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Hey all. I am brand new to HAM and other forms of commo. I've used a walkie-talkie, and that's about it. I'm networking with some family members to have communication options for (fill in the blank) emergencies, in the event that cell services were to be unavailable.

I have been researching two way radios, and have come across the BaoFeng UV-5R and the Wouxun KG-UV2D as possible good options. I can get the BaoFeng for $40, and the Wouxun for $99. Why should I buy one over the other, and are there better options for $100 or less? I know both these radios have been discussed before, but I want to understand what I'm looking at when I read the spec sheets (it might as well be a foreign language), and what those mean practically. I don't have my heart set on either one, but let me lay out the following information to take into consideration:

  • Needs to have communication capabilities 30+ miles
  • Needs to be simple to operate once set up
  • Needs to be able to funciton with all kinds of devices (walkie-talkie, GMRS, CB, MURS, Marine, emergency alerts, etc)
  • Needs to have a best price of $100 or less (meaning that it might be more somewhere else, but I can find it for $100 or less)
  • Needs to be rugged and dependable
  • Needs to have highest audio quality and function for the price

It would be nice to have the following:

  • Waterproof
  • Ability to encrypt conversations (I know that neither one of these have that)
  • Way to name the channels rather than having to memorize the numbers

Are there any other features I should be looking for?

The reason for this post is because I don't know anything about specs or the jargon. I will be getting HAM certified, but I learn best by getting my hands on something.

If you are knowledgeable, please compare and contrast these two devices, explaining the pros and cons rather than simple personal preference. Feel free to share personal preference as well if you have real world experience with both.

Also, feel free to make other recommendations, but please do so in a compare/contrast/pros/cons manner so that I can clearly understand why I should choose the other option beyond a simple "I like mine better." If there is an option that is so much massively better but is just over $100 feel free to share, but it should be pretty close to that price. We're going to be buying a few of em, so need to keep costs reasonable.

In your pros/cons explanation, please assume I have to share the info/make a sales pitch to the other members of my group who know absolutely nothing about comms.

I'm looking to make an informed decision within the next few weeks.

Thanks!
 

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OneNationGoingUnder(ONGU)
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  • Needs to have communication capabilities 30+ miles
  • Needs to be simple to operate once set up
  • Needs to be able to funciton with all kinds of devices (walkie-talkie, GMRS, CB, MURS, Marine, emergency alerts, etc)
  • Needs to have a best price of $100 or less (meaning that it might be more somewhere else, but I can find it for $100 or less)
  • Needs to be rugged and dependable
  • Needs to have highest audio quality and function for the price
I've got the Baofeng UV-5R and really like it but...

  • It won't reach 30 miles without a repeater. Simplex, maybe 2-3, maybe 4 miles if you are lucky.
  • It has a learning curve but not bad after set up.
  • It will function on most those but not legally, it is a commercial radio used also for Ham.
  • Price is excellent!
  • Not sure about rugged or dependable but seems ok
  • Come on, it's a $40 radio!

From what I have read, the Wouxun are a little better quality but not enough to justify the higher price in my view. There is a Baofeng UV-B5 for around $50 if you can find them in country, sounds like it makes up any quality gap between it and the Wouxun.

Just reading your post, and please don't take offense, you don't know enough about what any of these radio do or how they work to be planning a purchase. Go get your Technician Class ham radio license like you mentioned. It isn't that hard and you'll be much better informed to make a solid choice with just a couple weeks of studying.

For example, these are both dual band (2m and 70cm) radios. For $100 you can get an Icom or Yaesu single band radio. Will that meet your needs or do you really need dual band?

I was where you are 30 days ago, I'm still a newbie but I'm way ahead of where my knowledge was before.

Good luck!
 

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The Chinese radios (Wouxon, Baofeng) are hard for beginners to program unless you get the software and interface cable. Before you buy anything check out the Yaesu FT-60 handheld radio. Lot more simple to program by hand and a better radio than the others.
For what you want, you probably need a 50W mobile radio and a outside antenna. You can run these radios off a power supply or a battery.

