Author Topic: Working to get my Technician should I go for General as well  (Read 257 times)

Offline DDJ

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Working to get my Technician should I go for General as well
« on: January 24, 2020, 11:26:56 AM »
My wife and I are working on getting our Technician and have some questions.

1) Should we hold off until we are ready to take both Technician and General.  I am not 100% on the advantages of getting the general and what they mean in reality.  Is there someplace that the plusses are really laid out?  I am sure I am missing something in the details.
2) My wife is struggling with the usage.  We know that during an event or shortly after it concludes there will be void in communications that HAM will fill.  Is there a place that lays some of that out?  We talked about how the internet and cell phones require infrastructure between point A and B that at any point could be broken eliminating usage.  (AKA a power outage at a critical point could shut it all off even if you and your destination are in the clear radio just screams past it at the speed of light)

I can articulate the following but what am I missing.
     - News of event range/impact
     - News of the world around you (non event aka change of subject)
     - Relayed communications to family for safety reports
     - Requesting help
     - Human contact
     - Coordination of events / support sites
     - Identification of new risks

Knowing where and what usage, as with everything prepping, can assist in making decisions as to what you need, and more importantly, do not need to invest in.

Offline armymars

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Re: Working to get my Technician should I go for General as well
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 01:37:57 PM »
  If you are comfortable with taking the General test just do it, but you don't have to wait. What are the advantages? HF. There are some things you can do on HF that you can't do on VHF. If the repeaters go down your range on VHF is very limited. Don't get me wrong VHF will handle about 80 percent of all your tactical communication. The limits of HF will be band conditions and frequency. NVIS will mean low frequencies (large antennas) of about 1.9 MHz to 5.5 MHz depending on time of day. Plus you must buy a whole new radio system. There's a lot of good used radios for HF, but your still talking $300 to $450 plus antenna system and power supplies.
  The good news is if you take the general test and pass it with your technician it doesn't cost any more and you can wait on the other. 

Online FreeLancer

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Re: Working to get my Technician should I go for General as well
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 01:42:51 PM »
Technician privileges are primarily in the VHF/UHF bands that typically function line of sight within a local region, and the radios and antennas necessary to communicate are relatively cheap and simple to acquire and operate.  In my opinion, pretty much anyone should be able to pass the Tech exam and effectively operate a VHF handheld or mobile radio.

Going from Technician to General greatly expands privileges into the HF bands, which is the best option for communications at a global scale.  But this requires more complex and expensive radios,  antennas that that need to be longer and higher, and much more investment in time to get the experience to operate effectively.  Most motivated people can cram enough to pass the General exam and it often makes sense to take both at the same time or close together, because there's a significant amount of overlap in the test questions.

I got mine a month apart and found it much easier to pass the tests than to actually operate.  I spent a bunch of money but don't get on the air much, mostly because of the difficulties around setting up appropriate antennas in my location. 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Working to get my Technician should I go for General as well
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 05:50:29 PM »
I just got my license in November.  Took the technician and decided to take the general. It really isn't that difficult.

Get one of the practice apps and just work through the questions.  The club that does the tests in my area don't charge for the tests.  Worst case is you are out the cost that your local club charges.