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Why Should I Get a Ham License?


Titanium
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Other than the often heard "having fun talking to other hams," what benefits would I get from getting my ham license?

 

I'm into geocaching, hiking, and traveling. How could ham radio be useful or beneficial in conjuction with these activities? By beneficial I mean uses other than just having fun talking to others.

 

I'm not familiar with or currently interested in electronics, so that aspect of ham isn't necessarily important to me.

 

Convince me that I need a new hobby.

 

Titanium

 

"Some people see the glass as half empty, some see it as half full. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be."

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don't waste your time with a ham license. In the Austin area, you would be much better served with a cell phone. You are probably too old to benefit otherwise from the electronics training, which got me great jobs in the military and gives me a triple-digit income in an economically depressed area. And you are too young to need the radio as your window to the world, when you can't get out on your own anymore.

 

Since you have a GPS, you will never need to call on the air for directions, or for info on a good restruant in the area. Or for information on that accident ahead, which was reported by another ham. Not being a soldier, you will not need that link to your (licensed) loved ones 8000 miles away. And not knowing any soldiers, you have no call to provide that link here in the states.

 

There are plenty of hams in the Austin area, so your help isn't needed as a weather spotter. You are not needed to provide back-up comms for the local services during floods. You will not be needed as a part of that "POOL OF TRAINED COMMUNICATORS" ready to help the country in times of disaster.

 

Yep, you already have enough hobbies. Why do you want to start on another one... one that will introduce you to many interesting people, from the bum down the street to the king of Jordan? Why would you want to learn how to listen to, and talk to the world when the rest of the city doesn't even have the lights back on yet? And why would you want to have a hobby that can stay with you till your last breath on the planet?

 

Naaaa... don't waste your time... you might get to like it.

 

Mike. KD9KC.

El Paso, Texas.

 

Seventeen minutes after her FIRST call for help, police officers arrived to find Ronyale White dead.

 

Prohibiting self defense is the ultimate crime. Police carry guns to protect themselves. What protects YOU ???

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quote:
Originally posted by KD9KC:

don't waste your time with a ham license


 

I agree with KD9KC except where his post is tongue-in-cheek, mine is serious. Ham radio is not for everyone. If you need to be convinced to get your amateur radio license, then it's probably not for you. Besides, the bands are already crowded enough anyway.

 

BTW, don't be offended....I tell folks the same thing when they ask me why I jump out of "perfectly good airplanes". After I tell them I lost 3 friends to a "perfectly good airplane" accident, I then tell them skydiving isn't for everyone and perhaps they should take up something like...oh, I don't know...bowling, for instance.

 

JM-99

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Sheesh, please don't take away the impression that all hams are as seemingly sarcastic or unfriendly as these guys. While I personally have had a lifelong interest in electronics, I find the challenge of communicating across the globe with a battery powered radio and a simple wire antenna similar in some respects to geocaching: it takes a certain amount of skill, a certain amount of knowledge, and it can introduce you to new places (I had to buy an atlas to figure out where all these foreign hams were located). Do you HAVE to love electronics to be a ham? Nope. Are you required to gab endlessly on the air about this and that? Nope. Does it give you the opportunity to volunteer in the community? It can if you like. The best part of ham radio, IMHO, is the best part of geocaching - the people who participate in it. I hope you take the test and at least give it a try. 73, from N1KV.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jumpmaster:

quote:
Originally posted by KD9KC:

don't waste your time with a ham license


 

I agree with KD9KC except where his post is tongue-in-cheek, mine is serious. Ham radio is not for everyone.


 

I must say, I feel the same way. And that might be sort of sad, since I'm a new licensee.

 

As KD9KC pointed out, if sarcasticlly,

If I want to communicate with someone far away, call for road help or find a resturant, I'll use my cell phone. If I want directions, I'll use my GPS. I can send data and pictures around the world and learn about other places from my livingroom using the Internet. My area doesn't need another weather watcher, and even if it did, I don't need another drain on my time, since, even before getting a ham license, I already had a good job in technology and was a Radioman (now called "Information Systems Technician") in the Navy.

 

I got my license for nothing more than the sense of accomplishment in getting it, which, by the way, is a fine reason for getting one, since they don't cost anything but $10 for the exam.

