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Chem's 1 in 15 Ham Plan

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Smurf Hunter:
Weird.  Another set of overlapping goals with my own.

1) Last May I got my tech and general at the same time, though I've not taken advantage of any general privileges, aside from messing around a bit on 10meters

2) I joined a club, but it's more than 20 minutes away and I don't make it out to events unless I make a serious commitment.  They have a lot of classes, gear rentals, etc.

3) I've visited the local EMCOM group and participate in their weekly VHF nets.  I practice using a variety of radios and antennas.  Even using my Baofeng UV5R walking my dog in different places to test things out.

4) Most likely I will join the local EMCOM team after completing my CERT course next month

5) I have a fantastic geographical location for VHF/UHF communications.  There are a few repeaters that are 35 miles away that I can hit solidly with a 2M J-pole in my attic.

What I am really lacking is more community.  To be honest, the club is a lot of really old guys - very good and smart people, but I estimate the average age is 35 years older than me.
When I come at them with questions about digital modes or crafty DIY stuff, some of them dismiss it.  A few are really into contesting, etc.  I just haven't "click" with anyone yet.

I am meeting a lot of like minded folks in CERT training, and about 5 of us are hams, though most I've talked to much are very much in the early technician/HT phase.  One guy couldn't believe I hit a 2meter repeater that was 40 miles away  (it's line of sight across a body of water at 500ft elevation on each side).  I was shocked someone had their ticket for 3 years and hadn't tried this.
Upside is these folks are mostly preparedness minded and live nearby.

Let me know how the infrastructure goes.  There are some great HF rigs for $800, but that's still $800 my wife doesn't think should be spent on a "hobby"  :(


--- Quote from: Smurf Hunter on October 28, 2014, 02:27:35 PM ---Let me know how the infrastructure goes.  There are some great HF rigs for $800, but that's still $800 my wife doesn't think should be spent on a "hobby"  :(

--- End quote ---
I have that one licked.  The wifey is on board with the ham, but I still have to find the money amongst other family priorities. "Honey I know you have outgrown your ice skates, but daddy needs a new radio. Dont worry, only nerds ice skate.  Would you like to go talk to strangers on the radio with me?  Its fun..." 

Oh, also I have seen some "virtual radio" programs advertised where you use the interwebs to simulate the controls and audio of HF.  Perhaps that could be a way to work on your HF before you buy one?

I will start a separate thread on my quest for an HF rig and solicit others advice.

For the community thing perhaps you can find good knowledge building events with the club and then gather up you local techs to go to those events.  Carpool to Hamfests and such.


Cheering you on, ChemSoldier.  Have been a ham for 34 years.  You need any help, there are lots of Elmers here.  (That's a ham radio term for "mentor"). 

Good on you Chem!  Looks like your goals line up with mine, just more focused  :P

Well, I am away from home on business for the moment so my start doesnt actually involve talking on the radio at all.

I have my General Class study manual and am working my way though it.

I have also been printing out useful material as I find it and am starting a binder for stuff like the Band plan the ARRL publishes. 

I started a multi-tabbed spreadsheet that has all the things I have, what I want (to include vendor and price info), all the hams I know, freqs I use or would want to use and the schedule of Nets I participate / might want to participate in.

I brought one of my Baofengs along and have been working on programming it.  The peanut gallery is right.  Programming the Baofeng without chirp is freaking awful.


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