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windwaker

Building a HAM radio.

18 posts in this topic

Boop.

So uh, this wouldn't be too hard, would it? I don't know what the frequencies are, but if you got a big potentionmeter, couldn't you just build a transmitter that worked on frequencies ranging from 1Mhz to 900Mhz or something?

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This isn't exactly what you would call easy.

You have to take in to effect several factors...

1) Cost.. Do you have enough money?

2)Materials....Same as #1

3)Legality...I'd find the frequencies, The Amateur Sperectum is actually very limited compared to 1-900mhz.

4)Assumming you actually get the radio working, you have to worry about VSWR.

(Voltage to Standing Wave Ratio)

Sorry to burst your bubble.

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1) Yeah.

2) I need a coil, and then a few quartz crystal oscillators which operate on a frequency determined by the resistance of a potentionmeter.

3) Fuck the FCC. :)

4) VSWR? I've seen handheld HAM's before. >_>

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Big potentiometer? Sorry to break it to you, but you tune radios with variable capactiors, not reisitors.

Today's handhelds are so damn small becuase of SMD (surface mount) componets. The HF radios today are still humongous.

If you really wanna build something, search online for kits. There are alot of kits available for recieve or transceive <100, sometimes <50 dollars. You will need a decent soldering iron, and in some cases test equipment. If you don't want that, decent HTs can be had for 100 or so dollars. You can also check hamfests for cheap equipment. It might not work, and it might be as heavy as a boat anchor.

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Oh, I thought potentionmeter meant either a variable resistor or capacitor. Guess I was wrong. >_<

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if your looking to have some fun, i sugest a tube style radio, nothing quite like a 1000v high plate. you can just smell the ozone comming off of it.

if your intrested in recieving only, search online for tunacan recieve (i think) its a rather simple project, all the parts fit inside a tuna can.

but to transmit, your talking about a whole new ball game. if you want somethin like that, hamfests, or ebay. save yourself the time, the hair, and the 5 years of your life you are going to loose buy building your own.

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3) Fuck the FCC. :)

Fuck the FCC?!? dude.... you wont be broadcasting that thing for more then an hour and the FCC will be at your door asking you for your radio.

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In the mp3 the pirate radio staton operates on the FM broadcast bands. This won't matter to most hams but I remember a pirate operating on the 144MHz ham band a couple of kilometers from here and the hams tracked him down and gave him a good thrashing.

Apart from hams hardly anyone will listen to you on the ham frequencies and the hams sure as hell won't like it.

FM ham equipment, if modified for the FM Broadcasting band will also need to be modified for Wide FM.

While building a simple, low power ham transmitter for CW on shortwave can be a matter of a few hours, a 100 Watt FM Transmitter is an altogether different story.

I'd recommend joining your local hams as you can learn a lot there. Or if you already think you have the skills, why not pass the test and get a license?

That will give you a chance to build and operate transmitters legaly plus the additional benefit that hams (at least around here) are willing to lend you test equipment to calibrate your works of art.

A glance into the ARRL-Handbook (check your local library) will give you an idea what building HF equipment is like. They usually have a wide range of projects in there from really simple to virtually impossible.

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The big question is: Do you really want to get your amateur radio license and get on the air with some homebrew gear, or do you simply want to be a broadcast pirate?

Now I have known people from both sides of the fence, as well as those who sat on the fence. If you really want to get into the technical side of broadcasting, you should go study for your GROL (General Radiotelephone Operators License) and get a job at a local broadcast station. GROLs are a dying breed these days, as are small non-corporate broadcasters, but get into something like that and you will have the time of your life, get one hell of a practical education, and stumble across neat stuff like Norsat System 60 modules before they reach the station's dumpster.

Getting an entry-level ham ticket is a little easier than the GROL. It also opens up potential contact to a lot of interesting people that you can learn all sorts of neat techincal stuff from. Most old school phone phreaks had/have their ham ticket.

When it comes to texts, the ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is truly the bible for individuals who wish to build things that deal with RF. That should be anyone's first purchase. Read it cover to cover; twice.

As far as pirate radio goes, there are as many cases of pirates attracting unwanted attention and getting shut down quickly, as there are pirates who managed to run stations for years without getting caught. It all depends on the frrequency they were transmitting on, who heard them, and what the listener decided to do about it (and how quickly).

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As far as pirate radio goes, there are as many cases of pirates attracting unwanted attention and getting shut down quickly, as there are pirates who managed to run stations for years without getting caught.  It all depends on the frrequency they were transmitting on, who heard them, and what the listener decided to do about it (and how quickly).

This is true.

