National Gun Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Jesus Saves
Joined
·
7,735 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am being drawn into the thought of buying a hand held ham / short wave radio. Looking for something inexpensive but decent enough to be able to depend on. I understand I will have to get an operators license to be legal but want to start looking.

Anyone have any advice or recommendations?

I have seen the name BaoFeng but know nothing about anything. I trust you guys more than I would trust an ad or amazon review.

tx in advance.
 

·
Grand Imperial Poobah
Joined
·
21,677 Posts
How far are you looking to transmit and receive? The hand held ones are nice for local-ish communication. If you want to talk half way around the world, you'll need more power (aka, base station) with a fairly tall antenna.

FYI, the BaoFeng is suppose to be fairly decent radios, considering they are from China.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
How far are you looking to transmit and receive? The hand held ones are nice for local-ish communication. If you want to talk half way around the world, you'll need more power (aka, base station) with a fairly tall antenna.

FYI, the BaoFeng is suppose to be fairly decent radios, considering they are from China.

That depends on what frequency range and if you're using repeaters or not and of course the radio. I have seen people easily talk coast to coast and to other countries using a hand held and mobiles. I can't remember if it was 2 meter, 10 meter or another but i'm thinking 2 meter.

I used to talk a lot on high power CB's and used to listen a lot of 10 meter bands plus i knew a few operators. Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom always seemed to the favorites and most used radios. Never heard of the one you mentioned. Of course this was 20 years ago so i'm sure things have changed quite a bit. I thought i heard someone saying not that long ago that you didn't need a license anymore? I hope that isnt the case being it would turn into a free for all like the CB but then again maybe not. The radio seemed to die out quickly as the internet became popular..
 

·
Jesus Saves
Joined
·
7,735 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
How far are you looking to transmit and receive? The hand held ones are nice for local-ish communication. If you want to talk half way around the world, you'll need more power (aka, base station) with a fairly tall antenna.

FYI, the BaoFeng is suppose to be fairly decent radios, considering they are from China.
I know nothing. How far? I was just thinking what happens if the cell phones are cut off or internet is lost. These current circumstances has got my mind wandering a bit. I was thinking how can I communicate with my family or be alerted to situations. I don't think I'd ever want a base.
 

·
Jesus Saves
Joined
·
7,735 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That depends on what frequency range and if you're using repeaters or not and of course the radio. I have seen people easily talk coast to coast and to other countries using a hand held and mobiles. I can't remember if it was 2 meter, 10 meter or another but i'm thinking 2 meter.

I used to talk a lot on high power CB's and used to listen a lot of 10 meter bands plus i knew a few operators. Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom always seemed to the favorites and most used radios. Never heard of the one you mentioned. Of course this was 20 years ago so i'm sure things have changed quite a bit. I thought i heard someone saying not that long ago that you didn't need a license anymore? I hope that isnt the case being it would turn into a free for all like the CB but then again maybe not. The radio seemed to die out quickly as the internet became popular..
The old CB days! I was hooked on that. I had a roof top and my CB "tweaked" with a little extra power. I would "skip" the waves and often spoke to people all across the US. I was a member of a club, the "21 America". My wife and I still think back and laugh when I would spend hours just waiting for someone to call back to me. "21 America 250" was my club name. I had post cards from all over.....it was fun. My regular CB handle was "Golden Airway" - only because I was a Respiratory Therapist. Hmmmm.......that was over 45 years ago. I retired from that career! DANG!

At this time I was thinking fun, but more practical in case of an emergency.
 

·
Grand Imperial Poobah
Joined
·
21,677 Posts
I know nothing. How far? I was just thinking what happens if the cell phones are cut off or internet is lost. These current circumstances has got my mind wandering a bit. I was thinking how can I communicate with my family or be alerted to situations. I don't think I'd ever want a base.
How far depends on the frequency used, weather/atmosphere conditions/elevation/etc. At the bare minimum you should be able to receive signals 3½ miles away, based on the curvature of the Earth, on a flat terrain and no other signal enhancements. As ST stated with repeaters/high elevation/etc. you could talk nationwide.
 

·
AZHerper
Joined
·
3,626 Posts
Back in the 1960's, I was a radar engineer for RCA Service Company. I worked on the site installation for the Ballistic Missile Early Warning (BMEWS) radar system at Clear, Alaska. I had an amateur radio (HAM) license and my call sign was KL7EDD. (KL7) is Alaska. The site maintenance guys put up a 40-foot pole for me and installed a Mosely Tri-band beam antenna and rotator which I ordered from what we called the lower 48 back then. I had a Collins "S-line) single-sideband transceiver driving a 1KW linear amplifier so I had a great setup. I could talk with other hams around the world and I used to run phone patches to phones in the lower 48 because we didn't have cell phones and landline phone calls cost several dollars a minute back then if you were calling from Alaska. Anyway, I may be able to give you some information but I let my ham license lapse when I returned to my home state. I sold my gear to a friend on the site when I left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,960 Posts
Overseas bases used to have MARS stations. HAMs that would also relay calls back to the states.
 

