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  #26  
Old 10-25-2013, 03:50 PM
kyew kyew is offline
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Probably not what you were looking for, but here's a link to some two-ways that are crank rechargeable. Also have a flashlight function.

http://www.majorsurplus.com/Wind-N-G...et-P16030.aspx

They seem durable enough. I haven't tested the range yet, but they claim to have a 10 mile range on flat ground with clear skies. They're multi-channel and have silent function options. Voice activated option.

I can tell you this... if you have to charge one with the crank handle, better pack a lunch. It'll take you a few hours to get enough juice to use it for several minutes. Still, better than nothing in an emergency. They do have an AC adapter, though it's a split and not two separate chargers.

And they're fairly inexpensive. I'd suggest buying a new battery pack for them as you never know how long they've been sitting in the warehouse waiting to be sold. Mine didn't hold a charge for very long with the packs that came with them.
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  #27  
Old 11-02-2013, 10:24 PM
NonHyphenAmerican NonHyphenAmerican is offline
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When I was a kid, dad had an old Air Force Heliocrafter radio.

We'd spend hours in the garage with headphones on listening to stuff from all around the world.

I can also remember talking on the MARS system to him when he was in the PI and we were still stateside.

For all those who help out others with this?

Thanks.
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  #28  
Old 11-03-2013, 04:25 PM
wlhawk wlhawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLT GOLD CUP View Post
I passed my General test 3 week ago. Studying the Extra book now.
Congrats! Good luck on the Extra.

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  #29  
Old 11-24-2013, 06:47 AM
CombatDiver CombatDiver is offline
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First off, wireless communication whether it is 'walkie talkie', CB (Citizen's Band), Marine (aka UHF), FM/AM, or cell phone they all operate by the same principles and as a HAM licensed operator you have access to virtually all frequencies/mediums. Apart from having permissions to utilize more power (which equates to greater distances in communications) the options for a HAM operator are nearly unlimited while every other radio is only capable of very specific frequencies and output. Granted the equipment is what is responsible for most of these restrictions as it is designed for the intended user. The greatest thing about HAM radio equipment is you don't have to have a license to own or monitor/listen, only to transmit. You can own and monitor using all the radio equipment available to HAM licensed individuals. In the case of life threatening situations you can even operate without a license! So what is the benefit of having your license if you're not a radio geek? The benefit is virtually unlimited power in frequency selection as well as output. The test questions are multiple choice with all questions and answers published and available for free (there are even free programs that can help you practice, Hamstudy is one I recommend when I teach free classes). The test doesn't require knowing Morse Code anymore and only costs $14-$15 and you can take one, two or all three tests at the same time for that $14-$15 payment. That is also the price/payment for your 10 year license ($1.40-$1.50 per year). The question pool for the second (General) and third (Extra) includes about 1/3 of the questions from the test below it and again all questions and answers are available. There is a wealth of knowledge available as well as some willing individuals to help anyone trying to learn HAM so I would recommend everyone learning. It seems more challenging than it is and I would recommend looking into it. I would be more than willing to answer any questions, just IM me.
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  #30  
Old 11-24-2013, 07:03 AM
CombatDiver CombatDiver is offline
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The fact is the difference between any other form of communication and HAM is HAM is capable of all others while everything else is limited. You cell phone is a two way radio developed by HAMs. FRS/GMRS (popular two way radios), Marine radio are also known as UHF and VHF. CB (Citizen's Band) is close to 10 meters and operates similarly but doesn't have the strength as what is permitted on HAM. And it doesn't have to be expensive, $14-$15 for a 10 year license equates to $1.40-$1.50 per year. There are capable radios for as little as $30 and you can build your own for $10-$20 (using Morse Code/CW to communicate). All the questions with the answers (identical to what you will see on the test) are available. There are regular prep classes in which people study the question with only the right answer for as little as two hours prior to taking the test and passing with absolutely no prior knowledge. If that's too hard or you don't want to deal with the FCC you can purchase the same equipment licensees can and listen/monitor it. Just not transmit unless there is a life threatening situation. Yes, that's correct, you can own and operate without a license! But why not get the license and start getting the experience? I hope this answers some questions and encourages those who haven't thought about it before. I would be more than happy to answer any questions, just email or IM me. I'll try to keep an eye on this thread but am here to learn more about 1911s and not help with HAM radio.
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  #31  
Old 11-24-2013, 07:09 AM
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LW McVay LW McVay is offline
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The test and license are no big deal to me at all. What is harder, is trying to figure out what kind of rig to get...and all that that entails. Its confusing to say the least.
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  #32  
Old 11-24-2013, 07:39 AM
CombatDiver CombatDiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW McVay View Post
The test and license are no big deal to me at all. What is harder, is trying to figure out what kind of rig to get...and all that that entails. Its confusing to say the least.
I recommend starting with a Baofeng radio and go from there. They have affordable yet capable handhelds for as little as $30-$40 shipped. While you almost certainly will want something more it will help you figure out what you want and serve as a great backup radio afterwards. I like Yaesu radios myself with both the 8X DR and 8900 with either the 857 or 897 next on the list but you quickly see that cost starts to limit you and makes the decision a more time consuming process.
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  #33  
Old 11-26-2013, 11:56 AM
ToyRunner1 ToyRunner1 is offline
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I've never paid for a HAM license. Taking the tests, yes, but the license? Never.
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  #34  
Old 12-08-2013, 05:00 PM
ferretray ferretray is offline
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Originally Posted by ToyRunner1 View Post
I've never paid for a HAM license. Taking the tests, yes, but the license? Never.
?
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  #35  
Old 12-09-2013, 03:29 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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I think what Toyrunner is trying to say is that the license does not cost anything, it is the test that you pay for

