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McRib Sandwich
Aug 4, 2006
I am a McRib Sandwich

FuzzyBuddha posted:

As for the ham radio callsign license plates, our state DMV allow them as special plates to signify vehicles equiped with amateur radios and thus available to assist in an emergency situation.

Which is funny, because you'd think that the illegal light bar and antenna forest on the car's rooftop would give it away.

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nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


McRib Sandwich posted:

Which is funny, because you'd think that the illegal light bar and antenna forest on the car's rooftop would give it away.
https://www.hamsexy.com is a great repository of "whackers" of all sorts. Some of the things/people that they document is truly astounding.

McRib Sandwich
Aug 4, 2006
I am a McRib Sandwich

Updated the OP with some information on where to find Canadian exam sessions, as well as a new bullet point about how loving cool APRS is. Thanks to Snapshot for the exam session info!

nmfree posted:

https://www.hamsexy.com is a great repository of "whackers" of all sorts. Some of the things/people that they document is truly astounding.
Speaking of which, what is the general opinion of hamsexy in the amateur community? I get the impression that most of the old-timers hate them, but I also suspect that it's mostly because their observations cut a little too close to home...

McRib Sandwich fucked around with this message at 08:54 on Apr 17, 2008

Dolemite
Jun 30, 2005


Thanks for answering my questions all. Now I just gotta get off my butt and study for the technician exam during the Summer.

Luckily, I was messing around with my Winradio receiver when one of the network engineers at work saw me doing that. He said to swing by his office because he wants to know more about that. He's into HAM radio, so maybe I can borrow a study book off of him!

P.S. My database concepts professor is a HAM license holder - he has a greybeard! I wonder if I should ask what bands he hangs out on.

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


M3IIG listening through...

I've only done a foundation license in the UK, and don't have any interest in doing anything higher than that due to my lack of electronics skills.

I take my HT out with me when I go walking among our plentiful (but small) mountains with a local repeater and the calling frequency programmed in. Always handy if you get in trouble.

I mostly do a lot of scanning and SWL with my gear, though, and very rarely transmit.

Anyone else in the UK want to wake up and post?

Ryuichi
Nov 4, 2004


I've been meaning to get into this for years. Hopefully will be less disastrous than my attempt at R/C helicopters. $500 or so down and they're both broke.

Gonna get my license next month if I can get a ride.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

McRib Sandwich posted:

Speaking of which, what is the general opinion of hamsexy in the amateur community? I get the impression that most of the old-timers hate them, but I also suspect that it's mostly because their observations cut a little too close to home...

I think this says all you need to know about hamsexy


They're pretty laid back about ham radio, less no-code tech/gen/extra rage too.

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


McRib Sandwich posted:


Speaking of which, what is the general opinion of hamsexy in the amateur community? I get the impression that most of the old-timers hate them, but I also suspect that it's mostly because their observations cut a little too close to home...


Haha, I like the hamsexy crowd. They are very technically skilled and have fun with radio. I think that a few of them tend to skirt laws and they do tend to be very elitist with regard to Motorola vs Every Other Manufacturer In The World, but I will never accuse them of running janky underbuilt radios.

DarkCow
Apr 26, 2007
Moo.

thehustler posted:

M3IIG listening through...

I've only done a foundation license in the UK, and don't have any interest in doing anything higher than that due to my lack of electronics skills.

I take my HT out with me when I go walking among our plentiful (but small) mountains with a local repeater and the calling frequency programmed in. Always handy if you get in trouble.

I mostly do a lot of scanning and SWL with my gear, though, and very rarely transmit.

Anyone else in the UK want to wake up and post?

M3YSA returning...

As you can tell from the callsign, I'm also just a foundation licensee, but I'd like to become intermediate and eventually advanced.
The problem with that in my area, though, is that you have to wait for months before a course becomes available, and then (at least with my local club) it's £75 and you have to sit through 2 weekends of stuff you most likely already know from the internet.
In fact, when I took the foundation course, the tutor sat and read through the entire 23-page license terms and conditions with us for a couple of hours :-/

Does anyone know of anywhere in the UK which will just let you sit the test for the license, without a 4-day course accompanying it?

