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Should you get a Ham Radio License or Hide from the Government?

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Ham Radio is the often the only available communication after a disaster.
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I remember cruising around some of the blogs I frequent last year I believe and ran into one YouTube channel from a guy who said he refused to get his HAM license for anything. I can’t swear by it, but I think I remember who he was, but that isn’t important. In this video he proceeded to show how you could look up any Ham radio license holders address from several different websites. He did this in response to someone who left very incendiary comments on his blog if memory serves and used this as a lesson in both OPSEC and how it’s bad for the government to have your name on any lists.

In another video this same guy went on to explain and demonstrate his own personal Ham Radio setup complete with a really nice antenna that was suspended from trees and hidden from view with additional comments about how he would not get his Ham license because he didn’t need to be on any government lists and if TSHTF, the first place they would go would be the Ham operators and take them offline.

This got me to thinking a while back and I really debated whether or not I should be like this guy and be a conscientious objector to the whole notion of licensing and just be a rebel with my antenna hanging in a tree. After a lot of thought and some research I decided to pull the trigger and get my Ham license and I want to explain why and discuss why you might want to do the same.

Isn’t Ham something yummy and delicious?

As context, let me explain what Ham is to those of you who aren’t familiar with the term. Ham Radio is also known as Amateur Radio and is a network of radio communications that rely on antennas and individual pieces of equipment to communicate using radio waves. Ham Radio has many strengths but chief among them for Preppers is its ability to be counted on in a disaster.

Ham Radio operators can still communicate if there is no electric power, satellites or cellular service. That is the primary reason they are the go-to method of communication for preppers as well as emergency response teams in virtually every large city. With the right equipment, Ham operators can talk to people in other countries using technology that was around in the early 1900s. If some disaster knocks out the cell phone service, emergency communications can be routed through Amateur Radio and you can keep in touch with others in your family, group, region or state pretty easily.

Ham radio is a valuable Prepper skill.

Ham radio is a valuable Prepper skill.

Ham or Amateur radios fall under the control of the FCC and there is a licensing process associated with being able to communicate on the radio. In order to speak on the air legally, you must first obtain your Technician level license and a call sign from the FCC. Your name and information will be listed in at least one public database and this information is freely accessible to anyone who wants to look.

Reasons Why You shouldn’t get a license

Like my friend above, I had some initial concerns regarding licensing because like any good Prepper, I am concerned with OPSEC. Even if I wasn’t into prepping, I wouldn’t want my name and address posted anywhere that someone could easily access it and part of communicating on Ham Radio is that you are required to give your call sign. Anyone you are talking to, or anyone simply listening in can look up your call sign and see where you are from. After learning all of this I started to weigh my options with Ham radio.

Like I mentioned above, Ham radio is probably the single best – disaster proof communication method the average person can use. As I began prepping my own family, the topic of communications came up several times. How would I communicate with my family in an emergency? How would we get news from others if for some reason there was a media blackout? The ubiquitous walkie-talkies that everyone has are affective at limited ranges, but what about longer distances? Ham Radio addressed both of those concerns nicely.

The only problem was that darned license.

At this point I could do one of two things. I could either get my license and put my name and address out there for everyone to see or I could simply buy the radio equipment and use it illegally. The thought process for some people is that if TSHTF, nobody is going to care if you have a license so the latter option is one I considered just like the YouTube guy above.

How hard can it be?

IMG_4073

Ham radio works when other traditional communication methods are offline.

It turns out that two things influenced my decision on whether or not to be a law abiding citizen. The first and most obvious was my address out there on the interwebs. To get around that, I simply purchased a PO Box in a nearby town and used that for my FCC information. This is perfectly legal and still protects my address somewhat. Could someone look up my name, and then cross reference me in the phone book? I guess so, but who are we talking about here? If you have a psychopath running around trying to find you, chances are there are much easier ways of getting to your house. If this is in a post-collapse scenario, I have bigger problems.

Now, does that mean I should let my guard down and talk about anything on the radio? Not at all. The airwaves are public and anyone can listen in. For that reason alone, you should take great care in choosing what you talk about or divulge when you are talking on the Ham bands.

