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Old 04-04-2020, 01:59 AM
sixtus sixtus is offline
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As others above said

Sat Phone pros, convenient, small, no training to use, can usually dial into mobile networks and recieve easily, very handy for remote, international, disasters that arent shutting down all infrastructure.
Cons, costs to call, need to check what your coverage is( for example Thuraya is the best for my location but no good for the US), if major infastructure fails, which also includes the ground staff maintaining the hardware, the sat phone is useless.

Ham/HF. Bigger setups, some training to learn. Pro's, it will always run as long as someone else has a radio. The worlds military uses HF as a last resort backup for complete catastrophes. Nuclear war wipes out 99% of everything.....HAM radio guys can still be on the air.

In Australia I ended up opting for a bit of both. I got a satellite phone which works well for my region. And I also had HF installed in my 4x4. Mobile and high power/backup comms should I need it.
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:07 AM
DanielKaplan DanielKaplan is offline
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Sat Phone vs. Ham Radio? Ham wins hands down.
Sat phone vs. Baofeng? More of a level playing field.

But yes, they're different tools. Sat phone would be great for a medical emergency in the back country. Ie. there's someone to call who has a working phone and presumably resources to get to you. I suppose if you have a buddy with access to great information, too.
VHF Ham radio will get you local comms with other people who are licensed. Is whoever you want to talk to going to get licensed? My whole family is so it's not a problem. But most people can't be bothered to take an easy test when all the answers are public record. Then there's some skill and a lot of knowledge to make ham radio useful. A friend of mine got a baofeng and we were unable to communicate one mile with stock antennas. With a j-pole on my end we had passable communication. But you have to know that you need an antenna. Sort of like a gun. You won't know that your gun needs magazines if you never use it. Yes, antennas, power supplies, TNCs, (programming cables for baofengs,) and other gear is just as essential to radio as magazines to a gun. With my mobile rig and a good antenna, even without repeaters, I can talk to people all over town. But there's a learning curve so you're going to have to invest some time to try everything out.

HF ham radio would be great for an extended disaster since that would let you also monitor shortwave bands and wider-area communications. This area requires a much steeper learning curve than VHF/UHF, another test or two, and more expensive equipment.

I'm not sure how expensive sat phones are but I bet they're cheaper, even with service, than really getting into ham radio. If you have the know-how to build antennas you can maybe cut the ham bill in half, though you'll need a meter to test the antennas.

YMMV
DK
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