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PICList Thread
'[EE] Ham Radio?'
2006\03\21@232509 by Marcel Birthelmer

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Hi all,
I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?
Thanks,
- Marcel

2006\03\21@234001 by David VanHorn

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On 3/21/06, Marcel Birthelmer <spam_OUTmarcelb.listsTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
> I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
> for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
> get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
> do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
> strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?


You might get a slanted opinion.. KC6ETE at your service.

I'd think so.  A lot of hams build things, from microcontroller projects
through kW linear amps.

You can get the tech licence with no morse code requirement, and a 35
question test.  This gives you VHF through microwave.

2006\03\21@234811 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face

> Hi all,
> I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
> for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
> get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
> do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
> strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?
> Thanks,
> - Marcel


Don't know what country you're in, but the US rules regarding amateur
radio are available at http://www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2006/97/ .
Another website to visit is http://www.arrl.org/ .

I've been an amateur radio operator for about 40 years (though not
currently on the air). Ham radio led me into broadcasting (station
maintenance, construction, ect., where I worked for about 25 years, slowly
fading into electronic design and manufacturing.

I think a ham radio license along with activity in building equipment
indicates an enthusiasm for electronics that is valuable to an employer.
It's also great "lab experience" for the theory learned in school.

So, I'd encourage it if you find it interesting. There are, of course,
lots of other hobbies one can have to explore electronics. Many using
PICs!

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2006\03\22@001518 by Jose Da Silva

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face
On March 21, 2006 08:40 pm, David VanHorn wrote:
> On 3/21/06, Marcel Birthelmer <.....marcelb.listsKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a
> > feel for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing
> > involved to get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other
> > than that, what do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit
> > for someone with a strong interest in electronics and working
> > toward an EE degree?
>
> You might get a slanted opinion.. KC6ETE at your service.
>
> I'd think so.  A lot of hams build things, from microcontroller
> projects through kW linear amps.
>
> You can get the tech licence with no morse code requirement, and a 35
> question test.  This gives you VHF through microwave.

Sounds like similar requirements with the Canadian Basic version.

To answer the original poster's question:
When you learn electronics, you may learn enough to build a transmitter,
but you can't transmit, therefore all your experiments will either have
to be done in an RF cage, or below a certain power level.
With a Ham ticket you can now play with more power and distance.  ;-)

2006\03\22@002013 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Ham projects are invaluable when learning amplifiers
and tuning. Yet there is a lot of room for PIC
knowledge too :)

john

--- Harold Hallikainen <haroldspamKILLspamhallikainen.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\22@013852 by Nate Duehr

face
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Marcel Birthelmer wrote:
> Hi all,
> I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
> for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
> get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
> do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
> strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?
> Thanks,
> - Marcel

Marcel,

I am also a Ham (hi Dave...), WY0X, and I would say that for those of us
(assuming that you are like this) who like to tinker and experiment,
there's almost no better hobby in the world.

Robotics, PIC's, Radio-Controlled modeling, etc etc etc... all are fine
electronics-based hobbies.

But Ham Radio fulfills a basic human instinct -- communication.  And
your electronics passion can take you as far as you can imagine it can.

Examples:

There are many hams who have designs on orbit via groups like AMSAT, who
don't work professionally as satellite engineers...

And there are hams who installed the UHF repeater atop the Chrysler
Building in New York that gave communications to the area for Red Cross
workers after World Trade Center 1 and all of its communications gear
collapsed...

And there are hams who've helped work through the politics with NASA so
that astronauts and cosmonauts in their "free time" can talk with
Amateurs on the ground and use Ham radio to talk to schoolkids the world
over...

And there's hams who just enjoy the "thrill of the hunt"... or
participate in contests... or whatever...

It's really limitless and "what you make of it".

It's also a good social networking place to find both young and old
folks who all enjoy radio and electronics.

Looking forward to hearing you on the bands.

All the best,

Nate

2006\03\22@015608 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> So, I'd encourage it if you find it interesting. There are, of course,
> lots of other hobbies one can have to explore electronics. Many using
> PICs!


And AVRs!   :)

My repeater controller, the Arcom RC-210, runs from an Atmel Mega-128
I just retuned another receiver for the repeater tonight, a Daniels MT-3
synthesized module. No docs, but I moved it down from 465-ish MHz to
446.0to use as an auxiliary receiver.

I did an article on repeaterbuilders for interfacing the Arcom controller to
the Daniels Subrack earlier this year.

Long ago, I did a Pic F84 to control a VHF synthesized transmitter, with a
little tokenized language interpreter, running on code stored in EE, with
commands like "Tune" and "Key", "Pause" and CW, which did ascii text to
morse conversion.

2006\03\22@022038 by Enrico Schuerrer

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Marcel Birthelmer" <.....marcelb.listsKILLspamspam.....gmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <EraseMEpiclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 5:31 AM
Subject: [EE] Ham Radio?


> Hi all,
> I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
> for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
> get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
> do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
> strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?
> Thanks,
> - Marcel

Hi Marcel,

there are Hams on the list, not only from the States... I'm doing hamradio
since a little bit more than 30 years (even though I am electronic
engineer). When I learned for the licence (in Europe you have to go through
a course and learn Morse code and had a commission exam about operation
technics, technics and amateur radio laws) for an extra class license I
really learned much more about electronics than at the college or the first
semesters at university.
Learning by doing together with other hams, working at the club station of
the university, meeting other ham friends in other countries (even in the
USA at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana [Shampoo-Banana]),
building electronic (high class) equipment like vhf/uhf preamplifiers with
low noise - it is always a communication part of this hobby and a technical
part.

As far as I know in the USA it is allowed to work as a guest at a
clubstation under the supervision of a radio amateur - and the tests are
divided in different classes, from a low level up to extra class. So you
really will learning by doing - and not only (old) analogue technics. After
30 years of experience throughout the whole field of electronics I started
with PICs and like to learn more about these nice "beetles".

Look around in your region, I am sure there are enough hams around or a club
and than you can decide to go further on or quit.

