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Ok so as part of gettin into prepping I am looking at getting my UK starters HAM Radio ticket.

Now I think I have a good grasp of the level of study this will require and there is a local HAM Radio club I will be getting in touch with.

What I was wondering about was other peoples experiences starting out with regards to equipment purchase and operation. Especially anything that you guys and galls found to be a mistake early on.

Also just any stories from when you started out down this path that particularly stick in your mind.



Oh the starters ticket here in the UK limits you to 10W of transmit power, just so you know what I will have access too to start with :)
 

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Suggesting equipment is tough. Everyone's taste is different. Personally I like icom and kenwood. There is good inexpensive equipment to get into. You can even probably find inexpensive used gear. Talk to your local ham club and see what they are using. See how it operates and if you like how it operates.

I know nothing about the UK but one thing I can tell you is this. I have seen many people come and go. One reason people get tired of radio is they start with a handheld. They want this handheld to tx/rx like a mobile unit. Not gonna happen. Not enough power, not enough coverage. Something to consider. A handheld is great for short range communications (unless you are like survival who lives on a mountain top). If you live in an urban area, building are a serious hindrance.
 

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I haven't got any radio comms yet but the way I see it is this (correct me if I'm wrong)-

HAM's big advantage is its huge range which I think is thousands of miles, but I'm put off HAM a bit by the fact that it seems to be strictly regulated and controlled by the government; heck I hear you even have to pass an exam before they'll grant you a licence! Doesn't that worry you Ham fans out there, being under the eye of Big Brother like that?

By comparison, I think CB is cheaper and not so controlled but is hampered by shorter range (30 miles?) but at least you'd be able to keep in touch with other preppers and family in the area when SHTF. And if there's a string of CB-ers at intervals across the country you could pass messages along the chain like pony express riders.

The third alternative is cheap walky-talkies from any dime store with a range of just a few miles but at least you could talk to preppers and family within your own town.
 

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If you can find a used RCI-2950 or a President 2510
it will start you off in good company.
[you still need a license to operate them]
[the RCI even has a jack for CW key]
10 watts is your beginning power until you upgrade your license.
The 'power' is but nominal and irrelevant. You can 'talk skip' under
the right situations for hundreds of miles....on HAM or a CB.
The long talk on HAM is possible with the use of repeater antennas
and only available in HAM frequencies.....for a reason, and you must
be licensed. The bigger your license, the bigger your power allowance.
A CB radio legally can not be over 4 watts and is restricted to 40 frequencies.
Side band can be incorporated for more.
Your best bet to start HAM is through a club.....but be strictly aware.....
they do not put up with horseplay.
Later, you can spend some serious $$$$$$ on some Yeasu or Kenwood radios......
and all the peripherals.
 
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Any suggestions how to get started if there isn't a club near you?
Do you just read up and then pay to take a test?
A little in the dark on how to go about learning everything you need to know in order to pass the test.
 

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Quick view of one corner.....
but notice, no linears are powered on
while on channel 19.
And a home-made dipole antenna.....
 

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Any suggestions how to get started if there isn't a club near you?
Do you just read up and then pay to take a test?
A little in the dark on how to go about learning everything you need to know in order to pass the test.
I don't know where you are.....
but google clubs near your GPS

You can find all the info you seek......
just start looking......
there are just as many forums for every other thing imaginable
as there are forums for prepping and guns....and pink purses.
 

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I think you will be amazed at how easy it is and how much fun you will have. My son got his ticket just after his 12th birthday and 100% on his test! CB isn't worth your time. HAM is a completely different world. Lots of great people to meet out there. As for equipment... try them out and decide for yourself. I prefer Yaesu and Alinco. Ask the local hams if they have any old equipment they can donate.
 

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Whatever equipment you buy protect it from EMP.
The tube type radios are less affected by EMP but take AC power or a power supply that will work in place of the internal voltage regulators.
The semiconductor radios typically can run easily on batteries but they are very sensitive to EMP and static charges.
You can get receivers without a license and a good full frequency receiver is a good source of information when there is nothing else.
You can set up antennas that are quite functional in the woods when using long wave but going to short wave is harder to conceal but the antennas are also smaller.
Under SHTF conditions you need to make sure you have everything concealed and that you have the power to operate the radio.
I have owned a good tube style receiver before and equipped it with home-made antennas - Di-pole, Rhombic and long-wire - with the ability to listen to Radio Free Europe and the USSR equivelent. I could tune into everything from ULF to UHF with a little work. If I was going to replace it today I would get a smaller battery operated unit and put it in a Faraday Cage to protect it from EMP. What I have now is a multi-band hand crank radio that also has batteries.
 
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For those wishing to get licensed the code requirement for lower class licenses was dropped years ago. All that is required is a VERY small fee and a written test to get started.
Go to Callsign Database by QRZ.COM and click (crick if you are Japanese) on "Sample Tests" and practice taking the sample tests until you get the idea. If you crick on the wrong answer it tells you what you should have cricked on. You can learn by trial & error before you even buy the book. Note; It's not CB... you can get your license really easy but read the book & know the rules before you transmit. Hope that helps.
 
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