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TSGB

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I'm still not really educated here, so please bear with me.

I haven't yet bought a radio for my Xterra, but my tax return has some room in it. I'm in the air between a CB or a VHF unit. My assumptions are thus: CB will have more users, but less reliability and range; VHF will have more range and reliability, but likely fewer users. Given that, I'm leaning toward VHF.

I understand that VHF may or may not require a license. I can't get a clear answer on that, as I'm not operating watercraft. :dunno: Either way, I'd be willing to get an applicable license.

So with my limited brainpower, I'm looking at these VHF's:

http://www.amazon.com/TYT-TH-9000-T...TF8&qid=1360633805&sr=8-28&keywords=VHF+Radio

http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-MHS75-Waterproof-Two-Way-Marine/dp/B001J5MQ20/ref=pd_cp_e_2

I'd prefer the fixed unit, but I'm not likely to be a power user, so the handheld isn't out of the running.

What do you guys recommend I look at, and what are your experiences?
 

Jagged

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Step 1:

http://www.arrl.org/licensing-education-training

Get your Technician class Amateur Radio license.

The question pool is public, free online study guide is here: http://www.kb6nu.com/tech-manual/

Online practice tests available here: http://www.qrz.com/ht/ http://aa9pw.com/radio/ http://www.eham.net/exams/

Step 2:

Get a radio. That TYT TH-9000 is a VHF "2 meter" radio. You can operate in the amateur bands with your ham radio license. There are many hams in your area. Repeaters are everywhere. However, if you don't feel the need to transmit in the business bands, you could get a ham-only radio like the Yaesu FT-1900R:

http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=zys-ft-1900r

If you do get a handheld... you'll probably be disappointed unless you live in a densely populated area. Handhelds are only 5 watts max, and have very limited performance (between low power, compromise-sized antennas, lack of ground plane, etc.). Having said that... it is possible to get a good antenna for your car and connect a handheld to that. I've done it many times with great success. The main thing to realize about the handhelds are the limited power (5W versus the 50W mobile) and you really need a good antenna for them to work effectively for longer distance communications.

Step 3:

Get involved with your local ham radio club. Meet others and learn about ham radio. Participate in weekly "nets" (an organized manner in which everyone gets on the radio together and is directed by a "net control operator"... it's good weekly training for emergency response).

Get involved with ARES/RACES, SAR/mountain rescue groups.
 

TSGB

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Thanks, dooder. The only thing in there over my head was business class, but that'll probably be sorted out with the links you gave me. :D
 

Jagged

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Thanks, dooder. The only thing in there over my head was business class, but that'll probably be sorted out with the links you gave me. :D

Unless you know you need the business bands, then you don't need them. Getting a business license from the FCC costs buku money and lawyers. You get assigned your own frequency when that happens.

Most amateur-specific radios will receive on the wide range (136-174 MHz) which will allow you to also program some scanning frequencies in. Also, it's easy to modify the amateur equipment for out-of-band transmit if you really want that feature (although, 'legally' speaking, the amateur equipment isn't type-certified for operation in those bands).
 

Jagged

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Does 2m = business band? Is there a glossary I can look at? :haha:

136-174 is the general coverage of the VHF radios.

144-148 MHz are the amateur radio frequencies.

Everything else is business and public safety.

"2m" refers to the wavelength of the band. Light moves at 300,000,000 meters per second. So a wavelength of 2 meters is.... 150 MHz.
 
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