I enjoy listening to radios. I especially enjoy listening to stations I am pretty sure no one else in my neighborhood is listening. In elementary school I listened to KPEN, the first FM station in San Francisco. My parents had an old radio next to the front door that had shortwave as well as AM. I heard the men talking back and forth. I have had an interest in Amateur Radio since I first found the men talking were Amateur (Hams) on the radio in High School. I was first licensed during my last quarter of college in September, 1970. I married Karen, in October, and Ben was born during the next year. I had a 2 year, Novice ticket and used a separate receiver and EICO 90 Watt, down tuned to 75 watts, only on CW (Morse Code). The FCC liked to give out Pink Slips and I found I didn't like CW or the attitude of the band. My license lapsed. I was one of the first No-code Tech's, once my children moved out of the house. I was WN6DVV in 1970, KC6ZKD in 1991, AC6TW for a few months in 1996, and will probably end my career as AC6ZZ.
In February, 2000, I acquired a Kenwood TS 430S (from my Elmer, Dave, N6YYM (SK)) the HF antenna Hustler 5-BTV trap Vertical on HF. In May, 2000, Karen and I purchased twin ICOM T81A quad-band VHF-UHF rigs in 2001 when she became KG6FPX,we talked frequently on 23 CM, but they were removed from our vehicle in January, 2004 during a convention. We replaced them with cell phones and have never gone back to rigs to contact each other. In June, 2007, I purchased a Yaesu, VX-3R, which is a great little receiver, a bit light on transmit even to the three repeaters 20 miles away on Mt. Diablo, simplex is impossible. Karen uses the VX-3R to listen to the Giants Baseball games.
In 2012, I purchased an FT-60R for mobility with enough power to reach the repeater. The FT-60R is a basic, adequate rig and easily replaced at about $140. In the summer of 2006, I rebuilt my HAM shack as I did in the Summer of 2017. In 2007 I added five gel cells, donated by Ed, my mechanic, to be able to communicate in a true emergency without the need of the power grid. My good wife Karen, purchased a Yaesu FT 8900 quad band 10, 6, 2 and .73 cm FM rig for Christmas 2009. In the summer of 2013, I bought an Alinco DR-235MK/// which put me on 222 Mhz, completing all bands from 80 meters to .73 meters. My most recent and versatile rig is a Wouxan KG-UV3D, 2-222 HT. In October, 2016, I purchased a Baofeng UV-5R for $26. It was too cheap not to buy and it is in my Go-bag. All my antennas except my HF wires are in my attic. I also added several VHF antennas are sitting in my attic on a 2x20 foot steel plate. In June, 2017 I acquired a ICOM IC-7100 all band, all mode rig with an all band HF rig including a AT-100 Pro// Autotuner. I feel very fortunate to be able to have all this equipment at the ready.
My first station was an EICO 90 watt, tuned down to 75 watts to stay legal in my Novice ticket. I had to change crystals (xtal) each time I wanted to change frequencies and then had to retune the grids. It was a pain and I didn't care for the FCC that was famous for their pink slips. When I got back into the hobby, I determined to go transistor, 12 volt and be flat foot. I do not use amplifiers outside the rig themselves. I have all the radios I want and need but continue to experiment on antennas.
In 1979 the Barstow Search and Rescue team found me a step from dead in the desert with a broken leg. I do not have the energy or health to be part of the Search and Rescue here in Contra Costa County, but I can be FEMA certified and work with the Sheriff's Emergency Radio Team, CERT, and SATERN. I usually check into a number of nets each week on Monday, and Thursday night. I check into the Tuesday digi net. Wednesday I try to check into the Red Cross net. You can see the details for these nets below.
I gave a like-new Collins TCS-13 transceiver to the USS Hornet. You can now see it in the Radio Room on the ship docked in Alameda.
Ok, so I am a HAM.
What makes me different from say Citizen's Band or CB? CB a narrow band, About 500 KHz (0.4600 MHz) wide on 11 metres, around 27 MHz on your radio dial. They are limited, legally, to 40 narrow frequencies. In the United States of America CBers can use a transceiver of less than Five (5) watts output without a license of any kind. While there are many very nice CBers, the Band is known for profanity and crudeness. Amateur's are regulated both by law and are self-regulated so we talk as ladies and gentlemen. The CB band itself is quirky. One day the band can talk around the country with no problem, an hour later, it is hard to talk a block away. The band just "goes away".
On April 15, 2000 the United States went from Six classes to Three classes of licenses. All Morse Code Requirements were removed in the last days of 2006. Code is no longer a requirement for any FCC Amateur Radio license in the USA.
