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HAM Radio Suggestions

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posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 05:54 PM
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Greetings all!
As part of a general prepping strategy I have acquired my license and a Ten Tec Scout 555. Curious what the opinion is from the current membership about A: ) Antennas, and B: ) Antenna Tuners ( do you *need* one?, etc.)

Getting ready to put this rig on the air and wondering what the next steps should look like.

Cheers,
edit on 23-10-2016 by LetsGoViking because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 06:16 PM
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Depends on how far you want to communicate. You can get by with a combo unit that doesn't take up a lot of space if your intention is to communicate regionally. But of you want to communicate worldwide, you'll need a much larger Yagi-type antenna that has some height to it to reach any distance. Also, be aware that antennas are very visible. In terms f preppy work tat is not always advisable, so you may want to make it hide-able. --KZ7B



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 06:29 PM
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What bands exactly does this radio cover? I don't think I saw 2m or 70cm which are the bands for local areas and repeaters. If your radio does not have the 2m band then for 25-30 bucks you can get a little handheld Baofeng radio.

As Schuyler said you will want a yagi type for long range directional use and also an omni directional depending on the bands being used. Good thing that you are getting into comms as they play a HUGE part in emergency and disaster situations. I got my tech licence 2 years ago. Which licence do you have?
edit on 23-10-2016 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: LetsGoViking

Reviews of the TT-S 555 I have read lead me to believe this would be a great unit for a beginner like myself, but I am on a very tight budget. May I inquire as to how much you were able to pick your unit up for? I haven't yet taken Technician exam, but plan on doing that sometime before the end of the year and would EVENTUALLY like to upgrade from the 2 hand-held cheapo devices I use to monitor (I disable the TX function so I don't break any rules/laws). Is there another base-unit that might be good for a destitute enthusiast like myself? I'd love to be able to reach Tuscon from Seattle (or further, of course, depending on propagation etc.). I don't need/want anything fancy and have no problems with a used radio as long as I don't have to do any soldering...

It's cool to see that there are some HAMs on ATS and I can't wait to get on the airwaves. I'm not a "prepper", it is more of a social interest for me, but, I would like to have the ability to use my hand-held(s) in my car for both fun and emergencies. Do you guys have any suggestions for decent (but cheap) mag-mount antennas to use or are these a waste of time with a low-power handheld (don't laugh too hard: Baofeng UV-3R+ and UV-82)?

Thanks in advance!



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: LetsGoViking

What country are you in? In the States, FEMA Emergency Ham Operators and other orgs. help out in a SHTF, weather or other emergency situation. Others like it are in other countries as well. Puts you in the click of other operators like yourself.

I can get you in touch....Best

MS
1st Responder, EMT/ERT, Advanced Disaster Life Support
FEMA/Dept of Homeland Security
Region 2 South, Michigan USA



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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The ten-tec is a good radio, and for a "go" antenna, I recommend the Eagle 1 vertical or equivalent. www.w8afx.com... . This can be put up and taken down in minutes, Also, you'll need to power it if you don't have at least a 35 amp hour AGM 12 VDC battery. To charge the battery you'll need a solar charger. See, you cannot depend on any grid to exist in a SHTF scenario. So no electricity, no gas, no running to Walmart... A very inexpensive one can be bought from Harbor Freight. www.harborfreight.com... . Some of my friends used two on field day and both worked very well, fully charging the battery during the day and supplying voltage and current through the batteries during the night. Put on all your power cables Andersen power pole connectors for ease of putting up and taking down your station. Label your wire, cable and connectors for ease and speed. You will need a tuner. Probably just about any manual or semi-auto tuner 100 watt or no less 50 watts from MFJ will work well with the ten-tec, plus they won't pull much current, either. Finally, you'll need something metal like a large surplus ammo can that will fit the radio, tuner and charger to keep them in, in case of an EMP. They should be thick enough to keep the pulse out of the circuitry in all the equipment.
Also think about at least two 2 meter and 70 centimeter handi-talkies like a Bao-Feng UV-82. they can be programmed to talk simplex and/or repeaters if any repeaters survive. The batteries for them can be charged by solar panels, also.
Good luck!



