Author Topic: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.  (Read 4905 times)

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dcoates18481

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Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« on: March 10, 2009, 10:50:12 PM »
I am a new ham and got the license for the reason to learn to use radios and for emergency comms.
I had a chance to learn the craft last year during hurricane season ( i live in south texas )
any hams here?
just curious.
you can get a handheld ham radio for fairly cheap, make your own antennas...really cheap too.
when the SHTF, hams will be bringing the news.
 I have the HF equipment and made the antennas...but i can't transmit on most of the freq. ...unless the SHTF.
i use the 144-148 on my license
It's pretty easy and fun too.
73's
Dave
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Striker

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 06:58:33 PM »
Always had an interest but never followed up on it.  Maybe you could let some of us know the steps and expense required?
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my children may know peace. - Thomas Paine

dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 08:31:03 PM »
The test was pretty easy after doing a little studying.
i will incluse a link to a couple of places to get started.
The practice tests are what the questions look like, this is all i used to pass the test.
test is 15.00, then you  get a technician license, limited to 144-148 mhz, and a few on the HF bands.
when you need emergency comms. this is the way to go.
there's lots on the net , and there's probably a ham club in your area.

http://www.qrz.com/testing.html    practice tests
http://www.qrz.com        lots of info here.
http://www.arrl.org       everything you need to know right here.
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Striker

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 09:33:08 PM »
Thanks,  what about  equipment..good starter stuff, cost and where to buy?
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my children may know peace. - Thomas Paine

bow_breaker

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 10:06:10 PM »
fleebay has a ton of them....im looking to get back into it myself
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dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 11:28:28 PM »
Ebay does have a lot to offer, handhelds, 12vdc models you can put in the car, or get a dc converter and use it in the house too.
I haven't bought a antenna yet! they are super easy to make.
you can buy used,but IMHO new is better.
as a new technician, you are limitet to 2 meteror 144-148 mhz, which is a lot for local comms.
if they are in your area( they usually are) you can hit a repeater that will carry your 2m signal farther.
you can even use the internet to broadcast.
Radio Shack used to be a good source of radios and accessories, if you are lucky,you have a ham store nearby, and they are always willing to help.
most of all, get the radio you can afford, and get talking, fellow hams have the best answers to questions.
the links above have a wealth of info.
I would suggest a handheld model, YAESU is a good brand, but a bit pricey.
to get started expect to pay about 100-150 startup, less if you go the used route.
i say you are limited to the 144-148 mhz. range, but if there is an immediate threat to human life, you are allowed to use any means necessary.
I also purchased bigger HF rasios to listen in until i upgrade my license. late at night is best, and depending on your antenna, you can here just about anywhere. and if the SHTF, toy will be able to communicate of there is an emergency on ALL bands.
ham is the way to go!
hope this helps you.
try out the practice questions, and the websites, google "ham radio"  there ia tons of stuff .
pm me if you need any other info
Dave
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oblivionboyj

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 07:31:08 PM »
So what kinds of conciderations do I need to have in mind when mounting a 2 meter antenna?
Can I mount it on the same pole as my TV antenna?
Is there a filter that will keep HAM transmitions out of my digital TV signal?
Any other antenna advice?
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thespork

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2009, 09:01:00 PM »
Quote
Can I mount it on the same pole as my TV antenna?
Is there a filter that will keep HAM transmitions out of my digital TV signal?


Yes (although some 2 meter antennas can get huge, basic models will be easily held by a TV mast),

and Yes...
Although since DTV operates in UHF and 2 meter is in the VHF range the problems with TVI (television interference) have went down. They do make filters for your TV antenna line to help, but my guess is that unless you are really blasting the output power, you won't need them...

2 meter HAM is line of sight, much along the lines of commercial FM radio. Voice transmissions in this band are also Frequency Modulated, so it also sounds better than the lower frequency (HF) HAM bands which use AM or (more commonly) SSB modulation.

Through signal repeaters on large buildings or mountains, hams can talk on 2 meters, for a much longer range then what you would be used to with the walki-talkis you see for sale at all the sporting goods stores. But its still withing your general area...

The advantage of working on HF is that your signals can bounce off the ionosphere and be heard hundreds or even thousands of miles away...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 10:54:29 AM by thespork »

dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 09:01:42 PM »
A 2m antenna can be made out of what is called twin lead, the old brown tv antenna wire!
it will be approx 4' long and can be put just about anywhere.
i'm sending you a link to a roll up j-pole that can be made for about 10.00 at radio shack
this is for 2m only.
if you get a handie talkie type of radio in 2m, you can use a magnetic roof mount " cb " type antenna.
it gets out pretty far.
if you want, i can list some sites for antenna building.
if you are a tinkerer, these can be a lot of fun.

http://www.n1uec.org/n1uec/2meterjpole.html
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 10:09:16 PM by dcoates18481 »
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DON'T ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT...
ANYONE WATCHING MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE !!!

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thespork

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 11:21:02 AM »
Yep, you can "roll your own" antenna without too much trouble on 2 meters. What I was thinking of is a small 2 meter yagi antenna. Its a design that focuses RF energy in one  particular direction for better transmit and receive. They look very similar to the traditional roof mounted antenna people put up for television (although those antenna are technically "log periodic" antennas, not yagis)

A 2m yagi will easily fit on a TV mast, and give very strong coverage on 2m home installations..

Mobile use of 2m usually involves a magnet mount antenna that, from the laymans perspective, is basically indistinguishable from a CB magnet mount...

here is a low cost 2m yagi http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=ZMF-1768
but if you google, it is also something someone a little handy can build at home...

dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 03:34:38 PM »
Thanks for the link on that yagi.
thats what i want on my permanent installation.
not a bad price either!
A pessimist is just an optimist with experience.

DON'T ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT...
ANYONE WATCHING MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE !!!

" Assault is an action...not a RIFLE "

thespork

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 08:07:43 PM »
There seems to be quite the interest in this. Hopefully it won't die out. I'm really not a believer in all of these SHTF apocolyptic scenarios, but it would be cool to put togetether and HF net...

I'm probably going to get going on getting back on the air myself.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 10:28:57 PM by thespork »

dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 08:14:16 PM »
SHTF to me means many things. not only Mad Max or Jericho stuff
hurricanes and floods around my neck of the woods certainly qualify.
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1mlt

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 05:24:03 PM »
I would think if we are going to something like this we would want to go "PORTABLE" or "MOBILE" as in hand held wouldn't we? I wouldn't think being tied down to a 'hardwired' location is wise. Our effort should should be geared toward that end (mobile) shouldn't it? Marcus
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dcoates18481

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Re: Ham radio and the SHTF aftermath.
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 07:55:13 PM »
all of my 2m as well as my kenwood hf is 12vdc.
i have mobile antenna for the 2m,
also have antenna wire to get me out to 80m if i have a tall tree.
all my comm gear was purchased on the cheap and for portability and mobility.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience.

DON'T ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT...
ANYONE WATCHING MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE !!!

" Assault is an action...not a RIFLE "