Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am studying for my HAM license and have been looking for free study materials and tips online. I thought it might be nice to start a thread just for these types of links. Here's what I've found so far. All these were checked and working at the time I made this post.

1. ARRL 'official' study guide, second edition which is good until 6/30/14 - Ham Radio License Manual with CD (Arrl Ham Radio License Manual): arrl: 9780872590977: Amazon.com: Books
2. ARRL.ORG - Licensing, Preparation & Exams
3. Unofficial study guide/Question Pool Pdf - http://studyguide.eqth.info/Tech_Study_Guide_2010.pdf
4. YouTube study videos - Go to Youtube and search for HAM License Test. There's tons of study videos (which are far more interesting than the boring book).
5. A compilation of testing materials - Study Material to Earn Technician Ham License, Amateur Radio License Study Material, Amateur Radio Technician Question Pool, Amateur Radio License Study Guide, Study Material to Learn Technician Amateur License, Ham Radio License Study Material, Ham
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
What most people I know do is take the practice tests on QRZ.com. Once you can pass these with at least 90%, you are in good shape to pass your test. This is what I used to check my knowledge to pass general and extra class.

Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM
+1 on this.. I've been a Volunteer Examiner for many years and the QRZ practice exams have been credited with more passing scores than anything else.

Good luck PrepperMama.. let us know if you have any questions :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: preppermama

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Just went to my first Ham Radio Club meeting a few nights ago... I was the youngest in there by far. Most everyone was really nice and into getting the younger generation involved. I am pretty excited and you can find "Ham for Dummies" if you google the pdf. hope to get my license soon!
 
  • Like
Reactions: hayden

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Once you get your ham license I can recommend a cheap handy talky for 2 meter 144/148 MHz and 440 MHz ham bands. I got my first 2 Baofeng UV-5R ht' s for 43 dollars a piece off ebay with free shipping. I liked them so well I bought 2 more recently for 40 dollars each off ebay with free shipping. Low power 1 watt high power 4 watts. In a shtf situation they will also operate out of band in the FRS/GMRS (like those little radios for camping from Walmart) but the output of 1 watt is too much power to be legal. They also pick up the FM band if you want to listen to some music. LED flashlight built in also. They are a little tricky to program from the keypad but are pretty easy if you buy the cable and program with your computer. I also bought a Wouxun KG-UVD1p for 2m and 220 for just over 100 dollars and it uses the same cable for programming. Also for the Baofeng's I bought 4 larger capacity batteries for about 18 dollars a piece. I can't recommend the Kenwood speaker mics I bought for the Baofengs, they sound awful. Anyway good luck on getting your license.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Once you get your ham license I can recommend a cheap handy talky for 2 meter 144/148 MHz and 440 MHz ham bands. I got my first 2 Baofeng UV-5R ht' s for 43 dollars a piece off ebay with free shipping. I liked them so well I bought 2 more recently for 40 dollars each off ebay with free shipping. Low power 1 watt high power 4 watts. In a shtf situation they will also operate out of band in the FRS/GMRS (like those little radios for camping from Walmart) but the output of 1 watt is too much power to be legal. They also pick up the FM band if you want to listen to some music. LED flashlight built in also. They are a little tricky to program from the keypad but are pretty easy if you buy the cable and program with your computer. I also bought a Wouxun KG-UVD1p for 2m and 220 for just over 100 dollars and it uses the same cable for programming. Also for the Baofeng's I bought 4 larger capacity batteries for about 18 dollars a piece. I can't recommend the Kenwood speaker mics I bought for the Baofengs, they sound awful. Anyway good luck on getting your license.
Thanks, I would also like to buy a radio that I can mount in my truck. Maybe one I can start out by using it in my house then maybe later mounting it in my truck. The 2 Baofeng UV-5R's have good reviews.

I may get shunned for doing this but I already purchased 2 of them and have messed around with the programing for $35 off amazon what more could you ask for! I have not xmitted as I know legally you need a license to do so.

In a SHTF scenario I need to talk to a few people about 150-250 miles away so either getting a better antenna, cranking up the power, or getting a larger truck/home rig may have to do.