Regards

Enrico
--
OE1EQW, Vienna, Austria

2006\03\22@101707 by Paul James E.

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Marcel,

In a word, YES!.  It is a worthwhile pursuit for many reasons.

An employer told me once that the reason I got the job was because I had
an Amateur Radio License.   All of the other applicants didn't.  Even
though some of them had a somewhat higher GPA than I.  So from an
employment point of view, it definitely could give you the edge.

From a learning point of view, studying the rules and regulations to get
them down is a good lesson.   Also, studying circuits and how they operate
gives you a new perspective in study.  And the information you glean from
these studies can be used throughout your whole life.  Not just for the
time you take the test.  

Then after you have your ticket, you'll be able to talk with fellow hams
from around the world.  Not just in your back yard, or around your
neighborhood.  There are many people throughout hamdom that try to talk
as far as they can on as little power as possible.  This is called QRP.
(low power operation).  Although you're allowed to have up to about 1
kilowatt.  

There are also public service events you can work with.  I for example
work the Houston (Compaq) Marathon every January, and the Susan
Koman "Race for the Cure" Cancer fund raiser every October.  In the
Marathon, I usually work a street corner where I watch for and report when
the first and last runner of a given segment of the marathon passes my
station.   There are many hams spread all along the course doing this same
thing.  This way, the officials can keep track of everyone in the race and
be able to manage the race better.   Also, if anyone gets hurt or faints
or has any other medical emergency, there will be someone there to get
help to the in an expeditious manner.

In the "Race for the Cure", I usually hang with the chairwoman or the  
director, and act as a direct link to the other officials to allow the
race to go smoothly.

I love both of these events, and have a good time with them each year.  It
also makes me feel good to give something to the community and help out in
important roles like these in an effort to help other in need.

So what it boils down to, at least as far as I see it, is that Ham Radio
trains you to study. teaches you dicipline, exercises your mind and
memory, gives you a means of communicating the world over, allows you to
visit people and places you may not normally get to talke to or go to,
allows you to give to your community in a way that not only fills a need
from a humanatarian standpoint, but also increases ones self worth.  

From a technical standpoint, you learn electronics, radio, how to design
and build circuits that work and follow specifications for emissions, how
RF signals radiate and propagate, antenna theory and applications, and
about a thousand other things I don't have space or time to enumerate.

So, again, yes I believe it is worth it.   You learn more than just what
you need to communicate.   Definitely a synergetic endeavor.

If you need any help or advice, let me know.   I'd be glad to help as much
as I can.   I would also say that virtually every ham on this list would
feel the same way about helping out.   But you just need to ask.

I hope this has helped you decide to persue ham radio as a hobby and a
springboard to further your EE education.

                                            Good luck and 73,

                                              Jim   KA9QHR



> Hi all,
> I know there are some hams on this list, and I would like to get a feel
> for what it means to be a ham. I know there is some testing involved to
> get permission for certain radio bands etc., but other than that, what
> do you do after that? Is it a worthwhile pursuit for someone with a
> strong interest in electronics and working toward an EE degree?
> Thanks,
> - Marcel
> --

2006\03\22@110639 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.
The most difficult part of getting a complete license for all bands for the
Electronics technician is the code and that has all but gone away.

Ham radio is different things to different people. The hard core state of
the art guys are always pushing the limits of technology. Some guys show
their skills in working the world with very low power, ten watts or less!
One of the most visible contributions in recent years has been the public
service provided with the organized communications in the aftermath of
Katrina and the 911 disasters in the US.

The merging of systems and technologies seems to happen among the hams
first. I have not looked in a while, but I think it was our David Van Horn
that has a system set up where his car's location is available on the
internet. Pretty neat!

My personal area of greatest interest at this time is antennas.

Probably one of the best ways to for a technical guy to check out what it is
all about is to spend a while with one of the ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook.

My call is W8CCW. I respond to it as tough it is part of my name!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@112411 by Danny Sauer

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John wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Ham Radio?' on Wed, Mar 22 at 10:08:
> I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
> electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.

Don't take this as insulting...

I can talk to geeks all over the place via the Internet, either
directly via various chat technologies or via broadcast via a web
page.  HAM radio's what that weird guy down the street did in the
60's, and what he still does in the same station wagon covered with
bizzare antennae.  I don't wanna be that guy, and thanks to the modern
world, there's no need to do so.  Radio electronics have never been
interesting except in that they excite the water molecules in my food.

Ok, so I have the fake wood wagon - but that's because of the street
performance potential and my sadistic love of really heavy cars, not
the huge ground plane. :)

Anyway, blame easy access to ever-advancing technology, IMHO.  There
are just too many other ways to have fun with electricity...

--Danny

2006\03\22@113726 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
> electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.

serious? I think I started doing electronics when I was 8 or 9, but HAM
never realy interested me. too difficult, too expensive.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\03\22@120855 by Nate Duehr

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John Ferrell wrote:

> the art guys are always pushing the limits of technology. Some guys show
> their skills in working the world with very low power, ten watts or less!

Life's too short for QRP.  ;-)

Nate WY0X

2006\03\22@121717 by Nate Duehr

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Danny Sauer wrote:

> Anyway, blame easy access to ever-advancing technology, IMHO.  There
> are just too many other ways to have fun with electricity...

In a great many cases, it was a Ham "scratching an itch" that advanced
that "ever-advancing" technology.  State of the art doesn't advance on
its own.

Quite a bit of the early work on spread-spectrum technology in the past,
and now the so-called "software defined radio" was done by Hams, just
tinkering.

Eventually some company decides something like that is a viable research
project to throw money at... but the Hams were usually there first.

I'm hoping to find some time this summer to work on a VoIP-based voted
receiver system... what I'd REALLY like to do is to figure out how to do
all the S/N voting digitally in a PC or other hardware and to time sync
arbitrary streams of audio coming in from different latency and delayed
internet links.  Wish I were better at DSP math.