The second and more important factor that influenced my decision was the learning curve that is associated with Ham Radio. Getting started is pretty simple and once I had a radio, I was listening in on channels fairly quickly, but there is so much you can do that is outside of dialing through some frequencies. To fully take advantage of Ham Radio, I would need to practice and you can’t do that illegally, well without risk that is. Technically you can get on the radio and start talking without a call sign or you could lie, but just because radio waves are invisible, that doesn’t mean you can’t be found. Hams make a game out of finding antennas and it’s called a fox hunt. If you are talking on the radio and shouldn’t be, someone can report you, they will find you and the fines from the FCC are steep.

On the Radio – Almost

So with all that said, I went and took the exam for my Technician level license and passed. Now, as soon as the Government opens back up, and the backlog clears I will have a call sign and my name will start appearing in those databases. I am looking forward to finally being able to talk on the radio, but more importantly learning about the different frequencies and antennas I can use to communicate to others should our normal method of communications go down. I think of this as a decent trade-off for being able to communicate legally over the radio and besides, it isn’t like my name isn’t in several databases already. I am in the database for prior military service, the firearm database, IRS database etc. etc. If they want to find me they already know where I am and just because I have a radio now, that won’t be much more motivation to come get me I don’t believe. We’ll see.

I will add some Ham links to the site on our Resources page and will post from time to time on this subject as I learn more. I think if you are seriously considering how you could communicate in a grid-down environment, HAM radio deserves a close look.

73’s


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50 Comments

  1. Sparky

    October 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Having a ham radio set up and operating might prove to have barter value. And if the government decides to shut ham radio down they won’t come knocking on our doors they’ll simply jam the frequencies. I have my license, I keep it current, and I have alternate sources of power should the need arise. My biggest concern is that if you start transmitting in a post-SHTF situation, you will be in effect advertising your location. Not because of some database or list but as you pointed out, it’s easy to home in on a radio signal.

    • prepperjournal

      October 18, 2013 at 6:37 am

      I hear you Sparky and have pretty much the same attitude. I haven’t really thought about Ham as barter though, but that does make perfect sense. You wouldn’t probably be talking about your base station, but the new HT’s are affordable enough to stock up on and a couple of those would be worth some serious “money” if the SHTF.

      Thanks for the comments!

      Pat

    • Douglas Tree Reams

      December 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Do u still need a ham license just for the walkie talkie put of the radios I bought to baofengs

      • Pat Henry

        December 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

        Thanks for stopping by Douglas!

        You need a license if you are going to be broadcasting on the amateur frequencies. The regular FMS Radios you can get from Motorola in the stores do not require a license.

        If you are going to broadcast on a Baofeng, you will need a license. Unless I am mistaken, the two most common models only have UHF and VHF bands and those are covered under the FCC guidelines for the amateur service. You can listen in on those radios all you want, but if you want to talk on them, you need to legally have a license.

        Pat

        • LDG

          December 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

          You will not need a license for FRS or MURS frequencies. FRS is UHF and MURS is VHF. GMRS is also UHF, a license is needed but few apply.

        • ICOM1

          January 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

          When the SHTF I don’t think anyone will be doing their OO jobs nor will the FCC be looking for illegal operators.It’s also illegal to broadcast on Ham Radio.Transmitting is permitted but broadcasting is prohibited even with a Ham Radio license just FYI.Douglas if I were you I’d buy some EXTRA high capacity batteries for the Baofeng HT’s & keep them charged.If you want my privacy use the encode & decode tones & you will find that most of the average users do NOT use them or even know how to use them.It’s best to get the programming cable for the HT & use the CHIRP program to program them.The CHIRP program is FREE by the way.I would at least study the for the TECHNICIAN License just so you get some knowledge & it’s VERY simple & 6 year old kids pass it all of the time.

          • Pat Henry

            January 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

            Thanks for all the comments ICOM1! I guess its no secret which equipment you prefer? :)

            Pat

            • ICOM1

              January 6, 2014 at 10:49 am

              That is for sure.ICOM 756 PROII,746 PRO,7000,2820H,91AD, O2AT,& a PW-1,along with a couple of Baofeng HT’s & a TYT 220 mhz mobile & a pair of FRS/GMRS HT’s.

