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Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:37 am
by admin
I always wanted to get my Amateur Radio License, but things always got in the way. A couple of years ago , I finally buckled down and studied for the exam and got my General. The test was ok, nerve wracking but ok. I made a big mistake when they asked if I wanted to take the Extra class (highest class of operator) too. I was so freaked out that I had passed Technician and General that I just wanted to get the hell out of that classroom before they discovered that they were wrong. I should have taken it because there was no penalty for NOT passing it and it would have given me a chance to see the questions on the test. As it stands now, I have to actually go back and study my butt off if I want to upgrade my license.

Anyway, they issued me KD2FIP and that was the beginning of my expedition into "ham" radio. I had been what is known as a "Freebander" or A Pirate years ago, not having a license, running ridiculous power levels in my truck, but finally, got on the straight and narrow and did it the 'right' way. I spent some time on 2 meters and found that to be mind numbingly boring (at least around these parts). Mostly really old guys yapping about absolutely nothing (Can't fault them for that, but it's boring beyond words). then I got into HF the "big time" and found that to be a lot more interesting. Being able to talk around the world is pretty enjoyable and after a while you get to 'know' people in crazy places. Ukraine, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Russia, Brazil etc. Everyone is pretty polite which is a nice change, and with the computers doing lookups for you, it's a whole lot easier than it was 'back in the day". LIke everything else, I have to do it the hard way. I operate "QRP" which is radio lingo for "Low Power ". I mean REALLY low power, 5 to 12 watts. While the big boys are running a kilowatt or two, blasting out of towers 100' in the air, I'm sitting in my back room with a 12 watt radio and a 17' tall antenna on a 15' pole. Not easy to make contacts, but when you do, there's a fair amount of satisfaction in the feat itself.

Lately, I've been getting really interested in CW or Morse Code. They eliminated the requirement for code in the licensing process figuring that it would draw more people into the activity. I dont' know if it did or not, but knowing the code seems to be a 'secret handshake" kind of a deal where you get to hang out with even weirder people (just the way I like it). I have gotten pretty proficient at sending, although my ability to receive is a lot lower (which I understand it normal, just have to work harder). I had an epiphany of sorts when I realized that I like the code because you don't have to actually talk to anyone. Just send the code... :lol:

Anyway, just in case you guys didnt' think I had Nerd Cred, now you know. Oh and for you "preppers" out there, when the SHTF, remember, I'll be out there tapping out on my little key while hipsters are busy throwing themselves off overpasses because their IPhones don't work!

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:43 pm
by uglytruck
Morse code.....that's kinda like texting right?? :lol:

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:03 am
by admin
Ear texting :lol:

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:09 am
by admin
And of course, I can't leave anything alone. Here's an improved heat sink for my KX3, along with my Mr. Big Shot Fancy Pants Personalized Call Sign built in




Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:30 am
by pdog
Dear Mr. Hambone Heatsink,,,

Shoot me an ear text @ FU2UFR :lol:

Run a slitting saw through the middle of those heat sink lumps to double your dissipation area, just a thought…


Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:09 pm
by admin
Yeah Slitting saw would be a good idea, or, I could make them a little thinner to begin with. Well, now I have to go make another one :lol:

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:45 pm
by speeddemon_uk
My father was into all that radio stuff he had a whole room full of it when I was a kid.

One day he loaded some of (a lot) of it into the boot of our singer car and half the back seat, other half was occupied by my two brothers and myself, my parents had the two from seats.

we drove a few miles (seemed hundreds) out of town where we stopped in a quiet country lane and he proceeded to assemble a huge (probably 15 feet) aerial that fitted to a mounting on the back bumper, after some time of whistles etc he eventually managed to talk to his friends probably only 10 miles away. It seemed like a big deal to him at that time and the people he was talking to..

This would be 1954 ish.... a while later the same thing was repeated at night (seem to remember a lot of people being about) or it just could have been in the winter when it got dark early, there were quite a few people mystified when he managed to hold up a flourescent tube to the aerial and it lit up..

Also somewhere I have a picture of my grandfather in the 1920/30s who had a stall on a local market where he was charging people 2 pence (240 pence = £1 in those days) to listen to the radio not common in anyones house.. they also had drilled and tapped a cast iron lampost to connect up to the aerial..

I'll post the picture when I find it..

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:33 pm
by admin
Your dad and Grandad would fit in here :mrgreen:

Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:46 am
by admin
Hey Pdog, I slimmed them down a bit. Looks pretty nice too. I'll have to make another one because I like my Call Sign in there. Makes it a little more personalized.

Here ya go;



Re: Amateur Radio

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:17 am
by pdog
You are so on a roll 8-)