In the beginning, you only pay for each test at each level as you go up from Technician to General to Extra class, unless it has changed, actually you can pay one fee and pass all three test in the same day if you have the knowledge to pass all three in the same sitting

You dont have to pay for your license until it is time to renew it after 10 years
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  #36  
Old 12-09-2013, 05:52 AM
fredg fredg is offline
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Originally Posted by Bullseye1911 View Post
I think what Toyrunner is trying to say is that the license does not cost anything, it is the test that you pay for

In the beginning, you only pay for each test at each level as you go up from Technician to General to Extra class, unless it has changed, actually you can pay one fee and pass all three test in the same day if you have the knowledge to pass all three in the same sitting

You dont have to pay for your license until it is time to renew it after 10 years
If you renew at fcc.gov it doesn't cost anything, renewed mine twice now, cost nothing.
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2013, 02:28 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Originally Posted by fredg View Post
If you renew at fcc.gov it doesn't cost anything, renewed mine twice now, cost nothing.
True, a vanity call still cost ya

My fault for not being specific
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2013, 12:32 PM
ToyRunner1 ToyRunner1 is offline
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Bullseye is correct. I have paid for the tests/exams, but have never had to pay anything for the actual license or renewals. I do not have a vanity call, so the only real cost I have is equipment.
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  #39  
Old 12-13-2013, 05:16 PM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyRunner1 View Post
the only real cost I have is equipment.
Yep, and you can get a radio for about the same price as a decent 1911

Or if ya want to have a lot of bells and whistles you can go up as high as 10k for a radio

Talked to 2 fellas in Japan on 15m just before responding to this thread, didnt even need to turn the amp on, propagation was very good, solid 59 signals

Some of you guys dont know how much fun you are missing out on
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Last edited by Bullseye1911; 12-13-2013 at 05:19 PM.
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  #40  
Old 12-25-2013, 09:55 AM
Dilligas Dilligas is offline
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I started on CB in 1974. I got a used Pace 23 channel CB & a Shackspeare marine CB antenna for Christmas. My father mounted the antenna to the eve of the house. It wasn't the best rig but I was in business! Only problem was my voice didn't change yet, it was hard having a serious conversation. I was into CB for many years getting better & better equipment then I got my "ticket" (slang for license) in 1994 to operate on amateur radio frequencies. I've been in & out of it over the years but thinking it's time to put the old long wire up & start getting out there again!
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  #41  
Old 12-25-2013, 11:58 PM
Pat-inCO Pat-inCO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW McVay
What is harder, is trying to figure out what kind of rig to get...and all that that entails. Its confusing to say the least.
I got started in 1958 and went from '60 to '78 without a license.
Continuous since then.

The first thing to think about is what do you really want it to do.
If you want to be prepared for for as much as possible, you would do well with a "mobile" rig. Most of the newer ones cover 160M to 70CM (with the exception of the 220Mhz band) and handle "all" modes (Morse code [CW], AM, FM and SSB). They will run from around $800 to $1,500. Personal preference is either ICOM or Yaesu. Just because it is called a "mobile" does not preclude using it as a "base" rig. They are just not quite as good for contesting (adequate, but not superior), but MANY people have only a "mobile"..

Then next thing is do you want a hand-held?
Many people like the versatility.
They will run from $200 to $650.
The lower priced ones do just fine.

For SHTF situations, an HF (1.8 to 30Mhz) rig has significant advantages. There is this thing called an NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) antenna that will give you coverage for up to about 300 miles in all directions. It is especially effective in the mountains. They can be as small as fifteen feet wide to as much as 350 feet. The short ones are not as efficient, but an 80' one does very well. While running NVIS, you also need to think about what mode you want to operate. SSB works fine, but digital will provide you with a much more usable signal on MUCH lower power (and you thought this would be easy ).

