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View Full Version : Passed my ham technician test ... now what?



desertgeezer
02-27-2008, 03:29 PM
I passed my technician exam last Saturday. It has not posted to the FCC ULS database yet which is OK because I don't have the foggiest idea what to do next.

I know I need a transceiver but I don't know what to buy. I live in a CC&R community so I can't have an antenna on the house.

I want to buy a mobile unit (not a hand-held) for the Jeep. I would prefer a multiband transceiver rather that one that is limited to one band.

Can anyone recommend a good mobil transceiver and a good retail outlet.

I'm just a beginner so I probably don't need all the bells and whistles but I don't mind spending a few bucks. Thanks for your help.

yellow_X
02-27-2008, 03:45 PM
First off, Congrats! Make sure that you post your callsign when you get it, now get down to HRO and take to them about what you are looking for, also for any literature you need

K7VZ
02-27-2008, 03:56 PM
Good job on passing the test!!!

http://www.hamradio.com/ Ham Radio Outlet location is on Dunlap near I-17.

I have a Yaesu FT7800R. I like it. I think if I did it again, I'd get the 8800 for the crossband repeat option.

GRUNT
02-27-2008, 04:06 PM
The FT-8800R seems to be a popular radio lately. This one or the Kenwoods.

I would definitely recommand talking to the guys at HRO. If you are going to put in a mobile for you jeep, take you jeep down there and they can ginve you mounting input as well as antenna options, etc...

OddBallXJ
02-27-2008, 07:27 PM
Congratulations. HRO is the place to go. Nice folks who know their business. I searched multiple sites on-line before deciding what I wanted to buy. I bought a handheld first and then bought 2 mobile units.
In my searching I found that many folks mount a mag antenna in the house and run a mobile from that antenna to be used as a type of base unit.
I bought 2m mobile radios and if I had to do it again would go with dual band mobiles capable of cross-band repeat.

Welcome to the double whammy addiction.

Sc00by
02-27-2008, 08:04 PM
Congrads!!!
Im using a Yaesu 8800 with Larsen ant.
So far so good, and its easy to move between, Jeep - Family car - Work truck.

jk_surgeonfish
05-01-2008, 08:43 AM
I'm a little late on this thread but who cares.... I am taking my test this weekend and am excited to start using my 2m radio. I picked up an older Kenwood TR7950 with a cheap antenna for $4 at a garage sale. It is 5-50 Watts output and is mounted in the Jeep next to the Uniden PC66 CB.

Looking to get a better antenna and will have to check out the outlet.

How long did it take to get your callsign?

K7VZ
05-01-2008, 09:50 AM
Good luck on the test. FCC takes anywhere from 7-14 days once you pass the test to post call signs. I think mine took about 9 or 10 days. It's one of the longest, most painful waiting periods ever. haha. Ham Radio Outlet has all kinds of antennas that will suit you just fine. I have a Diamond, but many guys run the Larsen and really like them.

GRUNT
05-01-2008, 10:20 AM
JK-surgeon - Do you have a picture of your mounting for your units? I am trying to figure out placement of my HAM and relocating my CB...

jk_surgeonfish
05-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I don't have a pic at the moment but can later today. It is not completely mounted as need to fab some mounts for it. I have a 99 Cherokee and plan on mounting it directly to the right of the center console up near the seat. Currently it is wedged between the seat and the center console. The mounts will lift it just a little and make is solid. I been on the trail plenty of times with it this way and the location is good for me. My CB is mounted to the right of the shifter so the HAM needed to go up higher. It does not interface with the passenger at all and actually is real easy to access the controls as my arm rests on the console in perfect position of the controls.

Can't wait till I can actually use the thing to transmit!

OddBallXJ
05-01-2008, 11:51 AM
Good Luck. Let us know the results. We'll be waiting to hear from you. Check out several of the threads on the HAM forum. There's a lot of info listed.

OddBallXJ
05-01-2008, 11:53 AM
Grunt-
just an fyi, I have my cb mounted on the roof and the ham is on the side of the tranny hump. I know a mount in an xj is different that your yj but best of luck. I've also seen some mounted on the dash. If you get a mobile with a relocatable face plate that would help with some of the install issues.

