Ok folks, before I go any further I'm starting my studies for the ham license, prodded on by my neighbor and old time ham user.
The guy is 85 years old and his equipment is all tube type and he's still using it and fixing them himself.
He asked me to ask the members what radio they would recommend and he suggested the 2m and the 6m, but I see mainly the 10m discussion on these radios. Why not the 2m and the 6m.
I'm looking at a two radio set up, one my standard cobra 29 and then the ham. Not trying to make it look like a cops car in the cab but I don't want to not do it legal and right. I want the best of both worlds.
2m, 6m, or 10m Ham radios which is best, why
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Well most the people use the 10 meter radios because they are easily converted to 11 meter (CB bands) use while still being able to be used ont he 10 meter bands.
Not sure how easy it would be to convert the others for 11 meter use so I can say if it is just as easy to convert them as it is the 10 meter radios.
You will want to stay away from anything other than 10 meters. They are the only ones I know of (other than multi band ones) that will allow you to hit Citizen Band or 11 meters.
When you start jacking with shorter waves under 10 you start getting more attention. At 2 meter you could start interfering with emergency broadcasting like Ambulance or Fire Departments.
There are some multi band ham radios that can be modified to get you down into 27mhz and all the way up into 165mhz. You have to get them out of Canada and they are hella illegal. They will put your butt under the jail. The problem is you can hit some military freqs as well as designated air freqs. It is almost like having a scanner that you can talk on.
It all just depends on what you want to use it for. The 10m bands are usually used for longer distance, even other countries! New Zealand is my furthest distance on 10m. Can't get much further than that! If the conditions are right, the band really opens up and is a ton of fun to use. However, if the conditions aren't ideal, you'll be lucky to talk with somebody a state away, if you can find anybody on the band at all. When the conditions are bad, 10m really sucks.
Most 4-wheelers who travel on the roads use the 2m band or the 440 band. I have never heard much activity on the 6m band, but that might just be my local area. Frequency 146.52 on the 2m band is generally the "simplex frequency" that people leave on when traveling. The range on 2m is mostly limited to "line of sight" but you can also use repeaters to extend that range to a much, much wider area than your radio would normally be able to get (free repeater guides are available online). Also, normally 2m is used for SkyWarn nets which are weather spotters reporting on storms, sometimes directly to the National Weather Service. I've heard tornado reports 2 or 3 minutes before the sirens are even activated and an official warning is issued.
When using 10m, it may not be the easiest to use when driving. At a truck stop, it can keep you busy for a while as long as the band opens up. But generally, a lot of time is spent scanning frequencies and calling out for people to talk to (if they happen to be on the same frequency, they usually respond). It's also best to use when wearing headphones as many times, people you talk to will be way down in the noise.
I'd say the best way to describe 2m is a "professional CB band" with less people on the band than CB. People don't swear, are usually extremely friendly, and is a whole different ballgame than CB (in a positive way).
Now, keep in mind, I'm not a truck driver (just started training). So maybe somebody who's been out on the road a while can give you some more input from the trucking side of things.
In any case, good luck obtaining your license! If you have any other questions, just shout them out!
73 de KB9TGV
Ok if you are going to set up right in a truck you need the cobra type for CB 11 meters then you need the real HAM radio's. I ran a Icom 706 and a screwdriver with a 500 watt amp and talked all over the world and with the 706 you get 2 Meter and 440 as well as the HF bands so you get all the best and the 6 meter is about dead any more but some time it is open but thats the reason they call it the magic band it is then its gone again. good luck and welcome to the HAM world sounds like you have on of the old timers living next to you learn from him he has forgot more than most will ever know so use this time to learn the old ways they are still the best.Trafficcontrolxl Thanks this.
Also, don't forget that the VHF ham radios have a bigger output power than the CB radios. On the other hand a VHF radio is too different from a CB radio, so that they can't be just modified for the 11m band.
Well that was kinda the point. Seeing that we are on a trucker forum I was just saying that the most useful thing to obtain as far as radios would be a 10 meter.
I have a Yeasu 2m modded in my truck as well. I don't it too much but if I can't get in tough with my brother on low bands then I hit it on the other one. We have a schedule set up where we on are them both and scanning freqs.
Check out a hamfest in your local area and you can get some pretty good deals on used and sometimes new radios.
My advice would be to get one with the 2m freqs, and buy a repeater directory. You can order them thru ARRL or any one of several different ham radio stores. I like Amateur Electronic Supply out of Milwaukee, WI.
Good luck on getting your license and see you on 2m sometime.
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