 

Of course, once I got my callsign, I got all hyped up and ran out and bought a tri-band HT, because I like radios and technology and figured I could do some of that famous ham experimentation.

Now I have it, and it seems that as far as experimentation goes, I was born 50 years too late and $1000000 too poor (to build my own satellite).

Between the FCC rules and "Band Plans" with thier implied restrictions on doing anything unusual, and all the self-imposed rules of repeater use, It seems the Amatuer community doesn't want anyone doing anything except what everyone else is doing.

 

So, we've covered all sorts of reasons NOT to be a ham. Anybody want to offer any reasons TO be?

There sure are a lot of us here. SOMEONE must be doing SOMETHING interesting!!!

 

ApK

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A more intelligent series of folks and being able to talk across town on a watt is cool.

Save your cellphone money.

 

You'll also learn a little something and when the terrorists hit you'll have a reliable way to talk. Cellphone and pagers went out when the towers fell. ou can run a radio on solar if necessary. Try that with a cell repeater or switchboard.

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quote:
Originally posted by The Bug Zapper :

A more intelligent series of folks and being able to talk across town on a watt is cool.

Save your cellphone money.

 

You'll also learn a little something and when the terrorists hit you'll have a reliable way to talk. Cellphone and pagers went out when the towers fell. ou can run a radio on solar if necessary. Try that with a cell repeater or switchboard.


 

I'll continue to play Devil's advocate in the hopes that it will bring out some interesting information on the topic of "So you got your ham license...now what?"

 

Using a ham radio to avoid cellphone charges is against the rules, plus, you can only talk to other hams, and you're heavily restricted on what you can talk about. Although the FCC made it technicaly legal to, say, order pizza or get a baby sitter via autopatch, it's apparently fround upon in the amature community--they don't seem to want to hear you talk about anything other than ham radio, and it's far more convienient to do such things on a reliable, full duplex cellphone, anyway...and a cell phone can talk around the world on 600 milliwatts...that's pretty cool, too.

 

At least with CB (or FRS) I can pass out radios to my wife (who will NEVER get a ham license...can't spell FCC)or ski buddies and keep in touch while out pursuing other hobbies.

 

As far as emergency communications go, sure, radio is a good fall back to have, but preparing for that is hardly my idea of a fun hobby. I already do that 1 weekend a month and two weeks a year.

 

ApK

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Sheesh.

 

I am not a licenced amateur radio operator. I have thought about it because it tickles my cool meter. But the thing that moves me most strongly in that direction from a pragmatic point of view is how often geocaching takes me out of cell phone range.

 

Yes, I always carry my cell phone, and have no qualms about paying for it. Yes, I carry FRS radios in case the group has to split up (although they're almost useless in most wild terrain). But if I bust an axle on some remote stretch of Utah's West desert, my cell phone and FRS radios won't do anything.

 

So for those of us who know very little about amateur radio, what can we expect? How far will a handheld trasmitter go for frequencies and power ranges open to no-code tech licensees? If I knew the answers to these questions, I suppose I'd already be on my way to a license...

 

++cardobj

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quote:
Originally posted by cardobj:

So for those of us who know very little about amateur radio, what can we expect? How far will a handheld trasmitter go for frequencies and power ranges open to no-code tech licensees? If I knew the answers to these questions, I suppose I'd already be on my way to a license...

 

++cardobj


 

Go ahead and get the license! It's easy enough, particularly if you're the kind of person who's cool-o-meter is moved by the idea. You're probably already know all the electronics stuff.

 

Despite my whining in this thread about the lack of stuff to do, I AM enjoying my new handheld, and I talk to folks during my commute every day.

If you only want it for emergency communications, you can certainly do that. Technicians have the same privlidges on all frequencies over 50Mhz as any other class, and you can run A LOT of power if you want...more than your alternator could likely provide. :-)

You won't need a lot, though. People have been known to communicate with satellites on 5 watt handhelds with the right antenna, conditions and angel on thier shoulder. A 35 watt mobile or HT with an amplifier and a good antenna could probably put you in touch with SOMEONE no matter where you were...save the bottom of a long, stone well shaft....

 

ApK

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quote:

So for those of us who know very little about amateur radio, what can we expect?


