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Amateur Radio
#1
Anyone into amateur radio, also called ham radio.

It is one of my hobbies that here recently I have got a little more serious about. Right now I only have a technician license so I don't have full privileges on the HF bands (160 meter, 80 meter, etc) but I do have full privileges on anything 30 MHz and up.

Right now I have a 2 meter radio and a 10 meter radio at the house and a dual band 2m/440 in the car.

I am told that the 10 meter band is open right now and hopefully will continue through the weekend. Just got a computer setup to do PSK31 and hopefully be able to make some successful contacts.

Anyway, hopefully I'm not the only one here.

Once I get some time I'll make either another post here or maybe a thread going over some things, especially for those who have no idea what I just said lol

It can be a lot of fun, particularly for those who are technically inclined.
#2
I haven't done amateur radio but it does sound fun and interesting mate!
An eye for an eye
#3
Dan1980 Wrote:I haven't done amateur radio but it does sound fun and interesting mate!

Well I do know that when the bands open (aka skip or sometimes called e-skip) you can easily talk to folks in other countries. The neat aspect about it is take this forum for instance. I can "talk" to you here and have a discussion but on the air I can hear you, I think it can make it a bit more personal. However, a lot of times there are contests to see how many contacts you can make. A lot of guys pride themselves having made contacts in every country (even Antarctica and the International Space Station).

Skip, or e-skip has to do the the ionosphere. At times the sun's solar flares can effect the ionosphere in a way that cause radio waves to bounce back to Earth.... 1,000's of miles away.

Anyway, once I can get some time and material put together I do plan on A. Posting it here, B. Posting it to my blog and C. There was a plan to present this stuff to the tech club we have at the school. The digital stuff is pretty neat too and I think the kids would be more interested in that sort of stuff...
#4
Alright figured I would make a post talking more about what ham radio is and why I even bother with a hobby that is as popular as disco...

Well ham radio or amateur radio is a hobby for most, some it is about emergency communication... Eh well I think this page explains it better...

http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio

Anyway. What kind of got me interested in radio, generally speaking was when I was a teenager after moving to North Carolina. My grandpa passed away and I remember him listening to the Red's game on 700 WLW out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I remember one evening, playing around with a radio and picking up 700 WLW from over 300 miles away, how it is that possible? Well I learned more about it later on that it is called skywave, some just call it skip.

Skip is what makes amateur radio what it is. I mean there are all kind of different modes, modulations, antennas and gear but what makes it really cool is the fact that you can talk abroad....even with as little as 5 watts of power....or in your car going down the road. Now the internet has augmented amateur radio as such that you can do things like digital text modes like I'm talking to people in a chatroom... PSK31 is an example...

Screenshot of Digipan which allows you to use PSK31 (31 baud) to talk over HF bands...

[Image: digipanscreen.jpg]

Skip, yes lets talk about skip...

The sun changes how the ionosphere behaves as such that certain wavelengths get reflected back down to Earth. At night, for instance, the broadcast AM band at night will bounce off the ionosphere and many of the "clear channel" stations such as 700 WLW can pretty well be heard all over the Eastern United States. There are some circumstance where it can go further....a lot further, like Scotland for instance...which is about 3,700 miles away...




That's the broadcast band, now higher frequencies such as VHF (Very High Frequency - 30 MHz - 300 MHz) require a little more things to happen. Typically referred as E-Skip, charged particles in some of the lower layers of the ionosphere can reflect higher frequency radio waves back to Earth... such as the FM Broadcast band along with other amatuer operator bands such as the 6 meter (50-54 MHz) and 2 meter bands (144-148 MHz). There are other conditions where long distance communictions (DX) are possible such as tropospheric ducting which can occur pretty much on any frequency, even in to the GHz or microwave bands.

For me that is what is most interesting, because these events are less common on VHF...

Now other bands skywave occurs during the day time or sometimes seasonal and depends on the solar cycle, sunspots can help or hinder skywave on certain bands.

Anyway here's what I currently have...
[Image: ham2.jpg]

There are a few things that don't really deal with the radios, like my little 1U server there on the left... But I have a 10 meter radio and a 2 meter radio which go to an antenna switch...

Outside I have a discone antenna (at the top of the pole) and not in the picture a 10 meter dipole...

[Image: ham3.jpg]

Picture of a 10 meter dipole... mine is a but droopy since I opted to go cheap and used two mobile whip antennas (which might be causing me some problems...

[Image: dipole5.jpg]

Anyway more about the hobby. It can get expensive... I mean you have to have a radio, you have have coax cable (the correct stuff too), you have to have something like a tower or mast, or in my case a tripod to put the antenna(s) on. You have to buy or make an antenna. If you ask me in most cases it is cheaper to put a radio in your car than at your house. I worked out of my car for a couple years before I got stuff set up inside the house. At any rate you can sometimes find good deals online or from swap meets and so on. However, me I don't like taking risks so I like to buy new stuff most of the time. I have been very fourtunate to have had a lot of help in getting either equipment or help with setup but I am hardly close to being finished. Hopefully once I get some stuff fixed, replaced I can maybe do some videos.

