Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you sat for the exam(s) for your ham license? I'm considering going for mine and getting a little setup. It seems to me that depending on the scenario, that might be an only means of knowing what is going on outside of one's immediate surroundings. I'm not the most talkative person in the world, and can't imagine what I would have to say to complete strangers, but it seems to me it would be a handy skill to have. At least I would have something additional for my "resume." :D

Any thoughts, experiences, input?

Thanks!
El
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Without a doubt in a SHTF situation ham radios and ham operators will be our main source of communication. I say go for it you will possess knowledge that all of us really should have. Keep us posted on the steps required to accomplish this task please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I was about 17 when I got my license. It wasn't too hard. I took a class that met once a week for maybe a month, then we all took a multiple choice test.

I believe amateur radio communications are vital. Ham radio can provide extremely efficient communications for any kind of disaster, natural or man-made. It is also useful for more mundane communications as well. And, with no usage charges or limits, it is quite cost effective. Depending on the level license one holds, they can literally talk to people one the other side of the world with no internet or other infrastructure. I think everyone should look into it, especially preppers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Lack of communication in a SHTF situation is one of my main concerns. I have been wanting to look into it for some time now. Time and money are 2 things I don't have much of right now. Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
The nature of CB communities is somewhat regional. I live in the Northeast and unless you’re within 3-4 miles of an interstate, all we have is 40 channels of dead air. It’s ideal for some group, like preppers, to pick a channel and dominate it.

HAM is great, but I have six people in my family and even though I can legally communicate on the radio, my wife and kids can’t. I think that the rules that regulate HAM communication (while necessary for HAM coordination) are so restrictive that they are a poor communication choice for families or a neighborhood. In an emergency, I don’t want a situation where less than 1% of the population can legally talk to me. What if we have only one HAM person in the neighborhood and something happens to them? The rest of us are without communication… no good in my book.

I have 7 CB radios. Most I got free or for a couple dollars. I can hand those out to neighbors and have a neighborhood watch network going in an hour without regulatory issues. If there’s an elderly couple two blocks away that may need to call for assistance during a crisis, I can give them a CB and they’re covered. It’s nice to have HAM OP’s around to bring info in from a greater distance, but my scanner can listen to the same communications that they can. I want to talk to as many people locally as possible to coordinate mutual support… not limit who gets to talk to whom.

I don't think that HAM and CB are mutually exclusive. Each serves a different purpose. One addresses official response activities and the other can knit people togther in a community with shared needs. Both have their place if people choose to use them as intended.

One last thought. HAM groups work closely with government agencies and are often the eyes and ears of those agencies in your community. I can imagine scenarios where I might become personally conflicted in a legally bound HAM OP role... yours to ponder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Thank you Anvil Iron. That gives me a whole new perspective on communication.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
AnvilIron, in an emergency situation, ANYONE is allowed to use HAM on any channel, whether or not they are licensed. Edited to add...but I do get what you are saying and agree. In an ongoing crisis, everyone will need a way to communicate with each other...not necessarily to call for help, but to coordinate.

Here's a link on operating HAM in an emergency for those who aren't licensed: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/o ... gency.html

Here's another link to get some familiarity for those who aren't licensed: http://blog.makezine.com/2009/08/30/the ... of-fun-to/

This thread has pretty much made up my mind. I'm going to go ahead and do it once I get settled in the new place. Even if I don't use it for "chat" purposes, I don't think it is a knowledge that can ever go to waste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I have been a ham since 1987 and have lots of radios and related gear but I agree there is a place for cb radio in a crisis. Lots more peolpe own cb's than ham gear. I have a prepper friend who lives down the street and this is one of the things we have talked about. I would like to add some of those small family service radios they sell in the camping supplies. They work well over short distances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I am a former CB'er from around 98-2005. We lived in FLA, so surrounded by water, we were able to reach out pretty well.. We use to play cb tag, and in doing so, with a very well known group of people, we learned how to track using the cb signal strength.. One thing I learned well, was that if we wanted them to think they were close to us, but were not, we could sit at the bottom of the bridge 3 towns over, hook the jumper cables to our bumper (that had a steel whip antenna on it), and key up. lol.. ok, not very sportsman like, but I did learn from my X how to do it. Of course everyone in Punta Gorda who normally would get a very weak message from us, got excited thinking they found us, seeing how the needle spiked when we keyed up.., when in fact we were in Englewood..lol...

I plan on putting a steel whip antenna on my truck, steel bumper, and keep a very long pair of jumper cables in my trunk.. If not for anything else, but to get a better signal and reach more people. It wont reach the other side of the US.. or even the next state unless we are just that close... but it will get out there..

Also have to keep a reminder that not everyone you talk to on the cb is a good person.. and just as you want to use a cb for communication, they will have other intentions, such as finding people that are prepared and have food. If we can track signals playing a game, I am sure they can do so trying to survive... please be careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I just passed the test for the Technician Class Ham license. It is really part of my prepping plan and thought it would also be a fun hobby. With repeaters linked together now, you can talk across an entire State. Also, they now have VOiP over radio so distance is not limited; it's called IRLP (Internet radio link project).
Technicians can only use (pretty much) the VHF and UHF frequencies, which are line of sight, so they are good for hitting repeaters.
I'm now studying for the next (General) license Class so I can transmit on the lower bands for skip distances.
During my research, I found out there is an extensive emergency plan already in effect, set up by the County that includes all emergency services, such as ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services).
So, I think it would be good for preppers to be able to communicate and during an actual end of the world as we know it event, all of the rules are probably going to be forgotten anyway.
Like I said, I just went through the process to get my license and call sign, so I'll be glad to help others......
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top