Anyway, I'm using an Icom IC-725 for HF stuff and some crappy chinese HT for 2m. I have line-of-sight to the local 2m repeater, which is nice, but the chinese thing fails at identifying CTCSS tones in incoming transmissions. It can send them fine, and open up the repeater, but then squelches out any responses. I'm also too lazy to build a 1750Hz tone generator. This all culminates in me trying to whistle the right frequency and sounding like an rear end.

Due to still living with my parents, my options for antenna location are rather limited. I do have a 20m-long dipole (resonant on 40m band) strung between some trees, but it's at a lower height than the house, which I'm sure doesn't help the signal propagation at all. I've managed to contact some hams about 1500km away, but I don't operate very often because I have no idea what to talk about after initiating contact with someone. It's kind of like having really bad quality phone conversations with old people, where you can't hear what they're saying half the time. Still good fun, though.

dah-di-dah

hendersa
Sep 17, 2006



nmfree posted:

https://www.hamsexy.com is a great repository of "whackers" of all sorts. Some of the things/people that they document is truly astounding.
I had never seen this site before, but some of the news stories on there are pretty entertaining...

Hamsexy posted:

The “official” ARES person, guy, fellow, whatever, immediately jumps into action telling people to back up, that this is a very dangerous situation. I proceeded to inform him that the small piece of debris stuck into the grill of the truck was indeed my vehicle, and I had not recovered all of personal belongings yet. His response was that he was an “official” ARES something or other and that I needed to heed his warnings.

He proceeded to show me his identification cards, and HAM license etc. to which I showed him my Bass Pro Shops Outdoor rewards card, which seemed to aggravate him even more. He started yelling and fussing about something, I really started to get angry. I should mention that I am 6' 300lbs with three tours of duty in the middle-east and this fellow was about 1 foot tall and about 99 pounds including all his radios, bat belt and tactical vest. Around this time the police officer, seemed to sense that I was about to pound this guy into oblivion, got out of his patrol unit and walked over asking who he was. To which the ARES fellow responded with the same nonsense he had spewed to me. Another patrol car pulled up and the officer hopped out and asked, verbatim:

“What the fu– is that thing?” Pointing to the ARES mobile. The ARES guy went to his spiel again after which he asked to leave, to which he said he had some sort of aggreement with the State Police, the officers responded with telling him that they would more than happy to call the State Troopers to come pick him up after they brought him back to the station house. The ARES dude, then huffed and puffed about legal ramifications and then got into his “emergency vehicle” and drove off.
Seriously, if you are really into ham radio, that's great. Take that enthusiasm and go design a better antenna or do some experiments that advance the art. But don't act like a tool by doing this stuff.

Have you ever taken an electronics/computer/math/science class at university and had that one guy in the class? The one that constantly mutters under his breath that he already knows all this stuff and always tries to correct the professor? It is my suspicion that those are the people that become whackers when they begin to get involved with ham radio. I can understand taking a lot of pride in what you do, but don't demand respect just because you are wearing a funny hat with strobes on it. Yikes.

Jose Pointero
Feb 16, 2004

We're not just doing this for money. We're doing it for a SHITLOAD of money!



.

Jose Pointero fucked around with this message at 01:36 on Aug 28, 2019

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


I am not really involved in ham radio anymore and haven't been for like 15 years now but my father makes freeware software for ham radio stuff maybe you guys might find it useful! It's all geared towards DX-related stuff (as is obvious from the name).

Jonny 290
May 5, 2005

[A]sk me about OS/2 WARP


And Jose shows up

Technically your 2m antenna _is_ a discone, by the way. It is just a very, very, very incomplete disc and cone.

I am taking pics of my satellite and HF antennas this afternoon to show you guys what you can pull off in a 60x80 city lot. Maybe even video of the satellite array rotating, haha. God, I'm a nerd.

Jose Pointero
Feb 16, 2004

We're not just doing this for money. We're doing it for a SHITLOAD of money!



.

Jose Pointero fucked around with this message at 01:37 on Aug 28, 2019

McRib Sandwich
Aug 4, 2006
I am a McRib Sandwich

Definitely keep the pictures coming, guys! It's actually really helpful to see how some of the apartment shacks are done up. Personally I'm just in a terrible position in mine. 3rd floor with no balcony, so everything pretty much has to live inside the apartment. There isn't really even a window dressing to mount anything to. Oh, and a safe ground? Forget about it.