1. The Technician License requires no code passing Element 2 (a 35 question theory test)
2. The General Class License requires passing Elements 2 and 3. Test Three is a 35-question theory test. This license grants privileges for all modes on most HF and all VHF bands
3. The Extra Class requires passing Elements 2, 3 and 4. Element four is a 50 question test. This license grants all privileges on all Amateur bands. It allows all frequencies and modes available in the USA.
Amateurs in the USA can use up to 1500 watts PEP and can use U.S. Amateur Radio HF Bands from 160 metres to light. I was given a Kenwood 2/440 rig I use in my car. Personally, I find HF to be distracting while driving. I also monitor a dozen repeaters on two metres each day. I am now on 20 meters, 2 meters and scan 40, 1.25 meter band repeaters at home and 2 meters in the car.
Picture in words of the Ham Bands in the electromagnetic Spectrum
MY UNDERSTANDING, STRAIGHT OUT OF MY HEAD: (with an occasional video suggestion)
135.7 - 137.8 KHz Brand new band, No start date as of May, 2017. Military use for Sub to shore. Antenna 0.5 distance of 5k run
472 - 479 KHz Brand new band. No start date as of May, 2017. No data at this time.
000.535 - 1.800 = 106 CHANNELS ON AM Band
001.800 - 2.000 = 160 METER BAND (Immediately above AM band. Haven't attempted to listen since high school.)
003.500 - 4.000 = 80 METER BAND (Favorite HF band, many days can talk to TX from CA, 132 foot dipole antenna)
005.332 - 5.405 = 60 METER BAND (Five channels, specifically for Alaska, every US Ham can use)
007.000 - 7.300 = 40 METER BAND (Excellent band, interference from International radio, 66 foot dipole antenna)
010.00 - 10.150 = 30 METER BAND
014.00 - 14.350 = 20 METER BAND (Round the world band)
18.068 - 18.168 = 17 METER BAND
21.000 - 21.450 = 15 METER BAND (10, 15 and 20 Meter band depending on which band is open)
24.890 - 24.980 = 12 METER BAND
26.965-27.405 = 11 meter, Citizen Band, no license needed
28.000 - 29.700 = 10 METER BAND (Round the world or not at all)
End of High Frequency (HF) Band
Beginning of Very High Frequency (VHF) Band
50.000 - 53.999 = 6 METER BAND (Ch 1 on the old TV)
54.000-87.999 TV CHANNEL 2-6
88.000 - 107.900 100 CHANNELS OF FM RADIO BAND
144.00 - 148.00 = 2 METER BAND (many nets and arguably the most used band)
174.00 - 215.000 - TV CHANNEL 7-13
219.00 - 225.00 = 1.25 METER BAND , (I enjoy this quiet band and have two rigs)
END OF VHF
BEGIN OF UHF
300.00 = technically all frequencies above 300 Mhz are less than one meter, or microwave.
430.00 - 450.00 = 0.73 METER BAND (California is very limited on this band because of military use)
462.5625-462.7125, 467.5625-476.7125 Family Radio Service (FRS), no license needed
470.00 - 890.00 TV CHANNEL 14-83 902.00 - 928.00 = 0.33 METER BAND (I have never used this band. It is the ATV uplink frequency. Verizon and police are all around this band)
1240.0 - 1300.0 = 0.23 METER BAND (Loved this band until all my equipment was stolen, no static, low power needed.)
2300.00-2450.00 = 0.13 METER BAND (This band has many in-home wireless phones, wifi, Bluetooth, low power, short distance unless mountain top or Moon bounce)
END OF UHF
TO LIGHT AND BEYOND Believe all frequencies above 500 Ghz are open for experimental use
Personally, I do not scan for police and fire. I can, I don't unless there is Police or fire action I can see. Next to the comment about "Oh, so you are a CB'er? People ask if I scan for Police and fire? I do live close enough to an emergency helicopter site, I listen to Air/Ground talk while they are on the ground, a football field away with my house shaking. But, no, I find Police and Fire boring. I am into Amateur Radio and scanning.
What is the purpose of Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio provides the following:
1) Emergency communication, somewhere in my junk is a certificate from the American Red Cross indicating I worked in the Oakland, California fire of 1991.
2) Advancement of the radio art, improved circuits;
3) Communications and technical phases of the art, special-training exercises, field days;
4) Trained operators and technicians, self-education in intercommunication and fixing radios. We help on Jog-a-thons, 50-mile horse trips, parades, and other once-in-a-while community events that need communication.
