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Posted: 4/2/2002 4:26:13 PM EDT
I got My license about 9 years ago. Got my Advanced ticket, talked all over the world on HF. Talked alot on VHF UHF FM too. After a while I got burned out. Sold all MY gear to buy more guns.(Mmmm guns ! ) Now I'm thinking about getting back into it. I'm not hearing much on my scanner. Has the internet and cheap cell phones killed Ham radio?
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:36:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2002 4:38:27 PM EDT by AR15forfun]
Ham radio is what you make of it. I only have a dual band handheld for the car now, but have a Yaesu 847 in the house that is operational on all bands. I use it for local 2 meter nets (simplex) and SW listening mostly. Occasionally 6 meters will start up and that is always a hoot. I mostly get a kick out of listening to other guys talk on HF. I jump in on contests to help up the scores but never keep track myself. I upgraded to General in the last year or so. It was a cinch. Already had the code from doing Technician the hard way when you had to have code for Novice. I also draw comfort from having major capable commo in case TEOTWAWKI happens.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:42:40 PM EDT
That's pretty much the same setup I have here. The local hams are mostly a bunch of guys you really wouldn't want to be seen with...I really only got the license so my friends and I could use the local 440 repeaters, since they're empty most of the time. QS
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:45:00 PM EDT
I have a 2 meter and a 10 meter radio that I haven't hooked up in a couple of years---maybe I'll fire em up .
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:54:16 PM EDT
I hope it's not dead! I have several cabinets renting space on my towers!
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:54:24 PM EDT
I'm not a fan but my dad's been in it for 30+ years and still does it every day and night. However I don't think it's as big as it used to be. I believe it's mostly a generation thing. Like you said most people nowaday get into the internet rather than radios. Don't know if this helps.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:55:55 PM EDT
There are some cool things happening with satellite, digital HF, and some active local areas are doing some interesting things linking up repeaters over the internet. With the improvement in radios and antenna options it's pretty tough to find open areas on the popular bands. If you can't find anyone on 20, 17, or 15 your scanner/antenna is broken. That said, at the end of the day it's a hobby and hobbies on the whole are on the decline. In this area it's mostly a social group as opposed to contesting or homebrewing, etc. and everyone just happens to have radios and use them for a wide variety of things.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 5:04:25 PM EDT
It's not dead, but the 'net, cheapo cell phones and lack of technical intrest are hurting America. I'm not as active as I used to be (used to get an envelope from the qsl bureau every couple of months..) My schedule is too busy and I'm usally too pooped to get on the cw paddles for awhile. not to mention a divorce in progress doesnt help either :(
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 5:07:57 PM EDT
I thought about getting into satellite but it was a little pricey for something that I haven't even tried. My current Ham radio project is putting my gear into a case, backpack or box that is transportable and going mobile with it and still be able to slap it down on the desk and hook up to the big stuff on the roof. Still in the early stages, nothing written in stone at this point.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 5:38:36 PM EDT
I've had my ticket since my high-school days. I haven't done anything with it for years. I go to renew last year and discover all the bull$h!t they now require you to do to renew. I did it anyway but regret it. I wanted to keep it alive so if my oldest son has an interest, I'll be able to guide him a bit. A big problem I see is the "old boy" crowd. They seem very reluctant to change. It took years to get the code requirements changed/dropped. Technology is moving ahead exponentially while these old duffers haggle over how many wpm I have to copy morse. Boy, I feel better now! Jim
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 5:46:20 PM EDT
Ham Radio is bigger than ever here. ( St. Louis Area) We use 2 meter repeaters with 10 meter, 6 meter and 440 links. Big system. The K9KE system. Also packet is picking back up. Trucker
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:04:10 PM EDT
Ham Radio is alive and well. [url]www.qrz.com[/url] [url]www.qsl.net[/url] [url]www.arrl.org[/url] Cell phones are cheap and plentiful - but they can be used by dummies. Internet "compliments" ham radio, but it is too vunerable as a reliable communications tool. I talk on 2M to/from work with several buddies, there are about 10 2M repeaters in my area. Trucker - been to St. Louis, used the repeaters there, something like "friendliest repeater in town" or something like that. QuietShooter - Then they probably don't want to hang around you either. I know several blind hams, disabled hams, hillbilly hams, and very poor hams - and they are [b]true[/b] Americans, dedicated to this country [i]and[/i]doing something for it - such as emergency communications and Skywarn. Lastly, it can be a very expensive hobby (and just as addictive as firearms). Blackie
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:22:30 PM EDT
