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Communications for your Astronomy Event
"Amateur Radio Service"

by
John Huggins


In the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, Ham Radio did a good job of supplying radio systems and operators to assist in the communication needs of organizations.

In the good old days, Ham Radio was useful for small events (under a mile radio distance), medium events (under 10 miles) and widespread events using repeaters. Hams also have experience using the HF bands for communication over hundreds, even thousand of miles.

With the advent of GMRS and especially FRS, the need for Ham Radio for short and medium range event communications has all, but vanished. Groups pretty much can go down to Wal-Mart, spend under $100 and have FRS radios and batteries to outfit five to ten operators within their own group.

However there are several compelling reasons to consider Ham Radio for your organization's communication needs:



Well
Known
Ham Band
Name
Frequency Notes Max
Power
160 1.8400 MHz Pretty useless for all except educational or experiemental purposes 1500.0 Watts
80 3.8000 MHz Good range of hundreds of miles depending on time of day. 1500.0 Watts
40 7.1000 MHz Good range of hundreds of miles depending on time of day. 1500.0 Watts
20 14.3000 MHz Good range of hundreds of miles depending on time of day. 1500.0 Watts
0 21.3400 MHz Good range of hundreds of miles depending on time of day. 1500.0 Watts
10 28.3000 MHz Good range of hundreds of miles depending on time of day. 1500.0 Watts
6 50.1000 MHz Reasonable for local use, but mostly an experiementor band 1500.0 Watts
2 144.0000 MHz Exceptional for local use. Many repeaters operate throughout the country providing excellent range. 1500.0 Watts
70 440.0000 MHz Exceptional for local use. Many repeaters operate throughout the country providing excellent range. 1500.0 Watts

Ham Radio Summed Up

If your event calls for communication beyond several miles, consulting with your local ham radio group for ideas, planning and possible volunteers is a sensible approach.

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