 

Your first license is somewhat limited. And rightly so. You wouldn't give the average 16 y/o new driver a license for an 18 wheeler. Nor would you give the average new ham a full license. There are exceptions.... and if you are one, we can cover that later.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT: You will probably begin with VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). There are advantages to both. The VHF (144-148 MHz) is more popular, so you will usually find more operators and repeaters available. UHF (420-450 MHz) has the advantage of needing antennas 1/3 the size of the VHF antenas, but it is not as popular overall, so you might have more difficulty finding operators and repeaters to talk to.

 

quote:
How far will a handheld trasmitter go for frequencies and power ranges open to no-code tech licensees?


 

RANGE: I have personally stood on top of North Mount Franklin 7192ft In El Paso, and talked to a repeater in Tucson, AZ, using just a handheld radio on VHF with 5 watts. I have also been in a canyon where I could not talk to a repeater 2 miles away with the same handheld. Over flat terrain with a good 50 watt mobile radio and a good antenna, a range of 100 or more miles is possible. From your home, with a good yagi/gain antenna, hundreds of miles in possible. I regularly talk through the AO-40 satellite at 50,000 KM (30,000 miles)

 

quote:
If I knew the answers to these questions, I suppose I'd already be on my way to a license...


 

So now you have the answers. I would be pleased to help you get started. Contact me direct if you would like to persue this further.

 

quote:
Despite my whining in this thread about the lack of stuff to do, I AM enjoying my new handheld, and I talk to folks during my commute every day.


 

There is so much to do in ham radio. I cannot even begin to tell you all the neat stuff. But more than anything, I enjoy listenning. AM-SWL, AM-broadcast listenning, and even public service. I do get on the air now and then, V/UHF with the local guys. I also enjoy satellite operations, and I have 5 HF (3 to 30 MHz) rados, 2 of them are antiques. I also collect antigue receivers. My oldest was made in 1936.

 

Sooo... what are you waiting for? Jump in, but be carefull.... you might get addicted.

 

Now, isn't this different from my first post above? Well, you just asked a different question. *grin*

 

Good luck...

 

Mike. KD9KC.

El Paso, Texas.

 

Seventeen minutes after her FIRST call for help, police officers arrived to find Ronyale White dead.

 

Prohibiting self defense is the ultimate crime. Police carry guns to protect themselves. What protects YOU ???

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I kinda liked KD9KC's reply that was cute! HIHI OM!

 

I actually tried to get my license when I was 13, but had absolutly no interest in the CW at all.. (At the time CW was a requirement.) The theroy, and the Rules were no problem. I passed the written without effort. The CW Forget it.. So I lost interest. Besides, when I grew up I became a radio DJ.. I've got 10KW or more watts to play with why do I want only a few?? I did not get my license until 1992 when they dropped the code requirement. And after talking to another guy at work who had just reactivated himself on the Ham Waves. (Another Radio DJ)

 

I joined the ranks of Ham Radio with a No-Code Tech. To be honest I had more fun on Ham Radio then I can even begin to recount. The public Service also falls into that mix of being fun. I have met so many interesting people on ham radio, had so much fun, and done more helpful things on Ham Radio that I could ever imagine doing any other way.

 

Now I hold an Advanced (Obsolete) License. After getting my feet wet the code was no hurdle anymore it was all part of the game. I just did it. (Still could never figure out why I needed to learn CW to use a Microphone though.. hihi)

 

What's my point?

 

Ham Radio is more than just electronic gadgets, and geek's yacking back and forth on a repeater or over other means of RF communication. It's a community of people with a common interest. Much like that of Geocaching. I've met many friends all over the world on ham radio, friends that I would have never met any other way. I've talked to people in places that have never even heard of the Internet, and the Internet was in no hurry to find them either..

 

Ham Radio is a brother(and sister)hood of people that have fun being 'geeks' if you wish to call them that, but they also enjoy helping others by providing reliable communications and other means of public services.

 

Why get your ham license? That's a question you should ask yourself.. In a way KD9KC was right. If you can't come up with an answer yourself you are better off not getting one..

