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  • ReefTank's Avatar
    Mon 18th May 2020, 01:38
    As the title goes, I'm very new to this hobby. I'm working on an online tutorial to get myself ready for my license. I'm hoping to learn much from this forum as well as meet new people with this same interest. I am 52 and was forced into an early retirement so I could help my father. He's 80 and has Parkinson's and suffered a mild stroke a couple years back. I'm from Hawaii, but I'm newly located in northern Utah where my father lives. He was a radioman in the Navy and he taught me electrical theory when I was 8. I Remember working on tv in his shop he had for a side business. I would desolder components while I watched him use his Heathkit O scope. I even soloed at age 10, having fixed a customer's TV set without any input from him. He still knows his morse code and I'm hoping some CW time will add more smiles in his life. David
    16 replies | 393 view(s)
  • tngw1500se's Avatar
    Wed 20th May 2020, 19:26
    tngw1500se started a thread What to buy? in Amateur Radios
    Here's my issue. I live where cell service sucks. All I really need to do is talk back to my house from my truck. I bought two Boafeng UV-5R's and they can hit the repeater from about anywhere I go. Most places are only 2 or 3 miles from home so outdoors they can talk home without the repeater. The problem is, inside the stores they don't work, UHF or VHF. I was looking at getting a cross band repeater radio for the vehicle so I could use the UV5R in the store and repeat from the truck to the house where a UV-5R is listening. 2M and 70cm is dead around here. Once a week there is a net but that's all you ever hear. Looking at maybe a SOCOTRAN ST-980PLUS or a TYT TH-9800 Plus. Please advise!
    14 replies | 314 view(s)
  • dnwiebe's Avatar
    Fri 22nd May 2020, 00:38
    dnwiebe started a thread Pre-Noob in Introduce yourself
    Howdy! Iím getting into ham radio for a couple of reasons. First, my dadís an old ham, long lapsed, and I admire him enough to want to do whatever heís done. Second, I like the idea of being able to communicate without counterparty risk. However, none of this was enough to get me off the couch until I started work at a software firm where a couple of my coworkers were hams. So I set up an exam appointment for early April and started studying for the Technician license. It was so easy that I decided that Iíd take both Tech and General exams just in case I passed the second. Then the pandemic hit, and I wonít be able to take an exam until September. So Iíve been taking hundreds of practice exams from ARRL, and Iím pretty sure Iím going to pass both Tech and General. I figured Iíd get a bit of experience under my belt and then go for Extra...or maybe not. Extraís hard. A week ago I decided to try a practice Extra exam just to see how badly Iíd flunk it, sort of to gauge my level...and I passed it at...
    15 replies | 236 view(s)
  • dnwiebe's Avatar
    Fri 22nd May 2020, 00:54
    I have a coworker whoís a ham and who lives about thirty miles from me over pretty flat ground. Both of us have handhelds, and live in areas with repeater access. Iím thinking that the way to talk to him would be for me to transmit on my repeaterís uplink freq and receive on his repeaterís downlink freq, and for him to transmit on his repeaterís uplink freq and receive on my repeaterís downlink freq. Did I explain that correctly? But the repeater articles Iíve read seem to reference situations where one guy has a handheld and is using a repeater to transmit to another guy who has something more capable and powerful, and who can transmit directly back to the first guy. So...without concentrating on the low-level specifics of connecting to repeaters...whatís the big picture? How are repeaters actually used in the real world for two-way communications? Note: I have no license yet (thanks, COVID!), so I canít transmit yet, but I will in September.
    11 replies | 233 view(s)
  • BrendanLocker's Avatar
    Tue 28th Apr 2020, 14:59
    My grandfather recently passed away and I'm aiming to repurpose the many diodes, capacitors, knobs, and tubes that he collected over the past 70 years. Is anyone still using the equipment from the 40s and 50s? And if so, would these parts be of value? or are they past their life expectancy? thanks in advance!
    10 replies | 477 view(s)
  • tatertatum's Avatar
    Fri 15th May 2020, 04:11
    tatertatum started a thread Wind mill in Antennas
    I have an old water pump windmill on my farm its not hooked up to anything but blades still turn in the wind. I would like to put an antenna on it but not sure if I would get picket fencing from just blade spinning.
