Ham radio????

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Jimswpa

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Greensburg, PA, USA
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KB3MPZ
I've looked at the 857d and the new 891 for a while for mobile HF. Not quite ready to pull the trigger on one just yet though. The 2m side band of the 857 keeps it in the lead though. I love my 897, it was a dream radio and I got a nicely optioned specimen reasonably priced from a local who takes very good care of his gear.
I always liked running hf mobile when I drove long haul. I always wanted a screw driver antenna just never pulled the trigger on one. Tar Heel seams to be one of the better ones and I was not impressed with reviews on the yaesu screwdriver antenna even though the 857d has a controller for it all but built in. The next mobile hf radio I got was an alinco nice radio bad tech support.
 
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Retinens803

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I just purchased and installed a Yaesu FT-897D ham radio for my rig. I have no idea how to use it. I'm taking the self study course and I feel totally lost. Anyone out there have any good ideas on how to learn how to use this darn thing? I know I have to get licensed with an amateur license first and then I'll try for my general license...but I gotta get past this stumbling block of getting started. I read all of this stuff about kids doing it. What the heck? I went to a good UC college and got a degree for heaven sake. I feel like such an idiot for not being able to grasp all of the stuff that needs to be known to get past first base!! So frustrating. I think the guys at HAM Radio Outlet got me the right gear, but it's useless to me right now. HELP! I think I'd be much better off getting together with someone to have them show me what all this means. Penny for your thoughts.....any tips out there?
Did you pass?
 

Dave Armstrong

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444
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KJ7DOB
I just purchased and installed a Yaesu FT-897D ham radio for my rig. I have no idea how to use it. I'm taking the self study course and I feel totally lost. Anyone out there have any good ideas on how to learn how to use this darn thing? I know I have to get licensed with an amateur license first and then I'll try for my general license...but I gotta get past this stumbling block of getting started. I read all of this stuff about kids doing it. What the heck? I went to a good UC college and got a degree for heaven sake. I feel like such an idiot for not being able to grasp all of the stuff that needs to be known to get past first base!! So frustrating. I think the guys at HAM Radio Outlet got me the right gear, but it's useless to me right now. HELP! I think I'd be much better off getting together with someone to have them show me what all this means. Penny for your thoughts.....any tips out there?
Funny, I Feel exactly the same. Have the equipment and no idea how to use it. Was hoping to find someone at a meet and greet or something similar where we could actually figure out how to use the stuff.
 
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Retinens803

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2,179
South Carolina, USA
First Name
C
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J
Member #

18068

Ham Callsign
KN4BMJ
Funny, I Feel exactly the same. Have the equipment and no idea how to use it. Was hoping to find someone at a meet and greet or something similar where we could actually figure out how to use the stuff.
Check the internet, Amateur radio clubs can typically found in most counties. They typically have equipment that you can learn on there in the club shack or they can teach you how to use what you have.
 
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SashaLee

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271
Long Beach, CA 90806, USA
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Sasha
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Kanno
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KN6BZX
Hi Brien & Ditcherman,

Thank you very much and this is exactly what I was hoping to get from our community. You guys are awesome! I’m going to do everything you said. Seems like that makes so much sense. I have been absolutely struggling and feeling so discouraged, but I think the best thing as you said, is to study the question pool using the tools your turned me onto, get my exam scheduled a few weeks out, study for a couple hours each day, get the apps to make it easy to access from where ever, take the practice test a bunch of times, etc... By the sound of it, it sounds like good ol’ fashioned college test cramming! I wasn’t a great test taker, so I’ll be memorizing the question pool for sure. This is great!! I’m sure many on this OB forum will greatly benefit from your advice here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
So did you get your Technician License? I'm studying for mine now.
 

JNewton99

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Center, TX, USA
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Know the struggle and glad I stumbled upon this thread. Does anyone know if a hands on training course is offered by anyone. I'm fairly electrical savy but this radio talk to a whole new level of complicated to me! LOL
 

Kent R

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Google search for local ham clubs and check AARL site. You van take a one day ham cram that is designed to get you to pass the test, it is mostly memorization.
 

JNewton99

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Google search for local ham clubs and check AARL site. You van take a one day ham cram that is designed to get you to pass the test, it is mostly memorization.
Ill do that. Was really hoping for a more in depth class but I guess you have to start somewhere.
 

Kent R

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You will pass the test if you take the cram. If you really want to learn about Ham the license upgrade test are where you will learn.
 
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brien

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Know the struggle and glad I stumbled upon this thread. Does anyone know if a hands on training course is offered by anyone. I'm fairly electrical savy but this radio talk to a whole new level of complicated to me! LOL
I've been working on a free one-week mentored self-study course. I've put on three classes so far, the fourth starts today. Send me a DM if you are interested and I can get you started on the process. Expect to spend at least an hour a day on studies. After that week you will be ready to pass your exam and get on the air.
 
