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severian

The Hams Among Us

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I do know that you can run the radio if you have the paperwork. One thing you CANNOT DO is use and for of encryption. Your coms have to remain open so that the government can see everything you are saying or sending.

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I don't post much on here, but got my Technician class license a few weeks ago.   (I originally studied right out of High School, about 20ish years ago.  But, I didn't have time to learn CW, so I put it away "until I had time".)   

 

For anyone else that might be thinking of getting a license, it really isn't too hard anymore, and doesn't cost that much.  (The test is $14.)   Check out https://hamstudy.org/for the sample tests (that use the real test pool questions).   Also, there is a link on that site for classes that can help you pass the test.   If you happen to be in Utah, there is a monthly free class where they take you through all 450 questions in the test pool, and then offer the test at the end of the class.   (The one I attended pushed the hamstudy.org site.  I guess it was developed by a fellow Utahan.)

 

As far as expense, it seems to depend on what you want to do.   I tend to jump in to new hobbies with both feet, and spend WAY too much money, so I decided to start small.   I grabbed a Baofeng UV-88 (I think that was the model.  It wasn't the more popular UV-5R.) and an Anytone INSTIG-8R.   The Baofeng was ~$30, and the Anytone ~$70.   Using repeaters it will allow you to get your feet wet, and from the little I have dug around, will generally let you dabble in most aspects of HAM-dom.  (Some of the more experienced guys may disagree.. If they do, listen to them. ;)

 

Unfortunately, I have not had much time to dedicate to playing around with the radio, but I figure over the next 10 years, I should be able to find things to mess around with.   As I have been getting in to circuit level electronics lately too, I have been thinking about trying my hand at building a TNC using one of the inexpensive MCUs out there.

One of the things that I am curious about, that maybe some of you more experienced guys can talk about, is data over the radio.   However, some of the legalese associated with the license makes it unclear to me if what I want to do is legal, or if it is legal, but I need to fill out paperwork and maybe get additional callsigns for it.    I'd like to be able to have a radio at my house that I could connect to from various locations in the back-country and send some data to it.   Places where I might be able to hit a repeater, but can't get cell service (or, can get cell service, but no data service).   So, the first thing I am trying to figure out is if I can legally run a radio station from my house when I am not there.  From studying for my test, it seems that I can't.   However, then I see stuff on the Internet about people using PSK31 to send e-mail and images remotely, which would seem to indicate that there is a way to do it (legally).   Anyone have any pointers?

 

Thanks!

 

KG7WIA

ok i just spent the last half hour doing flash cards with no intention of getting a license.  I do remember some stuff from high school electronics apparently. 

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I thought about using flash cards to practice for a licence but I have any issue with the government wanting to know everything about everyone. Someday I will get one anyway though.

 

Sent from my Z932L using Tapatalk

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bigfabdaddy - 

 

Those (like Phoenix) on the forum that know me best know I freak out about the government spying on everything I do.   Living in Utah, so close to the new spy center probably doesn't help.  (Based on your Ookla Speedtest you live in VA, so you probably share some of those feelings. ;)

 

I would LOVE it if the government would butt out of peoples lives, and take steps to protect our privacy.  Unfortunately, to do that we (the US) would have to stop messing with other countries and actually deal with our own issues here at home.  (Not gonna happen!)   So, I end up having debates in my head about how easy I want to make it for the government to know stuff about me.  And, I often dig around to see what they know.   Since you can't actually go look at their records, I used sites like Spokeo and others that gather information on people, and I use that to try to figure out what they know about me.  I also Google search myself from time to time and see what pops up.   And, the few times I answer surveys that get personal, I usually lie on at least half the questions.  (I make more than a million a year if you are one company asking me something, but I make $0 a year if you are a different company. ;)

 

Unfortunately, we have to live in the world that exists.   I'm not saying don't try to protect your privacy!  I'd be the LAST one to say that.  But, if there is a hobby that is interesting to you, then jump on it!   The information that you have to cough up to get your license is the same information the government already has on you, if you pay taxes.   The main issue I had is that anyone can look up my license and get my home address.  But, I could have gotten a PO box to avoid that.  (Anyone can get your address anyway, getting your license just makes it a tad easier.)

 

For my part, I got my license because I love all things tech, I have a real curiosity about wireless/RF things, and because in an emergency having a good radio could be really useful.  (We are overdue for a huge earthquake here in Utah.  If it happens, all "normal" methods of communication will go down quickly and easily.  But, it is hard for an earthquake to fully take down a radio connection.  It might take the repeaters, but I can still get a signal out on simplex and have some chance of someone hearing me. ;)

 

Anyway, now that I have my license, I am looking for fun stuff to do.   I was in Denver last week and talked to a friend here in SLC over IRPL between a repeater here and one in Denver.  (Yeah, a cell phone would have been easier, but what fun is THAT!?)   While I was there I hit Ham Radio Outlet and spent too much money.  I picked up an ID-51A Plus, some antennas, and various bits of cable.   I plan to set up a small antenna outside the window of my office and at least listen while I work.  (I work from home, so it is easy to get away with putting gear like that up.. Might be a bit harder if you work in an office building.)   I'm also looking forward to messing with some data over HAM radios, and possibly even try my hand at building a radio, since I like to tinker with electronics too.

 

 

For the other HAMs on here, what things do you find fun with your radio?   I'm also looking at joining some clubs.  Do you guys find those to be useful?  Or mostly a waste of money?  (The money seems okay with me since most of the clubs around here support repeaters, so I figure joining the club is a way for me to help pay for the resources I am going to use.)

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I'm looking at getting my amateur radio license later this year.   I'm getting it so I can use radio trackers for high altitude balloon projects.

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Changed my callsign: K9KTR. It should be more CW-friendly (if I ever get around to learning CW, anyway).

 

Not on the air at the moment, but I've had my wallet out of my pocket a few times lately, as I've gazed upon this little beauty:

 

PX3.JPG

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Depends on frequency, impedance ect...

As far as I know you need a radio broadcasting license independently of a Ham license

but that may depend on which class License you have, I know the various classes of licensing offer a wider range of frequencies available to the individuals use legally. So It would really depend on what frequency you are broadcasting/repeating at..

I know that as of " Jan 20 2000, the FCC made (LPFM) radio transmission legal without a license...

I only know this because I used to run a local DJ/music radio station for a while, but then I moved into being a Virtual DJ. I DJ'd clubs in SecondLife & Utherverse but I had to obtain a license once I made the move from FM waves to digital transmission..

 

Some possibly helpful info..

 

Unlicensed broadcasting laws

https://jux.law/unlicensed-broadcasting/

HyperPhysics & Frequencies

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Audio/radio.html

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Thanks guys this is still something I am very interested in just going to take a bit with everything going on right now, but it is in the plans.

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Just got my technician license a couple of months ago: KC3JVI    Although I got the license more for my other hobby than actually using the license for ham stuff. However I do own a handheld (Yaesu FT-60R) and someday I hope to actually use it for two way communication, but for now, it's just an air traffic scanner.  Also working on getting my general class license, mainly for personal goal reasons.

Whiskeralpha.

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I got my technician license about 8 years ago: KD0GDS.  I don't have a base station but do have the Yeasu FT-60R handheld and the Yeasu FT-8800R mounted in my car.  My main interest in getting my license back then was storm spotting.  Living in tornado alley, the local county government requires that all spotters have at least a technician license.  I also use it for some local events like the MS-150 bike ride where I can be a motorcycle escort and working some rally races.. http://www.100aw.org/  Other than that I really don't have the interest in the "normal" HAM activities.

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