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HAM radio

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by EddieM, 29 Apr 2018.

  1. ericmark

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    In the days and place where I started, it was an interview with the Post Master who would ask questions to ensure you would not do anything daft, so I became VP8XBHZ which was a special 2 meter only licence, then VP8BKM although I have only a dozen or so HF contacts.

    On return to UK I tried for a reciprocal licence, I was told you must me joking, I would need to take the C&G Radio Exam then I could apply, problem was the collages wanted around £100 for course and exam, and would not allow just the exam as it messed up their record if we failed. However the local radio club would do a course and exam around every 5 years, so I waited 2 years and did it for £25.

    There were objections to how hard it was to take the exam, so this was all changed, now there are I think 3 exams which have to be taken in sequence. As each exam is passed you are allowed to do more, think it's the power you can use, however it is no longer the collage doing exam but radio clubs, and now it involves a lot of practical work, in my day it was all theory.

    Unlike CB there are many types of amateur radio, ham refers to being ham fisted with the Morse key. Lucky for me Morse is no longer required. So with VHF I have communicated with Austria, it was a system called Packet Radio where we digipeated from other peoples equipment to get around the world, used it a lot when licensed as VR2ZEP as from 22 floor not easy to erect a HF aerial, I was a member of HARTS (Hongkong Amateur radio transmitting society) and for VHF you can now get a hand held radio for less than £50 but it would not get around the world in basic form.

    EME (Earth Moon Earth) will allow you to bounce signals to USA, however with power allowed in the UK, this means Morse, you would need something like 5 kW to get over the pond with voice, you can get dissipation to use 1 kW for EME but that's not good enough for voice.

    Using local repeaters you can talk around 50 miles or more using 2 meter or 70 cm, but for any distance you need side band, with side band and sporadic E I have talked some 1000 miles, however under normal conditions 100 miles is about the limit.

    For HF FM is not used, it is all side band, as a rare call sign (VP8BKM) I could get around the world, however as GW7MGW no one really wants to talk to me. I still use the radio once a year on fire work night at local life boat fire work display, but I never bought any HF stuff, and my son, also licensed at 14 year old he got licence nearly 40 now, he took my aerial down, so in real terms that was the end of amateur radio for me.

    I keep a ruck sack with all the equipment needed for an emergency, but the local RAYNET has now gone, not enough events to pay for insurance.


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  2. EddieM

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    ok, I bought a yeasu 3000 fx (somewhat stupidly) I need some of the accessories, speak mic and antenna of course, I guess I need to get myself on a course!
     
  3. mattylad

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    !!!!!!
    A nice radio but why did you buy it if you have not even got a license yet?

    Do you know what the noise floor is around you?
    Can you put up HF aerials? they are not small. I hope you have a really big garden or no neighbours?

    Try setting up a portable/mobile setup where you can go out, find a hill and setup an aerial and use it - then you'll get far and wide.
    Unfortunately in most homes these days the noise floor from broadband stops us doing it.
    Certainly stopped me, I gave up trying at home.
     
  4. EddieM

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    Don't you start! ( had plenty of grief over it already) Anyhow it's not for now, bit later on when we buy a place in the country with plenty of land. I'm struggling a bit with the antenna, I must confess, the rest I'm ok with I think, well apart from how the hell I use it :D
     
  5. EddieM

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    Oh and to specifically answer your question , no idea!
     
  6. EddieM

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    suppose I could try Airchat but I think it might be a tad illegal.
     
  7. mattylad

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    Get on a course, AFAIK the foundation license is really really easy and gives you access to use your nice new radio (albeit on low power) on lots of bands.
     
  8. ptarmigan

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    Now it's all state of the art gear, fully digitised and doesn't leave much to the imagination, That is true but try a listen on 3.615 which is used for old military sets going back past the 19 set and the lovely sound of AM.
     
  9. ericmark

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    The course now is in 3 parts, when I did it just two, the RAE was the exam then needed Morse, now Morse requirement has gone, but where I could just sit the exam, now the course work is the exam, so you have to do all three courses to get full licence. I think the new system is likely easier, but you have to find a club running the course, and I know my local club tends to do one stage a year so if you start at wrong year it could mean a wait of 2 years to start course and three years to sit all the stages so can take 5 years to get full licence.
     
  10. Robert Stoubos

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    How about getting your own slot on local community radio stations or hospital radio? I've done it, all the equipment set and ready, all you gotta do is bring yourself.
     
  11. mattylad

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    I gave up ham radio due to the interference levels at home.

    Now I use cheese radio. :)

    Unfortunately there is another ham at work, he knows I'm licensed so he keeps wanting to talk radio to me...
    TBH I have no interest in it these days, the interweb is far more useful for communication to me.
     
  12. EddieM

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    Ah, but that's the point, when the apocalypse comes and there's no interweb or mains power, who ya gonna call? Ok I think I need to add foil hat to list of items I need. I'll get me coat. As you were.
     
  13. ericmark

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    Well I went to the one event in the year, one radio the battery failed early on, the other battery will allow receive only. Too old to get replacement batteries, yes could rip the battery to pieces and use an external, but the Chinese radios are so cheap today, it's just a new radio.

    However what I really want is a radio which does not need a licence, a way to talk to wife while on bike rides, we have loads of old CB sets, however a bit on the large size. There are it seems 8 licence free UHF frequencies with maximum transmit power of 0.5 watt. However there are loads of radios sold as pairs with 5W output so legal £56 licence free, but requiring licence £20 a pair, so PMR446 would likely be best staying within the law.

    Looked at the CB and yes there are now some smaller neater sets, however expensive, double the price of PMR446. However we have loads of the old CB's it is just they are heavy and bulky.

    2 meter and 70cm are really no more than CB's, OK I have side band 2 meter, but today side band CB is allowed, so since my wife is not licensed, I am looking at licence free.

    It seems so silly here I am with a ham licence looking at licence free, and your there without a licence looking at getting one.
     
  14. mattylad

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    A bumfeng will likely do what you want including vox, however you may have to accidentally stray outside the band :)
    Will anyone give a monkeys? doubt it, will anyone do anything about it? doubt it, will you disturb anyone else? doubt it.

    You just have to be careful you don't contact Rick Grimes, Michone or any of the other TWD crew using them :)
     

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