I have watch a few people on youtube hit repeaters 18-20 miles away with this handheld. In a non natural disaster SHTF scenario I do not expect these/most repeaters to be operational so I assume if you can hit a repeater from 18 miles 1 radio can talk to the other up to that range w/o a repeater? I work 15.3 miles from home and about 16 miles from where my GF works this will be a good thing once I get it going. I still can't seem to get it to program right, I cant hit the repeater, I guess I am not getting the whole + - thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I think the programming cable and disk cost about 15 bucks but it makes it pretty easy. The software just looks like a spreadsheet and you just fill in the blanks. Rx freq, tx freq any tone that you might need power level. Yes you will want a rig for HF 1.8 to 30 MHz for long distance contacts. I'm not real active but 10 meters was open the other day and I did add Ireland to the log book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
And that contact was with only 100 watts. Also there are lots of good videos on youtube on how to program the HT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
I think the programming cable and disk cost about 15 bucks but it makes it pretty easy. The software just looks like a spreadsheet and you just fill in the blanks. Rx freq, tx freq any tone that you might need power level. Yes you will want a rig for HF 1.8 to 30 MHz for long distance contacts. I'm not real active but 10 meters was open the other day and I did add Ireland to the log book.
I picked up the cable for a few dollars and got "Chirp" off the net. What would you recommend for a good starter home base radio?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I've been a ham since 1987 but am not well versed in a lot of the radios. I have a yeasu ft100 that I like real well. Puts out 100 watts on all bands and covers all modes. I paid 550 for it used. Up until I bought that a few years ago I was still using my first rig. A Heathkit dx60a tx and Hammarlund hq170 rx morse code only lol. I tried chirp but ended up using uv-5r commander. I'm sure there are hams on here to better answer your question about what rig to buy.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
9,021 Posts
While I understand a license is necessary to transmit on the ham frequencies, I don't need a license to listen and copy the mail. If it were a true SHTF incident, do you think the FCC will come after me if I transmit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
In a true emergency if there is a ham radio there and you need help by all means use it. I might be wrong on this but that is my understanding. In a true shtf situation I don't think the fcc is going to be functioning. Ham radio is becoming more popular I think part of that is when they dropped the morse code requirement. For along time there was about 500,000 hams in the US. Today I think it is over 600,000 but still that is only about one in five hundred people in the US are hams.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,228 Posts
When the SHTF, all bets are off. Ham radio is more self policed than anything the FCC does. There are many who are good at triangulating. I am not one of them. Once the info is found, it is then turned over to the FCC who acts on this info.

Right now a license is good for 10 yrs.

For more than 50 miles, a 2m/440 rig will not do much good. An HF radio with an NVIS or beam antenna may do the trick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
When the SHTF, all bets are off. Ham radio is more self policed than anything the FCC does. There are many who are good at triangulating. I am not one of them. Once the info is found, it is then turned over to the FCC who acts on this info.

Right now a license is good for 10 yrs.

For more than 50 miles, a 2m/440 rig will not do much good. An HF radio with an NVIS or beam antenna may do the trick.
Oh yeah, I was just saying for now, it is illegal that's why I am trying to get my license.

You seem to know a fair amount about HAM, what's a good radio to get? Something I could maybe have in my house then a little later mount it in my truck?

Sidenote, do you know a way to find the exact location of repeaters? Or a good database? I am building a KML of Repeaters in my area and I have looked on a few websites but they all give general positions of the towers, I guess I will just have to DF them, is there a good Direction finder you recommend or and easy way to DF them?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,228 Posts
Oh yeah, I was just saying for now, it is illegal that's why I am trying to get my license.

You seem to know a fair amount about HAM, what's a good radio to get? Something I could maybe have in my house then a little later mount it in my truck?
The reason to acquire your license would be to familiarize yourself with your equipment. This way when it does get bad, you won't be fumbling with the radio(s). Just like firearms, practice, practice, practice.

What kind of radio? This is kinda like asking what gun to buy. It depends on what you want to do with it. Personally, I have a Yeasu 2800 that is 2m only. Someday I intend to use it for APRS (ham radio global tracking) but the majority of my gear is Kenwood. Is there any particular reason for Kenwood? Not really. My 1st HF (which I still have) is a Kenwood TS-450S. Why? Because I got a good deal on it. My other HF rig is a Kenwood TS-2000. Why? Partly because I really wanted one and buddy bought this one new, didn't like it as much as he thought he would, sold it to me at a discount and bought himself a Icom 9100 which he loves. As to 2m/440, we both have Kenwood TM-D710A's (that is my buddy and I both bought these new because we liked the features it offered), I have an Icom 2720, he has an Icom 2820 (the difference is 2820 has D-Star and is more expensive) and until recently I also had an Icom IC-208H. The only reason I don't have that radio anymore is because my cousin got her license and I gave her the radio. The point here being that any radio from Alinco to Yeasu (and many points in between) are decent radios. All have different features and operate differently. My 1st radio was an old Kenwood because I was able to buy it cheaply. I would suggest starting with a dual band radio simply because you have access to both sets of frequencies.

