WTB Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Vetter, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Vetter

    Vetter Monkey+

    My dad just emailed me the study guide to get my license. So now I need a radio. Preferably a unit for my truck. Interested in buying, trading, or even just advice on best/most powerful setup for a truck.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I wouldn't know about a truck HAM, since I don't use one. Good luck!

    I do have a Baofeng UV-5R, spare battery and BNC female to SMA female adapter so I can attach to an external truck antenna. YMMV.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Are you looking for HF, VHF, or UHF, or All of the above? You might just check out Callsign Database by QRZ.COM in their Classifieds, and also on eBay, if your looking for used, to save a few bucks....
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Have you tested this setup and how does it work?
  5. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    These are reviews by Ham operators: Baofeng UV-5R Product Reviews

    By the "great to hate" tone of the reviews; it may mean poor quality control, so maybe BTP's YMMV may apply here?
    Mountainman likes this.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I found that my Boafeng UV-3R+ Units are just average as a handheld. They do work, but they are NOT what one would choose for a Solid Everyday Ham rig.....
    The pair we have, are used as Backup Radios. They backup my Maxon VHF Handhelds, that we use every day, for communicating around the neighborhood.
    Momma uses the 3R+ as a Purse Radio, when she travels, as it is small, and she can charge it from any USP Port, available. They work fine when NOT in a High Density RF Environment. They have a very so so front-end, on the receiver, that overloads easily, in a High RF Environment, but out where I live that is NOT a big consideration.
    Brokor and Mountainman like this.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    They work fine. Don't listen to the kids in High School or the adults with the same mentality. Too much American clone zombie thinking these days --"only expensive means quality" --not always true.

    I personally don't care what you choose to use, just don't believe the people who are out there fighting for popularity to see who can be coolest. [winkthumb]
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Agreed. Right now I'm just looking for something that is inexpensive and will work during SHTF. Then after becoming familiar with it, it will packed away and played with occasionally to remain familiar with it.
    Tully Mars and Brokor like this.
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Wish you would have said something when we had lunch, as Momma and I had the Boafeng's and the Maxon' with us, as well as the SECURE i355s and i560s...
    we would have extended the lunch, to give you a run thru.....
    Brokor likes this.
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Yeah, I should have mentioned radios at the time for a face to face talk. At the time I was discouraged because of the cost of a full blown setup and started looking at handhelds later. I have the i355's covered now thanks to your help. What model of Maxon Handheld do you have and what would you recommend? Hopefully inexpensive and possibly something the OP could use.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am a Maxon Dealer, so I get a nice discount on their stuff. Most of their Commercial Gear will work on the Ham Bands, so that is what I use, and program them up for Ham, Marine, Public Safety, and Business Frequencies, used in, and around my neighborhood. The SP-7102's that we use are being replaced by the newer Bluetooth enabled versions, and are in the $200US range, with Speaker/Mic, Charging Stand, Battery, and Antenna. These are quality Handhelds, with solid 5 Watt Tx Power, and an excellent receiver Spec. 50 Watt Mobile/Base Radios ( SM-5102's) go for about $235.00 with Mic, but no Antenna. Again programmable for any VHF Freq, between 136 MHz and 174 MHz. Motorola, Kenwood, also make compareable radios in the same price range. Also note that there are TONS OF Commercial VHF Radio's on the USED Market that are DIRT CHEAP, These days, because they no longer meet the Bandwidth Spec for licensing in the USA, but can be used on the Ham Frequecies, just like they are.... .... YMMV.....
    Tully Mars and Mountainman like this.
  12. Vetter

    Vetter Monkey+

    I had no idea what I wanted when I started this post. After alot of looking, Im not much better off than when I started.
    It does seem to be a relatively cheap hobby, as far as my hobbies go.......
  13. Jaybird

    Jaybird Monkey+++

    Vetter, what I have about you right now is that you are looking for a mobile radio. Can you tell us what you want to do with it? Are you wanting to talk to people locally, several states away, in another country? Do you want to talk, send data? This will help in pointing you in the right direction.

    There is a lot of information out there and the folks in the Monkey Tree have lot's of that information as well as a lot of opinions. Sometimes you have to help them help you. Don't give up.
  14. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    There are all kinds of options for radios and a good assessment of ones goals is necessary to really make an informed decision.

    Some examples of a few of my commo plans might shed some examples. So I have two systems of radios for tactical comms: the i355s and two meter ham units opened up for a full range of frequency options. I have a number of each so multiple defense team members can be equipped.

    However, for comms in the pre-SHTF or immediately post a significant event our comm needs are different. My daughter, "she who must be obeyed," and myself all need to get home and we need to communicate our locations and status. Security in comms may not be that critical yet since the masses are still figuring out what happened and are not yet hungry. However we do have some code words or phrases to appear to be normal conversation but mean specific things. We have cell phones with texting (you got to have texting! It often gets through when calls won't) and I am in the process of augmenting that with APRS capable 2 meter radios for backup. The girls still need to get their tech licenses but we're working on that. This gives us the ability to use local repeaters but I can also see via the APRS information exactly where each of them are located even if they can't tell me. I got committed to the Yeasu VX-8GR handhelds but Icom and Kenwood have similar products. These radios are very rugged and water proof to 3 feet. (APRS is roughly a method of automatically transmitting one's location and the APRS enabled radios have either built-in or add-on GPS receivers so they know location and can transmit this automatically.) My mobile unit can even display direction and distance to them so I don't even need to figure that out from grid coordinates.

    I am still planning for a HF unit for contact outside my immediate family, relatives and close friends and for long distance contact to my parents and brother a state away. I have a Yaesu and an Icom (that I can operate by remote control) picked out - just haven't prioritize the funds for those yet.

    So figure what you need and then match a radio(s) or systems to address those needs.

    Tully Mars likes this.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Nice Plan Airtime..... Lookin good, for the SHTF Comms.... Well thought out, preSHTF Comms plan.... HF in the future, will flesh out the whole Plan.... Check out any local HamFest for a bargain HF Rig.... Just to get you going.... doesn't have to be the latest, just needs to work.... some can be had for under $100US..... Atlas, early Kenwood, early Yaesu, and early Icom..... ......
  16. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    ham radio is worse than useless if you intend to just buy something "for when TSHTF" and expect to put it to use then. This is a hobby. You are going to need to spend time learning a lot.

    you have been asked numerous times - "what do you want to do with it?"

    What you buy depends on that.

    "HF in the future" is backwards. You'd be a lot better off getting an older, cheap HF radio and building some wire antennas to get started.

    It's not 'wrong' to have a VHF and learn about repeaters, but that's the least useful thing to you right now so why start there?
    CATO likes this.
  17. Vetter

    Vetter Monkey+

    Pre SHTF: We do alot of camping and for as long as I can remember, we have always had dad's radio around. For updates on weather at a minimum. I've borrowed his truck several times over the last few years when we pulled a camper and it gave my wife alot of relief to know it was in truck if an emergency popped up. She had no idea that i didnt really know how to use it....... lol
    Post SHTF: My main reason for developing an interest in it. I live 56 miles from work! The easiest 56 miles possible, but 56 miles no less. So while only a few miles bt dad and myself would be the norm, I'd like to be able to reach out if I needed to. Dad has already mentioned putting up a wire bt our two houses(we're neighbors..)
    Normal communications would be bt me and him.
  18. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    You could stretch a run of CAT 5 Telcom wire, and make a nice computer link, between your two places, very easily. Like up to 2000' end to end.
    Score a couple of Tut Boxes off eBay, for each end, and then use Skype or some other form of IP Phone, to do chats as well as share files.
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