·
Jesus Saves
Joined
·
7,735 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Back in the 1960's, I was a radar engineer for RCA Service Company. I worked on the site installation for the Ballistic Missile Early Warning (BMEWS) radar system at Clear, Alaska. I had an amateur radio (HAM) license and my call sign was KL7EDD. (KL7) is Alaska. The site maintenance guys put up a 40-foot pole for me and installed a Mosely Tri-band beam antenna and rotator which I ordered from what we called the lower 48 back then. I had a Collins "S-line) single-sideband transceiver driving a 1KW linear amplifier so I had a great setup. I could talk with other hams around the world and I used to run phone patches to phones in the lower 48 because we didn't have cell phones and landline phone calls cost several dollars a minute back then if you were calling from Alaska. Anyway, I may be able to give you some information but I let my ham license lapse when I returned to my home state. I sold my gear to a friend on the site when I left.
I'm just starting to think about it, it's on my list of things I wan to do/get.

I'll hit you up for ideas and help once I get closer. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I'll tell ya.. our area was hit hard by storms in a few years back and our regional power grid was struck. We were out of power for 11 days.. no businesses, not gas stations, no tv, no computer, no cell service. The one thing I needed more of was fuel and a method to receive information. I bought more jerry cans and a short wave receiver. I agree with your logic regarding the need for one. Baofeng makes good gear, and are nearly always in the top 3 choices for people in the know. Sounds like you are on the right track
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
GMRS gets you a no-study, no test license that, at the higher power bands and with a growing repeater population, is pretty HAM-like on a domestic basis. A handheld and a 40 watt mobile unit would give you a lot of range, especially in an area with some repeaters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
What the heck is a no-study, no test license?
Never heard of a no study no test license, but they did create a new class about 20 years back called the no code license where learning morse code was no longer required for that class of license. I had an extra class license but sold off all my gear and let the license lapse years ago because I was moving around so much and didn't really have a permanent place to set up my antenna array. Someone mentioned Yaesu and Icom brands I would recommend either as well as Kenwood. Also had CB's and was into CB back in the days when it still required a license. If you go the CB route stick with Cobra or Midland brands. I had Midland dual sideband radios in all my vehicles as well as my CB base station.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
I have a GMRS station license for the GMRS radios we use on the ranch for hunting parties. If you want to use the full spectrum of channels you need a license. Even on full power these radios only have a range of ~5 miles.

The FCC requires a GMRS license as a way to regulate frequencies that are used by two-way radio devices. Before operating a GMRS radio, a consumer must have a valid license. Any radio using the shared FRS/GMRS frequencies that is able to transmit above 2 Watts of power was reclassified as GMRS only after the recent FCC Changes in September 2017.

• Applicant must be 18+
• Not a representative of a foreign government
• Only available to individuals, aka no new business GMRS license (there are some that are grandfathered in, but that’s a different story circa 1987)
• No test, just payment; $70 and good for 10 years
• License covers you and your immediate family (husband, wife, kids, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, you get the point!)
• If you have been convicted of a felony in the past, you will need to disclose more information as to the context of the charges (this does not mean you will automatically denied)
• And finally, follow the rules set forth by the FCC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
Never heard of a no study no test license, but they did create a new class about 20 years back called the no code license where learning morse code was no longer required for that class of license. I had an extra class license but sold off all my gear and let the license lapse years ago because I was moving around so much and didn't really have a permanent place to set up my antenna array. Someone mentioned Yaesu and Icom brands I would recommend either as well as Kenwood. Also had CB's and was into CB back in the days when it still required a license. If you go the CB route stick with Cobra or Midland brands. I had Midland dual sideband radios in all my vehicles as well as my CB base station.

last i knew most of the cobra type radios have gone downhill. Most people now use stuff made by galaxy or RCI(ranger) which are essentially very cheap 10 meter radios made only to convert to CB's. Most 10 meter guys wouldn't run one but they make great high power CB's and are made to convert very easily by unsoldering 1 wire or just moving a jumper on some pins. Some of them have a ton of channels when converted, more than a 10-11 meter antenna can even handle. I think most of mine went from 26-32mhz plus they had SSB and FM along with other toys. I used roam around the other channels and hear strange stuff. The military was using stuff in the 31mhz range, i used to listen to them at West Point doing some sort of drills occasionally.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top