Got to www.ARRL.org and find the link to Ham clubs in your area and I recommend you find out when the meetings are, go to a couple, even join the club and these guys will take you under their wing and show you different radios and probably let you try theirs to see what you want/need.
 

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Tabbed: "Regular Guy"
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my Wox is V/UHF and has been to the field MANY TIMES, in the hot and the wet... Never failed me yet!

So far, 90% of the time... Ive been able to ker-chunk an amature repeater... but NOT have cell phone service

Ive called CQ CQ for a H & W Lima Lima (Health & Welfare Land Line: Telephone call), and got a fellow ham to call home and let the wife know Im A-OK. I am 46, so I figure I should try to let her know, if I can...

Ive no experience with to Boa so I cannot comment but I have been MORE THAN PLEASED with my Wox, and with the software and programming cable, its a snap!!

I also have several "other" channels programmed in, I can contact almost any agency in VA if needed, but that type of comms is strictly reserved for real world EMERGENCIES, and only under those circumstances.


HTH,
EB
 

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As usual, and no offense intended, just stating a fact, the less you know about something the more you think miracles are possible from it. No handheld radio is going to give you all the things you want. 30 mile range with four watts and a six inch antenna on VHF/UHF? Not unless you're standing on top of a mountain, otherwise not without repeater help or without a very tall and large directive antenna and a lot more power than a handheld can provide. CB freqs AND GMRS/MURS etc? Two very different animals, requiring very different physical constructs. It's either/or, don't believe they have ever been combined in a hand held radio. And, of course, you want it all at the lowest possible price, less than $100 in any case. I have both the Wouxan and the Baofeng. The Wouxan is a bit more radio than the Bao but a beginner won't be able to discern the difference. They are both amazingly capable at their price points. It's not my job to give you a detailed report on why I say this, just start with the Bao. But before you even do that, start with some education about radio and how it all works. You'll find your requirements become more possible to be fulfilled, only not the way you thought.
 

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I THINK ONE KEY POINT IS MISSING.

ITS NOT THE CB RADIO.

YOU CANNOT JUST BUY SOMETHING AND START TRANSMITTING.

IN ORDER TO USE THOSE RADIOS - YOU FIRST HAVE TO OBTAIN A LICENSE FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY. THIS MEANS EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE TO STUDY, TAKE A TEST, PASS A TEST AND EARN A LICENSE.

In an emergency - you cannot rely on the repeaters. PERIOD!

Yes it would be nice to believe that they will still be there, but in all actuality - no two repeater systems are the same, and no two locations are the same, and a walkie talkie is not a magical device that can talk through the side of a mountain.

We often times confuse amateur radio with other things such as cell phones.
With a cell phone - yes it is radio, although it is a closed loop system.
You have a telephone number and every other phone has a telephone number. You have a antenna and every other phone has a antenna.
But there is where it stops.

With amateur radio - there are no guarantee's, because amateur radio repeaters are built by amateurs. Depending upon the situation the amateur has - you might have a repeater that can be heard - hill topping 100 miles away, but normal communications through a normal repeater is about 20 miles in all directions.

A walkie talkie is a very simplistic device. It is a radio receiver, a radio transmitter and a antenna and battery. When the battery is new, the radio listens ok and talks ok as long as you are close enough to what ever you are trying to get into.
Once you loose your clear line of sight, go inside the car or the house or travel through dense trees - all of the line of sight is lost.
UHF is more susceptible to absorption of the signal then VHF - but with just a couple of watts and a dinky little antenna - it is almost hopeless.

There is not a repeater that you will be able to access everywhere you go!
Again - repeaters are mainly built atop tall buildings or on top of large mountains. You don't normally build a repeater in your backyard -= because unless you live at the top of a mountain - it isn't going to talk anywhere and the cost of building a tall tower exceeds the benefits of owning your own repeater.

