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Old 03-17-2014, 11:22 AM   #61
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Is there a big ham radio community? Because it's always interested me so

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Seems to be a pretty dedicated following.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #62
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Is there a big ham radio community? Because it's always interested me so

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Oh heck yeah there is! Worldwide as a matter of fact. Ham radio has been around for a long time and probably rivals firearms as far as enthusiasts are concerned. I have talked to other Hams all around the world. Take a look here to see how to get started http://www.arrl.org/
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:35 AM   #63
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Most cellular plans offer free mobile to mobile calling.
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The only way to go IMHO
Sort of along these lines is an even better, infinite range, relatively secure option. It gives you the feel of a radio, used through the ubiquitous smartphone over either a data connection or wi-fi connection.

I'm talking about an app that has allowed a revolution to communicate, organize and largely prevail thus far in Venezuela. It's called "Zello," and I first heard about it here:

This Is the App That’s Fueling the Uprising in Venezuela

I was intrigued by it, and since it's free, I went ahead and installed it on my phone, my wife's personal and work phones, and on my laptop. The range is literally global, as long as the receiving party(s) has connectivity to the internet. Unlike a phone call, you can talk as long as you want to people thousands of miles away with no overseas charges. It is an extremely low-bandwidth consumer, so even one or two-gig data plans can use it without incurring overages, but you should monitor your usage just to be safe. Of course, if you have access to wi-fi, you incur zero charges or depletion of your available data.

So if you're a radio purist, this won't be for you. You can think of it as either a Push-To-Talk or walkie-talkie simulator, but unless you just really enjoy limited range, tons of static and limited channels, for a portable radio-type of device, you really can't go wrong with this app. There are several reviews posted on YouTube, and though I don't understand the usefulness of it, there are several describing how to interface with HAM and the kinds of hand-held radios y'all started talking about in the beginning of the thread.

Read the link about how significant Zello has been in Venezuela, and you'll find out a lot more features than my wife and I have any use for, such as channels that can have as many as (I think) 700 individuals being broadcast to with each transmission. You'll also find that the developer believes strongly in unrestricted communications, and has even written a Venezuela-specific release after the government down there figured out how to block the first release. I don't know if the developer is American or not, but he sounds like a very "1st-Amendment-Warrior" kind of guy.

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Old 04-08-2014, 09:58 AM   #64
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Oh heck yeah there is! Worldwide as a matter of fact. Ham radio has been around for a long time and probably rivals firearms as far as enthusiasts are concerned. I have talked to other Hams all around the world. Take a look here to see how to get started http://www.arrl.org/
Awesome thanks bro

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Old 04-08-2014, 10:01 AM   #65
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I used to be a Ham/CB hobbyist. I'm going to check out the App...


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Old 04-08-2014, 06:21 PM   #66
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I used to be a Ham/CB hobbyist. I'm going to check out the App...


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Did you ever get your Ham license?
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #67
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An 18 mile range for a $40 piece of equipment?

I rather doubt it. I know its not you claiming that, Jimski, but the site.

Personally, knowing a bit about how radios operate, I don't buy into that.
From having been a radioman in the Navy, and having had a personal interest in radios and communications equipment since childhood, and from having built radios, I can tell you unequivocally that nothing close to what's advertised, with respect to range, will be achieved by a $40 dollar handheld from a commercial manufacturer.

$40 worth of parts can give you a fairly powerful FM transmitter (that wouldn't be legal to operate without a license, BTW) but most of the $40 of a handheld radio is packaging, advertising, and what I call design engineering (making the thing look/feel/fit/function the way it does and perform in a relatively consistent manner).
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:47 PM   #68
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From having been a radioman in the Navy, and having had a personal interest in radios and communications equipment since childhood, and from having built radios, I can tell you unequivocally that nothing close to what's advertised, with respect to range, will be achieved by a $40 dollar handheld from a commercial manufacturer.

$40 worth of parts can give you a fairly powerful FM transmitter (that wouldn't be legal to operate without a license, BTW) but most of the $40 of a handheld radio is packaging, advertising, and what I call design engineering (making the thing look/feel/fit/function the way it does and perform in a relatively consistent manner).
Excellent insight. So, how would we build YOUR version of the $40 radio? For SHTF use only, of course.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #69
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Excellent insight. So, how would we build YOUR version of the $40 radio? For SHTF use only, of course.
Who will use it?

What frequency band?

Which modes of operation (I'm going to assume voice transmit and receive)?

What type of user interface does it need to have (what type of tuning controls, input/output)?

What type of power input can it use (battery or vehicle)?

How high does the quality of the signal processing need to be?

You're not going to get a lot for $40 dollars. It will be functional, but it won't be pretty and will not be as compact as a commercial unit.

Also, nobody said anything about the parts having to be brand new so I assume I can use whatever I need to scavenge to build it, right?
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:12 PM   #70
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LOL, that's a lot of questions. Man-portable, but able to run off a vehicle's 12V system, as light as possible, battery powered, multi frequency, able to get good distance (10 miles?) in semi-hilly terrain. Let's say you have a budget larger than 40 bucks, and if justified, (for weight savings, reliability, range, compactness, etc.), you can use new parts. Say, 200 bucks tops per unit.

But, at that price, might you do better going to one of the quality commercial radios?

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