My Wife is a HAM!! now what?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by N6WT, Oct 14, 2009.

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  1. N6WT

    N6WT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My wife finally took the test and was rewarded with a license.

    We have gone out and bought her an HT (Yaesu VX-6) she can carry in her purse. I will now carry my HT every where I go.

    I am curious about how other ham families prepare for emergencies. Here in CA we are wating for the BIG ONE. Now if some large event were to happen how would you get in touch with your family members?? Do you have a plan? Are you to meet on a pre-determined repeater? If that repeater were knocked out do you have a backup?
     
  2. W7KKK

    W7KKK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a question~
    Do you know for a fact that the repeater that you are depending on has a back up source of power during an outage?
    I have lived through major outages that lasted for some time and many repeaters depend on the same power that you do.
     
  3. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Easy, find another hobby....:D
     
  4. N3XP

    N3XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you get into radio for fun of the radio hobby or did you get into it because some prepper guide told you to get licensed? When the big one hits, two HTs will be useless.
     
  5. KJ4GXU

    KJ4GXU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree, unless you're within a couple miles of each other don't count on the HT's to keep you two in contact.

    I wouldn't count on repeaters either. Even if they've got backup power if "the big one" hits there's a pretty good chance the structure the antennas on is going to be damaged or destroyed anyway.

    Assume in your emergency plan that your HT's will not be enough for you two to be in contact. If you're lucky they will be, but don't count on it. Plan a meeting place, one inside the city and one outside in the event of an evacuation (We'll meet at Aunt Mary's place 200 miles east of here).

    HT's are good for repeater work and nice for short range communications but if you're not going to be close don't count on them.

    Thanks
    Eric
    KJ4GXU
     
  6. N6WT

    N6WT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am told that many repeater sites in the LA basin have backup power. That will be a big deciding factor in the repeaters I choose to use.

    Neither, I got my license because I am an offroader and travel in ares where a cell phone will not work. We have used our radios to call in emergencies form many far off places.
    I am a bit put off by your response. Why do you say HT's will be useless? I know cell phones will not work. I know a repeater (with backup power) will be in use a lot but I'm sure once things settle down I will be able to make contact much more reliably than a cell phone.
     
  7. N3XP

    N3XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    HT to HT, whats the distance you can cover via simplex? Better yet test it while in a car or in a building. Maybe you'll get two miles via simplex, but that is about it. Never mind all the intermod that HTs seem so well at receiving, especially if you are near a hospital or large urban center. Next, you always have to make sure that your HT is charged, and running on full power it will not be long to dead battery. It also has to be with you all the time.

    Really, conduct a real life test one day. Have a friend at a random time call both you and your wife with the HTs on and phones off orders. See how it goes. There are a lot of prepper forums telling people to get licensed and get radios. The thing they are missing is actually use the radios on a regular basis, so you are familiar with the operation and programming.

    The big question is: Can you program your radio on the fly with PL tones, DCS, repeater offsets - without looking at the manual.

    I would not count on cell phones going down nor would I count on battery backup repeaters. It's amazing how fast you'll get chased off a repeater when it's in backup mode - unless it is your own repeater or you are the control operator. Even club members will get chased off.

    First have a back up plan that does not include complex devices. One method is to use meeting points: Forest fire, head for the beach. Earth quake, head for a large open space away from rock slide potential. Plan routes to the places by using something other than the highways and bridges. These place are far too crowded when everyone panics.

    There are plenty of people that describe their experiences with hurricane Ike and ham radio. Lets just say, two meters becomes useless WTSHTF.
     
  8. K7MHI

    K7MHI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I second the OP being put off, that reply wasn't even in the least bit helpful to anyone. Wasn't even nice...

    I also just noticed you followed up.. why not reply with that first. Why not teach people other then just tell them to F.O. and they are stupid and don't have nearly the experience that you do? Im just saying post like this are what give QRZ forums the curmudgeon lurking reputation like 80m!

    not looking to thread jack or anything just saying... sheesh what a reply come on!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  9. N3XP

    N3XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, and the number of posts that go something like this have been on the increase lately:

    "I just got licensed, other than talking to people why should I buy a radio"

    "I just got licensed, I am going to join ARES/RACES and be a first responder"

    "How do I find ham radio clubs in my area"

    There are lot of prepper/survivalist sites pushing ham radio as an emergency communications system. We also have the ARRL selling ham radio as an emergency service. I am a vocal critic of the ecomm movement. As for the prepping movement. Radio should be treated just like a generator, food store, or firearms. Without regular use and testing, radio like the other things mentioned will let you down when you are counting on it the most.

    An HT is the most limited radio you can buy. Low power, generally poor receivers, tiny inefficient antennas, and batteries that are never far from dead. The last thing I would really want to count on.

    Last, what a asked was pretty clear

    I asked one question and gave my opinion on when the big one hits how valuable will an HT be. No where in there was he told to F.O..
     
  10. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Easy. Move to Colorado. No big ones here.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
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