HAM radio

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Tarheelpilot, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just a small update. I’m scheduled to take my exam on the 30th. Have been slowly collecting the required equipment to put together a basic setup optimized for 20m.

    Thanks again for the info here and I’ll let you all know how the exam goes.
     
  2. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    Good luck on the test.
    I just picked up a new/old stock ft-897d last week, to add to my ft-817d. I’m planning to move in the spring, so I’ll wait to start stringing antenna wires until then. Plus, I’ve gotten rusty on my cw, so I’m practicing up right now.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    So I missed it... you going straight to General? Cool!
     
  4. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    actually im studying for all three.....i might regret that but we will see. Frankly the lack of a code test all the way to extra seems unnatural. I grew up in a HAM house that had the straight key right beside the desktop mic. Learning code is definitely on my list. I always enjoyed watching dad rock out the morse code.
     
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  5. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'm looking at buying a windows PC to run Ham Radio Deluxe to handle logging, digital modes and access to the dx clusters. Any of you guys have a recommendation of what version of windows and where to look for a computer that will do what I need for a good while? Ive been in the mac os/ linux world since '97. Don't know anything about windows anymore....
    The only retail locations near by are walmart, target & staples. I'm assuming my purchase will be online.
     
  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    I run HRD on an old Dell laptop running XP without problems. I don’t think HRD consumes enough resources to require anything special in the way of memory or performance. Finding the right USB adapter and driver for my Yaesu 897 was the only difficulty I had.

    BTW - I also did all three exams at once, though I had only studied for the first two. Zero to Extra in about an hour and a half. It’s very doable, so go for it! Good luck!

    73
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The current owners of HRD are scumbags. The guy who started it was a good guy.

    I wouldn’t give those idiots who bought his company the time of day, let alone a dollar bill.
     
  8. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Why do you say that? I haven't seen to much negative about HRD but the only place I have really looked is eham.net and this thread.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It was originally developed by someone out of the kindness of his heart. They turned it into a commercial operation when he sold it to them. It’s all about money for those two now.

    This year numerous reports of them violating CAN-SPAM and mining email addresses from an “unknown” source.

    (I know exactly where they mined it from, and wonder if they had the blessing of that website to do it, too, since I have used a number of throwaway email addresses for some of the sketchy ham websites. I definitely have had NO business communication with them, therefore they have ZERO legal reason to be emailing me jack ...)

    Various other slimy business practices over the years. I’ve managed to avoid those two used car salesmen for a very long time. Getting illegal email from them for Christmas just confirmed my decision.
     
  10. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    you recommend fldigi ?
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It works. It has some quirks. I’d pick it over HRD though, yeah.

    Some people just love HRD.

    It’s more of a dislike of the business and the people running it for me than anything against the software itself.
     
  12. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Took my exams today. Passed elements 2,3&4.

    Now the learning begins
     
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  13. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yay!

    Congrats and hope you're on the air soon. I did 1,000 miles of driving this week (500 each way) and except for a handful of short QSOs, the 2/70 bands were quiet, even the full-time DMR channels. We need more folks on the air.
     
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  14. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

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    We probably do need more folks on the air. I monitor 2m and almost never respond to a call. I'm not a casual rag chewer. I'll answer any call for help, of course, and am very active on the Storm Spotter nets, check into 5 nets weekly, but although I listen to a fair amount of 2m chatter almost ever get on.
    HF I do a little DXing. HF rag chewing seems mostly old buddies who have known each other forever and talk forever. I used to check into some HF nets but not so much anymore. I'm a member of one DX club and casual hanger on of another local radio club. Sometimes the personalities get a little much.
    I've been telling my friends that so long as my health holds out, I'm farming and flying. When I can't get around, I'll get on the radio more. I wish I'd learned code but it's difficult for me. I'm toying with getting back into digital with FT8. I used to do a lot of PSK31 on the 2m nets in the Army in German but that's been 30 years ago.
    In the FD CTSW I'm putting a new avionics panel in to, I have specifically reserved a spot for a low-power HF Trxcvr. I was going to use the new SDR being talked about but I haven't seen anything on it in a year, so who knows where that is at. I can probably get a 10m antenna figured out without too much trouble.
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unless we have some amazing tropospheric ducting, you won't hear me on 2m out there.
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I’ve got Florida in the logbook (under someone else’s callsign - happened during June contest a number of years ago and we were probably operating under our friend Scott’s call, W0KVA... Whisky Zero Kilowatts Volts and Amps... he’s a sparky by trade amongst other talents...) on 144 MHz from Colorado. SSB even, not CW.

    Was an incredible opening. We almost got them on 222 that morning also. We worked more Florida and some of the gulf states on both 2m and 222 on CW for another half hour or so.

    We were shocked when we started hearing 4-land calls during breakfast at camp. So cool.

    Still doesn’t top the year I worked probably 50 stations on aurora propagation from here across the whole northern tier of US states and Canada (so wicked cool, it sounds like everyone on SSB is whispering loudly!) but Florida on SSB was a damn fun way to wake up on a Sunday summer contest morning.