 

Oh, Almost forgot.. Mike, (KD9KC) do they still have the 'Worked all ElPaso' award? I remember a bunch of old timers had a net on HF, 40m I believe.. I've got quite a few but I don't beleive I've gotten you does the Internet count! LOL

 

73 de N3LRX

Randall J. Berry

davros@mdgps.net

mdgeocachinglogosmall.gif

 

[This message was edited by Randall J. Berry on September 04, 2002 at 11:25 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by Randall J. Berry on September 04, 2002 at 11:29 PM.]

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WAE stands for Worked All El Paso award, and it is the second oldest award in the United States, surpassed only by the WAS (Worked All States) award.

 

To qualify, just work 15 El Paso stations, and send a copy of your log info to the W5ES club. You will be issued a WAE certificate - FREE!

 

I do count for one point. I am also the club station manager for K5WAC, the Fort Bliss Military Station, so I can give you two contacts. And if you ask, and she is home, my XYL N5NHC will also give you a contact.

 

We have a contest weekend in late Oct, early NOV every year on 10m. Look for us there.

 

Mike. KD9KC.

El Paso, Texas.

 

Seventeen minutes after her FIRST call for help, police officers arrived to find Ronyale White dead.

 

Prohibiting self defense is the ultimate crime. Police carry guns to protect themselves. What protects YOU ???

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Looking through the posts one sees an interesting connection between Geo Caching and Ham Radio. It's something that takes effort to gain rewards from. I have been a Ham since 1976 and it has been wonderful for me and my friends. For the most part, it puts me in contact with people I enjoy in a different way. Although I am brand new to Geo Caching, I expect it will do the same thing...put me in contact with intersting people doing new and interesting things. And when you get right down to it, GPS is just another interestng use of radio. It still amazes me how I can communicate with someone around the block of around the world directly from my radio to their's without anything but air between us and it amazes me how radio waves from space can tell me where I am within 20 or so feet anywhere on the plantet. Ain't science great.

Ham radio has so many aspects that one can explore different areas all the time. i expect it will meld well with my new interest in Geo Caching.

 

My best regards to all non-hams.

73 to you hams

 

Jeff

WB4WXD

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quote:
Using a ham radio to avoid cellphone charges is against the rules

 

Not really. Using autopatch to avoid long-distance charges is against the rules, because then the autopatch repeater operator gets stuck with the bill. But talking to another operator simplex or through a repeater instead of using a cell phone is perfectly fine.

 

quote:
plus, you can only talk to other hams, and you're heavily restricted on what you can talk about.

 

Again, not really. As you mentioned, many hams don't like to hear anything other than ham radio stuff, but unless you disguise the intent of your words, use profanity, or talk about illegal happenings, you are perfectly fine.

 

Anyway...

 

My favorite use of my license is to run radio support at local bike races and other events. Just did a mountain bike race last weekend. The local club gets a bunch of operators together, sets up a net, and coordinates requests for supplies, race preparations, rider monitoring, and emergency situations. Loads of fun.

 

73,

KG4JSN

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quote:
Originally posted by Nalyd:

 

Not really. Using autopatch to avoid long-distance charges is against the rules, because then the autopatch repeater operator gets stuck with the bill. But talking to another operator simplex or through a repeater instead of using a cell phone is perfectly fine.


 

I was thinking of autopatches, but I also got the impression that it wasn't just because you're imposing on the autopatch operator's wallet, but because you are using the amature service in place of a utility service to save yourself money, and using the amature service for any financial interest was prohibited, no?

 

quote:

Anyway...

 

My favorite use of my license is to run radio support at local bike races and other events. Just did a mountain bike race last weekend. The local club gets a bunch of operators together, sets up a net, and coordinates requests for supplies, race preparations, rider monitoring, and emergency situations. Loads of fun.

 

73,

KG4JSN


 

That sound kind of fun. I know a club down by my base does the same sort of thing for the annual airshow. Can you do this as an individual or do you usually have to be a member of a club?

 

K2APK

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quote:
Originally posted by KD9KC:

 

There is so much to do in ham radio. I cannot even begin to tell you all the neat stuff.


 

And therein lies a problem at times, what to do first/next. icon_smile.gif

 

For instance, I've read what all the other respondants have put and I have very different interests in Amateur Radio.

