• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

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CommJunkie

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Excuse me while I vent.

I love radio. I'm into all kinds of radio-related "stuff". I use a radio for something, whether it's at work, at home, in the car, etc., just about every day. I got a ham license to further my radio experience after being on CB since I was 13 (I'm 30 now) and deciding I liked the general chit chat.

Problem is, I'm bored already. I don't own my home, so antenna space isn't exactly available, so I don't have HF or even a license for it. I'm limited to 2m/1.25m/70cm. I'm bored because while there's never a shortage of people to talk to in my area (Philadelphia suburbs), I have nothing in common with them. I'm 30, and the average person I've heard on the air is about 60. Nice people, but a conversation more than how's my signal and what kind of weather we're having is almost impossible.

I'm thinking of starting my own repeater or club with the intended direction of young(er) people being the most active users. Trouble is, I don't have the money myself to buy and maintain a repeater and the space it uses, and I'd have no idea where to start forming a club.

Basically, I'm wondering if I'm alone here. Has anyone else ever just got bored?
 

acyddrop

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Try Echonet, specifically the Breakfast Club. It's a giant informal round table discussion that I've participated in for almost a year. The people tend to be quite nice, and you are affording more opportunity to talk about things more than your signal strength. While echolink uses your PC or smart phone, it does require a ham license so it's still a ham related thing. I don't know about any of the other nets, but check out the dodropin net on Echolink.

With regard to 2m/70cm/etc I don't even go near 2 meters or 1.25 or 70cm anymore (except via Echolink) though have had fun on 33 and 23 cm and even higher. HF is fun for me because of PSK and JT65 but JT65 pretty much boils down to signal report and location. Some of the free digital voice software for HF is also quite nice.

As far as conversations, I've had many good ones on echolink and on HF. My 2m/1.25/70cm is tainted because when I first started as a ham those bands were dead in the location I was in.
 

N8IAA

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Excuse me while I vent.

I love radio. I'm into all kinds of radio-related "stuff". I use a radio for something, whether it's at work, at home, in the car, etc., just about every day. I got a ham license to further my radio experience after being on CB since I was 13 (I'm 30 now) and deciding I liked the general chit chat.

Problem is, I'm bored already. I don't own my home, so antenna space isn't exactly available, so I don't have HF or even a license for it. I'm limited to 2m/1.25m/70cm. I'm bored because while there's never a shortage of people to talk to in my area (Philadelphia suburbs), I have nothing in common with them. I'm 30, and the average person I've heard on the air is about 60. Nice people, but a conversation more than how's my signal and what kind of weather we're having is almost impossible.

I'm thinking of starting my own repeater or club with the intended direction of young(er) people being the most active users. Trouble is, I don't have the money myself to buy and maintain a repeater and the space it uses, and I'd have no idea where to start forming a club.

Basically, I'm wondering if I'm alone here. Has anyone else ever just got bored?
I understand what you are talking about. I've been a ham almost as long as you're alive:D Back in Ohio, I was active in all kinds of things, fox hunting, multiple clubs, talking on the local repeaters. Then, I saw the personalities of the groups changing.
I actually sold all my ham gear and went silent in the mid-90's. Didn't miss the bad blood. Got into SSB CB and found some kindred souls. Then the personalities and groups soured me.
Moved to GA in 1999, and found a really great club that was 30 miles from where my wife and I found a house. After working a 10 hour day and driving that far....Well you can guess what happened:(
To make a long story short, went silent for a few years again. The digital bug caught me in the middle of 2012. Got myself set up with D-Star. Great for about 8 months, then everyone that had been on the 2m/440 repeaters were hogging the most used reflector. Found someone to talk to on their local state reflector. Great until he changed shifts.
I do frequent the local 'candy store', but it's just to connect with hams that we have stuff in common. I use my HT and mobile as back up scanners, because there is no one new to talk with.
I've not found any of the D-star reflectors that anyone wants to talk about scanning, which I much prefer.
I would like to do HF, but the better half says no outside antennas. Don't have a HOA, so that's not the problem.
Wow, sorry for my rant:lol:
Larry
 

robertmac

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Life and radio is what you make of it. Upgrade, Upgrade and experiment. Teach people what you learn.
 

zz0468

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I'm thinking of starting my own repeater or club with the intended direction of young(er) people being the most active users. Trouble is, I don't have the money myself to buy and maintain a repeater and the space it uses, and I'd have no idea where to start forming a club.
A repeater is not a requirement for forming a club and, in my opinion, is not a task for either an embryonic club, or a beginner at building and operating repeaters. There are some formidable political and financial pitfalls to overcome if one wants to have a sustainable club and repeater.

