HAM isn’t just for sandwiches )))
JPF: I’ve recently been introduced to HAM radio. Tell us about that. Is it a viable choice for use in a Jeep?
AK: You bet! Amateur radio, or HAM, is a great choice. In some ways it’s the best choice. Amateur Radio has been used for decades for search and rescue and emergency communications during natural disasters. It is ideally suited for maintaining communication in remote areas.
JPF: So, how is amateur radio the best choice?
AK: Transmitter output is allowed up to 1500 watts, whereas a CB uses 4 watts. Your range is significantly better than a CB or FRS. Yet, there’s more. Amateurs are allowed to use Repeaters. This single fact can make the distance a person can talk with amateur VHF/UHF radio virtually unlimited. Example: I have the ability to talk as far away as the International Space Station or Sydney, Australia sitting right here in the driveway.
JPF: Okay, so you get great range with this type of radio. So, what are the disadvantages to it?
AK: The disadvantages to amateur radio are what you make them to be. It does require a license, which means you have to pass an exam about procedures, FCC rules, and some simple electronics. Another disadvantage is that with these increased privileges comes equipment with far more abilities than other radios. This can be quite overwhelming for the novice who just wants to turn on the power switch, pick up the microphone and talk. For that person, the FRS radio might be better suited.