Ham Radio

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mgracia85
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Ham Radio

Anyone do Ham Radio. Been looking into getting into it. Just to get one for me and for my father but I don’t know where to start. I know I have to get a license but don’t know which radio to buy and if my father needs to get a license also.

I love my wife’s toy poodle

jeff51
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If he wants to talk. He’ll need a license.
If nobody else chimes in, your best bet is finding a ham forum.
All thr Best,
Jeff

sb56637
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I’m pretty sure sp5it does:
http://budgetlightforum.com/user/6022

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

MNLegoBoy
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I’m a ham, but dont use it much, for beginners and fairly cheap the Baofeng UV-5R, it is notorious for harmonics, and bad filtering. For 3x the price you can get a Yaesu FT-4XR, it is better on filtering than the UV-5R, and is what I would start with. If you mainly want to do communication a technician license is what you should both need. I used hamstudy.org to study for my test. The test is 35 questions and you have to get 80% or more right, the tech exam mostly focuses on general use, and ones above get into more math things.
How far do you plan to communicate, if its more than 5 miles build yagi antennas for the radios.
If for some reason you are worried about the test, I’m in highschool, and people younger than me have passed, I wish you luck.

Wowtac A1S BSS, Sofirn C8T, Wurkkos WK30, D4s, BLF LT1, Wowtac W1, Some other no names
"You can't be scared of the dark, if there's no dark to be scared of"
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tatasal
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Perhaps the op is referring to SSB (HF) radios, and not VHF/UHF fm radios as you mentioned?

Yaesu, along with Icom, are real good Japanese brands, btw, regardless of the frequency needed.

MNLegoBoy
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I guess they could, but its a bit more expensive, and is recommended to get a general license for HF. Its not out of the question, but I recommend just VHF/UHF for near communication, so i guess it requires a bit more info to tell for sure

Wowtac A1S BSS, Sofirn C8T, Wurkkos WK30, D4s, BLF LT1, Wowtac W1, Some other no names
"You can't be scared of the dark, if there's no dark to be scared of"
-Me (Probably)

hank
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Google “ham cram” and your locality — those are one day sessions, first half devoted to studying the sample questions, and the later half to taking the test.
The large “question pool” is published for study —- that’s the questions and answers from which the exam is taken.
If you’re reading a question pool make sure it’s the current one as they are revised every few years.

Do make the effort to get licensed. You’ll discover just as in the old CB Radio days that there are people out there who have no respect for the license and rules — which is akin to driving on the wrong side of the freeway because there’s less traffic going in your direction.

Meet licensed hams in your area after passing the test and find out which local store is apt to give you good support. Ham Radio Outlet is one good chain.
There are a lot of very cheap radios from China, some of them reliable, some mislabeled, and some that operate outside of the licensed bands, which is not good.

Or, look into GMRS/FRS radios if you only want to communicate with your father over a fairly short range.

FRS is Family Radio System, typically the little walkie-talkie radios sold in pairs in sporting goods stores. Don’t believe the range claims made for those.

GMRS is General Mobile Radio System (intended more for business use), GMRS is a higher powered set of channels in the same range, use of which requires a license but a single license covers the entire family.

You may find that for both ham and GMRS users there are “repeaters” set up in your area. If you go with GMRS buy a repeater-capable model. Those are stations kind of like cell towers that pick your low powered signal up and resend it — very helpful if you’re having trouble being heard.

== N6VSB (ham) and WPTS656 (GMRS)

toddcshoe
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See if you can find a Icom 706MKIIG. Great all around rig. HF up to 440. First HF rig I bought. Still have it. It’s my radio for RTTY and other digital contest. I use a Ten Tec Orion for all my CW work. I don’t do much SSB.

Depending how far your father is away from you will depend on what band would be best. I have a 5/8 wave vertical probably 50 feet in the air for VHF. I am on quite a big hill in my area, almost 1000ft above sea level. I can easily talk to folks on simplex, no repeaters, 35 to 40 miles away.

75/80 meters is a pretty good band for 300 to 700 mile communication at night as long as the band is fairly quiet. Electronic interference in your area will determine your noise level. I’m lucky, I live out in the sticks and don’t have much man made noise.

Find a ham radio club in your area. East Texas and western Louisiana has quite a few clubs. I use to live outside Shreveport. Some really nice guys in that area. Anyway, find a club and go to one of their meetings. Usually held once a month. Introduce yourself. You will start getting more help than you can handle. Hams usually love to get new guys on the air. Most bigger clubs will have VE testing once or twice a month. They will help you get all studied up. It’s not as intimidating as you may think.

Drop me a message if there is anything I can do to help.

Todd
N0KMA

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

virencelights
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I have some Yaesu’s

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raccoon city
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ham_radio

 

2A
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yeah, I do ham radio. Got licensed a decade ago and have been trying to learn more about it.
IMO the internet (while not being the same thing, I know) makes communication easier and more accessible.

Still, wouldn’t want to give up on my trusty Baofeng Smile

sp5it
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sb56637 wrote:
I’m pretty sure sp5it does:
http://budgetlightforum.com/user/6022

Sure I do.
It’s fun, challenging, self educating. So far I have 326 out of 340 countries worked and confirmed.
Some rare entities like Pitcairn, Baker Howland Islands, Ducie, Palmyra, Heard, Navassa, Tromelin and many more.
Started with cheap radio and diy wire antennas. Now running some more advanced antenna systems.

