that virtually every thread here that starts off with someone looking for a means to communicate using radios turns into the same thing, ie, people who refuse to entertain the relatively simple idea of using Amateur radio legally ?
Yeah, I know I'm exaggerating but not by much.
It's a constant thing, "I want to communicate with someone, not sure who all the time but I know I want to, don't want to bother learning how to do it properly and legally with equipment that has been proven to work I wanna use FRSGMRSURSCB and make it work...oh and I want to be able to put the radio in my pocket, in my truck, on my roof and have an extra to give to someone on my "team" too, don't want to bother with stuff like frequencies and my wifegirlfriendsignificantother thinks Hams are silly so I don't want to rock that boat either...oh yeah, I don't want to spend any money either...can someone tell exactly how to do this...?"
I don't get it.
PArt of this is hyperbole, part of this is true. Yes, some folks want to do everything on a very short budget, like the folks that want .50BMG performance from a $400, 6.5lb rifle. Sometimes, it's just an person new to radios and radio theory who's experience lies solely in watching Tom Cruise or Bruce Willis talk to people 60 miles away through a headset radio through 62 floors of concrete with crystal clarity.
I mean, if that can be done, a pocket radio that goes 10 miles hsould be easy, right? Then there's folks who have no idea of the federal regulations, levels of ham or different types. I am one. My experience is solely with military gear and has been learned on the fly with only very basic official training. The difference between what I know is doable, and what it legal for a civilian (without licenses and thousand dollar set-ups) was at first rather shocking to me.
My I have asked questions and began studying more of the open source stuff, but it seems to me as though though the farthest I will foray into the amateur comm world for years to come will be an $80 CB radio.
Not to mention that when "What can I use to communicate with my ______ who is <10 miles away? Do I have to use ham? What licenses do I need?" Is always met by a string of acronyms, and the final answer usually sounds like (to non-radio geeks)
"You need to spend at least $500 on this base station with a $200 antenna to run MSRGURSGAMB-12, and your S/O will have to have this $300 vehicle kit or will have to install this $200 antenna and $300 radio and by the way you both need to get Superior Radio Smith Second-Grade licenses to talk on this, which means you need over sheet ATO-13.1 on your TPS reports."
Again, much of that is hyperbole and mis-understanding, but think of it like this: If you wanted an HD rifle, and had never shot a gun before, do you want to be told you need 20 mags loaded with Hornady 77-gr TAP and a $2000 DD Lightweight Carbine with $200 of Magpul and Troy parts added and a $500 optic, and at least $300 worth of spare ammo? No. You want to know how to get into the game, what is out there, and what it's capabilities are. I use firearms because I know them better, and there are similar misunderstandings about the capabilities of both, both from uninformed "experts" and Hollywood.
TL;DR Don't shit on newbs who don't understand this shit, and don't recommend a $3000 dollar carbine kit to a newb when a $400 AK or Highpoint carbine will do.
Lastly: if a newb asks a question, and someone else recommends a kit you don't like or don't think will do it, keep in mind the OP's question, rather than arguing about which band or level of licensing is best, or getting into a war because someone else thinks that not everyone needs to be a General license ham with a radio set-up that can reach Australia by atmospheric bounce. Comm is, like firearms, a hobby for many, and skills must be practiced, but not everyone gives a damn to get on every night and chew the fat with other hams. Some of us just want a rig that will suit a very narrow range of needs when we need it.
My 2 cents
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.