 

For instance, I happen to like trying different propagation modes, such as bouncing signals off the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on 50MHz and 144MHz. I'm also taking part in an experiment on 5MHz with Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation.

 

I also like using a system called APRS (Automatic Possition Reporting System) and you can spot me on the map by going to the following link http://www.mnaprs.com/database.htm and putting the callsign G0DJA-3 in the box marked "Find a Station" at the top of the page. Soon I hope to be beaconing as I drive/walk about Geocaching, walking, hiking.

 

If you are into walking and climbing, try Summits On The Air (SOTA) or the Adventure Radio Society, where the prime motive is not necessarily to 'play radio' but to take a radio along and operate if there is the time and oportunity. Look at these links for more information. http://www.sota.org.uk. and http://www.adventureradio.org/

Both are European/UK based, but the Adventure Radio Society started life in the USA and there are many dedicated ARS members your side of the Pond.

 

You might decide to build your own gear, or buy it. You might get interested in making your own antennas, or you may buy them. Some people like "DXing" - Working stations in areas of the world where there are few operators, or you may be interested in Emergency communications, and training for those Emergencies, with local Fire/Police/Voluntary agencies, using shorter range but more reliable frequencies.

 

Then there's Amateur Television, Microwaves (communication, not cooking. icon_biggrin.gif ), IRLP (connecting via VHF or UHF to the internet and out again in another area/country).

 

If non of the above is of interest, then it may be as Bungy Jumping is to me. That is, fine if you want to do it, but I would rather not. icon_wink.gif

 

Oh, and my callsign, if you are interested, is G0DJA and I've been playing radio, on and off, for the last 20 years. icon_eek.gif

 

--... ...--

Morseman

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quote:
Originally posted by KD9KC:

 

There is so much to do in ham radio. I cannot even begin to tell you all the neat stuff.


 

And therein lies a problem at times, what to do first/next. icon_smile.gif

 

For instance, I've read what all the other respondants have put and I have very different interests in Amateur Radio.

 

For instance, I happen to like trying different propagation modes, such as bouncing signals off the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on 50MHz and 144MHz. I'm also taking part in an experiment on 5MHz with Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation.

 

I also like using a system called APRS (Automatic Possition Reporting System) and you can spot me on the map by going to the following link http://www.mnaprs.com/database.htm and putting the callsign G0DJA-3 in the box marked "Find a Station" at the top of the page. Soon I hope to be beaconing as I drive/walk about Geocaching, walking, hiking.

 

If you are into walking and climbing, try Summits On The Air (SOTA) or the Adventure Radio Society, where the prime motive is not necessarily to 'play radio' but to take a radio along and operate if there is the time and oportunity. Look at these links for more information. http://www.sota.org.uk. and http://www.adventureradio.org/

Both are European/UK based, but the Adventure Radio Society started life in the USA and there are many dedicated ARS members your side of the Pond.

 

You might decide to build your own gear, or buy it. You might get interested in making your own antennas, or you may buy them. Some people like "DXing" - Working stations in areas of the world where there are few operators, or you may be interested in Emergency communications, and training for those Emergencies, with local Fire/Police/Voluntary agencies, using shorter range but more reliable frequencies.

 

Then there's Amateur Television, Microwaves (communication, not cooking. icon_biggrin.gif ), IRLP (connecting via VHF or UHF to the internet and out again in another area/country).

 

If non of the above is of interest, then it may be as Bungy Jumping is to me. That is, fine if you want to do it, but I would rather not. icon_wink.gif

 

Oh, and my callsign, if you are interested, is G0DJA and I've been playing radio, on and off, for the last 20 years. icon_eek.gif

 

--... ...--

Morseman

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I don't think using an autopatch to save money is against the regs. That goes into motive and not overt use for profit. As for the benefits of autopatch over cell phone I personally hate cell phones with a passion. Maybe I'd like them more if I could go to a movie without at least one going off. Outgoing calls only. That is a definite plus.