5) International good-will, radio waves don't stop at borders, they travel the world and solar system.
*) Anthony Stanton, AC6GM suggested I add a sixth purpose for Amateur Radio. It is fun, and it is fun talking down the street or around the world. unlike ladies that stitch in their homes alone, Amateur's can sit at home (or be on the road) and talk to others about the hobby or anything else we wish.
Why do people get involved in Amateur Radio?
It is said that there are as many reason for getting into amateur radio as there are Amateurs. Some do it to while away the long hours of driving trucks. Several Amateur's I have come to really appreciate drive all night from Reno, Nevada to Hayward, CA and home each evening. They can stay on the same repeater most of the way. For 10 years I had a paper route and would listen and talk on the same repeater while I drove my route. Another Amateur got his license to augment his cell phone while skiing the Sierras. Recently, a gentleman became a HAM to work on the Iditarod.
I got my license just to prove to myself that I could do it, and to have intelligent conversation with someone other than a sixth grader. I love my middle grade class, but was looking for intelligent adult conversation. My wife, Karen, took her test and got into Radio just to talk to me.
BAND CONDITIONS One day I can turn on my transceiver and talk to the world. Another day, I can hardly make a signal off my antenna wire to a OM 1/2 mile down the road. Some enjoy fielding band conditions using various methods. See Beacons. BAND CONDITIONS
BAND PLAN There are more than 700,000 Amateurs in the US and millions more about the planet. Furthermore there are many modes, AM, FM, SSB, digital, FT8, CW, Slow Scan TV, Fast Scan TV, uplink and downlink satellite and many other modes. The FCC gives us the band, we need or organize the band to make everyone happy. ARRL BAND PLAN
BAREFOOT Much like QRP, a HAM determines not to use anything except the equipment he has. If my rig puts out 100 watts, I use 100 watts. One can and many Amateurs do, use a "heater" or Linear Amplifier to knock the power up to legal maximum of 1000 watts. If you run barefoot, you run with 1, 5, or 100 watts of the rig, without a linear amp. GREAT QRP VIDEO BEACON'S Unlike standard AM and FM, shortwave people/stations and bands come and go on the radio. Sometimes we tune down a band and hear nothing. We do not know if there is nothing on, or the band is dead. A quick way to find out is to turn to a distant beacon and if we hear it, we are free to send a signal with a fair amont of certanty that someone will respond. There are times when the band is dead and no amount of CQ, will bring a station from around the corner much less around the world.
Finding low wattage Beacons around the country on all sorts of frequencies is exciting for some. Many of these stations are on 100 mw (this is equivelant to a toy) but are frequently
placed on mountain tops. Finding distant radio stations and beacons are things anyone can do. But it is something Amateurs do, there are groups of Hams that report on what beacon and weak signal (station) they can hear and or make contact. Luxembourg 60m beacon LX0HF BEACONS NCDXF BEACON
1. One of the many things that can be done for entertainment on Maui, Hawaii is taking a bike ride down Haleakala. This takes several hours to wake up, get to the main meeting area, eat breakfast and drive up the mountain. Once on top, hundreds of people have to wait for the sunrise. I took this time to turn on my 5 watt HT. I talked to all the Hawaiian islands in under 30 minutes. Even my wife was impressed.
2. Actual comment on Facebook. "Several days ago I talked 40 miles between Antioch and Vacaville on 145.520s Years ago while traveling to LA on I-5, I talked on one (1) watt [Yaesu VX-3R] around 100 miles between a guy up in the mountains and my 70 mph car.
3. One Saturday evening, very late I flipped on my 20 meter rig just before falling in bed. I heard a station in Connecticut and we talked for five minutes before the band faded. Neither of us had exceptional equipment or antennas, and we were both more than surprised we covered the country like we were sitting in the same room.
4. There is a Maritime Net at noon most days. I felt myself lucky to talk to a 29 foot sailboat in the middle of the Pacific, headed toward South Asia. MARITIME NET
5. I passed and received my Extra Class License back in the 20 WPM era. Never talk about it, but I wouldn't have it any-other way.
6. While the space shuttle was up, I listened to it contacting guys all over the country. One morning while throwing the Chronicle, guys in San Francisco got excited and I looked up to see the Shuttle between earth and sky in a non-earthlike purple glaze. It landed in Florida 15 minutes later. I listen to satellite beacons fly over head when I want.
