HAM Radio, Radio Amateurs, Morse Code, etc.

Wayne 440

Active member
A follow up from the Onan generator board-

Nice triode :)

I have a bunch of the Russian tetrodes to play with but the amp building has been delayed by home renovations....I’ve always liked building stuff more than operating too. I especially like the microwave stuff and have a lot of test gear that can get up into that range. ...
I tend to build or modify something, then once it works, I'm on to something else in a short time. The 3cx3000a7 amplifier is practically finished, but until I get better antennas for reception, I do not need more than the 600W I have on 160 now.
 

Zephyr7

Active member
I didn’t even know there was a ham section here. JohnnyC and I get kind off topic last night in the wee hours. I suppose with my sleep problems and his hurting ankle we kept each other company for a while :)

I have room here for beverage antennas but I haven’t set them up yet. I have land on the other side of my lake that is probably at least 1,500 feet from anything (wires, houses, anything) in every direction so I’m going to put some reversible beverages back there. It’ll be about a 2,000 foot run of RG11 to get back there. I plan to run the signaling and power on the coax using a modification of a 2 wire temperature monitoring system I designed several years ago (data is sent by voltage level changes, data is received back by current changes). It’ll save a lot of wire, and by making everything addressable I can do diagnostics without trekking back to the far side of the lake. I only have access by way of a “trail” over the top of a beaver dam.

Fun stuff. I’ve never had enough room for good lowband antennas so I’m looking forward to finally getting some up.

Bill
 

Wayne 440

Active member
Don't tell anyone that RG11 will work for our antennas, the price will go up. :O

Right now I have a low dipole for 160 fed with RG11, that antenna is far better for transmit than reception.
Fortunately, I have a trencher, some conduit, Heliax and tower to fix that with, just haven't done it yet.
 
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Harry

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe an Amateur Radio Smokstak board is in order?
Smoke from our equipment is the last thing that we want.:uhoh:

I did it the hard way, hitch-hiked to the Buffalo FCC office and took the code and written test there, sweat on the brow, busted a pencil, but got'er done, 11th grade high school. 6V6 tube & crystal transmitter, National SW-54 receiver. Later on, I took my Advanced class and my First Phone tests there as well.

Many of us likely turned professional, into the broadcast industry.
Lifetime FCC General Radiotelephone License
Lifetime Certification SBE Professional Broadcast Engineer
Lifetime member of ARRL American Radio Relay League
 

Wayne 440

Active member
I am in favor of a "ham" subforum if there is enough interest. I even have some pieces of gear that make the wonderful "hot radio tube" smell, but so far no smoke.
 

1936JDB

New member
My son got into HAM a few years ago. He left a very nice new Yuasu? radio in the blazer he left in my care when he left for the Air Force. He's training to be in radio comms. He asks me every time he calls if I'm ready to take the amateur test yet. While it's been something of a fascination of mine for ages, I haven't bothered yet...
 

Zephyr7

Active member
My son got into HAM a few years ago. He left a very nice new Yuasu? radio in the blazer he left in my care when he left for the Air Force. He's training to be in radio comms. He asks me every time he calls if I'm ready to take the amateur test yet. While it's been something of a fascination of mine for ages, I haven't bothered yet...
The tech (entry level) test is not difficult. Only 35 questions I think it is. There are online practice tests too.

I like RG11 and RG6 for receive antennas due to low loss and low price. I got a bunch (probably 1000’ or so) of RG11 in the form of leftovers from a Comcast installer a while ago. I have two full reels I bought too. I have around 700’ of LDF4-50A and 2000’ of FSJ4-50B, both new on reels, surplus from an airport. Since I arrange freight all the time at work, it’s easy for me to ship this big stuff so I can get great deals because no one else wants to deal with the truck freight. I plan to use the LDF stuff for my new 160m transmit antenna which might end up being a 4 square since I have the room. Mostly I like building the system, but I’ll get on more once I have some good antennas up.