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Looking at both local ( less than 200km) and some DX. Currently pretty restricted on real estate so a yagi on a 100' tower is out of the question. I was leaning towards either a full wave dipole or a long wire for 20m, 40m.
edit on 23-10-2016 by LetsGoViking because: formatting weirdness



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: seattlerat

I also have baofeng radios. The uv-3r and the bf-f8+. I use a roll up "slim jim" for longer distances, which is basically state wide because a set of repeaters here are linked. But with a directional antenna I have seen people get pretty far on simplex. If you get a mag mount, I have read the trams are good. People place them on a cookie sheet or fridge. If you want to communicate to people in other states then you will usually need to be on HF bands, which depending, may need a general class licence. Some HF bands can be used with a tech, limited portions of them.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

this one came with the 15, 17, 20, 30 and 40 meter modules
I currently have a General Class, and I'm hoping to have time to get Extra this next year.


edit on 23-10-2016 by LetsGoViking because: fat fingers

edit on 23-10-2016 by LetsGoViking because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:13 PM
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originally posted by: LetsGoViking
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

this one came with the 15, 17, 20, 20 and 40 meter modules


Ah okay. I haven't played with any of those yet. So far just 2m and 70cm.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:23 PM
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I must have misunderstood you saying that you were a prepper? Just installing an HF radio in your QTH ham shack? The sky is the limit.

I have a Kenwood TS-430S 160 to 10 meter HF radio hooked to an MFJ 993B tuner and using an 8 band Buckmaster OCF dipole mounted about 60 feet up in an oak tree next to my house. I have talked to California and Washington state as well as Europe and South America. You just have to run through the bands to find one open, tune up and talk!

Have fun!
edit on 23-10-2016 by NightFlight because: r



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:23 PM
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originally posted by: LetsGoViking
a reply to: schuyler

Looking at both local ( less than 200km) and some DX. Currently pretty restricted on real estate so a yagi on a 100' tower is out of the question. I was leaning towards either a full wave dipole or a long wire for 20m, 40m.


I'm thinking you're going to be pretty much local, especially with your radio limitations. Tucson to Seattle? Well, good luck! The long wire/dipole choice is a good one from both a cost and the disguising aspect. You could pretend it was a clothesline!



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: seattlerat

Seattalerat, I paid about $375 for this rig about 5 years on QRZ from a guy. Today, with all the modules, they are going about $600 (last I checked on Ebay). For HF, you will have to bite the bullet and be prepared to send some cash, unless you get decent at CW. I built a nice kit, SmallWonder Labs (he retired a couple of years ago sadly) that was 5 watts on 40 meters. It could work the world. I paid $40 for it. But for SSB, look at older Kentwood, or Icom or Yeasu rigs. Sometimes you can find good deals on them. I would plan on about $400 minimum.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: seattlerat

Ah, with my 2m/70cm I use a 5/8 wave mag mount. Best contact with it was during the late morning and I was talking to a guy 90 miles away, 5/5 both ways. I have no beef with mag mounts for 2 meter work for sure!


For HF, don't know. I haven't taken the tt mobile yet.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 07:38 PM
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What good is DXing to other states and countries for a prepper? Will they be able to assist you in any way?

Listening in might be OK to gather some world wide intelligence, but what about others in your location? What about local law and emergency services? Do you have other preppers around you on certain frequencies?



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 08:55 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck




What good is DXing to other states and countries for a prepper? Will they be able to assist you in any way?


Two answers to that. One: ) Immediately after the tshtf, not much survival value in your *immediate* location, but if your bugout is 1000 miles away? Then quite a bit.

