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Thread: New to radios

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Idaho Panhandle
    Posts
    14

    Default New to radios

    Hi All,

    Great site by the way! Writing you from Idaho panhandle to introduce myself. My interest in radios stems from wanting an alternate coms if and when existing forms are shut down. I firmly believe in not re-inventing the wheel. Research, like reading this site, makes good decisions possible.

    I'm semi retired, been in construction all my life, fitter than most my age, and work hard at growing and hunting our own food so we don't have to eat adulterated food. And I believe we are on the brink of the tribulation, so we try to love God fully so He might approve us for His remnant. the earth will be renewed.

    jjconstr

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oulu, Finland
    Posts
    629

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    Welcome to the forum JJ...

    Since you don't seem to be a licensed radio amateur, if you want to stay the right side of the law without becoming a licensed radio amateur, then I suggest you look at either CB radio or things like Family Radio Service (FRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) - I have no experience of these, but if you copy/paste those terms into a search engine, then you will find all the information you need.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Ash Fork, Arizona
    Posts
    88

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjconstr View Post
    My interest in radios stems from wanting an alternate coms if and when existing forms are shut down.
    OK, so now you have a radio. Who are you going to talk to? This is something you need to know in advance. When existing coms go down, the rest of the world is not going to just come streaming through your radio. Mostly you will just hear static. There needs to be a plan.

    Probably, your main concern would be your immediate family. All of them need a radio, and they need to know how to use it. It is not as simple as pressing the talk button and yelling into the microphone. (The new radios are VOX operated, which eliminates the need for the talk button.) But this is why emergency communicators, like EMTs, do not want the general public on their communication frequencies. The EMTs have a plan and know how to use their radios. The general public should not be interfering. Even if they are actually trying to help.

    Here is a crude plan for when other existing coms are shut down. Say there is a group of you named Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty. You all have radios (with 23 channels, like CB AM radios), but Fred and Barney got separated, while hunting for Brontosaurus. How does Fred get in contact with Barney? Does he just start at channel 1 and start calling Barney, channel by channel? That would be very time consuming and ineffective. But what if everyone always monitors channel 9. Then, if Fred needed to contact Barney, all he would have to do is send out a call to Barney, on channel 9, and ask him to switch to, say, channel 15. You could both change to 15 and you could communicate. Others could also change to 15, if they wanted to hear what was being discussed. But after the communication is finished, everyone goes back to monitoring channel 9.

    And remember, all of those radios run on batteries. You need some method of recharging those batteries regularly. If you are going to hunt Brontosaurus, you need to start out with fresh charge. A radio with a dead battery isn't very useful, when your being chased by a Saber Toothed Tiger.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Idaho Panhandle
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    14

    Default New user/resources

    Hi Martin,
    Thanks for the reply. It is a big help. A couple questions came to mind. Why would Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty monitor channel 9 and then switch to 15? Why not monitor the channel they would talk on?

    I have a small inverter I can plug into my vehicle which will power the radio charger. Also a solar powered battery maintainer. Is there a better low cost charging method? Or is this good?

    If all of us need a radio, I need to order two for the teens. Or are the Motorola MT351R two way radios/ weather radios we have, be suitable for the kids? These radios have 11-weather channels, 22-GMRS and FRS channels. No MURS channels.

    In his reply, OH8GAD said, "if you want to stay the right side of the law without becoming a licensed radio amateur," Without a license, are all frequencies legal to listen to? What circumstances would necessitate needing transmitting on licensed frequencies? I understand in personal emergencies, transmitting on any frequency is permitted.

    Also, our Moto walkie talkies came with detailed instructions, but our Baofeng UV82-MP did not. What is best source for detailed instructions for the the Baofeng UV82 HP?

    Thank you in advance,
    jjconstr

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by k7mem View Post
    OK, so now you have a radio. Who are you going to talk to? This is something you need to know in advance. When existing coms go down, the rest of the world is not going to just come streaming through your radio. Mostly you will just hear static. There needs to be a plan.

    Probably, your main concern would be your immediate family. All of them need a radio, and they need to know how to use it. It is not as simple as pressing the talk button and yelling into the microphone. (The new radios are VOX operated, which eliminates the need for the talk button.) But this is why emergency communicators, like EMTs, do not want the general public on their communication frequencies. The EMTs have a plan and know how to use their radios. The general public should not be interfering. Even if they are actually trying to help.

    Here is a crude plan for when other existing coms are shut down. Say there is a group of you named Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty. You all have radios (with 23 channels, like CB AM radios), but Fred and Barney got separated, while hunting for Brontosaurus. How does Fred get in contact with Barney? Does he just start at channel 1 and start calling Barney, channel by channel? That would be very time consuming and ineffective. But what if everyone always monitors channel 9. Then, if Fred needed to contact Barney, all he would have to do is send out a call to Barney, on channel 9, and ask him to switch to, say, channel 15. You could both change to 15 and you could communicate. Others could also change to 15, if they wanted to hear what was being discussed. But after the communication is finished, everyone goes back to monitoring channel 9.

