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Author Topic: Other radio modes  (Read 10182 times)
KD0NGX
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« on: March 22, 2013, 08:31:02 PM »

I've noticed not many people mention having other radio services than ham mentioned in boxes of radio equipment used for public service or emcomm. I've thought about buying a cheaper CB radio to throw in with all my other stuff. Thought it could work to liaison with non-hams if needed. Thoughts? Also, what are the thoughts on MURS? Anyone ever use it? It seems to me that Wal Mart is pretty much the only MURS user so I haven't seen value in spending money on a MURS radio. Wondering what other people have experienced.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 04:50:43 AM »

I don't see why not.  I always did when I was working as an EMA volunteer--and I've still got an 11 meter CB rig set up in my shack.  It's not always on, but it's nice to be able to go directly to CB if you hear of something going on on a local highway.  Just remember that those rigs are only good for a couple of miles at best.  And yes, I get the occasional remark disparaging the CB set, but my comeback is "It's MY radio shack.  I have what I want in it.  If you don't like it, just don't listen to it."

Added--As far as MURS, you would have to buy a license for it.  Is that worth it to you?  It isn't to me.  FRS is another matter--that I DO have--but only a small handheld.  I find it's all that is really needed.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 04:54:03 AM by K1CJS » Logged
LA9XSA
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 08:33:43 AM »

I think some neighborhoods use FRS and CB as local commuications and let hams work as a bridge between the neighbourhood and the outside world. I also like to bring CB and PMR446 (European version of FRS) to field day or other events so that those who are not licensed yet can run around with a radio of their own in addition to them getting to use the amateur bands under supervision.

In more formal emergency operations for a served agency, there might be air band radios, marine radios (if they're at the coast), perhaps satellite phones, and the public safety radios that the emergency services use every day available in the communications trailer or operations center. Whether you have the training and authorization to use them is often a matter between the served agency who holds the license and the employees or volunteers themselves. Some places may train their volunteers as fully fledged dispatchers, other places the volunteer runs the amateur radio equipment and the regular dispatcher runs the equipment that they're used to.

With the new digital trunked public safety radio systems, there is a possibility of issuing a few of the volunteers with public service handsets. Thanks to call groups and encryption, these handsets can be used to communicate between public safety and lead volunteers, without worrying that the volunteers can eavesdrop on unrelated communications. Here in Norway, it's planned that leaders in the Red Cross, the radio league, the rescue dog volunteers, Home Guard commanders, and other such organizations will get a TETRA handset which the police can reach them on in case the phone system fails. This doesn't mean that every member of those services will get a TETRA set - they'll keep their existing systems, and use TETRA for coordinating with police/fire/EMS.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 08:43:38 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 10:46:30 AM »

I have an 11M CB radio in my vehicle and there is one in our EOC radio room.  When the feces hits the rotary air movement device, people will remember that old CB radio they have stored away, dust it off and use it.  It could be a great way to get "ground truth", as the military likes to label it.
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KO3D
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 10:47:06 AM »

Part 95 VHF MURS does not require a license for 2 watt handhelds, but does require a type accepted radio, e.g. it would be illegal to use a ham radio modified to operate on MURS.

UHF GMRS still requires a license, which is not worth the expense in my opinion ($80 for 5 years).

I have a couple of FRS HTs I use for antenna adjustments (easier than saying callsigns) and alot of people are using these, so I think they are good to have.

I still have an 11m I leave off 99.9% of the time, but keep "just in case." Things are so bad on there it is virtually useless. If somebody offered me $5 for it at a yard sale I'd get rid of it.

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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 04:25:50 AM »

Thanks for clarifying--I got MURS and GMRS confused.  Sorry!
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 08:40:14 PM »

I try to have just about every type of radio service that I can afford at my station and a few in my vehicle.

In an emergency, I want to be able to monitor as many different modes of communication as possible so that I can pass info if needed to the right people.

I still have to get some UHF radios on a couple other freqs, but am slowly getting there.

We live in a rural area. There are those who use ham, CB, GMRS, and FRS. We have a very two good GMRS repeaters (two VHF and one UHF also) and a large group with used GMRS commercial radios who do not wish to become hams, but want to communicate throughout the valley, either with the repeater or simplex. Their radios do very well both ways. We have far fewer hams and still some CB stations are on the air.