Mike

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

 Anyone offended by my signature please fill Complaint Form. Thank you.

mgracia85
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Thanks for the response guys. Yea I’ve been watching YouTube beginner videos and there is a lot more to it than I ever expected which is fascinating. Unfortunately I don’t know if my HOA will let me put up any kind of different looking antenna. I live in the Houston area so there probably is a lot of interference. I was hoping reaching my dad who lives about 40 miles away would be possible with small radios but looks like it might not. Nevertheless, I don’t wanna give up. I don’t wanna lose contact with him especially during a disaster since Houston is prone to hurricanes. Does the technician test cost a lot of money to take?

I love my wife’s toy poodle

TrueRMS
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40 miles is a bit far for point to point in a metro area but I guarantee Houston has a repeater network setup, you guys should be able to hit that pretty easily. I know warhawkAVG is in Texas and is a ham, he may be able to point you to the best local resources but Idk how active he is here at BLF anymore

Kavin
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I’m getting my certificate (like a licence) soon, err a month or so. Can’t wait to meet all BLF hams.

NorthernHarrier
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You can take tests for free in many areas. If a fee is charged, it isn’t a lot. With the Tech license, you can talk on local repeaters, both in analog modes (2 Meters, 70 Centimeters etc.) and in digital voice modes which will give you access to people around the world if you have a transceiver and local repeaters that can use digital voice protocols such as D-Star, DMR, or System Fusion. There are now many handheld transceivers that can use both analog modes and digital voice modes, but you will need to: 1) find out what modes are available through the repeaters your local club offers; 2) become a member of the local club(s) so you can use their repeaters and pay to help keep them operable; and 3) buy a handheld transceiver that uses the particular analog modes and digital voice protocol(s) you can access over the local repeaters.

It is now legal for those with Technicians licenses to operate on limited portions of the High Frequency (shortwave) spectrum, in addition to the lower frequencies using local repeaters. That will allow you to contact other hams much farther away from you through direct transmissions (no repeaters involved), because radio waves with higher frequencies can go a lot farther.

If and when you upgrade your license to General Class, you get access to most of the high frequency spectrum bands that are reserved for amateur radio – so you can really focus on shortwave communications and making contacts with people in other countries and in other states, if you wish. Another upgrade to Extra Class will give you operating privileges on the entire spectrum of bands allocated to amateur radio.

There are a lot of different aspects of amateur radio you can experience now – from chatting at length with local people on “nets,” to going for long-distance contacts (“DX”), to using satellites, to transmitting television images, or even earth-moon-earth signal bouncing. Find people who are into various modes and aspects of the hobby and ask them more about what they do. A local club is a good place to get hands-on experience at field-day and other events, and to ask about equipment. You can also find helpful information at eham.net.

hank
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Get to know your local radio people, and learn how they network to prepare for and help with disaster response.
You’ll find a community of helpful, thoughtful people much like the one you found here for flashlights — but it will be your neighbors.

Couchmaster
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Racoon, that’s hilarious!

Great advice upthread! They’ve already answered your questions.

For myself, I just wanted to be able to communicate if the grid goes down, not start a whole new hobby. This is a solid site to get it figured out and get some knowledge:
https://hamstudy.org/login

Not long back I decided to get my ham licence and it was so much fun learning all that new shit that my life nearly turned around. No joke. The end result is that I got the Technician, then General, then Amature Extra licenses in short order. Now I study electronics in my free time a bit. Which is harder than it sounds to a dweeb like me who has minimal math in the background.

Bought a cheap Paofeng (Baofeng) 5RA (and a few extra for the Faraday Cage as they were on sale for >$20). It’s shocking to sit in the office having this cheap ass radio tuned to the local FM station, then set it to scan and pick it up and join a conversation talking to some dude in Louisiana and another in New York (I’m west coast) as clear as day. If I were to do it again I’d get a descent radio to start with and pass on the Baofeng (which is an amazing radio for the price, they almost were giving them away). Anyway, I’d encourage you to get started in – check out and register on that site, it’s free and it’s very good.

enjoy!

Scallywag
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hank wrote:
Get to know your local radio people, and learn how they network to prepare for and help with disaster response.
You’ll find a community of helpful, thoughtful people much like the one you found here for flashlights — but it will be your neighbors.

Then get them hooked on flashlights. Perfect target audience.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
Unfinished: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Sofirn SP70
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

hank
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Definitely. Everyone needs some solar panels and battery chargers set up and working, so you have a 12v supply at home before the big one takes down the grid.

Rexlion
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RC’s hamming it up again… Wink

sunsethiker
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toddcshoe
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mgracia85 wrote:
Thanks for the response guys. Yea I’ve been watching YouTube beginner videos and there is a lot more to it than I ever expected which is fascinating. Unfortunately I don’t know if my HOA will let me put up any kind of different looking antenna. I live in the Houston area so there probably is a lot of interference. I was hoping reaching my dad who lives about 40 miles away would be possible with small radios but looks like it might not. Nevertheless, I don’t wanna give up. I don’t wanna lose contact with him especially during a disaster since Houston is prone to hurricanes. Does the technician test cost a lot of money to take?

I don’t remember the bill number. I’ll find it. It was passed quite a few years ago. Ham Radio was designated as a emergency service or something like that. HOA’s now, under this federal bill have to allow you “reasonable” antenna accommodations. HOA’s have been sued over this shortly after this bill passed. They lost or couldn’t afford to fight it so, antennas are indeed going up regardless of HOA restrictions. They can’t ban antennas all together and what you and them can come up with that’s “reasonable” seems to differ from neighborhood to neighborhood I will find that bill number so you can read up on it.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"