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I have been interested in radio for a long time I just never had the pocket book to buy all the equipment. I still dont. All my extra money goes to travel. Showing my kids this beautiful country of ours. An acquaintance recently showed me his Baofang radio. He paid like 30 bucks for it then another 20 something for a longer antenna. It works off repeaters so I do understand In a SHTF situation they are useless. What I am thinking is this. My wife is not a hiker. My boys and I are. If we get off trail somewhere or something happens I can call for help or at lest get in contact with the wife.  We go to a lot of places without cell service.

I do not have a license yet. I will not be transmitting anything until my wife and I have our license.

I'm looking at these.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-BAOFENG-UV-5R-III-Tri-Band-UHF-VHF-Walkie-Talkie-Long-Range-Two-Way-Ham-Radio/154268892594?hash=item23eb247db2:g:UTAAAOSwhRlf7Dtz

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-PCS-Baofeng-uv-5r-8W-TRI-Power-Band-Radio-Portable-Two-Way-radio/324314565840?hash=item4b82a78cd0:g:rOIAAOSw2RdeJKhe

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Baofeng-UV-5RA-Dual-Band-VHF-UHF-Ham-Amateur-Two-way-Radio-FM-Transceiver/184186954417?hash=item2ae265e2b1:g:fLYAAOSwSmxeVjJl

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There are lots of areas not covered with repeaters, but you can use the radios in simplex mode....radio to radio without a repeater.

In order to legally use these radios, each person using the radio will need to take the Technicians exam from the FCC.  There is an associated application and license fee.  The best source of information on the license is at www.arrl.org.

You can let another person use the radio in your presence with you as the "control operator" on your license.  Any misuse of the radio falls on your license.

The radios you listed are pretty cheap Chinese radios and most HT radios (Handi-talkie) are not easy to program from the small menu driven screen and buttons.  I generally recommend that you purchase a program from RT Systems and a programming cable for use with your computer.

Nearly all repeaters require your radio to issue a PL tone to unlock the repeater with each transmission.  These tones are required to prevent keying up adjacent or nearby repeaters.

I would strongly suggest you contact a nearby ham radio club to get personal assistance.  They are always eager to help new people entering the hobby.

Ken

KE5DFR 

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jenandjon,

A LOT of hams get started with those little Baofang handhelds. Even when they accumulate more equipment, they still use them.

As mentioned, a lot of prime areas, may or may NOT have repeater coverage, so the limitation on "point to point" operation, can be severely limited by terrain and other factors. Even more pricey equipment suffers from those same limitations.

Study, get licensed, get a pair and download CHIRP, programming those without it can be an "interesting" adventure.

 

Best of luck

Butch, W9MCI

1 hour ago, jenandjon said:

I have been interested in radio for a long time I just never had the pocket book to buy all the equipment. I still dont. All my extra money goes to travel. Showing my kids this beautiful country of ours. An acquaintance recently showed me his Baofang radio. He paid like 30 bucks for it then another 20 something for a longer antenna. It works off repeaters so I do understand In a SHTF situation they are useless. What I am thinking is this. My wife is not a hiker. My boys and I are. If we get off trail somewhere or something happens I can call for help or at lest get in contact with the wife.  We go to a lot of places without cell service.

I do not have a license yet. I will not be transmitting anything until my wife and I have our license.

I'm looking at these.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-BAOFENG-UV-5R-III-Tri-Band-UHF-VHF-Walkie-Talkie-Long-Range-Two-Way-Ham-Radio/154268892594?hash=item23eb247db2:g:UTAAAOSwhRlf7Dtz

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-PCS-Baofeng-uv-5r-8W-TRI-Power-Band-Radio-Portable-Two-Way-radio/324314565840?hash=item4b82a78cd0:g:rOIAAOSw2RdeJKhe

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Baofeng-UV-5RA-Dual-Band-VHF-UHF-Ham-Amateur-Two-way-Radio-FM-Transceiver/184186954417?hash=item2ae265e2b1:g:fLYAAOSwSmxeVjJl

 

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Handhelds are nice yet they have a limited transmission range of a few miles if you are going radio to radio without using a repeater.  Radio to radio is also known as simplex.   To improve the transmission and reception range when not going through a repeater, you can use an external antenna while stopped.  I use a role up j-pole antenna.  It is kept in my backpack.

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I like that you are getting involved in HAM radio due to activities. That is how I got my start. My son was with a group of 4WD off-roaders that used HAM more than CB so he invited me and some others to commit to a class that was offered by one of those off-roaders. 

I was satisfied with just having a Technician license until recently. I found this great free study site that you might find helpful, I have in studying for General.

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