Many people thinks that this is a form of personal communications - IT IS NOT! If your only reason for getting a amateur radio license is to use it in an emergency - yet you refuse to learn anything or know anything, when the emergency happens - you will find that either there will be no one to talk to. Or if the person on the other end is just like you, there will be no one of any intelligence to talk to.

It takes a large investment to become a ham.
$100 won't even scratch the surface of the investment I made into my equipment. It wouldn't even buy the broken stuff I bought!

To be a ham, you probably need to find a ham in your area - a REAL HAM, not a walkie talkie person, and you need to talk to that person and get some real experience.. Spend some time in their shack and listen and learn.

You will quickly find that the LIDS AND THE KIDS AND THE LOOSERS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO BUYS WALKIE TALKIES.

We just completed a net on two meters on a linked repeater system.
All check in's were welcome.
All you had to do was be able to hit your local linked repeater to participate.
We had two LIDS who were using walkie talkies who couldn't hit a linked repeater system that held the net up for 1/2 an hour and delayed another net an additional half an hour.
They could not hit the repeater from their location, even though they could hear the repeater.
They couldn't understand that it isn't a cell phone, and just because you have service - a strong receivable signal, does not mean that you can hit the repeater. I go through this on a daily basis.
I get so frustrated that I finally have to say - get off the darn walkie talkie, buy yourself a real radio.

I often say - Pull the String a Little Tighter and give it another try.
Just a little lingo from the two tin cans and a string days.

You need at least a 50 watt mobile - You can get a cheap single band mobile Yaesu or kenwood when they are on sale for around $139.00 at Christmas time. The mobile antenna will run you about another $125.00 and the base station antenna will run you another $250 ( coax and antenna and mount) and the power supply will run you about $80.00 at a swap meet - once you add in the price of admission, gasoline and incidentals.

It doesn't make much sense to spend $139.00 on a radio and then spend $250 on a antenna, I know, but this is amateur radio.
If you want to talk - you have to be willing to spend the money.

9/11 - all the communications towers in that part of New York City were atop the world trade center. When the twin towers fell - so did all mobile communications.. No television, no radio, no cell phones, no amateur radio.
NOTHING - PERIOD


The city came in with their mobile equipment - that didn't work any further then line of sight.
A telephone call went out to a friend of mine, they asked, can we use your repeater for our communications and can we put antenna's on your repeater towers. The answer was yes.

The ARRL sent a couple of mobile repeaters, which we set up and operated, we then had communications throughout Manhattan - so it was told by me by this person.

At the same time, the plane that was shot down over Shanksville PA also needed radio assistance.
The Pennsylvania State Police operated a system called Open Sky - which is a digital 850 Mhz system. It did not work!
A call went out to another friend of mine - K3CCC - now WJ8G - they asked, can we use your repeater? The answer was YES!
A number of local hams were called in to the scene and they brought enough state policemen from across the state that they were able to cover the area - practically elbow to elbow for about 20 square acres.

All local communications was carried on through amateur radio for about 2 days until the state was able to get a mobile repeater set up for their ecomms and a mobile cell tower was brought in.

Today in the area near Shanksville / Stoystown - there is 4 G cell phone service!
This is all because of the 9/11 tragedy and the memorial site located at the scene of the disaster.

As a rule, we never do anything right when it comes to communications until it doesn't work when we need it!
Anyone that shut off their home phone and subscribed to Comcast for their telephone can attest to this.
Anyone that shut off their home phone and tried to use a cell phone in Long Island NY last year in Hurricane Sandy can attest to this.

Amateur radio repeaters are built by amateurs.
If there is a true disaster - the repeater will run as long as it has power.
When the battery dies. or the generator runs out of fuel, the repeater will quit. There is no set delivery schedule for a repeater site in a emergency.
There is no one except the repeater owner that is going to try to get to the site with a bull dozer or a chain saw or a snow machine or a helicopter to try to repair the repeater.

