a reply to: JinMI
JMI, you seem to have a good start and grasp of what is needed. Cheep Chinese radios are what most preppers use, mostly the brand name of Bao Feng,
most people pronounce it Bo Fang. They have 128 memories or channels and can be bought in 5 Watt, 7 or 8 Watt up to 10 Watt handie talkies. As you
increase in price, you can get more channels, more bells and whistles and more modes of transmission.
Most hams don't like CCR's and buy reputable brand names like ICOM, Yaesu, Alinco and Kenwood. Entry level hams, Technicians, usually buy the CCRs for
convenience and to see if amateur communications is for them. Generally, higher class amateurs, General and Extra, look down their nose at technicians
who buy and use CCRs, even though they bought and used the same thing. The older CCRs do create a little more interference than the more expensive
models, but, I digress...
A very good website for radios and radio communication is Radio Reference, www.radioreference.com...
A laptop or good tablet which has internet capability is needed to program a CCR. A very good and free program called "CHIRP" is available to program
most CCRs on the market. chirp.danplanet.com...
You can get very good programming for individual radios from a company
called RT Systems. www.rtsystemsinc.com...
I personally use RT for my radios due to better downloading and uploading with, IMO, a much better
format. RT Systems cost between $25 to $50 depending on the version.
A laptop, tablet or even smart phone can be used to talk to other amateurs, with an amateur license, of course, is a site called EchoLink,
The CCRs can be bought off the internet, Amazon or eBay, for usually $20 on up. Make sure you get a charger and programming cable with it. A longer
aftermarket antenna is a must for better communications, but the original is good for short range communications is OK.
Receiving police and public service radio is a little more iffy now-a-days. Police have almost all gone to digital, trunked systems and about a third
of them in the US have encrypted their communications. You will need a digital trunking receiver to pick up digital trunked systems. The encrypted
systems are not receivable at all. To get a feel for what's out there, here is a scanner online company: Scanner Master
Three good amateur radio sales sites (basically ALL radios) are:
Ham Radio Outlet, www.hamradio.com...
R and L Electronics, store.rlham.com...
I hope I haven't utterly confused you with too much information. I'd like to see you and anyone else interested in amateur communications to study,
take the tests, pass and get your license. Right now, the FCC Amateur license is free, but they are going to charge $35 dollars per license early next
year. Fees for the examination are between free and $15 per exam. The fees are for Volunteer Examiners (VEs) for giving the tests. I can give lots
more information about studying and testing if anyone is interested.
PM me if you want specific info. I'll try to help.
edit on 8/18/2021 by NightFlight because: Left out some important