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Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by Mr. Gadget, May 30, 2014.
I finally got around to look into get a Technician class license.
I just need to decide the best method of studying, online class or local instruction.
I bought the Gordon books (Read them and fore brush up) and took the free online tests till I was passing 95-100% of the time and then signed up for a real test.
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into the Gordon books.
yeah its the best way, I had My tech knocked out in just about a month. The books are by Gordon West
KF5UHG here, although right now I only have a Baofeng uv-82
Just ordered West Technician class. Need to keep the aging neurons active and not let them whither away from lack of use. Studying is a great way to promote neurologic health.
Then I just might find a ham radio the next item on my EDC list.
Finally taking me exam on 12/13/2014. Looking forward to getting my license and then getting some gear. Any good recommendations for a good radio/setup that can reliably communicate 30-40 miles? Want to be able to communicate with family if we lose power.
I suggest any decent VHF radio and the use of the local repeater(s). That would give you the adequate range and not have to get into HF.
Ok, now does this also work over longer distances say 100-200 miles? I've been studying up on it but I presume it will click when I see it in action at a club meeting after I take my test. I'm a hands on/visual kind of learner.
You can link repeaters together to be able to communicate over vast distances. Some repeaters are cross band ie they let you use a VHF radio to the repeater then they have an HF radio on the repeater that will let you link across the country. There is also some that take your VHF signal and sent it over the internet to a node that comes out somewhere else in the world. I have used a 2 m VHF handheld radio to talk from North America to Australia. If you are looking to get into Ham radio on the cheap the Chinese Baofeng radios are around $40. Nowhere near as good as a Yaseu/Icom/Kenwood but good enough. Get the programming cable and software for any radio you buy to save yourself a ton of pain. If you are looking for a better radio you can buy a good mobile VHF radio for around $200 plus the cost of the antenna. It will give you much better range and a clearer signal. I can normally get 30 - 40 mile range with my mobile VHF with a perfectly clear signal due to the better antenna while with a handheld 5 - 10 miles is more like it.
Doing my technicians exam Saturday.
Not yet but researching:
I was told that a guy in a chopper flying over the central highlands was able to get bleed off or something on his chopper radio from a ham operator in the states who dialed his wife and he was able to talk to her while flying a hot mission in a war zone.
Can this be done or was this just heresay?
With a radio on the HF bands you can talk around the world on a 1/4 watt of power if the conditions are rights (solar activity etc). As a general rule the lower the frequency the greater the range. The right antenna and atmospheric conditions play a big part in it.
30-40 miles is a challenging distance with out a repeater. UHF/VHF simplex depending on wattage, antenna, mode and geography 0-20 miles pretty easy, flat land, 5-60 watts, FM. But if you jump up to 100w with a pointable beam and run SSB 2m easy depending on conditions. Then HF bands for longer distances. Like said above for that distance local repeaters will make it much easier. Once you get on the air you will quickly understand what your limits will be based on repeaters in your area and what the local Hams are doing in your neck of the woods. Also make sure if you get a single band radio you get it for the most common (closest) repeaters to your house. Out here in N.CO, we have it all, 2m, 440, 220, 900, 1.2, DMR UHF, DMR VHF and D-Star
I run a 5/8 wave antenna and have good coverage around my area out to 40 miles but I live on the bald prairie. Not a lot of difference if I run the radio at 5 watts or 50. If you are looking at a vehicle mounted radio you can get a multi band radio for just a little more money that a single band radio but it does make the antenna options more expensive.
I should add that I am going from my VHF radio to the local repeater to get the 40 mile range. The repeater is mounted high on a tower with a decent antenna (high gain and tuned to a specific frequency). When the repeater is transmitting to me it is through this high mounted antenna with a 200 watt amp so it is under ideal conditions. I have never tried the limits of straight simplex radio to radio as around here 99% of the radio traffic is through one of the local repeaters.
I mentioned VHF because the Tech license allowed frequencies (for phone) are plentiful when compared with the HF freqs allowed for phone (aka voice) (28.3-28.5 MHz). And, since a tech license is easier to obtain ( it doesn't require as much electronics theory as do the General and Extra), more people can become hams without having to learn code and a lot of theory. In a scenario, VHF and repeaters are a tough combination to beat. With respect to a large scale event, however, prolonged power outages would exhaust any repeater backup generator power and all bets are off.