I was considering a random wire antenna + an Icom AH-4 tuner, but there's no way to run counterpoise for a wire just going out the window, and apparently that tuner will blow up or something if the wire is a half-wave on whatever band you're trying to tune up. There's also the possibility that an idiot tenant below me will try to grab the wire, since I can't secure it otherwise.

I'm looking at getting a low-profile screwdriver antenna set up indoors now, since it will tune HF to 50 continuously, and if I want to operate mobile it should be a relatively easy transplant situation. We'll see how it goes...

McRib Sandwich fucked around with this message at 18:41 on Apr 17, 2008

bladernr
Oct 3, 2006
I'm not wearing any pants. Film at 11!

hendersa posted:

I had never seen this site before, but some of the news stories on there are pretty entertaining...

Seriously, if you are really into ham radio, that's great. Take that enthusiasm and go design a better antenna or do some experiments that advance the art. But don't act like a tool by doing this stuff.

Have you ever taken an electronics/computer/math/science class at university and had that one guy in the class? The one that constantly mutters under his breath that he already knows all this stuff and always tries to correct the professor? It is my suspicion that those are the people that become whackers when they begin to get involved with ham radio. I can understand taking a lot of pride in what you do, but don't demand respect just because you are wearing a funny hat with strobes on it. Yikes.

I love that story... sadly, those types are the exception, not the rule in ARES and Ham radio. We also had them in EMS (called them hooters where I was from)... there's nothing like arriving on scene to find a subaru hatchback with a lightbar, 4 antennas and some guy in a tactical vest trying to triage people while directing traffic and attempting tell those of us on the big white ambulance or the even bigger red firetruck what we should be doing on scene.

More often than not, those guys were either First Responders or newly minted EMT-Bs.

I've seen my share of those guys (the Ham Radio version) at hamfests too... I especially love the ones that have the yellow lightbar, 14 antennas and ARES magnets plastered all over their cars.

I'm an ARES guy, and I have NOTHING at all, save an orange vest that I wear only when necessary, and an ID along with small copies of my certificatons (both Ham and FEMA) in case I need to prove who I am.

I'm all for people who actually DO stop to help when there's a wreck or something, but the gotta keep it in perspective.

mrbill
Oct 14, 2002



K5WCB in Houston, TX checking in.



Need to finish studying for my General upgrade - was deep in the middle of it when my wife went into the hospital for two weeks at the end of February and haven't touched anything ham-related since then.

McRib Sandwich
Aug 4, 2006
I am a McRib Sandwich

Earwicker posted:

I am not really involved in ham radio anymore and haven't been for like 15 years now but my father makes freeware software for ham radio stuff maybe you guys might find it useful! It's all geared towards DX-related stuff (as is obvious from the name).

Oh hell yes, Commander is one of the better CAT/software control programs for desktop rigs, from what I've read online. tell your dad he's awesome!

On a similar note, if you're a Mac user, the no-brainer DX software counterpart is MacLoggerDX. It's kept up a 4.9/5.0 rating on eham.net with over 60 reviews. Unfortunately it's not free software, but supposedly it's worth its weight in gold.

McRib Sandwich fucked around with this message at 19:06 on Apr 17, 2008

OFFENSIVE USERNAME
Mar 19, 2005

I visited TCC and all I got was this lousy avatar


AF6BK checking in. I'm not really in a position to put a dipole on my roof, so I'm confined mostly to 2/440. I'm using a Yaesu VX-7R that I love, though I would highly recommend the programming software, as you will go nuts trying to figure out the menu. I also own a Yaesu VX-3R, an Icom IC-91AD digital/analog handheld, and a now-defunct Icom IC-T90A. From time to time, though, I get to play on the big Icom IC756-Pro III at the local ham radio store.

Any other VHF/UHFers in L.A. in this thread?

edit: to clarify some confusing terminology

OFFENSIVE USERNAME fucked around with this message at 19:07 on Apr 17, 2008

Hamster
Jan 23, 2003


My dad's a retired electronic engineer that used to do ham when I was a kid. He doesn't have a lot of money now, but I bet he'd be really interested in some of the new equipment that's out there now.

