Ham radio outlet catalog,
ommunications Equipment Catalog. HRO Catalog with Amateur Radio equipment. 12 stores in US. Very wide selection from all major manufacturers. Ham Radio Outlet sells ham gear, scanners, accessories.
How to get started in ham radio
Here's a step-by-step guide to getting ready to use ham radio for survival communications:
- Decide which level of communications capability you need:
- A Technician class license is useful mostly for local communications.
- A General class allows you to talk all around the world.
- An Extra class license has a few minor additional privileges, but nothing important for survival.
- Choose a target exam date. Assume you will need about 10 hours to study for the Technician exam. To get the General class license, you must pass an additional exam, so tack on an additional 20 hours to study for the General class exam. If you want the Extra class license, add on another 30 hours to study for the Extra class exam. The good news is that you no longer have to learn Morse code for any class of ham radio license.
It sounds like a lot of work, but all of this studying is not a waste of time, as you are learning information that could someday save your life.
I recommend that you try to average at least one hour every day, and more if possible. So decide how much free time you can devote to studying, then figure out when you could take the exam.
Look up exam sessions in your area by zip code at http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session. (If you don't see any sessions in your immediate area, expand your search to a wider area using the dropdown box to the right of the zip code.) Picking your exam date up front keeps you focused on studying.
- Create an account on this website. The HamTestOnline™ website is the most efficient way to get a ham radio license. It integrates study materials with question drill using the actual exam questions. So you are learning about the aspects of ham radio you need to understand, and at the same time preparing to get a high score on the exam.
- Subscribe to the desired courses. Everyone starts with the Technician exam, and most survivalists take the General class exam, as well.
- Stay in Study mode until your score bar reads at least 85% on each course. That will ensure that you are ready to pass the exams.
- Take the exams at a local exam session. Don't be afraid to take multiple exams in a single session. We've had many students pass two exams in a single sitting. In fact, we've had at least a hundred students go from zero to Extra in a single session. Since they only charge a single exam fee (typically $15) no matter how many exams you take, taking multiple exams at once saves both time and money.
- Buy one or more radios. For example, as of this writing the BaoFeng UV-5R Dual-Band Ham Radio VHF/UHF portable (handheld) radio costs just $32! The Elecraft KX3 is an ultra-compact HF radio excellent for hunkering down or bugging out. Depending on the options you select, it costs around $1000. If that's too much for your budget, you could buy a less feature-rich, used HF radio at local hamfest for around $200. To operate HF you're also going to need some kind of antenna. If bugging out is an option, you might prefer something portable like the Buddipole or Ventenna HFp Vertical.
- Find a solution for emergency power — emergency generator, solar panels, etc. If you live in a sunny area, solar panels will provide free power for decades. Without power, a radio is as useful as a rock.
- Use your radios until you are completely comfortable with them. Participate in your local ARRL Field Day and other ham radio contests. It's amazing how much fun you can have while learning essential skills!
- When you're not using the equipment, you might consider investing in EMP bags or a Faraday box for safe storage.