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Author Topic: HAM Radio  (Read 3599 times)
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« on: January 04, 2005, 05:11:40 PM »

I thought it would be interesting to find out how many HAM radio operaters we have here and what there callsigns are. My call is KF6WBH and I got my license in May of 1999, just after my 9th birthday. So, how about you??
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2005, 05:29:24 PM »

N2CIW here - licensed fist in 1976 if I remember right.

over 80,000 contacts, WAS and 280 countries varified (300 unconfirmed)
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2005, 10:15:09 PM »

Wow John,  you got licensed back when you had to learn Morse!!  Why doesn't it suprise me that you are a ham as well? cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2005, 10:27:20 PM »

My Code Speed is still pretty good at about 35wpm receive, so I can't complain. I found the code a lot easier than the technical end, radio propagation, and antenna theory were fine - but that new fangled thing called Intergrated Circuits bugged me.

I've worked a lot of CW over the years, my friend George KF2T held the record for fastest CW Receiver for years, but I never broker the 50wpm limits.

I've done moon bounce, RTTY, slow scan, AM. SSB and FM and I always prefered HF over VHF.

My first call was KA2HHS but that was terrible in CW, so when I moved up to Tech, I got the N2CIW and kept it when I went for General Class.

I never saw the need (minute bandwidth - which from General to Advanced WAS major) but I kept a general and made use of the lower frequencies for over 2 decades. I haven't been active in about 5 years, but I have a good digital Transceiver Kenwood 930-S (probably ancient technology now - but a sound radio still) and someday I'll be back there, maybe QSOing with the members of the forums!!!
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2005, 10:33:42 PM »

Man i can't stand code,lol. Its to much of a pain when you can just talk. Just my opinion, i know alot of people find it enjoyable.



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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2005, 10:37:03 PM »

How fast did you have to do code for the test back then, Beemaster? I did the 13 and 20 wpm code tests, but by the time I got my Amateur Extra they had dumbed it down to 5wpm. I have a Kenwood TS-120s HF rig, I've talked on SSB to the east coast and Austrailia a bunch. I always have found it alot easer to hear on the VHF though, so do that more often. I did a little packet a couple years ago, but thats pretty old stuff.
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2005, 06:05:29 AM »

The speed when I got my general was 13wpm (odd number but true) but I had gotten the endorsement at 50wpm when I was 18. Not even sure if the FCC gives endorsements any more - maybe only the ARRL.

The good thing about CW is that when it's armchair copy, you hear entire sentences at 40wpm and faster. My friend KF2T was well over 110wpm and he practically hear paragraphs - wow!

I'm with you though, I prefer to talk over any other mode. CW was always fun QRP, I built a copy Heathkits over the years and many times ran off of a half-wave dipole and a set of 6 volt batteries from our pop-up camper parked in the yard.

It's funny, my wife finds me tapping out code on the armchair occasionally - I read once it is the subconscience communicating - interesting thought. But any time I paused to look at what I was tapping, I stopped - lol. So I may never know WHAT it was I was trying to say.
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2005, 09:34:10 AM »

You're channeling your inner child! cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 06:51:34 AM »

Here I go replying to ancient posts again!!!  lol

I'm a ham too - W7SPK temporary AG
Studdied for my license as a Senior High School project and got my technician ticket sometime in May of 97.  Passed my general class written exam in May of 06 but never got around to doing the CW test.  Thankfully the FCC did away with the requirement and just today I went to Radio Club of Tacoma and submitted my CSCE from last year for my upgrade to General!!!

I knew that Beemaster was a ham but it's awesome to see other hams here too!!!

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Sean
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 08:05:58 AM »

When I was in high school my father was stationed in the Azores Portugal and I volunteered at the MARS radio station. I enjoyed operating the radio and back then we conducted phone calls for people. They would talk and then say over then the other party in the states would talk.

About three months ago I ordered the books to study for my test. I admit I got a bit overwhelmed with the electronics so I have not picked up the book in a while. I will have to get it out and start studying.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 08:25:14 AM »

You totally should.  And now that the FCC did away with the morse code requirement, it's a piece of cake to go right up to General.  I took my extra class exam tonight too but didn't study for it.  I failed with flying colors.  lol.  Got like 30%!!!  Half way through the test I just started circling letters on the answer sheet with out even reading the questions.  lol  Man, even if I studdied, I don't think I could have passed.  That test was hard core!!!  I think I'll stay a general class for a very long time.  smiley

Sean
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 09:00:52 AM »

I can't disagree more on the DOING AWAY with CODE requirements for HF Spectrum transmission, the only reason the FCC allowed this compromise (nothing personal to anyone - but dumbing down of licensing classes) was because the dying off of the early generation and loss of interested "Children of the Baby-Boomers" who are the newbees of ham.

