How many chasers are ham radio operators??

Are you a licensed amateur radio operator?

  • Total voters
Important note for soon to be hams, or new hams looking for gear.
Although the handhelds are appealing because of their size and price, they are not reccommended for a beginner, I have read time and again on the ham radio forums, about people getting one of these, bragging about it then the next message they post is, How do I make it work?
the best first radio is a 2 meter mobile, Like the Icom IC-2100h, at 130 dollars or there about, it is simple to set up and use, there are "entry level" Kenwoods and Yaesus also. look around a lot, and read all the info you can find also try and look at the reviews there.
Thanx alot ya all. I was looking at the Icom V-8000 but its not dual band which I see now is important. The 208-H seems to be more what I want with weather alert as well. Thanx Jeff for all the recommendations. Now all I have to do is get my study material ordered & finally have a nice radio lol. Thanx again for your help
One more not as long as used equipment was brought up... BE VERY CAREFUL! It is very easy to burn out a ham radio (e.g. transmit full power while using a very high SWR setup)... In that case, you can easily burn out the finals due to the high reflected energy. I would pretty much suggest against buying any used ham radios off of Ebay, unless you are confident that the dealer is legit. And in this case, that doesn't just means they have a 5000 rating and 99.9% positives... If you want to buy used, I strongly suggest going to a local Hamfest and looking at the radio in person before buying... Most of the time you'd be okay buying used online, but it just seems more risky than I'm willing to bet (for a $300-$500 radio, etc)...

P.S. -- I got my dualband HT (Yaesu FT-530) used from a local ham shop, and it works just fine. So, I'm definately all up for buying used what you can, but just be careful about it or else you'll get burned....
KD5DYT here!

great bunch of hams here in SW Oklahoma and Western North Texas.
The SWIRA repeater system got lots of recognition for May 3rd, 1999 traffic.
The IC-208H looks interesting, but does it have cross-band repeat capability? If you are going to get dual-band you might as well get all the capability you can. With crossband repeat capability you can also buy a UHF handheld, and take full advantage of this capability. Take your handheld into rest stops with you and keep in touch via the higher power longer range radio in the car.
Great discussions on ham radios. I am also looking for a first radio. I would buy a mobile but I chase using rental cars. I can't install a mobile therefore I'm stuck using a hand-held. Anybody rigged a portable set-up using a mobile radio?

Besides dual band which other features are important?

Bill Hark
I've been using a Yeasu FT-1500 mobile rig for about a year now; and while it does take some time to learn the bells and whistles... it's a valuable piece of communications equipment (second to the cell phone); ecspecially while caravaning with another vehicle.


Yes you can set up a portable mobile, when you check your rental car out look at the owners/users manual. and see what you have available for a power source, try not to use the "cigar lighter) instead try to use accessory outlets, most newer cars have them. Check the manual for the maximun amp load that is available from them. For most modern radios you will need between 15-20 amps available. Alternatively you can buy/build a portable power supply using gel cells or VRLAs. with the appropriate power side connector as a standard most hams use power poles it is a ARES RACES standard available here:
and many other sources. Then you need to get a good magnetic antenna,
for 2 meters alone about $50-$70 dual band may be higher.
for the best pricing I have found so far.

Edited to add new finds.
this "case" looks interesting for a rental car chaser and this also:
I would look closely at the Power Port 312. for ental car needs.
No ham license here yet, but it's #1 on the To-Do list when oppertunity meets financing.
ham radio

i have been a ham since 2001 and in the E.TX Skywarn program for the last ten years.Since my car has an Davis weather station hooked up to my car,i can relay critical info via ham an help with the warnings quicker and confirm what Noaa is seeing on radar in Shreveport.
KG4YMB here.
I became a licenced ham operator on Feburary 14, 2003 and loved the hobby. I was interested in Ham radio in late 1997 and decided that I wanted to be tested in december 2002. I finally took the test on Feburary 10, 2003 after weeks after passing the advanced skywarn class.

I took the qrz practice tests for my studies along with the FCC book. I recommend that if you become a ham or upgrading, get the gordon west series. I was recommended by a fellow ham in my area. The book shows you the answer and the reason why it was the right answers.

If you need more info or questions about the books, please IM me either AIM or Yahoo: wxshoen

Hey all,
I got my Ham Ticket in 2001 just for chasing, but got so bitten by the bug that I have an HF/VHF/UHF rig in the pickup, and a rig in the house. I love both hobbies!

(Sorry I don't remember who) If your looking for a really good, but kind of expensive dual-band antenna, look at the Diamond SG-7900A. It costs about $115, but has the highest gain of any mobile dual-bander I've seen. Just don't be too impressed by the gain figures, most manufacturers base gain on an "isotropic radiator" which is essentially fantsy. But it blows away any 1/4 wave antenna. It's a brute at 62.5 inches, and heavy, so you'll want to make sure it's mounted solidly, no mag mount for this baby. What the long length gives you is not only gain (more of your signal directed at the horizon instead of up to the sky), but the additional "capture area" over a 1/4 wave means you'll hear weak signals more intelligibly, which will make all the difference out in the field.