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Amateur Radio

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Amateur Radio

Post by blackvanman on Sat Mar 30 2013, 00:49

As Nuts asked in another thread:
nutgone wrote:
Actually, we do have a "Other Hobbies" section, & I've yet to see this hobby appear there. I know very little on the subject myself, but I know there's at least 2 of you on here, possibly more. Anyone fancy putting a little post in there & telling us all a little about it?

I would like to know a little more, like what exactly it is that you do? Who do you contact? & how do you know to contact them? How far do the signals go? & (perhaps most of all) what do you say when you do make contact? What do you talk about?

When I helped my dad bring his barge back through the French inland waterways system & back across the channel I had to read the VHF radio operators manual, now normal chit-chat is pretty much banned on this, is there a strict code on this kind of radio as well? (we're talking short wave, aren't we?)

Too many questions, I know, & probably best not answered here. If you like I can re-post them in the Other Hobbies section, or just take note & answer them in a new thread of your making (whoever decides to make one).

what exactly it is that you do?
Use radio equipment to contact others over varying distances.
Who do you contact?
Anyone who happens to be listening and wants to talk back.
& how do you know to contact them?
It depends, sometimes its like fishing, you put a call out and see who (if anyone) answers, other times you may have pre arranged with another operator to meet up on a certain frequency at a certain time.
How far do the signals go?
This is not a straight forward question to answer, in simple terms atmospheric conditions can play a massive part in distance, as does the frequency used, higher frequencies are most reliable for short distance, where as lower frequencies will get you to Australia under the right conditions.
what do you say when you do make contact?
The first thing is to exchange call signs basically a bit like a verbal car registration, mine being: M0IED or MIKE ZERO INDIA ECHO DELTA, then of course it is polite to exchange signal reports (how well each other are receiving) and name and location.
What do you talk about?
This can vary enormously, some just like to make a contact (callsign, sig rep) and move on, sometimes this is because they are taking part in a contest (not my cup of tea) competing for distance and or quantity of contacts. Others like to talk about technical subjects, after all its a technical hobby, while others prefer to just have a good chat about anything or have a good laugh with others on air.
is there a strict code on this kind of radio as well?
not in that sense, you may talk about whatever you like provided it is not threatening, abusive or sexually explicit, and you adhere to the terms of your licence.

Added one for you:
How do you get a licence?
There are three licence categories
Foundation- max 10w RF power most freq bands
Intermediate- max 50w More bands
Advanced/Full- max 400w All bands + other privileges

There are many aspects to the hobby, simply communicating with others, electronics, contests, radio tracking, digital data transmission, emergency comms, constructing, experimenting the list goes on, most of the wireless technology you rely on today is a result of this hobby in one way shape or form Smile

The easiest way to get started is to see if there is a club near you that offers exams and training.

Does that help? Smile
Andy
M0IED
(Advanced Licence call sign)

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by Ianhw77k on Sat Mar 30 2013, 12:52

I'm quite interested in this myself, shame I'll probably never be able to afford the gear to do it. I know a guy down in Plymouth who does it.

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by stationary stu on Sat Mar 30 2013, 12:55

Well just to upset all you amerture guys I'm into cb radio. Very Happy I've 2 sets one the legal 40 the other a big sideband set which I bought from the states.
I never use them much as there's not many people on around here.

Stu.

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by nutgone on Sat Mar 30 2013, 16:05

I never realised you could transmit quite so far. I did know that certain radio waves follow the curvature of the earth (I think scratch ).

Also, what about foreign languages? I know the international language for VHF ship to shore or ship to ship is English (unless you're a French bargeman, in which case you ignore all the rules & use the VHF for whatever the hell you like, even conversing on emergency channels, in French! Rolling Eyes ). So if, say, a Spanish person makes contact, should the callsign be read in English phonetic alphabet only?

It is quite interesting, & as a quick note on what Ian said, it needn't be that expensive. A lot of amateur radio operators make their own equipment, I suppose you could even adapt other equipment to suit if you had the knowledge.

Also, are we allowed to say "Radio Hams" or does it have to be "Amateur Radio Operator"? Very Happy

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by Smitty on Sat Mar 30 2013, 16:56

stationary stu wrote:Well just to upset all you amerture guys I'm into cb radio. Very Happy I've 2 sets one the legal 40 the other a big sideband set which I bought from the states.
I never use them much as there's not many people on around here.

Stu.

Same here Stu,

Because of the nature of my work, I have 5 or 6 radios laying about and all the equipment to fix them or tune them up. I did some experimental echo boards and stuff, but got tired of that.
I was into it quite deep for a while but then what with the population joining in with language and plain aggravating manners, I sort of got tired of it and got into short wave only to find out that it isn't my cup of tea anymore.

I have the basic radios still (just in case disaster strikes and no one else will have any Rolling Eyes ) and I use one in the truck, but as for all out modulating and talking to people Iv'e never seen, or will never see in counties where I'll never go, that's a thing of the past for me.
The last time I talked on 10 meters is three years ago, so I don't think I qualify anymore Laughing

I keep the three souped up Cobra 29 LTD Classics at home (40 Ch 27 Mhz. Jap boards.), another in the truck, but the 10 meter 150 watt Ranger 6500 Turbo radio just went out the door a while ago.