After reading this thread I was thinking of getting him something to play with that could be expanded over time if he wanted to.

He's not really a drive-around and ham guy, but more of a home station one, so I'm not sure handheld would be the way to go.

What would be a good middle-range system I could get for him? It'd be cool if it had a PC interface, and digital voice is something I'm sure he'd find interesting.
It doesn't have to be simplistic, as I'm sure he'd enjoy learning about all the advancements in technology he's been missing in the 20+ years he's been out of the scene.

Optimally it'd be sub-$1000 including accessories. He has a house, so he could even set up an external antenna.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


Jonny 290 posted:

Haha, I like the hamsexy crowd. They are very technically skilled and have fun with radio. I think that a few of them tend to skirt laws and they do tend to be very elitist with regard to Motorola vs Every Other Manufacturer In The World, but I will never accuse them of running janky underbuilt radios.
On the flip side of the coin, one only needs to read their forums for about 10 minutes to see their dislike of everything non-white

Also, their elitism over Motorola > "hammy gear" gets annoying after a while, too. No, not all of us have $10,000 of programming equipment to make some old land mobile radio work on 2 meter.

Jose Pointero posted:

Here's my 2 meter antenna chillin' in its tree. I think I said it was a discone in the SW thread, but it's not. I'm not sure what you call this antenna type actually. I call it Sputnik
That's not a discone, that's a vertical with the groundplane radials pointing up instead of down.

McRib Sandwich
Aug 4, 2006
I am a McRib Sandwich

Hamster posted:

My dad's a retired electronic engineer that used to do ham when I was a kid. He doesn't have a lot of money now, but I bet he'd be really interested in some of the new equipment that's out there now.

After reading this thread I was thinking of getting him something to play with that could be expanded over time if he wanted to.

He's not really a drive-around and ham guy, but more of a home station one, so I'm not sure handheld would be the way to go.

What would be a good middle-range system I could get for him? It'd be cool if it had a PC interface, and digital voice is something I'm sure he'd find interesting.
It doesn't have to be simplistic, as I'm sure he'd enjoy learning about all the advancements in technology he's been missing in the 20+ years he's been out of the scene.

Optimally it'd be sub-$1000 including accessories. He has a house, so he could even set up an external antenna.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Off the top of my head, the Elecraft K3 was specifically designed to be a modular radio, so you could add the parts you want to when you want to. It's also an amazingly well-built receiver, even without any of the options.

I'm not sure how much the base price is, but you can get it cheaper if you order it as a kit and don't mind assembling it. Everything is modular so there's no soldering required.

As for digital voice, I don't know much about it but I think Icom is the only one making D-STAR equipment right now, and to my knowledge it's VHF / UHF and higher. Maybe someday hams will be operating narrowband DRM, but to my knowledge there aren't any desktop rigs that operate this mode; even to receive it right now you have to mod your radio by pulling it out of one of the IFs and into a computer.

McRib Sandwich fucked around with this message at 19:23 on Apr 17, 2008

Wrongway
Dec 25, 2004


thehustler posted:



Anyone else in the UK want to wake up and post?

KE6FSO monitoring here in London.

I passed the Tech Plus (code privileges) in California when I was 12 and honestly haven't been keeping track of AR goings-on for about a decade. I didn't know they'd removed the Morse Code aspect of the tests.

My dad (WB6VXS, General class) got me into it when I was young and helped me study for the tests. Strung up a co-ax cable on our huge redwood tree about a decade ago and we were able to listen/talk all around the world on the rig he set up downstairs.

Honestly most of my experience has been listening to old guys natter away on the 2meter band so I lost interest after a few years of being semi-active.

Do they have Field Days in the UK? Those were fun!

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


Hamster posted:

What would be a good middle-range system I could get for him? It'd be cool if it had a PC interface, and digital voice is something I'm sure he'd find interesting.
It doesn't have to be simplistic, as I'm sure he'd enjoy learning about all the advancements in technology he's been missing in the 20+ years he's been out of the scene.