    9 replies | 294 view(s)
  • tasteslikechicken's Avatar
    Tue 5th May 2020, 02:48
    Hello! My first post here. I've a technician license, but have been for the first time in earnest considering to study for the general exam (I've actually done my first handful of flashcards), to then perhaps operate a new base transceiver. The cost may discourage me too much to do so in the end, but before I make a decision I was trying to learn what the specific laws regarding antennas were in my city. I live in Irvine, CA, in a two story home, not subject to HOA, but there are some huge eucalyptus trees in very close proximity to me. I must be using the incorrect keywords for searches, and pardon my ignorance, but I do not know where to find this information. There is actually a ham organization here, it is supervised by the PD, and is called IDEC, but I could not find any direct contact info, and I looked for a long time. I could contact the PD directly, but I'd feel awkward in doing that to just ask about antenna laws. I did learn of IDEC's two repeater stations though. Does anyone have...
    9 replies | 259 view(s)
  • tbarber1027's Avatar
    Wed 20th May 2020, 09:36
    Newbie here, Live near Las Vegas, retired (disabled) software test engineer, no experience in radio yet, Baofeng UV-5R on order. I am studying for my Technician Licence. I see that ham radio is experiencing part of the digital revolution. Can anyone give me a synopsis of the migration from HT analog (VHF-UHF) to HT digital (DMR) from the ham operator point of view? Thanks! Tim Barber
    7 replies | 240 view(s)
  • JeffreyL's Avatar
    Tue 12th May 2020, 05:36
    JeffreyL started a thread AM Question in Bands & Modes
    I am very embarrassed to ask this question, especially since I have an extra class license, but here it goes... I just can't completely get my head around how AM is transmitted. I know about sidebands, and it's the audio signal varying the amplitude of the carrier, but just what exactly does that mean? What exactly is the amplitude? I've seen it in diagrams, and on scopes, but I just don't fully get it. On a scope, the varying amplitude is shown as a variation in the voltage of the carrier, but does that mean that the strength of the carrier is being varied? You can hear an unmodulated carrier on the radio of course, and see it has a certain s-meter level. I've been inactive for a long time, but I seem to remember the signal strength not changing with modulation... at least not plate modulation (BTW, what would plate modulation be called in a solid state transmitter?). I think the s-meter did vary with screen modulation. Is the modulation increasing the strength of the carrier above the unmodulated...
    8 replies | 359 view(s)
  • David P's Avatar
    Tue 12th May 2020, 20:56
    Hello out there. I am just starting out on Ham radio, and taking My Foundation Exam on the 10/6/20. Moving forward I would like to go onto intermediate, then to Full licence. I have found that in general the foundation course is not that hard. I did slip upon Ohms law, but ok now. The history of radio started with Me in the 70s with CB, moving onto radio scanning. Listening to aviation and other radio communications. Aviation is My other hobby, along with photography. When put together the hobbies work well together, when at a airport/airfield. I listen for the aircraft on the radio, which in turn prepares Me for the photograph as it lands/takes off. lastly it is the identification of the aircraft (registration). Due to having time on My hands, I thought I would further the radio hobby, and go for My amateur licence. On the back burner, I may take up a interest in electronics. You are never too old to learn, at 61.:biggrin: David P
    7 replies | 448 view(s)
  • gnuuser's Avatar
    Sun 26th Apr 2020, 01:22
    theres been a lot of discussion between a few friends about learning Morse code. and i get the usual bull about it being too much of a pain to learn. its been over 40 years since ive used code but I am relearning it again. as well as teaching my deaf wife how to use it. Ive set up small keyer's with led's as well as buzzers so she gets a visual instead of audio. Imho I believe everyone should be taught it in school, Not just boy scouts! _ _ . . . . . . _ _ _ . _ . . :calm:
    6 replies | 329 view(s)
  • TonyCole's Avatar
    Sat 2nd May 2020, 19:46
    Hello! I've recently started looking up a lot of things about ham radio and I've been finding it really fascinating! I bought myself a little 2m/70cm handheld transciever which I've been using to listen only, as I do not have my license, and sadly am cursed to not have it for now as my country has stopped all tests due to the virus.... Still, so much to learn, so many questions, so... Here I am!
    7 replies | 319 view(s)
  • raymaffit's Avatar
    Wed 20th May 2020, 13:04
    I passed my Technician license test, remotely, last week. There were 4 other people that tested with me and all of their licenses posted to the ULS on Monday with sequential file numbers. Thinking that there is obviously a problem with my paperwork but I am not exactly sure how to address it to get things moving. I did email the VE but he didnít have any information. Super disappointed and crushed to be left behind since I was so excited about it. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated. W5YI is the VEC. Iím just absolutely going crazy, checking the ULS every 30 minutes for days.