Around a 30 watt equivalent in output for the Classics is about max for them, ( they do reach out and touch with the Wilson 2000 aerials on the truck) and the Starduster on the mast at home will give a good 6 decibel gain Very Happy :, which is more than ample for what they need to do.
I gave up on U&L sideband as I never used that much in te first place.

It is a good hobby I think, but I hate it when people interfere and piss me off just when I need to use the darn things in the truck, even on the 10 meter and other bands Mad
People are just like Mosquito's they WILL find you. Twisted Evil

I like engines better, they require no second person to have fun with, and give you nothing but relaxation and satisfaction :thumbup:

John.


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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by blackvanman on Tue Apr 02 2013, 01:34

nutgone wrote:I never realised you could transmit quite so far. I did know that certain radio waves follow the curvature of the earth (I think scratch ).
Almost but not quite, gasses become ionised in the atmosphere by the sun, these ionised gasses reflect radio waves back to earth, so its a bit like playing a shot off the cushion in a game of pool/snooker lol The level of ionisation varies with the suns activity hence "atmospheric conditions" play a large role in distance. Higher frequencies pass through these ionised layers (roughly over 30Mhz and up) where as lower frequencies are unable to pass and are reflected.

nutgone wrote:Also, what about foreign languages? I know the international language for VHF ship to shore or ship to ship is English (unless you're a French bargeman, in which case you ignore all the rules & use the VHF for whatever the hell you like, even conversing on emergency channels, in French! Rolling Eyes ). So if, say, a Spanish person makes contact, should the callsign be read in English phonetic alphabet only?
The international language is English but people do talk to each other in their native tongue, mind you I once listened to a French man and a German conversing together in broken English on 80m (3.5-3.8Mhz) it reminded me of "Allo Allo" Very Happy

nutgone wrote:It is quite interesting, & as a quick note on what Ian said, it needn't be that expensive. A lot of amateur radio operators make their own equipment, I suppose you could even adapt other equipment to suit if you had the knowledge.

Also, are we allowed to say "Radio Hams" or does it have to be "Amateur Radio Operator"? Very Happy
only intermediate or above licence holders may use modified/homebrew equipment, however foundation licensees may use home constructed kits provided they are commercially sourced. Its as cheap or expensive as you want it to be, build up in steps and be sensible and its not so bad, the other thing to remember is you are just as likely to hit Oz on a £3-400 rig with a decent home made antenna as you are with a £10,000 rig with a crap (but expensive) commercial antenna. Again fishing comes to mind, man with bamboo and string catching more than man with very expensive outfit, special chair, clothing, bite alarms etc lol

And Stu/Smitty, I have CB's here also, although they are usually switched off as the idiots outweigh the few decent folk on "the 1 9" lol

ps, for anyone "in the know" thinking I have missed things out, I am just trying to keep things simple Wink

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by stationary stu on Tue Apr 02 2013, 10:44

My ex father in law was into ham radio years back and put up a big mast that he lifts with a handle then he can turn it around. It cost him a fortune to have built/fitted but like you say unless you spend a bit of money you'll not get far.
On cb years ago I had some good contacts, best was 2 truckers in the States pushing nearly full power on me LOL, they acknowledge the copy but due to there laws couldn't talk to me. Crying or Very sad
Once when on holiday in Scotland (east coast) I was making the trip right down the east coast, the skip was just right and I had a load waiting to contact me so they could say they made the trip.
Shame there's so many idiots on now and spoiled things for the rest of us. Crying or Very sad

Stu.

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by Smitty on Sat Apr 06 2013, 01:24

I still use mine from time to time, but it is the foul language and disrespect for children and older folks that gets to me.

Once you have been on for two or three minutes in the populated areas, someone will cut in and say something stupid or totally disregard your initial contact conversation and take over, that's the part that gets me to turn things off and give up Mad

I think it is a wonderful way to have fun and have friends in places you'll never go, and have something to look forward to when there's a boring moment, but like I said before, working with engines is a good substitute and one of those things that give you peace, there are mostly only decent sorts in that kind of hobby and it is much more fulfilling to work with them and bring something back to the world I thought.

Getting old and more cranky by the day Laughing

John.

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I'm a Radio Ham

Post by OHM on Sun Jun 23 2013, 16:53

Hi everyone.

My main hobby is Amateur Radio and i have been into radio since i was 13 now 51 turns on the coil.

My call sign is G6OHM.I took my radio exam in 1982.

All my details are correct on QRZ.COM ( you will need to register )

I also have a website  http://g6ohm.webs.com/

Please feel free to look around the site and if you want any help or information feel free to drop me an email.


Cheers 73 Andy G6OHM

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Re: Amateur Radio

Post by blackvanman on Sun Jun 23 2013, 19:38

Hi Andy, I'm sure we've worked each other at some point, either 2m mobile as I was passing through or maybe HF?
73
Andy (also)
M0IED

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Re: Amateur Radio

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