Welcome to M.O.R.R!

Welcome to My Off Road Radio!

Over the next couple of months we will be implementing lots of awesome stuff to keep you safe on your adventures, including: Amateur Radio Technician License Classes, Amateur Radio Programming Services, Community Forum Boards, A Retail Store, Pages of Awesome Backwoods Information, and lots, lots more!

If you stumbled on us, and have questions about ham radio classes, tests, or things you would like to see on the website as we get it up and running, then leave us some feedback in the Contact Us! section. To get added to our email list and receive our weekly newsletter, and information on major updates to the website, fill out the email request form below!

Tyler Laursen – Founder/Owner

 

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What is Ham Radio?
Ham Radio is a form of voodoo magic that exists to help keep people in contact with each other over long distances. You can setup a ham radio in the form of a mobile radio (something in your vehicle), or a handheld (HT) (think of a walkie talkie, but more power!), or a home station setup. Some people even make sport out of climbing up to the tops of mountains, setting up a radio station run on batteries, and see how many people they can talk to. When other communication services don’t work for you, ham radio most likely will. This is why ham radio is the go to choice for emergency communications for anyone that ventures off into the woods.

Why should I get a ham radio?
Have you ever been out camping or hiking, and need to make a phone call but don’t have cell reception? Or maybe you were out off roading on the Rubicon and you broke a drive shaft, but couldn’t get ahold of someone to come help. Or maybe you were driving in winter conditions, and your GPS told you to go left, which turned out to be a PG&E access road covered in snow, claiming its latest victim. Or maybe you are planning a week long overlanding trip, and need to stay in contact with your friends and family so they know you are okay. When all other forms of communication don’t work, ham radio probably will. With its long range, crisp and clean signal, and ability to use repeaters, ham radio is the king and champ when it comes to emergency communications services. CBs garbled signals and short distance can’t hang. GMURS and “race radios” suffer from not having the support of many repeaters. Plus, once you get down into the long range ham radio frequencies, you can easily talk across the country and even to other countries. Once you have the ability to talk to another country, it doesn’t matter where you are or what happened to you, you will always be able to find help for whatever situation happens.

Don’t I need a license to use a ham radio?
Yes. Which is why, we assume, you are here! In order to transmit on a ham radio frequency, you must be licensed by the FCC in the United States. This is not because the FCC doesn’t want people using ham radios, on the contrary, they want more and more people on ham frequencies. But, because of the power and capabilities of ham radios, you need to know certain things… like contacting North Korea could lead to a bad situation.

There are 3 different levels of licenses for Amateur Radio Operators (Hams!): Technician, General, and Extra. The difference between each of these 3 levels is how many transmission frequencies you are allowed to talk on. As a Technician, the main thing you will probably start with and make lots of use of, is repeaters. Repeaters are automatic radios that are usually situated on hilltops, mountains, ridges, etc. They receive your incoming signal, and repeat it out (from that higher elevation) at a higher power. Thus increasing the range of your little handheld from 5-10miles to upwards of 300 miles! How many people do you think are within 300 miles of you when you are stuck out in the woods?

Once you get your General License, the whole world opens up to your fingertips (literally and figuratively!). The General Class frequencies have the ability to “skip” or “propagate” in our ionosphere. This awesome phenomenon allows radio signals with only 5 watts of power to travel out to other countries. And some of the fun of being a General Class Ham, is you never know where your signal will come back down to earth from the ionosphere. One second you could be in California talking to Colorado, and then all of a sudden be talking to someone in Quebec, and then 5 minutes later be talking to someone in Lithuania! But, with great power comes great responsibility, and you will need to know a little more about electronics and safe practices to get your General Class. The Extra Class just gets your more frequency privileges than a General Class. We here at My Off Road Radio get you started into the Technician License so that you can get on the air when an emergency arises.

So, how do I get my license?
That is what My Off Road Radio is here for. We offer the class and material to get you to not only pass your test, but to make sure you truly understand what you are learning. A lot of classes out there are geared towards the ham radio hobbyist that is into electronics, or antenna theory, or contesting, or bouncing signals off of satellites. We at M.O.R.R. understand that a lot of people that venture into the woods, or spend a week on the Rubicon, or spend 2 weeks hiking the PCT may not know a whole bunch about electricity, and may not want to. So we have developed a curriculum specifically geared towards you. The person that LOVES to play in the outdoors. The person that LOVES to get away and disconnect. The person that could benefit from using a ham radio for emergency communications, but maybe needs a little more help studying for the test than just memorizing multiple choice answers. All of our content and material relates back to you, the user, and how it can (and will) benefit you in the outdoors. Head on over to the Ham Class section and sign up for your Technician License Class now!