Emergency Communications

This is a discussion on Emergency Communications within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I say go get your ham lic. and forget about the underpowered FRS/GMRS stuff. If you want to use the FRS radios for inter-family/inter-agency comms ...

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 25 of 25

Thread: Emergency Communications

  1. #16
    Member Array Taurus111's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mattoon, IL
    Posts
    70

    Go Ham

    I say go get your ham lic. and forget about the underpowered FRS/GMRS stuff. If you want to use the FRS radios for inter-family/inter-agency comms during a disaster or when the shtf then fine but for "getting out" to the outside world when you are stranded during a disaster invest in a good mobile ham unit.

    KC9DUQ
    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
    --Thomas Paine December 19, 1776

    The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
    --Abraham Lincoln


    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13226.htm

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #17
    Moderator
    Array Bark'n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Central Missouri
    Posts
    9,917
    It is also my understanding that Morse Code is no longer a requirement to obtaining your basic Ham/Amature radio license.

    It is my understanding that at the time it was required, that was the most difficult aspect of the test for your ham license.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,164
    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    It is also my understanding that Morse Code is no longer a requirement to obtaining your basic Ham/Amature radio license.

    It is my understanding that at the time it was required, that was the most difficult aspect of the test for your ham license.

    True, and True (for me). I got mine just before they invented a class of license that didn't require the code test. Unless something has changed though (I've been out of it for a while), there is only one class of license that you can hold without the code test. It includes priveleges on the very useful 2 meter band, but does not include operations on the HF bands that allow worldwide communications. Still a great place to get invloved though.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this mini documentary!
    Then check out my blog! www.BodyByMcDonalds.com

    Cupcake - 100 pound loser, adventurer, Ironman Triathlete.

  5. #19
    Member Array nlax2011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    222
    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    It is also my understanding that Morse Code is no longer a requirement to obtaining your basic Ham/Amature radio license.

    It is my understanding that at the time it was required, that was the most difficult aspect of the test for your ham license.
    Correct, they recently change the structure to simplify it a bit and morse is no longer required, even for the top license (Extra), there's varying opinions on that depending on who you ask of course.

    http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/license-requirements.html


    To OP regarding GMRS vs. FRS:

    Here's some light reading on those two:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General..._Radio_Servicehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General..._Radio_Service

    They both use the ~460Mhz freq. range, and actually share a few channels, but FRS radios are limited to 500milliwatts, while with GMRS (and the license) there's a higher power limit depending on what channel you are on, either up to 5 watts (typical hi power on handhelds) or up to 50 if you have a mobile unit.

    The book or packaging that came with your radio should say it's power output. So going with a higher power GMRS handheld will give you a little better range, but using handhelds with trees, houses and stuff in between doesn't work well beyond maybe a mile or two, unless one of you is high up in a building or hill or something.

    I'm not sure about the licensing requirements, from the wiki article it seems to imply that you're fine just having an immediate family member licensed, but may have to check an FCC website for that.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,164
    Quote Originally Posted by nlax2011 View Post
    Correct, they recently change the structure to simplify it a bit and morse is no longer required, even for the top license (Extra), there's varying opinions on that depending on who you ask of course.
    Ahh, changes have been made I see. Still a very useful skill, since worldwide comms can be made with less than a watt. I'd have to do a lot of brushing up, but somewhere on my long list of things to do is make a SHTF QRP rig. These can be made to fit in an altoids can, and reach out hundreds of miles.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this mini documentary!
    Then check out my blog! www.BodyByMcDonalds.com

    Cupcake - 100 pound loser, adventurer, Ironman Triathlete.

  7. #21
    Member Array AMH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    317
    Thanks for the replies; I was beginning to think that this thread was dead!

    I am making plans to get my HAM license. The cheap radio set I purchased was a short term fix until I can get the HAM setup up and running.

    My wife makes plans to kill me on a daily basis. I am always buying and selling various guns / ammo / survival equipment. I am going to have to slowly introduce the HAM idea to her.

