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Some basic Qs

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anode505

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Got the radio bug. Grabbed a scanner and a CB/SSB And going for my Ham Tech (then beyond)
But some basic Ham Qs.

Funds are a bit tight, so going for a handheld first. Is it possible/feesible to get one, then add an external amp & antenna? This a bad move? (Was looking at the Kenwoods since I kinda like the specs/reviews of their TS-2000's and plan on getting that down the road a bit, but open to other brands/models, and their handhelds work with the ts-2000's in some fashion) I also have a local repeater run by the local club; hope that helps extend the handheld.

Do I need a lic to buy a radio legally? (now, I said buy not use. Second half, is if I can, can I listen but not key up legally till I get my lic?)

And on another note, the CB with the SSB, do I need a lic for the SSB part?

TIA,
Dave
 

rescue161

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You can buy a ham radio without a license in most cases. Some businesses will require that you show them your license, but they are becoming more obsolete.

You'll probably find that an external antenna will help on the handheld radio, but an amp will more than likely not be necessary. I haven't bought a ham handheld in a LONG time, but the last one I had was 5 Watts on VHF and that was plenty, especially with an external antenna.

With a repeater, depending on how far it's range is, you probably can live without the external antenna. The repeater will increase the range of your handheld.

Yes, you can listen, but you can't talk or transmit until you have your license.

As far as CB goes, there is no license requirement, so you can use AM or SSB.
 

LtDoc

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'rescue161' pretty well answered your questions. I'd suggest going to the ARRL site and reading about amateur radio licensing, and the rules.
- 'Doc
 

K9WG

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Couple of thoughts

External antenna will work with hand helds but most have SMA connectors so you would either need a SMA connector on the external antenna or an adapter.

A good external amp would cost you more then a good high power VHF mobile.

I would encourage you to get a dual band (2-meter / 440MHz) as a lot of operators are using 440.
 

wpd019

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Ham Q's

I'm new to Ham radio, and haven't gotten my license yet. However, I am used to the 800Mhz. system since it was utilized in my last public safety position.

What radios are suggested? I live in an apartment on the second floor, and I am 436Ft. above sea level. I prefer to keep a tight budget with the economy the way it is. I just want a good VHF mobile unit that will be reliable, and easy to operate.

I can't attach an outdoor antenna, so are there any other choices? I looked into portable units, but they don't seem as reliable at the 5 watt output power. I am approxiamtely 16.32 miles away from the area repeater on Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA.

I'm looking to spend about $200.00 on a mobile radio. Any suggestions regarding what type of radio, and antenna?
 

N4CYA

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I'm new to Ham radio, and haven't gotten my license yet. However, I am used to the 800Mhz. system since it was utilized in my last public safety position.

What radios are suggested? I live in an apartment on the second floor, and I am 436Ft. above sea level. I prefer to keep a tight budget with the economy the way it is. I just want a good VHF mobile unit that will be reliable, and easy to operate.

I can't attach an outdoor antenna, so are there any other choices? I looked into portable units, but they don't seem as reliable at the 5 watt output power. I am approxiamtely 16.32 miles away from the area repeater on Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA.

I'm looking to spend about $200.00 on a mobile radio. Any suggestions regarding what type of radio, and antenna?
As far as the radio goes look at the Icom IC-V8000 2 meter mobile radio you can also run it in a house. Before I sold my radio equipment awhile back along time ago I ran the Icom V-8000 it worked really well I used it as a mobile. Or you could go with a nice 2 meter handheld radio since you live in a apartment complex where your neighbors might complain.

Icom V8000 Mobile Amateur Transceiver IC-V8000
 
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Raptor05121

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Live Oak, FL
I'm new to Ham radio, and haven't gotten my license yet. However, I am used to the 800Mhz. system since it was utilized in my last public safety position.

What radios are suggested? I live in an apartment on the second floor, and I am 436Ft. above sea level. I prefer to keep a tight budget with the economy the way it is. I just want a good VHF mobile unit that will be reliable, and easy to operate.

I can't attach an outdoor antenna, so are there any other choices? I looked into portable units, but they don't seem as reliable at the 5 watt output power. I am approxiamtely 16.32 miles away from the area repeater on Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA.

I'm looking to spend about $200.00 on a mobile radio. Any suggestions regarding what type of radio, and antenna?

you could find a good used Motorola HT750 4W UHF with a whip on it for about that price. I would find someone in the area with a handheld and see if a UHF will make the 16 mile trip to the repeater before you buy one. If you're going to use a handheld for something a mobile will do, check out the Motorola CDM series. a used one might be a tad higher than your price but will be worth it if that handheld wont touch the repeater
 

wpd019

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Elevation

Do you think being 400+Ft. above sea level would extend the range? I was thinking of getting a Tri-band VHF/UHF antenna. What about an amplifier? Any help?

-Matt
 

Raptor05121

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Doesnt matter if you're 3,000ft ASL, you need to know the height of the repeater antenna in reference to you and any surrounding terrain between you two. And to what I know, a tri-band antenna isnt going to do much (and could hurt reception in some) for a UHF-only radio. for a dual-band radio, yeah thats a good idea. lastly, an amp is going to cost $$$ and if you are going to amp a handheld, you might as well get a mobile/base setup. you're talking 4W versus 50W.
 

LtDoc

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wpd019,
As already said, the height above sea level doesn't mean anything in particular as far as the radio or antenna is concerned. The height above ground certainly can make a difference in several ways, especially at VHF/UHF. VHF/UHF is a 'line of sight' sort of thing. The antenna can 'see' further, the radio horizon is further away if that antenna is high in the air. Just like you can see further on top of a ladder than standing on the ground.
Outdoor antennas will work better than indoor antennas, the signals don't have to penetrate walls etc. Lot's of variations in that, some materials are more 'radio invisible' than others. Although, if an indoor antenna is your only option, then it would certainly be better than no antenna at all! Antenna 'size' is related to the frequency of use. Higher frequency antennas are smaller/shorter than lower frequency antennas. And you can combine 'elements', or antennas, into 'one' antenna to increase the range of that antenna. Which very roughly means that the bigger the antenna the better to some absolutely ridiculous degree. A typical 'rubber duck' antenna that comes with most hand held radios is really next to having no antenna at all. The only good reason for them is that they are more convenient to carry around without scrapping ceilings or snagging low flying airplanes, sort of. so in a very general way, the bigger the antenna and the higher you can get it the better off you are. Then you get to the 'practical' side of things. Having a 1/4 mile high antenna would be nice, but not very practical. Neither is having gazillian element antenna. Everyone has different limits, so what else is new, right?
You gotta start somewhere, but nothing says you can change things later!
- 'Doc
 
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