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I have been able to keep in touch with many friends and family no matter where I am on this planet. And AT&T does not send me a bill for it. Don't let anybody tell you that all you are supposed to talk about is HAM radio. I have heard some of the most intellectual conversations via radio...sure, just like everything you may like to do (Geocaching, hiking, hunting, etc.) there are bad representatives of a hobby/activity. But as long as you don't use profanity, impose your political rhetoric, conduct business, transmit in obscure codes or broadcast music (or copyrighted transmissions) you can talk about anything, with anyone (who is also licensed) and in any language. It is not the perfect fit for everyone. But, if someone does not spend the time to investigate what it is really about and then expect someone to cite examples and then candy coat it for them (ie. justify it after excluding what you don't like) then it is probably not for you.

 

By the way, all the examples given for the uses of Ham so far are just a drop in the bucket...

 

-UA

K6HTD

 

***********************************************************

...Proudly ranked 620th in the state of California!My Home

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quote:
Originally posted by peterm5365:

I don't think using an autopatch to save money is against the regs. That goes into motive and not overt use for profit. As for the benefits of autopatch over cell phone I personally hate cell phones with a passion. Maybe I'd like them more if I could go to a movie without at least one going off. Outgoing calls only. That is a definite plus.


 

The FCC has apparently loosened the regs, but almost every website regarding ham practices (especially those by clubs that run autopatches) still say that using the patch to avoid toll charges is prohibited and that an autopatch should not be used if a phone is available.

I could have used one the other night...stuck in traffic, and not one of our three cell phones in the car!

As for the rest about the movies...It burns me up! But don't blame the cell phone! Blame the idiots using them and the theater owners for not doing anything about it. An inconsiderate jerk can be just as jerky misusing a ham radio or a tin whistle as a cell phone...don't blame the tools, blame those who misuse them...that goes for so many things.

 

ApK

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First of all Ham guys are a diverse lot. They have an instant on communications network. Which was the entire point of the 'ham' program. They have radio when your cell phone is just a dead weight. Having trouble finding a cache? Need some help? Car dead? Lost? Want to yak? Turn on your radio. If you are a ham you will have one handy and help will be available like nobody's business. Hams watch each others backs and seem to be more involved in their communities than the average joe.

 

On the other hand some can be prone to being egotistical and go far as being downright jerks due to their smugness. But then we all have our bad days.

 

For the record my father is ham, but he only has an attitude...

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I got mine about two years ago. I am a junior in college now attending the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse,NY. I got my ham license because of an interest from a while ago. It was pretty easy to get the first license and picking up a 2 meter radio was just as expensive as a getting a good FRS radio. However it opened a realm of communications that is far more entertaining and much more exciting. I have many friends here on the Syracuse repeaters and anywhere I go people are always happy to have a conversation, recommend dining in the area, provide help, or just share the time as you travel from A-B. While I am out caching I take along my HT and chat with Hams as I hike my way through the woods. Some people say a cell phone can do this. Well a ham radio has a certain aspect of adventure and more control. I was up at 3900ft in the Catskills and my cell phone was incapable of making a phone call, I tried. However my 2m radio on 1 watt was able to strike up a repeater loud and clear.... If not for any reason, the ham radio is fun. The people are nice and they have a wealth of information to share. Today’s language has become very crass and loaded with offensive words... It is a calming and relaxing experience to talk with a few hams from around the world, politely, simply and about anything that may strike your fancy. Plain and simple... I love it and it is a great way to meet new people and share interests

 

73's

KC2HUX

ESFKids- Andrew

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quote:

On the other hand some can be prone to being egotistical and go far as being downright jerks due to their smugness. But then we all have our bad days.

 

For the record my father is ham, but he only has an attitude...


 

It's a fair point, there are those in all walks of life who hold views which they either can't, or won't, accept that someone else has a valid but opposite point of view.

 

Unfortunately, at times those people (as in many walks of life) are also the loudest at telling others their views.

 

One good thing about Amateur Radio, is that if you come across them, you don't have to talk to them. It's like sitting in a pub (bar) or restaurant, where the option is to put up or move somewhere else. There's almost always somewhere else to move to and avoid them, and most sane people do. icon_cool.gif

 

Incidentally, I've heard that the definition of a bore is someone who insists on telling you all about themselves, when all you want to do is tell them about you.

 

--... ...--

Morseman

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I have CB's (yeah, I bought them on Ebay,) and the walkie talkies work pretty well except it seems that there are a lot of channels around Omaha that have NO traffic on them. As a kid during the CB era, our scoutmaster was into CB before the craze and wanted to get into HAM. Since then, I have had a recurring interest in HAM.