I’d be for ham forum. I was surprised how many people got in Tim JohnnyC’s thread saying they were hams too. I suppose it makes sense, we’re all tinkerers.

Bill
 

EICBob

Subscriber
I tried back in the mid 70’s to learn the code and enough other information to take the test.
I failed it twice, never was able to devote the time to try again.

I did go into the broadcast industry and was a high power UHF television transmitter operator and repair technician.

(I did have a CB license back when you had to pay for them, KGP7972)

I still want to get my Ham ticket...maybe when I retire from the commute to work set!

-Bob
 

Wayne 440

Active member
Get a self study "audio book" and listen on your way to/from work. You will be ready to test in a few weeks.
 

MoRo

Subscriber
Every now and then, I get the urge to dabble with HAM. I'm still trying to decide if I want to invest in the equipment and the time learning to use it and get licensed.
 
Been involved in electronics since high school - 1958. Spent 2 years at DeVry in Chicago 1959-1961. My lab partner was a ham then but I did not get the bug until 1971 when I took the advanced test in the Detroit FCC office. I once held a First Class Phone with radar endorsement. I started as a novice in 1972 with a Heathkit SB-301 and a DX-60 with maybe 3 crystals. Built an almost complete SB series station except the Station Console. Now I am using a Kenwood TS-2000 and 3 years ago added a Yaesu FTM-400 for Fusion and then added Wires-X. I am an officer of the Wood County Amateur Radio Club - K8TIH. The club operates analog repeaters on 147.180 and 444.475, the Fusion/Wires-X machine on 442.125 and an APRS machine on 144.390. I have been involved in Skywarn since it's beginning with Earl Kackenmeister. A 60ft tower was installed at the QTH last fall and this spring there will be a Diamond 510 installed fed by 1-1/4" heliax recovered from a decommissioned paging tower.
Life is good.

73
Bob
WB8NQW
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
Been a Ham since I was 12 years old.... The technology became a Career twice, after a College career in a different Field.... Tried Broadcast, and quickly decided that wasn't where I wanted to be... Became a Traveling RadioMan in Alaska for Northern Radio Company for 10 years, and then went to work as a Communication Sup. for Alaska's largest Salmon Processor for 30 years... Took an offered Job as the Federal Communications Commission Resident Field Agent for Southeastern Alaska.... and was there until that Idiot ALGORE reInvented Government and Gutted the FCC Field Operations Division... Now I am just reTIRED.. and live far out in the Alaskan Bush... and chat with buddies on 20, 60, & 80 Meters, when the bands cooperate...

For those who have always want to get licensed, a Tech License is only 35 Basic Questions, and you only need to get 70% correct... No Morse Code Required... Test Questions are Published, and there are literally TONS of Apps and Testing Programs to quiz you on the Tests... If an Ten year Old can do it, So can you, even if your brain doesn't function above that level.... Go for it...

Bruce in Alaska BTPost AL7AQ Advanced License, 1st Class Telegraph, w/ Radar, GMDSS, and Aircraft Endorsements.....
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Not surprising I suppose to discover that a lot of us have related interests.

KE6LRZ, in '94. Friends and even mom had licenses and 2 meter radios back then. We belonged to the club that owned the local repeater.

I just had a hand held, would connect to the antenna in my car or at home or just use portable.

It was great. We'd all keep in touch during commutes and whatnot. Then cell phones came along and ruined everything. :O

Keith
 

len k

Subscriber
At school lot of my friends were Hams and had 1 watt portables. Students rarely had phones where they were living.

Seems 1-st license (technician) is easy to pass, or I got lucky.