I've been working hard to get more to get their ham tickets, but in the mean time, I can communicate with most in the valley and have VHF/UHF/HF, CB and GMRS as well as Echonet ect. at my station along with a good emergency power back up that I can use for quite a period of time if necessary.

I think people have to adapt to what the people in the areas use. I should add, most all of the GMRS users are licensed, hold a weekly net and are very well behaved, better than some 2 meter I have monitored in some other areas.

Some tend to turn up their noses at anyone who is not a ham, but it will work in our area if necessary. It may not work in other places. The important thing is that there are more than a few who are ready and able to summon help if necessary and many have emergency power.
The GMRS operators realize they are not hams or emergency personnel. I guess we are lucky as to the caliber of people we do have. Our hams are quite well prepared to help as needed and called apon, I just wish we had more.

In the end, as long as people know their places, what they can and cannot do, not to get in the way of emergency workers and to help as called apon by the Sheriff and first responders, having severeral different ways of communicating is not a bad thing. I only wish the GMRS operators would get their ham ticket, but many are set in their ways.
What we do here would most likely not work in many places, but in our case, 95% would be an asset if the time ever comes that they are needed.

My Best, John
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WB5ITT
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 09:45:30 AM »

We have a very two good GMRS repeaters (two VHF and one UHF also)

AHHH GMRS is not on VHF NOR are GMRS repeaters...GMRS is the leftover from the original Class A/B CB days...and its 100% UHF......
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 12:17:27 PM »

I agree and am not happy about the numbers of people where I live going to GMRS which is only good for local coms and is not Ham radio.
I'm glad that the locals who have it can at least communicate locally in an emergency, but am trying my best to convert as many as possible to getting their ham ticket. Showing them the benifits to Ham is the best way to do this by showing them the limitations of GMRS and the ever expanding different methods of coms both near and far that Ham radio offers. Wish me well, I'm trying.
Heck, it's now cheaper to get a Technician license and a Chicom VHF/UHF handheld than it is to get a half way decent GMRS set up.
People just need to be shown the advantages of Ham radio. The shame of all of this is that the GMRS people are a good group of people who would be an asset to Ham radio, they are not a bunch of X-CB, Good Buddy idiots.
The biggest problem is that this is a huge LDS area and the church seems to be pushing GMRS as a way to stay in touch and help church members. I hate religon and politics at times. Maybe it's best to let them do their thing and just find people who are interested in EMCOMMS with no strings attached.

My Best, John
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BUBSMASH
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 05:42:03 PM »

Me I can honestly say that there still is allot of draw backs to HAM radios. People are switching more towards simplicity these days and HAM radio honestly has none of this when it comes to simplicity.
People are becoming more busy these days as time goes on as well as new technologies coming out that replace allot of what HAM actually can do in allot more simplistic ways and forms.
To boot people do not have to be sitting around studying for a test just to communicate with one another.
Looking back on my gaming days there is Teamspeak and Ventrilo which I still use from time to time to talk to people from all over the world.
I still play one of these games from time to time using Teamspeak to talk to people all over the states as well as one guy from England that is a part of our core group I am from Canada myself.
Then there is other communications such as Skype.
Getting into cell phones I found Viber which can be used with your Cell phone and your computer with a wireless router to call who ever you want.
Myself I still see the good in having a HAM radio but in due to little to no time that allot of people actually have these days that is what keeps many away from even looking at HAM radios.
That is also why many all over that have HAM radios usually are people in there mid fourties to late fifties that have a little more time to do these things. Yes there are youngsters that are into HAM radio but most of these youngsters are only into it because there mother or father has the equipment to let them do so.
I myself just might only be able to make it onto VHF radios not because I do not want to be on a HAM radio doing all the other things that they have to offer. It is all in due to how much it costs.
If you do not believe me go to one of your field days when your with your club members and if there are any other young HAM radio Operators there no older than 18 ask them how they were able to get into HAM radios. I am sure you will be greatly surprised that it was through either there father having a station set up already or there mother.
I talked to one guy that us to be on my street that was a HAM quit a few years ago he was trying to convince me to get my license but that was also when one still had to pass an exam using an X amount of Morse code in order to actually pass the test.
He is one of the old time HAMs actually. I do not know if He is still even alive today and He us to work for the Canadian Armed Force up on Mount Lo Lo out of Kamloops BC which that base is now not used anymore it has since been abandoned.
When I had meet him He had already been a radio communicator for about forty years. He even said to me back then when I last talked to him that in due to technology advancing in communications as fast as it is and with all the stupid junk they still want people to know about HAM radios. He said himself that it will be a thing of the past I choose to be interested in this and it really is not for everyone.
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BUBSMASH
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 07:19:06 PM »

