HAM radio

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TexasArtist, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering how many on the board are HAM operators? How much have you used it on the homestead or to help other folks in times of disasters? I'm in the process of studying to take my first test (tech). I'm looking to get some very remote property and was thinking HAM radio for times of emergency would be a good thing to have. I'd like to hear the good points and bad.
     
  2. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Been a ham for about 25 years. Cant say its used much on the homstead but I do use it. Ham radio is a wide body of communication methods from simple voice to data and video. Good luck on your test.
     

  3. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    I'm a ham also, been inactive for a long while, but keep the license current. Might just want to get back on.

    And I;ve only the dream of a homestead, so not there yet.

    I've been around ham radio since 2 months old, grew up with field days, ham fest, etc. Married a ham and kept up with it.
    Ham radio is very good for things like no power after tornados, and other natural disasters - lived thru the field day set ups that are tests of the systems, and have been thru the real thing both with Dad and ex. Also, used in St. Pete on 2 meteres for working with cops, fire, etc when parades and things were going on.

    Also, many years also had cars totally wired for low bands - talked to the world from the car as we drove.


    AngieM2
     
  4. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    I'm just a lowly "no-code" tech. - mostly I use it just to keep up with my husband who has his advanced. We don't homestead yet (hopefully by this time next year) so I can't say how handy it will be on a homestead. But it sure has helped me out in a couple of situations where my car broke down and I had no cell service.
    Best of luck on your test!
    73
    KE4CKK
     
  5. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I've been interested in ham radio for many years, but I've never been able to find the time to study for the license or the money for the equipment. I'm starting to have a little more of both now so I'm wondering what it would take to get started? I listen to shortwave quite a bit & I have an outside antenna. My antenna is just a bare copper wire that runs along the ridgeline of my house between insulators. I've seen some hams with pretty tall tower antennas. Is that absolutely necessary? These are just a couple of general questions. I guess I would need to investigate the specifics with a web search for some internet sites. I've listened to hams for years on my reciever, & I guess I'm getting interested in talking now. I did the CB thing when it was popular in the 70s,but it quickly degenerated into insults, name-calling, & constant obsenities, so I lost interest. From what I've heard from hams & from what little I know about it, the FCC monitors ham activity pretty closely & all of that nonsense from the CBers doesn't go on. Any info for beginners or links to ham sites would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bill
     
  6. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    http://www.qrz.com/

    Bill,
    You can check this site for a club in your area and talk w/ some of the folks there. Most HAM operators are really great folks, they love helping others learn and they can help you out w/ equipment and testing issues.

    Susan
    KE4CKK
     
  7. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Susan! :)
     
  8. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    Susan
    I'm an advanced class (15 wpm in front of FCC) back about 30 years ago.

    I started out as a Tech to communicate with hubby also.

    Now with the lower requirements with no code, it should be fairly easy to become a ham.

    WB8RME
    AngieM2
     
  9. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again AngieM2. :)
     
  10. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    I can't say how handy it will be on a homestead. But it sure has helped me out in a couple of situations where my car broke down and I had no cell service.
    Best of luck on your test!
    73
    KE4CKK

    Well I was thinking that it might come in handy on the homestead in case I get hurt. If I'm by myself while chopping wood and the ax slips or something I'm planning on haveing one that I can carry with me so I can just take it from my belt and call for someone. I tried telling this idea to a freind that lives just outside minneapolis but she has the lifestyle where when you need help the police or whatever they are just a phone call and 15 minutes away. As you know country folks have to think about nobody getting there quickly.

    One of the main things that's stopping me in learning this HAM stuff is the frequencies. Is there any easier way to learn them?
     
  11. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I was down to my country place a few weeks ago & cell phones were pretty much useless there, but the towers were sprouting up everywhere. It won't be too long untill everyone will be connected by cell phone or sattelite.Will this be the the beginning of the end for HAM?
     
  12. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    :) My husband was bound and determined to get his advanced before they "dumbed down" (his words) the test. He managed to get through it right before the change. I have tried and tried to learn code, but I've never had much luck.
     
  13. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    coalroadcabin
    I totally understand his thoughts.

    I'm very proud of the fact I had to send and receive that code in front of the FCC to get my license. Now I hear that you can do it without code, and the most code needed is 5 wpm. Heck - I had to have that for Novice way back in 72....

    We used it a lot like cell phones are used now, and have used autopatch to get repeaters forphone calls, MARS calls thru for military overseas, and the storm people watching for ASRANS (storm positions).

    Now it reminds me more of old CB, and my dad use to build the big tube equipmetn.

    And there's nothing like putting up a good antenna in the winder in a freezing mist, they work so good. Now if it's a sunny day and pleasant, the antenna won't work as well.

    Angie
     
  14. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    Ive been a ham on/off for over 30 years. KB7NFU here....... Although Im kinda inactive on-air right now... hope to be on again soon
     
  15. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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  16. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Which test are you preparing for? The first one I took back in 1994 "no-code Tech" was not all that difficult. Me and the code don't get along so for now I just use 2-meter mostly. If there is a repeater close by one of the new small Alinco's would be a good radio to carry all the time.


    Kenneth in NC
     
  17. oldhoot

    oldhoot In Remembrance

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    Got my first license in 80. Finally got the covet'd Extra in 90--with the 25wpm code! I rarely am on air anymore since the internet came along but still enjoy code. As an old timer once told me "anybody can talk--very few know code". That stuck with me and eventho I have the equipment [from an old Heath HW 101, Drake TR4C to modern solid state rigs to use voice]--I still prefer code.

    Stick with it and you'll succeed. A lot of fun and it'll make the neighbors wonder if'n ya'll'r talkin to the martians!

    QTH, IL. Ant. Windom up 30', pwr-375. 73's. QRZ. KA9JYN. oldhoot
     
  18. MMyers1

    MMyers1 Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I just received our Tech license this year. We were fortunate that the local HAM club offered a Tech study class (one night a week for about 6 weeks). We both passed on the 1st attempt. The test is not hard, but you do need to know the material. The Gordon West books really do help. The books contain the exact questions that will be on the test.

    Good luck and 73s

    Mark
    KE5APN

    Sherri
    KE5ASW

    Oh yea... we both took the Skywarn training and Incident Command School that our County Emergency Management required to become Skywarn Storm spotters. That is worth the study time right there!!
     
  19. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Good discussion and timely too. One doesn't know what is going to happen next.

    This is a good site on comparing the different types of communications:


    http://theepicenter.com/tow08147.html



    LQ
     
  20. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Got my Novice in 62, then one year later got my General in 63....WA5DFF . Took my Advanced test in Dallas , Tx in 1980 and have enjoyed the Hobby since Day 1 . I'm in a period of transition now so I'm not very active but will become more active when I've finished my move....fordy... :eek: :)