Once the numbers drop low enough, you'd see commercial or broadcast radio taking over the spectrums and we'd all go away - so losing the code requirements was a necessary evil brough on by the Internet's ability to communicate seemlessly anywhere on the planet.

I'm just glad that Antenna and radio propagation is still part of the licensing, surely if you didn't understand THIS STUFF you would know the miracle of communicating around the planet based on which frequencies are best at the time, relative to time of day, weather, atmospheric conditions, sunspots, power limitatioms, antenna designs, and other issues. Not knowing the radio bands and why we have bands spread throughout the spectrum is a clue to the magic of ham.

PS - I mention to Sean in Ventrillo Chat I had the TS-850S - I was incorrect and it is the TS 930S a very nice upgrade to the 850. I need to get back online - the only antenna I have up is a 40 meter halfwave dipole, but it's very good on 10,15,40 and okay for 80 meters. I don't even bother on the 20 meter band and the new frequencies, but a 40 meter dipole is a great triband center fed wire antenna.

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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 09:12:45 AM »

I can't disagree more on the DOING AWAY with CODE requirements for HF Spectrum transmission

I don't know John.  I've been a no-code tech for 10 years and have had all kinds of trouble learning CW.  Just like we talked about on Ventrillo, I got the alphabet down to a easy 5 wpm, but its the darn numbers and pro-signs that kill me every time.  I personally feel that by getting rid of the cw requirments for a hf license will not "dumb down" our ham community one bit.  The theory is still there, they just don't know how to hear the dits and dah's as letters.  Doesn't make them any less of a techy ham.  I also feel that by not having the requirement, people like myself will be exposed to CW more.  Never set up a HF station when I was a tech because it was an expense that wasnt needed.  Why pay for something that you can't use.  But now that I have my general ticket, I'll get "On the Air" code practice.  Nothing beats the real world.  I've memorized all my code tapes.  They don't do any good any more.  But copying real conversations will really get me up to speed!
I feel that in the next couple years we will see a real big surge of CW.

When I took my tech test 10 years ago, there were 2 other people there with me.  Tonight there had to be about 30, half going for general upgrade!  And everyone was under 40 years old!  The ham community needs this!  At my old ham club I was the only person in my 20's.  As a matter of fact, I was the only member who was under 55.  At times in the QST magazine, there are 2 whole pages just for silent keys.  New blood is definately needed otherwise ham radio will die.

Sean
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 10:06:12 AM »

i don't know if you guys still do this...doubt it with satellite phones and stuff.

when my husband used to go to sea for long periods of time, every once in a while he'd get to do a call home through a ham radio operator.  it was so cool and usually the only way i'd get to talk to him in the whole 8 or 9 months that he'd be gone.  of course, we also wrote paper letters and mailed them back an forth to each other.  smiley  it seems weird now in this day of instant communication, but back in the day, we'd go months and not hear from the guys.  in that case, no call was a good call!

for all us old navy wives....thanks guys!!!!
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 02:00:05 PM »

Kathy:

I did a lot of PHONE PATCH connections over the years, and it was always exciting to connect families like that. The saddest thing a ham ever does is emergency radio support when you are copying local information (with in a state or two) calling people with relatives who were in an Earthquake - telling them on the phone that the good news is your mother and brother are alive but sister and father died in the quake.

It is because of the emergency operation and miracles of short and long range skip - as well as point to point communications when everything else is down STILL allows hams an important communication buffer. Of course cellphones have made great advantages in communicating, but still in poorer parts of the world, a few hams can save many lives as hubs for emergency support.

and SEAN.... I surely didn't mean any offence about the Dumbing Down of ham radio - but the FCC saw that CW requirements were keeping TOO MANY PEOPLE out of the hobby and had to make changes. It doean't make for dumber hams, just less proficient ones - if you ask old school and new school hams, you get two very different opinions. But today the filty talk (albeit creative) 75 meter phone guys are pushing the limits of what is allowed on ham.

Back in the day of CB radio, getting away into ham radio was a seriously deserved break from the clutter and endless babble - ham has always had a respectable opinion among those who understand what is needed to advance into the ham licensing and it made MORE SENSE to me to slack down on the HIGH-END tech end (few people build or tweak their own equipment and have little use for circuit board determination and trouble shooting, where I see code as one of the many ways that people use to communicate.