Ham radio is extremely versatile in what you can do with it. Now that the Morse code requirement has been removed AND they publish a "study guide" (actually a list of all the questions - - and answers) it is just some memorization, and spending money on equipment.

One last thought:
The rigs are plentiful and have a veritable plethora of options.
The best parallel I can think of is they are much like the 1911.
MANY options and at least thousand times that many opinions.
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  #42  
Old 12-26-2013, 12:23 AM
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LW McVay LW McVay is offline
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Thanks Pat...nice post. Unfortunately for me, I'm not conversant on things "ham"...not sure what 'contesting' is...xxxC =XXXCM don't mean much to me. NVIS is sorta get. HF I definitely get.

To me, its waaaay more complex than any 1911 I've ever run across!
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  #43  
Old 12-26-2013, 01:13 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW McVay View Post
To me, its waaaay more complex than any 1911 I've ever run across!
Not as much as one would think, once ya start fiddling with a radio and doing some reading it will come to you in no time
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  #44  
Old 12-27-2013, 12:08 AM
Pat-inCO Pat-inCO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW McVay
Thanks Pat...nice post. Unfortunately for me, I'm not conversant on things "ham"...not sure what 'contesting' is...xxxC =XXXCM don't mean much to me. NVIS is sorta get. HF I definitely get.

To me, its waaaay more complex than any 1911 I've ever run across!
OK. Sorry, Ham Speak will develop quickly.

160M is 160 Meter wave length; 70CM is 70 Centimeter wave length (makes a BIG difference in the size of antenna, and the propagation characteristics (how far you can talk)). The longer the wave length (in general) the further you can talk. Do keep in mind that I have just made a major over simplification to make the concept easier to handle.

My comment about the 1911 was only to provide a possible insight to the complexity of the subject (those with no 1911 experience find them very complex) and the diversity of options is parallel between the radios and the 1911s. Or more simply, put ten people in a room and talk about 1911s and you will probably have ten opinions. Put ten hams in a room and talk about rigs and you will have no less than a dozen opinions.

If you would like more generalized information, try the ARRL's web site (Amateur Radio Relay League - - arrl.org). They have a fair amount of overview information and then go into many many specifics (largest Amateur Radio organization in the US).

If I can help with anything Ham, drop me a PM.
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  #45  
Old 01-09-2014, 05:51 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Im really surprised that there is not more interest in communications in shtf situations

How will one communicate with their loved ones in a different city/state when we lose the power grid ?

Cellphones will not work, land lines will not work, emails etc. without a radio along with batterys/solar panels you wont have any communications
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  #46  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:07 AM
38357 38357 is offline
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I'm not a ham but have a Collins R390A. I was trained on maintaining them back in the day, was a 33d.
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  #47  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:44 AM
Pat-inCO Pat-inCO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38357
I'm not a ham but have a Collins R390A.
I was trained on maintaining them back in the day, was a 33d.
Let's see, that was the one that took three men and a boy to carry . . . right?
Not to mention the power requirements.
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  #48  
Old 01-09-2014, 12:19 PM
38357 38357 is offline
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It is a hog as far as the power needed to run it with its vacuum tube technology and it weighs about 80 pds. It still would have to be amongst the most sensitive receivers that can pick the needle out of the haystack if you know what frequency you want.

Once I retire I hope give it a good tune up and get it back into service.
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  #49  
Old 01-09-2014, 12:40 PM
-rce- -rce- is offline
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Old (in all context now) Advanced class here with a vanity 1x3 call.

I started in 1976 but struggled with morse code for many years. No problem sending, just receiving. I would still like to see code as an entry-level requirement. Anyone can do 6 wpm. 13 and 20 are something else.
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  #50  
Old 01-09-2014, 05:27 PM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Originally Posted by -rce- View Post
I would still like to see code as an entry-level requirement. Anyone can do 6 wpm.
I agree, if I can get up to 25 wpm in 2 months, anyone can, 5-6 wpm is nothing, although I admit, when I first started out, I was ready to pull my hair out the first 2 weeks, sending was easier for me at first, once I got it I was amazed at how fast I picked up speed

One thing that helped me, was I took the CW cd with me in my car everywhere I went, I would be driving down the road reading signs while doing dits and dahs in my head

I dont use CW now but I learned it because I wanted on the HF bands back then, I only got my extra just because it was there and had no reason not to get it, it has been nice not having to worry about where I can and cant talk ever since I got my extra

I got an OO card for being on 14.225 years ago when I was a General, the fellow told me that there was no need to respond, so I did`nt

I ran across his callsign on QRZ and sent him an email a few years back, I asked him if he knew any of the other OO`s, and if so please have them email me so that we can setup a time or he could just listen in on some of the freqs that I talk on, I told him Im trying my best to work all OO`s and I asked if there was a reward for working all of them I had to have a little fun with it

73
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