But I have a feeling I already have too many projects on my plate this
summer with repeater maintenance trips, installation of two new UHF
repeaters on two high mountains, work (of course... yuck), and maybe if
I'm lucky... a little vacation to Dayton, OH to the Dayton Hamfest.

Nate

2006\03\22@122447 by alan smith

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Have to agree with Danny. My wife will often say.....he must be a ham, when some really off the wall geek comes to the door.  And when you run mobile HF with the big ol center loaded whip for 20 meters, some look at you and say...what in the world...peek into the truck cab and see....HF, VHF/UHF, trunking scanner, public safety radio...plus the handheld or two sitting on the seat...and you say that you can talk to someone across the city, across the state, country or world.  They show you the new razor phone and say...so can I....the "wow" factor isnt there anymore.  10 years ago, it still was.  To some (hams) it still is, but now with IRLP, you can talk across the world on VHF.
 
 BUT....when the cell sites are down....natural disasters.....we shine.  We don't look for the press coverage and never get the kudos, but most local (US) agencies are VERY well aware of ARES and RACES, and count on them being around when a disaster hits.  Even local agencies for S&R use the groups.
 
 Its a hobby.  Some like to chat on the internet as a hobby.  Some build PIC stuff as a hobby.  SSTV, AMSAT, county huniting, DXpiditions, or just chatting to your wife on the way home from work.  Tho some days....I just turn off the 2M rig, because there are always some that either know everything since they have been in the hobby for 6 months, or just drag on repeating everything 10 times.....not as bad as CB, but sometimes....the license restrictions that were loosened up in order to attract more....well, I wont say anything more about it.
 
 Out of 15 EE here, I am the only ham.



                       
---------------------------------
Yahoo! Mail
Use Photomail to share photos without annoying attachments.

2006\03\22@125354 by William Chops Westfield

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>> I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
>> electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.
>
I've wondered that too.  But I haven't managed to catch that
particular bug at all.  I mean, I've read QST and similar from
time to time, and said to myself "that's a cool project; I could
build that and then I could...." and that's about the point I
lose interest.  My particular IQ doesn't seem to lend itself to
morse code much at all, and technology has moved past that so
there was a period of time where I considered that requirement
close to "offensive" (oh, like requiring that people write cobol
programs in order to get a java coding job :-)  And I didn't do
so good in E&M classes, either...  Oh well...

> I can talk to geeks all over the place via the Internet...

Oh, sure.  NOW we have FRS, and Cell phones, and Internet, and
the attractions of Ham Radio are rather diminished.   But it
failed to attract much of my interest long before those came
along.  And I don't really know why.  (I also failed to be
attracted to the early days of mobile phones.  I had a coworker
with multiple briefcase-sized car phones, scanners, and so on
back around 1980.  I just didn't see the point...)

(OTOH, I've been enamored of email since 1976, when
I was but 17.  So maybe I caught the wave of new technology
just when I would have gotten more Ham-ish...)

BillW


2006\03\22@134053 by Thomas C. Sefranek

face picon face

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
Wouter van Ooijen
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:35 AM
To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
Subject: RE: [EE] Ham Radio?

> I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
> electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.

serious?

Yea, Seriously!
All the EE's (without a license) I rubbed elbows with at MIT for 20 years,
Were 9-5ers, they had no love for the job, no interest beyond the paycheck.
Sad!  They all seemed to think the job was a waypoint to a management
position.

I think I started doing electronics when I was 8 or 9,

I started Ham Radio at 8.

but HAM never realy interested me. too difficult, too expensive.

I admit it was a challenge.
An 8 year old reading the 1932 Radio Amateur's Handbook, (I still have it!).
Peddling my bike to Blinderman's junk yard to salvage Electronic parts.
(I owe that man's memory, big time!)
The sheer terror of going to Philadelphia, to take my exam before the FCC.
The pure bliss at passing! (Walking 3 feet above the pavement...)
The infernal wait for the "ticket".

I didn't have money, I had determination.
I still give GREAT weight to interviewees, if they have a license.
There's a better than even chance that they have a working knowledge of the
art of electronics.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

Tom
AKA: WA3CRS, W3CRS, WA1RHP, WB5QHJ


 *
 |  __O    Thomas C. Sefranek  KILLspamtcsKILLspamspamcmcorp.com
 |_-\<,_   Amateur Radio Operator: WA1RHP
 (*)/ (*)  Bicycle mobile on 145.41MHz PL74.4

ARRL Instructor, Technical Specialist, VE Contact.
hamradio.cmcorp.com/inventory/Inventory.html
http://www.harvardrepeater.org


2006\03\22@134712 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> BUT....when the cell sites are down....natural disasters.....we shine.  We
> don't look for the press coverage and never get the kudos, but most local
> (US) agencies are VERY well aware of ARES and RACES, and count on them being
> around when a disaster hits.  Even local agencies for S&R use the groups.


I work with Skywarn and CERT locally, and with county emergency management
as needed.

Cell systems are nice, but when things start happening, they quickly get
overloaded or taken out.  During the ice storm last year, there were a few
times where our ham repeaters were the only systems on the air.  The county
trunking systems were down, as were the cell nets.

I've been able to get warnings out with skywarn, and had direct feedback
from folks in the track that this warning saved their lives.   I've used
slow scan TV  (SSTV) to capture pictures of tornadoes "realtime" and send
that information back to the weather service, at a time when they were
somewhat skeptical of our newly formed group's reliability.  Their
observations at the moment were indicating no tornado.  We had two that day,
that escaped their radar, but not my SSTV camera.

2006\03\22@142131 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2006-03-22 at 17:35 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
> > electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.
>
> serious? I think I started doing electronics when I was 8 or 9, but HAM
> never realy interested me. too difficult, too expensive.

I agree, interest in electronics doesn't imply involvement or interest
with ham radio.

I've been doing electronics since about the same age as Wouter. While I
did read up on ham radio it never really appealed to me.

As a kid expense was the primary reason I never even considered getting
my license. These days there's just so much stuff out there ham just
doesn't seem interesting to me.

