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jhires
03-01-2013, 05:17 PM
Anyone have a ham radio installed? If so how useful have you found them out on the trail?

I let my license lapse a few years ago because I just wasn't using it. But I am now considering taking the test again.

KF5LOD
03-04-2013, 05:01 PM
I have a Ham radio installed and have met quite a few folks that do also. I dont use it much "ON" the trail...most others have CB's. BUT, I do think it is good idea to have one for that long distance contact, can be very helpful when you are out of cell range. I also like to try for that occasional DX when on top of a mountain!

BBrown626
07-13-2014, 12:53 AM
Will a HAM radio also send and receive in the CB range?

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 02:03 AM
CBs and HAM radios operate on different frequency bands. So they can not talk to each other.... but I do know of some who "modified" their HAM radios to work on CB freq.

I do not understand how a HAM license expires. It is for life. The only way for it to expire is with your death. Are you a zombie? what was your call sign?

Commercial radio licenses expire. Different radio, different frequencies.

My 4x4 club is about the largest HAM club in the area. We have some 40+ HAMS in the club. We have pretty much given up on the CB (some still have, but just because they have not yet been removed). HAM kills CB hands down. No Morse on the test anymore, so the test is not so bad. Power, range, clarity. Nothing competes. Most do not understand what this does for safety and security on the trail and getting there and back.

MR.Ty
07-13-2014, 02:17 AM
CBs and HAM radios operate on different frequency bands. So they can not talk to each other.... but I do know of some who "modified" their HAM radios to work on CB freq.

I do not understand how a HAM license expires. It is for life. The only way for it to expire is with your death. Are you a zombie? what was your call sign?

Commercial radio licenses expire. Different radio, different frequencies.

My 4x4 club is about the largest HAM club in the area. We have some 40+ HAMS in the club. We have pretty much given up on the CB (some still have, but just because they have not yet been removed). HAM kills CB hands down. No Morse on the test anymore, so the test is not so bad. Power, range, clarity. Nothing competes. Most do not understand what this does for safety and security on the trail and getting there and back.

The license is good for ten years, then you have two years before they add your call sign back to the pot of available calls signs if you don't retake and pass your test. Like others, I'm getting my license for the trip to and from and for solo trips. For ease of use, I personally don't think you can beat a CB. But in terms of communications HAM is better.

2014 JKUR

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 02:22 AM
That is a silly rule, for license to expire.

They are good for life here :)

I do not find the HAM all that much more difficult to use than a CB. Set the freq and use the mic! Some HAM radios are more user friendly than others when you get beyond the simple frequency selection!

MR.Ty
07-13-2014, 02:30 AM
That is a silly rule, for license to expire.

They are good for life here :)

I do not find the HAM all that much more difficult to use than a CB. Set the freq and use the mic! Some HAM radios are more user friendly than others when you get beyond the simple frequency selection!

I agree with you there. I was referring more to the process of being able to legally use them. Study. Take test. Wait for call sign etc. Which is why I said CB was easier to use. Hundred plus bucks and an afternoon and you are on the air talking to truckers

2014 JKUR

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 02:35 AM
Your truckers still use CB?

Ours ditched those a generation ago.

Commercial VHF is what they all use here. $50 annual fee and they are good to go.

jkjurny
07-13-2014, 02:39 AM
I have a HAM, and it is for the long communication during emergencies. While not legal, people do use HAM in Simplex without a license. Keep it a 1W and the range and clarity beats a 3W CB if you use 2M. Likelihood of getting caught if you keep it at 1W is really low.

BBrown626
07-13-2014, 02:41 AM
Where would you recommend a newbie start researching HAM radios for use in the Jeep?
Any recommendations on what to look for or avoid?
I am interested in one for longer range communications on the trail, such as in an emergency where we need to reach out for help beyond the range of the CB. I don't want to make HAM radio my new hobby, if that helps.

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 02:43 AM
Go take the test. 35 questions. It is easy ( I have US club members and they have remarked at how easy it was). Up here out test is 100 questions and, depending on the instructor, can be an arduous or basic endeavour. Usually takes a day and a half of your time from our local examiners.