Coming from the communications field, and working in communications for 20 years, I can tell you that even the television stations in my area have a hard time getting to the transmitter site when the weather is bad.
We had one storm where the snow was drifted 24 feet high and it took a couple of Cat 992C loaders 3 days to dig their way to the transmitter working around the clock.
The amateur radio repeater was atop the very same transmitter tower.

Forget about walkie talkies and repeaters...

All emergency communications needs to be done in simplex.

If it means buying cb radios and antenna's so each family member can have their own radio - then so be it.
But you aren't going to get everyone to study, take a test, pass a test and get a license and buy a real amateur radio.

With my family, I might as well send smoke signals!
 

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OneNationGoingUnder(ONGU)
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88 Posts
You will quickly find that the LIDS AND THE KIDS AND THE LOOSERS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO BUYS WALKIE TALKIES.

We just completed a net on two meters on a linked repeater system.
All check in's were welcome.
All you had to do was be able to hit your local linked repeater to participate.
We had two LIDS who were using walkie talkies who couldn't hit a linked repeater system that held the net up for 1/2 an hour and delayed another net an additional half an hour.
They could not hit the repeater from their location, even though they could hear the repeater.
They couldn't understand that it isn't a cell phone, and just because you have service - a strong receivable signal, does not mean that you can hit the repeater. I go through this on a daily basis.
I get so frustrated that I finally have to say - get off the darn walkie talkie, buy yourself a real radio.
It is a shame you are having such bad experiences but I don't agree with your assessment. I just got my license a little over a week ago. My first radio is the little Baofeng UV-5R. With my 4 watts and little stubby antenna I can successfully and strongly hit a repeater just over 3 1/2 miles away. Impressive, no not really. Useless, certainly not. I understand it has limitations. I had a simplex chat with a buddy of mine tonight. He on his couch, me on the porch. A little over a half mile away and it was like he was sitting next to me. I moved inside and down to the basement and the quality dropped quickly. We could still reliably communicate but it was scratchy. I realize inside the house is a barrier, a limitation. I would never try to hit that repeater without going outside unless I had no other choice. Part of the reason my friend and I both jumped into this a month ago was because we could get in so cheap and simply. We understand we are just scratching the surface but we are successfully and responsibility communicating just fine with the cheap Chinese "walkie-talkies".

We both plan to start studying for General soon and will test early July. Neither of us is sure how far we will get into this hobby but if we never buy another radio, we both have far better emergency communications than we did before and I don't think either of us will regret taking this first step with a couple cheap HTs.
 

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+1 what jeepdriver said. 30+ miles, even with a long aftermarket antenna, is not possible except for a guy transmitting from the top of a mountain to another guy out on another mountain top or way out in the prairie. And CB is more of a HF than a VHF application.

You can get a $48 Baofeng UV-5R, add a $15 programming cable, add some free CHIRP software, and program in some FRS frequencies (I believe channels 8-14 are no-license-required UHF channels) which, with a $15 long-ish antenna, will let you talk a goodly long line-of-sight distance. So for $150 you can have a pair of fairly flexible radios.

But what everyone else says is true - without the baseline knowledge that comes with study and a test, plus the "elmers" you will meet along the way, you might as well buy a pair of $25 Wal-Mart FRS radios and stop pretending there's a better way. Even expensive radios (e.g. a mobile that is capable of HF, VHF and UHF, with appropriate antennas) are useless without the 'nut behind the stock', to mix a metaphor.
 

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Your going to deep to pair down your list a bit.


Needs to have communication capabilities 30+ miles, Unless you use a repeater a typical handheld to handheld radio is going to be just a few miles, regardless of make,model or frequency.

Needs to be simple to operate once set up. This is a relative term, Once you understand the programming mind set for the radio it will be simple.

Needs to be able to funciton with all kinds of devices (walkie-talkie, GMRS, CB, MURS, Marine, emergency alerts, etc) There is NO commercial radio that will meet these needs. Each radio service has its own rules and many will not allow cross service operations.



