Originally Posted by CO Hunter
Thanks for the feedback guys. I realize by purchasing only one radio there will be compromises. I just can't justify getting HT, mobile and base right off the bat. Has anyone tried using an HT at home with an amp an antenna more suited for a base e.g., J pole? Passing the test almost seems like the easy part as compared to shopping and setting up a rig.
Not sure you need all 3 right off the bat, that is for sure. Unless of course you're planning to sit at home in your tighty whities and do a lot of rag chewing
Maybe Hulk will chime in but I know he installed an external antenna that he can connect up to his HT at home...Not sure how well that worked out in the end
. I can easily hit the repeater up here in Denver from Littleton with my HT.
You can make a super cheap antenna J-Pole antenna out of some twin lead and misc parts that supposedly works excellent (haven't finished building mine yet
) - LINK
I guess a lot depends on what in the end getting your license will be used more for...Sitting at home rag chewing, contacting far off places around the world, calling for help from the top of a 14er, trail communications, ??
I was perfectly happy with my HT for everything except communication while driving on the road...It is way
to be able to hit the CO Connection repeaters and chat with someone in Grand Junction while sitting in Littleton. The HT just didn't have the power to do that reliably. Having a HT with you in the back country won't guarantee you'll be able to reach someone in an emergency with it either though...But assuming you can make it back to the truck with the mobile rig in case of an emergency might be a mistake as well...
Dave offers good advice that if $$ is an object, you don't have to buy the fanciest stuff to start. If you've done some searching you've probably figured out that HAM equipment tends to hold its value pretty good.