Hammin'-it-up

HAM'in About Radio Communication

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JPF: Now that we’ve covered all of this, what would you recommend when it comes to outfitting a Jeep with a ham radio for a multi-day journey?

AK: Easy. The same recommendations I made for the CB radio also apply. Keep it simple, stupid. Radios with lots of knobs and buttons are just not necessary for operation while bouncing down a trail. For example, the radio I use in my YJ has a grand total of three knobs (channel, squelch, volume) and two buttons (power on/off, and TX output power). Also, I think it’s important to get a mobile radio with a large heat sink that does not require a cooling fan. The vents on a radio with a cooling fan will just suck in a ton a dust and will eventually choke your radio to death.

JPF: Good points. Is there anything else you think is worth sharking?

AK: Yes. If your Jeep is a daily driver, you can enjoy some conversation with other “hams” while driving home from work. It beats sitting in traffic with nothing to do. But a very important thing to note about range with a ham radio is that you can call for outside help if you’re trapped in the boonies.

Andy’s CB Suggestions:

1. Simple. Fancy radios aren’t needed

2. Rugged. Get a good radio like Uniden, Cobra, or Radio shack

3. Easy-to-reach mounting location

4. Get a good ground

Andy’s Ham Radio Suggestions:

1. Simple. Fancy radios aren’t needed

2. Rugged. Get a good radio with MIL SPEC-810 rating

3. Get a good ground

* * * * *

About Andy Keels:

AK might be his initials, but it also stands for ‘All Knowledgeable.’

He has been licensed as an amateur radio operator for 20 years in addition to holding an F.C.C. commercial radio license. Even better, Andy’s worked for the Jeep Jamboree USA organization for over 10 years as a trail guide and has organized radio communications in and out of the Appalachian Mountains for the Appalachian Jeep Jamboree. He worked for seven years as Repeater Manager for the Atlanta Radio Club and has installed and maintained VHF & UHF repeaters for the club.

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Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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