Why Preppers Should Have a General Class Ham License

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16 Responses

  1. ik2tgw says:

    Hello Brian, it also the general amateur radio license but that of the civil protection and expired a while I never renovated to keep as a souvenir, use only the general, because of the message on my e-mail, a soon to IK2TGW

    • Adam says:

      While the tech license does give you 10m, that band is pretty much worthless. It’s either open or it’s not. And it not by far most of the time.

  2. Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

    Actually, many repeaters have backup power (solar, battery, etc.) available on them, but not all of them do.

    • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

      I do, however agree with the general premise of the article. If you’re a Technician, go ahead & study a little bit more and get your General. It opens up a lot more HF frequencies for you than just the 10 meter 28.300-28.500 MHz (SSB voice; as a Technician, you still have CW privileges on 80m, 4m and 15m and CW or digital privileges on 10m between 28.000-28.300 MHz.)

    • I am not a proponent of VHF/UHF repeaters during a genuine emergency or disaster.

    • Jeff Freitas says:

      And the ones that do have backup power will go down quickly from overuse

      • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

        We actually were able to run one of our local repeaters on solar/battery backup (intentionally) for just over 48 hours, Jeff before we ‘turned it back on (commercial power); it had been being used fairly heavily in that time, too. Have no idea as to how long it might have gone before either shutting down or breaking down had we let it keep going.

  3. kc9nrb says:

    Actually if you are a technician class you still have access to the 10 meter HF band. In addition, a VHF radio that is capable of operating single side band (SSB) or CW (for morse code)will give you further range. And don’t forget all of the digital modes and satellite operations that are available to all classes except novice class.
    73 DE KC9NRB

    • Bryan, yes, you are correct. And thanks for the comment.

      The point of my article is that many of the frequencies promoted by the Prepper Community as a place to go during a crisis are out of reach for Technicians.

      Preppers aren’t promoting 10 meters, nor are they using VHF CW.

      • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

        Brian, there is a way that a Technician (or non-licensed member) can participate in the TAPRN nets: get with a member who has a General or higher class and then they (the General/Extra) can be their Control Operator. The only drawback to that would be that the Technician/non-licensee would have to operate under the General’s (or Extra’s) callsign during the Net as a ‘3rd party’ caller and the C.O. would have to log it as such.

      • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

        I should have added, “during ‘normal’ operating times” to that previous reply. Obviously, 3rd Party might not be allowed during an actual emergency situation, AFAIK.

    • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

      While you’re basically correct, Bryan, not everyone (Preppers included) has the means (read: money) to be able to afford a VHF HT or mobile radio capable of CW and/or SSB ops; most are FM-only (but not all).
      10 meters, at least in this area of the Southwest (AZ), is basically “dead” in the summertime (but not always) until around September.

    • Mike Belanger, W1DGL says:

      Also, as long as you’re with a General or Extra Class licensee – and they have to be physically near the radio, you’re operating under THEIR license (and call), even if you have ‘only’ a Technician Class; you’re basically operating as an ‘unlicensed’ operator at that point and on their bands. You (obviously) can’t use your OWN call unless you’re within the Technician portion of 10 meters (28.300-28.500 MHz for voice and 28.000-28.300 MHz for digital/CW).

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