CLUBS HAMs mostly sit at home and talk to people we can't see. Occasionally, we find people that have the same interests as we do. There are Missionary Nets (which is an on-air club), QRP, which is very low power clubs, We have a Delta Amateur Radio Club (Delta ARC), which are guys close enough to drive once a month, Microwave, EME, Earth Moon, Earth groups, and on and on.
COAX Coaxial Cable is its proper name. A type of feed line with one conductor inside the other. While this is certainly part of parts or selling, I have chosen to put it in a separate column because everyone has their own choice of coax. On 1/19/2018 someone asked about a certain cable and got upwards of 100 replies on the Internet. Half serious and half laughing, your choice of Coax is close to a religion
COMMUNICATE Traffic and weather and clarity of transmission are frequently the topic of conversation. We rarely talk about politics or religion. If one doesn't use their "Ham Call" we won't talk to them by law. This afternoon, 8 September 2016, I heard MANY sirens and got on my 2 meter repeater and in one question, found out there is a grass fire five blocks away. Never got near me, but the sirens said it was close. Could tell my neighbors where the fire was and satisfy their minds. SKYWARN
COMMUNICATE CLEARLY As we talk, people go "Huh?" and one learns to speak clearly. We don't want to "walk" on others transmitting at the same time. There are rules, call signs, "Q" calls, someone needs to run the nets, all these things take a bit of work to sound professional and communicate clearly.
CONTESTING. Some Amateurs enjoy Contesting OnAir Is one of several places I can get info on Contests. A second location, would be QST magazine put out by the ARRL. A third would be listening to other Amateurs talking about upcoming contests. In most contests the Amateur is trying to get as many other Amateurs on a certain frequency during a certain time frame. There us usually very little chit-chat. It is mostly pulling their call sign out of the static along with trading information on location and how clear they can be heard. N3FJP CONTEST SOFTWARE GRID SQUARES CW_1
CONVENTIONS AND SWAP MEETS EACH FALL PACIFICON takes over a hotel for a weekend. Hundreds of HAMs come to learn and buy from vendors. A number of clubs have a once a month in good weather swap meet to trade and sell equipment and parts.
CW or Continuous Wave, sometimes called Morse code is no longer part of the HAM or Amateur Radio test. CW needs very little in the way of equipment and can be heard when no other information is coming through. Ham jargon would call an operator working CW, "using his fist". While one should never say "Never", I doubt I will ever use CW for entertainment purposes. A great story, a guy in Arizona broke his leg high on a mountain. He used a wire and his car battery to make a spark and thus sent a CW message. It was heard and he was rescued. Q Codes
DIGITAL TRANSMISSION. Along with AM, FM, there is now multiple digital modes. DMR, D-STAR, and Fusion, are incompatible competing modes. DMR is Motorola. My ICOM, IC-7100 is a D-STAR rig. Fusion was developed by Yaesu. For old timers, this is very comparable to VCR and BETA systems. Within comfortable transmission distance, 66 miles of my home there are about a dozen D-STAR repeaters. Quick story, I was at HRO (Ham Radio Outlet), about a mile from Disneyland, listening to D-STAR, A station in Florida was talking to Europe and we were listening on a machine about half the size of a pack of cigarettes in California. There are now about 2000 repeaters across the world that are linked. D-STAR has been around for more than a decadeA HT not much larger than a pack of cigarettes can now reach the world in digital FM clarity. FT8 MANUAL HOTSPOT GUI map Repeater Lists Yaesu System Fusion DMR DMR' WOLPHILINK WOLPHILINK' LIST OF D-STAR REPEATERS D-STAR STARTING POINT D-STAR info ALL D-STAR SETUP DR MODE
HOTSPOTS This is a working webpage and technically should be part of the Digital Transmission above. I am hoping this section will develop as I work D-STAR, which I am still setting up. YOUTUBE HOTSPOT HOTSPOT FREQUENCIES * * *
DX is radio shorthand for Long Distance. While I have listened for years to HCJB in Ecuador, TWR in Bonaire, Radio Moscow and Radio Netherlands and many other stations. My best QSO, or conversation back and forth was late one Saturday evening, I turned on my transceiver and talked to a gentleman in Connecticut from California. When the Sun Spots are in Amateur Radio favor, I have talked many times to Texas on 20 meters. DX MAPS Very cool visual site for long distance radio GRID SQUARES HOT SPOT MAP DX_SUMMIT
We have always used a TV antenna instead of paying for cable. I have watched Channel 46 in Fresno, 36 in San Jose, Channel 50 in Santa Rosa, 22 in Rohnert Park, and Channel 2 in Redding and Reno (depending on how the antenna is turned).
