Very Basic Ham info

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by melbo, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    not mine, I found it at ARF

    Licensing costs only $14 and a week of studying at most (for tech no code license). If you really want self contained long distance (comms for hundreds to thousands of miles without any other infrastructure - ie repeaters or internet), you need to get a general class license to use the HF bands. The $14 covers as many elements (testing elements) as you want to take in the same session.

    Element 1 morse code (probably will go away in the next few months)
    Element 2 technician class (35 questions)
    Element 3 general class (35 questions)
    Element 4 extra class (50 questions)

    Minimum to get a license is passing the Element 2 test.

    FYI for ham you have UHF, VHF and HF. Tech no code is uhf and vhf. Tech w code gets UHF, VHF and a few bands of HF using CW only (morse code). HF frequencies are the frequencies that will propagate by bouncing off the earths ionosphere and travel thousands of miles. UHF and VHF are pretty much line of site... but can be pretty far when used with a repeater that is in an elevated position (tower, mountain, etc).

    UHF= freq > 300 MHz
    VHF= freq < 300 MHz but >30 MHz
    HF= freq <30 MHz

    If you go technician and want to start with a 'base station' I would suggest getting a mobile that you can move back and forth between vehicles and the shack. Something like the Yaesu 8800.

    If you go general and go base station, I would suggest something like the yaesu 817 or 857 (both also mobile units).

    My recommendation for a handheld is something like the yaesu ft-60 or vx-6r or an equivalent kenwood or icom radio. They operate with transmit on 2m and 70 cm but receive a very wide band. Good for local monitoring. TX and RX on UHF 440MHz and VHF 144MHz.

    If you are looking to do mostly monitoring, I would suggest (based on opinions of other members here who are much more knowledgeable) using a wide receive handheld. In a SHTF situation where power consumption is very important, the HT will draw much less current. If you are looking for local transmit power then get the 8800 and if you are looking for worldwide transmit power then the 857.

    Finally here are some good links:

    Practice tests online:QRZ Testing

  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Great info Melbo.... studied and then put it off.... gonna study again and then test.... wanna get the tech license.....
  3. gunnut1

    gunnut1 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Great post Melbo.

    I would highly recommend the Icom W32A HT. Cheap and very reliable. A good portagle radio is the Yeasu FT817. DC to Daylight coverage. Kind of pricey at just over $700.00 but well worth it. Tons of accessories out there.

    The biggest problem with 2 mtrs of 70 cms is when the repeaters go down so do the communications. HF is the best way to go. But you have to have General or above.

    I am planing on getting an FT 817 for use in the mountains.

    If you are really into vhf and above I would recommend looking into satellites. No expensive equipment required contray to popular belief. A handheld and a Arrow Satellite antenna ar all that are required for entry level work.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016
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