Diving into Amateur Radio… The Beginning

Where did this hobby begin? How did I go down the rabbit hole so quickly? I think these are both questions all new hams ask themselves. It was about three weeks between the time I saw an interesting video on YouTube regarding ham radio and when I was sitting down for my technician license. Now, as I type this I am waiting for my license to show up in the FCC database. Honestly, I am taking a risk by starting this site with the vanity call sign I hope to get soon after my license is in the system.

What gear am I starting with? I went the stereotypical route and got a Baofeng UV-5R as my first radio. However, that only lasted a week before I realized I needed some upgrades. First, two new antennas. Yes, two. I went with the ExpertPower antenna for mobile operations. This gives me way better range than the stock rubber ducky antenna. I then purchased the N9TAX Slim Jim antenna as a home base antenna.

But of course the fun didn’t stop there. I purchased an inexpensive QYT-8900D mobile radio for the Jeep. That combined with a Tram 1180 antenna on an NMO lip mount provides fantastic reception when I am on the road. But that is all I know about it, because I haven’t actually been able to transmit with either of these setups. The second my license is in the database I will be sending out that first transmit and hoping to get a response.

I am going to post future pictures and videos of my setup to hopefully help some other new amateur radio operators. Hopefully I will also get some comments from veteran hams to help me improve my system.