ham radio, anyone?

Posted by johnpe1 4 years, 11 months ago to Going Galt
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this post suggested by winterwind 4 hours ago,
and it's a super idea since hams have a major
advantage in a situation differing from the every-
day communications world.

here's to Elmers everywhere::: Thank You! . when
I rode my bicycle to a friend's house on a saturday
morning, when I was about 14, he had his dad's
monster ham radio working.

Elmer::: ham radio mentor::: http://www.na0tc.org/Tech_Elmer.html

my friend's dad, a ham "general," had built a
thousand-watt transmitter to accompany his
Hammarlund receiver ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/wb5kcm/370... ).
the antenna hovered about 35 feet above the
tiny house, a horizontal double-sided rake-looking
thing made of water pipe, pointed southwest/northeast.

Steve, my friend, dialed up a friend of his ... in
australia. . he grabbed the Astatic D-104 and
the thousand-watt transmitter, built into a 19 inch
rack in the corner of the tiny bedroom ... the
transmitter rang like a bell, the tubes brightened
and the radio went quiet. . he called out to
australia, where it was fall while we were
loving springtime. . I got to talk with the guy
down under. . it was just great!

my real Elmer helped me after I retired in 08;;
he's been a ham since the 60s. . after studying
and his coaching, I got my license (ticket) in 2012,
so I'm a newbie. . but he's living with us right now,
so I can get Elmer answers readily.

my amateur call sign (no kidding, folks) is kk4fuu.
that's what they gave me, and I kept it since it's
very hard to forget.

here's to you, winterwind!!! -- j

SOURCE URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio#Newcomers


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  • Posted by gcarl615 4 years, 11 months ago
    Getting your Ticket is now easier than ever. Even if you only get a Technical License, you can talk on many commonly used frequencies. when Atlas shrugs it may be the only way to communicate. The gulch should consider setting up a common frequency in the 2 meter band width. JMHO
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    • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
      2 meters is generally line-of-sight, or just a few miles
      in reach. . 20 meters is the "favorite" band for reliable
      long-distance communication. . I love 40 meters
      because my weird long-wire antenna in the attic
      (which runs the 120 foot length of the lazy-Z
      roofline) tunes in well, there. . but, for example,
      20 meters has the worldwide sailors' emergency
      frequency, 14.3 mHz. -- j

      p.s. here's an interesting url about 14.3 ::: http://blog.marinetelecom.net/2010/03/24...

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      • Posted by $ Snezzy 4 years, 11 months ago
        Did a lot of 40 cw dx as a Novice around 1958. Used 7154 kHz (my only crystal!), unfortunately too close to Radio Moscow at 7149. Never got my speed beyond 5 wpm. Was a Tech on 6m for a while.

        Now with no code requirement, I should probably become radioactive once again.
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 11 months ago
          In those days I imagine you couldn't notch out the 5kHz beat tone from a station 5 kHz away.

          I got close to 13 wpm right around the time they dropped the requirement to 5 wpm.
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          • Posted by $ Snezzy 4 years, 11 months ago
            Radio Moscow was really rather sloppy. I don't think anyone could hear ME unless they had a better receiver than most hams could afford.

            Mine was an NC-173 apparently hand built by my neighbor, National Company engineer W1LFF, SK since about 1956.

            My transmitter was a sloppy homebrew using a single 2E26 beam tetrode oscillator that fed a 1/2 wave dipole wire. I think the frequency varied depending on how long I held the key down.
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      • Posted by gcarl615 4 years, 11 months ago
        Not to be obtuse, but I regular talk to another operator 35 miles away 5x5 with no problem. I have 20 foot antenna on the roof. To be honest I don't really care about world wide communications, but do see your point, In a grid down situation it might be worth while.
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        • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
          and, of course, with repeaters many miles can be
          covered -- I have a Civil Air Patrol license which
          allows use of a repeater in the foot-hills of the
          Smokies which covers a whole bunch of east TN! -- j

          p.s. I almost bought a repeater on ebay, to make
          things better on 2 meters in case of a crisis. . may yet buy one.

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          • Posted by gcarl615 4 years, 11 months ago
            I am not sure there is a repeater between us. I don't have use an offset or code. But there very well could be. If I had the money I would buy one also. There is a club in the "big" city about 40 miles in the opposite direction. I would bet they have one. I know there is one in the city of green bay about 100 miles away. I have actually picked it up on a ping. It is nice to know there is atleast one other Ham in the Gulch
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            • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
              if you are doing 35 miles "simplex," that's good!
              by "20 foot antenna," do you mean a 2 meter antenna
              on a 20 foot pole? -- j

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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 11 months ago
                When I had my 10m antenna up a couple years ago, I used to work stations in 20 miles from me with good signals. I had a vertical on my chimney. If I have a chance, I'd like to put it up again.

                Regarding the Smokies, I love going to a high spot on a hike in the mountains with an HT and talking to places that would be several hours drive away.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 11 months ago
    I got my ticket in 90 when I was 15. It took four months and felt like forever. I was at my g/f's house, and my parents called to say it arrived. I got the next bus home to fire up the rig. As you might imagine, the girl eventually left me. Eventually she married a bigger geek than me in college, a guy I happened to know years earlier from geeky IB high school. He was wickedly smart at electronics.

    My call was KC4UYL, Kilo-Charlie-4-Ubiquitous-Young-Lad, never Ugly-Young-Lady. A few years ago I changed it WI9CJ to avoid telling the whole story of how I got licensed in 4-land.

    When I was 16, I had a widow give me her husband's old radios. I was thrilled. I stupidly didn't think as much about her feelings. I was glad she was giving me some nice equipment, several Yaesu HF rigs from the early 70s, including FT-101. I put them to good use. If my kid did that, though, I would urge him to go help the old lady a) to pay for the radios but mainly b) to learn something from someone who had been through more life, life with a geek. She knew nothing about electronics, but I'm sure I would have learned something.
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