the hard facts of life. for the new
with SE Idaho NEW Hams in mind
This page is here for one purpose, to enlighten you , not to run you off.
This page is written by KØIP and reviewed by other PARC hams. Many guys say I am toooo hard on the new guys, COULD BE ?
Sorry, I call it the way I see it. 99% of the hams are willing to help you. HOWEVER BE advised 'not all hams are created equal'.
I dare you to read and watch all links on this page. I dare you to join one of the clubs in Pocatello, PARC or PV-ARES.
You need to attend more than one club meeting to feel your part of a group, so start coming to meetings,
Start mingling with the guys at the meeting , start learning about Ham Radio. We really want you to be part of our club.
Watch the video 4th below, overcoming Frustration, He discusses the same things, you probably won't be 100% accepted into the group on your first visit .
Heres four pages you might want to look at.
New Ham - what do I do now (ask dave #12) a must watch Video
I think this video just about sums it up, join a club, join the ARRL, get on HF radio, life on two meters is limited.
New Hams - GET AN Elmer - Join a club
New Hams - How to fit in with the grumpy old guys
and why their grumpy, how to make that first 2 meter contact, and what to do with your old CB radios, & Oh yes C l i c k y C l i c k y on 2 meters.
New Hams - Overcoming 'new ham' Frustration (ask dave #43)
Watching that first video listed above, (ask dave #12) and reading that stuff,
it looks like the old guys
are stuck in a rut
Joining a CLUB and the ARRL. By joining ARRL, you get QST magazine which is one of the best ways to learn things,
unlike Playboy magazine, where everyone just 'read the articles' in QST just looking at the pictures and reading the
advertising can add to your knowledge base. and if you happen to read an article all the better, ,
ARRL membership/renewal Link
In Pocatello there are two amateur radio groups
One being the page your on now, the Pocatello Amateur Radio Club (PARC Home Page), and
The Portneuf Valley Amateur Radio Emergency Services group PV ARES .
PARC is a general interest club, and PV ARES is mostly interested in emergency communications and parade, race, local event communications.
If Emergency preparedness is why you got a Amateur License you should investigate them.
However if you got a license to explore all the aspects of HAM radio like DXing, weak signal vhf , contests, building projects, Just learning new things.
Then PARC is for you, Think about this, Join both groups, get the best of both worlds.
If you don't live in Pocatello see this Other Ham Clubs in our area
Repeaters: and programming your 2 meter radio.
It seems like most new hams get on 2 meters, this is OK and you can do
many things using only 2 meter FM, but its limited..
you've got a license but your lost in a world of confusing terms and strange sounding do-dads? nothing makes any sense .
and programming that new HT makes even less sense ??
probably the best thing to do is come to our meeting, get an ELMER, he can help* you.
Try Watching these three videos , they might give you some insight about programmed your HT.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOfkdhJL1U&t=323s part one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrRLBPhwaus part two
Repeater list for
Repeater list for Idaho
*one thing that needs mentioned, just because I've been a ham for 50+ years, doesn't mean I can figure out how to program your Chinese radio.
IF you need a computer and software to program your radio, I think you probably have the WRONG RADIO,
you need to be able to change frequencies and program it on the front panel of the radio, on the fly, any time, any place, night or day, with or without AC power .
Handy Talky (HT)
buyers guide: This is my advice to you as an Elmer:
DONT spend a small fortune on a two meter radio, however, I DONT recommend
those really cheap Chinese radios, they are hard (almost impossible) to program without a computer
I DO recommend a single band 2 meter radio, that has a BNC antenna connector, like mentioned in those videos,
forgot all the "bells and whistles" . most of that "stuff" IS USELESS.
Your a beginner, buy a simple radio, who knows 6 months from now you might not even be interested in 2 meters anymore.
There's got to be some FM only , plain Jane, FM HT for say less than $100. Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, Alinco pick one.
simple and cheap, not Chinese, with a BNC jack if possible.
forget D-Star or Fusion, GPS, APRS , etc etc ,
The radio manufactures what to sell you the most expensive thing they can grind out,
TOOO many options, TOOO much memory, TOOO much BS. simple is better.
See this joke link about how much memory is too much Ozzy Osburne it might be a joke but its mostly true.
There are NO D-Star, or Fusion repeaters in SE Idaho, so forget expensive radios than include these digital modes. Their useless here in SE Idaho
THE REAL FACT IS:
There's almost NO activity on the existing FM repeaters, DEAD AIR, so be warned. its going to be a lonely world on 2 meter FM
heres some examples (as of 2017) , alinco DJ-100T DJ-500T Kenwood TH-K20A, Yaesu FT65R, and ICOM V80 sport, which is the best in my opinion,
it has a BNC, and a AA battery pack, which means you can run it on Standard AA batteries in an emergency. this also means for daily use you will
need to buy some rechargeable batteries and the correct charger for your batteries, I still use NiCad's in my HT.