Radio while traveling. I have listened and talked to other HAMs in Asia, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. We are going to be on the open ocean (November, 2017) this year and I hope to talk to HAMs on the Maritime Net on 14.300 MHz @ Noon.
ECHOLINK Electronic format I use on my cell phone but can be used from laptops. It turns my cell phone into a HT (walkie-talkie) and I can talk from anywhere with a cell tower connection to anywhere else in the world with a Echolink connection. I must have and use my FCC Amateur call sign when using my cell phone to Amateur repeater.
ECHOLINK QRP FRIENDS*>29618. Tuesday, December 26 at 7 PM EST. Sunday, December 31 at 9 AM UTC Worldwide. 73 Steve Turner G0HCR
ELMER Helping others become HAM's, this is also called an "Elmer". My elmer in HF was Dave, N6YYM, he was a retired painter by trade, and as good a HF man as I had the opportunity to know. Unfortunately, N6YYM went SK (Silent Key) in February, 2005, and I truly miss his friendship. I have been an elmer to several people over the years getting into Amateur radio at the VHF level.
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION for 25 years I was a member of the Contra Costa RACES (ACS) group. I have a chit that tells me I worked the Oakland fire of '91. and passed the FEMA RADO course and IS-100, IS-200,and IS-700. We started as an Ad hoc group of friends and it has slowly evolved into a group of unpaid Sheriff officers that have to buy their own uniforms and use Sheriff radios. I am a radio man not a cop-wanta-be. Documents FEMA CLASSES INCIDENT MAP EMERGENCY DRILL ON LIKE TAHOE Be aware the term HF or High Frequency is a specialized term. It refers to what was once shortwave, between 3 and 30 MhZ.
08:00 14.265, SATERN NET every day except Sunday
20:00 147.735, SATERN NET (the communications arm of the Salvation Army)
(Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network)
20:00 147.735, SATERN NET (the communications arm of the Salvation Army)
(Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network)
WEDNESDAY NIGHT RED CROSS NET
18:45, 147.735, WA6HAM (Larry, KI6LMB frequently runs the net and it is over about the time it begins.)
19:00 SKYWARN NET 147.060
20:00 SKYWARN 14.400 Lodi
20:00, 25-25 NET 144.230 USB
20:30 SKYWARN 14.420 Riverview
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SKYWARN NET http://www.skywarn.org
19:00, 147.060, W6CX
20:00, 28.400, Lodi
20:30, 28.420, Riverside
20:00, 25-25 SIMPLEX NET 144.230 USB
THURSDAY NIGHT VHF NETS
ACS-RACES Simplex Net
18:35 3.893 MHz LSB (Contra Costa County)
ACS-RACES Simplex Net
19:00 SIMPLEX 146.535 MHz (Contra Costa County, east)
RACES Repeater Net
19:35 CCRA, 147.735 -107.2
20:20 Side Winders On Two, 144.230 USB
Question I am looking for an answer. Is the Antioch 440.650 repeater still operational? I am less than 10 miles distant as the crow flies and can't get a peep out of it. But the 444.725 repeater in Antioch is loud and clear. I'll put it on the web and someone will know the answer.
FRIDAY NIGHT VHF NET
NON-GOVT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION CLUB/GROUPS A subset of government emergency communication would include churches and social group communication. Latter Day Saints (Mormons) have a much larger group on the radio each week than the local government. The Northern CA Salvation Army I check in to this net most Monday evenings along with about 50 others Hams and communities. SBC SBC DOC
EXPERIMENT with bands, circuits, ideas (as long as they are in Amateur approved frequency slots. I heard of two guys that took a 5 mw laser pointer, took it on one mountain, the other guy went over 100 miles distant to another mountain with a telescope and they communicated via CW with each other...using light not radio waves. HAM RADIO WORKBENCH
SUBSET TO GEOGRAPHY LANDING IN UNIQUE LOCATIONS WITH STRANGE CALL SIGNS and finding them on a map. BOUVET ISLAND
HIGH ALTITUDE BALLOONS. The University of Reno, run mostly by HAMS are launching NASA approved balloons several times a year with They regularly reach 80,000 feet and the highest I know of reached 102,000 feet. It is cool to watch and listen to the Internet version of the 12 to 15 minute flight over mid-Nevada. See also iHAB-7 Search, "high altitude balloon" for alternate videos.
