Ham Radio (Amateur Radio) is the short-range person to person bidirectional voice communication device. It is a land mobile radio system for safe short-range communication.
In the age of modern science, a ham radio might seem like an old communication system, but it remains a useful automotive device. Handheld ham radios are easy to use while driving a car or other activities. This device provides a combination of secure and inexpensive communications.
Ham radios have long been using by drivers and off-roaders because of its safe and inexpensive communications. Besides drivers, travelers and hikers also like to use this radio for their safe communication.
In this article, I will share the top reasons why using ham radio in your car and some useful tips about choosing and using a ham radio.
Reasons to have a ham radio in your car
There are lots of communication processes and devices you can use in your car. But, among them, using ham radio is popular, useful, and best. Here are the top reasons why you should use ham radio in your car.
Among lots of communication systems in your car, including indispensable cellular phones, high-end amateurs, commercial VHF and UHF, ham radios, etc., ham radios are assumed the best system. Most of the two-way radios require a license, but ham radios don’t require any. Other systems are invariably expensive even you have to pay monthly. But, once you have bought a ham radio, you don’t have to pay any monthly or yearly payment for this.
ham radios provide a secure and safe connection because they don’t require any network or internet connection. They use radio signals to transmit data, so any environmental problem can’t down the ham radio network. You can use these radios anywhere in the world. They also contain some emergency channels such as channel Nine that is the designated emergency channel, and these channels are controlled by volunteers and emergency services around the world. So, the help is always available through ham radios. Many channels also provide environment updates of storms, natural disasters, and other critical situations.
3. Group Activities
For off-roaders, using ham radio for group communication is very useful. This process is a practical and inexpensive way to communicate with other team members. When you are in a group riding, you can use ham radio to be connected or communicate with other group members. By using a ham radio, you will be able to share your advice, warnings, and other messages to your group members.
Pros and Cons of Using Ham Radios
- Ham radios are affordable and don’t require any license.
- Ham radios are useful for communicating within 1 to 5km ranges on average.
- They don’t require any network connections or AM/FM radio frequencies.
- You can communicate with your team on any specific channel.
- Ham radio can only communicate with other ham radios.
- To expand the signal range, you have to use an extra antenna.
- Big range ham radios are of big size tough to carry.
Some Popular Handheld Ham Radios
Handheld ham radios are easy to operate and handy. Some popular handheld ham radios are given below:
- KENWOOD ORIGINAL TH-D74A: This ham radio is a popular ham radio that offers all the 40 transmission channels to communicate. This device also offers oceanic weather channels, so you will be able to get the latest weather updates. This device has a power-saving mode and green screen display features.
- YAESU FT-60R: This device is popular for its crystal clear sound quality and dual battery option. This device is useful for long time use.
- DMR: Digital Mobile Radios (DMR) are useful and very handy. In the DMR brand, dual band DMR mobile radio are one of the most popular ham radio devices to the users.
- BAOFENG BF-F8HP: This device is also a popular model for users. This device offers dual power mode, so you will be able to customize the transmitting power range according to your needs. You will be able to use all 40 channels on this device.
- BAOFENG UV-5R: This device is so handy and comfortable to work with. It also offers a clear sound system and a programmable memory location.
Tips to Operate Your Ham Radio Accurately
Before you start using ham radio for any kind of communication, you have to know the basic ideas about ham radios. Here are the basic ideas that will help you to operate your device accurately, even if you are a new user.
- Explore the channels: There are almost 40 transmitting channels for communicating through a ham radio. To get help from an unknown person, tune to a popular channel such as “nine.” Or, to communicate with your team members, use any specific channel.
- Learn the shortcodes and signals: There are some shortcodes for ham radio communication that mean different messages. You have to memorize these codes to have better communication. The codes are:
- 0-1 — poor reception
- 10-4 — means message received
- 10-7 — means out of service
- 10-9 — means repeat the massage
- 10-20 — means what is your location
- Issue a check: Issue a check to get answers from others. If others are talking, then wait sometimes until they finish. When they are finished, send your message and wait some times. If you don’t get an answer or response, then reissue another check.
For safe, secure, and better communication, ham radio is one of the best ways. The best feature of ham radios is its transmission through radio signals. So, using ham radios doesn’t require any license and inexpensive. When you are to use ham radios for team communication, better is to set any specific channel that will help you to get connected with your friends easily.