Ham Radio Basics
Before I go too far, here is todays disclosure
There is NO SUCH ANIMAL as a 50 mile hand held radio, a radio that does everything and any type of radio allowing reliable, consistent medium range( 20-100 miles) communication without a license.
I teach HAM radio. I do it free, I like to share knowledge and encourage others to learn as well as getting more local people on the bands and using the frequencies for their own purposes and be another way to stay in touch with people in case things go sideways.
There are 3 classes of license issued to amateur radio users by the FCC in the United States. Each class allows privileges on different frequencies and types of communication. These include digital, such as Morse as well as voice or phone.
The classes are as follows, with the first being
Technician- as far as ease of use this is where you start. The lowest class of license allows use of the common frequencies in handheld radios, commonly referred to as HT radios. Its also required in order to advance to the second class which is
General- this is the most useful class of license for the average prepper group because of the increased frequency privileges. HF frequencies allow communications worldwide, as well as reliable communication over shorter distances using the types of antenna specifically for it.
Amateur Extra- this is the highest class of license and arguably the least useful for preppers because of the limited number of additional frequencies allowed. It does give access to less used areas of the frequency bands which are advantages and more importantly it increases your personal knowledge exponentially. That alone makes it worth the effort to get it.
So this is a place to start if you are serious about learning