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Preppers purchase a large number of two way radio equipment. Problem is most of it was never made for the non licensed user. Baofeng, Wouxon, Anytone and many more have produced radios for the professional and amateur radio communities. Preppers use these radios, usually illegally. We should all rally for these Chinese manufacturers to produce true MURS and GMRS handy talkie and base radios that work only on these frequencies. The base units should have a large LED screen for a signal strength meter, GPS position, and ANI identification of the unit calling. They should also be powered appropriately with 2 watts for MURS and base units should be able to transmit at least 25 watts. When equipped with a base antenna this radio service would finally be usable in search and rescue and other operations.
 

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Walter,
Your thoughts are great and I agree for the need for communications for the masses but please don't put GPS's in them. Those can be tracked and the only way to have any kind of OPSEC is to completely remove the batteries - at which point the radios are useless. I know that the signal itself can be triangulated but that takes more time than the GPS and it can only be tracked when you are transmitting.

The search and rescue ops in my area use 80 meter band due to the limited range of the higher frequencies in the pine and fir trees. I don't think the 80 meter band is ever going to be open to the general public so that band is completely off the table but it would be nice to have a low and high frequency available for different environments.
 

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It is entirely legal to use the radios you are discussing to listen. GMRS radios are already legal. We've had a variety of threads where someone suggests illegal use of HAM radios and the licensed members tend to jump on those while remaining committed to helping anyone with questions.

Welcome. How about an introductory post.
 

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Walter,
Like Diver said, how about an introduction? If you are a communications expert, I would like to read a thread regarding various legal options for radio communication.
Thanks
 

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Walter, Welcome to the Forum. As stated, an introduction would be appropriate. As far as communication is concerned, I need a lot of help in this area. I know little to nothing about the laws and the different allowable bands and two way communication devices. If you have knowledge and expertise in this area I would welcome the info shared.
 
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Me too Prepared One.

I was in Bass Pro recently and went to the radio section. The sales person was telling me that some of the marine radios are the best but you have to be on water to legally use them. I've never heard that before. I have a creek that runs through my property, can I use the marine radio on a creek and be legal or is this just BS?
 

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Me too Prepared One.

I was in Bass Pro recently and went to the radio section. The sales person was telling me that some of the marine radios are the best but you have to be on water to legally use them. I've never heard that before. I have a creek that runs through my property, can I use the marine radio on a creek and be legal or is this just BS?
Slippy, marine band radios are seriously a bad idea in other than intended circumstances

This is a topic Ive replied too in many arenas so suffice to say. Coast Guard monitors this set of channels. Hint HINT
Coast Guard belongs to DHS HINT HINT
DHS uses these same freqs in areas where there is little or no Coast guard HINT ****ING HINT
I work for an agency issuing radios on the same freqs but encrypted.

If you don't get it by now......
 

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Now, for better news

I have a bud on the east coast who sent me a god awefull long post for my site about FRS/GMRS/MURS which I posted entirely because I might have done it as well but not better

I highly recommend taking a look at it and it will answer a lot of your questions concerning legality of certain bands

PaulS- I have no idea where you live but the 80m band is used by US ham operators. Its a great freq band for NVIS ops
80 Meters (3.5-4.0 MHz)
3.590 RTTY/Data DX
3.570-3.600 RTTY/Data
3.790-3.800 DX window
3.845 SSTV
3.885 AM calling frequency

If you can pass a drivers test you can pass a HAM exam. If you don't want a license then your tin foil is too tight, because there are 900,000 in the database and you aren't on the top. There are far more reasons than a ham license to worry what lists you are on.
 

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For all: there are two main uses preppers would have for radios. 1) to collect news on what is going on, i.e. information gathering. For this, a variety of radios is useful so you can listen to all the bands covered conveniently. No license is required to listen to anything that is broadcast, so owning a HAM radio and listening to it is perfectly legal. 2) to communicate with others. Here you need to be aware of licensing requirements as you will be transmitting. The requirements vary depending on the bands you will be using. The easy way to think about it is bands that operate over short distances, combined with low power, will generally have low or minimal licensing requirements, e.g. CB radio. Bands or frequencies, particularly with higher power, will have more difficult licensing requirements, not to mention requiring more technical skill.

In a nutshell, you can own any kind of radio and listen to it without restriction. To transmit you need to be aware of restrictions and you should comply with those restrictions as they are generally for the purpose of limiting interference with others.
 

