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Subject: Where are my fellow ham radio operators? rss

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Carl Anderson
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New Boston
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For years now, I've been interested in shortwave radio, and finally traded for one here on BGG. In talking with a coworker about shortwave stuff, we got to talking about ham radio--a hobby I'd considered getting into a few years back, but never did. So, I decided to go for my Technician license on field day in June, and passed.

Mind you, Tech wasn't good enough for me, so about two weeks later I took and passed my General upgrade exam. Still not content, I took (and yes, passed!) my Amateur Extra upgrade exam this past weekend. I'm still waiting on my new call sign, but I've been poking around the parts of the bands that are new to me.

Which brings me to my point: Where are my fellow hams, here on BGG? I'm still in the middle of trying to test out my equipment to make sure everything is working okay, and I thought it might be useful to find someone a fair ways from my QTH that can listen for me and give me a signal report. I was able to hear quite a bit yesterday--Japan, Bulgaria, Slovak Republic, Italy, and Nicaragua, amongst others--and was able to talk with a fellow in Virginia, but I don't quite know the reach of my setup yet.

So, if anyone feels like getting on the air sometime, let me know. For now, I remain KD8ONK, but I've requested a new call sign for my Extra upgrade.

BTW: I'm using a Yaesu FT-857D with a Hustler 4BTV antenna. I still have to throw down a bunch more ground radials, but so far I've found the setup to be quite good (at least for receiving!).
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On Monday mornings, I'm dedicated to the proposition that All Men are created jerks.
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KB2EAX (expired) checking in...

Got my Novice about 20 years ago, but just didn't get into it. Then along came the internet, and I'm conversing with people all over the world. So my license lapsed.

Every now and then I'll tune to the old police band on one of my vintage radios and listen to the old-school AM operators.
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Chony McChuukface
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Back when I lived in Chuuk, Micronesia I had a Ham License. We needed it to talk to Guam for resupply, etc. Also, there were a few of us spread out across the islands so we used it to talk to each other in the evenings.

Got home and let my license lapse. In fact, that was 25+ years ago and I cannot even remember my call sign.

I have recently been thinking about getting back into it. Maybe this thread will inspire me.
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Robert Wesley
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THIS... IS... CHIT CHAT! as well with being the 21st Century, so we now have bacon-iPod, bacon-MP3, etc.
MY 'call-sign' =
Spoiler (click to reveal)
OICU812
robot
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David Bush
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I practiced Morse Code about 35 years ago. I never got a license. I just like to listen to the commercial bands. I may get a license so I can get a hand held transceiver, pay my local club a piddling $40 or so per year, and get unlimited outgoing phone calls! This is the secret Verizon doesn't want you to know. You don't get a phone number but you can connect to the local repeater. I dunno if long distance is possible or not. And I know I cannot conduct business, no ordering a pizza. I also don't know if I can make a 56K phone connection to my ISP or not.

There is a shortwave/ham microbadge BTW.
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Carl Anderson
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Mr. Heat Miser, I sure do hope this thread inspires you. Even in the age of the Internet and cell phones, there's a certain magic (at least to me) in talking to someone halfway across the world--using just a big pole for an antenna, in essence, or just a couple dozen feet of wire. The other night, I was astonished to hear Japan calling CQ, and last Saturday when Sergey from Omsk, Siberia, was calling CQ, my heart jumped every time he said, "the KD8 station, come back." (Sadly, it was never me he wanted...I don't think he heard me call. But still exciting!)

Now that the Morse code requirement is gone, it's easy-peasy to get a Technician license. The General isn't that much harder--heck, when I got my General, a teenager was getting his Tech, and on the free-try of his General, managed to pass that too!

David: The phone patch, as it's called, sure is a nice feature. I don't know if my club has one or not, but it'd be interesting to play with if they did. As I understand things, though, you can order a pizza if you wanted. The idea is that you can't have a "pecuniary interest" in what you're doing--so, if you ran a pizza joint, you can't use the amateur bands for dispatch. But calling in an order is just fine. Heck, if you want to, you can offer old ham gear for sale...as long as you don't do it often. (I think it's probably a good idea to have people contact you off-air for prices, too.) It's all in the FCC rules.

BTW: My new call sign has been processed. I'm now AC8HF!
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Natural born viking
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Ex SM3PXK, SM7PXK, SM0PXK and SM5PXK here.

