB4CS

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Northern Alabama
Welcome aboard and good luck on your Tech exam!

For the 10 meter radio, if you're going to use it in your house and you don't have any restrictions on outdoor antennas, you might find that a 10 meter dipole will work much better than a mag mount. A dipole is very easy and cheap to build, and for 10 meters it will only need to be about 16 feet long.

I imagine that once you've passed your General class and can get on HF, you'll quickly want to try out bands below 10 meters. When 10 is open, it's open, but when it's not, it's dead. Look for a good used HF rig, you'd be surprised what you can find for around $500.

As for accessories, you didn't mention a power supply. If you want to set up a station in your home, get one rated at least 35 Amps, that way later on if you want to run a 100 watt HF rig and maybe a 50 watt mobile as a base unit, you'll have plenty of power to run your radios indoors.

Local hams can be a good resource for help and information. Once you get your Tech license and get on the air, you may can find a local radio club to get you started. Sometimes you'll find someone has an old radio sitting in their closet that they would let go of for really cheap.

In closing, one other bit of advice. While the HT you ordered will get you on the air, it rarely gives one the ability to fully use VHF/UHF. Think of an HT as something you use to listen to the local repeater or carry to a hamfest to chat with your buddies. If you want to really explore repeaters and simplex frequencies that are outside of your local area, a good 50 watt mobile radio with an outdoor base antenna will open up a whole new world that your HT just doesn't even know exists.

Again, good luck and 73s!
 
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N1SQB

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Somewhere On Earth
Welcome Aboard!

Be VERY VERY careful! That "bite" you received can get VERY expensive! LOL...Enjoy your new toys and good luck with your Ham license exam and future upgrades!

Manny
 

JeramyJ

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OKC
It already has become expensive! I wish I saw this before I ordered a power supply! Ordered an astron 20 amp. Doh! Had great reviews though. It looks gigantic though. Is it ok to install the dipole in attic? My attic is gigantic and tall. Maybe 35 feet high 12 feet tall up there and space 70 feet wide.
 

WB4CS

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It already has become expensive! I wish I saw this before I ordered a power supply! Ordered an astron 20 amp. Doh! Had great reviews though. It looks gigantic though. Is it ok to install the dipole in attic? My attic is gigantic and tall. Maybe 35 feet high 12 feet tall up there and space 70 feet wide.
Yes it can be very expensive, but that's only if you're set on having new equipment. Buying used and second hand hardware can be rewarding and cheaper.

The 20 amp will do good for now, but if you plan on running a 100 watt HF rig you'll need at least a 35 amp. You may can even see if you can exchange it from the place you purchased it? And yes, Astron is a good brand to use.

You can for sure run a dipole in the attic, depending on what type of roofing you have. Obviously if it's a metal roof that won't work very well, and any antenna is always better outside as far away from other objects as possible. But it will perform fairly adequately in the attic. Just be sure that you stay clear of electrical wiring and when you get on the air be sure the SWR of the antenna is good.

The main thing is experimentation. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. What works good for one person may or may not work good for your situation. Especially when it comes to antennas, it's all about trying, testing, and then trying something else.
 

JeramyJ

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Messages
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Location
OKC
New equipment should be here tomorrow! Exciting! I will be doing some research on antennas. I have several options but want to use one outside if I can hide it sufficiently. I have read a bit on the Diamond vertical antennas. Which may be better for a broad range of coverage a vertical pole (Like the V2000A) or dipole? I figure I can hang the diamond antenna under the sofit of my house or hook it to the corner of a wall etc. Or maybe run the dipole end to end under the sofit or along the top of a brick wall? Or, do these need to be standing alone not touching anything?

Or would one of the above to include the D130J by Diamond be better off high up in the attic? OSB decking with Grand Manor shingles. Super thick shingles but not metal roof?
 

LtDoc

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Oklahoma
It's not too late!
You can cure yourself of that radio affliction but it will take some effort. You might check around, find a quilting circle, maybe a knitting group. They tend to take you mind off of your new affliction for minutes at a time. Seek help immediately, don't wait!
- 'Doc
 

JeramyJ

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Feb 25, 2013
Messages
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OKC
Not sure I want to cure this just yet. Taking the exam on the 20th of March! Exciting.
 

DarkStarPDX

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Oct 28, 2011
Messages
44
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Moving forward, I have made my first mistake! I began reading about 10 meters. Now, I understand I will need an additional level of licensure for the use of 10 M but I sure would like to listen to whatever I could! So, to that end I ordered: The Magnum 257 Amazon.com: Magnum 257hp 10 Meter Amateur Radio: Electronics Only thereafter to determine that this unit is apparently frowned upon based on its' ease of modification. Darnet! Not to be outdone though. I then ordered the Venerable Radio Shack HTX 10 from a dealer on Ebay that same day. So, these units should both be here next week. Not sure what to do with the Magnum as I fear it is unlawful to sell. Not certain though as I was able to buy it. Hmm...
Well, no reason to worry about it since you purchased it as an amateur radio product. Now, if you purchased it with the intent of modifying it for CB, that's where the problems would begin.

From a legal standpoint, you don't really have anything to worry about. If you were to sell it to a fellow amateur there isn't anything to worry about, just don't put it up on eBay with a note about it being really easy to modify for CB and you should be clear.

Enjoy the hobby!
 

SquierStrat

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Fremont NE
I too am gonna be taking my first ham test on march 26th. Get a subscription to hamtestonline.com and youll pass the general class on your test date. I learned the entire tech exam on that site in 3 days, and have since mastered the general. Needless to say, i cant wait til march 26th!
 

k3cfc

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708
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Beavertown Pa.
Be VERY VERY careful! That "bite" you received can get VERY expensive! LOL...Enjoy your new toys and good luck with your Ham license exam and future upgrades!

Manny
Maybe he hit the lottery and will soon post pictures of radios we can only dream about. LOL


K3CFC
 

JeramyJ

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Feb 25, 2013
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OKC
No lottery here! :) The wife has me buy the tickets though, suppose you never know. For now, I am feverishly anticipating the arrival of my new tools! (I prefer to call them tools rather than toys as it legitimises the hobby in my head) That also helps with the WAF. Wife Acceptance Factor. :) Aww yea.

So, my head spins with antenna choices now. Ahh... I really like the idea of the Diamond verticals in the attic or outside next to a wall but the dipole would be so cheap. Ugh! Either may be best in the attic until I can get the wall built anyway!
 

JeramyJ

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OKC
My opinion: You are running vertical polarization on all 3 bands and 6m FM is usually vertical polarized. 6 m FM has very little activity. I would not go with a tri band combo.
Got it. Thank you.

Also, thanks for all the replies and guidance here. Great resource this forum!
 

k3cfc

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W2IBC

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Anderson,Indiana
An Attic Coaxial-Cable Trap Dipole for 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 80 Meters
An Attic Coaxial-Cable Trap Dipole for 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 80

nice little HF antenna. as for that magnum stay away from the cb junk spend the extra money and get a good used HF rig. like a TS-450

Not sure why you are bothering with a 6,2,440 triband antenna. if anything pick up a GP-9 or something for 2,440

Also on VHF/UHF dont go cheap on the feedline. get some good hardline (heliax) its worth the extra money.

also get a MFJ-269 they are worth it.

Also dont stop at the tech license. go for General. sure tech isnt bad but shoot for general its not that hard. with a little study you should be able to walk out a Gen.
 
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