    I think we were running about 200W or so, that year, into a big long boom single yagi — but it wasn’t very high off the ground. Maybe 20’ on a temporary tower, just to get it off the ground and have a rotor system for it.

    Love me some weak signal work. Such fun. Always watching DXMaps’ VHF maps and wondering if I’ll ever get around to putting my tower up. Would be mucho fun when the alerts start flying that bands are opening.
     
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  17. Craig

    Craig Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Going home from work one morning, we had some nice ducting. Got a great round-robin going between the 94 repeaters in Fort Worth, Jackson Ms, and Tampa. Everyone could hit and open the other two repeaters outside their own state. Had a ball with about 25 people in the group. It lasted for nearly two hours that morning. We can occasionally hit the 94 repeaters in Austin, Houston and Lufkin from Fort Worth some mornings.
     
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  18. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    KB0VAG. I'd guess the youngest ham here, thought I haven't used it for maybe a decade.
     
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  19. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    How hard do you think it is to be the youngest ham??? Hams are a bunch of old, fat white guys yelling about their lawns over the radio to some other old, fat white guy.......

    so i hear... ;-)
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Lawns? No. We yell about our various old man medical maladies.

    Thus, for sanity’s sake, take up digital modes or contesting until you know who it’s “safel to ragchew with. Haha. Like other pilots.

    I keep a list of pilots in the local area and HF frequencies I hang out on, in my phone. Callsign, name, and any interesting notes about what they fly or which airport, etc. They’re all “safe” to talk to and won’t launch into strange rants about various things that don’t even make any logical sense. :)

    I’m on a BoD of a local ham club so I have to be somewhat nice and NOT post the hilarious and stupid things I hear on-air regularly, for the minor fear that it’ll be some member of the club I wasn’t aware of, who’s the compete dolt that I’m making fun of. Hahaha.

    Being that I build and maintain repeaters I do have a number of pet peeves though. Top of the list is someone asks for a radio check (that’s fine) and TWO stations answer and say the guy sounds good (unmm, it’s a repeater... did the second station think the signal would change because of their location) and then worse, someone 200 miles from the repeater clear up in Wyoming will say they sound weak... oh but wait, everyone sounds weak...

    Sometimes I try to educate, sometimes I give up and turn the radio off and wonder if I should take up underwater basket weaving or similar where I don’t have to listen to people who supposedly passed a test, not understand how a freaking repeater works.

    Once in a while only person number three will answer and say, “You’re kinda noisy into the repeater.”

    I just key up and say, “No, he’s not.” and then let it hang. LOL.

    The other pet peeve is the guy who’s been told he sounds like azz into the repeater that’s sitting 6000’ above average terrain, and won’t build a $4 quarter-wave antenna and is using 500mW from mom’s basement and he’s 30+ years old. Okay not the brightest bulb in the batch, but for efffs sake...

    We can only put so much pre-amplification on the receiver and filtering and drive the bastard right down into the measured noise floor to pick up a flea fart of a signal at 200 miles, and you can’t be bothered to hook up to a quarter-wave and think the rubber duck and 500mW at 50 miles is a good idea for a copyable FM signal?

    I’ve climbed towers in windstorms for that crap?

    Yes sir, you sound lovely on that over-deviated $30 radio from China with a bad mic element and the mic gain set wrong. Just peachy. So glad I swept the audio path to make sure it was nice and flat response all the way across so we could listen to that garbage signal of yours. Ahem. I mean lovely signal.

    And three people can all respond from their picowatt transmitters in their mom’s basements that you sound noisy on their rubber dummy loads on HTs. LOL.

    SMH. I call the hams who are more than a couple of years into the hobby who still can’t do anything more than press the “mash to mumble” button on whatever they bought on eBay this week... “Appliance Operators”.

    We have one ham in town who’s been licensed for over two decades who literally has nerve cables up a single one of his own radios. He takes his cars to a commercial radio dealer to have antennas installed even. One time I asked him if he’d like to borrow a wattmeter to check SWR on one of his antennas. He refused saying he wouldn’t know how, even after I offered to show him.

    Oh well. Not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up, I guess. Nice enough guy, just not even an ounce of clue about how radios actually work. Sigh.
     
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  21. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    @denverpilot one thing I have notice on some of the ham forums is just how quickly a conversation can go from a poster asking a question to two keyboard heroes trying to win the internet and the dialog devolving to name calling and threats. It seems to escalate quickly, it goes straight from how are you to go screw yourself you ignorant ass wipe...ill come kick your butt.

    You have a list of those operators ???

    And perhaps a recommendation for a quality hangout on the web to get information?
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And this is different from POA how?
     
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  23. inspectorpacket

    inspectorpacket Filing Flight Plan

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    K4UJ here. Amateur Extra class from the days when we had to do 20 WPM morse code :)

    I have operated DX HF from various parts of the world and was one of the few to operate in the last Scarborough Reef DXpedition. I have been active in many different aspects of the hobby but mainly focus on activating other countries. There are lots of digital modes these days and traditional packet is a dying art for the most part.
     
