Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 6/20/2016 6:02:48 PM EDT
I saw another thread about those cheap handheld HAM radios and thought it would be neat to upgrade my crappy Motorola FMRS radios.

I'd like to put on my big boy pants this time around and get a pair of powerful two way radios. Is $100 per handset a reasonable expectation?

That's about the end of my knowledge. I didn't even know they made portable HAM radios. I figured HAM operators had the huge towers and dedicated rooms like one of my ex girlfriend's father had.

Which frequencies require a license? If you need a license, is it a big pain to get certified? I'm not picking this up as a hobby, just want some bad ass radios for camping trips.

(I say camping specifically, because I imagine some frequencies work better through office floors, others in the outdoors, etc.

I already asked if they'd come get me for operating without a license, and got three yes answers. I'm kinda surprised we spend money on enforcing that, but like I said, I'm not very knowledgeable with this stuff.

Any realistic suggestions or ridiculous examples of crazy top end shit you guys can share?
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:04:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:08:04 PM EDT
Technician license to start, study online, all the test questions are there. I can trip the repeater in Peterboro from my backyard with 2 meter hand held and that's about 20 miles with some hills in the way.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:08:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:24:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WhiskersTheCat:
I saw another thread about those cheap handheld HAM radios and thought it would be neat to upgrade my crappy Motorola FMRS radios. I think you meant GMRS

I'd like to put on my big boy pants this time around and get a pair of powerful two way radios. Is $100 per handset a reasonable expectation? For a ham portable, not a china made, yes $100 is on the low side. You can get 5 watt GMRS radios

That's about the end of my knowledge. I didn't even know they made portable HAM radios. I figured HAM operators had the huge towers and dedicated rooms like one of my ex girlfriend's father had.

Which frequencies require a license? If you need a license, is it a big pain to get certified? I'm not picking this up as a hobby, just want some bad ass radios for camping trips. All except frs, cb and MURS require a license. Your gmrs radios that you currently have require a license.

(I say camping specifically, because I imagine some frequencies work better through office floors, others in the outdoors, etc.

I already asked if they'd come get me for operating without a license, and got three yes answers. I'm kinda surprised we spend money on enforcing that, but like I said, I'm not very knowledgeable with this stuff.

Any realistic suggestions or ridiculous examples of crazy top end shit you guys can share?
View Quote


Read the ham radio basic links. The operation of ham radios require a little bit of effort which is sounds as if you do not wish to do.I would recommend purchase a gmrs license for your family. Then get some 5 watt gmrs radios.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:43:53 PM EDT
Thanks guys.

I'll check out the HAM link. (I should have known arfcom would have a dedicated sub forum...)

Any big advantages going HAM over the GMRS 5 watt? Does HAM go farther?

If they're close, I'd probably stick to the easiest route. But if HAM has huge advantages, I'd put in the effort.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:46:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2016 6:47:22 PM EDT by pcsutton]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhiskersTheCat:
Thanks guys.

I'll check out the HAM link. (I should have known arfcom would have a dedicated sub forum...)

Any big advantages going HAM over the GMRS 5 watt? Does HAM go farther?

If they're close, I'd probably stick to the easiest route. But if HAM has huge advantages, I'd put in the effort.
View Quote
Yeah, you can use repeaters.

Getting a 'Technicians' license is a piece of cake.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:49:33 PM EDT
Is there a website to help study for the HAM Technicians license?

Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:49:57 PM EDT
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:50:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By yobo:
Is there a website to help study for the HAM Technicians license?

View Quote
http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:52:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.
View Quote
Especially if you want to limit your power to 2 watts.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:52:48 PM EDT
Hamstudy.org

This is what I used. Sat for the tech and general in one shot.


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By yobo:
Is there a website to help study for the HAM Technicians license?

View Quote


You really should do it. We have our own BRD. R = Radio in this case

Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:53:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.
View Quote


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:55:16 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhiskersTheCat:
Thanks guys.

I'll check out the HAM link. (I should have known arfcom would have a dedicated sub forum...)

Any big advantages going HAM over the GMRS 5 watt? Does HAM go farther?

If they're close, I'd probably stick to the easiest route. But if HAM has huge advantages, I'd put in the effort.
View Quote


I'm not familiar with GMRS however based on the frequency spectrum show on the FCC page, at 5W your line of site propagation will probably be about the same as a 2 meter radio. That said, having a tech license opens up all kinds of other avenues to use the radio. As already alluded to you can talk into a networked repeater system and chat with folks for hundreds of miles. You can interface with the Internet and talk around the world. HAM is kinda unlimited in its applications...the more you study and the more you connect with other hams, the more capable you will become.

I suggest hooking up with someone who already has a license and picking their brain. If you don't know anyone feel free to PM me.
Also, hit the Ham Radio forum here...lots of good guys who are willing to help and answer questions.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:56:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhiskersTheCat:
Thanks guys.

I'll check out the HAM link. (I should have known arfcom would have a dedicated sub forum...)

