HAM newbie needs your advice

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KB9NHA

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Jan 2, 2010
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Arlington Heights, IL
Hi all! This is my first forum post here. Technically I'm a newbie to amateur radio though I got my HAM radio license last 1995. I been introduced to it by my brother (a physician in the Philippines) way back in the early 90s. Back then cell phones where non-existent & doctors in my country used HAM radios to communicate with each other. When I came to the U.S. in the mid 90's, I decided to get my HAM radio license. I bought my 1st HAM radio (Kenwood TH-97A) after I got my license but after a few weeks abandoned my new hobby to concentrate with my job. I totally almost forget about HAM radio not until recently when I was cleaning my basement & found my old Kenwood HT radio still in its original box (still looking brand new). It's been a long time but I thinking of getting involve again with amateur radio.

My Kenwood HT (TH-79A) is almost 15 years old, do I need to replace it? I read about this D-STAR & WIRES-II, which is better among the two? I'm thinking of buying a mobile dual band radio, which is better Icom IC-2820H or Yaesu FTM-350R? I'm also thinking of buying instead an all mode transceiver like the Icom IC-7000 rather than a dual band mobile radio but change my mind hence I'm not sure if I'll go HF rightaway for now (my main interest is mainly either using the radio for D-STAR or WIRES-II to communicate with some folks in my native country. What do you think?
 

N0IU

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Location
Wentzville, Missouri
Greetings and Happy New Year!

Here is a link (one of many) about D-Start from Icom: D-STAR General Information - Features - Icom America

Here is a link (also one of many) about WIRES-II from Yaesu: W I R E S - I I Click on the Introduction tab on the left side to get you started.

Both of these systems are relatively new and not yet widely accepted. I have radio gear (as do many here) that is much older than your Kenwood HT and is still perfectly good for amateur use. Without knowing your budget, it is difficult to point you in the right direction. The IC-7000 is certainly a very capable radio that has received good reviews. Icom is certainly one of the leaders in mobile HF technology, but Yaesu also makes some fine gear as well. As far as VHF/UHF mobile radios, I don't own either of the two you mentioned, but I know that you can add a D-Star (and GPS) module to the IC-2820H.

If you are buying equipment specifically to talk to the Philippines on a reliable basis, you are probably on the right track in wanting to use the Internet, but I am just not sure that investing in Internet-capable radios is the best investment at this point to accomplish that, especially when there are so many other Internet-based solutions out there.

Just my opinion and it is worth exactly what it cost you!
 
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SCPD

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Feb 24, 2001
Messages
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Location
Virginia
Get back on the air

For right now, fire up the Kenwood and get on the air, Later on, you can find out if D-Star is even active anywhere near you, and after a while, you can start getting into the other aspects of the hobby that may interest you. But for now, just get on the Kenwood and start talking.

My advice to all newbies is to just go get a 2 meter rig and start talking to local hams on the machines, find a ham club near you, start attending the meetings.
(If you go to six meetings in a row, they will ask you to run for office).
After a while, then start seeing if you want to play with HF or D-Star or P25 or APRS or ATV or PSK or any other the other many many more exotic aspects of ham radio.
 

petnrdx

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Feb 5, 2004
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201
Location
Sparks, NV
older radio

That old radio will work fine to get on.
D-Star is still not that common in some places, and ever fewer people have WIRES up.
Check around, later you might want to use either of those, but see if someone already has an IRLP or Echolink node around you. (Google those).
Likely that is the method you would use to connect up with other countries.
 
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