    6 replies | 212 view(s)
  • NicolaJayne's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 22:32
    hello all I'm Nicola i'm based in the UK and i'm currently studying for my UK foundation licence ( and digging up some A level physics from 20 odd years ago) , I'm based near Lincoln ( for those who know the area , i'm to the Se of the city and a nice line of sight to Lincoln cathedral ( and therefore GB3LM and GB3LS repeaters)
    6 replies | 209 view(s)
  • dnwiebe's Avatar
    Yesterday, 00:42
    Suppose you have a 100W transmitter. You hook up a homemade antenna to it and try transmitting. The transmitterís onboard SWR meter shows 10:1 SWR and the power amp is automatically rolled back to a watt or two to protect the output stage. You say, ďNo problem; Iíll just grab my handy-dandy antenna tuner here.Ē So you insert the tuner, plus an outboard SWR meter, and tune until the radioís SWR says 1:1. Now your transmitter is pumping the whole 100W and everything looks happy...but the outboard SWR is still showing 10:1. That means 1/11 of your power is being radiated and the other 10/11 is being reflected, right? The tuner doesnít actually make the bad antenna better, it just makes it look better to the transmitter. Or so Iíve read; I have no experience of my own.
    6 replies | 107 view(s)
  • Mark111's Avatar
    Thu 30th Apr 2020, 18:35
    Hi All Been just over 20 years since I last was on the airwaves! I am currently constructing some home brew for cw work, and relearning my Morse code! Which I am enjoying. Living in a flat in Folkestone England does make setting up a station a little on the difficult side, and stealthy is the word! But I will get there! Anyway I hope to gain plenty of ideas on here Cheers for now 73ís Mark
    5 replies | 302 view(s)
  • brandon lind's Avatar
    Tue 12th May 2020, 02:46
    The recent posts on railroad tracks had me thinking of an old idea. The purpose of this post is NOT to get political, but to get some insight on what I though was a really good idea. I thought that, instead of a border wall, there could simply be a set of RR tracks. The tracks serve two purposes. One, to carry several ground penetrating radar cars doing comparison sweeps for tunnels, and two, the tracks carry a continuous train (forgive the pun) of low-power TDR pulses to detect impedance changes from, say, a person crossing it (likely originating from the same radar cars). Sure would be easy to know where and when someone or something crosses with such a setup. Certain prisons do something similar weaving parallel wires through their perimeter fences. I'm hoping there are people here that can logically shoot down the idea so I can give up on it and move on. Why wouldn't that work?
    6 replies | 291 view(s)
  • jkwilloughby's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 16:54
    I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on a fairy priced but effective in the backcountry. I do a lot of activities in the mountains. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    4 replies | 245 view(s)
  • rdscuba's Avatar
    Tue 19th May 2020, 23:36
    rdscuba started a thread Ten Tec 559AT Eagle in Ten-Tec
    Just wondering what the value of the Ten Tec Eagle (599AT) would be these days. A good friend passed and his wife is looking to sell off his radio if possible. The rig was definitely in a smoking shack so I know this wont help matters out much. Just looking for a little input from the group. Thanks in advance.
    5 replies | 140 view(s)
  • Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
    Sat 9th May 2020, 03:03
    Hello there, This is my first post to the forums and I want to present my best. I saw green laser pointers at web and they send a visible green to miles of distances. I thought if I could use the beam as my radio antenna. I researched the web and I found a technology where laser beam or electron beam used to turn air around the beam to plasma and after this is happened inject to the beam electric current. I think this is used reagan era star wars project. I read on a book , necessary energy is 40 watts per cm3 for laser and 1-2 watts per cm3 for electron beam. I had no idea how a electron beam generated but there must be some valve tubes for that ? Or do I need a CO laser , uv laser or accelerator
    4 replies | 299 view(s)
  • TonyCole's Avatar
    Sun 3rd May 2020, 15:44
    Hello! I am super new to the ham world. Although I've already read up on a lot of things, I know I still have a lot to understand, aside for there obviously being a lot of information to learn, also because some of it is really hard to find! I'm asking this because while handheld transceivers are super easy to use, as you only need one piece of equipment to get it running, the same doesn't apply to base or mobile stations, that need more components to work. But something I can't find anywhere is, what are those? I know that besides the transciever itself, you need a power supply (..most times? Huh?) and an antenna... And coaxial cable... That is for connecting the antenna to the radio, right? Is there anything else that's strictly needed? What are all of those accessories that are also around? If they're not strictly necessary, what do they add? Thank you to anyone who points me in the right direction ^^
    4 replies | 264 view(s)
  • sdrmatlab's Avatar
    Sun 10th May 2020, 14:10
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Nyr95pEUE
    3 replies | 336 view(s)
  • Signalman's Avatar
    Wed 6th May 2020, 17:05
    My general class license lapsed many years ago and I'm now studying to re-obtain my ham license. My initial intention is to purchase a 5W QRP transceiver and work both the 20M and 15M bands on CW. I plan to use a 1/4 end-fed wire cut for the 20 meter band and also use a wire of the same length as a counterpoise for my RF ground (the other half of the antenna). Questions: 1. Would this setup be effective for the 15 meter band without the use of antenna tuner (since the 15 meter band is fairly close to the 20M band) or should I also use a tuner?
