PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.

Started by gil, May 09, 2012, 02:11:40 PM

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I am an absolute newbie to Short Wave. I recently was given a FRG-7 and want to learn more about short wave. I saw this site listed on and decided to have a look. So prepare for a barrage of questions. I have no clue about this subject in general except that I am keenly interested.


I am real new to HAM. I have some back up radios on hand (shortwave). I keep a faraday cage and have stuff in it.

Not sure if I have the temperment or intellect to operate a radio. I am not very tech friendly, but do enjoy light mechanics. I take pleasure in fixing something, though I have fixed much in years. Busy with nursingcare like needs in the home.

I do have some preparations for an emergency underway. Got into high step just 4 years ago. Seems like  I would feel ready. Well, I can't say I am "ready" but as least I am not anxious and worried with a feeling of drede. Prepping is taking action and taking action calms my nerves.

I have been interested in Morse Code for some time - years off and on. I will start to study it and then put it on the back burner. I am 51 years old, an artist, and have no experience with operating or even listening to the kind of radio that a HAM would use.

I was first introduced to HAM at work many years ago. A main Director for this Aerospace Co was generous enough to give me a tour of the HAM station. He was the only HAM at this facility on the foothills at the time (if I recall correctly). I was very impressed with his appoach to have a backup plan for communicating with the head facility near the beach.

The only HAM in the family passed away several years ago. The idea of dealing with a bunch of Govt paperwork to have access to HAM strikes me as down point.  I am joining this forum to help me get acquainted with the language of HAM, and maybe ultimately become a technician or what ever it is I need to do to have a radio on site (learn what to buy, how to set up, and how to use).

Not sure if I have the desire to have my own call signs, or watch a clock so I can get on to just have every one listen.  I use a hard line telephone at home. I have a cell phone in the car for real emergencies. I use a computer, but am overwelmed by a video player and satelite TV.

Thank you for letting me register.


Sunflower, you make an interesting comment, and you are not the only one, about the perceived complexity of Ham radio. I say perceived, because it doesn't have to be. Although I am a programmer by trade, I do not like complex radios. I spend too much time as it is using menus and complex interfaces. I like my radios to have a volume button and tune button, and not much else! The least the better. More features does not make a radio transmit better. It does make it hear better sometimes, but bells and whistles are optional. My favorite radio, one I build myself, is the Elecraft K1. It isn't the simplest, does use menus and has a few knobs and buttons, but remains very easy to use, small, and has a very low current draw. Anything more complex, I shy away from. Let's face it, if I can't explain to someone how to use it in a few minutes, there is a potential problem there... I can't teach Morse code to someone in 5 minutes of course, but SSB (Single Side Band voice) radios can be simple too. Look at the MFJ-9440 or an old Atlas... That's the kind of simplicity I like. With the Tech exam being so accessible, why not? Sure, it's a pain to have to pass an exam and be "registered," but to practice, you need to get on the air. When the SHTF is not a good time to learn. You could use CB and learn a lot about antennas of course, but you limit yourself to one band that only allows long distance communications in the best of conditions.

By the way, other members can thank you for suggesting the "New To Radio" board, it is on.



I am in the same boat as billca, in that I am new to HAM, Tech license, same motivations, SAME starter rig.   I have very little time to spend on it but don't want to lose what skill and knowledge I have.  I have the General Study Guide sitting on my desk, waiting to be opened.   I have yet to speak to anyone on the air but have listened a lot.  If I had time to go to local club meetings I might have motivation to talk on air but so far that hasn't happened.

Thanks for starting his board, I will be checking in daily and hopefully will have something to add.


Quote from: billca on September 02, 2012, 08:50:09 AM
Hi folks,

Like Normancf22, I'm in the lovely Silicon Valley too.  I'm a recent HAM (tech) and fall into that category of someone who's not steeped in electronics but wants the utility of HAM for both emergency and general use. 

The goal of prepping is to be prepared for most foreseeable events (e.g. "the big one"). Radios give us the ability to keep in touch with others to understand what's happening locally as well as in other areas. That info can be crucial to helping smaller groups cope after a disaster. It can also help local neighborhoods coordinate resources for aid and safety.  That's my outlook on it.

So, tech licensed, currently using a Yaesu FT-60R HT (2m/70cm) around Sunnyvale-Mt.View. Eventually I want to expand to include 6M or 23cm (not decided yet).


Hello Gil and the rest of the Fellows -

I'm new to Gil's forum, a long time ham - going on forty years on the air now.  I've done a lot of backwoods radio, both in the US and outside of the country and even aboard a sailboat for a few years. Having worked communications under some pretty dire field conditions and also played a lot in the mountain west with my QRP rigs, CW is absolutely my favorite and most dependable mode. 

These days, I'm looking more at how to make our little home more self sufficient, communications being the strong point, followed by 'mini-farming' and etc. It's clear that we're in trouble as a nation.  In my past, I worked a lot with refugees from the communist bloc.  Virtually all of them said of their over-run homelands: "we never thought that it would happen here". At least they had an America to escape to.  I think that learning to communicate withOUT commercial infrastructure would be very helpful, even if nothing drastic ever happens. If - God forbid - it should happen, then at least we have some options and sources of raw information outside of the controlled media.

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Hi Ray, you should post pictures of your KX1 on the technical board ;)



Quote from: underhill on September 02, 2012, 12:26:40 PM
Just wanted to post a checkin, thanks for starting this forum, a useful mix.  I'm in the So Cal area, anyone down here?

Use to be. Glad I am gone from the place. Miss the family, but not enough to go back. If I relocate ever again it is North only. I miss clam digging and body surfing, but not enough to return. There was a lot of HAM fun going on when I was out there. That is where I was first introduced to it.


Hello, Gil and all. Thanks for setting this up. I found you in survival comms yahoo group. I am another "40 yr" ham. But my three daughters never got interested in ham radio. So, I am going to use GMRS to keep in touch. Myself and some of the hams here are going to set up a GMRS repeater this year. I have Wouxun and Baofeng handhelds. I like having one radio that covers ham VHF / UHF, GMRS and MURS. ( I was going to say FRS but that would be illegal ;) One thing I like about MURS is that packet is legal there, except digipeating. I will be reading the whole forum to see what's up. Thanks again!



I am really enjoying Radio Preppers! The other preparedness organizations in my area have been crippled by petty politics. Thank you Gil, I look forward to a QSO someday.
Ken - ke4rg



Welcome aboard Ken!!!


Quote from: Ken on May 27, 2013, 10:39:41 PM
I am really enjoying Radio Preppers! The other preparedness organizations in my area have been crippled by petty politics. Thank you Gil, I look forward to a QSO someday.
Ken - ke4rg

Welcome Ken. What I love about this forum is that we all seem to be like minded and there's no petty bickering and arguing. We may not always agree on everything, there might even be a spirited debate, but from what I've seen it's always done in a respectful manner. I think you're gonna like it here.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin




Found this board and decided to join for the discussions.  Any chance of adding a Colorado forum?  I know a LOT of prepper minded radio folks here.

I'm deeply involved in emergency communications, using amateur radio, GMRS, and even Civil Air Patrol comms.  I find it all to be rewarding and a lot of fun.



Welcome aboard Eric

There are a lot of great people here. To add a state board and to make sure Gil see's it head over here to the state board request area, and post there. Or fallow my link.,321.0.html