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Ham Radio/H.T. Question


I passed my Tech class license awhile ago. I live in an apartment and cannot have an external antenna. Money was tight so I purchased a BaoFeng UV-5R+ dual band hand talkie for my first radio to learn on. I also purchased a Hypario X Nagoya 771 dual band antenna to replace the rubber duck antenna for outdoor use and a magnetic Tram 1185 dual band antenna to use as a base antenna indoors on top of my metal gun cabinet. Does this sound like a good starter setup? I wanted a mobile radio but it was out of my budget until next year. I have repeaters all around me from 10-40 miles away. I hope I can reach them with this little radio. Your thoughts???

I think you've made a fine start, Michael. That little radio gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The antennas are just fine too.

Mounting the Tram on top of your metal gun cabinet sounds ideal. The metal cabinet will act as a counterpoise for that 1/4 wave antenna. You might see if you can ground that cabinet.

Since you are a new ham, here are a couple of things to think about. Antennas are EXTREMELY important. With a $5 radio and a $5000 antenna, you can talk around the world.  With a $5000 radio and a $5 antenna, you can keep your feet warm.

Find a local ham club. There's nothing better than having someone to talk to face to face. Clubs often have cool outings like Field Day, which is coming up this month. I highly recommend that you participate, if you can. It's a major fun event.

Good luck and welcome.

Chris Bushman
Colfax, CA  

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Chris Bushman


I have been an amateur radio operator for about 41 years.


In real life I managed a small motion picture film lab in Hollywood. I've been a fireman, a teacher of English in Okinawa, a personal computer tutor. I am an Advanced Class Ham radio operator using my originally issued callsign WB6EEQ. I have operated for extended periods of time from Okinawa (KR6FX & KR6OP), Texas (K5VXG), and Mississippi (K5TYP). While in the Air Force, I was a Manual Morse Radio Intercept Operator.

BS Zoology, UC Davis

Member, Society of Motion Picture/Television Engineers - Member, American Radio Relay League - Member, Quarter Century Wireless Assn. - President, Zen Nippon Airinkai, So Cal Chapter - Member, Maltose Falcons Homebrewing Society - Alumni, American Brewers' Guild

I have held Conditional, General, and Advanced Class Ham radio licenses. Attended UC Davis to study Zoology. Go figure!?

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