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Posted: 6/11/2009 4:45:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/11/2009 4:46:28 PM EST by Subnet]
A couple weeks ago, a bunch of us went down to Knob Creek for a HTF shoot. I rode down with Pudwak, and forgot that he was a licensed amateur. My inner geek came out once more, and my love for radio was rekindled. I checked out his mobile rig in the Jeep, and when we got back to his house after the fun was over, I was drooling over the rest of it.

The funny thing is, I've been fascinated by radio for years. I've spent years reading theory, and have build tons of homebrew antennas for 802.11, CB, and business band UHF stuff (I own lots of 800MHz trunking radios, UHF/VHF business band stuff, more CB's than I care to mention, blah blah). I've even got an old Yaseu 2m HT that I picked up at an estate auction a bunch of years ago (never used it, except to verify that the RX was fine). I've had a little side hobby for a few years now, where I buy dead CB's for like $2 at the flea market, and bring them back to life.

More and more, I'll be talking radio with somebody, and they'll ask me for my call. I have to sheepishly reply that I don't have one, as I never bothered to get my ticket.

I've been threatening to do this for years, but for some reason I never went through with it. I don't know why. Well no more! I found an online pdf quick study guide for the Tech class, spent 45 minutes reading it, then started taking practice tests over at QRZ. I'm breezing through these. I've taken 8 different tests now, and the most I've missed on a single test was 2 questions. I already know the technical stuff, it was just memorizing the FCC stuff - rules, assignments, regulations, and all that jazz.

I'm going to read a General study guide now, and see how well I do on the practice tests. The Tech test is easy enough (I'm actually kind of surprised), that I see no reason why I can't do both it and General at the same time. If I breeze through those, I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that? It almost seems "wrong" to do that, having not one shred of actual TX time on the Amateur bands.

Anyway, thanks to Pudwak and about an hour wasting time reading threads here, I'm super motivated and pretty pumped about this. My inner geek lives!
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:07:51 PM EST
With your background, both tests should be a breeze with a little bit of study.

I took the Tech last month and the General two days ago. Spent no more than two weeks studying (less for the last test).

As you probably already know (and I'm sure you'll find out), BRD stands for more than black rifle disease....

Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:08:06 PM EST
Do it!
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:14:40 PM EST
Aw, man, you're gonna love it! Be sure to look into PSK31 and OLIVIA - Both are great for low-power comms under adverse conditions. Free software for them (and a wide variety of other modes) is readily available online.

The Tech test is easy enough (I'm actually kind of surprised), that I see no reason why I can't do both it and General at the same time. If I breeze through those, I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that?


Yep, it's not unusual. You've got nothing to lose by trying!
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:21:47 PM EST
"Your a daisy if ya don't"
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:27:25 PM EST
We've had more than one person go from no license to extra in one testing session here. Go for it!!! There's no reason you shouldn't. Best of luck. I hope you make it.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 6:21:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/11/2009 6:22:09 PM EST by Subnet]

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Aw, man, you're gonna love it! Be sure to look into PSK31 and OLIVIA - Both are great for low-power comms under adverse conditions. Free software for them (and a wide variety of other modes) is readily available online.

The Tech test is easy enough (I'm actually kind of surprised), that I see no reason why I can't do both it and General at the same time. If I breeze through those, I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that?


Yep, it's not unusual. You've got nothing to lose by trying!

EchoLink looks interesting (fascinating, really!), except for the part about it being Windows only, for some damn reason (just started reading).

Incidentally, what the hell is it with Hams and Windows, anyway? It's almost appalling. These apps should be Linux by default, these days. Every tool I find seems to be written for Windows, which given the technical nature of the hobby, strikes me as REALLY odd.

What's up with that, anyway?
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 6:24:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Aw, man, you're gonna love it! Be sure to look into PSK31 and OLIVIA - Both are great for low-power comms under adverse conditions. Free software for them (and a wide variety of other modes) is readily available online.

The Tech test is easy enough (I'm actually kind of surprised), that I see no reason why I can't do both it and General at the same time. If I breeze through those, I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that?


Yep, it's not unusual. You've got nothing to lose by trying!

EchoLink looks interesting (fascinating, really!), except for the part about it being Windows only, for some damn reason (just started reading).

Incidentally, what the hell is it with Hams and Windows, anyway? It's almost appalling. These apps should be Linux by default, these days. Every tool I find seems to be written for Windows, which given the technical nature of the hobby, strikes me as REALLY odd.