 

To ask some simple and probably too elementary questions.

 

1. If you live in a city that doesn't have ridiculous crowds on the CB frequencies, will CB work ok for local communication? Is there an advantage to moving up to HAM for local communication (I alreay know that CB doesn't go as far as HAM.)

 

2. If I wanted to get into HAM, do I have to learn Morse Code (as you had to previously)?

 

3. If I was looking for an affordable beginning unit, but I wanted to be able to scale up as interest, application, and funds allowed, what sources of radios would you recommend?

 

4. Do any of you use a HAM mobile while geocaching?

 

5. Do any of you belong to neighborhood watch groups and use either CB or HAM with that?

 

remybussi.gif By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I. remybussi.gif

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Here...I trust everyone else will correct any errors I provide:

 

quote:

To ask some simple and probably too elementary questions.

 

1. If you live in a city that doesn't have ridiculous crowds on the CB frequencies, will CB work ok for local communication? Is there an advantage to moving up to HAM for local communication


The word "city" almost precludes the effective use of CB handhelds by definition. Buildings block CB signals quite effectivly. CB is also AM, which is more prone to static and background noise. If you set up good antennas and have good conditions for CB, of course you can use it, plenty of people do, but if you have good conditions and good antennas, you'll also pick up every idiot with a linear amp in a 1000 mile radius.

 

quote:

(I alreay know that CB doesn't go as far as HAM.)


That's not strictly true. CB can carry around the world, although it's not intended for that use.

"Ham" covers a wide range of bands and uses, some which are useful for only a much shorter range than CB and some as long or longer (I'm not sure if anyone has moon-bounced on CB...)

 

quote:

2. If I wanted to get into HAM, do I have to learn Morse Code (as you had to previously)?


Taking the Technician test with no code gives you the same privlidges above 50Mhz as any other ham. If your interest is local and emergency communications via handhelds, like me, that may be all you ever need. You still need code if you want to work the lower HF bands, which are the ones people generally use to talk around the world.

quote:

4. Do any of you use a HAM mobile while geocaching?


Yes.

 

ApK

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I just got my license last week (Tech - no code) kind of just to see if what I could do with it. I think it will come in handy to have for communications while geocaching and in case of emergency, but mostly just to have fun with.

 

The tech test is no problem. The practice exams at QRZ really help as does a good practice guide. The best one I found was "Are We Talking Yet?" published by ARRL. It's got all the questions that are on the test, but also explains alot more about what you can do and common practices as well as a little theory.

 

Got my callsign on Christmas Eve - KG6OKQ.

 

"I thought you said this was a quick find!" - My wife

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I have been a ham for 25 years, and have been in and out of actively operating. I enjoy contests and making contact with hams in other countries.

its strictly for the personal enjoyment. as far as practical aspect cell phones and internet provide instant communication. So it would really only benefit you as a challenge hobby. Good luck and best wishes.

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I'm new to this site and geocaching, but I have been a ham since 1978 (married to a ham). If I can learn enough to pass the test, anyone with enough interest can do it. We have always enjoyed the ham community and clubs in PA, DE, and now MD. Plus, we enjoy talking with other hams at the local hamfests (swap meets) and the annual Field Day (last weekend in June).

 

We particularly enjoyed talking with an astronaut and his family during a cruise back in '93. And, our most unique experience was helping school kids make shuttle contacts about a decade ago.

 

But, it is not for everyone. Not one of our three sons have gotten their ticket as yet. But, there has been some interest by two of them recently.

 

My parents have a cell phone (we don't yet) and they were very surprised when it didn't work at all from our cabin in the WV mountains!

 

I'm looking forward to doing some geocaching as we travel in our travel trailer around the US and Canada.