K7VZ
05-01-2008, 12:00 PM
Here's a picture of my setup in the XJ. Yaesu 7800 body is under the passenger seat. Things I don't like is that I'm still using mag mount antennas (plan to do some permanent mounts soon) and I hang the ham mic from the mirror, but on bumpy roads, the cord sometimes turns the knob so I put the mic down in one of the cup holders.

http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/c/2/7/0/event_3949776.jpeg (http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/c/2/7/0/highres_3949776.jpeg)

Stickbuddy
05-01-2008, 12:11 PM
Congrats! Don't know what you drive but if it would work you might consider the Tuffy Security console. Yeah, they are expensive but Cole at 4 Wheel Supply (check our sponsor's section) can cut you a deal on one. If you want some security when your vehicle is unattended and a separate secure bay for your 2-meter you can't go wrong with one of those; plus it's completely out of the way. I'd go to Apollo for antenna mounting. I think HRO only suggests, they don't do install work. I could be wrong though. Apollo has a great selection of antennas also!

Sc00by
05-01-2008, 05:18 PM
93 XJ set up.
Yaesu 8800 mounted on the hump.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w79/pzelez/DSC_7715Small.jpg

Face plate.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w79/pzelez/DSC_7718Small.jpg

OddBallXJ
05-01-2008, 09:00 PM
K7AZV and sc00by, there's not much room to hang stuff in there. Paul, you said you cant attend the Payson run (NAXJA/ArizonaXJ), but what about you Virgil? I never really noticed you had the XJ. my bad.........

Sc00by
05-01-2008, 09:22 PM
Yeah Im still down... BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!!
should get my axle this weekend & installed, then it goes to AO on the 13th for the front to be re-geared + locker :D

Also plan to talk to the HRO guys and look into this APRS stuff!!!
Maybe a "workshop" for us HAM guy ???

jk_surgeonfish
05-03-2008, 10:54 AM
Ok... just got home from taking the exam. Passed! Now I have around 8 days from Monday till my call sign is posted on the FCC. Can't wait! Now I need to convice the wife that we need a new 2m/70cm radio to replace my current 2m one. Be talking with you all soon.

AZG23
05-03-2008, 12:59 PM
Ok... just got home from taking the exam. Passed! Now I have around 8 days from Monday till my call sign is posted on the FCC. Can't wait! Now I need to convice the wife that we need a new 2m/70cm radio to replace my current 2m one. Be talking with you all soon.

AWESOME....congrats on the pass....

RandyT
05-03-2008, 02:51 PM
Congrats!!!
Have the guys at HRO make the receipt for new radios look like it from a shoe store. She will never notice! :D

jk_surgeonfish
05-03-2008, 04:11 PM
Congrats!!!
Have the guys at HRO make the receipt for new radios look like it from a shoe store. She will never notice! :D

Thanks. That is too funny. I'll just go and have to spend something that is pricey for her on Mother's day and then make sure the kids know what Dad needs for Father's Day! Then I can save the "shoe receipt" trick for some parts for the jeep.:D

Ciao.

OddBallXJ
05-03-2008, 11:04 PM
Ok... just got home from taking the exam. Passed! Now I have around 8 days from Monday till my call sign is posted on the FCC. Can't wait! Now I need to convice the wife that we need a new 2m/70cm radio to replace my current 2m one. Be talking with you all soon.

Congrats. Will be looking forward to hearing you in the near future!

gefelix
05-04-2008, 12:44 PM
Congrats Jk!

rangers_range
05-04-2008, 12:47 PM
Good job!

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 05:13 AM
My callsign was posted yesterday in the ULS. Took test on Saturday and it was posted on Thurs. That was fast.

Hope to talk with you all someday.

KE7TXQ

See ya.

AZG23
05-09-2008, 05:17 AM
My callsign was posted yesterday in the ULS. Took test on Saturday and it was posted on Thurs. That was fast.

Hope to talk with you all someday.

KE7TXQ

See ya.

Go you have a radio set up yet..?