I just took this on line one cold and barely passed at ~74%. I didn't know Ham related rules and some terms so had to use my ME background to guess at 1/3 of the answers, but it worked.
https://www.eham.net/exams/

Imagine how you could do if you studied. :)
 

Zephyr7

Active member
Every now and then, I get the urge to dabble with HAM. I'm still trying to decide if I want to invest in the equipment and the time learning to use it and get licensed.
You can get a pretty nice radio now for under $1k. They got rid on the basic code test back in the early 90s, and removed the code requirement for everything in the past 10 years or so.

The entry level (technician) test is really a very basic electronic and radio test. It’s not hard to pass with the aid of a study guid to prepare. The online sites with practice tests are helpful too.

Bill
 

Zephyr7

Active member
It was great. We'd all keep in touch during commutes and whatnot. Then cell phones came along and ruined everything. :O
When I was first licensed I had a little icon dual band (144/440) HT. Repeaters were all really busy, especially around rush hour. Now, with cellphones, repeaters are idle much of the time.

I used to do a lot of VHF DX stuff. That was fun in the summer. I want to get on EME, but haven’t had the time even though I’ve built some of the needed stuff. Lowband HF is my other interest, and is probably the first stuff I’ll have up and running at my new place here.

When I took my extra, I read a study guid book for a few hours the day before. I used an online practice test that evening. The next day, I took the test at hamvention in Dayton and passed. The extra exam has more questions and is more involved, but still not too bad. I do work in a related field though, and I’m an EE who designs and builds electronic stuff for fun so that stuff is probably more familiar to me than to some. I do think that with a book and a practice test, and maybe a week or two of studying, most people could pass the extra exam without much trouble.

Bill
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
KW0D Dave here. My first callsign was KC0AHZ, it appeared in the CallBook around '91... I was already out of college and working, but my first interest was in junior high school, I walked by a house with a tower and antennas, and knew exactly what it was, but never had anyone to introduce or mentor me on it.

I started out as 'no-code Tech', like most, but to move up from there, it was CW requirement. It took about eight months before I'd managed 5wpm to get the Tech Plus endorsement. I studied for General written, took and passed, and then went in to test for 13wpm CW. I'd been working 6m with a dipole, using a Heath Seneca transmitter and an Icom551, and found that stations I could hear on SSB could not hear me direct, but if I keyed CW into the 551D, they could hear, and the 'big birds' could copy, and I could manage a split-mode QSO. The code test started out with a warmup, and I wasn't three minutes into the basic warmup that the VE came by, tapped me on the shoulder, took my sheet and paper, and escorted me to the back. I was nervous as heck, had no idea what I'd done wrong... he had me sign my sheet, then handed me a piece of paper that I'd copied at 28wpm, at which point... so... I was done... :confused:

Took me a little bit to figure out what they'd done, but it was clever- they simply started the 'warmup' at highest speed, and went by, tapping people on the shoulder when they saw enough clear-copy, then they pulled 'em.

Took me two months before I could get back to sit for Advanced, then Extra elements... I did them back-to-back.

Haven't been as active in the last dozen years, on account of growing family, job obligations, etc., but I have managed to get SOME progress.

the Ten-Tech Omni VI is currently apart, waiting for some new PIN diodes in the frontend (sigh) otherwise I'd be chewin' rags on 160...

The next tower going up is a Rohn SSV... 120ft, with three legs 15' on-center, and 6ft centers at the top section. Local guys ask me "What the #ell you gonna put on that?"

My answer "Anything I feel like..." :D
 

Zephyr7

Active member
The next tower going up is a Rohn SSV... 120ft, with three legs 15' on-center, and 6ft centers at the top section. Local guys as me "What the #ell you gonna put on that?"

My answer "Anything I feel like..." :D
I’ve looked at that tower too. I’d say I’d put stuff on it that I want to have STAY up :D good, solid tower. Needs a lot of concrete in the base though.

I have a K3 here with most of the goodies since I gradually added to it over maybe 8 years or so. It’s a really good little radio. I still need to put the new synths in it, which I have, but I haven’t has the time to do the install.

Bill
 
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