Find a local hamfest and you can find decent used gear there. Also a local ham club, many members are buying and selling and the gear is usually decently priced. My only suggestion is don't just start with a handheld. Many people start in ham radio with one of these and get discouraged because the range and quality of transmission and reception is not real great. Handhelds are fine for what they are but don't expect them to take the place of a good mobile rig. BTW, mobile rigs can be either base or portable.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer. There are also other hams here and they too are helpful. Most (if not all) are smarter than I am. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
The reason to acquire your license would be to familiarize yourself with your equipment. This way when it does get bad, you won't be fumbling with the radio(s). Just like firearms, practice, practice, practice.

What kind of radio? This is kinda like asking what gun to buy. It depends on what you want to do with it. Personally, I have a Yeasu 2800 that is 2m only. Someday I intend to use it for APRS (ham radio global tracking) but the majority of my gear is Kenwood. Is there any particular reason for Kenwood? Not really. My 1st HF (which I still have) is a Kenwood TS-450S. Why? Because I got a good deal on it. My other HF rig is a Kenwood TS-2000. Why? Partly because I really wanted one and buddy bought this one new, didn't like it as much as he thought he would, sold it to me at a discount and bought himself a Icom 9100 which he loves. As to 2m/440, we both have Kenwood TM-D710A's (that is my buddy and I both bought these new because we liked the features it offered), I have an Icom 2720, he has an Icom 2820 (the difference is 2820 has D-Star and is more expensive) and until recently I also had an Icom IC-208H. The only reason I don't have that radio anymore is because my cousin got her license and I gave her the radio. The point here being that any radio from Alinco to Yeasu (and many points in between) are decent radios. All have different features and operate differently. My 1st radio was an old Kenwood because I was able to buy it cheaply. I would suggest starting with a dual band radio simply because you have access to both sets of frequencies.

Find a local hamfest and you can find decent used gear there. Also a local ham club, many members are buying and selling and the gear is usually decently priced. My only suggestion is don't just start with a handheld. Many people start in ham radio with one of these and get discouraged because the range and quality of transmission and reception is not real great. Handhelds are fine for what they are but don't expect them to take the place of a good mobile rig. BTW, mobile rigs can be either base or portable.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer. There are also other hams here and they too are helpful. Most (if not all) are smarter than I am. :D
I am Looking for something that wont be too expensive or complicated for a beginner, (over $300 really) I know once I get into it more spending 1-3K for a set of good equipment is not unheard of. Something that I can maybe use in my house (mount it on a stand) so I can get used to working it then I can mount it to my vehicle later.

My father lives about 120 Miles away, I want to be able to talk to him w/o the use of a repeater as these will probably be down in an extreme SHTF scenario. I also am into helping the community that's why I was thinking mobile/truck mountable so if a hurricane/blizzard or something happens I can run it with power from vehicle while assisting. I also just went to my first HAM Club meeting, they just had their "hamfest" ;(
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,228 Posts
I am Looking for something that wont be too expensive or complicated for a beginner, (over $300 really) I know once I get into it more spending 1-3K for a set of good equipment is not unheard of. Something that I can maybe use in my house (mount it on a stand) so I can get used to working it then I can mount it to my vehicle later.

My father lives about 120 Miles away, I want to be able to talk to him w/o the use of a repeater as these will probably be down in an extreme SHTF scenario. I also am into helping the community that's why I was thinking mobile/truck mountable so if a hurricane/blizzard or something happens I can run it with power from vehicle while assisting. I also just went to my first HAM Club meeting, they just had their "hamfest" ;(
This is why i suggest used. Over the years the majority of my stuff I bought used. Talk to some of the hams in the club. I'm sure someone will have something they are willing to sell a newbie without breaking the bank. This person will most likely teach you how to use it. All radio's operate somewhat differently. Yes, all have a mic and digital display but that's where they start to differ.

2m/440 most likely won't make it without a repeater. At the 120 mile range you're sort of in between. If you get an antenna high enough it's not unheard of to do it simplex (no repeater). The other option is to get your general and work HF. By in between I mean too far for 2m/440 and too short for HF. I am not an antenna guy by any stretch of the imagination. That's my buddies dept. I tend to pick his brain. You can do the same thing at your local ham club. You don't have to tell them it's for when SHTF, just tell them you would like to be able to communicate with your father. The terrain will make a difference also and the will know the lay of the land.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top