Ham radio is not for everyone.
With that said, the ham radio frequencies or different bands offer something to everyone. There
are different classes of licensing that provide for the ability to get onto different bands. These
different bands can be used for short range or long range communications. The distance you
can communicate over on a regular basis depends on the frequency used.
Take for example, if all you are looking for is short range communications of say 10 miles or
less, then the 2 meter (144 to 148 MHz) or the 440 MHz band would be ideal. If your looking
to go further, say up to the 30 or 50 mile range, then you might want to get onto the 6 meter
band (50 to 54 MHz). Longer ranges can be had that let you talk to the other side of the world
on a daily basis.
Most people start out with the "Technician" class ham license. This provides access to all the
frequencies above 50 MHz. The next class license is the "General" license. This gives you
the ability to get onto the HF frequencies. These frequencies range from the 80 meter band
all the way up to the 10 meter band, just above the CB channels.
Most of the communications on the HF frequencies is by using voice and Single Side Band
modulation. However, there are some that like to use the morse code on what is called CW.
I guess you could say there is something for everyone. What ever turns you on.
There are other forms of communications used on the ham bands. You can hear RTTY, slow
scan TV, packet, AMTOR and a couple of other special types of modulation used to communicate.
Not everyone gets on the radio and just chats all day long.
When a major disaster strikes and takes out the normal communications, the first comms out of
an area like that is generally a ham radio operator. Then the state and federal agencies start
to roll in and they bring the sat terminals and establish some communications out of the region
that was hit. Like during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. ham radio and sat links was all
there was for long distance communications for several weeks.
Hope this might start to answer your question.
I caught a good chat today on Ch 6 with a cool guy who seemed to like cb for what it is. Apparently we both opened a topic that lasted for an hour. If we should move on to ham radio cause CB was just plain silly with the flat out cursing, everyone stepping over each other. And some people just acting plain stupid or putting over a dead key minutes at a time. However we took a poll and the majority of the operators said that moving on to ham would be a better idea. However some idiot said this is not a wussy service and if you can't make it out here than move on to P**sy Ham. I explained to him the ham radio has discipline and that they really respect one another and its policed by the FCC. Unlike the free for all cb radio service. People pushing so much wattage that they interfere with the nearby channels. The mumble sounds of a dx station in the background. However just wanted to know peoples opinion on this service.
Were you a former cb operator and moved on into ham radio?
Are you still an active cb operator?
Do you think CB needs policing?
Why do you prefer one service out of the two?