About HAM Radio and Things You’ll Need
These are the things you’ll need to “just get into it” so to speak.
The least expensive way to introduce yourself to the world of HAM is by:
- Purchasing an HT (Handi Talki, or sometimes know as a walkie talkie)
- You’ll be able to listen to your local repeater until you get your license. Listen to NETS and folks just conversing.
The next step up will be for you to purchase a Mobile Transceiver for your car/truck.
- Of course a transceiver (radio) for your truck. This should include the 2m and 70cm bands. These are the most popular and accessible frequencies to receive in your vehicle.
- You’ll need to buy a mobile antenna as well. Whether that is an antenna that is magnet mounted to the top of your vehicle or one of the more obscure and less obtrusive, such as a bumper or front hood mount, this would be all you NEED. (Different from WANTS of course)
Lastly the ultimate, a Base Station for your Radio Room, HAM shack, Garage Nook, or of course spare bedroom.
- Of course, a Transceiver (a microphone is included same as a mobile unit) This radio is going to have your VHF/UHF to cover your primary 2m and 70cm bands the same as your Mobile Radio but it will also include the all important HF (High Frequency) bands 10m,12m,15m, 17m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 60m, 80m. These are the bands, which encompass the accompanying frequencies, are where you’re going to talk with and make contacts from around the globe!
- A 12v power supply. The Transceiver above does not just plug into the wall, you’ll need to connect it’s red and black wires to the correct terminals on the back of the power supply. The power supply then plugs into the wall. Don’t forget your surge protector
- Yep, you guessed it, an antenna. You’ll need at least 2 antennas. One that will be of the proper length and construction to receive your VHF/UHF signals. This is usually a vertical antenna, like a stick, car antenna, etc. But, a bit longer and thicker. The second antenna would be for your HF bands. These as a starter antenna can be a horizontally run wire 10-30 feet above the ground running 100 feet or so. An End Fed or Dipole antenna will work best for the least amount of cash. Some of the Dipoles do NOT cover all the bands mentioned above so be sure to ask your Elmer what he or she recommends based on your needs.
- Cable, unlike the mobile antenna, these don’t come with lengths of cable. There are a gazzillion types and lengths of cable and once again your Elmer/Mentor can very easily make recommendations based on what you intend to be doing. Remember Elmers are free,,, and we love just helping fellow HAMS.
We hope to have some links to a few fantastic vendors here soon. We’ve reached out to see who will help the club with an affiliate program of some sort.
Lastly, you’ve got to get at least your Technicians License if you wish to transmit. Take a class, buy a book and an easy workbook, take a week or so to study and take a test. Remember, it’s multiple choice, and you know every question and answer in advance!
73’s as is said in the HAM world when you’re saying “So long” to someone.