Optimally it'd be sub-$1000 including accessories. He has a house, so he could even set up an external antenna.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
Depends if he wants to get on HF or on VHF/UHF; if it's just the former or both, you can't go wrong with an FT-100(D)- it's relatively compact, it can be mostly controlled from a computer, and you can get a nice setup for less than $500 on eBay. The only negatives are the limited CAT control (you can't, for instance, access or manage the built-in memories), the overheating problem ( hey lets not have the fans turn on when the rig is above 30MHz! ), and the finals frying relatively easily if the antenna is way out of resonance (especially on VHF/UHF). If, however, he wants to be only on VHF/UHF then there are other radios out there that are much better.

Snapshot
Oct 21, 2004

damnit Matt get in the boat

nmfree posted:

KC9GJC here, ready to pontificate in TWO threads!

At the end of the last ham thread there was a little interest in setting up a weekly Echolink net for SA people, would there still be interest in that?


I'm game, as I don't have access to a HF rig at the moment. What's the protocol for operating on Echolink? Same as a repeater?

Also, does anyone else use the VE3TWR repeater?

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


McRib Sandwich posted:

As for digital voice, I don't know much about it but I think Icom is the only one making D-STAR equipment right now, and to my knowledge it's VHF / UHF and higher. Maybe someday hams will be operating narrowband DRM, but to my knowledge there aren't any desktop rigs that operate this mode; even to receive it right now you have to mod your radio by pulling it out of one of the IFs and into a computer.
The future is here!

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


Snapshot posted:

I'm game, as I don't have access to a HF rig at the moment. What's the protocol for operating on Echolink? Same as a repeater?
Exactly the same as a repeater, because some over the air repeaters are hooked into the Echolink system.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

happy purring catfish posted:

Any other VHF/UHFers in L.A. in this thread?

Brought my HT to LA a few months ago, on a business trip, and had alot of fun operating from the 10th~ floor of the hotel. Also what is up with that 147.435 repeater?

McRib Sandwich posted:

As for digital voice, I don't know much about it but I think Icom is the only one making D-STAR equipment right now, and to my knowledge it's VHF / UHF and higher. Maybe someday hams will be operating narrowband DRM, but to my knowledge there aren't any desktop rigs that operate this mode; even to receive it right now you have to mod your radio by pulling it out of one of the IFs and into a computer.

The hamsexy guys also toy around with P25 digital voice; which I'm understanding is used more for public safety applications. Though someone else would probably be able to elaborate in more detail/correct me.

blugu64 fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Apr 17, 2008

AstroZamboni
Mar 8, 2007

Smoothing the Ice on Europa since 1997!

I've added a link and mention of this thread to the OP of the SW thread, so we can all get a little cross-contamination going on!

FuzzyBuddha
Dec 7, 2003

Damn moose spilled my mocha! RAAARRRRGGHH

Dunno if anyone's interested, but I figured I'd plug my Yaesu FT-897D programming blog. It's in need of an update, but I'm hoping to have one this weekend. Any ideas, or things people might like to see in a computer control for a radio, are certainly welcome.

Hamster
Jan 23, 2003


nmfree posted:

Depends if he wants to get on HF or on VHF/UHF; if it's just the former or both, you can't go wrong with an FT-100(D)- it's relatively compact, it can be mostly controlled from a computer, and you can get a nice setup for less than $500 on eBay. The only negatives are the limited CAT control (you can't, for instance, access or manage the built-in memories), the overheating problem ( hey lets not have the fans turn on when the rig is above 30MHz! ), and the finals frying relatively easily if the antenna is way out of resonance (especially on VHF/UHF). If, however, he wants to be only on VHF/UHF then there are other radios out there that are much better.

Thanks for the reply. I think he'd want to mess around with as much as possible, so HF/UHF/VHF would be great. However, he's in S. Florida and I'd be worried about the thing overheating and frying. I'd end up being the repair guy since he's a better engineer than a technician.

I see there are some mods out there for fan upgrades. Maybe I can get one sent to me first and then mod it and forward it to him.

I was looking at the Yaesu FT-857D and it looks like it might be a better choice as it's about $750 brand new and may not suffer from some of the 100's issues.

