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Edmo01's Achievements

  1. A well done (and free!) site for test prep is hamstudy.org. I’m currently studying for my general license using their site. Edmo
  2. In the amateur radio digital world I am a fan of Yaesu System Fusion (YSF)… I have a Yaesu FTM-400 mobile unit at my home which serves as my 2 meter/70CM “base station”. With 2 button pushes it can be switched to a YSF “Node” connected to “Al Gore’s amazing Interweb” through a laptop. This allows me to talk directly in any of the hundreds of YSF “rooms”. I can push 1 additional button and set it up to act as a repeater via my home antenna and provide access to all of the same YSF rooms using my Yaesu FT3D handheld or vehicle’s FTM-400 mobile radio. Another YSF connection option I have is an OpenSpot 3. When I connect this garage door opener sized device to WiFi or tethered it to my phone, it allows communications access to many of the same YSF rooms. I can use it to talk in the YSF network with my home, mobile, or handheld radios. I can even make digital contacts while out hiking as long as I have a cell signal. Lastly, there are several repeaters in my area which support YSF digital communications. I can talk to other local stations just like on an analog FM repeater, but the digital audio is much cleaner and static free. As others have said when in digital “voice wide” mode (VW), it sounds really nice with an audio quality almost as full as analog FM transmissions. When I switch to “digital narrow” (DN), my radios include my GPS position information in the transmission. The sound quality is a little more “digital”, but I can now see bearing and distance information to the other stations as they transmit. Bottom line: I have used YSF to talk to stations all over the world, often on a handheld while sitting in my backyard or out hiking. It is an easy to use digital system and the number of Yaesu repeaters is growing daily. I would say it is the “up and coming” digital format. Edmo
  3. I live just north of you in Cabot and also have noted little use of GMRS in our area. As WyoJoe mentioned above, I look at GMRS as a reliable means of communications within my family circle. I use it most often when out hiking or hunting. The beauty is the circle can easily be expanded to unlicensed friends and kids with the introduction of unlicensed FRS radios. I’m not trying to encourage you to “switch teams”, but when it comes to talking outside of my family circle I turn to my 2 meter & 70cm amateur radios. You will find many amateur stations conversing on the large number of repeaters located throughout Arkansas, especially around Little Rock. I don’t look to only one “platform” to meet all of my communications needs, but rather try to capitalize on the merits of both amateur radios and GMRS. I find they both have advantages over the other. On edit: The closest GMRS repeater to you is on the west side of Greenbrier, Arkansas. I have talked to the repeater owner over it and it seems to work great. However, it’s range is limited and will not reach to Little Rock. Edmo
  4. BLUF: I’m not familiar with any HTs which can crossband repeat... However, I use the crossband repeat feature quite often on my Yaesu FTM-400 mobile. When out hiking or hunting in areas which are beyond my HT’s ability to hit a repeater, I can still have emergency communications via my vehicle’s FTM-400 in crossband mode. If I park my vehicle on a hill or ridge I can extend that range even more. This is especially comforting when I’m in areas with spotty cell phone coverage. Edmo
  5. My FT-65s came with the 10 weather channels hard programmed. To access the weather broadcasts just hold down the “1” button and then arrow up & down through the 10 weather channels. Additionally, menu item #38 is called WX ALERT. When this feature is turned on, the radio will check for weather alerts during your normal VFO or memory channel scans. Edmo
  6. The OP asked for a HT recommendation so here are a couple of my suggestions... An “all the bells & whistles” HT: I own a Yaesu FT3D and I love it! It is an expensive HT, but it gives me a lot of capability to include Yaesu System Fusion digital communications through either a YSF capable repeater or my OpenSpot3 digital node. A tough HT for SHTF: I would recommend either the Yaesu FT-4XR or FT-65R. These are quality built radios that gives you a full 5 watts of transmit power and cover the full ham 2 meter and 70 cm bands. I own a couple of FT-65s and picked them over the FT-4 based on the better LCD display. With a quick programming hack the transmit frequency range can be opened up on these HTs to include MURS & GMRS frequencies. Think of them as a better built and higher quality Baofeng UV-5R. DISCLAIMER: Obviously, you need a ham license to transmit on amateur radio frequencies. Additionally, these radios are not certified to transmit on the MURS & GMRS bands unless it is an emergency. However, two (or more) of these HTs would give you and the wife reliable short range simplex communications and a more extended range using a repeater. Edmo
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