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Old 04-22-2009, 09:47 AM
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Default FCC license to use walkie talkies?



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I came across some radios I'm looking to buy on amazon. One 1 particular page it says I need an FCC license to operate these. Can someone shed some light on how this works and how I would go about getting one (or if I can go "under the radar")?
Old 04-23-2009, 12:25 AM
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GMRS or Shortwave/Ham? Both need a license depending on which.

Quote:
or if I can go "under the radar"
It's illegal and you could end up in GITMO. If TSHTF, it don't matter. Any means of communication is permissible/legal in an emergency.
Old 04-23-2009, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlz View Post
I came across some radios I'm looking to buy on amazon. One 1 particular page it says I need an FCC license to operate these. Can someone shed some light on how this works and how I would go about getting one (or if I can go "under the radar")?
What frequency are they?
Old 04-23-2009, 12:53 AM
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http://www1.epinions.com/prices/Audi..._Two_Way_Radio

Get these radios probably the best for the money. They work great and have built in hand crank with LED light.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:37 PM
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I bought some midlands and the work great on GMRS,we can usually talk anout 4 miles mobile to mobile,and 10 mi base to mobile. I got the license. Just to give you an idea on actual range ,these are rated at 20 miles. but here in the brush and trees I think we are doing pretty good.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:42 PM
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GMRS Though I've been considering getting a HAM radio just in case.

EDIT: These are what I'm looking at. What do you guys think?

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Old 04-23-2009, 08:25 PM
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HAM radios are very useful. My dad and my brother have a HAM license, although I haven't gotten one yet. You can get a whole bunch of range on a HAM radio, especially if you can hit a repeater, which will expand your range even more. They can get to be a bit expensive though, depending on your budget. My dad has a 300 dollar one, minus the better antenna he got, and other things too. There are cheaper ones out there though, they don't get as much range, though, I do believe. I'm no expert on them yet.
Old 04-24-2009, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlz View Post
GMRS Though I've been considering getting a HAM radio just in case.

EDIT: Amazon.com: Midland Outfitter Series GXT950VP4 5 Watt 42 Channel 30-Mile Waterproof GMRS with NOAA All Hazard /Weather Alert and Direct Call, Mossy Oak Break Up Camo, Pair: Electronics These are what I'm looking at. What do you guys think?
Similar to the ones I use,I recommend Midland, As far as hams go,if your talking about shtf situations,how many hams are gonna be able to keep operating from a fixed base,how many repeaters are gonna be operating? I have used 50 and 100 watt UHF and VHF radios on mobile to mobile freqs and could talk a bit further than I can on GMRS. We use 100 watt motorolas in our fire dept,at $1200 each,without being on our repeater we can talk mobile to mobile about 6 miles and still understand each other,and our mobile antennas are on top of some pretty tall vehicles. base to mobile about 10-15 miles,without the repeater,70mi with repeater. I can't see ham being much different without some special antenna. In our county,the few hams that are here,are a bit squirlly. We have tried to bring them into emergency planning,but they seemed clickish and tried to take over from the folks in charge,sort of their way or nothing. May just be our area, but no thanks on ham. Anyway,as far as I am concerned,for the money,GMRS is the way to go for a SHTF type situation.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:05 AM
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Go with a ham license. It's free and there is an extensive repeater system coast to coast already in place.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:25 AM
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Go with a ham license. It's free and there is an extensive repeater system coast to coast already in place.
In a SHTF scenario,which most folks on here are preparing for,do you think those repeaters will still be up ,running,and being repaired ? I think they are fine for normal times,but without the system in place you will be just mobile to mobile,or if you have a secure location mobile to base.Of course in worse case,our shipments of radios,and batteries from China will be cut off anyway.Maybe we should learn to use smoke signals:God forbid ,what if a time comes where we actually have to be looking at someone to communicate.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:28 PM
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Hmm well I guess I'm really going to have to look at the price before I decide whether to get a HAM or not. I don't really want to spend too much on it. But then again I'm about 20 miles from a major metropolitan area so I'd imagine they'd have people using them.

So Midland is a good brand? Sounds good to me. And yes all this is for SHTF scenarios so I figure i'm going to get the walkie talkies, test them, then just pack them away for when the time comes. Thank you for all your input.
Old 04-24-2009, 11:30 PM
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If you do end up getting a HAM we can talk sometime. I notice you're from Michigan also. I'm getting my license soon. :D
Old 04-25-2009, 08:34 AM
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Hmm flint is a long ways away but hey if the repeaters are in place then we should be able to. If I do get one it probably wont be till June or so. Got alot of bills racking up at the moment.
Old 04-26-2009, 01:26 AM
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How does one obtain a license from the FCC? Is it simple or what? thanks. total newbie.
Old 04-26-2009, 02:46 AM
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How does one obtain a license from the FCC? Is it simple or what? thanks. total newbie.
You might find this post useful.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:18 AM
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Those GRMs radios need a license because they transmit more power than legally allowed w/o a license. Amateur radio is a great choice. HF frequencies can travel the world. VHF frequencies like the 2 meter and 440mhz bands are very common. Also, amateur radio operators provide emergency communications during disasters.

Repeaters are not needed, those band can operate on simplex frequencies. Virtually all ham radio repeaters have an extensive backup system. A large battery bank, solar chargers, or backup generator that periodically turn on to recharge the battery banks. MY local repeater can live close to a month w/o external power with extensive use. Normal use, the solar chargers can keep up. The repeater also goes to a low power mode when the chargers trip or are unpowered.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:30 AM
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As Sailinghudson said, most hams and the repeaters are not newbies to emergency preparedness.

Many have back-up batteries/solar/chargers/etc to keep stations running in the event of an emergency. hams also have a group called ARES or the Amatuer radio emergency service, that helps with communications in times of emergency. yes they try in most communities to work with CD/Fire/etc, but have no problem passing health & welfare traffic/reports on their own.

It's a hobby, all voluntary, non-paid. I run 1-2kw on many frequencies.

73,
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullzero View Post
http://www1.epinions.com/prices/Audi..._Two_Way_Radio

Get these radios probably the best for the money. They work great and have built in hand crank with LED light.
I have these, and while they aren't terrible radios, they aren't as good as advertised. I've only done minimal testing, but I haven't gotten anywhere near the 16 or 18 mile range. At very best I was able to hear the other person at 2 miles away, but that was line of sight with very little in between. In an average urban setting the range seems to be more like 1 mile. I've tried different channels and settings. Yes, they were set to the high power mode.

The built in LED is nice. The hand crank feature is really cool. I purchased an extra set of rechargeable batteries to keep with them. If you have been able to have a conversation at 5 or 10 miles I'd like to hear about it.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:28 PM
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This post belongs in the communications section
Old 04-26-2009, 07:25 PM
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I have these, and while they aren't terrible radios, they aren't as good as advertised. I've only done minimal testing, but I haven't gotten anywhere near the 16 or 18 mile range. At very best I was able to hear the other person at 2 miles away, but that was line of sight with very little in between. In an average urban setting the range seems to be more like 1 mile. I've tried different channels and settings. Yes, they were set to the high power mode.

The built in LED is nice. The hand crank feature is really cool. I purchased an extra set of rechargeable batteries to keep with them. If you have been able to have a conversation at 5 or 10 miles I'd like to hear about it.
That's probably as good as your going to get. Basically what you've described is what can be expected with GMRS radios in general.

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This post belongs in the communications section
I agree.
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