My level of activity kinda goes up and down. Been wanting to get on HF lately; may go buy a rig and just do it! Had my ticket since 1963 so I have seen many changes. Not much homebrew or baot anchor stuff anymore. I live about an hours drive from Dayton HamVention and will be there for sure this year. To the point - no, ham radio is not dead. Different people, different interests but not dead. If the SHTF someday there may be a tremendous resurgence. Few people realize just how fragile the net, cell phone and even landline is to disasters or terror. Just what will YOU do with NO POWER & NO PHONE? How long will most 2m repeaters operate without those services as well? Serious question that deserves serious consideration.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:27:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2002 7:27:50 PM EDT by gus]
I had my ticket (KA3QGZ) but ended up letting it expire without renewing. I still have my old Kenwood TH-215 HT, but I sold my TH-440 HF rig back in the early `90's. One of these days, when I get old, I'll get back in to it.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:38:17 PM EDT
Check out the HF bands during a big contest. There are plenty of hams on the air then. But that's just one of many things you can find. I enjoy DX nets and ragchewing, working DXpeditions, special event stations, and all kinds of related activities. I recall one weekend when a bunch of stations were activated on retired naval vessels, and the idea was to work as many of these as possible. I snagged a few old submarines, destroyers, and one carrier. Lots of fun. I confess, though, that I am off the air at the moment. Sold all my gear to buy guns. [;)] But I'll be back someday. 73
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 9:22:09 PM EDT
By far the best/worst Ham Radio has to offer: The infamous 147.435 2M repeater in Southern California. You have to listen to believe it. http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=435_rocks
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 9:36:18 PM EDT
Have ham license for 52 years and extra for 37 years. It's expiring this year and I doubt whether I'll bother to renew it. It used to be fun but, in recent years, it has become another CB and a haven for "Captain Macho" types who will chastise you if you even laugh on the air or make a joke, saying "Ham radio is serious business and there is no room here for levity". At least that's the way it is here in southern NM. They all appear to all have relatively new "mail order" licenses who bought their radiddios at the truckstop on the interstate. marsh
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 9:46:36 PM EDT
I use it mainly for storm chasing in the summer. Usually you will hear where all the good stuff is on there. Its also fun to join in the weather watch stuff.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 5:08:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR_BLACK: QuietShooter - Then they probably don't want to hang around you either. I know several blind hams, disabled hams, hillbilly hams, and very poor hams - and they are [b]true[/b] Americans, dedicated to this country [i]and[/i]doing something for it - such as emergency communications and Skywarn.
View Quote
Methinks I touched a nerve...hahahahahaha.... Are you one of those folks? As a gross generalization, Ham radio enthusiasts seem to be one of two types of people: 1) Technical types who enjoy the challenge of constructing an antenna with household materials and talking around the world on it. These folks generally are well educated and competent in other technical areas as well, e.g. Hiram Maxim, Dr. Phil Dater, and others. 2) Goobers who have big hair, beards, and wear their little Civil Air Patrol uniforms with shoulder boards and engraved plastic nameplates with their call sign on it. These folks are generally volunteer firefighter wannabees so they can have blue gumballs on their 1981 Plymouth Horizons. They are often sighted selling piles of 8086 IBMs at local hamfests, in between watching 'Star Trek' reruns on Nick at Nite. I've figured out that the primary reason these folks have ham radios is because no one would actually want to talk to them in person. [0:)] QS
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:42:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 10:57:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gus: I had my ticket (KA3QGZ) but ended up letting it expire without renewing. I still have my old Kenwood TH-215 HT, but I sold my TH-440 HF rig back in the early `90's. One of these days, when I get old, I'll get back in to it.
View Quote
Yep. When I moved a couple of years ago, I never got the external antennas up again. Got rid of the modern stuff, still have an old Galaxy Mark V in the garage, homemade power supply, Signal Corp speaker, and the 2M handy-talky in boxes in the garage. Let the ticket expire in July. Wife's after me to get rid of all the aluminum tubing, co-ax, insulators, etc.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 11:07:38 AM EDT
I've been a ham since 1987 and Extra since 1989. The challenge has always finding someone to chat with. I have had some memorable QSOs over the years. I try to remember those rather than the crap you can run into on some repeaters and the wackos on 75M. I also do work on SKYWARN (weather spotting). I like DX, satellites, and weak signal stuff on 6 and 2M. I second Garand shooters suggestion that we try an informal net. Using 10m would allow everyone a chance at minimal cost. We should maintain our comm skills just in case of SHTF.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 11:14:38 AM EDT
I actually have this board to thank for getting my ticket. There was a thread back in October or so about how to communicate if you were lost/hurt in the wilderness. A 2m radio was mentioned, and the need for a license to *legally* use one. That, combined with the yeoman work that amateur radio did for 9/11 got me interested. I got my Tech in November and my General in December. I can do a strong 12wpm code, up to about 20wpm in contests. I've gotten into passing traffic lately as well. It's very interesting and fun, and can be as addictive/expensive as guns [:)]
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 11:33:03 AM EDT
I've been thinking about getting into HAM for a while now. I just need to get off my tail and do it. Not that I need another expensive hobby, but...
