Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Ham radio - I'm W8BBS
#1
I'm a licensed amateur radio operator, W8BBS is my call sign. I haven't operated in a few years but will when I get a station installed in my new van. Do we have any other hams here? It's a great hobby. You can meet people over the radio, and they tend to be classy and helpful. It's nothing like CB radio, where everyone uses a fake name and no one knows anything about radio. Anyone can look up my call sign on the FCC database and find out my real name and where I live (i.e., have my mail sent). You have to pass a test to get your license, so hams are generally more knowledgeable than CB operators.

One bad thing about ham radio from a (parked) vehicle is that it's easy to run down your battery, as amateur transceivers can draw a lot of power (especially while transmitting). I've done that while sitting in my car in my parents driveway.

One of the reasons for amateur radio is to provide emergency communications. It could prove useful if one had some kind of emergency on the road.
Its better to learn to live cheap, than it is to work and save enough money so you don't have to.
Add Thank You Reply
#2
Back when I was trucking over-the-road, alot of the drivers were switching over to HAM, for those very reasons. (not all the silly BS like on CB's)...not to mention the superior long range transmitting & receiving that HAM's have over CB's.

I did talk on sidebands quite a bit though.

I thought about getting into a HAM station pretty seriously mysself, and have a friend who's very serious about it...but then I quit trucking and pretty much lost interest. (one can have too many interests!!)

I could see getting into this later in life when/IF I slow down. Big Grin
"Good Times & Good Friends Make Life Better!" Big Grin
Add Thank You Reply
#3
HAM radio doesn't really segway very well with music; it's against the rules to play music over the amateur bands. But it segways very well with van living. Its something to do while bored, a way to find out local information, and good for emergencies. I'm thinking about setting up an impromptu repeater at festivals I attend. I've never heard of that being done, but it could be cool.
Its better to learn to live cheap, than it is to work and save enough money so you don't have to.
Add Thank You Reply
#4
There is a ham group that meets every winter in Quartzsite while the RTR is there. Several vandwellers I know are BIG into ham!
Bob
2015 GMC Savannah 2500 van, 480 watts of Solar Panels--and a wonderful furry best friend named Cody. I'm out to change the world!
Add Thank You Reply
#5
HarmonicaBruce wrote, in relevant part:
"One bad thing about ham radio from a (parked) vehicle is that it's easy to run down your battery...."

My reply:
It doesn't have to be that way. Actually, it's the transmitter that uses a lot of power, but that depends on how much power you use to transmit. I used 5 watts for a number of years and never had any problem reaching out around the world. Africa and Southeast Asia were often difficult, but I also had a mediocre antenna (dipole at 20ft). Modern synthesizer radios use a lot more power on receive than the older versions, as the PLL circuitry uses far more power than the older crystal or VFO's used. Point is: The type of radio you choose has a significant impact on your power budget. Your antenna, rather than power, will determine your range. Antennas also have the nice side-effect of working on receive as well as transmit, so choose (or build) your antenna wisely.

As for a repeater at local festivals, this could easily be accomplished with 1/4-1 watt on transmit by mating a couple of those cheap new chinese imports as a cross-band repeater. Such a setup, with a couple of J-Poles up 20ft or so would have a very nice useable range of 10 miles or so. Just a thought.
“Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~Elizabeth West
Add Thank You Reply
#6
Early 70’s, while I was in the army, I had a short-wave receiver. It was interesting listening to the news from radio Peking and radio Moscow compared to the national news on ABC, CBS and NBC.
By posting a link to a web site, I do not endorse that site nor guaranty the accuracy of the  information contained.  It is just a site that I found informative. 
2012 Chevy Express 2500(4.8L), 2002 Nissan Quest SE Minivan (3.3L 6cyl) 6x12 Cargo Trailer

Add Thank You Reply
#7
we are seriously considering switching from cb's to ham. mainly for the ability to reach out from remote locations. we travel in locations were cell phones don't work. I believe within the next 2 years we will have hams. highdesertranger
Add Thank You Reply
#8
Those interested in Amateur (Ham) Radio should take note that the morse code requirement no longer exists. Getting a license hasn't been this easy in a long time.

Of course, those that refuse to learn the code are missing out on a very special part of Radio, in my humble opinion. Also, regardless of conditions, nothing gets through the noise like morse code. Nothing. I can't tell you how many times I've seen folks on voice keep repeating themselves endlessly, while that lovely cw note comes through first time, every time with exeedingly rare exceptions. This has the odd result of cw being faster and more reliable for emergency comms than voice. For those that don't know, cw averages 12-25 words per minute among most operators I've talked with, while voice usually flows about 150-200 words per minute. Emergency conditions can really mess this up. Also, "average" is just that....an average. I've talked with folks who could barely do the 5wpm minimum, let alone cruise along at contest speeds, which average 30-35wpm. I simply adjust my sending speed to match the person I'm talking with. In an emergency, slower is truly better, and allows you to be heard and copied by far more people.

I've done cw, sideband voice, radio-teletype, psk-31, and packet radio, including satellite communications. CW remains a favorite. Packet, which is like keyboard chat, has the distinct advantage that someone can leave a message for you when you're gone, and you can read it later and respond, like this message board or an email via radio. I've even connected to the world wide web using this mode to browse (slowly) and send email.

Just thought I'd share a bit more for those interested. Have fun, everybody!
“Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~Elizabeth West
Add Thank You Reply
The following 1 user says Thank You to Varmint for this post:
HarmonicaBruce (07-18-2014)
#9
(07-18-2014, 11:01 AM)Varmint Wrote: I've done cw, sideband voice, radio-teletype, psk-31, and packet radio, including satellite communications.
I've done very little other than talk on 2 meter repeaters. There are many different things hams get into.
Its better to learn to live cheap, than it is to work and save enough money so you don't have to.
Add Thank You Reply
#10
Your situation is quite common, as a surprising number of Amateurs are limited as to what they can do financially, by restrictive covenants and rules, or other logistics like the size of their lots. I was blessed with a lot just big enough for 40 meter dipoles, but nothing bigger, and I could only go up about 20ft to the apex of those. Still, it worked good enough for the time I got to use it. Everything is now gone or in a few boxes awaiting the future, except for a very portable packet station. Some things, like older technology, simply cannot be replaced with new "stuff", no matter how much you spend.

Your little 2mtr ht can do quite a bit for you these days, especially if you couple it with a netbook running soundcard software such as FLDIGI....it'll do rtty, psk, ax.25 packet, pactor, and more, even connecting with or through satellites. Those new iPhones and similar devices can replace the netbook, too. Enjoy...
“Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~Elizabeth West
Add Thank You Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Powered By MyBB, © 2002-2018 MyBB Group.