How many chasers are ham radio operators??

Are you a licensed amateur radio operator?

  • Total voters
monitoring on dual-banders

Originally posted by Ben Pinette
Amos,In regards to using 70, there's not much activity that I've come across. This past year however I did start using the 70cm calling freq of 446.000 when on the road with other friends in the group.-Ben

That's pretty smart. I don't know how many of my group have dual-banders yet, but for days when everyone has one, that may be the way to go. It's also worth mentioning that on big events, some of the popular 2 meter frequencies get very crowded with chasers.

This could also eliminate another concern/question of mine. When I'm monitoring with one radio and talking on the second, I'm always concerned about the effect of transmitting has on the passive rig. What I mean is I wonder if I'm blasting the brains out of the rig that's monitoring 162.550 (or whatever) when I transmit on 146.550 with the other radio.

KC0MXQ here! And I agree with a previous post that practice tests are a great way to study.

I primarily use the license for communicating with other chasers and reporting on skywarn nets. Dual band HAM radio is the way to go!
My grandpa and I, who chase together are both amateur radio operators. Mine is KC8OFK, his is KC8OJO. I try to use it outside of chasing, just never think about it.
We're trying to become the first NWS office to have the entire staff licensed. It definitely has its benefits outside of spotting. I had originally taken mine with me to Denver in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, my Yaesu did not survive what I may have inevitably needed it for.

Good luck to all those taking the test. Please, for the sake of the science, do not memorize the answers to the questions but rather take the time to understand the physics about radio operations, safety, and the like. It really can open up a whole new world about how your chase equipment actually works!


WX2CHS <-- thanks to you all for not snagging that one :) Now I just need a new vehicle to put the tags on :(
Evan - Glad to hear that you're OK! I really hope your story hits home with all of us this year. I really don't like to think of the consequences of what could have happened to you (or anyone else) not wearing a seatbelt.

Amos - Your concerns about front-end overload and desense are justified, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Any decent receiver nowadays is designed to withstand such conditions without any problem. I've run scanners while transmitting on 2m for years with no problems. Never even noticed a slight decrease in performance over time. Just throw a meter on the radio every once-in-awhile to make sure you haven't acquired any silly standing waves.

Take it easy everyone
Originally posted by ScottK
I would like to echo everything Amos said. Ham radio can greatly increase your chase experience (enjoyment, ease, and plain success).

Scott KB9VVP

I agree totally also... we've got a pretty good bunch of guys who run the skywarn net here in West Texas... they can be beyond worth for getting you into just the right position.

Iain ( KD5YOW )
HAM radio and chasing

I just took the technician license on Feb 15 and passed. I am waiting for my license. The test does require some study but it is not that bad. I used a combination of "Now You're Talking All you need for your first amateur radio license" 5th edition and ARRL's Tech Q and A. You can pass the test with just studying the Q and A but I also recommend getting the Now You're Talking as a reference guide. I am now shopping for a hand held radio and will be on the air this chase season.

Bill Hark
Now that I see the benefits, i think I might have to check it out. I hope our local library has the Technician book. Going to make a note.
Radio recommendation if you want to send in reports to NWS - dual-band mobile with plenty of memories.

Mobiles generally have a higher power output than handhelds, and that can make a difference if you're on the edge of a repaeter's range.

The NWS in Tulsa uses a linked repeater system on 440 MHz that covers their CWA. I suspect that more NWSFO's may do the same.

I've used handhelds in a mobile configuartion (cigarette-lighter power cord, speaker-mic), and found them lacking a bit. They may work for some, but not me. I currently have a 2-meter mobile and wish I had a dual-bander.
Most chasers in the NTX area usually are on a common simplex frequency. It is a great tool for coordination, as everyone has the same goal.

I was originally KC5GPG, licensed about 10 years ago. I'm now K5TVT. Vanity calls are a great way to make you stand out in a crowd, though a lot of people are quite content with what they have.

Another Stormtrack member gets a ham license!
I sent him an email to let him know that his callsign has been posted on the FCC site. BTW if you pass your test, and check the FCC site for your license and it has been posted, you can legally operate, until the "hard copy" arrives in the mail.
Ive been thinking on the idea of getting ham license myself. I have a cobra cb & its only useful for 7 NOAA frequencies. My cell phone becomes very unreliable near severe wx. I took online practice test with no study time. I scored 38% hehehe. If I study I guess I can pass. I chase/spot in SEMO, SO Il. , cent IL. WKY etc. I guess Ham is the way to go fo reporting to nws, talkin to other chasers, & receiving NOAA broadcasts. Seems to cool to talk to someone miles & miles away! 8) . So now after I do get ham license. Anyone have any recommendations on somewhat inexpensive dual band rigs?
Thanx Kevin
Kevin, here is an idea for you, check the major amateur, mfr sites find the radio you want, and look for it elswhere used. "Inexpensive and dual-band" are mutually exclusive otherwise.
Kevin, here is an idea for you, check the major amateur, mfr sites find the radio you want, and look for it elswhere used. "Inexpensive and dual-band" are mutually exclusive otherwise.

I currently use several ham radios -- Yaesu FT-8900R (quadbander which I just got), a Yaesu FT-8000R (dualbander), and a Yaeus FT-530 (handheld dualband). I strongly suggest a mobile dualbander over an HT (handheld transceiver), seeing how the power output is usually around 50W (on 2m) with a mobile, while only around 5W with a handheld. Whatever the case, make sure you get a good external antenna...

If you are looking for ham equipment, I've compiled a short list below of online retailers. When you know what you want, search around, as I've found price differences over $40 between these sites. Also, most of them have a 'used equipment' section...
Ham Radio Outlet
Universal Radio
Amateur Electronic Supply (AES)
Burghardt Amateur Center
Texas Towers
Radio City
RF Parts

Of course, there are more, but these are the ones I've used a lot when price-hunting. In particular, the first five there seem to have the lowest prices, in my experience... If you have question, or want to read product reviews, I strongly suggets checking out Eham.Net, which is an excellent source for ham radio in general...

Jeff Snyder