Now to get a license, at least here in the US. You do have to study, there is a test you have to take for each of the licenses, like the technician is easy, mostly basic stuff. It does cost you something like $20-30 from what I can remember. You do have to renew every 10 years.
#5
And finally made a contact on 10 meters using PSK31...

Quote:CQ CQ CQ DE KG5O KG5PIO tue k
e tv ys
KG5PIO KG5PIO KG5PIO DE KK4EKN KK4EKN KK4EKN K
,tc t eoe ev
eeN DE KG5PIO Ht Cpy? AR
ttne7

KG5PIO DE KK4EKN
Signal isn't too great but got about 50-85% copied. BTU
ur ce ee e eZe eionrž tie e .a
\e on my end, new wire
Name: Oscar Oscar QTH: Gainesville, Texas LOC: EM1imo
btu Michael KK4EKN de KG5PIO k
- aps Happy Thanksgiving Oscar, Copied most of that this time. My name is Mike Mike and I am in Hayesvile, NC... Hayesville, NC Grid is EM84dx, EM84dx... QSL?
t i a t r eI e a detoË
t3 tmake this a quick qso going out in a few..
Age: 49
Rig: Icom IC-7300
Pwr: 50 Watts
Ant: End Fed 63F Dipole R IeeFt Sloped
Sys/OS: Surface Pro 4, Win 10
Soft: Fldigi 3.23.14
Web: https://www.qrz.com/db/KG5PIO
btu Mike KK4EKN de KG5PIO k
et- R m l es† ee eP -eK Vr ereI'm running a Radio Shack HTX10... Radio Shack HTX-10, about 15 watts into a hamstick dippole. Age is 30 30... Running DigiPan...DigiPan. This is my first QSO on 10 meters and first QSO on PSK. Thanks for the QSO. BTU
$o aeoS r e eher new myself working on Gen asap. Well folks need me to get ready and go so You have a g eat holiday all the best to you and yours.
Very Nice to Meet You, Mike TU for QSO!, 73
QSL: Direct, appreciated!, LOTW: Y
11/24/2016 16:5P KK4EKN de KG5PIO sk EE
-fSame to you Oscar. 73 and Happy Thanksgiving. KG5PIO DE KK4EKN K

Ok so a few things so they make sense.... "CQ" means "calling anyone" "DE" means "This is" and then your callsign... The K at the end is typically used with morse code, means thats the end of the transmission and any station can respond....KN means only the station referenced should reply... What I did mess up on is at the end of our call I should have used "SK" for silent key....

Also some propigation maps that are real time...

http://propnet.org/catch3.php?band=&cent...eo=&zoom=1

http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/#
#6
Me thinks I am the only ham operator here lol
#7
axle2152 Wrote:Alright figured I would make a post talking more about what ham radio is and why I even bother with a hobby that is as popular as disco...

Actually, disco is way more popular.

But the rest of post #4 does put into perspective.
#8
NativeSon Wrote:Actually, disco is way more popular.

But the rest of post #4 does put into perspective.

Maybe so, but a lot of people hate it...

Anyway, ham radio is a technical hobby...also a very useful one... ham operators play a huge role in natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina for instance...


#9
I think my biggest interest in this topic, is attempting to find the same (band?), (frequency?) cell phones use. Mimick(?) it or inverse it(?) with a powerful broadcaster to try and cancel it out Big Grin.
that would be cool Wink

could probably have a computer receiveing across a spectrum, constantly incrementing through. Once a signal is discovered decide the best counter signal and broadcast it Big Grin.
"When you think all is forsaken,
Listen to me now
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
" ~Disturbed
#10
SilverBullet Wrote:I think my biggest interest in this topic, is attempting to find the same (band?), (frequency?) cell phones use. Mimick(?) it or inverse it(?) with a powerful broadcaster to try and cancel it out Big Grin.
that would be cool Wink

could probably have a computer receiveing across a spectrum, constantly incrementing through. Once a signal is discovered decide the best counter signal and broadcast it Big Grin.

Cell phones use 700 MHz, 800 MHz and something around 1800-1900 MHz and is completely illegal to listen to those portions of spectrum...However, it is all encoded and encrypted. All receivers in the US are supposed to have those segments blocked out, however a lot of the stuff from China isn't.

Now...

When I was a kid my grandpa had this old portable TV/Radio..

[Image: 51646831_614.jpg]

Well I found out if I tuned it to the highest channels like channel 83 I could hear people's phone calls...all sorts of tones and people talking, pretty neat... I was like 7-8 years old roughly I think at the time...probably heard a few drug deals lol


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