HISTORY OF AMATEUR RADIO I went to school in the 50's and was taught about the Heavyside Layer that bounced radio signals back to earth. We now have some 50,000 pieces of garbage in space and call it the Ionosphere. I remember my electronics teacher tell me that we would never put men in space because we needed radio communication and nothing would get through the Heavyside layer. Then we developed polarized microwaves that went though the Ionosphere easier than warm knife thru butter. When I first got into radio 2 meter (144-148 Mhz) was considered experimental and we used 450 ohm wire on our TV antennas. HAMS WIN WWII HAMS WIN WWII_2 FAMOUS HAMS Famous Amateurs
INTERNET HAM RADIO QSONET allows anyone to listen, and I believe anyone that obeys the rules can talk. FCC rules require all Amateurs to use their call sign every 10 minutes, but I don't think this is true online. (Anytime one goes on-air, we need a FCC license. IRLP is the Internet Radio Linking Project. This is a fairly new, form of HAM radio that is 1/2 over the air and 1/2 over the Internet. Using frequencies all Amateurs can use, they send a code and it turns on a repeater anywhere in the world an IRLP repeater is located. It is not unlike Alice stepping in a hole and finding herself in Wonderland. Going to work one morning I heard a gentleman sign on from Brussels and talk about the snow and rain outside his home, while we were wishing for some of his rain here in California. IRLP LIST
I like to LISTEN or MONITOR or in Ham Jargon, "Sandbag". Shortwave is a world of space, police, fire and foreign radio stations, one never knows what we will hear when we turn on our radio.
I listen to two Metre on my way to work or working at my desk. This is a VHF frequency (144-148 MHz) that only requires a 19 1/4 inch (41 cm) antenna. When I commuted to Vallejo, I would listen to Dean W7LIG (SK), in Nevada many mornings (140 miles) and when I had something to add I could talk to him. I can listen to most transmissions over at least 100 mile radius on the repeater and there is almost no static.
On rainy days, it is not uncommon to know far more about the weather than even my weatherman as everyone reports in, where it is raining and where the accidents are on the freeway. You can't do this on the Internet.
LOG: Once upon a time every HAM had a logbook and and had to show 10 hours of QSO's in order to renew their license. Those days are gone, but there are some who still enjoy showing how many stations they talked to in period of time, especially but not exclusively during contesting. Today, stations use QSL Cards to show they contacted stations. LOG: AGENCY, DAY, YEAR, TIME LOGIC YFKlog XMlog WA7S
MARS, Military Affiliate Radio System which as its name implies is based in military discipline and does a fine job sending messages among active service men and women and their families. MARS
MILLIMETER MICROWAVE Amateur's can use frequencies from very low and long, to very high and short. My interest tends to be with the shorter wavelengths. I can't get enough of the microwave frequencies. Short, shortwave to microwave travel in straight lines, much like light. Light needs a reflector to make it "bounce" around a corner. There are many ways to reflect a radio wave. Some of these include, repeaters, using meteor ion trails, bouncing it off the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), reflected off the side of a mountain. Look up the following for more information: Down East Microwave SSB Electronics ARRL 50 MHz + Microwave Journal W6AMT METEOR SCATTER SATELLITES 50MHZ and Above K6MU
NETs. In Amateur jargon, a Net is a convention where Amateurs meet at a certain time on a certain frequency. We never leave our shack (home.) I like to visit the following:
Tuesday and Thursday HF (1.8-30 MHZ):This is an old list, been a while since my old HF Kenwood rig worked
14.319 MHz: 0100-0400 UTC (17:00-20:00 PST)
21.365 MHz: 2100-0000 UTC (15:00-18:00 PST)
28.395 MHz: 1900-2100 UTC (13:00-15:00 PST)
21.330 MHz: 2100-0000 UTC (15:00-18:00 PST)
For the SCIENCE OF IT! Covers of Amateur Radio magazines I am currently using for a seminar include Counting Sun Spots in the January, 1998 QST magazine. Transmitting over 100 miles with a 5 mw laser pen between mountaintops in CQ/VHF, March, 1999. Many to most of the items on a radio like automatic volume control, Digital tuning. Repeaters if you live in smaller US towns for FM reception and much more come from Amateur's experiments.
MODEL AIRPLANE & CAR enthusiasts can be found on six meters. It takes a license to use this band, so some of these ladies and gentlemen choose to become HAM's so they can use this and other bands to run their remote controlled vehicles. They can add a TV camera to their remote controlled vehicles on microwave, thus using two frequencies at one time.