You know yourself that they don't call it INTERNATION MORSE CODE for nothing - if a ham license is an earned radio embassator of your country, then having Internation language skills seems more logical that recognizing an amplifier board over a VHF receiver circuit.

I've logged over 30,000 code contacts on all bands, the sheer fact you can hold 10 code conversations in the same space as 1 SSB transmission really shows its power.

I'm happy to see techs on voice in HF frequencies, but (and I don't know this) are they given the entire GENERAL BAND ALLOWENCE to talk in? If so, that doesn't seen so fair to us who worked to get our 13 words a minute and better. I mentioned it came easy to me, but very hard for so many. And I'm afraid most people if given VOICE priviledges, they will NEVER use Code again.

I wish you the best, receiving it during a conversation IS the best way, a sink or swim technique which has always worked. Just remember the first rule of code: when initiating a contact, send slower than you can recieve, cause people ALWAYS come back at you faster tha you'll send: they expect slower code to them, but rush it when sending.

The last point, there are a lot of countries (at least there were) where Code was the only means of communicating - and language barriers in sideband, with three or four conversations bleeding over each other can indeed be a headache to listen to.

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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2007, 05:22:28 PM »

I'm happy to see techs on voice in HF frequencies, but (and I don't know this) are they given the entire GENERAL BAND ALLOWENCE to talk in? If so, that doesn't seen so fair to us who worked to get our 13 words a minute and better. I mentioned it came easy to me, but very hard for so many. And I'm afraid most people if given VOICE priviledges, they will NEVER use Code again.

No, no, no.  smiley  John, since CW was taken away there is no Tech Plus any more.  So ALL Techs get Tech Plus priviledges.  That means the only thing techs got for voice was SSB on 10 meters.  No AM or FM, just SSB from 28.300 to 28.500.  They also get CW ONLY priviledges on 80, 40, and 15 meters.  They absoletely do not get AUTOMATIC access to the General class.  If a tech want's to be a general, they still have to pass element 3 just like before, which is still no walk in the park.  It took me 3 trys to pass the darn thing (at $14 a shot too).  The only difference now is I'm not required to pass a 5 wpm code test.  I feel that the 5 wpm code test was like having to take a test on how well you can talk or how proficient you can send RTTY or Packet, which is just silly.  CW is just another mode of operation.  It's a mode that I'm fasinated in and plan to operate in.  Just now I can go at my own pace and not do the code out of obligation like so many hams I know.  I cant tell you how many hams I've talked to who learned CW just to pass the test and never used it again.  What's the difference?  Doesn't make me any less of a ham does it?

73's

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2007, 09:11:51 PM »

Okay, I stand corrected - I feel better having all you techs on 10 meters  evil It is a VERY FUN BAND when solar activity is in your favor. I played chess daily for 2 years with Uri in the Soviet Union, Brian in Liverpool, England and Clayton is South Africa - none had enough signal to move my meter much, but it don't matter on 10, if you hear them you can talk to the - same really with 15 meters.

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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2007, 01:42:01 AM »

Okay, I stand corrected - I feel better having all you techs on 10 meters  evil

All YOU techs???  No way man, I've moved up in the ranks.  I'm a general as of yesterday.  smiley

If 10 meters is anything like 11 meters, I think I'll stay away.  wink  I know, I know, there's nothing in this world as bad as 11 meters (except lutefisk).
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2007, 07:57:46 PM »

A Tech license with CW? things have changed.  I will have to give it another go.  I could pass the theory tests, no problem, but the head injuries I had left me unable to retain code.  If you can get a license with CW I think I'll bone up a try again.
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2007, 08:20:49 PM »

A Tech license with CW? things have changed.  I will have to give it another go.  I could pass the theory tests, no problem, but the head injuries I had left me unable to retain code.  If you can get a license with CW I think I'll bone up a try again.

Brian,

CW as a testing requirement is gone forever, so you should be good to go my friend!  I think the head injuries I had when I was born left me unable to retain code.  Wink  If it wasn't for the FCC getting rid of the code requirement, I would never have gotten my General class license.  But I'm not going to let that stop me from learning code anyway.  Now I can go at my own pace instead of feeling pressured to do it just for the upgrade.

Good luck my friend!  Look forward to hearing you on the air!

73's

Sean Kelly  (W7SPK)
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