Just my humble opinion.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\22@142356 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2006-03-22 at 13:40 -0500, Thomas C. Sefranek wrote:

> serious?
>
> Yea, Seriously!
> All the EE's (without a license) I rubbed elbows with at MIT for 20 years,
> Were 9-5ers, they had no love for the job, no interest beyond the paycheck.
> Sad!  They all seemed to think the job was a waypoint to a management
> position.

Well, your experience certainly doesn't mirror mine. Of all the EE's
I've met, few had a license. Of the EEs with an interest "beyond the
paycheck", NONE had a ham license.

Perhaps this is just a Canada thing, in the US perhaps having a ham
license means more. Up here though "ham" to almost everybody is a type
of meat...

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\22@163024 by John Ferrell

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> Don't take this as insulting...
That makes you one of the more vulnerable recruits.... you have not
discovered what part of it interests you!

The internet makes arranging schedules for things like moon bounce or meteor
scatter just that much easier...

Most hams lead nearly invisible lives.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@163325 by John Ferrell

face picon face
It is a misconception that Ham Radio is expensive. Going first class is
expensive anywhere.
When most clubs discover a promising young recruit, equipment is seldom a
problem.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@164021 by Danny Sauer

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John wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Ham Radio?' on Wed, Mar 22 at 15:32:
> > Don't take this as insulting...
> That makes you one of the more vulnerable recruits.... you have not
> discovered what part of it interests you!

Your sneaky HAM tricks won't work on me - I'm already at least 800%
overcommitted on time for other hobbies.  There's no way I'll be
working ameteur radio in there as well (despite an inclination that
some radio work would be helpful for a few specific projects)... :)

--Danny, never anticipating "catching up" completely

2006\03\22@170901 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> It is a misconception that Ham Radio is expensive.

For an 8y anything is expensive, except what can be recycled from
garbage finds. By the time I was 14 I could spot a TV set among the
garbage at the side of the road from the corner of my eyes while cycling
past it at full speed, determine the make/model, and decide whether it
was worth to stop, dump whatever was already on my bike, and risk being
late at school.

> When most clubs discover a promising young recruit, equipment
> is seldom a problem.

clubs? no clubs that I knew of :(

and I am not sure I was promising....

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\03\22@171740 by Rich Graziano

picon face
I got my HAM ticket some time ago.  I built my own receiver and transmitter,
mostly from spare parts except for the xmitter tubes and specialty items.
It was cost effective then. It seems there is not much in the way of home
brew these days.  I have since let my ticket lapse due to work load and I
want to find time to pursue it again.  With all of the modern ICs and
semiconductors it should be easy for HAMs to produce cost effective gear.  I
would encourage anyone who has an interest in electronics to develop a home
brew rig.  It's fun and a lot can be learned about electronics and physics
as well.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@173918 by Richard Prosser

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I used to be a ham also but let it lapse due to family committments
etc. However I have recently regained my ticket and under the new
requirements here in NZ I now am eligable for a full ticket (i.e. no
morse requirement and full band usage) rather than the "6m and above"
limit I had previously. There are restrictions until I have been
active for 3 months and made 50 contacts but after that it's wide
open.

And it didn't cost a bean to get reinstated either.

Now I just need to dust off the old gear, find time to sort is out -
and get permission from the boss to erect an antenna (thats the real
hard part).

Richard P (ZL3RHP)


On 23/03/06, Rich Graziano <RemoveMErgrazia1TakeThisOuTspamrochester.rr.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@175433 by David VanHorn

picon face
> Now I just need to dust off the old gear, find time to sort is out -
> and get permission from the boss to erect an antenna (thats the real
> hard part).


I bought a second house. :)

2006\03\22@184108 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
John Ferrell wrote:

> When most clubs discover a promising young recruit, equipment is seldom a
> problem.

Very true.  I've given away a lot of older gear over the years to
promising young or old folks who just don't have the money to get started.

If they're REALLY good, I might dump something off on them with a known
but minor problem, with instructions on what needs to be done to fix
it... that usually spurs an interest in fixing older "free because it
doesn't work" radios in anyone that starts out that way.

Starting off poor in Ham Radio usually yields a much more capable
technician of that person in the long-run.  There's plenty of
dead/broken/dying radios that can be had for little or no money out
there.  As a friend of mine puts it... "If you have labor, you don't
need money."

Nate

2006\03\22@184544 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Danny Sauer wrote:
> John wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Ham Radio?' on Wed, Mar 22 at 15:32:
>>> Don't take this as insulting...
>> That makes you one of the more vulnerable recruits.... you have not
>> discovered what part of it interests you!
>
> Your sneaky HAM tricks won't work on me - I'm already at least 800%
> overcommitted on time for other hobbies.  There's no way I'll be
> working ameteur radio in there as well (despite an inclination that
> some radio work would be helpful for a few specific projects)... :)

Don't worry -- we're all right there with ya!  :-)  My project list is
the pile of Motorola Micor mobiles and GE MASTR II mobiles in the
garage, as well as some old packet TNC's and other various Motorola
radios in a box (I don't even remember what they are) that are all
begging for some bench time and a trip to eBay-land.

If I can get them working and able to be sold, the club can buy one or
two good things from the proceeds... there's probably a week's worth of
work out there waiting, and it'll only make the club a couple hundred
bucks, but worth it if the radios end up in service somewhere, doing
someone else some good.

At least sitting at the workbench working on them is nice when the
weather is warm... and spring is here... it's a nice way to spend an
evening in the garage workshop.

(Of course, I need to CLEAN the workshop before I can really start on
these... sigh...)

Nate

2006\03\22@185004 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Richard Prosser wrote:
> I used to be a ham also but let it lapse due to family committments
> etc. However I have recently regained my ticket and under the new
> requirements here in NZ I now am eligable for a full ticket (i.e. no
> morse requirement and full band usage) rather than the "6m and above"
> limit I had previously. There are restrictions until I have been
> active for 3 months and made 50 contacts but after that it's wide
> open.
>
> And it didn't cost a bean to get reinstated either.
>
> Now I just need to dust off the old gear, find time to sort is out -
> and get permission from the boss to erect an antenna (thats the real
> hard part).
>
> Richard P (ZL3RHP)

I was sooooooo close to working a ZL1 from the vertical (ATAS-100)
antenna on the Jeep and 100W on my FT-857, on SSB at 3AM about a month
ago... he heard me but couldn't quite pull out the callsign...