Needs to have a best price of $100 or less. You get what you pay for....

Needs to be rugged and dependable, Your under $100 pretty much rules this out.

Needs to have highest audio quality and function for the price, YOu get communication grade audio, cheap little speaker is going to give you cheap little sound.


Waterproof, Not on your $100 budget.. Double the budget and you can get there.

Ability to encrypt conversations, Not legal on most of the radio services you have mentioned.


Way to name the channels rather than having to memorize the numbers, Most new radio's now have that option.
 

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One other option is the Puxing 888k, it is around $85 and has all the features of the Baofeng but also has scrambling and encryption. I am new to comms, but this is what our unit uses.
 

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Molon Rabe
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I THINK ONE KEY POINT IS MISSING.

ITS NOT THE CB RADIO.

YOU CANNOT JUST BUY SOMETHING AND START TRANSMITTING.

IN ORDER TO USE THOSE RADIOS - YOU FIRST HAVE TO OBTAIN A LICENSE FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY. THIS MEANS EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE TO STUDY, TAKE A TEST, PASS A TEST AND EARN A LICENSE.

In an emergency - you cannot rely on the repeaters. PERIOD!

Yes it would be nice to believe that they will still be there, but in all actuality - no two repeater systems are the same, and no two locations are the same, and a walkie talkie is not a magical device that can talk through the side of a mountain.

We often times confuse amateur radio with other things such as cell phones.
With a cell phone - yes it is radio, although it is a closed loop system.
You have a telephone number and every other phone has a telephone number. You have a antenna and every other phone has a antenna.
But there is where it stops.

With amateur radio - there are no guarantee's, because amateur radio repeaters are built by amateurs. Depending upon the situation the amateur has - you might have a repeater that can be heard - hill topping 100 miles away, but normal communications through a normal repeater is about 20 miles in all directions.

A walkie talkie is a very simplistic device. It is a radio receiver, a radio transmitter and a antenna and battery. When the battery is new, the radio listens ok and talks ok as long as you are close enough to what ever you are trying to get into.
Once you loose your clear line of sight, go inside the car or the house or travel through dense trees - all of the line of sight is lost.
UHF is more susceptible to absorption of the signal then VHF - but with just a couple of watts and a dinky little antenna - it is almost hopeless.

There is not a repeater that you will be able to access everywhere you go!
Again - repeaters are mainly built atop tall buildings or on top of large mountains. You don't normally build a repeater in your backyard -= because unless you live at the top of a mountain - it isn't going to talk anywhere and the cost of building a tall tower exceeds the benefits of owning your own repeater.

Many people thinks that this is a form of personal communications - IT IS NOT! If your only reason for getting a amateur radio license is to use it in an emergency - yet you refuse to learn anything or know anything, when the emergency happens - you will find that either there will be no one to talk to. Or if the person on the other end is just like you, there will be no one of any intelligence to talk to.

It takes a large investment to become a ham.
$100 won't even scratch the surface of the investment I made into my equipment. It wouldn't even buy the broken stuff I bought!

To be a ham, you probably need to find a ham in your area - a REAL HAM, not a walkie talkie person, and you need to talk to that person and get some real experience.. Spend some time in their shack and listen and learn.

You will quickly find that the LIDS AND THE KIDS AND THE LOOSERS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO BUYS WALKIE TALKIES.

We just completed a net on two meters on a linked repeater system.
All check in's were welcome.
All you had to do was be able to hit your local linked repeater to participate.
We had two LIDS who were using walkie talkies who couldn't hit a linked repeater system that held the net up for 1/2 an hour and delayed another net an additional half an hour.
They could not hit the repeater from their location, even though they could hear the repeater.
They couldn't understand that it isn't a cell phone, and just because you have service - a strong receivable signal, does not mean that you can hit the repeater. I go through this on a daily basis.
I get so frustrated that I finally have to say - get off the darn walkie talkie, buy yourself a real radio.

