Short Wave/H.A.M. Radio

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Anyone here ever use HAM or short wave radios, or broadcast on them? I am trying to get into the hobby right now, and I was wondering if anyone here is into it already?
 

BitterGrey

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One can always tell the car or truck of a an ABDL HAM. They will be bearing dipoles.

Sorry, I just had to slip that pun in.
 

Lil Snap

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*groan*

My dad was a ham operator a while back, but I never could learn morse code (which you may have to do still to get a license) he may still have a 2 meter handset floating around his workroom, I don't know.
 

ShyBaby

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I got one in Australia when I was about your age - I passed the theory and legal exams, but as with snapcrotch, didn't have the patience/energy to learn Morse code and so was limited to operating in bands above 30MHz. That makes the gear more expensive and the DIY harder, but luckily for you they seem to dropped that in the states last year:

ARRLWeb: It's Official! Morse Code Requirement Ends Friday, February 23

At the time I found it to be a bit of a retirees' game: old boys passing the hours nattering to each other and so on, but that impression is probably based on the local hams where I was and a little unfair. I know a thirtysomething ham here in the UK who gets involved in transmitter hunts, civil emergency network stuff (RACES in the US) and loves it. Plus there are some new technologies like DRM that are now accessible to amateurs using PCs (It was packet radio on a Commodore 64 in my day, grumble, grumble.) There's also space stuff like amateur satellites and earth-moon-earth comms to play with as well.

I don't know what the requirements are in the US for the exams; I would assume they would be similar to Australia, though the legal side is a little different (and probably a lot less restrictive.) If you've already got some basic electronics knowledge, the technical stuff is not too daunting - just a load of stuff to remember. Anyway, the ARRL is a good place to start.

As for that appalling pun, I wouldn't touch that with a 30 metre monopole...
 

mm3

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I'm a volunteer firefighter, so, yay me! I've been able to broadcast EMDS signals before throughout my whole county :3.
 
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