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TCC6310

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I decided today that it would probably be a good idea to get a CB/HAM radio, and ofcourse learn how to use it. Does anybody have any ideas on what I should get as far as the radio? And do you need any special training for it? Thanks!

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CB is a cheap option, depending on where you buy it from and the quality you can spend anywhere from $100-$700+. Good CB brands IMO are Cobra, Galaxy, Ranger and Midland. You dont need a license or special training for CB. HAM's need a license and require training but you can obviously talk over a MUCH greater distance than with a standard CB. I plan on getting into the HAM stuff when time and mainly money permits. For now I have a CB in my truck plus 3 handheld units I have aquired over the years. The FRS radios with GMRS capabilities are great too, but they tend to be "crowded" at times depending on your location.

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I decided today that it would probably be a good idea to get a CB/HAM radio, and ofcourse learn how to use it. Does anybody have any ideas on what I should get as far as the radio? And do you need any special training for it? Thanks!

As Ready says, Ham is the most flexible way to go. The license requirement is a bit of memorizing as it is all multiple guess and the actual questions are in the study guides. The Technician license (which is the first and lowest level in terms of privileges) gets you full privileges above 50 MHz and some privileges at 28 MHz (10 Meters). Code only in the 80, 40 and 15 meter ham bands.

 

As to radios, that is wide open. There are a ton of used radios out there that are relatively inexpensive. Be very, very careful of tube radios. While I love the "boat anchors" (nick name for a tube set) even the low power sets contain lethal voltages for the tube power supply. A 5 watt output tube transmitter may still need 300 volts for the tube to work. Modern sets are a tad more expensive but even here the older solid state rigs are under $500 and give solid performance.

 

Radio brands, Yaseu, Icom, Kenwood are all great. Ten Tec is American made. I've had great luck with their stuff. I've had good luck with my Alinco set. 100 watts output and a receiver that goes from "DC to Light" or there abouts. It covers 500 KiloHertz to 54 MegaHertz in a continuous coverage. Great for just shortwave listening. I've used that radio and a simple wire antenna (a dipole) to work (communicate with) both Europe and Australia. Total cost of a used rig like this is less than $500. New it would be less than a $1000. 2 Meter handhelds for local work are around $100. This type of radio allows data, voice, code, even amateur TV and satellite communications if you so desire.

 

Get an Elmer (active ham who helps new ham get started) from a local club to help get you started. Be very careful about places like eBay unless you know what you're doing. I'll check here and answer any questions I can. I really think Ham radio is the primary way to go. Everything else is secondary. Remember, when a earthquake wiped out most of Haiti, it was the hams who got the word out.

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Regulator,

A transmitter and a receiver OR a Transceiver (combination of both - CB radios are transceivers for example). I use both. As to finding a club, Google your city and the phrase 'Amateur Radio Club' will find close ones. There are several ways to find one, if that doesn't work for you, let me know a general area and I'll find a list for the closest. For example Whitesands doesn't have a club but Los Cruces does and they are close. If I Google 'clear lake amateur radio club' I get both the JSC club and the Clear Lake club for example.

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