Do you have an amateur radio license?

Discussion in 'When Disaster Strikes' started by GearZ, Jun 10, 2013.

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Do you have an amateur radio license?

  1. Yes, indeed.

    5 vote(s)
    41.7%
  2. Nope.

    5 vote(s)
    41.7%
  3. Used to, but not any more.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Don't, but plan to real soon.

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    The title sort of says it all. How many amateur radio operators do we have out there? Thanks for voting. :)
     
  2. UncleJak

    UncleJak Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Nope, but I do find it interesting
     
  3. Paladin132

    Paladin132 Member

    Something I have always wanted to do but jut have not made the time to do it.
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff TOF Admin Staff Member Administrator

    Yup. Been a "ham" since 1998. :D
     
  5. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    For those interested in becoming licensed, a couple of resources I can recommend are:
    • The book Now You're Talking by the ARRL. Its a good, basic introduction text.
    • The free eHam practice exams.
    Hope that helps. :)
     
  6. Bdtile21

    Bdtile21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    I fall in and out of love with the idea to operate. I found this site a few years ago and have poured over it, but never taken action.
    http://www.qrz.com/index.html
    I hear the test is easier than when I was first exposed to it in the early 90's. No Morse code now, right?
     
  7. Tom Sams

    Tom Sams Member

    Been licensedsince 2000.Call sign:KC4TCM
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff TOF Admin Staff Member Administrator

    Not sure how I missed your post, Brad.. But the knowledge test hasn't changed much. No Morse code for any license levels now though!
     
    Bdtile21 likes this.
  9. firelily99

    firelily99 Member

    I don't have one nor I have actually considered getting one. I'm not sure why I would need one at this point. Why would you need a license?
     
  10. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    Well, unlicensed communication is pretty limited in terms of modes and frequencies. You're, more or less, stuck with citizen band (CB) and family radio service (FRS). Having a ham ticket opens a lot of doors in terms of frequency privileges and modes (voice, digital, etc.).
     
    Jeff likes this.
  11. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Member

    My son out west has a radio license, and he really enjoys it. I would love to have a ham radio, and be able to talk to him, but i don't think that I can pass the test to get the license. There is just so much technological stuff you need to know that my brain won't wrap itself around, like all the difference between watts and amps, and all that kind of thing.
    I loved it when we had CB's and used those. You didn't talk as far, but sometimes , when you hit a good skip, it would bring in people from quite a ways away.
    Getting all the right equipment and installing it is pretty expensive as well, so I am not likely to get one anytime soon, but I still think it is a wonderful idea.
    George Ure from UrbanSurvival.com is a big enthusiast, and I really enjoy reading his column each day.
     
  12. Bdtile21

    Bdtile21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    I ran CB's on my trucks as a teenager. Stopped by the local truck stop and had a guy juice up all my gear. In TN, that means it might get over the next two hills. :D Seriously, good equipment can get you a long way with CB on flat land, but still limited.
     
    Jeff likes this.
  13. firelily99

    firelily99 Member

    Its interesting stuff but I don't have a license and I don't see myself needing on in the near future. It does look interesting but I am full up on things to do right now, one more thing will tip me over the edge.
     
  14. maladjusted

    maladjusted Member

    No, I'm not a ham, but my husband is. He's had his license since he was 13 in 1967. He's very active in the Cumberland County area. So many people don't understand the importance of hams - when catastrophe strikes, most communications go down. Land line phones go down, cell towers stop functioning, power goes out and the internet goes down. But ham radio is always operational. Unfortunately, the average ham is over 50, with many of them in their 70s and 80s. We have a serious need for the younger generation to get involved and continue the ham system.
     
  15. Jeff

    Jeff TOF Admin Staff Member Administrator

    It is unfortunate that interest in the hobby has decreased among younger folks over the past several years. I'm still in my 30s but I've noticed I am younger than the "average" ham radio operator in my area.
     
  16. maladjusted

    maladjusted Member

    Yeah, I know what you mean. My husband is 59 and he's one of the youngest members in his ham club! :) But how do you interest kids in it when they have cell phones and the internet. When I was a kid in the 60s, I remember being told how ham operators could talk to people in places like China and Russia - which were such foreign places to us, behind the Iron Curtain. But today, we can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world instantaneously. There's not nearly the same "wow" factor as there used to be. And until they experience an outage of all their communications devices, I can't see them really caring about ham radio.
     
  17. dave david

    dave david New Member

    I have mine and really enjoy the hobby for a multitude of reasons. most clubs have a pretty active emergency/disaster group that are members of ARES or RACES. The radios are inexpensive enough now adays, Beofang VHF for under $50 on two meters. The other aspect I enjoy is low power operation and digital modes and you can still work stations around the world on 5 watts. Ham radio works well portable, in the field and in solar powered or boat installations as well. If you see a ARRL "field day" station in late june, this year stop by. Most towns and cities in TN will have these guys out testing their field/solar setups and open to the public. ARRL.org for tons of information
     
  18. maladjusted

    maladjusted Member

    What's a "field day" - can you explain a little more? Is it appropriate for kids - what kinds of activities do you have?
     
  19. dave david

    dave david New Member

    Field day is an annual event, this year it is on Friday June 26th and Saturday June 27th. This is actually a "test" of ham radio, where hams bring their radios and support gear (antennas, power supplies, cabling and such to a public location. Many times a local park is used, sometimes where they may need to hike in to a location, and even at shopping centers or strip malls. Anywhere they may need to setup to help in the event of a disaster.

    This event is great way to get familiar with ham radio, local hams and many times a local club or school station and what they hope to do in an emergency to provide communications when the other, usual systems are down due to inclement weather, power outage, earthquake and the like.

    Check the internet, just google "field day 2015" and your town/city
     
    Jeff and maladjusted like this.

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