What's up with that, anyway?


Last month at our local club meeting, we had a presentation on Linux based HAM applications. The presenter even had Cds made up with Linux and the applications on them. I could try to gewt you a copy if you want it. Let me know.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 6:34:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lifesaver:
Last month at our local club meeting, we had a presentation on Linux based HAM applications. The presenter even had Cds made up with Linux and the applications on them. I could try to gewt you a copy if you want it. Let me know.

Links to the applications described in the presentation would be better.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 6:41:54 PM EST
Just do it.


StagPower
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 7:14:14 PM EST
Go for it!
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 8:26:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By Lifesaver:
Last month at our local club meeting, we had a presentation on Linux based HAM applications. The presenter even had Cds made up with Linux and the applications on them. I could try to gewt you a copy if you want it. Let me know.

Links to the applications described in the presentation would be better.


// sarcasm mode ON

i know it sounds crazy, but i'm pretty sure that this whole "world wide web" thing is going to catch on, and thereafter just get bigger and better. and perhaps someone will invent "search engines" that scan the content of the WWW and automagically generate updated indexes, so folks could find stuff.

// sarcasm mode OFF.

e.g.
http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 6/11/2009 8:36:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Subnet:
I've been threatening to do this for years, but for some reason I never went through with it.


see
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=22&t=604477

and more specific to your current situation,
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=22&t=604477#10323204

Originally Posted By Subnet:
I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that?


several members right here have.

Originally Posted By Subnet:
It almost seems "wrong" to do that, having not one shred of actual TX time on the Amateur bands.


correct –– you won't have the first clue about how to actually operate, but you'll have a extra class license.

Originally Posted By Subnet:
My inner geek lives!


pshaw.

your inner geek missed out on packet radio in the early 90's –– while you were connected via POTS at 1200 baud, some of us were "surfing" usenet using nn over a RF link (UUCP and TCP/IP on top of AX.25 first via a G3RUH 9.6Kbps modem and then via a WA4DSY 56Kbps "GRAPES" modem).

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 6/11/2009 9:10:07 PM EST
welcome Subnet to the "other" side of the boards,,, good bunch of guys/gals around here. and no BS like in GD.... quick correct answers. well, maybe a little light ribbing once in a while..
ask away..
Mike
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 10:11:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By Lifesaver:
Last month at our local club meeting, we had a presentation on Linux based HAM applications. The presenter even had Cds made up with Linux and the applications on them. I could try to gewt you a copy if you want it. Let me know.

Links to the applications described in the presentation would be better.


// sarcasm mode ON

i know it sounds crazy, but i'm pretty sure that this whole "world wide web" thing is going to catch on, and thereafter just get bigger and better. and perhaps someone will invent "search engines" that scan the content of the WWW and automagically generate updated indexes, so folks could find stuff.

// sarcasm mode OFF.

e.g.
http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/

ar-jedi


I deserved that, seriously.

It was a poorly executed comedic rant.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 5:23:37 AM EST
Hey Sub, I was thinking about your Knob Creek coverage.
I don't know the legalities but, hook your video camera to a Amateur TV link back to your
computer/internet connection or laptop w/internet . You could walk around and talk to the folks.
Just an idea that popped in my head.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:09:31 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:19:01 AM EST
I'm going to our local club on Monday to meet some of the members. Approx 80 members locally. My problem is that I have no "inner geek" and reading the threads on here is dizzying. For example, programming my Eton emergency radio was a chore. If I had a local "mentor" that can get me squared away and going, I'll be good to go.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:31:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Keib:
I'm going to our local club on Monday to meet some of the members. Approx 80 members locally. My problem is that I have no "inner geek" and reading the threads on here is dizzying. For example, programming my Eton emergency radio was a chore. If I had a local "mentor" that can get me squared away and going, I'll be good to go.


That would be an "Elmer" in RadioGeek Speak
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 7:52:12 AM EST
I have more or less the same story. I'm planning on taking the test this year. I'm saving money for a radio, I want to do a lot of listening before I ever get on the air.

My saving for a radio has already snowballed. I've gone from 817 to 897 to now FT-950. Every time I reach the dollar amount to buy the radio I keep deciding to save more and buy a better radio.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 10:04:31 AM EST
I just took the plunge. I took the tests (tech and general) last saturday. I've always known Hams, just never got around to getting my ticket. Now, I'm borrowing a HT for a friend while I look for the mobile rig I want in my car.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 12:35:45 PM EST
Aha! It looks like SvxLink is what I'm after for EchoLink under Linux, since it appears to include a GPL'd EchoLink client. Awesome.