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J.W.

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Know the struggle and glad I stumbled upon this thread. Does anyone know if a hands on training course is offered by anyone. I'm fairly electrical savy but this radio talk to a whole new level of complicated to me! LOL
ARRL has searchable classes here: Find an Amateur Radio License Class in Your Area

Also, just google “ham radio club” and your area. There are usually a few everywhere and it’s tough to find a HAM that won’t help pass on some knowledge.

Best advice is to be patient and stick with it. It’s a rewarding hobby.
 
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Jeffrey Dill

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any advice on what ham radio to buy for my truck?
looking at kenwood tm-d710ga?
I have the Yaesu FTM-400XDR and love it. So far I'm just scratching the surface of what it's capable of. For instance, I haven't begun exploring APRS or WIRES-X (WIRES-X will be my next venture). But the controller head is very compact, which is nice, the screen is full color, and navigating around in menus and config is so intuitive. As far as the software married with the user interface, Yaesu knocked it out of the park.

Ill do that. Was really hoping for a more in depth class but I guess you have to start somewhere.
I know I'm in the vast minority here but, personally, I'm not an advocate for the ham cram sessions or the idea of simply memorizing the question pool. I prefer to have a firm understanding of the underlying material, instead of just passing an exam without actually understanding the "whys" of the content.

That being said, I recommend using the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual (you'll want the 4th edition), which can be picked up on Amazon for $30, to prep for the exam. It does include the question pool, which you'll be working through as you learn. But, I think more importantly, you'll actually get really good instruction so that you understand the content itself.

Yes, it'll take you a little longer (I studied for about a month before taking the exam) but you'll be much better prepared to jump right in after you're licensed and feel like you actually know what you're doing.
 
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Retinens803

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I will second @Jeffrey Dill. For my tech I memorized and passed but was still clueless and have just now started to use my HT. For the General I have chosen to use the book method so that I can actually have a more concrete understanding.

Either way works just depends on how much confidence you want coming out of the exam.
 

brien

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The brutal reality is that the exam does almost nothing to get you prepared for actually knowing how to USE radios. That's why I always recommend people just get the test out of the way as fast as possible so the real learning can happen. I studied like mad when i was first getting my Technician license, spent a month, read the full ARRL study guide book, watched a 6-hour ham cram class on youtube, watched all KE0OG's section introductions (they're awesome, by the way). I went into the test and was absolutely blown away at how overprepared I had made myself. The next day I had my call sign (Laurel VECs ROCK!), I turned on my HT to "get on the air" and then realized I was completely lost and had no idea what to do next to actually use the darn thing.

The most powerful way of learning how to use radios is by actually using the radios. That's why, in my "expert" opinion, the best way to "get on the air" and start learning is to pass the tests as quickly as possible to get them out of the way. The Technician and General exams don't help you really understand anything more than very very high-level concepts, and none of the concepts (more with HF, and especially with respect to propagation) will really make sense until you experience them first-hand and get that "aha" moment when actually operating.

The Amateur Extra exam is the only one that you really need to earnestly study for, as it is a true test of actual deep technical knowledge of how the theoretical bits work and why, and even then, it still doesn't help you learn how to actually USE radios in practice.
 

J.W.

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I agree completely with all of the above.

Getting involved with a local club is a great way to learn AND get that important hands-on experience Brien is talking about. Online learning is convenient but getting out and actually working the bands with some experienced operators is the best.
 
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Jeffrey Dill

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Jeffrey
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Dill
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The brutal reality is that the exam does almost nothing to get you prepared for actually knowing how to USE radios. That's why I always recommend people just get the test out of the way as fast as possible so the real learning can happen. I studied like mad when i was first getting my Technician license, spent a month, read the full ARRL study guide book, watched a 6-hour ham cram class on youtube, watched all KE0OG's section introductions (they're awesome, by the way). I went into the test and was absolutely blown away at how overprepared I had made myself. The next day I had my call sign (Laurel VECs ROCK!), I turned on my HT to "get on the air" and then realized I was completely lost and had no idea what to do next to actually use the darn thing.

The most powerful way of learning how to use radios is by actually using the radios. That's why, in my "expert" opinion, the best way to "get on the air" and start learning is to pass the tests as quickly as possible to get them out of the way. The Technician and General exams don't help you really understand anything more than very very high-level concepts, and none of the concepts (more with HF, and especially with respect to propagation) will really make sense until you experience them first-hand and get that "aha" moment when actually operating.

The Amateur Extra exam is the only one that you really need to earnestly study for, as it is a true test of actual deep technical knowledge of how the theoretical bits work and why, and even then, it still doesn't help you learn how to actually USE radios in practice.
Would definitely agree that, regardless of your preparation method, you've gotta just get your hands dirty until you reach that "aha" moment. Try something out, realize it was done incorrectly, make adjustments, try again – wash, rinse, repeat.
 
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