My suggestion would be to start a multi-pronged effort to find a niche within the hobby that does it for you. First, upgrade to General. Without the ability to try HF, you are limiting yourself. Then, try some of these things... building, weak signal VHF/UHF/Microwave operating, QRP, HF mobile and portable, learn CW and take a QRP rig backpacking, you could do some excellent HF DX'ing with 25 watts or less on some of the digital modes. Low power HF in an apartment is quite doable when running the various digital modes. And so on... By limiting yourself to FM repeaters, you are limiting yourself to 90% of what ham radio has to offer. And almost none of what I've mentioned requires an outside antenna, if it's just completely unmanageable.

Basically, I'm wondering if I'm alone here. Has anyone else ever just got bored?
No, you're not alone. We see the same complaint frequently here and other forums. Personally, I have never been bored with the hobby, and I've been playing with radios since the mid 60's. There is just SO MUCH out there to try.

Upgrade your license first, and then see where that leads you.
 

W9BU

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You have a Technician license. You can operate on any amateur radio band above 30 MHz (all the way up into the microwave bands) using any mode allowed by the rules. You can also operate on small slices of the HF bands including the 10m band using SSB from 28.3 to 28.5 MHz.

If someone told you you were limited to 2m/1.25m/70cm, they were incorrect. If you believe you are limited to FM, you are incorrect.

It doesn't take an antenna farm to communicate on HF. A 10m vertical antenna is about the same size as a CB vertical. A 10m dipole is only about 16.5 feet long. When conditions are good, you can work a lot of stations on 10m with simple antennas.

Starting up a club is no more difficult than getting a group of people together with similar interests. How you manage your club is up to the group. You can be very informal and just agree to meet at a common place to discuss your interests.

I often tell people that if they are bored with amateur radio, try something new. I point you to the following list:

NFARL Web: 100+ Things to do in Ham Radio
 

trap5858

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Have you looked into the many ham radio clubs in and around the Delaware Valley area? I am not sure of what is down your way but north and west of the city there are several great clubs. Not sure if you can hit the K3DN repeater from Delaware County.

147.09 pl 131.8

Take look at k3DN.org they list a lot of local repeaters.
 

mikewazowski

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The local club near me does not own a repeater and they have quite a few members despite that fact.

They use one of my repeaters for their weekly nets.

If you're interested in more technical discussions, consider putting in a repeater which requires a bit more effort to use.

I've got a couple of P25 repeaters and the discussions on them tend to be more technical than the other repeaters.
 

joen7xxx

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If you're a technician licensee, you also have 10 meter privileges. You can work worldwide Dx CW and SSB voice with a mobile or very modest home station. Check it out.
 

rapidcharger

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Have you ever tried Echolink?
If you want to talk to some people about more than just a brief exchange of signal report and weather conditions I can give you a few echolink nodes to dial into where there are others who were in your shoes. Echolink is great if you can't put up a bunch of antennas and spend a fortune on gear but still want to talk around the world. And no, you don't have to just talk through a computer. Setting up a simplex node is cheaper and easier than setting up a repeater and has all the enjoyment of having a repeater without all of the drawbacks to having a repeater.Plus echolink has many people who also got bored with their local ham offerings or lack thereof and echolink opens up a whole world to them.
 
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CommJunkie

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Thanks for the replies. Let me clarify a few things:

1. I don't own my house. I'm not allowed any antennas on it.
2. I use UHF/VHF in my car because I don't want a car with 13 radios in it to work all bands.
3. No one told me I'm limited to VHF/UHF, I'm limited to that because of my circumstances
4. I've looked into some of the clubs near me . There is one I'm going to join, but the rest are the 65 and over crowd. I'm all for supporting other hams, but going back to my original point, I don't really have anything in common with them besides ham radio.
5. I know I don't need a repeater to start a club, it was 2 separate ideas.
6. Upgrading to General is on the agenda, but why do it now if I'm not going to use it? That's kinda like buying a Lamborghini that does 200 mph just to drive it to the grocery store doing only 45.
 

elk2370bruce

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Echolink is a good beginning. If any of the repeaters that you can hit have IRLP capability, you can work world-wide. In many clubs, the only common thread is amateur radio. Who knows? You might even learn something. The day you stop learning in this hobby is when you're either dead or that you know more than the rest of us. Be a little creative and you'll find something of interest. Try a search of stealth antennas for amateur radio. There are some good options.
 

rapidcharger

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Once again, get on echolink. You don't need any antennas.
You'll be glad you did.