The fun part nowadays is that I was able to look up his e-mail address
on the Net and send him a note... "It was me trying to reach you...
almost made it!"

We then chatted back and forth for a few days in e-mail.  Maybe we'll
set up a sked to try it again sometime.

Glad you're back!  We need more ZL's on the bands!  ;-)

Nate

2006\03\22@191611 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Starting off poor in Ham Radio usually yields a much more capable
> technician of that person in the long-run.  There's plenty of
> dead/broken/dying radios that can be had for little or no money out
> there.  As a friend of mine puts it... "If you have labor, you don't
> need money."


I've put up two repeaters almost entirely of ebay components where I had to
do a lot of research and study the schematics to adapt them to my needs, In
the end, I have what would retail for about $14,000 and I've spent about
$2000 on it. Not bad.

I just recovered another receiver last night, a more recent model, which I
have repaired and retuned into the US 440 band from it's original 465 MHz.

http://www.danelec.com is the maker. Almost unknown in US ham circles, but very
nice modular gear.  I now own two complete racks, each has a UHF transmitter
and receiver, and a VHF transmitter and receiver, interfaced to the Arcom
RC-210 AVR based controller.   One rack is in service at the site, and the
other rack just finished an overhaul and will get installed up there this
week, plus I have a third rack with a couple spare modules.

I've learned some interesting things about tuning receivers along the way
too! :)

2006\03\22@195117 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 22, 2006, at 2:17 PM, Rich Graziano wrote:

> I built my own receiver and transmitter, mostly from spare
> parts except for the xmitter tubes and specialty items. It
> was cost effective then. It seems there is not much in the
> way of home brew these days.

Hmm.  I wonder, if my initial attempts at homebuilt crystal radios
had worked better (or "worked at all"), if that would have been
enough to make the spark grow in me?  Even from the edge, it was
clear that "ham radio" was actually several different hobbies,
and many of them pretty much required some relatively expensive
store-bought gear.

BillW

2006\03\22@195433 by Bill & Pookie

picon face
Marcel,

Ham radio is a interesting and fun hobby.  So many things one can do with
amateur radio.  My thing is QRP (5 watts or less) CW.  And the range goes
from the cutting edge to the ancient.

One can make many friends through radio and the technical knowledge and
practical experience is beneficial.  After all, one never know when they
will be marooned and have only a 51 Ford from which to build a transmitter.

Also, as a hobby on a resume, it shows interest and effort.

Bill   WB6YWI

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@212225 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Someday someone will give you a transciever or you will take one in
trade....
800 % overbooked is another good sign
John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@213227 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I sold an R390 (Collins built military reciever, $15000 new) for about $500
to a local via EBAY. He came to look at it before he bid & I loaded his car
up with militay stuff I collected over the past 40 years. Then he won the
bid on the radio & came back to pick up the radio I filled his car up again
with more!
We were both thrilled with the deal!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\22@213635 by John Ferrell

face picon face
You were and are. Scrounging is an art.

John Ferrell    
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wouter van Ooijen" <spamBeGonewouterspamBeGonespamvoti.nl>
To: "'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'" <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 5:06 PM
Subject: RE: [EE] Ham Radio?


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\22@214253 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I chatted with a fellow in Alaska a couple winters back who was running that
power level.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\23@044402 by Rich Graziano

picon face
There is an element of truth to what you say. Ham radio can be seen as a
composite of several disciplines.  But one can still build a good superhet
receiver even without cat whiskers.  And, one can still wind a transformer
for a xmitter power supply.

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\23@044605 by Rich Graziano

picon face
What sort of old gear do you have?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Prosser" <RemoveMErhprosserspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistEraseMEspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: [EE] Ham Radio?


{Quote hidden}

>

2006\03\23@045213 by Rich Graziano

picon face
I really enjoy the humor on this list :-)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill & Pookie" <RemoveMEreddxKILLspamspamcomcast.net>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistSTOPspamspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: [EE] Ham Radio?


{Quote hidden}

>> --

2006\03\23@053353 by Richard Prosser

picon face
On 23/03/06, Rich Graziano <EraseMErgrazia1spamEraseMErochester.rr.com> wrote:
> What sort of old gear do you have?
>
>
> ..snip

Nothing special. A Kenwood 9000 multimode VHF rig , a Icom 6m rig &
homebuilt PA, aYaeusa (spelling?) HF receiver, a  couple of modified
commecial VHF and UFH mobile trancievers in various condition and
parts of a number of diferent antennae but nothing complete. I'd like
to get into the psk31 / QRP modes and possilbly have a play with VLF
stuff. When I was "active" I used to spend more time playing with the
gear than actually using it. In those days mobile phones didn't exist
so the Kenwood was used in the car in case of breakdowns & to ease the
monotony of long trips.

RP

2006\03\23@092631 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Well, Richard:  It sounds like you have some nice gear.  The Kenwood is
certainly a good reviver.   What spectrum does your homebrew PA cover?  What
are you using in the final?  It sounds like you are one of the "real Hams"
that build stuff.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\23@111444 by Tim N9PUZ

picon face
Nate Duehr wrote:

>
> Life's too short for QRP.  ;-)
>
> Nate WY0X

Ah! One of those "skill is no substitute for power" guys. Hi Hi.

Tim, N9PUZ
<http://www.n9puz.com>

2006\03\23@112942 by Tim N9PUZ

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Hmm.  I wonder, if my initial attempts at homebuilt crystal radios
> had worked better (or "worked at all"), if that would have been
> enough to make the spark grow in me?  Even from the edge, it was
> clear that "ham radio" was actually several different hobbies,
> and many of them pretty much required some relatively expensive
> store-bought gear.

