Newbie question

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Seepalaces, Dec 30, 2015.


  1. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I'm going to take the technician test at the end of January. Is this Ham Radio Starter Kit - Mobile/Base Station
    a good deal? Or is it smarter to wait and get something after I'm official?
     
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  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

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  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I can see no reason to wait until you get your ticket. So far as that radio goes, I have no experience with any of the Chinese sourced transceivers. I would do a search on line using that model number and see what pops up and read the reviews it gets. The blurb you linked says it has everything you would need to start with, but how well it works is a different question,.
     
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  4. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Check out eham for reviews.

    How soon will you be going after your General?

    And How much money do you have to spend?
     
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  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    I would not recommend one of the Chinese knock offs for your first or primary radio. They tend to lack features that the "Big 3" (Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu) include. For example, the radio in the initial post does not show to have the data port for digital communications such as Packet...the Yaesu FT-8800 dual band does. Many power supplies also produce "birdies" which can interfere with your reception.
    Will it work? Yes, but there are trade offs for the lower price.
     
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  6. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

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  7. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I looked at the reviews on Amazon, but I'm really attracted to the idea of an all in one package.
     
  8. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    The benifit to one of the Woux or PoweWerx radios( which I have) is that they can transmit on all UHF/VHF, FRS, GMRS, Marine, Commerical....bands. Its not legal to do so, but there is that capibility and some of those radios will cross band repeat.

    Tell us what you plan on doing with the radio, as that will help us guiding along the path.
     
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  9. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    Yikes! Not sure if and when I'll get my general. I'm putting the time into getting the tech class. One crazy at a time... Is $350 a good goal? That's at the outside of what I have now?

    I'm hoping to help out with the cert team out here. Kids are getting a bit older, so I was hoping to find a hobby that can be useful that they might also enjoy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2015
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  10. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    If you are just interested in close by regional comms that radio or the PowerWerx 750 will work.

    If its for a survival PSHTF type of environment, having access to a HF radio so you can have world wide comms is worth looking into.

    Now you can listen on world wide comms on $100 HF RX only radio, but I advocate everyone getting their general class license so you have access to 90% of the HF bands now AND you practice using them now before you need them.

    In this case I would recommend getting a used Yaesu 857D or a FT-450(or ICOM equl) that will do both UHF/VHF and can access you local repeaters and all accessable HF bands.

    For CERT A simple HT like a F8HP Baofeng or Yaesu FT-60, both of which I have amd use for my Chandler AZ CERT team. You can add a mag mount antenna for the car and get there for under $100(Baofeng) or $200 for the FT-60.

    There is benifit going with a higher power unit(40-70 watts) but you can get that out of the 857D and still have HF access.

    Here is a review of the Baofeng F8HP 8 watt HT used during a CERT community outreach event.
    BaoFeng BF-F8HP first glance review at a CERT Training event.

    Also you will be more valauble to your CERT Team with a General Class License. If your team gets mobilized for a large scall event, being able to run HF moght be critical in a grid down situation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2015
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  11. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    Thank you all for the input.
     
  12. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    Agree on the Yaesu 857 I have one and I have used the Icom 706 both are nice radios.
     
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  13. whynot

    whynot Monkey++

    I have about $100 into ham radio so far and will most likely go next month and take the test for general.

    Baofeng uv5r, diamond antenna, and a mag mount for the car plus the tech and general books. Admittedly the Baofeng is not top of the line but it does everything you need to when getting started. It is the bic pen of radios.

    My vote for what it worth, is to start cheap and see if you like it.

    whynot
     
  14. hitchcock4

    hitchcock4 Monkey

    I'm only a few months ahead of you. I sat for the Technician exam a few months back. Here is what I would recommend.

    Start with the Baofeng UV5r or the F8HP as mentioned above. The F8HP is 8 watts so I would recommend (and that's what I did).

    The link you provided seems like a good deal, but it all hinges on the quality and reliability of the Wouxun radio. Please read the reviews at Wouxun KG-UV920R-A Product Reviews which doesn't give it rave reviews. One person who gave it a 4 brought his score down to a 3.0

    What I ended up getting for a base station is the Kenwood TM-V71A which has a review here Kenwood TMV71A Product Reviews
    I got lucky as Ham Radio Outlet had a restock version [looks at website] well, maybe I should have waited, as the price today $334.95 is what I paid, I believe. But I am very happy with my purchase.
    I paired that radio with a power supply from here High Power 12 Volt Power Supplies With Adjustable Voltage as they seem to have great customer service if the power supply has issues. I bought the 30 Amp power supply from them for $50.

    Note that you have to be careful about power supplies -- if the power source puts out enough RF then of course that will affect your radio reception.

    So, if you have the $420 or so to go with the Kenwood and the power supply, go ahead.
    You could wait until you pass or not.
     
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  15. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I might also suggest that a way to mitigate the costs of equipment is to look on QRZ.com, in the SwapMeet Forum, for a nice clean USED Radio.... All my Vhf/Uhf Radios (Kenwood TM-D710As) were purchased, USED, from other Ham Operators, at much less that New Prices.... Ham Operators are ALWAYS Selling off, older Radios, or Trading UP, for More "Bells & Whistles"....
     
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  16. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The largest swapmeet in the country is near me. (Dayton) I would like to visit that one. Only one I've been to so far was a smaller local swapmeet, and they did have a lot of used radios there.
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    There are also "ham fests" that come up here and there. If you take an elmer with you, you might score a super deal on a nearly new used rig. Find an elmer at the local ham club. You can ask the VEs at the test site for some likely to be helpful as well. (VE - volunteer examiners. They proctor the testing sessions.)

    Budget for an antenna, too. They can easily be built for a few (under 20 bux) and or bought for thousands. You won't need one of the big ones to start on 2M and 70cm bands. A good mag mount on a fairly good sized piece of sheet metal will do to start. (That does not count if you decide on a hand held for a starter rig.)

    Dayton is the ultimate ham fest, like Sturgis is to bikers and the big amusement parks are to kids. "They say" it's worth the effort to go. I might go someday, except I don't like crowds.
     
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  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I have mag mount attenea on both my personal truck and my work truck, and swap my Boafeng Uv-3R back and forth as needed.

    If you do decide to go, let me know, and I will as well. I'm sure you know alot more about it than I do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2015
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  19. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    @Seepalaces

    What progress, eh? Inquiring minds want to know --
     
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  20. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I could tell you but what is the fun in that?
     
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