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New to Ham Radio

Oct 14th 2017, 16:50


Joined: Oct 5th 2017, 14:01
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
First off let me be upfront I am new to this ham radio stuff, so I freely admit most of these questions are dumb as hell, but I don't how else to find out what I need to know. Sorry about that.
I am going to be traveling by rv for several months to and from Alaska and cell service is not a sure bet, and I have 90+yr old parents who need to be checked on.

So my first question what is the best way to check on them using ham radio? My first thought was to contact ham radio operators in our parents home town and ask them to place a HW phone call. That then leads me ask what mode is best HF or UHF/VHF, Echolink and IRLP may be available on some repeaters. I am having difficulty determining if I can talk directly to my parents through Echolink or IRLP or do I have to go through another ham operator to check on the parents.

Depending on the answers to the above questions come the questions about equipment, and portal antennas. Obviously I can't take a fully equipped ham shack ( well I could but I would have to leave the wife at home then who would cook) I am currently thinking that a radio similar to the FT857ND or FT817 might work.

What regs do I have to be aware of when working the ham radio in Canada?

I hope all of the Elmers out there can shed some light on these questions.
Thanks for the help.

Oct 15th 2017, 11:26


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
There are non-amateur services that may meet your needs. The author of this article mentions 10 minutes as being an eternity. It is unlikely you will get that sort of reliability with ham radio.

You may have difficulty getting good answers to your question as this isn't a typical ham radio activity.

HF can be very unreliable from Alaska. While beautiful to some, aurora borealis will block radio signals, preventing HF propagation.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Oct 17th 2017, 07:48


Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
>>What regs do I have to be aware of when working the ham radio in Canada?

We have a reciprocal operating agreement with Canada, so you simply need to append the appropriate suffix to your call, e.g. AI4BJ/VE3 if I was operating in Ontario. There are some minor bandplan differences as well. Check out You should also carry a copy of your FCC license and proof of U.S. citizenship.

Mark AI4BJ

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