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Thread: Looking into Ham radio for camping

  1. #1

    Default Looking into Ham radio for camping

    I normally use walkie talkies when camping, but Iíd like to do more with them that they just canít. It would be really nice to reach a person who could give me the weather for my area, maybe an fm/am radio as well. And would be able to go long distance.

    I saw a video of a guy who had a Magnum 1012 radio and he lived in Minnesota. He was able to clearly talk to a person in Florida! Handheld with no external power or a huge antenna! That would be awesome to have. Only problem is I just canít find any. Does anyone on here have one?

    Iíve also looked into satellite phone but Iíd like to try ham first. I donít have my license currently but I will be taking it once I get some more info on radios.

    Thanks,

    Caleb


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Oulu, Finland
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    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    The Magnum 1012 is a CB radio, which is in the 26 to 28 MHz range, 11 to 10 metres. With the right conditions, it is possible to work paths of thousands of kilometres with low power and simple aerials. During poor propagation conditions, even loads of power and an antenna farm won't get you very far. That is part of what you should learn when studying to be a radio amateur.

    I guess that if you want to start finding out how terrain and atmospherics affect how far you can contact, you could start with CB radio, provided you stick to the legal reauirements of what gear you can use and how and where you can use it. If you find you are really interested and want to know more and do more, then start studying for the amateur license.

  3. #3

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    Yep - concur. Weather wise. If you are near an airport, or coastal maritime station, then they have weather services. You dial into the right frequency and VOLMET is a 24/7 system that gives the weather, intended for pilots. This is a listen only service. The Coastguard does the same thing - they issue maritime bulletins, and sailors listen in - again, they are information only. Clearly you cannot talk to aircraft and ships without a completely different licence and here in the UK, that means an exam too. If you wish to be ham, then you can talk to people all over the world, subject to physics. The people you talk to MUST also be licensed hams, or in some circumstances, operating under instructions from a ham sitting next to them. You'll discover that guaranteeing a certain path between place to place is never reliable. One day, a few Watts could get you hundreds or thousands of miles. Next day, you cannot manage a mile! A Satellite phone is a comms device with no licence, no exam, no real rules and assuming the satellites are there and the batteries work, you can talk to anyone with a phone. Sometimes with ham radio you cannot find a single person to talk to. That's just how it works. If you need to talk to specific people - a phone works better. If you like talking to strangers, ham radio is great.

  4. #4

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    Once you make the decision to go for an Amateur ticket, you'll soon learn a wealth of knowledge about how radios operate, and also will get to know other people to communicate with. I have a DMR hand held (TYT MD-390) that will let me communicate almost anywhere on the planet thanks to the surge over the past few years in DMR popularity. Then there is high frequency, repeater operations, and a wealth of digital modes and Morse code. There is a way to get the word out almost every time using Amateur radio, you just have to commit to a little learning.

  5. #5

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    I would suggest you google amateur radio clubs in your area, find out when they meet and go to a meeting and talk to a few of the hams, learn a bit more about what amateur radio entails. Most clubs have a few members who enjoy being "elmers" and helping out new folks. They can help you decide if amateur radio will suit what it is you want to do and after you find out more about it, you may find that there is much more to amateur radio that you would enjoy.

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