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Noob Looking for Direction

Dec 8th 2021, 00:45

gsqwared

Joined: Dec 6th 2021, 07:05
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hey everyone!

I just joined the ARRL today and have already order my books to take my exam. At this point it all makes sense, except I'm having difficulty finding direction as to what equipment do I need to get started. It seems so overwhelming when I look at sites that sell equipment but I don't even know what I'm looking at or what I need or don't need. I guess I should state my goal. I want to communicate and interact with people from all over the world. What do I need to get me there? Any direction to valuable resources or veteran opinions is greatly appreciated.


gswared
Dec 8th 2021, 08:07

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Worldwide communication typically requires the use of HF ionospheric skip. The 17M and 20M are typically the best bands for this. A Yagi beam on a tower between 70 and 100 ft would be ideal, but most folks have to do the best they can with the resources they have available.

15M may be useful at lower latitudes near the equator. VOACAP and be useful for predicting station capability
voacap.com may be a helpful web site.

A legal limit amplifier would be useful for talking to stations with compromise antennas and high noise levels. It can be difficult to hook up with low power stations with excellent receivers as it isn't always obvious who can hear well. People tend to call stations with loud signals and assume that if they are loud, they can hear well.

Zak W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Dec 13th 2021, 06:53

AI4BJ

Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
You didn't mention which exam you are preparing to take, but I will assume that it's the Technician. The Technician license confers very limited privileges on HF frequencies. To communicate worldwide on VHF you would have to use Echolink, which links repeaters around the world via the internet.

If you want to communicate worldwide without depending on the internet, you should set your sights on a General license and a 100 Watt HF transceiver as a starter rig. With an inexpensive dipole or G5RV antenna, you will be able to contact hams in many other countries.

73,
Mark AI4BJ
Dec 13th 2021, 07:08

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Ham radio contests are good opportunities for hams with starter setups to briefly contact hams all around the world. While they don't have time to chat, contesters put up big antennas and run legal limit amplifiers to work as many stations as they can. If conditions are good, the waning hours of a contest can provide excellent opportunities for someone to add to their country total.

Zak W1VT
ARRLSenior Lab Engineer

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