PLAY WITH NEW BANDS1.25 METER BAND
At one time most of my equipment was Yaesu. Now I use what is available for my pocket book. I use an Alinco DR 235 Mk /// and Wouxun 2/222 rig on 222 Mhz. I was strongly advised not to buy this rig, that "no one was on it." and sometimes that is true. But there are several repeaters in our area and a guy a mile or two away is frequently on. We have become fairly good friends and I never would have met him, had I not had this rig. I also have a Wouxan KG-UV3D, HT I find easier to hold, use and program. SoCal/AZ 220 REPEATERS's page
PLAY WITH RADIOS
ICOM IC-7100, ALL BAND, ALL MODE INCLUDING D-STAR
Brand new to me as of July, 2017. Still don't have it on the air. IC-7100 MANUAL
KENWOOD TM-D700A, 2/440
This rig was given to me by KG6AUA and KG6ATN. At one time we, KG6FPX and I talked to them as we were all driving around after school. When a car was wrecked, they gave the rig to me and it has a super front end. This radio is installed permanently in my car and it pulls in simplex stations much clearer than any of my other rigs.
YAESU FT 60R, 2/440 HT
I have had several FT-60(R) models over the years. Went to an emergency meeting one night and almost everyone in the room of 30 men had a FT-60R. Excellent rig for 2/440.
WOUXUN KG-UV3D, 2/222 HT
Both my Wouxun and Baofeng are inexpensive Chinese rigs. I wanted to see how they had improved and use them in their own right. I frequently use this rig over my Alinco to be on a 222 net. x108G 2/222 PROGRAMMING Anytone triband
BAOFENG UV-5R, 2/440 HT [ON LOAN]
From Amazon to my door it was $41. It has almost no weight and fits in my pocket. I have all kinds of frequencies in this for especially emergencies but also for going to the ball game.
Q-CODES Government uses 10 codes, "10-4." Amateur Radio has always used Q codes. QRP is low power. QTH is "What is your location?" This is Amateur radio jargon. These were developed back in the CW days and three letters were easier to send than all the letters in a comment or question. Q Codes
MINIMALIST QRP Using the fewest number of parts to make a RF signal another can hear. MINIMALIST QRP
RAGCHEW Have someone to talk to on sleepless nights. One night I helped a fellow XYL (Previous Young Lady or married woman) who was having trouble with her medication. She is blind and she didn't know if she had taken too much or too little medication. We talked as I did my paper route for about half-an-hour until the possible crisis passed. I could have used my autopatch to call for emergency help half a state away.
REGULATE We self-regulate ourselves. We have rules in the FCC Part 97. We must use our Amateur Radio license call sign at the beginning and every 10 minutes of talking. We don't swear. We don't play music. For a while, there was a guy in San Francisco that would sign on with a five minute, day, date, address, etc and etc. We tutored him, he continued, we ignored him and he went away. No one wants to transmit and get silence back. We regulate and keep our Ham frequency clean and legal.
REMOTE CONTROL MODEL CARS/AIRPLANES. While there are a number of frequencies model airplanes can fly on, most are very limited. Some amateurs use the six-meter band which will allow some of these huge planes to travel fifty and more miles from where the control pilot stands with this controls.
SATELLITES Satellites fly overhead every 90 minutes and are frequently closer than stations we are talking to on earth. Most classes of Licenses can talk to and from satellites legally. Many of the Astronauts and Cosmonauts have Amateur Licenses and talk back to earth. I have a patch that says I talked to one of the earlier space shuttles. You can also download satellite weather pictures. AMSAT X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Satellite Tracker ISS AO-73 AO-85 AO-91 AO-92 HAT CREEK ARRAY A
SIMPLEX it is like holding a conversation in the same room with someone. SIMPLEX is simple, We talk radio to radio without using high power, repeaters, or the internet, just two people and two radios. HF is almost 100% simplex. VHF/UHF has at least a dozen modes to talk to many at one time via repeater, digital, etc. SIMPLEX FREQUENCIES
SOTA SUMMITS OF THE AIR. One of the newest names in radio. Previously known as MOUNTAINTOPPING and you may still see this term used from time to time.. Walking to the top of a mountain with all necessary gear and spend hours talking to any and all people on the same time and frequency. Only for the rugged. Then packing up and hauling it back down to the vehicle. I enjoy being a CHASER, the person that is down on the ground talking to the SOTA on the top of the mountain. Always on a simplex frequency, frequently on 146.520 MHz which I monitor. MOUNTAIN TOPPER_QRP SOTA' lots of photos .
