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Old 06-04-2006, 10:29   #1
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To Ham or not to Ham..?

We're just starting to get equipment ready for our departure in April 08 and I'd like to get some thoughts from those of you that have 'been there done that' on the topic of ham radios; in this day and age should I have/do I need a ham license? Thanks TnT!
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Old 06-04-2006, 18:45   #2
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Good idea.

There are several HAM networks out there and worldwide support via radion should the need occur. The one restrictive factor to HAM is that no business transactions may be done over the airways. HAM e-mail is free as an added bonus.
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Old 06-04-2006, 19:14   #3
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For all the reasons Jentine mentioned, I would say yes. Get, at least, the general class. Yes, you still need a license. I would also encourage everyone on board to get a license. This will allow you to communicate via uhf or vhf while exploring ashore. Recipricol license privlidges are easy to get in most countries, and this opens up many otions not otherwise available. The hobbie side is lot's of fun, but not for everyone. If you get into it, there are many avenues that will be opened up to you by being involved in ham radio. (It launched my cruising plans. Long story for a different day). One downside is that many countries are reportedly cracking down on non-complient marine ssb equipment. What this means is that you can not just open up your ham radio, and use it on the marine bands. I do not personally know of anyone who has run into problems, but I have been warned by those who claim to be in the know. This will limit your options for a marine/ham radio.
That being said, having the fairly reliable option to communicate with friends and family at home for free has real benefits.
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Old 06-04-2006, 23:30   #4
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I'll have my ham on rye please!!!

My two cents here.

Like Kai said it would help if ya have a Ham license. How do you get one. How do you get familiar with a ham radio?

Join a ham radio club!!!!

They have them all over the USofA. And the fees are affordable. Here are some weblinks for your personnel research. Maybe you could find a Ham club nearest you. In the USofA only? Oh, so sorry? Oh, no I'm not!!

http://www.arrl.org/

http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Ham_Ra...SA/California/

http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Ham_Ra...h_America/USA/
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Old 06-04-2006, 23:44   #5
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Lots of resources to get you license. Look online of course. You can search out your local HRO (Ham Radio Outlet). THey should be able to tell you where and when the local classes are held, as well as local testing. HRO is kind of the West Marine of HAM radio. It is fun to go in just to look around, and the stores are run by HAMS, so you can get good info on all aspects of HAM radio there. You can self study for the license. They work very well. Fry's has them, as well as most other electronics stores. Radio Shack used to carry books, but I a not sure if they still do.
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Old 07-04-2006, 00:38   #6
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Well Kai!!

Only California & Arizona that I know of has only Fry's Electronic stores. Everybody else is left out of that loop. Sorry folks. You all don't know what you're truily missing here?

Fry's Electronics is IMHO, is the best damn electronic store there is? They have everything. They blow Circuit City, Best Buy. And others out of the water by far!! And they even have a small cafe inside all their stores. You could order a "Starbucks" style coffee. While you're waiting on your friends while shopping!!
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Old 07-04-2006, 19:38   #7
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True, they are nt nationwide, so, Barnes and Noble, or any major book store will probably have course books available, and as I said, HRO. HRO is probably the best resource.
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Old 07-04-2006, 22:15   #8
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That's better, Kai!!

Barnes & Noble a better choice!!

Cause they have them everywhere!!
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Old 08-04-2006, 19:23   #9
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TnT, you want to get in touch with RAC

http://www.rac.ca/

You don't need ham radio, you can get along with SSB. If you get an SSB that is enabled for the ham bands then you can study up and get a license later, although seems like you have lots of time before you leave.

I would say that ham radio helps, but is certainly not essential.

Good luck,
Phil.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:03   #10
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TnT,
You can spend a lot of wasted time fooling around with books and web sites trying to learn the HAM language or you can spend a weekend with the guru of the HAM learning world, Gordon West. He makes the most boring subject interesting and you leave with your general license (when you pass the test) on Sunday night. Take a look at http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com...amclasses.html
You won't be disappointed.
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Old 09-04-2006, 10:32   #11
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I *think* they are leaving in April OF '08, not ON April 08...Should be plenty of time, if that's the case.
Jim...Great link to Gordon West's class...I may just enrol for a class locally. Thx for the heads-up !
John
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Old 09-04-2006, 19:02   #12
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That's 10 long years Rick?

Plenty of time to plan and save money!!

And of course take a Ham radio course. Providing that you're not licensed yet?
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