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 1:07:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:22:49 AM EDT
That's not bad at all. What's the best way to get started? Do you begin with a study guide of some sort? I really know nothing about this.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:28:14 AM EDT
Nope. I was planning on getting my BROL years ago... I took the test blind one year to see what it was like, did good but I didn't know ANYTHING about maritime/marine regulations. I'm interested in packet radio.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 4:42:56 PM EDT
I could be totally wrong here,but I think it was the HAM's that made MARS possible during Vietnam. I can still remember,finally,getting out of Khe Sanh and down to Quang Tri. It seems like the next night we found out there was a MARS system in the AF area. We all went over there and spent the night calling home to good old'America'and telling our folks we were out of that place and alive. If anyone can tell me if this is'the way it was'I would sure appreciate it. "Over" And thanks to all those Air Force guys that gave us a beer(s) to celebrate with. Oh,that is a night to remember.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 12:04:20 AM EDT
I used to hang out at the MARS station at Aberdeen Proving Ground (K3WAS) in the Vietnam era with my Extra class older brother. I didn't really understand what was going on, but it sure was interesting for a 7 year old kid, being around all those switches and dials and stuff. It's probably what made me decide to go for EE in college.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 3:35:52 AM EDT
I am planning on getting my ticket, have been for 30 years, but my nephew is spurring me along. As for it being dead, cells went out during 911, the internet is such a fragile system, it can go down,and has done that regionally. As for technology PSK can get a message from a an almost non esistant signal. if it starts getting reall stupid in the world, we will see our centralized technology start acting up, bu the I own it and operate it Ham station will keep working. I did take my nerdy nephew out shooting....he loved the AR.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 3:43:23 AM EDT
Well I put my 10 meter mobile back in the truck and made some contacts on the west coast on the way home from work. I ordered a new YAESU FT 7100 dualband [url]http://www.yaesu.com/amateur/ft7100mtx.html[/url] Should be here today or Monday.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 11:58:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2002 12:16:57 PM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 12:04:15 PM EDT
I just got the latest copy of CQ, Bush thanked the hams in Florida. If I have a radio and you have a radio we can talk for thousands of miles, no matter what. Also they wre coming out with internet acess from ham radios.....anywhere and ar15.com
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 12:04:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 4:24:36 PM EDT
I don't want to beat this into the ground but--hey-sure I do!lol. I made 3 or 4 calls home in 19 months. They were probably the biggest thing that I could have done for my folks. You had to be off any kind of duty.Perimeter watch,LP's,OP's ambushes,operations,patrols or just about everything that could screw up a day(or night)off. Then,on top of all that,you had to have a way to get to where ever the MARS station was. Then you had to sit around and wait(the hardest part)for the operator in nam to get a good patch through to an operator in THE WORLD.The real world,America. Then you waited your turn in line,hoping that the connection would stay good,that the operator in America would stay UP,and that some crappy sun spot or electrical storm wouldn't wipe everything out just as it was getting close to YOUR time to go UP! Sorry this is so long,but what a memory that thread about HAMS brought back. SF
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 4:56:49 PM EDT
Here's a Ham Radio License test page. See how you ex or non hams do. http://www.qrz.com/ham/newtest.cgi
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 6:04:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Originally Posted By Chimborazo: That's not bad at all. What's the best way to get started? Do you begin with a study guide of some sort? I really know nothing about this.
View Quote
Your local radio shack should have, or can get, a book called "now You're Talking", its a great place to start and has everything you need to pass your tech test. For more info see [url]www.arrl.org[/url] and [url]www.qrz.com[/url] for those interested in emergency, SHTF, and survuval communication look at [url]www.frugalsquirrels.com[/url] and the survival communications forum.
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Thanks!!
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 8:45:10 AM EDT
Is there any web site that will teach me morse code? I'd like to learn it, and also try to get a Ham license. GunLvr
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 11:36:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 1:19:11 PM EDT
I've been a ham since 1961. During the 1970s I got my extra class ticket complete with the 20 wpm code test. I moved a couple of years ago and have not put up any antennas in my new house. I'm thinking about getting back on. I just inherited some very nice gear from my father's estate. I'll either sell it and buy more guns or put it back to work. Not sure which yet. I wouldn't let my ticket expire. I worked too hard to get it. I used to have a lot of fun with ham radio. I still might. Watch-Six
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