Ham radio can have many aspects beyond electronics. If you experiment
with antennas or building equipment mechanical design, metal working,
etc. can all come in to play. There are even a couple of "software
defined radio" projects ongoing where people are using minimal
hardware and lots of software, DSPs, etc. to create much of the
filtering, etc. that is traditionally done in hardware. Many, many
things transfer readily into the commercial world.

Tim, N9PUZ

2006\03\23@115145 by David VanHorn

picon face
The hardest question I get asked, is "What is ham radio?"

2006\03\23@121210 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I finally realized (I think) the reason for morse code in some bands.
Morse code doesn't require a knowledge of english for basic contacts.
One can make contacts with others in the universal morse code
regardless of your language or their language.  Morse code provides
very simple phrases and shortcuts (which make sense in english) but
are understood worldwide.

The bands that are restricted to morse code use are generally those
that can travel intercontinentally - at least in the US.

This doesn't mean one can chat about arbitrary subjects.
International morse code seems only able to cover things like, "My
call sign is, your signal strength is, etc" without getting into
english.

So it isn't _just_ elitism, but I suspect that were I an extra class
HAM I'd like there to be a small barrier (and 5wpm morse is a _small_
barrier) to keep the S/N noise higher than would be otherwise.

I'm looking into getting my license.  The technician test is really
easy to pass.  It looks like I need to study the bands and a few more
ARRL rules and I should be fine for the general and extra tests as
well.  The morse code is going to take a little time...

-Adam

On 3/22/06, William Chops Westfield <@spam@westfw@spam@spamspam_OUTmac.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\03\23@121211 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I finally realized (I think) the reason for morse code in some bands.
Morse code doesn't require a knowledge of english for basic contacts.
One can make contacts with others in the universal morse code
regardless of your language or their language.  Morse code provides
very simple phrases and shortcuts (which make sense in english) but
are understood worldwide.

The bands that are restricted to morse code use are generally those
that can travel intercontinentally - at least in the US.

This doesn't mean one can chat about arbitrary subjects.
International morse code seems only able to cover things like, "My
call sign is, your signal strength is, etc" without getting into
english.

So it isn't _just_ elitism, but I suspect that were I an extra class
HAM I'd like there to be a small barrier (and 5wpm morse is a _small_
barrier) to keep the S/N noise higher than would be otherwise.

I'm looking into getting my license.  The technician test is really
easy to pass.  It looks like I need to study the bands and a few more
ARRL rules and I should be fine for the general and extra tests as
well.  The morse code is going to take a little time...

-Adam

On 3/22/06, William Chops Westfield <spamBeGonewestfwspamKILLspammac.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\03\23@125732 by alan smith

picon face
Morse code wins over voice for multiple reasons....less bandwith, less power can be used to punch thru QRM, equipment is simple (as compared to SSB).  And yes, is universal.
 
 And, believe it or not, full conversations do occur at 25+WPM by the guys that are really into it.  I once was sitting talking to a guy....really good CW'er....and he said just a second....then started keying back to someone.  I had no idea he was listening to the radio while talking to me....and carrying on both conversations.


               
---------------------------------
New Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Call regular phones from your PC and save big.

2006\03\23@131033 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 3/22/06, Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterspam_OUTspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> > I have always wondered how anyone could really have a interest in
> > electronics without some involvement in Ham Radio.
>
> serious? I think I started doing electronics when I was 8 or 9, but HAM
> never realy interested me. too difficult, too expensive.

Shame on you !
:)
I've started to design 2.5GHz and 5GHz transcievers at 41.
I must admit there are funny things. But also very difficult things.
And requesting good measurement tools.

greetings,
Vasile

2006\03\23@132004 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> I've started to design 2.5GHz and 5GHz transcievers at 41.
> I must admit there are funny things. But also very difficult things.
> And requesting good measurement tools.


So true, but a 5 element beam fits in the palm of your hand, not a huge
backyard!

2006\03\23@133925 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Tim N9PUZ wrote:
> Nate Duehr wrote:
>
>> Life's too short for QRP.  ;-)
>>
>> Nate WY0X
>
> Ah! One of those "skill is no substitute for power" guys. Hi Hi.
>
> Tim, N9PUZ
> <http://www.n9puz.com>

LOL!

Actually power is only useful if you build/use GOOD antennas FIRST.  ;-)

Antennas are my personal pet peeve.  (Or I should say, hearing people
putting up half-assed antennas is.)

Any radio works GREAT with the right antenna, and so few hams "do the
math" to figure this out.  MASSIVE performance gains from using a
better/more efficient/etc antenna out of ANY radio system...

The radio hooked to a good antenna can be utter junk, and still
outperform the guy with lame antennas and a big amplifier, any day of
the week.

So if you consider proper antenna selection "skill"... then yes, I 100%
agree with you.  Antennas and calculation of receiver system noise
figures first - then power.  Hear then talk.  ;-)

I'm an antenna snob.  I don't care what you hook to it, but the antenna
had better be the right antenna for the job.

Example: For repeaters... the club spends BIG money on antennas.

Sinclair folded-dipole arrays are all we buy now.  They run around $900
US an antenna... if on a discount.

We've been through the "ten year learning curve" of every other sort of
possible antenna, and it wasn't worth it.  I have a small pile of
antennas the club owns now that others have tried over the years, that
shouldn't be anywhere near a high-RF site, let alone in duplexed
repeater service.

The Sinclairs last 10 or more years in service, and have all the proper
characteristics necessary for proper duplexed operation.

We always mate the antenna to at least 5/8" hardline or better.  No
regular coax on the tower.

We always install Polyphasers and a proper grounding system, even if it
means we have to rebuild the site grounding system ourselves (with
permission of course).

When they're done right, proper antenna systems yield far better results
than anything else you can do to a radio.

