New to HAM radio

Discussion in 'Communications' started by leaner09, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. leaner09

    leaner09 New Member

    Hi guys,

    I need your suggestion what brand and model I should buy? Right now, I want to buy a two-way radio to communicate when there is disaster (flooding) happen. Idealy, I want to coordinate control, so people would not come in direct with flood (kill). When the flooding is happened, I want to able communicating with other person that is in 15 miles radius.

    No FCC License required, please. Can I bring this radio to oversea without govt. fine me?

    My ideal range up to 26 miles. The model I am think buying T9500XLR NiMH Rechargeable Two-Way Radio. Is this good model to buy or you have better suggestion up to 26 miles? I want help because if I can prevent 1 person got kill, then I have done my part. Please share?

    Thank you
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I will let some of our experts comment on the models and such - but - just having a radio doesn't mean that someone is listening to your broadcast. You can put out all the warnings possible - but - without the HAM network running, you might as well be yelling through a bull-horn.

    For a 15-mile range, you could use FRS (NO license required) or CB-radio (again NO license required) to be able to talk to those within range. For HAM radio, you are required by Federal Law (US and Canada) to have a license, and, from all the reports from those who have their license, it isn't very difficult to get.

    The license covers things like radio signals and how they are sent / received. It covers network etiquette - ie: how to listen / respond to those talking. It covers power-of-transmission and why you shouldn't over-power signals running in your particular region.

    I could go on - but - I am sure that others will chime-in shortly.

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    I don't think you'll be satisfied with that radio. We have several frs/gmrs radios and none of them reach the advertised range where we live ... not even close! Most radios have a disclaimer that the advertised range is only under ideal conditions. We use ours for local transmissions on the property (20 acres) and take them to town to round everyone up when we're scattered among several stores.

    CB radio will probably not consistently reach that distance either unless some modifictions are made to the unit. Then it will be one-way communication unless the party you're talking to has also had thier radio "tweaked."

    HAM is the way to go. The test is not easy but it ain't rocket science either. Our local HAM club helps people prepare for the test. You'll need the book (which has the test questions in it) and you can take practice tests online. There are several organizations that enlist amatuer radio operators in emergency situations. Get your license and join one of them.

    Like NaeKid says, radios aren't like a cell phone. The person contacted must also have a radio turned on and must be listening to the same frequency you're transmitting on. It won't happen unless you've pre-arranged everything.
  4. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Get your Ham license, not that hard and will open up avenues that you won't believe in distance, and clarity. You will spend almost as much on CB, FRS and GRMS equipment and radios as you would on Ham gear and believe me be disappointed in the results of the FRS system. These units(FRS) are great for keeping in touch with family in malls and around campgrounds, maybe even hiking, but not for the serious users.
    Individuals will spend hundreds of dollars on beans, bullets and band-aids but fail to be prepared in the communication area. All it takes is a little study time, that's free!, then $15 to take the test, pretty small price for this.
    I just aced my general advance ticket for Ham radio, I joined a study class only three weeks ago and last Sat took the test. Contact your local Ham club for details on classes and testing. You can even study online at:
    AA9PW FCC Exam Practice or QRZ Ham Radio , again free!!
    If you are really serious about preparing, this is one of the least expensive preparations you can achieve.

  5. leaner09

    leaner09 New Member

    Can you setup Ham equipments to work with a budget less than 200 USD?

    You guys recommended any study guide (book) to get Ham license? I curious why require HAM license when operate 5 Watts or more? When I get the license, will it teach me what you can do and can't?
  6. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    The price for equipment will vary according to what you want. Our handheld units were about $100.00 each. I can talk on simplex (no repeaters) from town to home (about 15 miles) with no problem. With our home unit we can cummunicate through repeaters about 80 miles. The thing is I can hit the repeater from about 15 miles and my wife at home can hit it from about 65 miles. Again, communication is clear. If we both had equal equipment we could probably use simplex. The handheld is 5 watt max. The home unit is 65 watt max. As you'll learn when studying for your exam, the watt rating of a radio may not have any effect on the range of the radio. Some frequencies just work better than others. If you want access to those frequencies you'll need your license. Don't try to use the radio without a license. There are people who make a game out of D-Fing (direction finding) illegal transmissions. The FCC, like most goverment agencies, does not have a sense of humor about such things.

    Do not buy a radio on ebay unless you know what you're doing. I've seen pieces of junk go for twice what they're worth.

    You'll have to know the answers you posed to pass the test but they are explained in the study books. We studied with a friend who is licensed. He explained a lot of the terms and helped us in other ways. The book can be purchased at American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources

    I'd try the yellow pages to see if you have a HAM club in your area and talk to them or go online and do a search for HAM radio clubs in your area. Most of them are extremely helpful and quite happy to have others join their ranks. Often you can get discounts on equipment through clubs. You can also have them help you chose what's right for you, your budget and your needs.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010