I am guessing the 1W and 3W is a hand held?

MR.Ty
07-13-2014, 02:52 AM
Your truckers still use CB?

Ours ditched those a generation ago.

Commercial VHF is what they all use here. $50 annual fee and they are good to go.

At least the ones I talk too:D. I'm studying for my HAM test and I can wait to get my license.

2014 JKUR

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 02:56 AM
Where would you recommend a newbie start researching HAM radios for use in the Jeep?
Any recommendations on what to look for or avoid?

www.hamradio.com is a very popular sales site. I do believe they also have a lot of info on getting licensed. It is good for browsing and they list the promos of the MFGs.

I run an ICOM IC2200H (Bought in 2008). I think the current version is 2300. It is a mil spec radio with a non-mil spec faceplate. ICOM are the least user friendly of the big three. ICOM, YAESU, KENWOOD. Do not by any Chinese radio. they are cheap (but not that cheap) and there are issues I need not go into here about... Lets just say, most of us run the big 3 and no failures. Those running Chinese can not say the same.

If you have a basic license (Tech), a basic VHF HAM radio is good enough. I would get one of the 55W Yaesu units (Yaesu is probably the most user friendly that I have seen). A few of my club members have them and they work just fine. You would only run it on 5 or 10W most of the time. I only go up to max power when I really need to reach out and touch someone on simplex. I live in a mountain area :)

If you get your General, you can then run UHF as well. UHF is not used much, but it opens up a fun toy. The Kenwood 710 (or a new number now) allows you to connect to your GPS to transmit and receive GPS location pings. And it also connects to the internet so others can follow you. Think SPOT but better and FREE. Just google APRS for all kinds of info on that bit.

Of the 40+ Licensed HAMs in my 4x4 club, only 3 have made it their hobby. The rest of us just program the few freq we use, name them and lock the radio. Kind of like most people with super phones. I use mine to make phone calls, others well... it is their life...

BBrown626
07-13-2014, 06:22 PM
Thanks. I'll go take a look.

Indefatigable
07-13-2014, 06:36 PM
I just double checked your license levels. Tech gets you VHF and UHF. General adds in HF.
From a wheeling point of view, no one uses HF and I can only think of one of my 40+ club members who actually has a HF radio...

BobCav
08-07-2014, 03:29 AM
I'm a HAM and have my ICOM IC-7000 in my Jeep and Love it! I only have a VHF/UHF antenna right now but will be adding an HF antenna soon. Looking forward to climbing to the top of a mountain and catching some incredible DX!

I'm Amateur Extra (call sign WE3M) and I used one of the best and FREE online resources for exam preparation:

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/

That site is fantastic and they will take you through a whole practice exam, eventually using all of the questions in the test bank. I must have taken those practice tests a dozen times a day for a month prior to my exam. I took all three tests at once and went from ZERO to EXTRA in 45 minutes, but I'm retired US Navy with electronics background and training.

Hope that site can help!

Bosunmate
11-26-2014, 08:13 PM
I just renewed my Ham license. I will be installing Ham and CB units in my Jeep soon. I dont care for CB much. Last time I used one was about 35yrs ago. The CB will be for trail use only. I too hope more wheelers would switch over to Ham.

KE4TQV

RMC2
11-26-2014, 10:24 PM
Interesting discussion. I don't even have my cb in the jeep. It is in the shed. I like the idea of longer range.

camping350
11-27-2014, 12:21 AM
My jeep club here is socal we use two meter we have about 15 of the 25 members licensed even my wife got hers this year I use Kenwood dual bands tm-v71a one band for run and one band we mess around and have fun on.

RubiHB
12-05-2014, 09:10 PM
I'm setting up to put CB and 2M radio in my JKUR. The 2015 model does not leave much room for convenient out of the way but still visible and very useful mounting locations. Been looking at a LOT of install photos. I think I got it worked out now. I will take a lot of pics during the install.


Bill - KC9MTP