Ordered my first ham radio, what now?

sobi1998

Well-Known
Mar 18, 2016
1,097
83
I ordered a “Baofeng UV-5RTP Two-Way Radio Dual Band VHF UHF FM 8Watt”
It was only $26

I don’t have a license yet and not sure if/when I’d get one. I’m mainly interested in it for emergencies
I’m just curious if anyone out there could enlighten me on the pros of having one. Like what kind of frequencies I could pick up or range of frequencies. I’ve been told this one can’t pick up digital frequencies such as what the police and EMS use.
I’m active in/around Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock areas fyi
I’d rather have a radio and not need it than not have one and need it.


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cycleguy2300

Well-Known
Mar 19, 2010
1,036
113
Austin, Texas
Take the test asap, its cheap, a cinch to pass with a few hours of practice tests and a little reading if your not up to speed on basic radio and electrical theory. Seriously, do a practice test on your phone every time you poop and you could pass the Tech exam no problems in a week.

If you want to listen, get a cheap scanner. It's to easy to accidentally key up on a ham freq with a HT.


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ghostrider45

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
31
18
Central Texas
I ordered a “Baofeng UV-5RTP Two-Way Radio Dual Band VHF UHF FM 8Watt”
It was only $26

I don’t have a license yet and not sure if/when I’d get one. I’m mainly interested in it for emergencies
I’m just curious if anyone out there could enlighten me on the pros of having one. Like what kind of frequencies I could pick up or range of frequencies. I’ve been told this one can’t pick up digital frequencies such as what the police and EMS use.
I’m active in/around Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock areas fyi
I’d rather have a radio and not need it than not have one and need it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

so, did you get a license yet?
or do you have more questions?
 

medicmike

New Member
Dec 27, 2020
42
18
Plano
Frequencies are all available on line. For a Baofeng I would recommend getting a programming cable and download CHIRP to load your frequencies. Set up right you can program your radio so it won't transmit on frequencies that you shouldn't.

Definitely get your Tech license. Like Cycleguy and Cobbler said, it's pretty straight forward, you will learn about radio and you can legally use it.

A caveat with these radios, they can be programmed to transmit on prohibited frequencies, they sometimes come out of the box programmed with those frequencies. So don't just pick a random channel and key up. The FCC has NO sense of humor should you accidently interfere with public service traffic (think REALY big fines). Worse than the fines I wouldn't want that on my conscience if it were me.

Should you chose to get licensed and go down the ham radio rabbit hole feel free to reach out. There are good resources here and elsewhere that would be happy to share in the addiction! :)
 

ghostrider45

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
31
18
Central Texas
I recommend looking at the list of 'supported' radios on the Chirp website before buying a first radio (I think almost all Baofeng radios are supported):


Chirp is open source (free to download/install) and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.
 

TundraWookiee

Scruffy Nerf Herder
TGT Supporter
Jan 9, 2012
2,699
63
Cedar Park
Been away from the forum for a long time but I've had a couple handhelds for a few years that I mostly have programmed for offroad and Baja frequencies but with everything going on I've also been considering getting licensed. Did yall have specific resources you recommend for studying or practice tests?
 

ghostrider45

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
31
18
Central Texas
Been away from the forum for a long time but I've had a couple handhelds for a few years that I mostly have programmed for offroad and Baja frequencies but with everything going on I've also been considering getting licensed. Did yall have specific resources you recommend for studying or practice tests?
I posted some links here:
https://texasguntalk.com/threads/i-...el-amateur-radio-test-yesterday.102470/page-2

I will probably start a new thread, though.
 

ghostrider45

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
31
18
Central Texas
 
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