THEN if 5W won't work 'em... turn up the power!  (GRIN)

Nate (WY0X)

2006\03\23@153935 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Hi Rich,
The PA is 6 metres only - something like 50MHz to 52MHz. In fact I'm
not even 100% sure I can use it now as the band is very close to  TV
Channel1. There are restrictions on that band now IIRC. Anyway it is
still only low power. Puts out about 15W as the Icom rig only puts out
about 1-2 !. Output device is a 2N5643 I think.
I used to have a combined 2m/6m yagi that I played around with when
the early OSCAR (& the Russian equiv) satallites were operating. Now I
think the elements are primarily used to hold up the roses!

I do prefer to build gear -or to modify commercial equipment - rather
than just buy kit & use it. Partly for financial reasions, but mainly
I like to see how euipment is designed and how it can be adapted for
other uses. (For another example I've just converted an old mobile
phone into a "infinite distance" garage door opener).


Richard P




On 24/03/06, Rich Graziano <TakeThisOuTrgrazia1.....spamTakeThisOuTrochester.rr.com> wrote:
> Well, Richard:  It sounds like you have some nice gear.  The Kenwood is
> certainly a good reviver.   What spectrum does your homebrew PA cover?  What
> are you using in the final?  It sounds like you are one of the "real Hams"
> that build stuff.
>
>

2006\03\23@162548 by Chris Levin

flavicon
face

First, I'd like to say that I've been enjoying this thread. I am a ham
radio operator, call sign KB7YOU. I got my technician with code license
while studying computer engineering at the University of Utah. I was
away from the hobby for a few years due to work but 3 years back I
started getting involved again. Upgraded to general and (once I have the
skills) I plan on getting my Extra class. I could pass the test now but
I prefer to really understand the material.

For me, radio is not about talking to people. I don't do that very
often; it's not really my thing. But ham radio is a *great* foundation
for electronics, home brewing and other technical pursuits. I use radio
for all kinds of things.

But, on to my main point:

*Home brewing is not dead!*

Today, designing and building your own electronics is more than
possible, it's down right easy. I took an interest in electronics and
computers, combined that with my professional skills (software engineer)
and my basic EE classes back in school and turned it into a major hobby
and (at times) paying concern. I've become a PIC expert (I really love
embedded electronics) and even make some money on the side doing
embedded consulting work (simple stuff compared to the things most of
you do, but interesting to me.)

I have gone from kit building to designing my own analog and mixed
signal circuits for things like robots, night lights (yes, I designed
and built a super-smart night light for my 3 year old daughter. After a
year of development, I'm up to revision 3), amplifiers, transmitters,
home sensors and automation gadgets, and tons more stuff. I even use
surface mount components (learned how to via the Internet). All of this
with no formal training at all (except for some really great hands-on
classes in college.)

The Internet, free samples, on line electronics suppliers and resources
like this group make it easier than it's ever been. When I got started
in electronics as a kid there was nothing but old library books and
magazines if you could find them (and Radio Shack of course, before it
became cellphone central)

After three years of searching for just the right job I have made a
career change. Instead of designing and writing enterprise software
systems (which gets excruciatingly boring after the 20th or 30th
project!!) I am now working as a hardware and software QA person for a
home automation company. Kind of a downgrade as far as responsibility
and money goes, but now I'm getting my hands dirty working on
electronics and hanging with some really smart engineers; Plus, I have a
foot in the door. My hobby has become my job. The best part - instead of
helping companies make a bigger buck while turning their employees into
drones, I get to CREATE things that make the world a more interesting
(and hopefully better) place.

Ham radio did not make this happen but it definitely provided a
foundation, framework and support structure that helped a lot. It also
kept my interest high when I did not have the time or money to spend on
more involved pursuits.

Being an engineer is the best job in the world and being a ham radio
operator has helped support and nurture my creative skills. So, if you
are thinking about becoming a ham then I say go for it. Don't let the
stereotyped image of the weird old guy stop you. I don't walk around
with huge antennas on the car and 5 radios on my belt (although my house
can be a strange sight at times) and if you met me on a street corner
you would never know that I was an electron geek.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Chris
(KB7YOU)





Rich Graziano wrote:

>I got my HAM ticket some time ago.  I built my own receiver and transmitter,
>mostly from spare parts except for the xmitter tubes and specialty items.
>It was cost effective then. It seems there is not much in the way of home
>brew these days.  
>

2006\03\23@164002 by David VanHorn

picon face
> The radio hooked to a good antenna can be utter junk, and still
> outperform the guy with lame antennas and a big amplifier, any day of
> the week.


I did a bluetooth module a while back, and went a few rounds with management
over antennas.  Someone wanted to sell them a chip antenna at $12 ea, with
"high gain"..   My simple piece of wire was being poo-poohed because it was
cheap. After all, the other one must be good, look how much it costs!

Turns out "high gain" was -10dBi at best, and surprise surprise, the quarter
wave wire kicks it's ass.

2006\03\23@172402 by gacrowell

flavicon
face

> [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesKILLspamspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of Chris Levin
> Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 2:26 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [EE] Ham Radio?
>
> First, I'd like to say that I've been enjoying this thread. I
> am a ham radio operator, call sign KB7YOU.

I've been enjoying it too.  Just on impulse, I got my Tech just a few
months ago.  While I was there I listened to a code test and was
surprised that I probably copied 80-90% of it, maybe even enough to
pass, after not using it for 40 years.  Had a novice license in HS.
Practiced a bit, went back and got the General & Extra.  Haven't been on
the air though.  Still looking at radios & not sure what I want to do,
but I'm glad I got it.  There are lots of things that look interesting.