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I'M A LICENSED HAM AND I HATE YOU!
................just kidding. Throwing that out there for levity. A lot of old codgers come across that way and turn people off.

If you are new to the hobby or are thinking about it, let me say this - Welcome! Welcome to the world of amateur radio.

I've said it before and I'll say it again in case new eyes are reading this for the first time.

There is some phenomenally excellent communication gear available to the public in all price points. BUT! Most of this gear requires a license. And as a licensed ham, I don't care if you have paid your money to take the test just so you could put a piece of paper in your hand. Please, do not mistake that for me not caring if you have a license though. Here is why...

Ham radio - or hell any radio for that matter - is largely based on the antenna and the skill of the user. My off the cuff ratio is that it is 70% antenna and 30% radio. To get technical it is more like 50% knowledge of the operator, 40% antenna, and then 10% radio. As proof, I offer you evidence that MANY hams like to home brew a radio out of spare parts around the house. They can literally McGyver one of these things out of an Altoids can. I've seen them do it.

I'm not saying that to impress you with what these old timers can do, but to underscore the point that the radio is the least critical part of the equation. Just like anything else, the most important piece of hardware is lodged between your ears. You have to LEARN about radio theory and wave propagation and how the radio spectrum is organized - and that is what getting a license does for you. These people that prep by buying a $4000 ham set up and leaving it in the shrink wrapped box until the SHTF are going to be very disappointed.

Ham radio is like one hand clapping - you need a guy (or gal) on the other end to make it of any benefit. And if you don't have the knowledge, you might be the bestest clapper out there but if you can't hit the other hand, what good is it?

You don't wait until the deer is 100 yards out in front of you to learn how to shoot. You don't wait until you fall off the boat to learn how to swim. And jumping out of a plane is a bad time to learn skydiving (if at first you don't succeed, sky diving might not be the hobby for you).

So I encourage EVERY one to learn CPR and first aid and then go get a ham license. It will make you smarter and to this date I've still spent less than $160 for all of my gear, licenses and stuff. That's cheap. You will use that much ammo at the range in one day. $160 is what it costs to take a family of four to Applebees twice in one year. Ham license is waaaaay better than fried mushrooms and jalapeno poppers. Go get it. Even if you never buy a radio, you may "inherit" one after the SHTF one day and you'll need to know how it works.

Oh! And BTW Walter Kilowatt... Welcome to PF! Go give us an introductory post. It helps set the context for your questions and comments if we know a little about you. Have cats? Left handed? Favorite color? Like long walks along the beach? That kind of shtuffs. Good luck and see you around the forums. After that first post, I can't wait to see what you got for the next one.
 

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They can literally McGyver one of these things out of an Altoids can. I've seen them do it.- I resemble that remark Very true

You have to LEARN about radio theory and wave propagation and how the radio spectrum is organized - Again well said

Yeah this says it-You don't wait until the deer is 100 yards out in front of you to learn how to shoot. You don't wait until you fall off the boat to learn how to swim. And jumping out of a plane is a bad time to learn skydiving (if at first you don't succeed, sky diving might not be the hobby for you).

I have a whole lot more than $160 invested in my stuff but its true you need to learn before engaging credit card
 

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I have a whole lot more than $160 invested in my stuff but its true you need to learn before engaging credit card
I only bring that point up, repeatedly, because I use to believe and continue to hear from a LOT of people that ham radio is too expensive to get into. Fact of the matter is that if you apply that logic to any hobby, just because you can't afford the biggest, baddest, nicest whatever that the whole hobby is out of range, then all hobbies are out of range.

I can't afford a 120 foot motor yacht - might as well not learn to sail a Hobe-Cat.
I can't afford a 338 Lapua battle rifle with night vision - might as well not learn to shoot.

Same is true of ham - afford what you can.
 

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Disturbed- take a look here. I hate to keep linking but its so much easier then reposting it all- http://quietsurvivalist.com/category/survivalcommunication-hamradio/

DONT BUY ANYTHING but those 3 books

When you need a study guide I teach my ham classes from go here-http://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/ I teach Tech and General with these guides 100% of people who test pass tech after my class, and 50% pass General even tho my class is a tech class only. They are GREAT guides
 

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As far as listening goes, a short wave receiver is a good idea. The other day I was listening to China's international SW radio service which is in english. somewhat interesting when they get to the news.
 
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