Well, I suppose I won't *build* a HAM right away, however I would like to purchase one, though I'm not quite sure what the liscense is for, per se. How would they (they being... the FCC?) verify whether you had a liscense or not?

So basically, I'm looking for a HAM that will operate on a range of frequencies (defined by myself, of course. =P). I don't have any idea on how to be more specific than that. ^^

I guess an entry level HAM ticket is what I shall get.

\\ edit

So uh, I've heard a lot about the Alinco DJ-580, but as seen here (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5790279937&category=4674&rd=1), it says that it goes from something like 140-180Mhz. But I want to go lower than that; would such mod be possible?

<3

Edited by windwaker
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Well, I suppose I won't *build* a HAM right away, however I would like to purchase one, though I'm not quite sure what the liscense is for, per se. How would they (they being... the FCC?) verify whether you had a liscense or not?

What is a driver's license for? It is for certifying that you know the rules of the road and how to drive a car safely. Hams are transmitting on the public 'airwaves' and are able to interact with people in foreign countries. The FCC gives the exam to make sure hams know federal and international rules, rf safety, and how to operate without causing interference to other users of the airwaves.

The FCC is the organization that certifies amateur and commercial radio operators, and they request all your personal information to even give you a license. After you pass the FCC examination to become an amateur radio operator, your information is sent to the FCC and entered into a database with your newly assigned call sign. Once your information is in the FCC's database, you can start transmitting with your privileges. You can search the database here.

Edited by Elzair
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Ah, okay.

But, what prevents you from transmitting without a liscense?

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What prevents you from transmitting without a license? Nothing except for the fact that certain hams are into fox hunting (radio direction finding), and that they and the FCC would be more than interested in exercsing their skills if they notice you transmiting on certain frequencies, and the fact that you seem to think you can put together a transmitter that would be straight out of the pages of a science fiction novel with very little technical knowledge as if you were building something out of Legos or Tinker Toys.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

§97.1 Basis and purpose.

The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(B) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

© Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

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Ah, yes, I'd heard of fox hunting; I just don't know how they would *know* you were unliscensed.

Secondly, it -is- easy to build a HAM transmitter (at least a very dumb one). Just... not practical, because of range issues. =P

So basically all I'm really wondering at this point is... should I get the Alinco DJ-580? I'd like to operate on a greater range of frequencies than 140-180mhz.

Edited by windwaker
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Ah, yes, I'd heard of fox hunting; I just don't know how they would *know* you were unliscensed.

Secondly, it -is- easy to build a HAM transmitter (at least a very dumb one).  Just... not practical, because of range issues. =P

So basically all I'm really wondering at this point is... should I get the Alinco DJ-580?  I'd like to operate on a greater range of frequencies than 140-180mhz.

It goes something llike this:

With a few exceptions (CB, FRS, MURS, and "Part 15"), you need to have a the appropriate type of license to fire up a transmitter. When you get said license, the information appears on this web site:

http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/reports/index.cfm

So, you take the Alinco DJ-580, and start transmitting. You obviously want to do one of two things:

1. Talk to someone.

2. Broadcast music, rants, or whatever.

If you do #1, you are going to get asked for your callsign, at which point you will either admit you don't have one, or go make up a callsign. If you do the former, then the person will tell you, with varying degress of niceness, to get off the air and get licensed. If you do the latter, you'll get asked for first name and location which iis commonly exchanged info over the air. The other station will then go to http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/reports/index.cfm to confirm this info, and when he finds out it's bogus, you'll get the same response as if you told him you were unlicensed, but perhaps in a less nice tone than if you were honest.

OK, you don't want to talk to someone. You want to broadcast music. Small problem. There are no broadcast allocations that the DJ-580 covers. So you fire the thing up somewhere, and the first real radio hacker that comes along finds your interesting signal and proceeds to RDF you because he/she will know simply by the frequency that you don't belong there broadcasting. Depending on who finds you first, you'll either get nicely told to stop broadcasting, or you'll be interrogated by someone with Fed (or Military) Creds. 140-144, 148-150, and 162-174 MHz. are all Federal Government/Military allocations.

To answer your question in short, NO. Don't buy that Alinco. Go spend the $40 on a copy of the ARRL handbook, download the NEETS files, and go visit:

http://www.tscm.com/

http://www.northcountryradio.com/index.htm

http://www.panaxis.com/

http://www.gbppr.org/

http://www.altair.org/mwave.html

...for starters.

Then if you're still really interested in putting something on the air...

Edited by Ticom
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Ah, okay, I see. Thanks much for your help, then. :-)

One more question... what would one use to cover a band quite larger than the Alinco? Another HAM, or something completely different?

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