Author Topic: Thinking about getting into HAM radio but think it is to expensive?  (Read 5676 times)

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KF7QGM

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Well I thought that also but after doing some research it is not.
All you have to do to get your basic Technicians class license is study and take some practice tests both are free on the internet.
Here is a study guide in PDF format, http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uplo...tudy_Guide.pdf
And you can take practice tests at www.qrz.com
Wanna study for the General class while you are at it? Why not? It is free to take the same day after you pass the Tech.
Give yourself a high five and head over..http://kb6nu.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/2011-No-Nonsense-General-Class-License-Study-Guide.pdf
Well now you have studied and are passing the practice tests all day long and so far have $0 invested, now what?
Now you need to find somewhere to take the test, zip on over to www.arrl.org and you can look up locations near you, The test will cost no more then $15 and if you fail you can retest right there the same day.
Did you pass? GREAT now you want to get on the air and have some fun but you need a radio, coax and an antenna and that can be quite spendy, or is it?
I will tell you what I did and give you some pointers for getting on the air cheap.
I went to a hamfest, A hamfest is where a bunch folks get together and sell radio equipment they no longer need or want, Head on over to www.arrl.org again to see when a hamfest might be near you.
I found a used 2m mobile radio for $50 and talked him down to $40 so now I had a radio and looked around for some coax, I found 50 feet of it for $15 but made sure it did not have any cuts and the ends were in good shape.
You can also look around on Craigslist but I have found in my area that NOBODY sells 2m radios.
So now I have a total of $55 invested and need an antenna, I bought this radio to put in the house and need a base antenna and you can pick one up new for $100 bucks or so but I decided to make one.
MAKE ONE!? Yes you can make an antenna for cheap, there is plenty of videos on youtube but I just made a simple quarter wave antenna.
Here it is and it only cost me $4 and some change, I used 3 coat hangers I had laying around and the SO-239 connector I picked up at radio shack.
http://www.mikestechblog.com/joomla/...l-antenna.html
Sweet and simple.
Well there you go, I am on the air and talking for less then $100 and having a great time and so can you.
I have since bought more expensive radios and such but it got me on the air cheap at first to see if I would like it before spending more money on something that wasn’t for me.
Don't be intimidated by the tests, sure you might be learning something you never thought you would ever need to but it is something new and can be quite fun so enjoy it.

AD

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Re: Thinking about getting into HAM radio but think it is to expensive?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 09:19:20 PM »
Thanks Steve.  Now are you studying for the general?
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

KF7QGM

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Re: Thinking about getting into HAM radio but think it is to expensive?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 09:25:38 PM »
Yes I am, One of my other goals in life.  :)

AD

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Re: Thinking about getting into HAM radio but think it is to expensive?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 09:34:53 PM »
Looking fwd to a QSO on HF
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

scubadivingjoe

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Re: Thinking about getting into HAM radio but think it is to expensive?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 12:15:44 AM »
Thanks for the post

bryanthegoon

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MAKE ONE!? Yes you can make an antenna for cheap, there is plenty of videos on youtube but I just made a simple quarter wave antenna.
Here it is and it only cost me $4 and some change, I used 3 coat hangers I had laying around and the SO-239 connector I picked up at radio shack.
http://www.mikestechblog.com/joomla/...l-antenna.html
Sweet and simple.

It looks like the link for the antenna got condensed, can you re-post it.  The idea of an antenna made from 3 coat hangers has me interested to see what it looks like.

W.Lynn

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Wouldn't open for me either, please do repost!

bryanthegoon

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so looking at that site I am guessing this is the link, you just used coat hangers instead of copper wire?  is this the right one?

http://www.mikestechblog.com/joomla/ham-radio/ham-radio-antennas-category/99-build-2-meter-vertical-antenna.html

KF7QGM

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Yup thats it, easy and fun.