    • Emily Taylor

      July 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Ot if you use super narrownarrowbeam to a terrestrial or sattelite repeafer.

  2. professor

    October 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As Sparky says it will fairly easy to locate any rogue transmissions and jam as they please. The FCC routinely runs locator vans around the countyside looking for illegal traffic and the fines can be stiff, just ask some of the businesses that get caught without licenses. In my area the NRAO also runs searches for spurious signals. An example that comes to mind was a lady who placed a heating pad in her dog’s house to keep it warm during a cold snap and they detected some interference to one of their dishes from it. It wasn’t a legal issue so they just bought her a different one to use. If they can locate something as common as this you will have little chance to get away with RF transmissions. By the way, I’m a prepper and just went ahead and got a license a couple of years ago anyway. You’re in some data or video stream no matter what.

    • prepperjournal

      October 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      I hear ya professor! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • DaRealist

      January 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Trust me…It is NOT that SERIOUS! In a LAWLESS situation…A LICENSE means NOTHING!

      • Pat Henry

        January 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Thanks for the comments.

        I agree with you that if we have a complete collapse, a license will be the least of your worries. I got mine now to practice though so that if anything does happen I’ll already know how to use my equipment and will have made contacts I know and trust.

        Pat

  3. fly on the wall

    October 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    As someone who is just beginning the process of looking into Ham Radio (I will be going the licensed route for this discussion), I was wondering about your comment about the power being down. How do Ham’s operate with no electrical power? Battery or solar?

    • prepperjournal

      October 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Ideally both!

      If you are running relatively low power there are lots of options. For handheld radios, you usually have battery packs. I have spare batteries for two handhelds that can last a pretty long time. Two are in the charger while two are in use.

      Once those go out a battery back up system is what I am going to build. Just a regular 12 volt battery will recharge my hand held batteries several times. Optimally, I will have two 100w solar panels hooked to an inverter to run double duty charging my battery during the day or if my radios are charged, running small appliances (lights, recharging AA and AAA batteries, laptops) etc. Until that time, I will hook the invert to the car to recharge the battery.

      For a base station that has its own power supply, the battery backup will work too, but could draw more power at higher wattage. It isn’t free, but you definitely have grid-down power options for communications.

      I am still trying to build my system so I hope to write about the process and what I learn as I go.

      Pat

      • Tom_Schmal

        October 25, 2013 at 5:07 am

        Wondering why you need an inverter to recharge bartteries from a solar panel?

        • prepperjournal

          October 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

          Tom,

          I didn’t word that correctly. You don’t need an inverter to charge the batteries. You need an inverter to convert the DC in the batteries to AC for the radio battery charger.

          I should have said; solar panels hooked to batteries, with an inverter. Actually, my whole reply sounds a little off in places…. Sorry for the confusion.

          Pat

          • jr023

            October 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm

            i am a licensed 20 yrs now ham and starting pepper if you own property the gov can find you most re is on computer database
            the advantage to licensing you will join a community that you will find a lot of similar people and they will help you learn to set the equipment and to use it correctly hook to the wrong type antenna and there goes your expensive equipment very quickly and no legal call sign we will not talk to you except in narrow emergency situations with a call we will answer your call questions and help if we can so for the small concession of a gov license you stand to get a lot of benefit and you have a better chance that you are talking to a reliable person vs a illegal person who might just want to get your supplies ,
            and for the charging batteries you might look into a dc to dc converter
            i am going to build one with a regulator my panel 7 watt puts out 23-24 volts i want to step it to 19 to charge my net book so i have all my manual downloads so much better than several thousands of sheets of paper