Island Nation
Jun 20, 2006
Trust No One

Just got my call sign from QRZ, it's KC2TFW. I don't have a rig yet (have to read thread first for ideas) but I'm interested in nmfree's idea for goon Echolink once I get the hang of this radio stuff but for now, what meters are good for listening in? I tried 120m but I could barely understand anything even with SSB on.

nmfree
Aug 15, 2001

The Greater Goon: Breaking Hearts and Chains since 2006


FuzzyBuddha posted:

Dunno if anyone's interested, but I figured I'd plug my Yaesu FT-897D programming blog. It's in need of an update, but I'm hoping to have one this weekend. Any ideas, or things people might like to see in a computer control for a radio, are certainly welcome.
You might have just made my day.

The FT-100 uses the same CAT command table (AFAIK all the modern Yaesu rigs use the same commands), and I want HRD to monitor the temperature of the finals. Unfortunately, I can't figure out what command to send to the radio.

The "Read Meter" opcode is F7, that I get. Under the paramaters, however, there are just stars- which for some of the other commands it seems like that means those are "empty" bytes, so I'd put in "00" or "69" or whatever junk value to fill out the block. Then, under notes, it says to refer to note 4, where it has a list like this:
    +0 -> MSW1 (Microphone Switch 1): blah blah
    +7 -> TEMP (Final Transistor Temperature): 00h ~ FFh
I understand that if I send the appropriate command I'll get a return code from the radio from 00h to FFh that is the temperature on a non-calibrated scale. But what am I supposed to do with the +7?

bladernr
Oct 3, 2006
I'm not wearing any pants. Film at 11!

NYIslander posted:

Just got my call sign from QRZ, it's KC2TFW. I don't have a rig yet (have to read thread first for ideas) but I'm interested in nmfree's idea for goon Echolink once I get the hang of this radio stuff but for now, what meters are good for listening in? I tried 120m but I could barely understand anything even with SSB on.

Given that you just got your Technician license... personally, I'd avoid spending much on an HF rig unless you really plan on hitting General and Extra soon. My advice in the new Technican Gear category would be to get a good dual band VHF/UHF to start with and get used to everything. A good dual-bander can be had used for anywhere from 50 bucks to several hundred.

Since you can't legally transmit on HF, you can usually find good deals on SSB capable receivers, or older transceivers in the 100-400 dollar range on places like ARRL.org, eBay, sometimes Craigslist and eHam.net.

As for what's worth listening to... you have priveleges on VHF/UHF, so use those. You also have 6 meter which can be fun, but can also be frustrating. Same goes for 10 Meter.

15 and 20 meter seem to be good if you want to hear people world wide. 40/80 meters is good sometimes for that, but also can be... different. Check out the 3938 crowd some time. It's like listening to AM talk radio sometimes.

Personally, I usually stay off of 40/80 unless there's nothing going on elsewhere, or unless I am interested in some entertainment (again, the aforementioned weirdos that popup on 3938 and other popular frequencies). When I want to talk to DX stations, I just scan the general portions of 15 and 20 meters. Around town and general rag chewing, I stay on VHF and occasionally UHF. I haven't used 6 meters in forever, and never bothered with 10 meters.

I also have a fondness for QRP (5 watts or less) and have a ball working other countries on 2.5 watts SSB). I really need to brush up on my CW...

Also... W4KDH checking in from NC...

sklnd
Nov 26, 2007

NOT A TRACTOR


NYIslander posted:

Just got my call sign from QRZ, it's KC2TFW. I don't have a rig yet (have to read thread first for ideas) but I'm interested in nmfree's idea for goon Echolink once I get the hang of this radio stuff but for now, what meters are good for listening in? I tried 120m but I could barely understand anything even with SSB on.
Same, KE5UAF. (uh oh internet detectives....)

The HT I ebayed should be here early next week!

Island Nation
Jun 20, 2006
Trust No One

bladernr posted:

Given that you just got your Technician license... personally, I'd avoid spending much on an HF rig unless you really plan on hitting General and Extra soon. My advice in the new Technican Gear category would be to get a good dual band VHF/UHF to start with and get used to everything. A good dual-bander can be had used for anywhere from 50 bucks to several hundred.

Since you can't legally transmit on HF, you can usually find good deals on SSB capable receivers, or older transceivers in the 100-400 dollar range on places like ARRL.org, eBay, sometimes Craigslist and eHam.net.

