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Does any one know any thing about handheld ham radios? Thinking of getting one for my BOB I have a ham in my jeep and at my base camp but I have know experience with handheld motels just looking if any one used any or have any ideas ?
 

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About all I know is they're out there. I used to commute back and forth to Seattle on the ferry and us motorcycle riders (only way to do it on the ferry) were a pretty tight group. One guy had his HAM License and would carry a handheld with him everywhere he went. He used it, rather than a cell phone, to stay in touch with his family. Was pretty cool, and way cheaper, plus no dropped calls.

It came in handy for him when 9/11 happened. The rest of us idiots with cells were dead in the water, there was Erol talking away with his family... :cool:
 

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Cheap and easy.

baofeng uv-5r | eBay

The biggest problem with handheld radio's is battery life. I have 4, including the Baofeng and rarely use them. By the time I get around to using them the batteries need replacing on some.
 

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I just picked up a baofeng from amazon. $35. For that price I can get several, clone them, and keep them in vehicles, give to my family, etc.

Of course everyone needs at least a tech level license, but I figure that once the excrement hits the rotary air-moving device things like licenses will be ignored.
 

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Try finding ones that use AA batteries. Then get the Eneloop brand (used to be Sanyo but now may be Panasonic) NiMh batteries along with an AC input and 12V DC input (car) charger. The Eneloop batteries have a very low self-discharge rate, about as low as an alkaline battery. They retain about 75% of capacity sitting in an EMP proof metal can after a year.

BTW, you can also get "C" and "D" size adapters for the AAs. Not as much capacity but you can easily recharge them so it doesn't matter that much for most applications. Other companies make low-self discharge NiMh Cs and Ds if you need the capacity.

Oh, and get a small (10-25W) 12V solar panel to recharge your batteries for when the electricity is out. And put a spare one in an EMP proof can too.
 

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There are multiple batteries and adaptors available for the baofeng including car adaptors that replace the battery in favor of a 12v plug, a 3800 Ahr li-ion extended battery, and also cases that hold AA bats.
 

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I just received my Baofengs last week, haven't had a chance to play with them yet but they are highly recommended by many for best bang-for-your-buck. Are they something a 'real ham' would use? No. Are they something they recommend for a BOB or someone just cutting their teeth? Yes.

I looked all over and got confused by the differences on the UV5-Rblahbblahblabh model numbers. You will find a multitude of different 'versions' with a different designation for antenna length, color scheme, etc. The guts on them are supposedly all the same, so order away and buildSuper cheap and easy on amazon.
 

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I wrote an article comparing FRS/GMRS, CB, and amateur radio, particularly handhelds. The cheap Baofengs work fine (personally I have a Wouxun) and at that price you can have backups or more units to spread around your party. When you have more experience with amateur radio you'll know when you want a Yaesu or ICOM or Philips, and why.

In general ignore the sort of features you alluded to--antennas (you can change it later), color, etc. The key differences are the radio bands they work on--2m, 1.25m, and 70cm. You'll want to see what bands carry most of the traffic in your area, and choose accordingly. Where I live, it's 2m, so I got a dual-band handheld that included that band.

There are listservs (e.g. yahoogroups) that support the popular models, so join one for support on programming and accessorizing your radio. Enjoy!
 

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I just got my second Baofeng last week and they do seem to be good handhelds. They are a little hard to program from the keypad but much easier with the cable hooked to the pc. The UV-5R is what I have and it is 2 meter 144-148 MHz and 70 cm 440 MHz but they will also operate on the FRS/GMRS band which might be useful in a SHTF situation. Just renewed my license a few minutes ago so I'm good to go for the next ten years. It was free to renew. Not sure what the fee is now to get your ham license but I'm pretty sure it's less than 15 bucks. Good luck.
 

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I just received my Baofengs last week, haven't had a chance to play with them yet but they are highly recommended by many for best bang-for-your-buck. Are they something a 'real ham' would use? No. Are they something they recommend for a BOB or someone just cutting their teeth? Yes.
Nathan, you would be surprised. Many hams are acquiring these radio's for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons is that these are one of the few radios that can also be programed for inter-ops communications. Inter-ops are the freq's that have been designated as inter-agency frequencies used by public safety professionals. Can inter-ops be used normally by the average radio operator? No. Ham radio operators mainly prep for emergency communications. Many of us belong to organizations that back up public safety personnel. Organizations such as ARES and RACES.
 
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