            • DaRealist

              January 6, 2014 at 8:15 am

              I UNDERSTAND and RESPECT the points and means of being “LEGAL”. The PROBLEM is that the BIGGEST purpose for having such tech is for EMERGENCY purposes! There are plenty of tech and means for CASUAL talk…that are A LOT more PRIVATE than using RADIO FREQUENCIES to transmit and converse. So having a LICENSE to OPERATE during an EMERGENCY is MUTE! Actually, it is PERFECTLY “LEGAL” to transmit through these radio frequencies if there is an EMERGENCY. As for the argument of being able to LEARN the, “How-to’s, What-is, When and Whys”…there is that greater “TECH” that is available that provides just as much, if not more, invaluable INFORMATION that makes, making a “Friend” on the air waves OBSOLETE (no disrespect intended). I am not advocating misuse or vigilant rebellion…but I am addressing a mind-set that is limited. If “SECRECY” is one of the KEY ELEMENTS in SURVIVAL…why is there such an ABONISHMENT and lack of SUPPORT for those that wish to EXERCISE that RIGHT?!? At the end of the day, if you were taught or learned how to operate a vehicle, during an EMERGENCY situation would not having a LICENSE take away your ABILITY to drive? NO! The “LICENSE” is NOT the KNOWLEDGE…say what you want…to me, The License is THE LIMIT! Peace and blessings. – DaRealist

    • ICOM1

      January 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      ANY WAY WE CAN! Extra batteries for the HT’s & extra deep cycle batteries & plenty of gas for the generator as well so everything stays charged.All radios will also run on 12 volts so car & deep cycle batteries work great & at reduced output power they last quiet a while on a single charge!

  4. renov8r

    November 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Good Info! I was wondering about the legality of using a PO box. My address is already in the FCC database, but I think I am going to change it to a PO box. I want to put my call sign on my Jeep license plate, but I don’t want someone to be able to look up my QTH on their iPhone and follow me home…

  5. Northern Raider

    November 4, 2013 at 7:33 am

    In Europe many preppers are starting to use PMR 446 band radios imported from China to set up a Non Ham comms system for preppers, its looking also very likely we will soon have access to 12 watt SSB CB frequencies unlicenced like the rest of Europe. These 2 m 70cm 5 watt hand sets from the likes of Baofeng and THT have been a boon for us over the other side of the pond, especially as those same sets also have the PMR 446 bands installed as standard.

    • prepperjournal

      November 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Thanks for the comments Norther Raider!

      Yes, I love the Baofeng units. They are a pain to program manually, but with Chirp its a breeze and I just copy the configuration to all my units in a second. I already have three and plan on getting 2 or 3 more the next time I get some milk money saved up. Hard to beat at $34 each.

      Pat

  6. Northern Raider

    November 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

    BTW many of us over here have severe OPSEC issues with ham licences.

  7. Zeph

    November 19, 2013 at 2:54 am

    I find the scenarios of the government looking up addresses of Ham Radio operators so as to confiscate their equipment pretty far fetched among the probabilities, but everybody has their own imaginings.

    There is another thing to consider – a radio isn’t much use unless there’s somebody to talk with. Ham radio is not just a technology, it’s a community. If you are part of the community (licenced), you have a worldwide network, you talk the lingo, you know how things work socially. If it’s important to relay a message, that could matter. The whole point of having the radio is communication; if people ignore your messages, you have wasted your time building a station.

    In many scenarios, the local government is not an enemy. If you are providing a valuable service to the community, rather than just being another anonymous mouth to feed, they’ll take care of you first. Constructive cooperation can be a healthy survival strategy in some scenarios.

    • Pat Henry

      November 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks for the comments Zeph!

      Yes, the far flung scenarios are like a lot of things. Most of us hopefully will never have to worry about the 1% chance that our most ominous thoughts present, but you never know. I agree with you about the community aspect of it though. I am on a couple of nets pretty regularly and have a couple guys I talk with on the side. I imagine that will open up once I get a quad band and can actually work HF.

      Pat

  8. ICOM1

    January 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    When the S-it hits the fan there will be no phone service or internet service either. Jamming all of the Ham Radio Bands would not be very likely on VHF/UHF/& HF bands since those bands are also used for communications for the Government as well & they will be communicating.I have several backup power sources to run my Ham Radio gear & other needed emergency items as well for several weeks as well as lots of guns & ammo for defense of my property & family.All of my radios run off of 12 volts so battery power is a good choice & I have rigs & antennas for HF,6 & 2 meters,440 mhz,220 mhz & 900 mhz as well as MRS,FRS & GMRS frequencies & CB as well as do several other local hams in base,mobile & portable gear.We have designated simplex frequencies set up so we can stay in contact when the local repeaters go down on VHF & UHF.Can’t be ready enough because the fall is coming we just don’t know when! Just be like the Boy Scouts & “BE PREPARED” ! {:>)

  9. Fox Hunt

    February 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I already have a list of HAMs and their addresses local to my area. A simple google search of their call sign points me to most of the websites and forums to which they have accounts. They like to attach their call sign to their signatures or at one time did.

