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Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Iansstud, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Iansstud

    Iansstud SW WA / PDX Member

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    Hey guys, Im just getting done packing a 1st 2nd and 3rd line of survival gear bags...

    I think I have most bases covered. But, I have a few things I still need to figure out... One of them is a Radio....

    I have 2 motorola radios walkie/talkie, (for use with the wife) and a FM wind up/solar radio... But, I was thinking It would be nice to have a Handheld radio for emergencies or even hiking!

    I have been trying to do some research and Have come the conclusion that It would be best to get a dual VHF/UHF Handheld...

    I dont have a licence, but would be trying for one in the next year. I wont be buying a Radio until later on also. I would only use it for SHTF (broken Leg when hiking, Zombie attack, Lost in woods) assuming Cell service is down.

    I Know that you get what you pay for, but, I cant afford $1000, so I have been looking on ebay and have found a few radios that might work, Ill post them below.

    Here is what I am looking for in a Radio; Good range, Good Fhz range, CHEAP(>$120ish).

    Here is what I found;
    Cheap Ebay Radio, UHF/VHF
    Another Ebay Radio

    what do you think? Also have you heard about Scramble modes? do they work? and can the government or others track where you are Tx'ng from??
     
  2. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    Well, you cannot use scramble modes/encryption on ham radio bands.

    And even with encryption and scrambling anyone can locate you. Radio is radio and using a directional antenna and some triangulation they can locate you pretty easily. Ham radio operators have "fox hunts" all the time to "hone" their skills on finding hidden transmitters.


    I seriously doubt that the two radios you listed are worth it. Stick to Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood..... even Alinco.

    Icom T7H - $165 (http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=ZIC-T7H-SPORT)

    Yaesu FT-60R - $185 (http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=ZYS-FT-60R)


    These are WAY better than those radios you linked to.

    Getting a license is quick and easy --- just a little studying and a test.
     
  3. toys

    toys PDX Member

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    you really crack me up.

    Do you really think that anyone will care if you have a license when the SHTF?
     
  4. Iansstud

    Iansstud SW WA / PDX Member

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    I know, I had to say that for the people that take the test and whatnot serious... Im sure I would have got one or two people say "you know you cant just talk in one of those, there are rules..."
     
  5. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    :soapbox:

    THERE ARE RULES!!!

    There are reasons for the rules, have you turned on a CB radio or FRS radio recently? Do you hear the crap going on over those? Now imagine that crap on radios that have a lot better distance than a CB or FRS radio.

    Breaking a leg or getting lost while hiking is not a "SHTF" situation that transmitting on Amateur Radio bands without a license would be "okay" --- even the failure of the US Government wouldn't be a good situation.

    Ham radio licenses aren't something that only the US does -- all the countries have some sort of licensing/call sign. It is international.

    Might as well start building your own suppressors without approval, carrying concealed without a permit, drive without a license, and hunt 10,000 deer a year...after all, they are just rules.

    :soapbox:
     
  6. ikona

    ikona west of pdx Member

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    Take the test. $15 and you are good for 10 years. One of the nice things about ham radio is that boorish behavior is not allowed. The inability to be nice is very apparent on the web, cb, and frs. Ham is one place that people are good behavior and still show decency, no matter where they are from. They are offering testing this coming Saturday on the 4th at 1:00 in Hillsboro. The next test there after that is August 1st. I will be there this Saturday. Once one is licensed, it is fairly easy to find good inexpensive radios from other ham operators. I have had several from the ham community offer me radios as loaners for free just so I can get started. Like I said, they are still one group that has and practice manners for the most part. And if you break the rules enough, the FCC will find you eventually.
     
  7. DALE

    DALE Boring, Oregon Member

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    I think the reason Ham Radio has remained a "Gentlemans Band" is because you know where the person lives that you are talking to. Anonominity often gives rise to childish, surly and rude behavior.
     
  8. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    Yes you can transmit legally on an amateur channel without a license, but it has to be an emergency. Breaking a limb would truly qualify.

    I suggest taking a class however, it will give you better radio skills, and you can use it all the time that way.

    I carry the Icom-ICv8 2meter, it is pretty rough and tumble, yet is not a dual channel.