    And remember, all of those radios run on batteries. You need some method of recharging those batteries regularly. If you are going to hunt Brontosaurus, you need to start out with fresh charge. A radio with a dead battery isn't very useful, when your being chased by a Saber Toothed Tiger.
    Got to say Martin, never laughed so much since the lockdown started. I couldn't have explained that better myself.
    Seems some guys feel they can simply buy a radio & talk to the world. Although he never mentioned license, study or exams, l also wondered if he realised that he would need one prior to using that radio. Hams simply won't talk to unlicensed guys. In UK they would take away our license if we did. I would assume it is the same in USA, or any other country for that matter.

    Can't understand why guys don't consider a satilite phone for emergency communication if they don't want to sit exams.

    73 from England.
    Jim
    Last edited by G7NFP; Tue 21st Apr 2020 at 15:00.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    With my wife
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    205

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    A satellite phone doesn't fit in with TEOTWAWKI thought process.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by WZ7U View Post
    A satellite phone doesn't fit in with TEOTWAWKI thought process.
    LOL. But neither should a ham radio.

    In the event of a total disaster on earth, the satillites will still be there to allow worldwide communication. Too much radiation for them to work means room much for any radio to work.

    Guys need to understand that "ALL" frequencies are allocated to a specific service. Guys can't simply buy a radio & use it as they choose.
    CB & family radios (pmr in UK) are there for those who simply wish to buy a radio & use it without the need to study & pass an exam. Not rocket science.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjconstr View Post
    Hi Martin,
    Thanks for the reply. It is a big help. A couple questions came to mind. Why would Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty monitor channel 9 and then switch to 15? Why not monitor the channel they would talk on?

    I have a small inverter I can plug into my vehicle which will power the radio charger. Also a solar powered battery maintainer. Is there a better low cost charging method? Or is this good?

    If all of us need a radio, I need to order two for the teens. Or are the Motorola MT351R two way radios/ weather radios we have, be suitable for the kids? These radios have 11-weather channels, 22-GMRS and FRS channels. No MURS channels.

    In his reply, OH8GAD said, "if you want to stay the right side of the law without becoming a licensed radio amateur," Without a license, are all frequencies legal to listen to? What circumstances would necessitate needing transmitting on licensed frequencies? I understand in personal emergencies, transmitting on any frequency is permitted.

    Also, our Moto walkie talkies came with detailed instructions, but our Baofeng UV82-MP did not. What is best source for detailed instructions for the the Baofeng UV82 HP?

    Thank you in advance,
    jjconstr
    Where do l start?.

    Ok the reason people have a calling Channel then move to another channel after they have made contact is to leave that calling Channel free for others to do the very same.
    EG; in marine radios the calling Channel is 16. That channel is monitored by all boats + the coastguard. After you contact a boat, or coastguard you move off the calling Channel in order to leave it free for others to do the same.

    You could do as you said. Which is everyone switch to a specific channel at the start. But what if when you went to use that channel it was occupied by other users?
    That's why you check for a free channel first then go to the calling Channel & ask everyone in your group to go to the channel you have checked and is free.

    I would advise you to use CB radio, family radio, or if you want to use ham radio then do a little reading then sit the online tech exam. That will allow you to use that baofeng. But only from 144-148mhz in the states if l remember correctly.
    But do be aware that everyone who wishes to use a baofeng needs a licence. A callsign will be issued to all who pass the exam.

    If you want to use HF radio. The exam is much more difficult.
    BTW, even in an emergency you can't simply transmit where you want. If you transmitted on police, ambulance or aircraft frequencies you would end up in court facing big fines or much worse if your transmission blocked out a transmission which resulted in loss of life.

    I am in UK. But the consequences of transmitting where you shouldn't are severe in all countries.
    I recall years ago when a ham transmitted on an ambulance frequency. It "WAS" an emergency & the information he gave may very well have saved a life. But they still took his ham license away in addition to the heavy fine.
    In addition to the court summons, they always seize the radio equipment that you have used illegally. That usually means every radio, antenna & anything else they assume may have been used when the swat team comes crashing through your door. The equipment is nearly always destroyed.

    I was interested in radio from an early age. The police caught me using walkie talkies which l had no license for when l was 15.
    They seized "all" of my radio gear & destroyed it. But l got off with a warning due to my age.

    The rules regarding where you can transmit are there for a reason.

    I am ex forces, l have medical training, have done many survival courses & survived in remote areas on little more than my wits.
    After you obtain a ham licence you can always buy a military radio. Perhaps that would appeal to you more. But remember that you can only transmit on ham frequencies that your license permits.

    Type "Military Radio" into eBay's search box. You will find many ex military radios listed on eBay & elsewhere. But look closely at the frequencies it can transmit on. Then check those against the ham frequencies. Then do the study & obtain a ham license & callsign "BEFORE" buying the radio. No need to snap it up whilst it's there, as there is always an abundance of those ex military radios for sale.
    But unlike the "press a button & it's all automatic" modern ham radios. Those military radios require more skill/knowledge to operate. But they are robust & can be dragged through mud & still function. Perhaps more suited to your perceived circumstances.

    Hope that helps
    Jim
    Last edited by G7NFP; Wed 22nd Apr 2020 at 11:17.

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