    Why would I have this information at my disposal? Easy! When SHTF, I know exactly who posted on prepping forums and sites. Most HAMs I have ran into have an air-of-superiority-know-it-all-move-over-noob attitude that is a major turn off. They also seem to forget that their personal information is freely available for any one to look-up and have no concept of OPSEC. Lets face it, amateur radio is an expensive hobby, so I know that, based on your posts, you have plenty of money to pump into bug out supplies. I know what weapons you claim to have and will easily over run your crew. I’ll also jam your signals when I come to take your food.

    • P. Henry

      February 18, 2014 at 8:25 am

      You are right on a couple of points Fox Hunt. It’s true that information is out there freely available and its easy to look someone up by their call sign. I also have to agree that there are some Hams that seem a little above it all, but you get that same attitude from anyone. Being arrogant and an ass is not an attribute that is owned solely by Ham radio operators. I can’t understand why anyone would talk about what they have and attach something so easily investigated as their call sign to that post, but I do know you are right and people do it every day. I am pretty sure these are the minority.

      Now, for your plan to raid all of these Ham operators who have talked about their guns and supplies on forums… You might be in for a surprise. Just because you know someone who has guns doesn’t mean that that fact in itself gives you a huge advantage. Lets assume this arrogant Ham radio guy is just sitting around his Ham shack after the world has gone to hell chatting with his buddies. That doesn’t mean they won’t be waiting for people like you. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t been preparing other things you don’t know about and it really doesn’t mean that you, with the knowledge of where they live alone, will easily do anything. I think people like you will be in for a surprise if it all goes South. I think that the people who buy a lot of guns and think that makes them bulletproof will be in for a surprise too.

      If we really do go through something so bad that you would feel perfectly legitimate in running around robbing people who pissed you off, there will be a lot of other people dying right there with you I think.

      Pat

  10. Loadtoad

    March 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to which Radio would be a good starter? I’m wanting to add one to the house, but am not sure which one would be a good reliable, relatively inexpensive radio. Any help would be great and appreciated.

    • P. Henry

      March 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      I have a handheld unit that covers UHF and VHF bands called the Baofeng UV-5RA which you can pick up on Amazon for about $35. This is great for a starter radio, but you don’t have the full spectrum. I bought this to try out HAM and then took my test. Its an easy way to get your feet wet without spending a ton of money.

      You will want to add a good antenna to this unit though, because the stock units are miserable. I would go to a local radio shop or you can view this post we wrote with the specifics. http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/01/02/bug-out-bag-checklist/

      Pat

  11. Doug

    April 14, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Amateur radio proficiency takes some experience/practise. Un-licensed operators (when TSHTF) will most likely lack the expected expertise & proficiency, and will be very obvious to others. Most licensed HAMs will not comm with an unlicensed person. The lookup database has been downloaded a million times and sits on local PC hard disks for immediate access in HAM shacks everywhere, so if the FCC site is down, it doesn’t matter……. So for those thinking the un-licensed m.o. is the way to go, think again, because when TSHTF you want to plug into that HAM community, & not get ignored……..

    Doug, K5DHL

  12. Coleman G

    May 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    As a licensed radio operator, let me leave you all with two thoughts to chew on. First, your address can be concealed by simply using a PO box. That way, nobody will know your exact address. However, that leads me to my second point. Your radio transmissions can be tracked extremely accurately by anyone with the necessary, and relatively affordable equipment.

  13. fleegs

    May 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Pat, would there be a way I could get you the info on the handheld ham I am considering? I would like to add one to my preps but have no idea what I am doing. I would probably never use it except in an extreme emergency, I have no idea if a license is required?? Can you help a prepper out???

    • Pat Henry

      May 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      I would be happy to help. What are you looking at?

