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Criminal

Popularity?

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Ok, supposing I make the leap and get a licence. Which freq band is more popular, in other words, where would my money be better spent, on 2Meters or 70 CM? Is it better to just get a dual band radio? Can a radio on 70 CM do double duty with GMRS and/or FRS to allow for more compatability? These may sound like questions from someone ignorant, because I am.

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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From a ham nOOb I would suggest a dual band cross repeating radio. You can do a lot with it. Once I have enaough $$ I will be getting a Yaesu 8900.

ft-8900_lg.jpg

There (at least in my area) is a lot more activity on 2m.

I'll let someone else answer your second question.

 

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Criminal:

 

2 meters is by far the most popular. In my area 70cm is pretty quiet, and those that are there are not really interested in talking to others. But, the price of dual band rigs is pretty low, so it comes down to how much you want to spend. I have always been happy with just a 2m mobile.

 

As for FRS and GMRS, NO, you cannot use an amature transmitter on those frequencies. It comes down to FCC type acceptance rules. Radios have to be certified to work on the bands they are designed for. Ham radios, while they are not type accepted, are only legally useable on Ham frequencies. FRS and GMRS radio require a specific type acceptance to be legal. Yes, there are modifications out there that will let you do it, but it is illegal, you can get caught, they take your gear, and null your licence. I run a seperate GMRS radio in my truck, it works much better that way, trust me.

 

Yasue makes some great stuff, so does Icom, I have been happy with both. prices are really low now on 2m only radios.

 

Good luck!

 

You have to go out, you don't have to come back.

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Single most popular band. Without a doubt and worldwide even, the 2m band. (144.0 to 148.0 MHZ in the USA).

 

But... if at all possible, get a dual band radio.

 

Look here for info on what we are using.

 

What do you use PT-I

 

What do you use PT-II

 

What do you use PT-III

 

Hope this markwelling gets you started.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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...but popularity can vary from area to area. Also, both may be used in a given city, town, etc., and the folks you want to talk to most may tend to talk most on either band (Murphy's Law: If you own a single band radio, everyone will be using the other band).

 

I'm also used to 2m being more heavily used than 70cm, but on my recent trip to San Antonio, 70cm seemed to be used at least as much as 2m, if not more.

 

Bottom line from Boyd: get a dual band. I own an FT-8900, I know Mike likes his Icom a lot, too. The links in Mike's post will give you a good indication of the various possibilities. You may be in an area where most of the traffic is on 2m, but I believe it's more economical in the long run to get both.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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I would suggest gettin a cross band repeating rig. When you get a Hand held rig you can use your car as a repeater when you hike in remote areas. One can "get out" quite a ways with a small hand held this way.

 

KD7SET

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I second the suggestion for a dual (or tri-band) radio. I use the 6-M, 2-M, and 450-mHz bands on the Kenwood TM-741A and the Yaesu VX-5R. My wife uses the same setup, except she has the VX-7R (maybe I should upgrade to the 7R icon_wink.gif ).

 

Using the ham stuff on FRS/GMRS is not a great idea. Aside from the legal concerns, a radio tuned for the 440-450 mHz ham band will be pretty lousy on the 462-468 mHz FRS/GMRS bands. The receiver sensitivity will stink, and the transmit power will be considerably less, and the final amplifier stage of the transmitter could get fried as well.

 

For the price of the FRS and GMRS radios (you need a license for the latter), you can get some pretty decent radios that work well on those bands; the same goes for the Amateur Radio units.

 

There is a letter in the latest issue of Mobile Radio Technology from a guy who was complaining about a Hotel in MD using GMRS without a license. Seems they were operating on the same frequency that his organization (Fire-Rescue-EMS) was using. Oops! icon_eek.gif

 

I Roger your vector, Victor...... Over.

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Your Tech licence gives you access to any AMATEUR BAND above 50Mhz. GMRS and FRS are NOT ham bands. A GMRS licence is easy to get, simply apply on line, send in your money and you are good to go.

 

You have to go out, you don't have to come back.

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Regarding the cost of licensing, an Amateur license is free (unless you choose to request a vanity call, which is currently $14.50 for 10 years), and a GMRS license is $75 for five years.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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The 2-meter band is the most popular just about everywhere. If you were to have only one band, this would be it. You might want to get a rig with both 2M and 70 CM if the 70 CM band "open" in your area. In So. Cal, that band consists of almost all closed repeaters, and you have to pay to use. But the band is still good to use as a scanner: listen to helicopters, broadcast feeds, emergency users, etc.

The 222 Mhz band is very nice here with linked and many open repeaters. I have been in the mountains a couple of hundred miles away and talked to friends and wife back home using an HT on this band.

