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Old 03-13-2011, 12:17 AM   #11
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The amateur radio tests are pretty easy. 35 multiple guess questions, and I think 75% is a passing score. If you decide to try it there are practice tests available here. Unless you have some background in electronics I'd recommend you get the ARRL Technician Study Guide. If you decide you want to go this way and have any questions shoot me a PM and I'd be glad to help.

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't believe it's legal to transmit on the frequencies used by police, fire, etc. I have a scanner that allows me to listen in to them, which can be useful in times of emergency. They are pretty widely available - I think the one I have is a Radio Shack model.
Thanks a bunch, time to study.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:52 AM   #12
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If the SHTF anybody can use any and all frequencies to transmit without a license. I have 10 meter radios that will work around the globe depending on the antenna. I can't transmit legally on 10 meters with my current Technician license but I can listen to anything and everything to my heart's desire.

Check out ARRL.org

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:26 AM   #13
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If the SHTF anybody can use any and all frequencies to transmit without a license. I have 10 meter radios that will work around the globe depending on the antenna. I can't transmit legally on 10 meters with my current Technician license but I can listen to anything and everything to my heart's desire.

Check out ARRL.org
Sounds like a big @ss radio.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:07 PM   #14
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Scratchammo: Sir, actually not. and this can be done with the solar cycle in the proper with 5watts; or less

A more reasonable use is the 2meter 70 cn. 2 meter is the most used, with power from 1.5w to 5w. With some expermintation, shooting the moon can be done with less than 5w, {shooting the moon, send a signal, and recieve your own signal, or another recieved in another part of the world}

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Old 03-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #15
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^that

Icom V80 at hamcity for $120.

Those radios are small and work great. The body is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards and not quite twice the thickness.

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:03 PM   #16
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What!? I'll take those yall's ideas into consideration.

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #17
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When the skip was working on CB you could get contacts from around the world. SSB can give you a little more range on CB and basically triple your channels. I have seen a number of CB units with additional illegal channels and illegal boosters. I have not messed with them for a long time so I dont know what the new units are doing. It got too noisy out there.
Dont the FRS radios have a bunch of different sub channels?
Dont forget marine radios if it is a shtf situation.

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Old 03-13-2011, 06:35 PM   #18
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My 80-10 meter and AM rigs are both base stations, not in any way portable unless you put them in a truck. I really don't use them like I should in order to stay familiar with their operation. All of these were freebies, the AM rigs were salvaged from a Navy base (Mare Island) after it shut down and the Kenwood TS-520 is "on loan" from a friend of mine who upgraded several years ago.

My 2 meter/440/220 HT (handheld tranceiver) is a Yaesu VX-5 which was under $200. It also works as a scanner and I can listen to law enforcement, etc (though not transmit on those frequencies as it is set up from the factory. I have heard they can be modified to do so but I have not) and local broadcast radio. There are HTs available that are built to military specs and waterproof, as well as having GPS. You can literally drive over them with a semi and they will still work fine. But they come with a price tag to match. HRO is a good source for all things HAM radio. Ham Radio Outlet | YAESU VX-6R | 2M/220/440 HT 5W 2/440 1.5W 220 MHZ

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:37 PM   #19
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I've been researching this, too, in order to stay in touch with friends miles away without depending in any way on infrastructure or folks who act as repeaters (like with HAM).

FRS/GMRS/MURS/eXRS are all low-wattage and low-range radios. They work fine within a mile or so line-of-sight but aren't appropriate for anything longer range.

Conventional 40-channel CBs are fine out 3-4 miles. You can have them tuned to increase the range. Wattage is typically limited to 4-5W.

But my bet is on single side-band (SSB) CB. Those have significantly higher wattage and thus significantly longer range. Here are a couple links at one I'm looking at getting:
Galaxy DX 979 CB Radio With StarLite Faceplate & Sideband at WalcottCB.com

Review:
Galaxy DX 979 AM SSB CB Radio Review

HAM is certainly an option if this doesn't work as I hope it will. Passing the Tech-level is pretty trivial if you have any experience with electronics and radios at all. If the SSB CB doesn't get me the range I'm after, I'll try HAM next. But I really don't like depending on others to relay my signal.

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #20
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That Galaxy looks enticing, that should go well in the BOT. I also like the options of handhelds y'all have shown me. So many choices.....

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