Ham links

thatchmo
By thatchmo on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 - 3:32am

Of course, over the years, Ham radio has come up for discussion.  Here's some links to sites for the new or aspiring Ham that I posted here some years ago:

Informative websites for New Hams:

http://www.eham.net/newham/

http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio

http://forums.qrz.com/forumdisplay.php?35-Becoming-an-Amateur-Radio-Operator-Upgrading-Privileges

Walter Cronkite youtube describing Amateur Radio:

Huge hobby.  Huge body of knowledge.  Lots to learn to become resilient and to keep your brain active.  And the toys!  Aloha, Steve WH6ST

6 Comments

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 7 2014
Posts: 77
Glad you are here Thatchmo

Glad to see you here Steve. I Just joined the group.  Hope I haven't steered any of these good folks in the wrong direction.  I am only a few years into being a ham though I have used radios in my jobs since I was 18.  4600 miles direct and 20,200 long path to have a radio conversation with you.  I am running barefoot (no amplifier) but hope to change that soon.  Maybe one day when the solar Gods are smiling on us we can have a QSO (conversation).  It would be my first one with an operator in Hawaii. Take care and I look forward to your input and advice for this group. Aloha!

Joe KE8BSF

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 458
Directions.....

Hey Joe!  There are so many facets in the Ham Radio hobby, I don't think it's possible to send anyone in a "wrong" direction.  Regarding ham radio for the PP community: having experienced it, when things go abnormal, folks want information.  A Ham radio operator has the potential to access or provide that valuable commodity, when all other systems are non-op.  Having those skills can make a person quite a valuable community asset....Hope to hear you on the bands.  Aloha, Steve WH6ST.

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 7 2014
Posts: 77
Another useful link

This article is a few years old but still very much on target. The author starts out addressing the radio bands where no FCC license is required which may be of some interest to the PP reader. 

 

https://survivalblog.com/comprehensive-crisis-communica/

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 419
Re: HAM & EMP

If there is an EMP event, any HAM equipment will likely be destroyed unless is protected in an a Faraday cage and disconnected. Radios are extemely suspectiable to EMP because RF circuits are designed to work with extemely low power signals and a large voltage spike would destroy the sensitive RF circuits.

HAM radios also had been useful as police/fire scanners. Presuming that there was a on going crisis on your area, you could listen in to local Police/Fire and other emegency responders, However over the past 5 years, Local gov'ts have been migrating their radio systems to encrypted digital radios which prevents HAM operators from listening in. It may be possible to decode the digital radio if the transmissiosn are not encrypted. However I don't believe there are any commerical HAM radios that can decode digital radio signals at this time. You can dump the Audio output into a PC sound card and use software to decode and provide audio.

One item to consider are handheld FRM/GMRS two-way radios (ie the Walkie-Talkies). These don't have the range of HAM radio, but are useful for short distance communication, Perhaps with family members are are dispersed on your propery or working with your neighbors. These can be kept shielded in Faraday cage except when in use or to recharge the batteries. That said I would recommend that you purchase units that accept standard batteries (ie AA batteries) so you can use AA rechargable batteries. Eventually the Rechargable batteries will wear out and you need to replace the batteries. You can use the FRM channels without a license, but the GMRS channels require and FCC license. I believe the GMRS channels can transmit at higher power levels (2W,5W & 10W) and I believe the FRM channels are limited to 1W (I could be mistaken on the power levels)

Another option is to consider are SDR (Software Defined Radios). You can purchase Cheap RTL USB sticks that are designed to recieve Radio and TV broadcasts and use them as HAM/Shortwave Recievers using Free SDR software. Basically these USB sticks can recieve RF signals from about 30Mhz to about 2 Ghz. There are also designed SDR radios that cost from about $200 to $10K, depending on how complex they are and if they can trasmit singles. The USB sticks are just recievers. SDR Software displays a Waterfall which you can monitor a wide area of RF frequencies to find signals. There is also SDR software that can recieved weather satellite data and create satellite photos.

 

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 458
Radio clarification

For those new to radio communications/Ham stuff:  the major thing that any FCC Ham radio license gives the holder is the ability to TRANSMIT on certain Amateur Radio FCC-designated frequencies.  Listening to scanners, and general-coverage receivers, including the amazing SDR-dongle gizmos that TechGuy mentions- is available to anyone with the means to procure and hook up a suitable antenna- simple.  BTW, there is a bunch of new rules and regs regarding FRS/GMRS radios which increase their usabiliity.  Check those out before purchasing a FRS radio...Aloha, Steve

desertrhat's picture
desertrhat
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 16 2011
Posts: 2
Ham Radio

Hello all,

Here's is a good place to practice for your Ham Radio FCC exams. You'll  have to sign up for an account at QRZ but you will probably want an account after you get your ticket.

https://www.qrz.com/hamtest/

Also, try with no signup required;

http://aa9pw.com/radio/

Good Luck and have fun.

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