Author Topic: Questions about Ham Radio ?  (Read 871 times)

Offline Hino

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Questions about Ham Radio ?
« on: January 07, 2018, 10:51:59 AM »
Hi guys, just wondering if anyone can advise me on the following

1) Does one need a Ham licence to simply own a Ham Radio & have an antenna in ones back garden if one is only using it to listen with ?

2) If there was ever a major emergency like a forest fire or a major water flood or hurricane etc, and if a person without a Ham radio licence was to use the radio on a Ham frequency band for emergency purposes or to respond and help people, then is there a danger afterwards that some government official is going to come calling round with a fine charge ?

Offline armymars

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 11:33:04 AM »
The FCC has the right to fine you. They always look at it on a case by case biases. Someone I met used someone else's call for a year. When caught the FCC gave him a week or two to pass the test.  He did and is now a general.  Better to just take the test.

Offline Carl

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 12:04:24 PM »
  NO, you do not need a license to purchase a Ham radio or listening to a Ham radio...Often transceivers are found at lower cost than receicer only radios as there is a larger market for Ham radios than just upper end receivers.

Before I became a Ham,about 2 AM I was scanning local repeaters and heard a call,and a minute later a distraught man called again and said he had an EMERGENCY. His mother had had a heart attack. I called the local hospital he was headed to (from some 40 miles South of town) and his mothers Doctor so they were advised and alert to the problem and ready to receive the woman,who had stopped breathing and was described as 'blue'. I was then interrupted by a licensed Ham an told he would handle the situation...I told him I would continue and worry later as he did not know the details of the situation...some 10 years later I was at a local Hamfest and a man walked up to me as I spoke to a friend...he recounted the story and YES,I said,it was me ...

  He thanked me for the effort that gave him almost 7 years to spend with his mother before her death

2  While the 'emergency clause' is there ...it is an allowance to use Ham by unlicensed when life or health are in direct danger and Ham radio rarely is used by the operator who is not skilled as in where and how to communicate...a radio is useless without a skilled operator...Ham radio is a skill that takes dedication to learn how to use it and much practice to understand propagation,antenna design and capabilities...

  Ham radio is NOT PLUG AND PLAY.

  You face problems if you just wait till an emergency to use your radio as any Ham who talks to an unlicensed operator also risks his own licence and possibility of fines...and unlike the FCC...there a about one million Hams who listen and 'self police' the Ham bands... A radio without a skilled operator is little more than a paperweight.

It actually takes little to pass the Ham test ,even the General licence for HF is not hard to pass...what is a little work and commitment when compared to nearly a lifetime of hobby?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 12:27:28 PM »
  Ham radio is NOT PLUG AND PLAY.
Brother, that's the truth.  Getting licensed up was the easy part.  I will say though that studying for the tests gave me a good overall background that made gearing up a lot easier.

Offline armymars

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 03:36:12 PM »
Amen.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 06:27:06 PM »
Buy all that you can afford and learn to listen-it's really the most important aspect of any sort of communications.

Ham Radio is pretty easy nowadays though.  $15 and a 35 question test you can memorize from on-line studies (even phone apps)

I've been podcasting about Ham Radio for the New Guy for almost 4 years.  Here is my "Start Here" page that breaks it all down; there's even an episode linked on 'How to become a ham radio op'. http://hamradio360.com/index.php/start-here/

The Emergency Caveat is there, but just like shooting, canning or fish antibiotics, I'd rather have a good idea about what I wanted to accomplish before I Needed to accomplish it. YMMV

Offline Hino

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Re: Questions about Ham Radio ?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 05:59:58 PM »
Thanks, for the detailed reply and info guys.