Ordered A Pair Of Baofeng UV 5RAs

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by TXKajun, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I've been thinking about getting my feet wet in ham radio for a long LONG time now. I figured an inexpensive one would run a couple of hundred dollars or so, so didn't really do anything about it. Today I was looking around and ran across the Baofeng UV 5A sets on Amazon for cheap! I mean CHEAP! Soooo, I bit the bullet and ordered a pair of them, plus the USB computer programming cable and the speaker mic. I'm going to learn a whole bunch from this, I think, seeing as how I know absolutely nothing about them except I have to have a license or 3 in order to talk on them! LOL
    I'll be doing some studying this weekend for license and it's supposed to be here Monday afternoon. Sooooooo, next week, more studying on license as well as programming it.
    Wish me luck! LOL BTW, there is a club about 30 miles away that I'm going to check out.
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    good thing is, listening doesn't require a license.
    Brokor likes this.
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    OutSTANDING! The Technician (first level) will give you access to the bands/frequencies that those radios will support. The exam is a lot of rules and basic radio theory but really isn't difficult. All of the questions for Element 2, 3 and 4 (Technician, General and Amateur Extra) are freely available on the AARL website and there are a number of websites that let you take practice tests that simulate the real thing. I would suggest either QRZ.com or eham.net.

    Also, if you get the official ARRL study guided, they come with test software you can install on your computer.

    Lastly, if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, there are tests you can get for just a couple bucks (can't remember how much for each) so you can go through practice exams no matter where you are.

    I actually picked up a Baofeng BF-F9 yesterday afternoon. It was too low to pass up.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I tried a few different phone apps for the ham tests. The ones I liked best were the apps by James Thomas and the first one is called Ham Tech and it is free for the iPhone. I studied a bit with this while watching TV, laying in bed before going to sleep and just waiting (like at the doctors office, for my wife, etc.). 2-3 weeks of study and practice and got a perfect score on the Tech exam. Bought his next two apps for General and Extra class for like 3 or 4 bucks each plus downloaded some free study guide that gives more theory and math. Passed both the General and Extra class tests the next month missing only 2 or 3 questions on each test. Yeah I had some background education and experience that helped a bunch but those two apps indeed helped me a lot. I recommend them.

  5. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    The ones I used were by Patrick J Maloney. Amateur Radio Exam Prep: Tech, General and Extra.

    They are $4, $4 and $5 each respectively.

    All three helped a lot, if for no other reason than to have access to the questions whenever/wherever in a test type environment. I'm pretty sure they used to be cheaper.

    When it came to the Extra, additional material was absolutely required (for me at least) because the manual didn't go into enough of the "why" on some things for me. Then again, I ended up cramming for the Extra (and passed) because the question pool was going to expire and I didn't want to start all over with new questions.

    I'm still learning though and hit all three of my study guides on a fairly regular basis.
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    That was my experience too. The Tech is memorize some stuff like rules, frequency bands, some tech stuff but not much in terms of radio theory. The Extra was easier to just learn the theory and compute the answer than to try and memorize the several dozen possible questions and answers for each theory area.

    I'm still learning as well. Don't remotely consider myself a ham as yet... I mostly just work VHF/UHF bands and haven't done a lot on HF yet. (Definately an area of my educational preps that need a lot of work.)

  7. kellory

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

    I downloaded an app, and have been going through the questions. so far, so good.
    DarkLight, BTPost and Airtime like this.
  8. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Thanks for the great info! I'm wondering, can I take my Tech and General the same day? And do I have to take the tests "live and in person, guided by a certified ham examiner" or can I do it online?

  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, You can take ALL the exams on One Day, if you chose..... No, You must take the Tests, in person, (ID Checked) in front of Three Official Examiners..... Who are FCC Certified, for that Exam...
  10. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Thanks, BTPost! Guess it's time to start studying and find out when/where exams are being given here in my AO. :)

    BTPost and kellory like this.
  11. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    I like my Baofengs. Such a good price.


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  12. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

  13. mikejobmiller

    mikejobmiller Monkey

    ^^^ OH YEAH, Baofeng's the shat!
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I just love these guys, and their ideas.... I wish they understood just 10% of the technology! that they are blathering on about. Anyone with a $100US Software Defined Receiver or Spectrum Analyzer, can track their Comms down and listen in, in a matter of minutes. Even if they go Split Band, are Oddball Frequency Tx/Rx. Our SECURE Phones, do not suffer from these deficiencies, AND they are legal to use in the USA. Oh we'll, it is fun to watch.... ......
  15. mikejobmiller

    mikejobmiller Monkey

    ..... the little guy has to start somewhere
  16. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    True enough, but i think they have a greater range than our secure phones.
    against alphabet boys with SigInt truck, will be DF'd and then listened to ultimately.

    But, against police or the golden horde, odds are way better.

    I just found it to be an interesting video.
  17. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Thanks for the posts, guys! I am firing up my Baofeng today and will learn how to scan....need to find local frequencies first, right? I've got some from local repeaters that I'll check out, also. Time to start getting up to speed!

    Yard Dart and BTPost like this.
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Have you contacted the club yet? They will know of classes and testing locations and times. If you know the name of the club, google them for contact info. They will also have the local repeater frequencies, access codes and calls.
  19. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Heya, ghrit. No, haven't contacted a local club yet. I'm doing some studying and googling on my own so I don't come across as a complete moron to them. LOL

    I've found the local repeater frequencies and listened for a while, but no traffic on them. I also found the frequencies for local police, fire and sheriff. The one for local police has traffic on it. Woohoo! (and all I'm doing is listening!) Figured out how to scan and how to enter a frequency manually, so making progress. I should start on the Tech manual tomorrow and a bit on Chirp if life doesn't get in the way. :)

    So far, this is way cool. My 17 yo ds just walked by when there was traffic on police freq and was impressed! LOL


  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You know that repeaters use one frequency to listen, and one to retransmit a signal, yes? You may have been listening to the input frequency and not been able to hear the stations using the repeaters. Also, usually you have to program in a "p/l" code to activate the repeater. All that just in case you don't already know. Certainly possible they weren't in use when you were listening.
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