As for what's worth listening to... you have priveleges on VHF/UHF, so use those. You also have 6 meter which can be fun, but can also be frustrating. Same goes for 10 Meter.

15 and 20 meter seem to be good if you want to hear people world wide. 40/80 meters is good sometimes for that, but also can be... different. Check out the 3938 crowd some time. It's like listening to AM talk radio sometimes.

Personally, I usually stay off of 40/80 unless there's nothing going on elsewhere, or unless I am interested in some entertainment (again, the aforementioned weirdos that popup on 3938 and other popular frequencies). When I want to talk to DX stations, I just scan the general portions of 15 and 20 meters. Around town and general rag chewing, I stay on VHF and occasionally UHF. I haven't used 6 meters in forever, and never bothered with 10 meters.

I also have a fondness for QRP (5 watts or less) and have a ball working other countries on 2.5 watts SSB). I really need to brush up on my CW...

Also... W4KDH checking in from NC...

As soon as I actually study the material for General, I'll try to go for that but my schedule prevents me from going to exams most of the time (had to call in a favor just to take the Tech. exam) but VHF/UHF sound alright for a transmitting starting point. I'll use my G5 to listen in until I find a transceiver.

FuzzyBuddha
Dec 7, 2003

Damn moose spilled my mocha! RAAARRRRGGHH

nmfree posted:

I understand that if I send the appropriate command I'll get a return code from the radio from 00h to FFh that is the temperature on a non-calibrated scale. But what am I supposed to do with the +7?
Just looked at the manual for that radio, and that does seem pretty vague. I'm guessing that when you issue that command, the radio is going to return 9 bits of data, and then you have to figure out what the eighth one corresponds to. (Eighth 'cause it's numbered 0-8, so the +7 is actually the eighth bit o' data.)

For example, it might return:
30h FFh FFh 50h 20h 00h 60h 50h 22h

Which would correspond to:
0 - Microphone switch 1: PTT
1 - Forward Power: FFh
2 - Reverse Power: FFh
3 - S-Meter level: 50h
4 - MIC level: 20h
5 - Squelch level: 00h
6 - Microphone switch 2: P1
7 - Final Temp: 50h
8 - ALC level: 22h

The program would have to grab that 8th bit of data and figure out the temp from the hex code.

mas
Jun 4, 2004
Proud Member of the Al Jourgensen Fanclub Have you done heroin while wearing a huge cowboy hat today?

I've been waiting for this thread.

As I said in the SWL thread, got my Tech a few months ago, going to try to pass the General this saturday at a 'Fest in KCMO mainly so I can try to start some DXing on my Yaesu FT-101 I got already, it came with an external VFO and speaker/phone patch also. For now in the truck I'm just using a Kenwood TH-K2 with external mag mount antenna for 2m stuff around town, but it's mostly old guys telling each other why their setups are all wrong, so I don't chat much.

OFFENSIVE USERNAME
Mar 19, 2005

I visited TCC and all I got was this lousy avatar


blugu64 posted:

Brought my HT to LA a few months ago, on a business trip, and had alot of fun operating from the 10th~ floor of the hotel. Also what is up with that 147.435 repeater?


Ahaha, I knew the subject of 435 would surface eventually. That repeater is basically the retard bin that keeps mentally damaged operators from infesting the other repeaters.

edited for clarity

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bladernr
Oct 3, 2006
I'm not wearing any pants. Film at 11!

NYIslander posted:

As soon as I actually study the material for General, I'll try to go for that but my schedule prevents me from going to exams most of the time (had to call in a favor just to take the Tech. exam) but VHF/UHF sound alright for a transmitting starting point. I'll use my G5 to listen in until I find a transceiver.

A word of advice... those of you who are Technician licensees who want to take the general test... take the Extra test the same day. You can take them both the same day and only pay the one fee (in most cases). So you don't have anything to lose.

I took the Code test, General and Extra the same day. I passed the Code and General, but failed the Extra... HOWEVER, it didn't cost me anything extra to try, and I only actually failed the extra by 5 questions, and that was without ever even looking at the Extra pool or materials.

So you never know... you could get lucky.

As far as I know, that's accepted practice at all test sites, but YMMV so disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer but at the very least, be sure to ask the VEs if that is still allowed.

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