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Another handy feature is a wide coverage recieve. It is great to be able to listen to the NWS weather channels, aircraft, etc.

 

(Okay, I also check the score of the occasional ballgame....)

 

I am amazed at what they can put in a tiny package these days!

 

I am happy with my Yaesu VX-5R. They also have the VX-7R for a bit more money and a few more features.

 

Dave_W6DPS

 

My two cents worth, refunds available on request. (US funds only)

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I'm confused about a rule that requires the control operater to be at the controls of a station. Does this mean you can't use the dual band repeat function if you're not in your car? In other words, if I have a Yeasu 8900R and leave it turned on in my car acting as a repeater, and I go off hiking into the forest, how can I be at the controls of the 8900?

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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Uh-oh... Can opened, worms everywhere...

 

Hey Criminal -

 

Seriously, this has been the topic of much debate. See also this thread on eHam.net.

 

Some people do it and some people won't citing various portions of Part 97.

 

One suggested way around this is to do kind of a one-way setup (The official term eludes me at the moment). You set your HT up to receive the repeater's output frequency directly and use the cross-band function in your mobile rig only to relay the signal from your HT to the input of the repeater. This way when you ID from your HT, you are also ID'ing the mobile rig. You also won't run into the glitch that you are "re-transmitting" a repeater's signal without the control operator's permission.

 

Confusing, yes!

 

Hope you decide to get your license! Amateur radio is a great and diverse hobby.

 

-- Scott

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For starting out, I too recommend a dual-band (2m and 70cm) mobile first and handie second. The mobile is going to net you profoundly more range than the handie and let you converse with more operators. These two bands are almost certainly the most popular, whether you live in Boston or Bangladesh. I've noticed a lot of new amateurs with noisy signals because they buy handies thinking these provide the best value. Not too surprisingly, they end up buying mobile radios soon after.

 

I run also 220MHz and 6m FM in the car. These are also great bands, but there are very few users.

 

I hope you follow through and get your license. I can't say enough good things about amateur radio and I'm one of the folks who chose a career in wireless as a result of it being my hobby. Now I lay with radios and get paid for it - heaven. icon_smile.gif

 

Cheers! Coupar-Angus

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quote:
Originally posted by Coupar-Angus:

Now I lay with radios and get paid for it - heaven. icon_smile.gif


I'm not really sure how to react to that. icon_wink.gif

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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quote:
quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Coupar-Angus:

Now I lay with radios and get paid for it - heaven.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I'm not really sure how to react to that


 

I had to read it three times... Sounds like an interesting job. He must REALLY love radio...

 

icon_razz.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Coupar-Angus:

Now I lay with radios and get paid for it - heaven. icon_smile.gif

 

Cheers! Coupar-Angus


 

Would you lie to get laid? It's funny how we can still be influenced by such a simple word. I think Angus meant "play". It's a good thing Angus ain't a colonel. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Haha! I just re-read that one. icon_smile.gif I guess my "P" key is a little sticky. icon_eek.gif Wait, that didn't sound too good either!! icon_biggrin.gif I may like my radios, but the XYL would take exception to me bringing them to bed. Haha!! icon_redface.gif

 

Which for some reason reminds of a T-shirt I saw at Dayon which read, "The wife said its either me or the radios - over"

 

73 de -.-. --- ..- .--. .- .-. .- -. --. ..- ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Coupar-Angus:

"The wife said its either me or the radios - over"


Gotta find that one! Any suggestions?

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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quote:
Originally posted by Criminal:

I'm confused about a rule that requires the control operater to be at the controls of a station. Does this mean you can't use the dual band repeat function if you're not in your car? In other words, if I have a Yeasu 8900R and leave it turned on in my car acting as a repeater, and I go off hiking into the forest, how can I be at the controls of the 8900?

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

 

The control operator must be 'in control of the station' not 'at the controls.' That's how repeaters on towers are legal even without a guy hanging from a rope 24/7.

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quote:
Originally posted by ApK:

That's how repeaters on towers are legal even without a guy hanging from a rope 24/7.


 

Although that would certainly be interesting to see...

 

** The Cacher foremerly known as "Scott / WA4SE." Thanks, Caching In for the inadvertent inspiration!!

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As long as callsign identification is made on BOTH bands used (during crossband repeat operations) every 10 minutes and at end of final transmission. There are auto ID "keyers"

that can do this for you automatically and send out your callsign in code as well...neat!

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I wouldn't even worry about the ID myself. We ran our repeater for a full year before we bought a controller. 8-) No G-Men came to tear us out of our beds at night.

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