 

73, Jann, WB3FXH

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As far as Cell phones and the Internet and instant communications. Most of the time this

is true. But in the time of a disaster they are not going to work. Once you lose phone

lines, you lose Internet and cell phone communications, This has happen one several

occasions in the past few years. After the 911 attacks the only communications in the

area was ham radio, the fire and police repeaters where in the World Trade Center as

well as the Broadcast media transmitters. About a year earlier when a major city was hit

by tornadoes the FCC sent a request for ham radio operators because all the phone

communications where destroyed. I got rid of my cell phone, I live in a major

metropolitan area, we still have dead spots. Cell phones are not magic communications,

with out regular phone lines, who ya gonna call - no one. Oh lets not forget those wireless

phone so many people have in their homes, when the power is, they don’t work. you

better have a phone wired into your wall if you lose power.* icon_eek.gif

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I have a good story about why some people may need a Ham Licnese. My Son and a buudy went whitetail deer hunting this past year in a 30,000 plus acre Wildlife Hunting area. We live in Mississippi. It was during the week day on Tuesday and the were late calling in to let us know they were coming in. This hunting place is 50-60 miles north of were I live. So at 8:00 pm I took off with GPS and 2 meter mobile radio in truck and icom handheld also with me. We also had two cell phones, and the boys each had cell phones. Guess what no coverage no cell phone signal, you can not get a signal in those woods if you stood on a high hill. The only communications I had was the trusty ole Ham radio luckyly i have a 50 watt radio in the truck and My handheld is a 5 watt radio. So after My buudy and myself got up to the woods , I found my sons truck down a long road, but no boys around it at 9:00pm at this time. So I called on the local 2 meter repeater which is in my home town, 50-60 miles away and One of the local Hams answered me and I told him I need some Help and ask him to contact the Sheriff Dept in aonther county to get the Game Warden on his way to help me and my buddy start looking for the boys. We were lucky this nite it was not cold. Only about 40 deg. After I called in on the Ham Radio and had my buddy call my wife and the Sheriff Dept to get Game Warden on the way I also told him the number on the Road we were on and where we were. So in a matter of a few minutes I had talked to one Man that called my wife and the Sheriff Dept & Game Warden,all of this took about 2 minutes. in just a few minutes the other Ham called me back and said the Game Warden was on the way and my wife was listen to me on the other end , he was putting the phone reciever by his speaker. So everyone knew what was going on all the time. Did I mention we had no cell phone Signals????? Cell phones in some areas down here are worthless !!! back to story. My buddy went down in the woods about 1/4 or 1/2 mile and I was blowing horn repeatly with short breaks. After about 15 minutes or so We heard a Gun shot. My Son shot his rifle one time and then a few minutes later on He shot it again. By doing this my Buddy and I was able to pin down the direction they were in and my buddy had a portable q-beam and started shinning it down in that direction. After about 30 minutes or so they were able to hear us and see his light. We had four cell phones in a cricle of 10 feet and could not use one of them. So this nite my hat is off to my buddy on the other end of his Ham Radio and my other Buddy who helped in the search and rescue. The Game Warden did come but, about the time we had the boys coming out and they were happy to see Us. We had no idea what we had to deal with and If the boys were hurt or something else, They had been Lost for (5) hours and had been walking trying to find the way out. I have been a Ham Since 1985-6 and I hold a Extra class License, and this is the first time I had had a experience like this. I have worked a bunch of Diasters,bad weather,etc. I have never had one of my loved ones lost, and in a bind like they were during this nite. So If you think You might need a Ham license or ever Think you may, Get some info from your local club or go to the ARRL website for info. It's changed alot in the past few years with only having a 5 wpm code test, it's easy to do five wpm, when I tested i had to do 5,13,20 wpm and take all the written test as well. Also I am a VE which stands for Volunteer Examiner,We have a group that gives the test every other month, so a person does not have to go very far to take at test now. Before you may have to drive 100-150 or more miles some place to test. By all means, If you are thinking about getting a Ham License do so. We did not use our GPS at all thank goodness, We also had two of them with us just in case , and all Mississippi Game Wardens have them in there Trucks, I know because i know several of them well. So we were as prepared as we could be, and I am thankful to the good Lord the boys were all right, He will be getting a GPS very soon to learn and use when he goes out Hunting or camping or Caching.

 

Happy Hunting

Continuouswave

WV5V

--... ...--

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quote:
Originally posted by continouswave:

I have a good story about why some people may need a Ham Licnese.


 

And there are hundreds more just like it too. Ham radio, and radio operators, can do more with less when the $hit hits the fan than most people realize.

 

Glad it turned out so good for you.

 

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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