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 Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?

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j.dorton
Trail Scout
Trail Scout
j.dorton

Posts : 110
Points : 3179
Join date : 2013-03-05
Location : Winston Salem, NC

Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Empty
PostSubject: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeSun Oct 13, 2013 11:05 pm

I finally decided to step into the world of becoming a ham radio operator earlier this year.
I didn't take this road alone, I brought along my brother, my dad, and my
wife who has ZERO elctronics background. She actually surprised me with how much she enjoyed it, and ended up smoking the test with a 100% 

When I got started, I assumed it was going to be difficult, it was not. In fact, it was far from difficult. It is also not as expensive as you may think either. Like with many things, you can get into as much expense as you could want, but for something that can blow a top if the line CB radio out of the water(CB is limited to 4 watts transmit, and doesn't penetrate well), you can get there for less than $50.00.
http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-136-174-400-480-Dual-Band/dp/B008IYCQSO/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1381714406&sr=1-2&keywords=baofeng+uv-5r
Is that cheap enough? I know what you're thinking....No way... Yes way!

How many people do you know that can talk on CB 5 miles consistantly? 10 miles? 50? How about a few hundred to the International Space Stationhttp://www.qsl.net/va3rj/sat_iss.html on the same handheld you talk to your friends on the trail with? I've been the trail rides were the people in the middle had to mediate between the tailgunner, and the leader because they can't reach each other via CB. On that same trail run, while 1only 1/4 mile from the front to rear having communication issues, i've used my 2m ham setuphttp://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-010078 to help coordinate fuel for someone over 35 miles away. I find it neat that I can be on the road in Winston Salem, and talk to people in Boone NC(85 miles W), Danville VA(60 miles N), or Raleigh NC(91 miles E). 

Getting a ham radio license opens you up to many different cool things you otherwise may have never considered. In the middle of nowhere, with no WiFi, no cell coverage, no 4g etc....No problem, send and recieve emails with your computer hooked to your ham radio. Want to send video? Get a license, and the equipment and do it.

I wanted to post this up for people to either voice your experiences with ham, or post up your questions and hesitations. I feel if more people knew how easy, or cheap it was to get into the amature radio world, CB would be about non-existant. Since CB is the lowest common denominator in the off-roading world, I will keep one, but only because it is the "lowest common denominator".
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NC FJ Driver
Gunner
Gunner
NC FJ Driver

Posts : 1551
Points : 5278
Join date : 2011-05-09
Age : 58
Location : Raeford, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeSun Oct 13, 2013 11:13 pm

Not
1. Don't know if its still true, but in the day you had to learn Morse Code to get your Ham License, something like 7/7, its like learning a different language and I've failed at German, Spanish and French, didn't want to bother trying da dit da dit.
2. Have always had too many other, higher priority hobbies that drain my bank account.
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j.dorton
Trail Scout
Trail Scout
j.dorton

Posts : 110
Points : 3179
Join date : 2013-03-05
Location : Winston Salem, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeSun Oct 13, 2013 11:32 pm

1.Nope, Morse code was dropped from the requirements about 10 or so years ago.

2.Exam cost $15.00 + Inexpensive handheld talkie $40.00 = $55.00 will get you rolling, and into the hobby.
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Droop07FJ
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Droop07FJ

Posts : 45
Points : 3666
Join date : 2011-08-31
Location : Lexington

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 14, 2013 3:08 am

I will be as of tomorrow Very Happy
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Speedrye
Trail Guide
Trail Guide
Speedrye

Posts : 1050
Points : 4819
Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Stokesdale, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 14, 2013 12:08 pm

I've considered it, but I don't really like people, much less talking to them.  My main use of a CB is to avoid traffic jams, and it does a wonderful job at that.
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ejcagle
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
ejcagle

Posts : 21
Points : 2969
Join date : 2013-06-30
Age : 47
Location : Grovetown, GA

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 14, 2013 1:46 pm

I too have considered going into the HAM world and now that I read what you posted about the email and video for laptops (I geocache and some locations are quite remote), I am more curious.  Is there a link to find out where the test is offered?  Also, installation... about the same as a CB or more power drain?
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j.dorton
Trail Scout
Trail Scout
j.dorton

Posts : 110
Points : 3179
Join date : 2013-03-05
Location : Winston Salem, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 14, 2013 2:05 pm

http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
 That will point you in the right direction  on where you can  take the exam.

As  far as install I'd concerned it's straight forward, but yes the wattage used can be higher than on CB. I usually run mine at 5 watts,  but can go to 75watts on the current setup.
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Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why?   Who here is a Ham Radio Operator, If you're not, Why? Icon_minitime

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