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 05:21 AM
I have an older Kenwood TR7950 ( 5W-50W). It is 2M only and I don't think it has an PL Tones (if that is the correct terminology) to access any of the repeaters. But I can do Simplex for now. I am thinking of getting the Yaesu 7800R but have not decided yet on what model.

AZG23
05-09-2008, 05:27 AM
looks like they need a PL tone board...that was an add on. But dont know anything about the radio specifically. Maybe RandyT would know...or one of the other guys that have been doing this awhile.

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 05:29 AM
If I could add the board for cheap now that would be fine. Then I can save up and take my time looking for the right radio.

Thanks.

RandyT
05-09-2008, 08:27 AM
If you need PL tones then you have to have the optional tone board (then you are still limited to three tones).
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TR7950/

K7VZ
05-09-2008, 09:18 AM
PL tone is also the same as CTCSS tone. I know my Yaesu calls it CTCSS. To enable, you turn on the ENC or ENC-DEC setting.

FYI:
CTCSS = Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System
PL = Private Line

Looks like you need part number TU-79. Link (http://www.universal-radio.com/CATALOG/fm_txvrs/tr7930.html) If you can get something that does the 162.2 tone, you'll be just fine for most AZ repeaters.

Either way, get it hooked up and I'll talk simplex with you!

K7VZ
05-09-2008, 09:25 AM
Lookie what I found. $59.

TU-79px (http://www.piexx.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17&zenid=1e6f19da86da5ad150e77ea6d86d37ba)

Related info (http://www.eham.net/forums/BoatAnchors/3022)

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 10:53 AM
Thanks to all... I just pulled cover off and it has the original optional PL Tone board installed. Only F1 was programmed so I programmed F2 for 100.0 and F3 for 162.2. I think I am in business now!

Reading the AZ VHF Band plan is looks like 146.800, 146.540, 147.480 and 147.520 are all set aside for simplex operation. Is that correct?

Lots to learn... that is the fun part.

K7VZ
05-09-2008, 11:10 AM
I think you were looking at this website. http://www.azfreqcoord.org

http://azrepeaters.net/ also has great info.

146.520 is where you are going to find most Simplex activity.

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 11:29 AM
I think you were looking at this website. http://www.azfreqcoord.org

http://azrepeaters.net/ also has great info.

146.520 is where you are going to find most Simplex activity.

Thanks.... I have seen both of those sites.

AZG23
05-09-2008, 12:43 PM
Nice...glad to hear yer set! You gonna go on the Jeep over My HAMmy night run on Sat 24th..?

jk_surgeonfish
05-09-2008, 12:50 PM
Nice...glad to hear yer set! You gonna go on the Jeep over My HAMmy night run on Sat 24th..?

I'm going to try. Wife's B-Day weekend so I'm not sure yet but going to see about making it happen. Looks like it will be a blast.

lpennock
06-05-2008, 08:12 AM
I passed my technician exam last Saturday. It has not posted to the FCC ULS database yet which is OK because I don't have the foggiest idea what to do next.

I know I need a transceiver but I don't know what to buy. I live in a CC&R community so I can't have an antenna on the house.



Congratulations on the license.

Not totally true. There are a lot of options to put a antenna on your house in a CC&R area. You can put a mag mount on your AC unit if it is in the attic. You can put a j-pole or commercial base antenna in your attic. You can also put a ventenna <http://ventenna.com/> on one of your vent pipes. You can also build a simple 1/4 wave ground plane that is virtually invisible if you mount it correctly on your house. I've even put a Diamond X30 on the roof that was painted to match the roof. Unless you are specifically looking it is virtually invisible; however, the worst that could happen is you could be told to take it down.

RandyT
06-05-2008, 09:50 AM
however, the worst that could happen is you could be told to take it down.

Very True! I am in an HOA and have a Diamond Tri-bander painted to match the house. Going on 8 months or so. Not a thing has been said. :smug:

Sc00by
06-05-2008, 10:18 AM
I will sonn be living in an HOA community so I think Ill paint my x-30 and see if I can get away with it too :)

AZG23
06-05-2008, 10:34 AM
I just threw a mag mount up in the attic...works great..cant be seen...nor damaged by wind, or the sun...