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Licensed Amateur "Ham" Radios vs CB and Unlicensed Radios

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posted on Oct, 19 2015 @ 02:29 PM
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I live on the coast and am wondering if I should grab a marine band radio, I want to get back to the CB thing (have not used one since the 90's when I got a mobile) but to be able to hear what is going on off-shore might be of use.

I have thought about just getting a scanner for that, but I would still like to be able to interact should the need arise.

I will get a some CB hand helds soon, but not as a serious "prepper" thing, just for a bit of fun. 80ch are so cheap its like you are wasting money not buying them.

Ham I dont really know about, so its good to read some info here about it.




posted on Oct, 19 2015 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

"Back in the day" I had an Extra Class license, in the late-1970's, when they were hard to get... I failed my first attempt because of some typos on the 20 wpm morse (CW) test. At those speeds, I tended to listen, and not write it down.

But I've personally experienced an elitist Ham attitude toward CB radio users. It's there -- but now likely not nearly as bad as it once was, because the licenses are now really easy to get. If anything, there's going to be an elitist attitude toward the newer Hams who studied less.
On the flip-side, they're typically very community-oriented and there are hundreds of stories of teams of Hams working impossibly long hours providing emergency communications in disaster situations, when no other lines of communications exist.

But the reality is that the FCC's Amateur Radio division is overwhelmed and understaffed. They're not going to investigate potential unlicensed or under-licensed operators unless several other Hams file complaints.



posted on Oct, 19 2015 @ 03:31 PM
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I really shouldn't have said that most of the Hams are "radio snitches" but under normal circumstances they are the first to call Uncle Charlie if you are on their frequencies without a license, or if your CB causes interference on their bands.

You see that? How I'm forced to refer to the licensed frequencies as "theirs" when in all truth the airwaves are owned by the people, all the people, and not by the government who favors the amateur radio operator's who have jumped through their master's hoops and behave well in captivity.

Anyway, I wish the elitist Ham posse would have learned from their studies and could see the big picture like I see it. I see it as, that no matter what wattage, frequency, or radio you use, they all share some basic principals regarding wave propagation and RF radiation under the conditions present when a two way radio is in operation. The purpose and use of two way radios determines your choice of radios, wattage and frequency. Of course the laws help determine a lot of that and those laws need major changes in my opinion.

I think that the unlicensed frequencies, even with all their F.C.C. restrictions, are esp. suitable for various SHTF situations that require anonymous and covert communications within a reasonable range. This includes the, 1/2 watt FRS handhelds, two watt MURS radios/modems, 4 & 12 watt CB radios and 1 watt WiFi digital devices. As a licensed Ham operator, if you can't handle using all that and making a viable network system out of it, then you don't have half of the knowledge, experience and creativity that you believe you have.



posted on Oct, 19 2015 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

In a real SHTF situation I wouldn't put my life on the line for anything made in China. Which Baoeng, and Wouxin are.

I suggest going with either Yaesu,Icom or Kenwood.

They have been around forever.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 07:56 AM
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It seems that I'm not the only one who sees practical applications for the unlicensed frequencies for when the grid goes down. This is particularly true for the MURS (Multi-Use radio Service) frequencies. I thought I would look into what was available in regards to MURS modems and found that there are some easy to use systems that will create a wireless network without the headache of putting together a meshnet using the WiFI frequencies, routers or radio modems.

It should be noted that a radio modem would have a wider range of uses over these specialized systems and would be far more practical for base station use. Also to be noted is that a meshnet system would cover all the digital bases and have faster connection speeds, but is restricted by it's limited output wattage and need for more tech knowledge to implement.

When the internet dies, meet the meshnet that survives

FireLine Data Radio Modems--RV-M5-M

First off, I noticed that there are handheld two-ways similar to the Baofeng with 2 to 4 watt output that allow the user to transmit encrypted text messages on a private network. Some cheaper walkie-talkies are designed to resemble a cell phone, but work without a cell tower network. These systems would make it easy for youngsters and the text addicted public to use without too much thought.

Multi-Use Radio Service Text Call Walkie Talkie

Text Call Walkie Talkie

Another note worthy development, one that recently rose up from the Hurricane Sandy disaster, is the goTenna system. This is a pricey gadget that allows you to create a wireless network on the unlicensed MURS band through the bluetooth function of your wireless devices. You don't need to cobble together a complicated meshnet using routers and outdoor antennas, just attach the goTenna to your device and you're ready to "go". I suspect that is a user friendly application of the text function of some of these voice/text walkie-talkies with GPS added. I also suspect that the range isn't as good as they would lead you to believe, but I haven't looked into this one that closely.

goTenna lets you send text messages when there's no network available

Apparently there is enough interest for R&D in this area and a number of products that are currently available for use. It is good to know that I'm not the only one to see that there is practical uses for the unlicensed frequencies during a disaster or crisis situation.

At this point I thought I'd add that there is a simple text alternative when using the MURS two-ways. By downloading a couple of simple freeware programs (CW Get and CW Player) you can transmit Morse code from text on your computer.

By using the VOX function of your BaoFeng or MURS two-way, you can easily connect your computer's audio to send and receive Morse code messages. If you want to encrypt the messages you can download another freeware program called the Vigenere Cipher that encodes the text that is deciphered with a keyword or phrase. All this is legal on the unlicensed MURS band within the output range allowed by the 2 watt output and use of after market high gain outdoor antennas.
edit on 22-10-2015 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typo




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