Here is what some others are saying about HAM Radio: Is Ham Radio boring as hell?
I downloaded an app for my iPhone called 5-0 Radio which streams scanner feeds. It also has a section for ham radio repeaters so I was curious and listened in. I thought maybe I would find some GLP & George Ure types discussing cool things like on here.

Instead I found a bunch of dull dopes discussing the weather and walking their dog. Is this the extent of ham radio these days. Christ it made me want to slit my wrists.

Are CB radios any more fun?

Re: Is Ham Radio boring as hell?
In my experience the operators of those things are a**holes and are as smart as a bag of hammers...

Re: Is Ham Radio boring as hell?
Years ago I had a neighbor that put up a 50' tall antenna so he could plop his fat ass in a chair and run his foul mouth on his radio...and that's cool if it didn't bleed into my stereo and teach my three year old every single way to use the phrase "mother*u**er" known to man...

I finally told him I would drag his tower down while pointing to my F350 diesel truck if I heard anymore bleed through in my house...That's what it came down to after a few months of arguing and me recording his dumb ass, plus calling the FCC...

Re: Is Ham Radio boring as hell?
Ham radio operators are like any other group of people. You have good ones and bad ones

So even on this message board I found many that have mixed feelings about using HAM radios themselves. This brings me to the conclusion that even though these people may not be using HAM radios maybe you should be thankful that they are still picking up some kind of a radio and using it weather it be a HAM radio or not.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 07:21:31 PM by BUBSMASH » Logged
LA9XSA
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2013, 03:52:49 PM »

KF7VXA, your story sounds like a good example of doing it right: Amateur radio operators providing a link between CB, GMRS and other local services with the outside world. Don't be bummed that some people don't want to become hams just yet - the main thing for emergencies is that they both have and regularly use the radios. Having that regular FRS/GMRS net is a good thing, since it keeps the radios in use and not lying around corroding the batteries and letting the owners forget how they work.

The LDS are very conscious about emergency preparedness, and that's something which benefits both LDS and non-LDS neighbors (they let the public use their long term food packing facilities for example). Whatever you think about religion and politics, I think you can agree that your neighborhood is better prepared for local communications with what you have now than if you only had the amateurs.

BUBSMASH, it looks like your second post has some formatting issues - what part of that is quotation and what part is your own opinion? Over where I am, there are quite a few new hams due to ham radio as elective subjects at school, radio scouting and university radio clubs.
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KU7PDX
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 08:43:56 AM »

My grandfather-in-law had a old CB base station he was getting rid of (still in the original packaging, SSB and AM) so I picked it up and connected it to my 100 ft doublet. While the CB bands were dead here in Portland, I was able to make contact with a CB operator about 100 miles away without any issues.

I also got my GMRS license and radios for that as well as MURS and FRS.
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73,
Chris - KU7PDX
W7ASA
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Posts: 219




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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 07:47:09 PM »

Frankly, there are many times when MURS would easily do what is required for shelter communications and other coordinating efforts during call-ups.  In times past, ham equipment and skills filled these roles for short distance communication, but today there is a much wider range of options, so it would be better to see what tools - ham or otherwise- would fit the bill.  This could also include Wifi adhoc/MESH networks and other technologies which were not available a decade or two ago.

So far - other than HF for regional communications support and e-mail over radio (WINMOR/PACTOR) during local loss of infrastructure, our VHF/UHF capabilities can be had -largely- using off the shelf, unlicensed or easily licensed products and little training, allowing emergency volunteers who are not hams, to intercommunicate.


Food for thought - thanks for posting,


>Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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W1JKA
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 02:20:01 AM »

Our neighborhood watch group all use FRS with one or two volunteer monitors assigned on a daily basis.
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