I often say - Pull the String a Little Tighter and give it another try.
Just a little lingo from the two tin cans and a string days.

You need at least a 50 watt mobile - You can get a cheap single band mobile Yaesu or kenwood when they are on sale for around $139.00 at Christmas time. The mobile antenna will run you about another $125.00 and the base station antenna will run you another $250 ( coax and antenna and mount) and the power supply will run you about $80.00 at a swap meet - once you add in the price of admission, gasoline and incidentals.

It doesn't make much sense to spend $139.00 on a radio and then spend $250 on a antenna, I know, but this is amateur radio.
If you want to talk - you have to be willing to spend the money.

9/11 - all the communications towers in that part of New York City were atop the world trade center. When the twin towers fell - so did all mobile communications.. No television, no radio, no cell phones, no amateur radio.
NOTHING - PERIOD


The city came in with their mobile equipment - that didn't work any further then line of sight.
A telephone call went out to a friend of mine, they asked, can we use your repeater for our communications and can we put antenna's on your repeater towers. The answer was yes.

The ARRL sent a couple of mobile repeaters, which we set up and operated, we then had communications throughout Manhattan - so it was told by me by this person.

At the same time, the plane that was shot down over Shanksville PA also needed radio assistance.
The Pennsylvania State Police operated a system called Open Sky - which is a digital 850 Mhz system. It did not work!
A call went out to another friend of mine - K3CCC - now WJ8G - they asked, can we use your repeater? The answer was YES!
A number of local hams were called in to the scene and they brought enough state policemen from across the state that they were able to cover the area - practically elbow to elbow for about 20 square acres.

All local communications was carried on through amateur radio for about 2 days until the state was able to get a mobile repeater set up for their ecomms and a mobile cell tower was brought in.

Today in the area near Shanksville / Stoystown - there is 4 G cell phone service!
This is all because of the 9/11 tragedy and the memorial site located at the scene of the disaster.

As a rule, we never do anything right when it comes to communications until it doesn't work when we need it!
Anyone that shut off their home phone and subscribed to Comcast for their telephone can attest to this.
Anyone that shut off their home phone and tried to use a cell phone in Long Island NY last year in Hurricane Sandy can attest to this.

Amateur radio repeaters are built by amateurs.
If there is a true disaster - the repeater will run as long as it has power.
When the battery dies. or the generator runs out of fuel, the repeater will quit. There is no set delivery schedule for a repeater site in a emergency.
There is no one except the repeater owner that is going to try to get to the site with a bull dozer or a chain saw or a snow machine or a helicopter to try to repair the repeater.

Coming from the communications field, and working in communications for 20 years, I can tell you that even the television stations in my area have a hard time getting to the transmitter site when the weather is bad.
We had one storm where the snow was drifted 24 feet high and it took a couple of Cat 992C loaders 3 days to dig their way to the transmitter working around the clock.
The amateur radio repeater was atop the very same transmitter tower.

Forget about walkie talkies and repeaters...

All emergency communications needs to be done in simplex.

If it means buying cb radios and antenna's so each family member can have their own radio - then so be it.
But you aren't going to get everyone to study, take a test, pass a test and get a license and buy a real amateur radio.

With my family, I might as well send smoke signals!
Well here goes Mr Ham Radio Expert again, droning on and on about ...WHAT, exactly? Why in the HELL cant you just give a SIMPLE explanation, instead of writing a novelette? Better yet, remember this...this forum is a PREPPER forum, NOT a ham forum. You hate certain types of radios and not every swinging richard wants to spend the thousands and thousand of dollars you have spent...all you know how to do is ridicule with your seriously abrasive retorts. Last time I checked, you are NOT the ham radio police. Back the hell off and leave, please. And trust me when I say this, Im not the only one in this forum with the same opinion of you. Have a great day there, RamboRadioExpert.
 

