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Old 15-07-2012, 18:58   #1
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Handheld Ham Radio

I just passed the ham radio Technician Exam and will start study for the General tomorrow. I am excited to get on the air and start practicing with the radio. We have an Icom 802 on the boat that is not hooked up. Does anyone have/use a handheld? Should I just cool my jets and wait for the Icom or spend the $$ on an inexpensive handheld?
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:08   #2
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Getting a handheld is good to start off with and could be used as a backup later on. I have an Amateur VHF, Yaesu VX-7R that I like. It could be used for getting into repeaters when close enough to shore and meeting people during your travels.

Congradulations on passing your exam. Best of luck to you on the next tests.
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:11   #3
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Getting your ICOM 802 hooked up would be a better idea. In the long run the reason to have an HF radio on yuor boat won't be the same reasons to own a handheld. It is still the same set of FCC rules but the practice would be more useful using the raido you already own. You might be better off getting involved in a local ARRL chapter where you can meet other HAM operators.
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:21   #4
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Keep in mind that almost all ham "handhelds" are VHF/UHF and limited to line of sight and/or local repeaters...fun to "rag chew" but probably not ideal at this point in your ham career afloat....maybe later....recommend getting the 802 going and also looking at "entry level" ham radio rigs for HF...or maybe one that works HF and VHF... I use a Kenwood TS 50 on ham bands aboard OTTER. I load a random wire with a MFJ auto tuner....wire hauled aloft by a spare halyard. CONGRATS on passing your exam....great hobby and great to have aboard the boat for safety and recreation. 73 de K4RCG. Bob
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:58   #5
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As others have indicated, the HF M802 and a VHF/UHF handheld are two very different beasts and represent two fairly distinct aspects of ham radio.

If you want to try the handheld route on the cheap, take a look at the Wouxon KG-UV6D. Seems to be a lot of radio for the price and feels well built, but I don't have much practical experience with it.
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Old 15-07-2012, 20:16   #6
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Re: Handheld ham radio

BaoFeng Dual band UV-5R VHF/UHF Dual Band Radio 136-174 400-480Mhz Transceiver is $60 plus shipping on Amazon and it covers the marine VHF frequencies.
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Old 16-07-2012, 05:11   #7
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Since you guys are leaving this year.. Like the other posters suggested, get your ICOM hooked up and start using it NOW!

Start listening to the Maritime Nets running in and around your are and when you are comfortable check in with them, that will be good practice for you.

A good book for you is The ICOM 802 for IdiYachts by Marti Brown. She did a great job of explaining the unit in plain English!
Amazon.com: The ICOM M802 Radio Manual for "Idi-Yachts" (9780971564046): Capt. Marti Brown: Books

I made up a list of Worldwide Maritime HAM Nets in PDF Format, which I freely distribute...It has evolved into a very large and accurate list, since many people have sent me updated infomration on the various Nets. Here is the link:
http://sailingcamelot.files.wordpres.../ham-nets1.pdf
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Old 18-07-2012, 11:03   #8
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Thanks Everyone for the information. The Icom is still a month or so from being hooked up; but I will turn it on and start listening as soon as possible. If all goes well I should have my General in another couple of weeks. I did decide to get one of the inexpensive (aka $50) BaoFeng handhelds. It should arrive from Amazon in a day or two.
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Old 27-07-2012, 23:21   #9
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortytwo View Post
BaoFeng Dual band UV-5R VHF/UHF Dual Band Radio 136-174 400-480Mhz Transceiver is $60 plus shipping on Amazon and it covers the marine VHF frequencies.
I looked it up and it can be had for $49.50 but......have you tried this one or know anyone who has? I wonder if it's worth a darn?
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Old 28-07-2012, 05:32   #10
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dubbinchris.
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Old 28-07-2012, 06:03   #11
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Re: Handheld ham radio

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Originally Posted by Dubbinchris View Post
I looked it up and it can be had for $49.50 but......have you tried this one or know anyone who has? I wonder if it's worth a darn?
I got a couple to use as pmr and for ham on 2m & 70cm. Not really experienced enough to pass judgement but all the guys at the club where I did the ham license had one. And they really know what they're talking about so the radios can't be that bad
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Old 28-07-2012, 06:57   #12
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Re: Handheld ham radio

I suggest moving installation of your 802 higher on your project list.

You may recall that as a Tech you have CW privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. You probably aren't terribly interested in that. - --- --- -... .- -.. You also have voice privileges on 10 meters from 28.3 to 28.5 MHz. Propagation isn't on your side too much but you might make some contacts there. Check with your local ham radio club. If you can't find any help give me a shout and I'll find you some.
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:55   #13
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As for the BaoFeng, I purchased the radio on recommendation of the instructor of my Ham class. He purchased directly from China and was able to secure a better price. I wanted the return assurance so went through Amazon. I have been able to pick up conversations as far away as 65 miles just sitting out in the back yard in the evening. (Still working up my nerve to say something.) I have a follow up Ham class in a couple of days where they will help us program our radios and get us on the air.

Unfortunately the SSB and I are about 1100 miles apart. Long story; but has to do with ill family member and my need to be in attendance. My husband is with the boat orchestrating last repairs/upgrades before we move her south. I'll have the trip from Seattle to Ventura,CA for getting started on the SSB.
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:23   #14
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Re: Handheld ham radio

Welcome to both CF and HAM radio. My first time cruising pre-dated GPS, Internet, Skype, so HF SSB was it. A lot of fun back then. The nets that Tom Jeremiason has put together is very handy, you should download and print it out for your boat. As to your first transmission on a VHF repeater (that is what you are probably listening to if stations are 60 miles away), on VHF we don't use CQ, but something like "Is anyone monitoring the repeater care to be my 1st ever contact?" and end with your new call sign. I can assure you folks will be tripping over their radios to reply, so just jump in. I'm guessing this hand held will do the 600 khz offset for you via the band plan?
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Old 09-08-2012, 22:11   #15
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Passed the General exam last Saturday and checked in to my first net Tuesday evening. Told my husband I outranked him now that I was a General and he was only a Captain.

On a more serious note! Does anyone know if I should start applying for a license in Mexico? The plan is to be there sometime in November. ( fingers, toes, and everything else crossed. You know the drill trying to get away from the dock.)
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