Gary Crowell
KE7FIZ


2006\03\23@195505 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Repurposing equipment is very satisfying!
It is tough to justify building from scratch when you can buy an old (or
even new) gadget & adapt it to your needs!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\24@001431 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Hi Richard:

Thank you for the reply.  It seems the guys in NZ are really O.K.  I am also
a fan of Russell, though I have never met him in person.  HAM Radio was a
great part of my childhood, as was electronics.  To me they were
complementary hobbies. When I was a kid in JR. HS, some of us were
interested in HAM radio and we would modify radios with a short wave band by
tearing out most of the plates from a spare VC salvaged from some radio and
put it in parallel with the main tuning cap RF amp section as a band spread.
Then we would loop a 30 AWG insulated wire past the local oscillator coil
and connect both ends to the wiper of a 10k pot and ground the one leg of
the pot; we had a cheap and easy BFO.  For short range voice modulation we
built an 807 final driven by a 6V6.  Then wrapped 3 turns around the output
tank coil and tied each end to a carbon mike.  You can imagine how broad our
signal became.  But for short range it was AM modulation.  The RF excited
the carbon but the mike sucked down a lot of output.  But it was fun and we
were learning how to be resourceful.  We all had our ticket.  I was KN2OPD;
a novice operator. I am anxious to get my ticket back but I a so swamped at
the moment. Hopefully this August or September I will take the test.  I
still remember the code but I bet I can't do over 5 words a minute :-}}

What is your call?Regards
Rich

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\24@170210 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Hi Rich,
It sounds like you had as entertaiing childhood as myself! Except that
my friends weren't particularly interested so I was mostly working by
myself. Not neccessarily a good thing, particularly looking back at
the voltages involved in equipment in those days.

I think that one of the things that make Hams (and other electronic
hobbyists)stand out from other engineers & techs is that they have had
the experience of having to improvise - both in test equipment and
construction.

Best wishes
Richard P (Callsign ZL3RHP)



On 24/03/06, Rich Graziano <.....rgrazia1spamRemoveMErochester.rr.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\03\26@092357 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Like most kid Hams we had an ARRL Handbook.  You probably did also.  So as
Hams, we got a head start on theory and practical prototype and build before
college.  As engineers we were well prepared.  And, it work was fun.  It
still is.

Regards,
Rich


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\26@221818 by upand at them

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I got my ham license a couple years ago just so I could do packet radio for a
high altitude balloon project I had an interest in.  I studied a book for a
few days and got my tech's license.

But to be honest...I have no interest in it other than that.  It's a dying
hobby, what with so many other forms of communication today.

Mike


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2006\03\26@231456 by Rich Graziano

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I think HAM Operators are diverse and different just like everyone else.
Some take the imitative to pursue new avenues and some decide it isn't
really what they thought.  That's OK too! :-)

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2006\03\27@103313 by John Ferrell

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Our discussions here last week generated a little interest for me.
Friday evening I tuned the 40 meter band and found there were lots of
stations participating in a contest sponsored by CQ magazine. I joined in
and made 10 contacts. Saturday afternoon I decided to check it out again and
switched up to 20 meters for a few contacts. I hung in there for 15 more
contacts in a half hour. Some of the more interesting contacts I made were
club stations on the Battleship New Jersey, Belgium and Croatia.

For those who might be interested, My equipment list is:
TenTec Pegasus 100 watt transceiver with a built in auto tuner. There are no
external controls on this radio, it is fully controlled by my computer.

The antenna... A commercially made Cushcraft A3 3-element Triband beam at
about 25 feet. The crank up tower will go to 55 feet but it is less a target
for wind & lightning at 25 feet. It also has the short 40meter dipole
installed. Rotation is temporarily off line, I need a simple PIC project to
remedy that but have been too lazy to do it!

Not a typical use of my ham ticket, but I enjoyed the distraction.

I could make the same contacts with the telephone or the internet but these
contacts were made with just my station and his station.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

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'[EE] Ham Radio?'
2006\04\03@160515 by Barry Gershenfeld
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Late check-in :-)

>Hmm.  I wonder, if my initial attempts at homebuilt crystal radios
>had worked better (or "worked at all"), if that would have been
>enough to make the spark grow in me?  ...  BillW

I'm gonna say, "probably".  My dad and I built a "crystal" radio out of a
piece of wood, a coil wound over cardboard, and the detector was a pencil
"lead" and a razor blade.   The antenna was the TV aerial lead.  It didn't
work.  I could get static when I moved the detector, but something wasn't
right.  I also had a "real" crystal radio which did work.  We stole the
diode out of it and made the homebuilt work with it.  So we showed where
the problem was.  I often suspected the razor blade + pencil lead was a
prank or misinformation, but I know the principle behind it
nowadays.  Never owned a piece of galena, though.

The day I got my novice license one guy loaned me a transmitter and showed
me how to string up an antenna.  I learned how to tune and load the
transmitter from that (tapped coil).  Then another guy gave me a box of
parts and a schematic, so I could build my own.  From that I learned why
diodes are rated for "inverse" and not "reverse" voltage, and also that
besides RFI bypassing stuff in the shack, sometimes you have to do to the
same inside the transmitter!

Oops, wrong story. I was going to talk about how I became interested in
other "modes" of communication.  I had a facsimile machine, then got a
teletype machine, messed with slowscan TV, tried to do some amateur
television, then packet radio. Not an inclusive list.  There is always
something to play with.  2 meters, sure, but that was just "infrastructure".

WA2QMI



>

2006\04\04@013445 by Nate Duehr

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Barry Gershenfeld wrote:
> Late check-in :-)

LOL!

>> Hmm.  I wonder, if my initial attempts at homebuilt crystal radios
>> had worked better (or "worked at all"), if that would have been
>> enough to make the spark grow in me?  ...  BillW

<snipped the crystal radio story>

> television, then packet radio. Not an inclusive list.  There is always
> something to play with.  2 meters, sure, but that was just "infrastructure".
>
> WA2QMI

Hey!  Some of us like building the "infrastructure" stuff.  :-)

Making the club VHF repeater hear some guy trying to use a hand-held
radio with a rubber dummy load (duck) and 1W of RF from his BASEMENT
more than 20 MILES AWAY and still repeat his piddly little signal
somewhat reliably out over 300 square miles of territory on three
repeaters -- is a great technical challenge.

It's hard to do in today's RF noisy environments, amplification only
does so much before you hit the noise floor!

And that damn inverse square law is always trying to trip you up!

;-)

Nate WY0X

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