Two: ) After the tshtf, following an adjustment period, and assuming I survive it, then things will attempt to come back to some version of normal. Then, news of distant events and places becomes coveted information and such information is barter-able. Why do think a newspaper opened in San Francisco, a backwater at the time, in 1847? Because people wanted news of events and places far away.

Just something to consider, besides bean, bullets and bandaids.

edit on 23-10-2016 by LetsGoViking because: because my keyboard is slowing down as I get older...



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: NightFlight




I have a Kenwood TS-430S 160 to 10 meter HF radio hooked to an MFJ 993B tuner


Heard really wonderful things about the kenwood TS-430! Wouldn't mind having one myself. the 993B tuner is bit spendy with the current budget limitations. If I really need to go with one, then it's going to have to be cheap....considering building one....



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:25 PM
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Interesting topic! I have had a small interest in the back of my mind for years....and I think you sparked it to a burning desire, so THANK YOU!

I do know that when SHTF, effective communication will be like food, water, and shelter......a necessity. People are more addicted to cell phones than cigarettes now and I think they would be more worried about communication than food and water in the beginning of any crisis.

Just how cities started having mesh networks via WiFi, do you think HAM Radio will be only EMT communication since they also have capability for pop up cellular networks now?

Like, for the average person, they are still going to rely on only what they know, cellphone....so I'm trying to think of another simple way along with HAM that maybe would also beable to work like a Satellite phone.



posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 05:09 AM
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originally posted by: LetsGoViking
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck




What good is DXing to other states and countries for a prepper? Will they be able to assist you in any way?


Two answers to that. One: ) Immediately after the tshtf, not much survival value in your *immediate* location, but if your bugout is 1000 miles away? Then quite a bit.

Two: ) After the tshtf, following an adjustment period, and assuming I survive it, then things will attempt to come back to some version of normal. Then, news of distant events and places becomes coveted information and such information is barter-able. Why do think a newspaper opened in San Francisco, a backwater at the time, in 1847? Because people wanted news of events and places far away.

Just something to consider, besides bean, bullets and bandaids.


I see, staying in contact with the bug-out location via two-way, very good point.

Still, multi-band receiving stations would provide much of that intelligence gathering. With an outdoor AM antenna an the AM radio on my stereo, I'm able to tune in to distance broadcasts at night and listen to the local news near relatives. With a shortwave receiver, more information is available.



posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 01:51 PM
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Depends on how much you have to spend and how much room you have to set up an antenna. . A HF radio with a tuner and a G5RV antenna should be enough. If you can afford a folded dipole antenna you can forgo the tuner however I have one on mine anyway. Your 2m and 70cm will give you local communications, this is good. If the repeaters survive the "what ever " then you will have long distant communications, but they will most likely be involved with disaster nets of which you should be apart of.
The 2m and 70cm radios range from cheap to expensive and you can buy or make antennas which blend in for those who would complain about your antennas. . . A cheap one can work very well and you can buy adapters to connect them to roof or mobile antennas. Though I have found some glitches in the programing of the Chinese radios, you have to get use to them and work around it. Invest in a good radio which covers the frequencies used in your area.....just type in HAM radio clubs into google and add your area or city or county, and you will see what is used by most local folks and what repeaters are within your range.
I keep a few cheap radios and some of my older ones in a metal box (They are insulated from touching the box itself) For EMP events. If we have an EMP event, your radio will fry even if it is unplugged from the wall or antenna, your power cord will act as an antenna for the pulse and bring it right into you electronics.

Ham is an excellent idea, because the first thing we will want after an incident and some recovery, will be information and HAM will be the only source.
However new ham radios are not EMP resistant...the OLD tube ones would stand a better chance but if you want it for prepping you have to have an EMP plan.


Frankly..I think we can overcome all obstacles if we can just talk to one another. In a disaster HAM provides a means to that effort.

a reply to: LetsGoViking



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