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ham radio

Discussion in 'Radio and Communications' started by jjvj, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. jjvj

    jjvj New Member

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    how can i take ham radio licence?
     
  2. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    How about filling your location in for a start?.
     
  3. duffy

    duffy New Member

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    --· --- --- --· ·-·· ·
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Let me be the absolute very first to suggest Google. :)

    Seriously as Nigel points out there is no easy answer without knowing your location. There are thousands of amateur radio clubs worldwide with members happy to help you. They will explain licensing for your area of the planet.

    Ron
     
  6. Bob Scott

    Bob Scott New Member

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    Morse code for "Google" ? hehe. Ron, actually you weren't the first to suggest it.

    But Duffy, you don't need Morse code these days. I have an advanced license. I have never learned or used Morse code. I had to look up "Morse Code" in Wikipedia to translate your message.

    Then again, amateur radio is obsolete too. Why would anyone get a radio transmitter to communicate anymore? Everyone has a mobile cellular phone.

    I have a confession to make. I don't actually have or want any ham equipment either. I just took the basic and advanced exams to prove to myself that I more than qualify. Passed both with 96% and 97% :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  7. duffy

    duffy New Member

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    I learned it in high school, but I had to look it up anyway because I can only remember the e, t, v (sounds like Beethoven), s and o and s. I can't even tap my name out anymore. If I'm ever held captive on an alien spaceship and jury-rig an RF oscillator to send an emergency message of the invasion plans back to planet Earth, well, we are all SO screwed.
     
  8. PatM

    PatM Member

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    Morse code is weird.
    For many years I had a Technician License, which at that time only required 5 WPM code.
    I let that license lapse so I would be forced to learn the code to qualify for a better license.
    About a year later I passed the 12 wpm Advanced.
    A year after that I had the 20 wpm Extra.

    What seemed difficult at the beginning seems very easy now.
    Although I don't work CW very often, it is nice to be able to just read the mail at about 30 wpm.
    I use HRD with my rig, but still can copy better in my head.
    CW is no longer necessary to get a license, but I still think it is neat to be able to copy conversations without looking at a screen for decoding.

    Pat - W9ZO

    http://sites.google.com/site/malfam2/
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  9. .W4GNS

    .W4GNS New Member

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    As others have noted, what country you're in would be helpful in an answer, but here is a very good place to start http://www.arrl.org/
     
  10. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Bob and All

    OK, a small clarification is in order. When I said:

    Including the little smiley face it was my attempt at some humor. I was well aware of Duffy's post and what it said. I knew I wasn't the first to suggest it.

    I just suffer from twisted humor. :)

    Actually I got my first novice ticket in 1963 at age 13. My first receiver was a hand me down National NC 173 (a great receiver for the day) and my first transmitters were WWII surplus ARC5 command sets for the various bands. Back then a novice could only work phone on 6 and 2 meters and there were no repeaters. I finally got my hands on a pair of Heathkit "Lunch Box" transceivers for 6 and 2 meters. My first real commercial transmitter was a Heathkit DX40, wow on that note. Growing up in NYC I had great access to WWII and Korean War military surplus and worked weekends for a guy in the business so I worked and took my pay in trade for surplus electronics. I could earn about $15 for a 12 hour Saturday and an ARC5 ran about 5 bucks. The DX40 ran me $25 which was big money for me at the time. There were many evenings of -. -. --.- from those old rigs. My walls in the shack were plastered with QSL cards. Oh yeah, thank God for trees and dipoles as the then magic Tri-Banders sort of exceeded my budget..

    Back then, the code was a right of passage almost or something like that. :) You would send and receive 5 WPM for the novice ticket then for the Technician Class it was still 5 WPM. I want to think a General Class ticket was 13 WPM but hell that was a few days back. Ham Radio was a truly great hobby handed down to me by my dad and his many ham friends.

    Looking at Ham Radio today so much has changed. I knew the code was eliminated but now guys have so much more, not to mention working higher frequencies only dreamed of when I was a kid. When I retire in a few years I plan to get back into the hobby that I enjoyed so much as a kid. I actually have an old Korean War era Collins made R392 receiver, similar to the old and great Collins 390 receiver. Probably been 5 years or more since I fired that unit up but using a wet noodle for an antenna it worked real well. Yeah, I see some nice new stuff in my retired future. :)

    73's
    Ron
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  11. .W4GNS

    .W4GNS New Member

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    Hi Ron
    I'm curious, do have a pic of your shack and those old rigs, from back in the day? If so I would PM you my email address, or perhaps you would post for all to enjoy, if you have a pic

     
  12. PatM

    PatM Member

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    When I was in the Army in 1954 we serviced the ANGRC-26 vans.
    At that time the Van Contained two Collins R-388 Receivers
    I think the R-388 models might have been the predecessors of the 390.
    Instead of a digital freq scale, the 388's had a analog drum readout - more like a civilian radio.
    Pat - W9ZO
     
  13. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    No, I wish I did. Any pictures that may have existed would have been at my mom's and I never remember seeing any. Back around late '66 the family moved from NY to Ohio and my dad lightened to load. I think all my baseball and QSL cards plus god knows what were tossed out. Funny though because I believe the old ARC5 command sets used a pair of 1625s as finals and I think in my mom's basement I still have a set. Mom's house is down in Columbus and I will be there soon as mom passed away a few weeks ago at age 92 so myself, my two sisters and my brother have a large house to go through. I have no clue how much of my old stuff is in the basement. I still have some old Knight Kits (RF Generator & Signal Tracer with cool magic eye tube) and a EICO "Resistance, Capacitance Comparator Bridge". There is a linear DC supply that weighs more than me and god knows what else that survived the years. Anyway, we agreed to empty the house but plan to hold off till after the holidays and market it in the spring. Know anyone who needs a large 4 bedroom colonial in Worthington, Ohio? :)
     
  14. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Pat

    The R392 I still have (plus a stash of tubes) is a pretty cool receiver. The thing runs on the traditional 28 VDC so the tube plates run on 28 VDC. I even have the manual for that creature. It workes good on SSB by reducing the RF Gain, increasing the AF Gain and using the BFO. :)
    A good friend of mine WB8DOK recently passed away in WV and they threw away his old classic R390 as well as most of his gear before I knew what they were doing. They called it "old junk". I cried!