MAKING FRIENDS is another facet of Amateur Radio. I have friends all over Northern California and Nevada I have never seen and have only talked to while driving my import. It broadens my world-view of life. Senator Berry Goldwater was an active Amateur as was King Hussein of Jordan. Ericka Dunlop, Miss America 2004 is K2BR and an active HAM. I have talked to mechanics, tow truck drivers, engineers, other teachers and professors, truckers, medical doctors, if you can think of a job, there is probably someone in that profession communicating right now. These two sites help me find friends on the radio and talk to them on the Internet. QRZ, One of my favorite places to find my HAM friends! The University of Arkansas FCC files
Another way of making friends is to JOIN A CLUB. There are repeater clubs, specifically designed to pay for the expenses of a repeater and to have fellowship once in a while. Another is to have specific interests. When I first became interested in 70 cm, there was a once a week net that talked about trains. They knew the angstroms of the paint on some of the locomotives. Another club I became aware of is the Quarter Century Wireless Association. This club is specifically for HAM's that have been licensed for 25 years or more. I joined in 2007 to see if it would help me get active again. I am loosely associated with the Delta Amateur Radio Club in Pittsburg/Antioch, CA.
VE or VOLUNTEER EXAMINER Some Amateurs enjoy giving tests and upgrading their licenses. The FCC allows HAM's in a very carefully controlled environment to give tests to other Amateurs and those that wish to be Amateurs. ARRL Test Sites Sunnyvale Test Sites
Some Amateur's enjoy collecting QSL CARDS from other Amateur's they have talked to on-air. The ARRL has a plaque for amateurs that document a QSL card from 100 countries, All states; All countries, all grids, and several other accomplishments.
TRAVELING to countries, and locations dealing with Amateur Radio. The QUEEN MARY on the top deck has a marvelous station that has the original equipment as well as the new equipment.
INTERNET AMATERUR RADIO, IRLP There are over 600,000 Amateurs in the USA. It is now estimated that around 100,000 of them have email. The newest area of Amateur radio is chat rooms on the Internet. You don't need a call or a license to be in these chat rooms, but some guys like to hit keys wired to a wall instead of let it float across the sky. I enjoy talking to other Amateurs on email, so I guess that isn't all that different. You might check other Repeater sites for additional chat rooms.
TRANSMITTER HUNTS. Some are walking; some are driving while they look for a hidden transmitter. Some are as easy as turning your antenna one way and the other, others have computers and several antennas but all are looking for the elusive beep of the hidden transceiver.
There are five kinds of VIDEO that Amateurs can try their hand at ...
1. Slow Scan Television is like a snap shot, it takes several seconds for a picture to "develop" on the screen. Apparently it is going the way of the stagecoach, one of the few pages on this topic went south.
2. ATV (Amateur Television) has a look not unlike a standard TV station and is another ways to watch as well as listen to Amateur "Radio".TH 20:00 W6CX ATV NET
3. I found #16 beginning around 40 minutes into the program to be fascinating as they describe Amateur Radio Satelite...HAM NATION
4. Still digital images (JPEG files) transmitted over packet networks. Also called facsimile, it can be received by either computer or fax machines.
5. One of the newest technologies virtually invented by Amateurs, is digital video images. Two Amateurs on November 25, 1998 using PCMIA wireless LAN computer boards, have transmitted digital images up to 1600 feet @ 28.8k.
Packet radio for short. This is an item not unlike a modem in a computer. The TNC goes between the Transmitter/Receiver and the computer. One of the Amateurs I communicate with via the Internet has his packet station connected to the Internet. Packet is free, once you have the equipment and is not hardwired to a wall, like most of us on the Internet. With a battery, many packet stations are quite mobile.
SPECIAL STATIONS From time to time Amateur Radio people go to far corners of the world to sometimes small rocks in the Atlantic or Pacific. The following video is of several men in Arkansas,SPECIAL STATIONS.
SPREAD SPECTRUM Spread Spectrum is not new, but is just trying to come into it's own. Heady Lamarr.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr" the movie star, is given credit with inventing this mode. If we are to ever have Tricorders like they use on Star Trek, it will probably come with this technology. Unlike standard radio, which uses a very narrow band of to transmit, Spread Spectrum uses a very wide band to transmit and receive.
">If you read far enough in the Inventor section, frequency hopping is in this article
RTTY: Radio teletype. Once upon a time, it was the old Newspaper hard print, stand alone printers. In times that are more recent, RTTY is usually one of several forms of computer to computer networking over the air.
As mentioned at the beginning of this section, there are almost as many ways to use an Amateur License, as there are Amateurs. Come join us in this hobby that got its boost in the Titanic Disaster and is as current as satellites.