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Old 11-10-2012, 08:57 AM
Tammi1007 Tammi1007 is offline
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Default Ham Radio question

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I have been thinking about Ham Radios. I have not done any research. Does anyone have any info on how expensive or difficult it is. I have a seven year old grandson and thought it my be something for him and I could do together.
Old 11-10-2012, 09:25 AM
uncle fester 178 uncle fester 178 is offline
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Go to the communications section ,there are many people and posts that will help you .
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:56 AM
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TKogon TKogon is offline
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The communications section is under "Urban Survival"
Old 11-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Gankom Gankom is offline
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Also a quick trip to google can bring up hundreds of dedicated forums and reviews. Best way to do research is in the right places.

That said Ham radios are awesome and I hope you find all the information you need to get started.
Old 11-10-2012, 02:42 PM
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CPL_BS_88 CPL_BS_88 is offline
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do a google search for HAM cert classes in your area...best thing you can do is get educated then decide for yourself. I will say that anyone that ignores comms is not truly prepped...gathering intel. is at the top of the list when it comes to surviving any sort of drawn out situation.
Old 11-10-2012, 06:41 PM
Scoutmaster316 Scoutmaster316 is offline
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First you need a license. Then you need radios, antennas, and other toys.

You can find a class here:

My wife just took a class (for free) that was taught by volunteers at a local LDS church. You don't have to be a church member to be in the class. They are heavy into prepping and like to help other people.

You will probably need a book or a study guide to pass the test. This is the one they recommended for her class: If you buy one used, make sure that it is the current test pool. The current pool was published July 1, 2010... if the used book is older than that, you won't have current information. The test is updated every 4 years. The old obsolete questions are removed, and new ones are added every time they update the question pool. That's why you don't want a book that is too old.

I also use software to help me study. There are some free ones online at qrz.com or you can pay some $$$ for better stuff. I had really good luck with hamexam.com. It is $30 for all the levels of tests, with free lifetime upgrades.

Study, study, study. Take practice tests over and over and over until you are consistently scoring at least 75%-85%. (You need 75% to pass the real deal.) Ask questions here and at your local ham radio club.

Once you are ready to take the test, go here to find a test session: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-...e-exam-session

You need to show up in person for the test.
Be a little early, and be mentally prepared.
Bring a pencil, a sheet of blank paper, and a plain calculator (not programmable).
Bring photo ID.
Bring $15 in cash. If you plan to fail the test, bring another $15 in cash, if you want to take it again.

The test allows you 2 hours.
You must get 75% correct in order to pass.
It is multiple choice. Your test will have 35 questions.

The good thing about the test is that you have access to the entire test pool - hundreds of questions - before the test. No surprises. Your test will actually have a random selection of 35 questions, out of hundreds, in the pool. If you are really ready to take it, you won't take longer than about 30 minutes.

Once you hand in the test, they grade it right there, and tell you if you've passed. They will process the paperwork with the FCC for you. It will take a week or two for the FCC to turn it around and issue you a license. Then you will get a call sign and you will be able to transmit on technician frequencies.

Then the fun begins. Then you get to buy a radio and start using it...
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:45 PM
Scoutmaster316 Scoutmaster316 is offline
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By the way, my wife just took the test. There was an 8 year old boy and his 9 year old sister there. Their dad helped them study for a couple of months leading up to the test. They both passed. Your 7 year old grandson may have to study for a while, but it can be done.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:47 PM
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You CAN buy a radio and listen without a license...you just are not supposed to transmit. It would be a good idea prep wise to go ahead and get the radio, manuals, and a basic understanding of function then work on your test, that way if something does go down you can still use it. Just remember there are some that get all sorts of butt hurt if your not in their butt fag club and you use 'their' radio freqs.
Old 11-11-2012, 04:23 PM
unit505 unit505 is offline
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As said above, get your radios and equipment. Listen, learn and if you want, go get your license. You can then key up at your station if you chose to do so the day you get your license. The first rule of communications is, "In an emergency, anything goes". Every radio course I've taken starts off with this statement. I've had my license for years and years and have had the pleasure of participating in the effort to save the life of a young child in which the ham radio was the last resort for communicating the needs of the child. A severe storm had knocked out the radio/cell site for a small hospital in Arkansas and the kid needed to be flown out to a children's hospital. Thank God, this small hospital had an old radio room with a ham radio hooked up and working off of a mag mount antenna in a window and a security guard with enough sense to try it.

It's very, very rare to encounter a true Emergency on US Soil where the Ham Radio will be your only source of communication, but it can happen. The only reason we were able to help this kid was that the moon and sun and all of this kid's angels were lined up right for this security guard to hit our repeater. Given the distance, we could have done the same thing with a couple of properly setup cb radios. I haven't talked on the ham radio in 8 years, but it's there if needed and I keep my license current. During a SHTF scenario, a license won't matter, but the basic operation will. Anyone using a ham radio call sign during a SHTF scenario would be an idiot considering it's the easiest form of identification in the world. If internet access is possible, it takes two seconds to look up someones call sign and get their current address and phone number. Just my 2 cents, but I don't like to sit around and talk all night on a radio anymore. Between the internet and cell phone, we can almost talk to the good lord himself with our technology. If either one goes dead, I've got a great scanner and short wave receiver to keep up with the latest happenings. There is even "an app for that" where you can talk on certain ham radio frequencies and/or repeaters through your smart phone with no ham radio in sight. So technically, you don't even need a ham radio for everyday chit chat over the airwaves.
Old 11-12-2012, 07:30 PM
Tatertit Tatertit is offline
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i was wandering the same thing
Old 11-13-2012, 06:54 PM
JaniceK JaniceK is offline
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Yet another advantage of getting involved in ham radio -- becoming active in your local ham radio club! Generally these folks are DIY types who are walking encyclopedias on how to do all sorts of useful things, and are very willing to share what they have learned.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:33 PM
bamarebel bamarebel is offline
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Default Go for broke!

While you are studying for your technician license, might as well go ahead and study for your general license as well. Technician is really a walk in the park but the bands and frequencies you get are limited. When you get your general license, it will open up more communications possibilities. Think of technician as being on a leash only 15-20 miles long. General will be be like being unleashed all over the world. Even with mere wire antennas, you can talk coast to coast, into Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas. With my wire antenna and 100 watts (the power of a light bulb), I have worked (contacted) stations in over 40 countries. It doesn't cost any more money to take both tests in the same sitting. The tests are usually given in the order from lowest to highest. Many people have walked into a test session with no license and walked out a couple hours later as an Amateur Extra Class (the highest level).
Old 11-14-2012, 03:22 PM
RiveraRa RiveraRa is offline
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I went to the library and found a book for the Technician test (the first level of ham radio licenses). I got the book just to learn a little more about the hobby and see how hard it would be. Between that book and the practice tests on qrz.com I passed my test shortly after. Did the same thing when I upgraded my license to General.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:19 PM
technoprepper technoprepper is offline
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7 is a bit young for most kids unless they are particularly bright. Getting a license at 8 is considered extraordinary and likely to get national coverage. Youngest extra I have been able to find is one girl, KD7TYN, who was 5 for tech, 6 for general, and 7 for extra. However there are reports of one other 5 year old tech and even two 4 year olds and one other 6yo general. http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-36748.html

On the other hand, getting kids started on practical skills at as young an age as possible can be very beneficial. And while you don't want to set the kid up to fail, low expectations can also be limiting.


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