My head is spinning with ideas, right now.

I have no idea why I've waited so long to get moving on this. The more I read, the more excited I get.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 5:57:24 PM EST
A man after my own heart. I made the switch to Ubuntu Linux in September 08 and haven't looked back.

BTW, Echolink runs fine under WINE! I've done it successfully on my laptop and desktop.

Also check out FLdigi. There are a few others too. The only one I REALLY miss is Ham Radio Deluxe, which is an incredible (and free) Win app for rig control (among other things). By far the most polished application (application suite really) I've ever seen for ham radio. Not quite there under WINE and the developer pretty much flatly said it would always be WIN only. Wish he'd put the source out there and let somebody port it.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:01:32 PM EST
Forget echolink, you might as well just get a skype account.

</grouchy>
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 7:01:17 PM EST
If I breeze through those, I might even do the unthinkable and get Extra the same day. Does anybody ever do that? It almost seems "wrong" to do that, having not one shred of actual TX time on the Amateur bands.



Lostangel and I both did exactly this (Extra in one shot). OK, we're inexperienced, but we're catching up quickly.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 5:08:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:
I have no idea why I've waited so long to get moving on this. The more I read, the more excited I get.


When you get your license, you'll bust a big one.


Go for it. Getting Tech is a no brainer. With the background you have... just simple reading or refreshing should be simple for General. It won't hurt to get Extra. I've heard several people getting all three license in the same day.


In fact, there is a kid (I want to say 12yo?) that has their Extra license.


Good luck. I'm sure we'll hear you on the air real soon.



Link Posted: 6/13/2009 7:03:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 7:05:05 AM EST by CaptSchofield]
Originally Posted By CaptSchofield:
"Your a daisy if ya don't"


No one has mentioned the outstsanding FREE software from Ham Radio Deluxe. It can turn any radio into a Big radio through you computer. It has features just TOO numerous to mention all of them but here go!
You can control most of your radios functions through your computer with the control of your mouse.

It has a instant QRZ indentity feature which can automaticly log your contacts and even send a E-QSL .

The logs will be put in your mapping feature and show your contact on maps around the world.

A Dx cluster feature shows you real time who is talking to who.

A Satillite tracker that will tell you exactly were they are at at any given moment.

DM780 and PSK 31 feature for nearly all the digital modes

A SW data feature for world wide SW listening.

Plus about a zillion other features that I can't think of just now
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 9:00:54 AM EST
The guy that does HRD adds features almost daily, it seems. It does it all.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:38:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
The guy that does HRD adds features almost daily, it seems. It does it all.


has he added the "Linux" feature?

does HRD run under Wine?

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:41:46 PM EST
Yup get your license. It's pretty simple stuff.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 6:00:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By ChinoUSMC:

Originally Posted By Subnet:
I have no idea why I've waited so long to get moving on this. The more I read, the more excited I get.


When you get your license, you'll bust a big one.
Just wait until you go to Dayton for the first time...

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:09:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
The guy that does HRD adds features almost daily, it seems. It does it all.


has he added the "Linux" feature?

does HRD run under Wine?

ar-jedi




I don't drink wine, and I try to keep the coffee off the keyboard.

I've got HRD/DM780.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:04:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:
Aha! It looks like SvxLink is what I'm after for EchoLink under Linux, since it appears to include a GPL'd EchoLink client. Awesome.

My head is spinning with ideas, right now.

I have no idea why I've waited so long to get moving on this. The more I read, the more excited I get.

Well....don't get dizzy and fall down.

Get your ticket....you think black rifle disease is bad? Bwaaahaaahaaaahaaaa!!!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:41:51 AM EST
do it man do it. the nice thing is they don't need "feed"
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 12:35:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By pcsutton:
you think black rifle disease is bad? Bwaaahaaahaaaahaaaa!!!

I said when this forum first started that black radio disease was the only analog to black rifle disease. The side effects of both in combination are life altering.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:43:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:45:26 PM EST by pcsutton]

Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By pcsutton:
you think black rifle disease is bad? Bwaaahaaahaaaahaaaa!!!

I said when this forum first started that black radio disease was the only analog to black rifle disease. The side effects of both in combination are life altering.
Yup...they'll alter one's ass right into the poor house if one isn't careful.

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