I was heavy into shortwave radio from the mid 70:s to the mid 90:s. In the end I realized that I never would be able to set up reasonably sized antennas. Sold all stuff radios, antennas, cables, spare parts, books, magazines, everything some 6-8 years ago.

Miss it sometimes
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Carl Anderson
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jober72 wrote:
In the end I realized that I never would be able to set up reasonably sized antennas.


I suppose it depends on how one defines "reasonably sized," but I haven't had too much of an issue yet. My yard isn't large enough for an 80m half-wave dipole (heck, probably not even for a quarter-wave!), but I was able to find a suitable spot for a Hustler 4BTV vertical that at least gets me on 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m. A couple of additional wires added at some point soon will give me 17m, 12m, and possibly 6m. I also have a homebrewed 80m resonator built by the guy from whom I bought the antenna, in case I want to play with 75/80.

Best part: My wife hasn't complained too much just yet! Heck, she even helped me with mounting the galvanized pole in concrete in the back yard.

So...it can be done. It's just a matter of figuring out the "how."
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Natural born viking
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carl67lp wrote:
So...it can be done. It's just a matter of figuring out the "how."


I tried, for 15 years. For short periods I had things that worked reasonably well, but most times the only possibility was to take the car and work mobile with temporary antennas.
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Voltage Spike
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I was actually just talking to my wife about this last night. We're going to do a bit of studying and take a class or two so we can both get our licenses in the near future.
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Paul Szilagyi
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My wife is (technically) a ham... her father and mother both have licenses as well.

Care to guess which member of the family drives this 'family' activity?
That's right, it's the dad.

I think if he weren't so into it I might find it more fascinating. So far I've avoided (not because I think it's not cool) being drawn into the ham collective.

WA8ERA, if you ever run across him (Lee's his name) out of Parma, OH.

I've got all their call letters memorized, that's as far as I go.
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Carl Anderson
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ZeroZilla wrote:
I think if he weren't so into it I might find it more fascinating. So far I've avoided (not because I think it's not cool) being drawn into the ham collective.


That's too bad, that his (apparent) overzealousness is turning you off. I've suggested to my wife that she get her ham license; she says, "Why? I can call you on the phone if I need to talk to you." Quite right, and more to the point, she has no interest in my hobby, any more than I have an interest in quilting (her hobby). She tolerates my excited chatter about a station I picked up, or a new piece of kit that I want, but that's about as far as it goes.

And I'm okay with that. As long as she tolerates what I'm doing, and is okay with me being excited about it from time to time, I'm happy with her simply sharing in my excitement.

Anyway, Paul, perhaps someday you'll become interested enough to get a license...but if not, that's okay too. It's not a hobby for everyone!
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Carl Anderson
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VoltageSpike wrote:
I was actually just talking to my wife about this last night. We're going to do a bit of studying and take a class or two so we can both get our licenses in the near future.


Fantastic! Taking a class isn't a bad idea at all. While the Technician material isn't too hard, it's nice to have other people around with whom you can forge a bond. Sort of like Elmers, in a way.
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Jeff
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"Any MARS, Any MARS, Reach 485 requesting HF phone patch..."

I think that was you guys on the other end of the line when we did this - and if so, my heartfelt thanks; nothing cheers up a lonely night flight on the other side of the planet like phoning home.

Of course, if it wasn't you and I have my amateur radio operators mixed up - well, I still think you're pretty cool, whatever that's worth!
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Carl Anderson
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jeffreyac wrote:
"Any MARS, Any MARS, Reach 485 requesting HF phone patch..."

I think that was you guys on the other end of the line when we did this - and if so, my heartfelt thanks; nothing cheers up a lonely night flight on the other side of the planet like phoning home.

Of course, if it wasn't you and I have my amateur radio operators mixed up - well, I still think you're pretty cool, whatever that's worth!


My wife talked once about a neighbor who relayed messages from her brother, serving in Japan, via ham radio; I'm quite certain now that it was MARS. That reminds me that I really must make the modification on my Yaesu FT-857D to support MARS communications. Certainly a worthwhile thing to do for our men and women in uniform.

Just goes to show how important ham radio is, even in our Internet-connected world.
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Froggy McFrogface
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Ham radio!





..mmmm...hammmmm......


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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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I been intrested in amature radio from the age of 13 (so 1994) but I never got a license, so therefor I have been limited to Broadcast DX:ing (which can be rewarding with such things as new year cards from NHK and newsletter with chineese propaganda to laugh at)
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This seems like the right thread for me to show off my new Ham radio license microbadges.
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