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#13581 - 05/04/11 08:57 AM HAM radio for safety/checking in
Burchey
Unregistered


My friend is a HAM nut. We used to communicate with each other in our jeeps out in the sticks, and he'd bounce signals off repeaters to check in with the wife who'd be hundreds of miles away.

I'm considering a SPOT device, but he's pushing me towards a light and powerful handheld radio instead.

Does anyone on the board carry one in the Sierras, and use it for just such purposes?

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#13590 - 05/04/11 09:38 AM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
I have a friend who used to. I didn't really get his fascination with it. There are so many places that will get cell phone reception these days, I tend to prefer to not be in contact.

The SPOT device is pretty cool though, especially with the new stuff they have for it. You can sync the new SPOT Communicators up with your smart phone (iPhone and Android so far) and send actual text messages out instead of the two or three pre-programmed messages you could send with the other models. You can also do that with the DeLorme PN-60w GPS/SPOT combo.

I carry the old model that can only be pre-programmed, but it's nice that I can send my wife messages about how I'm doing without having to actually hear her complain about how dangerous hiking/climbing/backpacking is...
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#13599 - 05/04/11 10:59 AM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: GandC]
Burchey
Unregistered


Thanks for the input, GandC. I'm all about the solitude/lack of contact as well, but I'm trying to at least be a little safer for my Mother's sake. If I snap my leg, I'd like a chance at getting some help, so I'm tossing around ideas.

Just had lunch with my HAM buddy - we talked about scouting repeaters in the area before you go, how he'd monitor certain frequencies from his house ( works from home as engineer ) when he knew I'd be gone, and he's interested to see how I can get signals out from different points.

I had cell service until about 10000 feet in the Meysan Creek area, but after that ( where I actually faced the most danger ) got nothing. SPOT seems like a nice idea, but I think I'll wait until they recall them for the 64th time before I get one.

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#13600 - 05/04/11 12:11 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
Brent N Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 278
Loc: Orange County, CA
This thread will have some links to various repeaters:

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/...=true#Post28624

Brent N
KI6NEJ


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#13617 - 05/04/11 02:59 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
two experts:

Kurt Wedberg, the professional guide, carries one in the Sierra, and seems to find it useful.

Asabat, who knows more than most, technically. this is page on using HAM on the PCT:

http://www.qsl.net/a/aa6j//pct/

and his HAM radio page:

http://www.qsl.net/aa6j/

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#13624 - 05/04/11 06:00 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: Ken]
Burchey
Unregistered


Brent and Ken, thanks for the links and insight. The more I think on this, the more I like it.

This is the one he suggested, for the price, it's a great performer
Go China!

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#13627 - 05/04/11 06:26 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
What is the price on that unit? I can't find one on that link.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#13631 - 05/04/11 07:59 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: GandC]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: GandC
What is the price on that unit? I can't find one on that link.


109 shipped

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#13650 - 05/05/11 07:08 AM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
Brent N Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 278
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have two Yaesu's and FT-60 and a vx-6r. Both are pretty lightweight, but the latter especially so. The vx-6r is also a tri-band. Both are 5 Watt radios. I think you can pick up those units for about $150 and $250 respectively. I have found Ham's to be invaluable in working with the scouts. Invariably, there is a fast group and a slow group. If we have enough leaders to stay with both groups, the two groups can separate but still stay in constant radio contact. This even worked when we were stretched a couple of miles apart on the long hike through the canyons at Havasupai. Being able to separate permits the fast group to be unyolked with those who need or want to hike slower and the two groups dont' get cranky at one another. Some people try to achieve the same thing with the family radios you pick up at Costco, but I think those things only broadcast at 1 to 2 watts of power.

Brent N
KI6NEJ

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#13713 - 05/06/11 06:23 AM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: Brent N]
Krishna Offline


Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 101
Loc: Woodridge, IL, USA
Strange! I too have vx-6R and love it on the road and FT-847 for satellite! But I am planning on taking only my old (ver 1) spot for JMT which is quite reliable in conveying to family where I am. No HT as its extra weight & me and partner are within shouting distance all the time. HAM is always fun though!
KR1SH

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#13803 - 05/07/11 02:05 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: ]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
West of the crest (JMT), I don't think a Ham is going to do you a lot of good. There are places you can get out, hitting a repeater in the Whites or Inyo, but it's pretty spotty. One of the Sequoia backcountry rangers carries one (Yaesu) but he knows all the magic spots he can transmit from. If you want to get the occasional location message out, then the SPOT is the way to go. The same for an emergency. The SPOT will transmit from many more locations than a Ham radio will.

Except on the crest and the east side, cell phones are pretty useless for most all of the JMT.

George
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#13806 - 05/07/11 03:01 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: George]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1563
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Interesting. I thought HAM (short wave?) was a sky wave, specifically to get over mountains etc. to relatively distant stations. What am I thinking of?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#13822 - 05/07/11 08:45 PM Re: HAM radio for safety/checking in [Re: saltydog]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Interesting. I thought HAM (short wave?) was a sky wave, specifically to get over mountains etc. to relatively distant stations. What am I thinking of?

You're thinking of HF ham transmissions. 2-30Mhz

The hand held ham transceivers you're talking about are either VHF ( around 144Mhz ) or UHF ( around 440Mhz ), both frequencies are pretty much line of sight. You're either using them in simplex, talking directly radio to radio, or duplex/repeater where there's repeater on top of a moutain somewhere nearby that retransmits your signal. In both cases you're not going very far.


Edited by Joel M. Baldwin (05/07/11 08:47 PM)

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