Technicians ON TEN
, GREAT IDEA, but this being written in 2017 the hard truth
you had better set down for this, because its not what you want to hear.
its going to be a lonely world, more lonely than 2 meter FM.
am I lying , some might say I full of Bull, BUT the sunspot cycle is headed to the bottom,
NO sun spots equals NO propagation on the higher HF bands, Not to say it won't happen some times,
Sporadic E skip is the main driving force for skip on 6 meters.. That same Sporadic E makes for some great contacts on 10 meters..
The Question is , What Day, What hour, maybe What year ???
you better keep the radio on all the time, those occurrences will be far and few in-between.
Whats the answer, a general or extra license.,, FULL stop, . giving you more HF privileges
Things to watch and listen to,
There's so many different people making all sorts of Ham Radio videos, so much of it is TOTAL BS, be careful who's giving the advice.
Dave and K7AGE seem to have their facts in order,
ASK- DAVE videos see this Watch the ones you think pertain to you , or watch them all, they will broaden your horizons
The same goes for K7AGE videos on youtube.com
since episodes don't appear to come up in any order, scan for ones that might interest you.
This guy did one on installing Power Poles connectors, it was great..
I highly recommend using them on all your radios. PARC stocks these in our "company store"
Now between you and me, K7AGE has joined with the "Ham Nation" video group, which includes
many "semi" famous hams and some that are only famous in their own minds (???) ,
SORRY I think most of these guys are a bunch of sappy idiots, again sorry, and K7AGE does spew a bunch of BS , don't believe everything !!
in particular, I watched Randy K7AGE Ham Shack Build Part 1: Ham Nation 226 it was all Blabber & Blabber BLAB BLAB BLAB,
He said NOTHING. Talking about himself and his shack, really didn't say anything worth hearing .. .
However ASK Dave had one on setting up a SHACK and it was very informative . Ask Dave Episode 3
AUDIO ONLY Podcasts , this is great stuff, the ARRL's "The Doctors IN", Link to index of audio podcasts
OK you want to be heard, then you need an outside antenna, for 2 meters a cheap J-Pole will do the trick, but its got to be outside your house, connected
with good coax, Like RG8U or RG213 type coax. the Higher you can mount the antenna the better , up on your roof somewhere. if you ever need to talk
simplex, ( a novel idea) your rubber duck isn't going to work very well.
HF antennas for the beginner, A DIPOLE or a one Band Vertical. You don't have to invest a fortune on an antenna, prices on new Trapped Verticals
are ridicules. As are multi band Store Bought dipoles, MAKE YOUR OWN ANTENNA it will be almost free... and you don't need a PhD to install them.
Which Band, Well ???? in actual fact 10, 12, 15 meter bands are almost USELESS for the next 4 or 5 years, No SunSpots. So my 2 cents worth
is either 20 or 40 meters. maybe 80 meters. dipoles are really easy to build and the club can help you get one up if you need or want the help.
See the Q&A button for measurements. resonant dipole
Vertical Antenna, a 20 meter antenna is only 16 feet tall, if you can mount it on your roof you will only need a few radials, four are more than enough..
On the ground you need a lot more, not impossible, but a bit more work. 40 Meters is 32 feet tall, harder to put on your roof,
If you check 'the Doctors IN' topics, ( see above) they have discussed all sorts of antennas , the Plusses and minuses of all different types
FI AUDIO.. (fools are easily separated from
I ask WHY. There are several manufactures that sell audio enhancement devices, my question why ?
ANSWER: if you make it, some fool will eventually buy it, and tell you how great it is.
(Like those guys on TV selling magnets you put around your cars gas line which would double your gas mileage) "10-4" RIGHT !!
if you tune around 14.188mHz and listen, eventually you will hear a bunch of these HIFI audio guys all discussing how great they all sound,
now , just tune slightly off their signal a bit and hear the strange artifact, kind of a "wow wow" sound. Its terrible.
Generally their bandwidth is wider than a normal SSB signal, all the extra "base" might sound a bit better, but its totally stupid.
SO just don’t get sucked into the stupidity. Just say NO.
(fools are easily separated from their money)
YOU Ask , Do I need a special microphone ?? answer NO
The microphone supplied with your radio was made for your radio.
if you really want to improve your operating position, buy a fairly good HEADSET, like Heil or Radio Sport,
you’ll need a foot switch too. DON’T buy the Heil foot switch, a total rip off. Too thick , too hard to press down, TOO expensive...
EBAY footswitch, see what pops up. buy something FLAT to get your foot on. I use a foot switch off a old Dictaphone machine.
I almost always use headphones, I can hear better, the boom mike is attached, I don’t need to lean up to the desk to talk,
I can use my hands to do my electronic logging,
I also say PHOOEY to that Rush Limbaugh golden microphone suspended with springs on a boom device, PHOOEY
Heil sells a lot of this "stuff" , its not worth a penny,,
What not to do: SPEND a king ransom on a microphone.
