Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Bad Azz M 60 / Proud MM
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’m seeing more and more threads on communications and the use of ham radios. I would like to offer some advice. Get licensed. If you’re going to communicate with a 2 meter or 70 cm rig you will need to know how to use it. Sure you can read the book that comes with the rig but keep in mind that the book assumes you are a ham and have some basic knowledge of the hobby.

Something else to consider. You need to test you’re communications gear on a regular basis. In order to do that you need a call. Hams have certain protocols or etiquette that we use to communicate, it only takes a second or two to recognize that someone is not licensed. And without a license hams won’t talk to you. Hence you cannot properly check you’re gear.

You can spend just as much time tying to get around the system as it would take you to learn the system. It is not that difficult to get a Technician class license. Go to www.qrz.com find a local club. Talk to the people there, they will guide you in the right direction. There are practice tests at qrz.com, take them till you are constantly scoring 85%. Then take the exam. You’ll do fine and you’ll walk away with some new skill sets that can be used if TSHTF.

Good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,483 Posts
Thnks for the link(s)
I've been meaning to do this for years and never got around to it..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
It is aggravating to me the number of people that throw excuses up as to why they can not get their ham license.

I tell them that if they can spend 15 minutes a day for two weeks, four if you just can not read fast, that you can learn enough to pass the Techncian Class. That will get a person started.

You do not even need a license to buy a decent two meter radio. Lock the PTT and just listen.

It is a very huge mistake to assume that if you just have the equipment, you will be able to use it.

I have learned to listen to conversations to find those that I will be able to contact. Learning about how band conditions react, is something that you really need to experiance. Also trying to communicate with QRB, QRN and QRM is something that also needs to be learned. With QRB you learn that windbags are soon talking to dead air. QRB is when the conditions are changing rapidly and signals fade and come back in. or your hop distance is moving around. Also happens with Sporadic E.

Anyways, I agree, get your license and get on the air now. Trying to learn when you need the stuff is a mistake.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34 Posts
I am a noob to ham radio, but this thread has motivated me to learn. Can someone give me some basics on ham radio as to range of communications and types of equipment needed along with cost, etc...

I am in the San Fernando Valley (Southern California) and I want to establish communications with other friends throughout the US and Canada. What certification level do I need and what frequencies would I need to communicate from Southern California to Texas for example?
 

·
Bad Azz M 60 / Proud MM
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I am a noob to ham radio, but this thread has motivated me to learn. Can someone give me some basics on ham radio as to range of communications and types of equipment needed along with cost, etc...

I am in the San Fernando Valley (Southern California) and I want to establish communications with other friends throughout the US and Canada. What certification level do I need and what frequencies would I need to communicate from Southern California to Texas for example?
Range varies with band conditions, solar activity, and the depth of you're pockets. Long range is through HF, short range is through VHF and UHF.

Some may dispute my depth of pocket comment and say that they have made contacts in Europe, South America and various other far off places with as little as 5 watts and a wire antenna on the HF bands in CW mode. This is true. But if you want to be heard a basic rig with 100 watts out will do just fine. You can do even better with the addition of a linear amplifier. tower, and directional antenna. You can spend thousands easily.

VHF and UHF is typically short range and utilizes repeaters for local communications. Generally up to 35 to 45 miles depending on the system, some may do better. In the simplex mode depending on you're rigs output, band conditions, and terrain you could get 60 to 70 miles or better. I've heard people on 2M from Texas and I'm in Florida, it's a rare occurrence.

You will need to pass Level 1 Technician Class to start, this will allow you privileges on VHF, UHF and limited HF. Next is Level 2 General Class, your privileges will increase on the HF bands and so on with Level 3 Extra Class. You can take all three tests in one sitting if the testing VE's allow it and you are up to it. Most people go in stages. There is a small testing fee.

Study material as well as other information can be had at ARRL.Org. You can also seek the help of a local club, they will be more than happy to help.

These sites can also be useful. QRZ.Com and EHAM.NET. QRZ also offers practice tests that can be very helpful.

These sites will give you a good idea on pricing. The Yaesu FT-450 or the Icom-718 are good entry level rigs, I would recommend the FT-450.

http://www.hamradio.com/

http://www.universal-radio.com/

I would not purchase any equipment until you have a basic understanding of ham radio. There are several manufactures and lots of models to choose from. The best thing you could do is find a club and allow them to show you what is out there.

Keep this in mind, this is not plug and play equipment. You need to know what you are doing. You will especially need to know what you are doing with antennas as they are just as relevant as the rest of you're gear.
 

·
Shuriken snowflake
Joined
·
16,826 Posts
Next advice, if you get licenced, practice!

Got my licence when I was 16, and my knowledge is basically long gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
If my wife can get her tech license just to make me happy then any body can do it.

She hates it and is not technical in any way.
 

·
Bad Azz M 60 / Proud MM
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Whats a good cheap hand held ham radio to buy?
Well, there really not cheap. And I'm not sure if I would want something cheap. By the time you buy a decent HH with a back up battery, charger, and additional antenna you're looking at a couple hundred dollars.

If you're an OP you should already know this. If you're not, I would recommended GMRS.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top