Why not HAM?! - Page 5 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 02:41 PM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

My Wife, Daughter and I all have our licenses. My Daughter got her Tech before she was 14. We first decided to take our tests because, in power outages from Hurricanes and bad storms etc.. Cel towers become over utilized and trying to carry on a conversation can be close to impossible. Cb's are a problem due to "That Guy" that thinks he has to use an over modulated radio with an amplifier to talk to someone around the block. Luckily that guy isn't always there.. Cb's are a big win in a traffic pileup on the interstate. They will pass on information about the incident. You often won't find another ham in a case like this. We also use handhelds when we go skiing/snowboarding/biking etc. Frs becomes a problem because other users don't give a crap if you are already using that channel because that's the one they always use at home. FRS is great for traveling talking between vehicles. Just my 2 cents. They all have good and bad points. Ham/aprs is great for emergency coms. it gives other members in your group a way to track you. And have a really good idea of your location. <- there is pro's and con's here also. Like anything else you can't completely rely on one tool.
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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 03:31 PM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

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dorton previously said: View Post
Great resources. Thanks.

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MSTonkaToy previously said: View Post
...FRS is great for traveling talking between vehicles...
Yep. Totally forgot about that, but we use em for that on every road trip where there are multiple vehicles and the others don't have CB. In my folks' case, they don't have CB or ham and most likely won't be getting either. So, it's nice to be able to hand them one of our FRS units, and we chat back and forth the whole way without the annouances that would come up if we had to do it with mobile phones.
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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:40 PM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

I guess I'm getting lazy in my old age. but when we are traveling in multiple vehicles and having a casual conversation on the radio. I find it a pain in the rear to self identify my C/S every 10 minutes on ham. soo.... I choose the frs option.
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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 02:22 AM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

So far in this thread I only see two people mention repeaters. All this I can talk this far on 2m or 440 is depending on that repeater. That little cracker jack HT will not out talk a CB in terrain (we don't have runs on flat ground). They will be at the same wattage but the lower freq of the CB will prevail. 2m and especially 70cm greatly relies on line of sight. If you are far enough out there away from that hilltop repeater you're still talking "door to door"
The only true fail safe is an expensive SAT phone as mentioned or an HF set up, not just the radio but multiband antenna or antennas too. The catch is you need more than a tech license for HF.
Instead of mines better than yours there needs to be emphasis on proper installation on both sides of the fence. The install is key to making it work.

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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 07:27 AM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

And yes that is very true.
But I would like to add that, I wasn't intending to try and point out that one thing was better than the other. Just that in given situations one may have more advantages than the other. They are all good tools some just work better in given situations.
Probably not a good idea to rely on one tool to get the job done. Because we all know anything man made is subject to failure.
Always.. have a backup plan.

VHF/UFH is what I would consider the swiss army knife of the radio world. you can incorporate, Video, audio (of course right?), repeater functions, APRS - which can include text messaging, GPS Tracking world wide. .. the list goes on..
edited: Forgot to add in digital modes, as this can be really useful.. IMC is still a valid option even though it isn't part of the testing procedure anymore. also TTY and various other digital modes that just as useful but can't mention them all.
Repeaters. There is no denying the usefulness of this item. They can be used as a single item to boost your communications range in a given area, or you can link several together to cover an entire operational area.
Some mobile radios can even include cross band repeater functions.

Last edited by Easy Rider; 04-06-2014 at 07:33 AM. Reason: forgot something!
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post #46 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 09:19 AM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

True they all have their place. And with the addition of digital modes there is much more you can transmit. Ideally you need it all. In mine I can cover HF, VHF, UHF, marine VHF, MURS, FRS, GMRS, CB, and everything in between. If I had to pic only one band it would probably be 40m. You can tilt the antenna over for NVIS short range to 300 or 400 miles to DX with a vertical. Many countries have emergency frequencies in the 60m band.

At work we have a brand new million dollar mobile command center. There is everything you can imagine in there. There is even room for dispatch. Then we have another mobile communications van. But guess what, no mobile repeaters in either one. WW3 the day the Russians land or when we finally get the big one and we can't get fuel to our generators at the repeater sites, they're dead in the water. They can't go simplex. We have a 16 million dollar 800mhz P25 system that without the ability of our repeater sights is useless. They work as long as you have coverage. I just wouldn't depend on one.

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post #47 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 07:53 PM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

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DX FJC previously said: View Post
So far in this thread I only see two people mention repeaters. All this I can talk this far on 2m or 440 is depending on that repeater. That little cracker jack HT will not out talk a CB in terrain (we don't have runs on flat ground). They will be at the same wattage but the lower freq of the CB will prevail. 2m and especially 70cm greatly relies on line of sight. If you are far enough out there away from that hilltop repeater you're still talking "door to door"
The only true fail safe is an expensive SAT phone as mentioned or an HF set up, not just the radio but multiband antenna or antennas too. The catch is you need more than a tech license for HF.
Instead of mines better than yours there needs to be emphasis on proper installation on both sides of the fence. The install is key to making it work.

on my phone because I'm screwing off
My experiences are much the opposite on uhf/vhf vs CB. In the Appalachian Mountains, we do not have much in the way of line of sight. I would consider our wheeling in "terrain". While in said terrain, the uhf/vhf HTs perform far and above better than the CBs.
If I'm on one side of a mountain, and you're on the other, we're likely not going to be able to talk on either. I have a hard mounted unit in my 4runner, and always have handhelds as well. Shorter wavelengths I've been told (even one of the questions on the FCC's Technician class exam I took) penetrates better than long wavelengths. Repeaters are great,but I rarely use them for communication though. Most commonly, i'll use them to demo capability. I'll take a look at my repeater app, or book and try to make contacts at 20+ miles handheld or 50+ hard mouhted. Maybe the HTs ive been around have been around have been insanely grand, and every CB I've encountered on trail rides has had some kind issue. I've heard skips from much farther than I've successfully used on uhf/vhf, but a skip is not practical to plan on. I love the idea of NVIS, and think it would be a great addition. I'll have it on mine some day.




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post #48 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:52 PM
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Re: Why not HAM?!

I agree with what you are saying.. We go up in TN and NC every winter to go snow boarding. We always carry uhf/vhf ht's. And it's so much easier for us to talk to each other on. We did use FRS but the frequencies have become over run so they seem pretty much useless. We are still able to talk to the wife if she is on a mobile or ht off the mountain by using repeaters. It works out really nice. The local's seem to give repeater priority to folks on the mountain.
We use vx3r's ... They work out nicely because you can set them to your favorite fm channel with a specific channel set up as a priority. This way it will switch over if there is activity. Then back after your predetermined amount of time.
I'm not sure you could get a CB HT that has that feature.
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