    Ron
     
  15. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I know a guy who's wanting to sell his old receiver, I think it's an R52? - ex-WWII Jeeps - he bought it new and crated, along with the power supply converter and a set of spare valves many years ago.
     
  16. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    That could be a great find for someone. Most of that stuff was really great stuff. My R392 was designed for use with a Jeep and 28 VDC system. Funny when we think about it. Today I can buy a receiver that does so much more and weighs a kilo while my old R392 weighs in at maybe 35 kilos. :)

    Ron
     
  17. davenn

    davenn Active Member

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    hehehe Ron you are showing your age ;) thats only 4 yrs after i was born, I got my licence in 1980, best thing I ever did. RF electronics has always been my fav subject

    cheers
    Dave
    VK2TDN ex
    ZL4TBN
     
  18. trash

    trash Member

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    Why would anybody want a car when we can fly everywhere ? :)

    There are a couple of reasons for ham radio. The first is it's fun.
    The second is that it's educational and for the younger readers who are thinking of technical careers, it's a very good place to start.

    And of course amateur radio isn't exactly obsolete. If you're not involved in it you could be forgiven for thinking that it's a bunch of grumpy old men tapping away on morse keys.
    And sure there are still a few grumpy old men and people using morse (because it's fun).

    But obsolete equipment. No.
    Just in voice communications we have DSTAR, and P25 radios. Not exactly cutting edge technology, but not obsolete yet. My local mounties are still installing and upgrading to P25 equipment.

    Spread spectrum communications is still cutting edge, and there are many low data rate high reliability modes which have been developed over the past decade.
    New modes and protocols are being developed all the time.

    There are more and more complex satellites being built and launched.

    Hams playing with all kinds of complex radar systems and high stability, low noise microwave communications right up into the submillimeter bands. Complex atmospheric and ionospheric radar systems are also being built and tested.

    Not forgetting television. While a lot of us still run analog TV, more development in digital TV modes has been made in the last 10 years as the price of mpeg chipsets has come down.

    And I'm sure I've missed a couple of other non-obsolete applications and systems.


    In Australia the place to start for a Ham radio licence is with the WIA. www.wia.org
    They will be able to direct you to a local ham radio club that may also be able to help you get a licence.

    Our Foundation licence is designed to be very easy to get. 10 year old girl scouts have done it with 100%, so it gives you an idea of how easy it is.
    The next level up is our Standard which requires a reasonable amount of electronics and radio knowledge. And the Advanced is not a lot harder than that.
     
  19. PatM

    PatM Member

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    One interesting fact is who co-invented spread spectrum.
    This technology was patented in 1941 by a Movie Actress but it is still considered cutting edge technology :D

    Pat - W9ZO

    http://www.women-inventors.com/Hedy-Lammar.asp
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  20. RCinFLA

    RCinFLA Well-Known Member

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    The internet sort of took the 'gee wiz' out of communicating with someone half way around the world.

    Go ahead and reach for your cellphone when there are no working cell towers in a 30 mile radius or no telecom backbone working to link the cell towers.
    When a disaster takes out much of the infrastructure in an area ham radio still has its place.

    As to Morse code, just the original human reading version of 'ASCII' or Baudot code. Many hams these days use a computer interface interpreter to read and send in Morse code. Sort of cheating. When I was about 13 years old I was up to about 45 wpm which was the limit of how fast I could type on a typewriter. Just goes from your ears to your fingers without even thinking about it when you reach that speed. You can day-dream off on things you need to do that day while copying code, until someone throws in a rarely used weird punctuation character that sort of wakes you up.
     
  21. davenn

    davenn Active Member

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    I havent really got into digital comms, tho a lot of my fellow microwavers are using varios digital modes for long haul microwave comms and along with those using it on VHF/UHF for aircraft reflection comms etc
    I did play with RTTY and Packet 20 or so yrs ago.
    ATV is definately one of my interests with gear on 1.2,2.4,5.7, 10 and 24GHz. Also do NBFM on those bands and SSB on a several of them
    Amateur radio is a great place to start when learning about electronics in general and RF electronics as a specialty.
    My gear on 2.4GHz and up consists of either kitsets from places like down east microwave or kuhne or commercial modules from here and there
    off ebay that I have to marry together to get a working xverter, like my one for 24GHz. see this page for my construction project.....
    http://www.sydneystormcity.com/24GHz.htm

    yeah sure you can talk around the world on things like facebook.... but there's one hell of a challenge to do it on 10GHz moonbounce!!!
    and achieveing that makes you feel flaming good!
    Any "clown" can go buy a puter and use some internet chat program to talk like that... but to do it on a microwave band on a system you have put together yourself, makes the effort and expense worthwhile :)

    cheers
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
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