      Pat

      • fleegs

        May 6, 2014 at 3:01 am

        This is the one I have been looking at on Amazon
        BaoFeng UV-5R+ Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-Way Radio (Black)
        Let me know what you think, thanks for your time.

        • Pat Henry

          May 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm

          This is the same model I have and they are great radios for the money. You will need to invest in better antennas though if you want to get any range or at least I needed to. If you are sitting on a mountain it will be different.
          How much effort are you looking to spend on this? To have a good HAM set up, you will need the antenna, some adapters, coax cable, programming software and practice.

          For transmitting you would legally need to have a license. Would the extreme emergency negate this? Maybe, but I recommend the license so you really know what you are doing. Going to your local HAM club will help too.

          Pat

        • WA7TEM

          May 17, 2014 at 12:17 am

          You can find your closest Ham radio club by going to ARRL.ORG and clicking on the “club” menu. Most local hams will be happy to help and advise you. Many will have the capability of programming your new radio, as well as knowing what frequencies to load in to it. Some may even have equipment that they will let you try, under their supervision, unitl you get your license.
          A reminder to those who figure to invoke the “ANY FREQUENCY CAN BE USED IN AN EMERGENCY….” & “I DON’T NEED A LICENSE”. Most amateur operators won’t respond to a non-licensed transmission. Most maintain a database on their tablet, PDA, or computer. So don’t figure that you can make up a call-sign and get away with it. If you have the radio, but nobody will talk to you or listen to you, have you done yourself any good?

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  15. Emily Taylor

    July 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I have a HAM license. I knew that risk though that he speaked of and is why i used my ups store box address and further have hidden some radios so I can’t be taken offlinem i also have old guitar amps and such I can scrap into radio transmitters. I dont think the government would shut you down though. They usually just have the hams assist.

    Plus its not fun not having a callsign cuz even if you get your friends to do it too its still not fun not being able to through a callsign on the repeater and talk to all the busy traffic on there.

    • Pat Henry

      August 1, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Emily,

      I use Baofengs too and as long as I am hitting a repeater I have great range.

      Pat

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  20. disqus_2roX0ivTy6

    September 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    not to be smart a@@ the test is not that easy. I like to know the 6 years old that passed the test without help?

  21. CementCityBoy

    September 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Get the license, otherwise even if/when SHTF you will be a novice operator at best. Baofeng’s are fine for close range or repeater use, but break out with a few hundred bucks and buy a HF radio. As far as QTH in a database, yeah big deal, you see me out driving, get my call sign off my plate, look me up, go to my house, find my dogs and my cameras watching you, along with my wife holding a shot gun. You’d be better off picking any random house to rob. And if you are worried about the gov knowing everything about you, well at least your address and that you have radio skills… that ship sailed long ago.

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  23. James

    October 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I took and passed my Technician test yesterday. Studying for my General Class now. I don’t even have a call sign yet, they said it can take up to a week until my call sign appears on the FCC website. And another week after that before my official license arrives in the mail. My main reason for getting a license was so I can legally have a police scanner in my car without fear of losing my equipment or spending up to a year in jail. While its perfectly legal (at least in my state) to have a scanner in my home, the only way to have one in my car is with a ham license.

    The next reason is of course communication. The Technician license is not intended for super long range. But my Uncle has talked as far as Israel on 10 meters and that’s within the realm of Technician licensee’s (although Technician’s are limited to 200 watts on 10 meters). But in a SHTF scenario I don’t think my power output will be of great concern to anyone except me.

    If it gets to the point where I fear being tracked by the government then I’ll probably be mobile anyway, and transmitting on very low power, and observing radio silence as much as possible, thus making me pretty hard to find. Frankly I’d be more concerned about others out there who might be interested in tracking me down for my supplies.

    Thing is, if you don’t practice using a Ham radio now, you won’t know how to use it in a shtf situation. And when that time comes, you will NEED the knowledge learned by studying for a ham license. So that’s another reason for getting a license. And the stuff I’ve learned translates to all things electronic, not just radio. I now know more about electricity, solar power systems, repairing electric appliances, troubleshooting antenna problems, etc. So yes, it is worth it.

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