Can we get an AMEN.Dont let other hams Define the hobby for you Define it for your self.......
This is honestly something people don't consider before jumping into the hobby. I can't tell you much money I've wasted, but I've also learned a lot about RF electronics over last three decades. And some aspect of radio won't really 'click' until you force yourself to learn deeper about how it all works -- and let me be clear, it's not easy. The technical side isn't for the squeamish and/or for people that have other priorities in life. For example, if you have a family/kids then you really need to consider how that affects your budget. The hobby takes time and you won't really be good at it (or enjoy it) unless you do....but that means more radios $$$ more antennas $$$ etc. and I'm just not sure the epense would be worth it to do basically what I do already on my CB.
I have a story along those lines. When I was first licensed, several of my ham buddies had Diamond SG7900A (today's price $100 at Ham Radio Outlet) mobile antennas. This antenna is 62 inches long. That's over 5 feet. I bought one of those SG7900A's, got the Diamond SP35 ($50) mag-mount, and stuck that antenna on the roof of my 1984 Toyota 4x4 pick-up truck.I can't tell you much money I've wasted...
I went the other way: Ham first, then CB. And ya, CB skip is basically "11m Ham"! I quite like CB: the libertarian side of me is impressed with how disciplined it actually is, given that there are no externally imposed rules by the authorities. The equipment is generally less expensive and being chanellized it's less complicated--all of which makes it far more accessible. I wish it was more popular.As part of all that I've listened to the various HAM bands. So I know what HAM QSOs sound like. and (and I mean this in a totally un insulting way so please try not to get hackles up). They aren't much different from what I get on SSB on 11meter CB.
The question was never about can I use these band without a license. I'm not one of those folks (hell, CB rig is stock and CRTC legit). It was "Do I need/want to be able to? Do I need/want to incur the added expense on antennas and rigs? With my interests is there much any point to my pursueing it?"Seems quite simple to me. You legally CANNOT transmit on any amatere band frequency without an appropriate license.
Good point, BUT, in some areas there are regulations prohibiting the mobile use of radios capable of receiving police and fire frequencies. An exception is granted to holders of amateur radio licenses. So, in this scenario, it's worthwhile to have a ham license just to RX while mobile.If the listening aspect of radio is what you enjoy, why bother? If you're having fun with the radio activities you're already doing, why bother?
Taking time to consider is always a wise option. As is assuming that one probably doesn't know everything and getting input from those who have direct experience with the subject at hand. I fail to see how any of this impugns my character or state of mind.Upon reflection of this question..., with all of the information that's already out there. Being indecisive on such a little thing as a getting or not getting a ham radio license, doesn't reflect well.