Would we be interested in making HF contacts? Say on 20M, maybe Thanksgiving Day or the day after? I’ll also be in Macomb, IL 11/19-21, and Nashville TN 11/26-28 for repeater contacts. Anyone outside of the US want to join in? The only catch is right now I have only a QRP rig, 5W into a G5RV. I get good signal reports for most of the US and Canada, but longer contacts are much more difficult. I can also do digital modes: Hell, PSK31, MFSK.
So, are you interested? Suggest a frequency and let me know.
<giggle> actually I vaguely understood what your post is about only because someone I know on my bujold mailing list is into playing with radio waves also=)
how are you on regular radio number stations? amused, interested or tin hat brigade?
Ah, Connecticut, home of the ARRL in Newington. CQ is a call transmitted to see if anyone else is out there listening on that frequency. It is about the only time an amateur station may broadcast. Otherwise, any transmission has to be directed to another station that will respond. 20M means the 20 meter shortwave amateur band that lies between 14.000 and 14.350 MHz, and is popular for local or international (DX) contacts. My current shortwave radio is low power only (QRP), putting out only 5 watts of power, as opposed to the more standard 100 watts. Since my power output is a little more than a flashlight, I use a type of antenna (G5RV) that puts out my signal efficiently (and there is a lot of debate about this as well). Repeaters are radios that receive on one frequency, and then transmit what they received on another frequency. They provide a wide area of reception, and allow low power radios to communicate 5 to 10 times the distance they could without the repeater. Repeaters are used most often on VHF, UHF and microwave bands. Digital modes are non-voice types of communication using clicks or tones to transmit information. The first, and only human-readable digital mode was morse code (CW). Hell, AKA Feld Hell or Hellschrieber was developed in Germany at the end of WWI, IIRC. PSK31 and MFSK are more recent modes that have a warbly sound to them.
Number stations? I haven’t heard them in a while, but then I haven’t gone looking for them either. I believe they are or were some sort of coded means of transmitting illicit or spy information. The rise of e-mail and the internet would have pretty much wiped them out, I believe. Sorry, no tin hats for me, unless I’m out weather-spotting in a hail storm.
FCC amateur radio license # KF4VCC
A mere Technician checking in here. I don’t have HF privileges but I might soon if the ARRL restructuring proposal goes through. I certainly hope that it does.
Repeaters are also used for FM stations so they can broadcast to an entire geographical area. For example, my local NPR station broadcasts at 89.5 FM in Harrisburg and the surrounding area, but has a repeater to broadcast in Lancaster County.
jnglmassiv, I’ll monitoring the Macomb WB9TEA repeater, 147.060+/103.5. If there’s a repeater net that covers Macomb and your QTH, let me know. I’ll have ~50W mobile to play with, or maybe 5W into a portable G5RV, if I can put it up.
I wish my station was up and running, I’d join in. K
Plans have changed somewhat. I’ll still be on the road this week-end, passing through Indianapolis before taking I-74 west past Peoria. On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be in Nashville, where I do have a multiband dipole set up, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to squeeze in some radio time. I’ll be at the home QTH that Sunday, if anyone is still interested in setting up a QSO.
I’m in the process of assembling and mounting a new yagi on my tower, so for now have no HF antennas. But if you come through St. Louis, look for me on the Boeing repeater located in North St. Louis County just off of I-270. 147.06+ with a PL of 141.3.
My QTH is about 45 miles West.
I’m in Milwaukee for the remainder of the school year, I’m afraid. And Macomb is pretty far west, even for my Chicago-area QTH.
I’ve concentrated on Motorola portables. I have a number of different models (GP350, P1225, MTS2000, Sabers, Systems Sabers, MT500). The upside is that they’re great, durable, feature-packed radios. The downside(s) is that they’re all single band, not generally field programmable, software is scarce, and they’re expensive. Its not ok on amateur bands but I like the encryption aspect too and many of my radios are Securenet equipped.
Chicago has at least 3 digital P25 repeaters that I know of. When I’m able to, I’m looking forward to getting an Astro radio to play with digital. Its still about $1000 for a nice, full featured Astro radio but a guy can dream, can’t he?
Dude, go ahead and learn the code. Bone up on the tests at qrz.com. It’s not all that diffcult. If I can do it anyone can.
Ya, I oughta. Its one of those things that between learning code, studying schoolwork, or goofing off…code come in as a distant third. I know it would wind up costing a lot of money, too. Not the licensing but buying the equipment to use my new privledges. Besides, if the code requirement is going away, I guess I’ll take a wait-and-see approach.
I agree, it does take a considerable time investment. I worked at it a couple hours a day for three weeks before I thought I was ready for the test.
But the point is, regardless of whether it is required or not, that it is something a ham oughta know. I think that the code requirement needs to be retained.
The ARRL, the international Maritime community and I respectfully disagree. To me, amateurs should be looking to the future, not the past. At one time, vacuum tube theory and home transformer and coil winding were ‘oughta knows’ for hams. To the ARRL’s credit, they recognize the shift in technology and amateur domographic and have recommended changes. If they want to further modern communications, realistically, they should be testing for familiarity of digital modes.