First level is Technician – this is all you need for 2m operation.
The General and Extra classes are for HF – long distance, across the US and World communications.
Remember the new test pool starts July 1, 2014. Most of the questions will be similar to the current test pool. Just be aware of this if you pick up a book. The books are geared to the set of test questions, but usually are general enough you can study from an older book, and take a couple of practice exams.
While we are sharing links, here are a few thoughts to add to your quandary.
Cheap but functional CB: $36 – link – 4 watts
Cheap but functional HAM: $30 – link – 4 watts
Nicely priced and functional CB: $99 – link – 5 watts
Nicely priced and amazingly powerful HAM: $168 – link – 60 watts
Just crazy amazingly effective HAM: $212 – link – 75 watts
Don’t forget, a key difference between CB and HAM is AM and FM. CB is like listening to your AM radio. HAM is like listening to FM. In fact, that’s how they are transmitted (on different frequency, so don’t get it confused with the range of AM versus FM).
Somehow, I think my last comment might be confusing. So, here is a picture.
Note that in AM, the amplitude (you might think of this as power) is altered to make the variances in the signal. In FM, the amplitude is constant while the gap in the wave is altered. Thus, FM has a more consistent strength, and is generally clearer.
Thanks to our broadcast radio friends, we generally think of AM like “870 news all of the time” and FM as “102.3 where disco lives forever”. Sadly, this makes a relationship between Amplitude Modulation and 870 kHz or Frequency Modulation and 102.3 MHz. When, in reality, AM or FM can be used at any frequency. (Ok, there are rules on what you can transmit on each frequency, but AM and FM can be used on thousands of frequencies outside the AM and FM dials.)
Old thread, but really good info. Ham radios appear to be getting more popular on our 4×4 runs. Some of you guys have been users for many years and have a lot of knowledge to share with us newbies. I had a chance to hear how clear the transmissions are when we were out on the trail and I was amazed. I can never hear CB’s. So, I studied and passed the Technician test. Got my call sign.. KI7ADR.
Excited to learn more. Don and Curtis have shared a lot of info already. So much to learn.
Picked up 2 different radios:
1 Yaesu FT-2900r dash mount radio. Impressive radio.
2 Baofeng UV-5R handhelds.
I also picked up some recommended accessories:
Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
2 Nagoya NA-771 Dual Band High Gain Antennas
2 Car Battery Adapter Eliminators
And of course, the USB and programming software. Although, I have since learned that there may be better software.
Fun stuff. I hope you guys with years of experience can continue to share your knowledge with the rest of us.
welcome to the HAM community! The clarity and range is impressive. Most of all you don’t always have that guy with the super-powered CB transmitter saying “HELLLLLLLLOOOOO. HELLO. HELLO. HEEEEEEELLLO” all day.
I just got my technician license and I am trying to find somebody who would spend a little time with me to figure this thing out. I have a radio and everything but I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a really quick learner I’m 33 I understand electronics pretty well but this is like a foreign language it won’t take much time.
Feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not very knowledgeable but may be able to help you. Or steer you in a direction that might. I am available most weekends, or over the phone in the evenings. I think you came by the house one time before for something or other. Don
Idaho Off-Road 4x4 club is an association of people brought together to share a single passion: Four Wheeling! We are a family oriented club dedicated to keeping our public lands open while practicing the policy of TREAD LIGHTLY!
We meet at 7 pm on the second Thursday of every month at Idaho Pizza in Meridian.