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Looking for Help Getting Started: What Next?

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Drezden:
I've recently gotten interested in getting my Technician's License. I picked up ARRL's Ham Radio License Manual (Technican Level) and I've just finished my first read through and have started going over the test questions and have started working on practice tests on eham. I looked around and there is a club in Garland (near me) so I may visit them to meet & greet. I can see that there is a lot to learn and one area I'm short on is the stuff about Circuits and stuff. I know that ARRL has some electronics books, but I'm not sure if they're for me. I've noticed many references in my current book to their website, but I've found a few links that are either dead or missing and I'm not overly thrilled with the idea of buying another book that says to check a nonexhisting website.

I'm also getting to the point where I'm wondering "what next"? While I'm not at the point where I'm ready to buy my first radio I wanna start looking around and try to balance what I want and what I can afford. Any suggestions?

ncjeeper:
I'm in the same boat. Picked up the books and started reading and studying for my tech. I had electricty/electronics classes in college so it makes alittle sense to me.

Ragnar:
I think the best book to get is the series by Gordon West. He does a good job putting like questions together and then having explanations of the questions and theory right below.

I also liked the Hamtestonline.com, more of a flashcard type learning (that is exactly what it is) but you ahve to join to get access to all questions

survivininct:
If I remember correctly, its been a while (Been an old school General Class for a while), I do not think they get too heavy into circuits and stuff like that.  Just take the practice tests and you should be fine.  Its not that hard to get through.  Go to the club and ask who their (head?) VE (volunteer examiner) is and speak with that person.  They will be able to help as well.  Clubs are great for getting help.  If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them as well (if I can???).. 

Here is a link to the tech class question pool - your questions will be some of these and no others.

http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=349

Another practice exam site:   http://www.qrz.com/ham/

and more info   http://www.radioexam.org/

If you have an I-Phone, there is an app that will ask the questions too. Just search it on i-tunes

Best of Luck -

Steve

Fred_47460:

--- Quote from: Drezden on July 23, 2009, 01:08:54 PM ---<snip>
I'm also getting to the point where I'm wondering "what next"? While I'm not at the point where I'm ready to buy my first radio I wanna start looking around and try to balance what I want and what I can afford. Any suggestions?

--- End quote ---

That depends somewhat on what you think you'd like to do.

 Are you gonna want to get on HF??? That means you might want to look around your yard for good places to hang some wire antennas. Dipoles are a really good and simple antenna antenna to put up.... the formula for a dipole is 468 divided by the frequency (in mega hertz) gives you the length in Feet of a dipole....so you'll need to know the band you want to work and decide where you can "fit" the antenna....and how you'll launch it into the tree.

Are you going to start out on VHF/UHF??? That means you'll want to be thinking about how to mount an antenna to the house....or where-ever you are going to operate from. First....where IN THE house do you want to set up a station?? It would be handy to have the antenna mounted on THAT side of the house. A "push up" pole is a very handy way of mounting a VHF/UHF antenna to your house.

If you are just gonna try the HT route first, then Eham.net is a wonderful site to check out reviews on equipment. These reviews are written by other hams...so there may be some biases towards certain brands or whatever....the big thing to look at is the overall average of the ratings. If a radio has 150 reviews and the average is in the 3s or below...the radio sucks! If there are 150 reviews and the ratings average in the 4s it's a decent radio. Don't be afraid to try used equipment.....there are some excellent used radios out there but you might want to work with an elmer in making sure you don't get screwed in buying over the internet.

Sooooo, if you want to be a little more specific in what you think you might want to try....we can be a little more specific in helping you. If at this point you're really not sure what you want to do, then I would encourage you to join the local ham club and visit some the local hams stations....maybe something you see will spark some interest. Also, they may have used equipment they would like to sell that you could actually try before you buy!!

Congrats for making the effort!! I hope to hear you on the air soon!

73

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