    3 replies | 236 view(s)
  • TonyCole's Avatar
    Tue 5th May 2020, 05:34
    Hello! Being new to all things ham, I'm having some trouble finding information on a few things, one of which is antennas. First of all, is there any place with good sources on what types of antennas there are in general, and when I want to have each? Being such an important piece of the equipment, it's surprising I didn't find a good one anywhere, but I didn't. My next question is about different frequencies. I understand I need different types of antennas for different frequencies... But what about multi frequency antennas? Is it solely the transceiver that "chooses" what to tune into? Are antenna adjustments necessary? Is there some piece of equipment I'm missing? Something else that's been on my mind a lot... I live in a single room apartment building (8th floor out of 10 if it matters). Am I just completely screwed, or are there options for some kind of indoor antennas? And lastly, still about my living space, would I have too much issue with penetration through my walls, having to operate...
    2 replies | 285 view(s)
  • Millsusaf's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 13:10
    Hello, I've been looking for a solution to temporarily mount a mobile rig in my wife's vehicle, she has no desire for me to have a permanent setup in the vehicle. The vehicle is a 2016 Dodge Durango with a textured dash. My thought was to use a multi suction cup style mount attached to the top of the dash but I can't seem to find anything. With the textured dash it would have to be a suction cup style with the sticky material on it. Has anyone seen anything similar to what I'm envisioning? I appreciate the help.
    2 replies | 261 view(s)
  • brandon lind's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 22:55
    I'm sure countless antenna builders have already discovered this but I figired it worth posting. Soldering aluminum has normally been a royal pain for me, succeeding only about 20% of the times I've troed it. They (the professionals) say you need special flux and special solder and I've tried HCl and all sorts of other acids, fluxes and solders. Admittedly, I've never purchased anything intended for that purpose ~ and now I never will! Today, I went to the local L&M and grabbed a $12 pack of low-melting aluminum welding rods in the brazing isle meant for use with a little propane-only torch. To my absolute suprise, it flowed beautifully on every piece of aluminum i tested it on. Then, i used the rod to "tin" a spot on the bottom of a beer can and solder to that. Solder stuck perfectly. Soldering copper and brass to aluminum is now easy with no special flux! Edit: Just tried using a pliers to pull off the brass spade connector i had soldered to the beer can and the botton of the can tore off with...
    2 replies | 256 view(s)
  • Richnlin's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 22:32
    I posted here a few years ago and still need antenna assistance. I have a totally restored Military Collins R-391 and do not know how to hookup a long wire antenna as I am not tech savvy. I was a high speed morse code intercepter in the Army Security Agency in the 60's and still copy today. I want to hookup a long wire outside our bedroom window but I do not know how to hook it up to the rear of the radio. The unit is in a radio rack and does the radio need to be grounded? Just a few questions! Thank you!
    3 replies | 234 view(s)
  • mmsrb's Avatar
    Tue 28th Apr 2020, 14:33
    Recently acquired FT890. When listening to any band, LSB receive audio response very different - very little frequency response below 1K and sounds very thin - no low frequency response. Comparing response LSB to USB with band noise, LSB response around 1K - 3.5K when using a simple analyzer. USB response 250 - 2K - so, the LSB on receive sounds very thin. Tuning into signals, sound very annoying. All other functions seem ok, xmit into dummy load, etc. seem fine. I haven't opened it up to see if optional filters or TXO installed. I'm not expecting hi-fi ;-) just seems like it should match the more natural sound of USB mode.
    2 replies | 305 view(s)
  • jkwilloughby's Avatar
    Mon 4th May 2020, 16:50
    jkwilloughby started a thread Antennas in Icom
    I just recently purchased the id 5100 and a diamond MR-77 dual band antenna. I was just wondering can the antenna upgrade increase reception distance?
    2 replies | 274 view(s)
  • Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
    Sat 9th May 2020, 03:16
    Hello there, I am from Istanbul Turkey , living close to newly built train rail system. Our rails have been welded end to end with soft metal which allows the rails expand or reverse with heat. I am inspired with ELF submarine transmitter antennas and want to use rails as my short wave antenna or elf transmit antenna. What do you say , is it allright or not possible. Another idea is to try my TECSUN PL 310 ET radio on rails. Does rails increase the reception ? I am corona locked in and not want to go out before vaccine. I am thinking loud about above ideas. thank you very much, I wish the good health and best of luck,
    2 replies | 272 view(s)
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