Any big advantages going HAM over the GMRS 5 watt? Does HAM go farther?

If they're close, I'd probably stick to the easiest route. But if HAM has huge advantages, I'd put in the effort.
View Quote


You could say ham radio goes further. talked with a a guy in Alaska this afternoon with my ham radio. It wasn't a handheld, but was only using 25 watts and a wire for an antenna. Realistically, without repeaters you will get about the same range with either GMRS or ham handhelds, assuming a similarly decent antenna. Add in repeaters, and you could talk across several states (some of the repeater systems are linked together, making it possible).

Stop in at the Ham forum, and read the stickies. There are free study guides available, and the exams are not really that difficult if you read up on it.

Good luck
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:56:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cavgunner:


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800


Go on.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 6:59:24 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:


Go on.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800


Go on.


+1. I'll get one for that price. But I seem to remember them being many times that when I bought them by the dozens. And the type 1 crypto issue too...
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:02:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By yobo:
Is there a website to help study for the HAM Technicians license?

View Quote



Can't recommend this strong enough... Study Guide

Read it 5-6 times, and practice the questions until you can answer every one right.
Then sit for the test.

I will say that radio is a lot more fun when you truly understand the fundamentals, but you don't need to be an electrical engineer to appreciate chatting on the radio.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:03:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2016 7:04:46 PM EDT by night9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:


Go on.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800


Go on.


$800 for an air soft toy... add an extra 0 for a real one
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:17:44 PM EDT
I'm in central VA if you need an enabler
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:18:31 PM EDT
If you dont go the Ham route, gmrs can be an option.

http://www.mygmrs.com/browse?name=&location=&state=VA&frequency=&output_tone=&input_tone=&type=&network=&ori=&travel=&sort=State&step=25

Take a look at the above link maybe program a bubblepack radio and listen in to your local repeaters. GMRS without infrastructure is not really worth the hassle. If repeaters are available where you are that is a different story.

Business class uhf radios can be programmed for gmrs repeaters, almost to the point of being idiot proof. I would listen to the gmrs repeaters and learn locally then make a decision.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:20:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2016 7:21:34 PM EDT by Pro_Patria_431]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:


+1. I'll get one for that price. But I seem to remember them being many times that when I bought them by the dozens. And the type 1 crypto issue too...
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800


Go on.


+1. I'll get one for that price. But I seem to remember them being many times that when I bought them by the dozens. And the type 1 crypto issue too...


It's been a while. The crypto shouldn't be an issue without an ANCD correct? Even with it I couldn't get the damn thing loaded anyhow.

Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:31:44 PM EDT
It's not the feds who nab unlicensed users. It's ham operator's efforts.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:34:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:


It's been a while. The crypto shouldn't be an issue without an ANCD correct? Even with it I couldn't get the damn thing loaded anyhow.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:
Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
Originally Posted By Pro_Patria_431:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Forget all that Ham stuff. MURS is what you're looking for.


PRC-117G with remote keypad....does all the things.

For $800


Go on.


+1. I'll get one for that price. But I seem to remember them being many times that when I bought them by the dozens. And the type 1 crypto issue too...


It's been a while. The crypto shouldn't be an issue without an ANCD correct? Even with it I couldn't get the damn thing loaded anyhow.



Still considered CCI
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:37:09 PM EDT
Thanks.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:38:10 PM EDT
I hate this website. All it does is cost me money.

Read a few intro threads and I'm forgetting about the portable radios now. This looks like a really fun hobby.

I'm going the HAM route.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:38:30 PM EDT
I've chatted with ISS using a 2W handheld and a $3 homemade antenna. Also chatted with a guy in S. Africa last week on 5W cw, but needed my desktop radio and 80' tower for that one.
Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:49:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Paul:
Get a $19 license for five years and spend $29 for a five watt dual band handheld. I've seen +85 year old WWII vets and 9 year old kids earn the license.

Paul (Amateur Extra and VE)
View Quote


This.

I took all the written tests up to and including extra (just expanded bands), but farted around and never took the code test.

The written tests are SIMPLE, multiple guess. Read the test books a couple of times and they are a breeze.

I need to get a new license...

Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:51:27 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DRich:
I've chatted with ISS using a 2W handheld and a $3 homemade antenna. Also chatted with a guy in S. Africa last week on 5W cw, but needed my desktop radio and 80' tower for that one.
View Quote


I worked the shuttle once, using a Rat Shack handheld, a 45w Ramsey amp and a 5/8 wave on my Mustang.

It was CROWDED, but I got my call returned.

Link Posted: 6/20/2016 7:54:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhiskersTheCat:
I hate this website. All it does is cost me money.

Read a few intro threads and I'm forgetting about the portable radios now. This looks like a really fun hobby.

I'm going the HAM route.
View Quote


A dual band chicom handheld is WAY cheaper than a Glock.

And you can build radio stuff a lot cheaper than gun stuff.

You can build an all band HF transceiver for under $100 in parts now.

Fairly low parts count, too.

Top Top