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Hams?


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Poll: Hams?

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#1 mirrorshades

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:24 PM

Just wondering who out there is a licensed ham? No need to drop your callsign... but there seems to be a pretty good level of interest and experience here. I've been licensed since 1991, but once I left high school I never really did much with the hobby. Trying to get back into it now.

Extra points for including your license class. I have a "real" General ticket... back from the days of the 13 wpm code test (though I couldn't do it today, even if threatened). :)

#2 AnalogPear

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:54 PM

Just a Tech Ticket. I've been thinking about sitting for my General, but figured I should take some more IT Cert tests and devote my studying to making more money instead of spending more.

#3 levitis_leviathan

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:36 PM

Been licensed since 1979. Slowly moved thru the ranks reaching Extra class about 5 years ago.

#4 ticom

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 08:46 AM

General class. Licensed since 1984.

#5 warped_dilema

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 01:50 PM

Is that an Orwellian crack?

#6 jfalcon

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 04:22 PM

Advanced Class (Thought about going to extra *before* they changed the license classes... now I'm keeping it where it's at because a.) advanced class sounds cooler than extra and b.) you can't get my license class anymore). For .25mc of bandwidth? Not even worth it. Plus I still have an area to get out of the riff-raff that is general class HF.

Oh... licensed since 1992.

Edited by jfalcon, 24 May 2008 - 04:23 PM.


#7 mirrorshades

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:25 PM

I missed the Advanced class written test by one question... grrr....

Never got around to taking it again. Pretty damn hard, as I recall... I heard many Extra class hams say the Advanced written test was harder than the Extra one.

Although the 2x2 calls are pretty cool. Moot now, though, I suppose.

#8 jfalcon

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 02:16 AM

I missed the Advanced class written test by one question... grrr....

Never got around to taking it again. Pretty damn hard, as I recall... I heard many Extra class hams say the Advanced written test was harder than the Extra one.

Although the 2x2 calls are pretty cool. Moot now, though, I suppose.


Heh... Actually, I've taken the Extra written a couple times (figured I'd take the written since it was there then go back to beef up my code to 20wpm) and I was really surprised how hard the actual written was for the Extra.

The regs part was less but they really went into different theory... smith charts, differences between a hartley and a LC oscillator, microwave theory...

It used to be at one point of history that if you could pass your extra exam, you'd have the equivalent of a EE degree... But I think this was pre-semiconductor.

#9 Coder(365)

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:59 AM

Tech License, loosely studying for the General.

Licensed since 2004

#10 heywire

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:11 PM

Tech class here..

#11 cyb3r-dan

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 11:24 AM

what are Hams?

#12 PurpleJesus

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 02:22 PM

what are Hams?


Amateur Radio Operators.

#13 lostbaka

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:33 PM

Tech at Last HOPE
General few weeks later back home in CT.
still looking for a mobile rig and HT. leaning toward Yeasu 857D and 6R

#14 SwartMumba

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:29 PM

This is interesting. Never heard of it before. Well, I am on holiday and ready to start studying for the first test. :)

#15 NaPsTeR

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:27 PM

I'm one of the last M3 in the foundation licence, I'm working on getting my 2E0/2E1 but im settled with 10W max...well in my case 5W...I work most places 59+ with it.

#16 DefPlay

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 05:06 PM

Passed Tech this past saturday,missed the General ticket by a couple questions.
Didn't study any general stuff really,just figured I would take the sit since I was there.

I haven't a clue where to start either.
Haven't bought a radio yet,just experimenting with antenna's using a CB radio i've got and listening through global tuners.

#17 jfalcon

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:15 PM

Passed Tech this past saturday,missed the General ticket by a couple questions.
Didn't study any general stuff really,just figured I would take the sit since I was there.

I haven't a clue where to start either.
Haven't bought a radio yet,just experimenting with antenna's using a CB radio i've got and listening through global tuners.


What's your interests?

I guess what I would do is get a nice HT to start with (The chinese ones aren't bad.. I picked one up about a month ago and it feels well built even if it speaks chinese with every key press).

Then attend a club meeting or two. If so inclined, become a member for a year just to get the newsletter. :)

Next month, just about every club will discuss their plans to prepare for the ARRL sanctioned "Field Day" event in June. Participating in that will open up social avenues as they'll have worked with you and spend 36 hours hanging out. One nice things about field day is they usually operate with extra class licenses for the event and you'll be able to "piggyback" onto HF that way. It's even fun working a pileup or two... think floor trading at CME or NYSE. If contacting everywhere in the world sounds cool, become a paper chaser (Worked All States, Worked All Countries, DXCC, etc..)

Just like with radio now, it's better to listen at first so you know how things operate then not be afraid to hit the mike. Be honest when you're on the air and say you just got your ticket. Just about every ham I've ever come in contact with wants to share their knowledge (for good or bad). Pick up ham radio literature... you'll probably get catalogs from ham retailers shortly as they mail you one once the license is posted on the internet.

And above all, experiment! I enjoyed my first forte into building my own ghetto repeater using a 555 timer and a voice recorder from a greeting card. Packet radio with the soundcard is pretty nifty. But it was the friends and people I met in Ham Radio that was the most enjoyable... It's a free license to talk around the world for next to nothing. Enjoy yourselves...

#18 DefPlay

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 12:08 AM

I've talked with the local club already,and am interested in getting into QRP/CW and the internet related stuff.
Really interested in learning how it all works,not necessarily talking quite a bit though I figure-I hate telephones already,lol.
I've already been briefed on the field day,and plan to attend. Checked out my first hamfest when I took my test(that's where the test was).
I plan to pick up an HT when I have a couple hundred to throw at it,would really like to get into something really cheap so I can check out the different bands etc.. so I can figure out what I like and want to explore more of.

#19 jfalcon

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 11:25 PM

I've talked with the local club already,and am interested in getting into QRP/CW and the internet related stuff.
Really interested in learning how it all works,not necessarily talking quite a bit though I figure-I hate telephones already,lol.
I've already been briefed on the field day,and plan to attend. Checked out my first hamfest when I took my test(that's where the test was).
I plan to pick up an HT when I have a couple hundred to throw at it,would really like to get into something really cheap so I can check out the different bands etc.. so I can figure out what I like and want to explore more of.


QRP is alot of fun. One of these days, I want to find another FT-7 (tho Yaesu does have newer ones... the old stuff is built like a brick). Really cool being able to send a signal around the world on less power than it takes to even turn on a netbook. Sunspot cycle is a couple years from it's peak so now's a good time to bust your chops on how to use and operate.

Ham Radio isn't a cheap hobby.... just like computers. You'll find that equipment keeps it's value well among the community. But the trick with getting gear cheaper is to learn the art of haggling. Even with retailers, you get them to throw in any kind of freebie you can.

Also a cheap way into it is to not be afraid of what we'd consider "really old" equipment. I'd recommend getting a TS-520/530 or a FT-101EE. Alot of hams don't want it because it's tube driven (finals or completely) and it's really bulky compared to modern solid state transistor driven gear. But the FT-101EE in particular can put out 160W AM on 11 meters if that sells you.. not to mention much more power than an average solid state rig in SSB. The tune up procedure on tube driven gear is sorta comforting as well... like a musicians getting his instrument in tune.

#20 lostbaka

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 09:58 PM

another way to save a little is to use commercial gear. there's a little bit of a learning curve and they are no frills (no direct frequency entry for example), but if you're just working the local repeater, it's good enough. i use GE and Motorola just for packet and the local repeaters. My only ham radio, is my VX7R HT. i will say some of the most fun i've had has been walking the isles of fests and the like and picking up cool stuff.




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