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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Get into Ham Radio NOW while you still can.

At some point the communists running for your guns and silver will probably want to shut down ham radio also. Get your gear now while you still can.  Find the links at the end where you can get your gear.

Hi Everyone,
Tonight at 5:30 PM our new round of Ham classes start at the new meeting room upstairs in the new Glacier Bank building in Eureka.  Park in the parking lot or on the street and go in the door behind their lighted sign and turn left up the  stairs.
The Bank is on the east side of Highway 93 right downtown. You can't miss it. The door is on the south side of the building.
We will be having these classes every Tuesday at 5:30 PM with March 5th as test night. There will be radio gear on display, and Don Johnson will be doing some demonstrations of various equipment and showing some videos.
These classes are designed to give you a working knowledge of ham radio in addition to getting you ready for the Technician class test.
The test is only 35 multiple choice questions. You can get 9 wrong and still pass. You will get all the answers in the pool up front.
We are giving this test to kids as young as 8 and getting good results. My grandson Cordell Stramer is 13 and has the callsign KF7UQD and has had his license for about a year now. It's a great family hobby. He studied with his dad Michael KF7UQC  last year and both tested on the same night.  Look up any ham license here:
Having your Ham license will get you very familiar with operation so that in an emergency you won't be fumbling around and messing things up.
In other words you will be a very effective communicator and useful to your family and neighbors as a safety and emergency provider.
I consider that one very important skill to have considering what might be coming to our country soon.
The Technician class license lets you use all the bands above 30 MHz. So you can use all the repeaters on 2 meters, and 70 cm. There are about 18 different repeaters around western Montana that we use. There are probably more by now that I don't know about. Some of these repeaters are connected to our statewide safety net called MRLA  (Montana Radio Linking Project)  See it at  I can us 11 of these repeaters including the repeater on black tail mountain above Lakeside, while sitting in my ham shack at home. Some of these repeaters have up to a 150 mile footprint.
The license is free for 10 year spans. Just renew free each 10 years on line.  The book is $30 and will be available at the classes, or you can study on line at for the same money for a 2 year subscription.
If you can't attend the classes (highly recommended) you can study on line and just show up on test night, or attend whatever you can while you study on line at home in between. 
In addition to getting you ready for emergency communications, your license gives you some pretty advanced ability. In normal times you can run up to 1500 watts of transmit power. That is not a misprint. Fifteen hundred watts. You also have hundreds of frequencies you can use any time. Then in a real emergency you have the authorization to go outside of band or use whatever power is available when someone's life or property is in jeopardy.
All these rules have been written in the FCC regs since the beginning of ham radio. Here is a great article on Wikipedia about Ham radio.
There are close to 1 Million hams in the United States alone as of this year.  You are in good company because most of these people are pretty knowledgeable about what is really going on in the world. They are getting prepared. They know full well how ham radio can be used in any emergency. They know how to overcome obstacles and get through when the chips are down. They are generally freedom loving peaceful people who just want to be left alone to live and work and raise their families.
Generally the Hams I know are very tuned in to the whole globe for news and events as they happen, and have a different perspective of global affairs than your average TV watching couch potato, as a result of hearing from people around the world. They can be instrumental in keeping the peace and good order in our communities, and always have been available for special events and logistics in the communities around the country.
I hope to see you at the classes starting tonight.

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