    Heck, just this weekend she agreed to get her CCW license. (I agreed to stop buying beer on the weekends to help offset the cost!).
    Join the NRA!
    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  8. #22
    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Drakes Creek, AR
    Posts
    958
    I'd go with the GMRS/FRS services if I didn't have my ticket..73 de KI5FY

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    554
    +1 on all the ham radio responses. Get a hand-held unit with 2 meter coverage at least. The Yaesu VX-6R has 2M, 220 and 440 MHz transmit - plus general coverage for AM/FM/Shortwave/VHF/UHF. It is good to listen to local police and other emergency for SHTF. Plus shortwave to get other foreign news/opinion in a global SHTF scenario. Getting a ham license is much easier as Morse Code requirement was dropped earlier this year. You can get a Technician's license (entry-level) by answering 20-30 questions on a written test. Cost is usually less than $20 for the exam fee. Only works for family communications if you have someone else to talk to in your family who is licensed.

    If you don't want to go the ham route then I recommend the following:

    1) GMRS radios. GMRS uses higher power then FRS. I saw a pair of Unidens with a drop-in charger, 25-mile range for about $60-70. If you buy make sure you read the manual as some channels use higher power then others. And as others have said, the range distance is under optimum conditions at best.

    2) Police scanner. Go to radioreference.com to get frequencies for Police, Fire, EMS, etc. in your local area or talk to someone in the hobby who might have a list. Then purchase a scanner, program in the frequencies and listen. You can buy a scanner at your local Radio Shack or online such as universal-radio.com (much better selection). It is not illegal to listen to police and such as long as you keep at at home (can't listen in car in some states), and don't divulge what you hear to a third party.

    3) Shortwave Radio. Again, your local Radio Shack or universal-radio.com (again, better selection there). You may want to purchase a book called Passport to World Band Radio (2008 edition just came out) and read the receiver reviews before selecting a shortwave receiver.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #24
    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    554
    Quote Originally Posted by AMH View Post
    I have a few more questions for you all:

    1. As I mentioned my father-in-law has a GMRS license, so I can operate under his license. Does he need to be an active part of the communication for me to legally operate under his license?
    I'm not sure about that. I doubt very many of the retail purchasers of GMRS radios pay the $75 to the FCC for their license.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMH View Post
    2. It is my understanding that I can get more range when transmitting on GMRS as opposed to FRS. Is this true?
    Yes, but even GMRS limits power base on channels. Look in the user manual that came with the radios, they should have a list of channels and their power.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMH View Post
    3. How can I go about finding out how many watts my radio set has?
    It will probably be in the manual, plus power is limited by which channel is being used and possibly a Hi/Low power setting on the radio.

  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Las Vegas NV
    Posts
    1,614
    I'm really happy that this thread came up. I've been thinking along the lines of emergency communications. I have the GMRS radios and license, but I don't think that they will be sufficient. I've thought about ham, but I haven't even looked into it for over 30 years. Things sure have changed! I've considered just having my wife take the test (she's an electrical engineer, and used to design power supplies). A review of the regs, and she wouldn't have any trouble. And since I'm only interested in emergency communications, and not chatting, DX'ing, or whatever the current terminology is, that would take care of everything I need. But I might just say "What the Heck" and take it myself. So thanks for all of the information.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Bug out Bag, Vehicle Emergency Kit, First Aid Kit
    By Bfunk in forum Related Gear & Equipment
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: February 21st, 2010, 09:24 AM
  2. In case of an emergency!!!!!
    By Natureboypkr in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 11th, 2008, 04:39 PM
  3. Had to go to emergency room
    By Ivan4x4 in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: May 13th, 2008, 08:34 AM
  4. Emergency Landing
    By Sheldon J in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 2nd, 2008, 12:55 PM
  5. Emergency stash
    By SleepingZ in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 14th, 2007, 10:42 AM

Search tags for this page

handheld scanner reviews 2012

,

how far can a ham radio reach

Click on a term to search for related topics.