    Timbernet, you are truly funny, I have a hard enough time finding one deer a year. lol.
     
  9. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    You can I tell I am not a hunter ;)
     
  10. VWTim

    VWTim Corvallis, OR Member

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    I'd second what is said above. Look into an Icom,Yaesu,Kenwood radio. My HT is a Yaesu VX-7R that I for got $210 new. Also, it's a good idea to get your license now, so you have a chance to learn how to use your radio. I have friends with ham radios, licensed and not, that have no idea how to use the functions on their radios, simply because they never do it.

    Get a tech license, play with your radio. Learn what it can and can't do.
     
  11. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    My dad has been bugging me for years to get my HAM... Perhaps its about time to get off my rear....
     
  12. ikona

    ikona west of pdx Member

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    Took the test today (July 4th) in Hillsboro, about 14 people were there to test. I think everyone passed their primary test and quite a few took the next higher test since it was already in the cost and it couldn't hurt. I didn't pass the general but I did get 50% correct (74% needed) and I still passed the Technicians test. Now, time for a radio! Next test will be the 1st of August in Hillsboro.
     
  13. westernsky20

    westernsky20 Portland, OR Member

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    Congratulations, just remember that you cannot legally transmitt until your license comes in the mail.
     
  14. ikona

    ikona west of pdx Member

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    Actually, once my name and call sign show on the FFC list (most likely between next Wednesday through Friday) I can start transmitting. I don't have to wait for it coming in the mail. That is a pool question on the test.:)
     
  15. markw76

    markw76 Portland/Moscow on the Willamette Member

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    Probably not, but if you don't know the ropes, you're going to stand out like a sore thumb and become a target. If you do, and sound like part of the larger group, your stand a chance of being left alone.

    We do take it serious, and quite a lot of us take great enjoyment in tracking down interlopers in the ham bands. They aren't welcome, especially if their on air activity interferes with legitimate activity.

    CB and FRS will be all but unusable anywhere near a town should anything huge and disruptive happen.


    A few have tried it on the police bands and found out just how much it is disliked. Imagine what a bunch of technically apt retired guys with nothing but time to chase you down with their DF gear might do. Oh, and you won't hear them coming like the characters on CB. They'll be on another band sharing info, or on the cellphone. They won't confront you and take your radio either. The FCC will do that when they get to it.

    And those that try to fake their way in find out is doesn't work. The internet has provided access to the FCC database of ham operators world wide, and a callsign can be verified by anyone on the net in seconds. The conversation doesn't last long after that. You'll be encouraged to study a bit, keep your nose clean, take the test, then go for it. It just isn't that difficult to do it right, and there are loads of survival and firearm oriented hams more than willing to assist you in your preparation plan.

    In any case, during a SHTF keep in mind that the farther your group is spread out, the longer the range you need, which means more transmitting power, which means just that many more can hear you and find where you are, given enough time. The best strategy is similar to the military and hams: as little power as possible and for the minimum amount of time. If you don't need to yak on the radio, don't do it. For many, if most follow that, even CB can do in a pinch.
     
  16. westernsky20

    westernsky20 Portland, OR Member

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    Wow they changed the rules! Good for you I had to wait 3 months for mine to show up. Have fun.
     
  17. ikona

    ikona west of pdx Member

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    I think they made that change with others around 2006 or '07 along with ending all CW requirements for the three levels. Thank you!
     
  18. Aloxite

    Aloxite Vancouver, WA Member

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    Do you really think you will have the skills to use it effectively if you don't get a license and use it before the SHTF?

    During an emergency is no time to be screwing around trying to figure out how the thing works.

    Getting the tech license is easy. If you can't do that then you can't do much.
     
  19. markw76

    markw76 Portland/Moscow on the Willamette Member

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    Oh, and during the several years around solar maximums, local comms during the day can be all but obliterated by everyone else within 1000+ miles coming in on skip. The cacophony of 9 pounds of jabbering is not something you want to plow through if you have something important to communicate. VHF and UHF is a lot nicer.
     
  20. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    VWTim, who might you be referring too - hum? :bluelaugh: