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Old 07-11-2008, 02:42 PM
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Evrgrnmtnman Evrgrnmtnman is offline
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Default Ham Radio's Old Technology?????

I'm wondering why so many people still want to use Ham Radio's which radio waves bounce off the atmosphere and everyone in there mother can hear the transmission.
Now you can get a GlobalCom Satellite Phone for $299 and unlimited monthly service for $39.99/mth and you can get added data services which you can never think about on Ham Radio's?
http://www.globalcomsatphone.com/glo...ited_plan.html

Just curious?
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Last edited by Evrgrnmtnman; 07-11-2008 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Grammar Check
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:57 PM
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My handheld was $180 with no monthly charge. Mobile was $280, no monthly charge. Plus can you talk to a whole group of people at the same time over a satellite phone? Also, 2m and 70cm bands don't travel really far like the HF "across the world" bands. Further than CB, but not more than 40-50 miles typically.

Satellite phones are great for emergencies (we use them at Cruise Moab), but our Ham rigs fit the standard day-to-day 4 wheeling a lot better.

Probably a stupid question: is there a difference between short-wave and ham? Short-wave was the thing back in the 70s, has the name just been changed a little over the years? Sorry for the hijack...but since the term "old technology" was used...
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:10 PM
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I know when I was using radio's(early 80's) on the C130's in the Marines. HF Radio's were long range because the radio waves bounced of the ground and atmosphere. The UHF and VHF were line of sight radio's. I still see the use of CB's in a caravan of 4wheeling, but when I want to call for a pizza, or have my internet services, video anywhere in the world I tend to go with the Sat. Phone...my own personal choice though!
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Last edited by Evrgrnmtnman; 07-11-2008 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:19 PM
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From Wikipedia:
Shortwave radio operates between the frequencies of 3 MHz (3,000 kHz) and 30 MHz (30,000 kHz) and came to be referred to as such in the early days of radio because the wavelengths associated with this frequency range were shorter than the long wave lengths widely in use at that time. An alternate name is HF or high frequency radio. Short wavelengths are associated with high frequencies because there is an inverse relationship between frequency and wavelength.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evrgrnmtnman View Post
I know when I was using radio's(early 80's) on the C130's in the Marines. HF Radio's were long range because the radio waves bounced of the ground and atmosphere. The UHF and VHF were line of sight radio's. I still see the use of CB's in a caravan of 4wheeling, but when I want to call for a pizza, or have my internet services, video anywhere in the world I tend to go with the Sat. Phone...my own personal choice though!
Yep, and most of what we use on the trail is VHF and UHF. For me, the need for internet doesn't come up much in the middle of nowhere...neither does a call for pizza, it's not like they could deliver out there anyway

The ham came in handy on the Slaughterhouse run because it has a long enough range that I could call to the group about 10 minutes ahead of me to get an idea of how late I was. Also Matt Farr called in from the road to see where the group was on the trail to see if he could catch up with us. Because of the hills, though, that was about the limit of the radios, so it was just enough to benefit us greatly but not so much distance that very many other people would be able to hear, but it's not like it's a private conversation anyway.

I can see your point if you're making a connection to a phone line via ham radio and a repeater.

But you can talk to a group of people over the Ham, just like a CB.

Wow, now I'm REALLY web wheeling!
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evrgrnmtnman View Post
I know when I was using radio's(early 80's) on the C130's in the Marines. HF Radio's were long range because the radio waves bounced of the ground and atmosphere. The UHF and VHF were line of sight radio's. I still see the use of CB's in a caravan of 4wheeling, but when I want to call for a pizza, or have my internet services, video anywhere in the world I tend to go with the Sat. Phone...my own personal choice though!
In the 80s (whenI was is a pup in the AF) HF was the prime method for long-haul comms. Once SATCOM came on line, and we started getting man-packable SATCOM radios, HF seemed to get pushed to the back burner. Then in the mid-90s HF made a come back because it was so hard to get a SATCOM net. In Bosnia, we were using HF as our primary means of data transmission (non-voice). When all else failed, HF always seemed to be there.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:19 PM
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How much is a Ham Radio? FCC License Required? You have to use a specific frequency to talk like a CB, and if someone doesn't know that, how do they find ya? Do they make handheld Ham Radio's? A CB is $30 or $40, so I can see having one of those.

I'm just saying I'd rather put my money in new technology and have all the features that come with that technology. The only difference I see between a CB and Ham Radio is distance. Than when the CB fails, I reach down for my Satellite Phone and can call the world or get my emails. My contract with Verizon is up next month so I'm exploring Sat. Phones as my next means of communications, so that is why I'm researching this.
But this is my own opinion.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:10 PM
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You can get a minimal set up for less than $150, Yes a license is required but it's almost trival for a tech lic. CB is no different in a ham knowing what channel we primarly use on the trail. There are a number of hand helds to choose from but usually it doesn't put out much power, ie 5w max. It's all what you want and it's another hobby. I don't want internet, emails etc. I get in my rig to get away from all that but still need to communicate with a group or reach out longer distance for help. It's also a group type deal for communication. If you go wheelin with us a few will have a cbs but I don't know who your going to talk to with your sat phone. Certainly you won't be able to call the group with it or explain you need to stop if no one else has one. If you need to call home or work (reading and replying to emails) in the backcountry then ok but like I said I want to leave that behind. I don't really care if I have to call to a land line using a repeater and have folks here me tell my wife what time I'll be home etc. I'm not using my cc to order pizza or something. Probably minimal but there are very few times that a sat phone isn't 100%. There was one in moab that couldn't get a signal.

Also the last thing I need is another contract and monthly expense. I hate service plans and monthly charges like the plague. I can see uses for sat phones but until they come down in $ equal to a regular phone all of us won't have one to com with each other. I see a ham and sat phone as 2 different tools.

A cb just doesn't have the range and power and that's why i've pulled it. Unless you can actually see the truck it's almost useless.
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Last edited by wesintl; 07-11-2008 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:01 PM
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I guess I see the CB as being able to communicate with the group, at a cheaper cost and providing the same functions. Let's say there is a emergency that someone has to get a hold of you while your 4wheeling in the wilderness. All that person has to do is pick up a phone and call you! Okay, you might not want to send any data(emails, attachments,photo's), but at least you have the capability. You already have a Cell Phone, so obviously this would replace it as far as what your already paying. I just see this as having more advantages, features, and making you available even if you are in the wilderness than Ham Radio. How many people know how to pickup the microphone and make a call on a Ham Radio that hasn't been taught? There is a On/Off button if you don't won't to be bothered with the Sat. Phone. Sounds like Ham Radio's are a great hobby though, and do provide a ways to communicate to a group.

Finally, I have to ask myself given the choice of having in the field of the two. My own choice would be the Satellite Phone(seeing 39.99/mth unlimited calls), and if nothing else and having redundancy have both!
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Last edited by Evrgrnmtnman; 07-11-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:49 PM
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CB is limited to 40 pre-set channels. 2m is from 144 MHz to 148 MHz in 5 kHz steps. 70 cm is about the same. That's a heck of a lot more frequency options than CB. Range is further, and I don't understand the comment about making a phone call on a CB, maybe I'm missing something? And to make a call onto a Ham, the Ham operator has to make the call, not the other way around. I put prices of stuff in my first post, but a lower end mobile unit is cheaper than the one I have, more like $120.

Just come on a few runs with us and you'll see the difference! Isaac did!

BTW some people run HF rigs on their trucks to get super long distance communications...but that is more expense/knowledge etc. than a Tech license which will open up 2m and 70cm
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