If you are in a Situation X or TEOTWAWKI having a licence or not will be the least of your worries.
If you dont have knowlege of certain equipments or how to run it ...you may be in dire straights.
Much ham equipment is fairly complex and strange to those not trained in using it. Same with packet equipment. The other drawback is that much of this
gear is not very portable. Also much of it has great power requirements.
Technology is significantly downsizing this type of equipment but much of it today is also menu driven. Computer skills are needed as well as basics
of radio operation.
Even many types of short wave sets are menu driven today.
This is my entry level hand crank radio by Grundig. Strictly an AM shortwave receiver with added AM/FM receiving bands on it.
Here is the shortwave receiver I put in my BOB daily to carry to and fro work.
This is one of my home shortwave radios though My amateur gear can get all these frequencys as well. The advantage of this radio is that it has single
side band reception as well as AM/FM. It is however a bit more expensive than the other two above.
All of the above three receivers use AA type batteries ..hence the commonality of power requirements. Something to think about when choosing your
I also have this Radio Shack DX 392 shortwave receiver. The problem with it is that it takes different sized batteries..Four D cells and also AA type
batteries. Its main advantage is that it also has a cassette recorder in it which can record whatever it is to which stations you are listening oir
if you prefer ..record just like a cassette tape recorder..voices.
This radio receiver can pick up single sideband transmissions as well.
It is however a larger radio receiver than the others so it seldom leaves home.
As I stated..the problem with these receivers is exactly that they are receivers. They are not also transmitters. You are dependent on the
transmissions of others. It will be up to you to monitor and listen wisely.
This is the Handi Talkie or if you prefer ...Walkie Talkie I take to work with me daily in my BOB. I do not use the factory issue antenna as it is
marginal at best. I have purchased more effecient antennas of two different types.
This Walkie Talkie will work on two bands. 2 meters as well as 70cm.
I also carry a spare battery for this unit.
If you look carefully at this unit or others similar..you will notice that the front of the face is actually a keypad similar to what you get on a
telephone. Yes you can make short telephone calls on this walkie talkie through a repeater network which is tied into the telephone network One of the
priveldges of beiing a ham. You need to know the access codes to the telephone patch but I have done this on occasion. It is another option when
needed. Phone calls can be made on either of the two bands if the repeaters are properly set up for this feature.
I own three of these walkie talkies and they have come in handy.
These are generally short range units unless you use them with a repeater...called duplexing. Range is cut considerably short in simplex mode. By
simplex..I mean radio to radio..not going through a repeater.
There is a new feature for Hams called IRLP networking. You can find this on the WEB under that name..IRLP. IN this feature the radio is duplexed into
a repeater and then to a computer instead of a telephone patch ...by the proper codes on the keypad. These codes will open what are called reflectors.
The reflector I often use is the Las Vegas reflector. Then you just use it to make contacts around the country. This greatly extends ones range by
using a computer node..or reflector. From the Chesapeake Bay here in Virginia...I have made contacts to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Portland Oregon, Dallas,
Texas, and of course Las Vegas.
Last Friday I was able to make the connection to the Sidney, Australia reflector and work two stations down the coast from Sidney.
All of this from a simple Walkie Talkie. Amazing what they are doing with technology.
Now these features may be useless in Situation X or TEOWAWKI..but it shows what potential is ..and flexability...if one knows how to apply it.
Nonetheless ..I carry this Handi talkie with me daily....to and fro work...along with my spare battery and charger.
Hope this helps some of you.
[edit on 28-4-2009 by orangetom1999]