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I THINK ONE KEY POINT IS MISSING.

ITS NOT THE CB RADIO.

YOU CANNOT JUST BUY SOMETHING AND START TRANSMITTING.

IN ORDER TO USE THOSE RADIOS - YOU FIRST HAVE TO OBTAIN A LICENSE FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY. THIS MEANS EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE TO STUDY, TAKE A TEST, PASS A TEST AND EARN A LICENSE.

Sorry, but I can. I'm a sovereign citizen of this country I reject you and governments phony attempts to regulate me specifically based on the

1st amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

10th amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


wake up to the illusion you have been fed!:D:
 

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Sorry, but I can. I'm a sovereign citizen of this country I reject you and governments phony attempts to regulate me specifically based on the

1st amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

10th amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


wake up to the illusion you have been fed!:D:
I understand, and agree with, what these two amendments state, but what will you do when the FCC slaps you with a $10,000 fine for transmitting without a license?
 

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Actually, CBS had amateur radio towers on top of another skyscraper (WA2CBS). I spoke to one of the engineers with CBS just last night as we were discussing EmComm in our local ham group. CBS actually gave their reporters ham radios, and they used them, without a license, for the 3 days after 9/11 when no one could get anywhere and nothing else worked (no commercial radios, as they were all on the WTC buildings) and most cell networks were down. After a week or two, the VP of Engineering for CBS sent a letter to the FCC fessing up that they had violated regs, did it knowingly, for commercial gain, because they felt that in the emergency they needed to get information in and then back out to the "people". The FCC gave them a pass - in a life-threatening emergency, anything can be allowed so long as it's reasonable.

So no, during 9/11 not all repeaters went down, and I personally talked to a guy who was involved. That said, you shouldn't assume any repeaters will be up during an incident, but without repeaters most hams will have to use their mobile units and drive to the tops of hills to get decent coverage.
 

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Prophet
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I have owned my wouxun for about 2 years, and am quite pleased with it. :)




I also got the duel battery drop in charger, hand mike, an a few other goodies pretty cheap. when you can buy spare batteries for $25, why buy an expensive brand like kenwood? i'll stick to my wouxun, thank you.:D:

at under $100. this is a great duel band HT.:D:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the input everyone. I realize that I really need to learn more, and I plan to. This is just a jumping off point for me. My reason for asking about radios is that I would like at least a baseline of information from others with more experience than myself before I spend money on something. Sounds like I may need to adjust my expectations for performance. Keep the input coming.

Plus, though I know there are people who live and breath this stuff, that isn't really my interest. I want to know enough and be equipped enough that I have communication options in an emergency, but don't really have the time, money, or interest to become an enthusiast.
 

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Constitutional Peasant
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552 Posts
Milspec frequency agile gear is your best bet! Nothing jap made, or cheap mail order will last for long. ;)
Define "long"? My Yaesu VX1 works fine after, gosh, almost 20 years of using it daily, including ARES work like the floods of '97 in rain so harsh I had trouble breathing in it (cross-banding to a mobile rig). (I've had to rebuild the battery numerous times 'cause they're all but impossible to get anymore).

The little Puxing POS we've sent to the edge of space a couple dozen times, in 200mph winds and temperatures colder than anywhere on earth, in a near vacuum, over the last two years. Once we had a catastrophic failure in recovery and it hit the desert floor at over 100mph. (inside a carbon fiber and foam capsule) - it's still fine, although the display is totaled and unreadable. We still fly it since there's no one up there to read the display anyway.

Don't underestimate the "Jap made" since the Icom's are frequently used by the police, fire, and military. That's my favorite, but it's heavy as a brick.

[as an aside: at 120kft AGL, you can hear our little 0.25 watt UHF beacon over several states, hundreds of miles ;) ]
 

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Constitutional Peasant
Joined
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552 Posts
Are any of these cheap knock-off companies making any low-cost high-power mobile rigs, or just HTs? Anyone know?
 
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