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  24. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :stirpot: Nate, recently heard a guy say that sent his radio back to supplier to program it. DMR. Sigh.

    I gave up running repeaters some time ago even though I own a mountaintop. We have too many repeaters as it is (and I suspect there are more DMR talkgroups than there are DMR users). Having a mobile rig on 2/70 is fine for long trips and fine if I become a "half-timer" again. HF in the car is sub-optimal. And I've heard a few lids on HF that argue about politics.
     
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  25. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ron FTW.
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Honestly o haven’t found one. The ham radio topic in the EEVblog Forums is seriously geeky, but not particularly sociable but at least not screaming at each other about anything.

    I just try to go hang with friends at rmham.org in person when I can. And I sit on the board for w0cra.org after a long stint as President, but we do most stuff via email.

    I think clubs are the way to go. And if the local clubs suck (luckily ours don’t but I know a lot do), it’s best to start a new one with a better culture than try to fix them from within. A new org will attract like people. Sadly to say.
     
  27. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Honestly Ron...Yes I was surprised by some of the behavior Ive seen. Made POA look like the good side of the tracks.
     
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  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    CB’ers. And even saying that will start a huge fight on most ham boards or ham groups on FB. LOL.
     
  29. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'm still pursuing my desire to enjoy the hobby. It is becoming clear the journey may be a little different than what I expected.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Ahhh, just ignore the jerks. There’s plenty of quieter hams that are normal folk. Aviation folk for the most part are good folk, hams run a much bigger scale from jerk to good person I’ve decided.

    We’ve only had four of them threaten to sue the club... after all. LOL. No seriously. Hahaha.

    Two of them were so dumb, they sued another club first and didn’t show up to small claims court for the $20 (!!!) in dues they wanted refunded. Yes $20.

    So the arbitrator happily noted that what they sued for wasn’t appropriate and awarded the President of the other club and his club all expenses incurred for coming to court that day. Especially since even though they didn’t legally have to, that club had already sent the two idiots a refund check on their club dues.

    And then she immediately signed paperwork to garnish the idiot’s wages for the damages, which cost him a couple hundred bucks! LOL!

    After that, I guess they decided suing our club for the same thing might mean they were another $200 in the hole, so they quit while they were ahead.

    I bought the other club President lunch and thanked him for “going first”. LOL. The funniest part of troublemakers is they don’t realize there just aren’t that many people in the hobby. We ALL knew what was going on. We said NOTHING on-air once they threatened lawsuits.

    But they talked about their plans to sue us on the other group’s repeaters, and their plans to sue them on ours. So guess who was trading automated digital recordings of their stupidity every night via email??? Haha. Freaking morons. The dumbest I’ve ever seen.

    But most folks don’t have to truly see or deal with any of that. Just us idiots who volunteered to take one of the “club jobs”. Hahaha.
     
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  31. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I got the call today... AE0AK
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That’s a nice two by two for CW.

    My two by one is awful on CW. WY0X. Ain’t great on voice either but it was what was available in a one by two or two by one when I upgraded so, whatever.

    Had it so long now I don’t care anymore. :)
     
  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I put in a request for NH0E. Since I'm not a garden tool or a prostitute it seemed reasonable....plus its CW weight is 44 instead of 54. now i just need to learn CW so it matters.
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    My original issued call was N0NTZ. Yup. “No Nuts”. LOL.

    I actually kept it for a long time. But got bored with it and did the vanity at upgrade.
     
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  35. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Children's Band. We used to have a repeater near us that we laughingly refered to as 34-TEN-4.
     
  36. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    N6TPT

    No really good phony phonetics for that one. N6 Three Point Triangle. N6 Toilet Paper Tester. Nothing really that I would care to use.

    Now, I had some friends back when I worked in Silicon Valley had some great calls for that. WA6D - Wobbly After 6 Daiquiris, NF6S - Nuts For 6 Squirrels (or Nine Five Six Seven if he was feeling really obnoxious, he has a different call now), N6SRT - N6 Spinnaker Right Turn (guess how he got that one? :p)

    I made exactly 1 HF QSO in 2017. Need to fix that this year. I spend more time on a few local 2 meter repeaters, and review proposed articles for QST and QEX as I'm an ARRL TA.

    Ham radio is fun.
     
  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I worked Guatemala running psk31 @25w on 20m this morning. It was awesome. Then snagged Costa Rica tonight before supper. I’m liking the antenna. Running a 6 band vertical ground mounted.
     
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  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You'd probably really be amazed if you could get it off the ground and do a bunch of raised ground radials, but that's ugly as all get out, and a huge PITA to do...

    Do you have any buried radials?
     
  39. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    20 50’ radials not buried yet. Just laying on top of the ground making my wife really excited about me playing with radios.

    For my yard beautification I’m working on a plan to get some rohn 25 and put up a triband yagi
     
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  40. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    AJ4CM. I've used "Asthmatic Julio 4 Cerebral Mnemonics" a few times just for grits and shins, but always have to come back with a real phonetic. Sometimes it will get attention in a pile-up, though.
     
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