Newbie looking for advice on which band to use

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gadgetguru63

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Poughkeepsie, NY
I'm going to take the test in January. I'm wondering which band is the best for talking from mobile? And which radio would you recommend for the band you suggest?

Thanks for any and all replies.
 

Delta33

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I suggest the 1.25meter And 70 centimeter bands. Forget 2 meters!

2 Meters is crowded and Full of Fisher Price repeaters, unless you like simplex.
 

royldean

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2m - tons of repeaters, lots to talk to. 70cm seems to be dead, only time I use it is for satellites and ISS.

But I'm a newb, too.... so take that with a grain of salt.
 

jwt873

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The most popular VHF/UHF bands are 2 meters and 70 cm.. As royldean points out, there are generally more 2 meter repeaters. But, there are many dual band radios on the market, so you don't need to be constrained to one band.

What radio? That can't be answered without knowing your budget. Is it over or under $1000. Do you want a handheld, a mobile or something for your desk? Are you interested in only FM, or do you want digital modes? Does single sideband interest you?

You can go from a $30 Chinese Baofeng, Puxing Poo-flung etc up to a desktop radio like the Icom IC-9100 for about $2,500 or the Kenwood TS-2000 for $1,400. (The latter two have HF capability, which is something you can use as you move up in license class).

Radios also need antennas. Do you want the rubber duck that comes with a handheld, a decent mobile antenna for your car or a high gain vertical antenna on top of a 50 foot tower?
 

jim202

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New Orleans region
I'm going to take the test in January. I'm wondering which band is the best for talking from mobile? And which radio would you recommend for the band you suggest?

Thanks for any and all replies.
You might want to befriend some of the people where your taking your test or a local ham club group. They can let you listen and talk about the activity in your area. That way you can get a first hand view of what is going on around you there. Those friends can even provide the frequencies and required tone squelch to get into the different repeaters.

Trying to rely on any of the numerous databases available on the Internet is a loosing proposition. There are so many of the repeaters listed with wrong or missing information that they are near worthless. But you have to understand that the information posted is only as good as the information they were provided.

I travel around the country frequently and have found the information listed to be so bad that I no longer program my radios based on it. I find that much more reliable information can be obtained by asking about other repeaters while talking on one that I could access. In many cases the contacts will send me lists of other repeaters in the region that provide the correct information.
 

NC1

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I assume you will be mobile and using simplex? For that I would recommend the 2 meter band.

You can use repeaters, which will greatly expand your coverage area.
And as pointed out above, they are plentiful. A valuable resource would be a local Amateur Radio club. Most, if not all, will be happy to have you join even if you don't have your license yet - and they can give some great pointers on taking the test too.
 

KC5AKB

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It depends on what you want to try.
Home use ? In the car? Out walking around.
Give us some ideas .
As others have said the local clubs and where you test can help with ideas
Things like D Star , Fussion and echolonk all have a place .
Make a few more posts then you can send and Rec PM's
I would be glad to talk with you on the phone.
Get a good antenna a $10,0000 radio and a junk antenna is no fun
But a $200 radio and a great antenna is a blast.
Let us all know what you are thinking about there are some great folks on here.
 

NC1

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I just noticed you are in Poughkeepsie, so your best bet is Mt. Beacon Amateur Radio Club in Wappingers Falls. I know people there from when I lived in that area and they are a great group of people.

They are having No charge Technician classes in Poughkeepsie, Saturday and Sunday, 28-29 January 2017, with FCC license test on the 29th for any one. I believe there is a small charge for taking the test on the 29th.

Here is their website:
Mt. Beacon Amateur Radio Club | The Gateway To Amateur Radio In The Hudson Valley

You could be licensed and on the air by the end of January at the latest. I would suggest checking out the on-line (and free) question and answer pool, and use the practice tests also. Somebody here can probably provide a good source for those.
 

902

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The thing about ham radio is there are so many options you can explore.

Yes, 2 meters and 440 are out there. You might like them. 440 DMR is popular in your area. There are a number of linked repeaters throughout the Hudson Valley. Those systems let the network do all the work of connecting to other repeaters or far away places.

You might also like to do your own thing. I don't know what class license you have (or didn't see it in the posts I read). If you're a General or Extra, you can set up an HF radio in your car. Several manufacturers make small radios that will fit in many vehicles. Even the antennas can be small. You can drive around and DX. My son does that.

There are other bands. 10 and 6 meters can be fun, but aren't always open. You might also have a local 220 MHz repeater presence. It was very popular 30 years ago and is making a comeback with a repeater manufacturer offering repeaters, mobiles, and portable radios now.

Choose wisely - or not - it's all good, and it's all fun. You learn and make friends as you go along. Play around and figure out what you like. If you get bored with that, try something else. Don't think you have to do everything all at once. I've been a ham for 38 years and still have little niches of stuff I'm interested in, and new things I'd like to try. Welcome to amateur radio!
 

TheSpaceMann

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If you have a scanner, try listening to your local ham activity on 2 meters. It will give you an idea of which repeaters are active.
 

cmdrwill

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So Cali
I'm going to take the test in January. I'm wondering which band is the best for talking from mobile? And which radio would you recommend for the band you suggest?

Thanks for any and all replies.
I like Two Meters, VHF, for mobile. And I like the Kenwood TM-V71A radio. My favorite antenna, Comtelco A1531A for your sled.
 

prerunner1982

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Apr 7, 2011
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Edmond, OK
Repeaterbook shows your area to have a fair number of both 2m and 70cm repeaters.
When I was starting out I too thought a 2m monoband radio would be fine until I learned that the largest linked system in the state was on 70cm. If you can afford it I would suggest a dualband and then you won't have to worry.

As mentioned chat with the local club members and see what is most active in your area and maybe check repeaterbook for any linked systems. A 2m radio will likely get you on the air just fine, but why be limited? I understand funds play a big roll though. Good luck on your test.
 

N1GJB

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Sep 27, 2008
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Pembroke, NH
Around here 900 MHz is pretty popular. I have 2m, 220, 440 (conventional and DMR), and 900mhz capabilities both mobile and portable. I've been a ham for just shy of a year and a half. Looking to upgrade to 2m DMR and obtain a 6 meter radio at some point. Once I have the time to study up and get my general I'll grab a HF rig but that's a bit cost and time prohibitive now.

It all depends on what you're looking to accomplish. I like DMR and regular conventional repeaters. But there are some P25 repeaters around here I'm going to test with soon.
 

AC2OY

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Guru I would say do a lot of reasearch into this before purchasing. What you want to do and where you want to do it example handheld,car shack...ect. If you want to go from tech to general to extra then maybe a radio like the Icom ic 7000 Kenwood ts2000 or yeasu 857 that does UHF/VHF/HF all in one is one way to go. It depends on you. There are lots of 2 meter/70 cm repeters that you can have fun with. Keep reading and researching.
 
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