Good afternoon, just wanted to replay to your post and not leave you hanging. KY4TRKHi,
Im looking to get set up to be a Ham Radio user. I'm looking to pay for expert advice to point me in the right direction for my purchases.
My number is 559-904-1406. Text me please if you're interested.
Hi Terri. I'm far from an expert, so I won't provide any expert advice but I can say many of the guys in here will be quite hepful. If you have the ability to listen to some of the nets, you might try starting there. If you are really adventurous, you can take a look at Hoshnasi's Ham Radio Crash Crash course . Its an online community where all the new hams seem to be spending time nowadays. Josh has plenty of volunteers to hep with the discord chats, the radio nets, the you tube channel etc. Every wee HRCC have plenty of stuff all aimed at getting people online and outfit with the correct gear.
Sorry. UHF/VHF line of site. Thankfully reread my wandering wall of text.Hi Terri, I'll provide my two cents. That said, just starting, you can get started with a handheld like a Baofeng, UV5R or the FT8M. You can find them on Amazon from $35 to $65 depending on the version and accessory pack you choose with them. You can then download "Chirp" which is a programming application to manage your channels and such. Just make sure to buy the correct "programming" cable for whatever radio you chose. Else, you will be stuck programming using the micro sized keys. Chirp, in many, dare I say most ways is superior to many of the vendor applications that ship with more expensive radios. Chirp, is your friend. Now, before the haters hate on me for recommending a Baofeng, I would like to say this. I honestly don't think you will be happy with anything you buy out of the gate because your learning curve is going to skyrocket over the next few months or however long it takes you to study for the Technician exam. You will begin exploring parts of radios based on your preferences as a person and some radios do things better or differently than others. For example, QRP is kind of having its day right now. QRP is a style of radio that focuses on portability and low wattage and strives to achieve maximum effective contact range with said equipment. On the other hand, you may be a power HAM and have your shack ready for world wide HF. Suffice it to say, you have two different equipment requirements for these paths and what anyone tells you now is not necessarily what you want to do later. So, the easiest way is to start off with a dual band or tri band handheld. I can hit our club repeater from my house in Visalia with my 5w Yaesu FT3DR handheld and most times I am told I sound great. In my case. I started with the Baofengs then, once I realized I was serious about radio, I purchased the FT3DR handheld. Wouldn't trade it for anything right now, the FT991A as a "Base" station and the FTM400XDR for my Jeep. However, I decided I wanted the XDR serving as a transmitter/receiver for my WiresX station so its not in the Jeep yet. You may see a trend with my choices. Yaesu. Yes, I made the choice to stick to one vendor so as to learn the "way" of things one time. Rather than to be forced to learn 3 different use styles from 3 entirely different vendors. As far as "antenna" go. I am planning on am attic antenna soon but for now I have an assortment of vertical dual band. The best of which is the Atas 25 I use on a tripod. I do have a Comet GP-9 but I've not permanently installed it yet so not sure how well it will eventually perform. Beyond this, I have some smaller mag mount mobile antenna I use on a slab of metal in my loft that seem to work just fine for hitting club repeater as well. Keep in mind, HF and VHF are line of site so your home and surroundings will greatly affect the efficacy of any antenna you buy so I would recommend buying from a place that accepts returns pretty easily. Hope this helps and will reply to your equipment list when you post it.
Awesome info. The battle rages. The UV5R 2nd Gen is the specific radio is it not? The image above is the 3RD gen. Not sure if you can even buy the 2nd gen any more. At any rate, are there any substitutes you can recommend to get Terri started?Click on the link below to fine out why to stay away from Baofeng radios. (ARRL.ORG Web site link)
FCC Cites Baofeng Importer for Illegally Marketing Unauthorized RF Devices