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Author Topic: Getting into cb/ham radio  (Read 2814 times)
GT45
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« on: June 28, 2015, 09:54:10 PM »

After reading posts on this forum, listening to podcasts, and other research, I have decided to finally get the ball rolling on getting my ham license and get set up with a radio.  It is something I have always said I need to do but always put off for other projects.  But I am starting on the ground with this and have very little knowledge on this subject. I am wanting to go ahead and get a cb in my truck while learning about and taking the ham test, then getting a hand held ham radio and later a ham radio in my truck that can also boost my handheld signal, if I am close to but away from my truck.

Does anyone know a good study guide for the test?  Also I would like to find a good resource on which radios to buy and how to set the radios up with the proper antennas.

Thanks for any input!
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Proverbs 6:6-11 NIV
[6] Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! [7] It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, [8] yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. [9] How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? [10] A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--- [11] and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 11:48:23 AM »

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/?gclid=CK_B1_jPv8YCFVOQHwodQRcBTg
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 05:37:25 PM »

Can't be much help with the HAM test info. But I'm pretty good with CB radios. Have been using them for 40+ years. If your budget allows go with either a Galaxy 0r a stryker. Both are top shelf radios with lots of functions. I've got a Galaxy 959 has CB and SSB. While illegal under current circumstances you can also get a linear amplifier from around 100 watts up to over 1000 watts to give you very long range comms range. As for an antenna IMO you can't beat a pair of co-phased 102" steel whip antennas if you can mount them on your vehicle.
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 08:07:01 AM »

Can't be much help with the HAM test info. But I'm pretty good with CB radios. Have been using them for 40+ years. If your budget allows go with either a Galaxy 0r a stryker. Both are top shelf radios with lots of functions. I've got a Galaxy 959 has CB and SSB. While illegal under current circumstances you can also get a linear amplifier from around 100 watts up to over 1000 watts to give you very long range comms range. As for an antenna IMO you can't beat a pair of co-phased 102" steel whip antennas if you can mount them on your vehicle.

I'm close to buying a CB, so thanks for this info.
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 08:50:21 PM »

If you are truly wanting disaster comms amateur radio is the ONLY way to go. CBs are cheap, we know. However,  the intent is to communicate after a disaster and with others that are likewise prepared. You won't find a group of people on CB that are as prepared as ham radio operators. There are numerous groups within ham radio that are dedicated solely to emergency communications like SKYWARN, ARES, MARS, RACES and so on. After a hurricane I bounced a signal from my VHF radio in my car in Virginia off of the digital repeater on the International Space Station back to earth to a station connected to the internet half way across country that delivered an email to my father in Missouri that said, "All ok. No damage, no power." That was the only means I had for 9 days because the whole power grid was down and cell towers were useless. You can't do that with a CB. The license is easy to get and you won't regret it. I would bet that if you join the local radio club you would meet other preppers as well. I've been a ham for almost 10 years now and love it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 12:21:15 PM »

I'm close to buying a CB, so thanks for this info.

 You're welcome Bob. If I can help in any way let me know. I'll PM you my contact info.
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If I can help one person to get prepared, If I can through my knowledge and prevent them from making the mistakes I have made. If I can help just one person to obtain the knowledge that will save their life or the life of a loved one. Then I will know that the time and work I have invested was and is worth every minute spent.
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 01:45:18 PM »

Passed my Technician test a few days ago. Some thoughts:

- Practice exams are invaluable. Every morning I got up, poured myself a cup of coffee, and took a practice test at eHam. I actually have not finished the ARRL Technician's license manual yet, but outside of the technical stuff (i.e. the first five chapters) a lot of the test is common sense and can be picked up quickly. This is not a monster time investment - a practice test run took me about 10-15 minutes every morning.

- The math is not demanding at all. If you understand Ohm's Law and can translate frequencies into wavelengths, you're good. These are both easy formulas to remember, too.

- I read a little every night and took notes, and that was plenty of study effort. Studying for Technician doesn't have to be a cram, and ideally you just soak it in with daily practice tests and reading.  I am still reading at night in order to finish the textbook.

- Smartphones make learning Morse much less of a hassle - this morning I downloaded Morse Toad for my Android and it made getting started a breeze. Morse is NOT a requirement, but I want to learn it and to eventually transmit on CW. You do not have to do this.

- Ham radio interest is infectious. I mentioned it to a coworker and within days he was studying for his license too, because it sounded cool. You might have somebody to talk to in short order.
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