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The Hotdog

Differnce Between Classes

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HI, I was just wondering about the differnces between classes.

I know the tech class lets you operate on the uhf and vhf frequencies how far do they go with out a repeater?

oh yeah, if I am out geocaching can I order a pizza with one? I heard somewhere you could use uhf, vhf and hf frequencies to call someone if you have the right radio.

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Wow, those are some wide open questions that could take books to answer. <_< And in fact, books have been written to answer those questions.

 

There are three license classes that you can currently obtain in the U.S. Technician, General and Amateur Extra. Technician allows you to operate on frequencies 30 MHz and above that are authorized for Amateur use. General lets you work on all the ones that a Technician can use, and also allows you to use HF frequencies below 30 MHz that are allocated for Amateur use. Amateur Extra allows you all the uses that Technicians and Generals have, and also gives you some exclusive frequency segments to use on HF.

 

On VHF and UHF, distance without a repeater will vary depending on a multiplicity of factors, but a general rule of thumb is that it is limited to line of sight.

 

Yes, it is legal to order Pizza using your radio....but to do so you usually have to be able to reach a repeater, and that repeater will have to have an autopatch capability.

 

And in answer to your last question, definitely yes. Part of the appeal of HAM radio is that you can get on the air and contact people and although you may not know them, and although they may be down the street or halfway around the world, you can share a conversation and perhaps make a friend.

 

If you are interested in getting a license, I would suggest you contact a local club and ask for some help and some information. I'm sure they will be glad to get you started in the right direction.

 

73,

 

Hank/N3ORX

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VHF & UHF can be heard 60 miles or more away but there are many variables like antennas, power, and terrain. I've talked to my son-in-law 50 miles away with a HT running 5W but I was on the top of one of Colorado's 14K foot mountains with no obstructions. While hunting in dense woods the same radio was only good for 8 miles.

 

If you upgrade your license to General you can use most of the HF bands. These frequencies are good for thousands of miles if conditions are good. It's a lot of fun to talk to Hams that live in other countries.

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The Tech license lets you use all the frequencies above the broadcast bands (VHF, and beyond) and run beacons, and repeaters. You can't use the HF bands with a tech license which is a good reason to move up to General (which is what I am in the process of doing.)

 

The really cool parts of HAM are in the homebrewed radio and there is more of that in the HF bands.

 

Its a fun hobby. Contact a club in your area for advice on the exams. Also check out eham dot net for practice exams.

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