[Linux-ham] New ham, new radio :: welcome!!

Steve Jackson sjackson at radarfind.com
Tue Jul 15 14:25:52 EDT 2008

As the Resident Geezer around these e-parts, please accept a hearty welcome
to the fraternity.  Geezer?  Yup.  I am rapidly approaching 30 years on the

A used yet perfectly workable 2M rig (examples, IC2000, IC2100) or
dual-bander (examples IC207, IC208) can be had for not a lot of $$.  Typical
price for a great condition IC2100, for example, are often around $125 and
the dual banders, like the '207, fetch about $100 more.

Want to know how to find great deals from an old codger like me?  Try the
better swap sites such as QTH.COM and check the live list frequently, as in,
a couple of times a day.  The truly good deals DO NOT LAST.  eBay ... not so

Hamfests are your friend, but as of next Saturday, all the local ones for
the year have happened already.  Nothing good until Shelby.

Another tip:  join, and be active in, a local club.  This is a fraternal
hobby.  Once, when you HAD to have an Elmer just to get licensed, it was
more fraternal than today, and actually easier to become a ham, IMHO.
Today, we try to attract numbers and then not support people after they get
their tickets, so we have a huge attrition rate compared to the "old days."
Also IMHO, the various local clubs (such as OCRA, DFMA, RARS, Cary ARC, and
JARS) have various 'personalities' focused on operating, public service,
social events, and camaraderie.  Find a home at one or more of these clubs
and don't be a wallflower.

Join ARRL, if you have not already.  It's the national ham club, and their
monthly newsletter comes disguised as a magazine, called QST.  League
membership, which costs less per month than a gallon of gas, is the best
deal in amateur radio.  Plus, they sell the best books on the topic.  Every
ham should have a copy of the Operating Manual, and also at least a used
copy of the Handbook.  

And finally ... remember:  you are shopping for a radio that runs ONE mode
and on just one or two bands!!  While for many new hams this is OK, and may
yield what you want to get from the hobby, for as many -- and probably more
-- other new hams, this is simply too limiting.  Don't get stuck on VHF/UHF
FM.  Nobody gets their driver's license to just go back and forth to the
grocery store. Get your General, and explore the whole hobby.  

73 es cul
Steve KZ1X/4
Chapel Hill

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