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Not sure how many are on here who know or help with Cqsanta.com


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Wanted to thank all that took the time to participate in this wonderful program. This is what makes the Amateur radio community so great.


So now. I have been requested by the kids to upgrade my ham ticket to general so they can talk to him next year. 


Wife's face  :o when they said that in front of us... Maybe daddy, can convince mommy a IC9700 would give us the best shot.  :rolleyes:  Knowing full well a used IC7300 with a good antenna could do it for a 1/5 of the price and NO I have no HF gear nor a shack even setup or planned..  :wub:


Either case, thanks once again to all that participate in programs like this with your own dime and time. It is these hidden gems and the people that take the time to do this that make the world a better place.



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I would agree that a lot of people feel that way.  However, there is a tremendous amount of tech and protocols to discover with a Tech license, too. 


If you spend a lot of time in the upper end of VHF and UHF, you are dealing with line of sight services.  Moving voice and data via RF linked networks and being a part of that systems can be a great time.  Designing mesh networks and flowing email and other data is fun too.


On the high side of HF (10m) and the low side of VHF (6m) you can still talk all around the country as well as making some international contacts using simplex comms.


I think many Hams will say that the "hobby starts" with the general and advanced licenses because they never really had an interest in pursuing the great opportunities that entry level licenses provide, either because they don't know those options are there or they didn't see the potential.  However, once you have easy success with the low side of HF (80m and 40m) and the high side of MF (160m), it encourages people into getting into other protocols and activities that also exist in the Tech class privileges.


I have to admit, the main reason I wanted to upgrade my license was so I could talk simplex to my friends in South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Rhode Island.  However, being able to talk to people in New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Spain, Central and South America as well as all over Europe, direct, and with just 100 watts and an omnidirectional antenna is a nice plus!


The HF equipment is a lot more fun to use too.

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"Ham radio really starts at HF" is an old-fashioned view of a dynamic hobby. Every operator I have talked to who shares that "ham radio really starts at HF" view has told me some variation of "I can't possibly sit around on a 2-meter repeater, talking to the same people every day." VHF and UHF operation have evolved rapidly this decade (first with Wouxun and Baofeng, then with entry-level radios featuring digital voice), while HF has lagged behind. Nearly all of the development on HF since 2005 has targeted high-end radios, outside the scope of what new operators will be using to experience HF for the first or second time; it's about upselling the existing products, not creating a product less expensive for the consumers. IP linking of both analog and digital VHF/UHF systems have whittled away at HF's advantages for ragchew, all while requiring much less equipment investment. You'll hear "the magic isn't there", but that's from a lack of understanding of the underlying infrastructure that all has to work together to establish that connection.


Ham radio can start anywhere. It could be on your local 2-meter repeater where a high-school student studied for their Technician license and bought an Anytone handheld to celebrate getting their first callsign. It could start with an unlicensed operator using their grandfather's radio under their supervision and callsign. It could start where my journey started, on someone else's HF receiver. It could start on a DMR hotspot, a satellite, a fresh-built uBITX, or even a packet node. But for most people entering the hobby, it's going to be on your local 2-meter repeater. Anyone who says that isn't really ham radio has lost sight of the hobby's goal.

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Every operator I have talked to who shares that "ham radio really starts at HF" view has told me some variation of "I can't possibly sit around on a 2-meter repeater, talking to the same people every day."



I laughed pretty hard when I read this line. Mostly because the same guys I heard say that, are sitting on one HF frequency, talking to the same 3 guys all day, for 20 years.  AND, they only ID maybe once every 2 hours and God forbid someone is on the air, tying up "their frequency" when they what to get online and BS for 5 hours.

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For folk that "can't stand talking to the same people every day", there sure are a lot that get real angry if someone tries to enter a conversation.


Most 2-meter repeaters and open, linked 70cm repeater systems around here are welcoming of new users and make it pretty clear that they are. It's just a friendlier place to start out on a $25-$50 handheld.

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