Lets see, most manufactures, especially Yaesu, make WAY EXPENSIVE microphones.
The top Yaesu mike, the “M-1 special addition” priced at $690, WHAT, CRAZY (do you have money to burn ??)
Heil sells a lot of mikes and boom and other “stuff” that only extracts money from your pocket. and doesn't improve your signal !
So what did I ask, do you really think you need a FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR microphone ??? NO ,
Those dollars are WAY better spend that on an Antenna, or a headset.... The mike supplied with your radio should work just fine,
other than it's a HAND mike and it ties up one of your hands.
LOGGING your contacts
OK guys, way back in the olden' days, not so many years ago, it was an FCC rule that every transmission
should be logged, Test transmissions where no one was even contacted, yes every transmission. Lucky we
don't need to do that any more, however, keeping a log is important, (ok OK !! not so important for 2 meter FM)..
Some day , you might decide to get some "wall paper" , like the ARRL's
Worked All States WAS award. without a log it "ain't" going to happen !!
Ok it isn't going to happen. Paper logs are OK, BUT, not really ,
hey its the 21 Century and we have computers, FYI your shack computer
doesn't need to be a I 7 processor with 16g's of memory, I use XP on an older,
but not cold machine and things work really well in my shack. There
are many verity's of logging software for not too much money, Without plugging
his product the N3FJP software is relatively inexpensive , and for me does a great job.
Some software is just TOOOOO complex, If your spending $100+ its probably "bloat ware".
I don't need a wall covered with 21 inch monitors to keep track of the "gray line".. Guaranteed most of the time "simple is better" !!
LOG ALL YOUR HF Contacts as well as your Weak Signal VHF contacts, is there a VUCC in your future ??
it's NOT going to happen without a LOG..
Log on your computer and then use LoTW, for awards, you might want to have some QSL cards on hand too....
Log even if you have NO intention of getting a VUCC or WAS , WHY ?, because the other guy REALLY needed
IDAHO on 6 METERS, and you were that important contact,, he's depending on you to CONFIRM that "hard to get contact" ..
Heres a screen shot of what I have uploaded to LoTW, to decode this, I have uploaded 52595 QSO's and have CONFIRMED (QSL) 19,377
Confirmed means both my log and the other fellows log Match , time , date, call sign, ETC..
Yes, a time tested way to confirm a contact, IF YOUR active on HF, you need some printed QSL card,
If your working DX the cards will arrive at the BURO.
PARC gets cards all the time via the BURO...
Get a few QSL cards printed, or print your own, 100 should be more than
enough to start.
sign up for LoTW the ARRL electronic awards database. Don't get fooled by eQSL and
QRZ's Logbook or similar internet sites. ARRL and CQ magazine awards are where it's at.
QSL cards should be 'post card' size 5... by 3 1/2
inches, card stock,
Learn about SASE's ,, check out your incoming QSL buro, you need to have envelopes at the buro.
http://www.arrl.org/incoming-qsl-service will have contact info.
To use the outgoing buro, you must be an ARRL member.
Don' t hide in your
Something I think is important, thats being able to Email people and have others be able to contact me, for ham radio folks, that means QRZ.com,
It's a defact STANDARD in call sign lookups
Now don't send them any money, The guy's probably a multi millionaire, without your help. QRZ is a great ham asset for looking up contacts. However
lots of the "BLOG stuff" is total BS, There is absolutely NO reason to send him money. I've used the site for years, (free) there is a limited amount of lookups you
can do every 24 hours, like 25 or so, why would I want to look up more ???
That being said its a great web. Now what do I think is stupid, several years ago , the owner made it mandatory to LOG IN, to get most of info about a station.
I don't like it, BUT, I have never suspected him of mis-useing email address... SO get signed up, post a picture of yourself, not your radio, I know
what a Yaesu looks like !! I don't know what you look like !! OK .. maybe put up some kind of BIO about yourself, and your EMAIL info.
Remember ITS FREE
Be ready for an
emergency, if you want, join in with the ""emergency
boys"", like PVARES
but remember 10 to 1, HF long haul communications is probably going to save the day when "" all else fails "",
what exactly is the " big one" ??
floods, tornados, earthquakes, a 2 meter HT's is great for "parade duty" or bicycle race, maybe at the local shelter
during a snow storm (?), However, when the lines are down for hundreds of miles you need HF, or maybe better a satellite phone.
You might need to communicate with guys with HT's around town, so have a two meter base radio, with a good antenna.,
How are you going to power your radio, that battery won't run forever, have backup power for your radios,
BE READY, get savvy enough to repair antennas , cables, replace bad equipment on the fly, etc IF you don't you may be part of the emergency ??
OK you guys, want to express your ideas,
do you have any ideas, think I'm too harsh, or want to tell me to drop dead, email jcwilson(at)ida.net
so far no one has sent anything to me plus or minus?????????????????