Try some different repeaters.
Or move to a place where you can put up an antenna. I've lived in apartments before. I always found a way.

I'm sorry but this is starting to sound like yet another "I'm turning in my license" thread.
 

k3td

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Hi Jay, you might want to consider groups in your area that specialize in operating and are always looking for new participants. Here are two you may want to check out:

Home | FRANKFORD RADIO CLUB

Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club Inc.

Good luck and 73!
Jay, forgot to add - both of these clubs could find stations where you could guest op since you are unable to have antennas where you live currently.

73!
 

902

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I'm a member of a club that has a repeater and it's only used once a night for the local node of a larger traffic net. I also own two repeaters that only my family and visiting friends use. I built one to tinker with and the other is a vintage "stock" professional system kind of like car collectors try to restore cars to their original condition. A repeater's not going to breath magic life and activity into things without first having people involved in it, and even then, modern social media has taken away from the repeater users of 35 years ago. What I'm saying is that if your enjoyment of the hobby is learning about land mobile radio and building things, by all means, build a repeater. You'll have to put it somewhere once you've got it all set up. That could be an issue, all things considered.

Where I used to live in the Midwest, we had a little club station that had an active HF station built into a former bank. People who lived in apartments and subdivisions could go there to work HF, tune around, or learn about CW with more experienced people. You might have one close by. Seniors are a fact of life. I'm a few decades older than you are, but that doesn't mean I am dismissive of younger hams. You probably shouldn't generalize. The old f@rts know a different kind of ham radio and might be able to help you find an enjoyable niche. When E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg felt he needed coaching playing the drums, he went to an old-timer big band era drummer.

For some reason, Pennsylvania always struck me as being a great place for amateur radio. I was a migrant communications worker some 16 years ago and made some friends with some people who had common interests in VHF weak signal work at the time. PA also had great hamfests, but I hear events like the Packrats hamfest are not all that anymore.

And, I've reinvented myself in this hobby many times over the last 36 years of being licensed. I haven't done moonbounce, satellites, or video yet. A guy's got to have goals. ;)

Best of luck to you and hope you find something that personally excites your interest again.
 

k3td

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I'm a member of a club that has a repeater and it's only used once a night for the local node of a larger traffic net. I also own two repeaters that only my family and visiting friends use. I built one to tinker with and the other is a vintage "stock" professional system kind of like car collectors try to restore cars to their original condition. A repeater's not going to breath magic life and activity into things without first having people involved in it, and even then, modern social media has taken away from the repeater users of 35 years ago. What I'm saying is that if your enjoyment of the hobby is learning about land mobile radio and building things, by all means, build a repeater. You'll have to put it somewhere once you've got it all set up. That could be an issue, all things considered.

Where I used to live in the Midwest, we had a little club station that had an active HF station built into a former bank. People who lived in apartments and subdivisions could go there to work HF, tune around, or learn about CW with more experienced people. You might have one close by. Seniors are a fact of life. I'm a few decades older than you are, but that doesn't mean I am dismissive of younger hams. You probably shouldn't generalize. The old f@rts know a different kind of ham radio and might be able to help you find an enjoyable niche. When E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg felt he needed coaching playing the drums, he went to an old-timer big band era drummer.

For some reason, Pennsylvania always struck me as being a great place for amateur radio. I was a migrant communications worker some 16 years ago and made some friends with some people who had common interests in VHF weak signal work at the time. PA also had great hamfests, but I hear events like the Packrats hamfest are not all that anymore.

And, I've reinvented myself in this hobby many times over the last 36 years of being licensed. I haven't done moonbounce, satellites, or video yet. A guy's got to have goals. ;)

Best of luck to you and hope you find something that personally excites your interest again.
Great info 902! I have become an old f@rt, but that just means I can learn from my elders and younger folks! I have also reinvented myself a few times just like you. Started out on 6/2 meter AM because that's what I could afford as a broke college kid, just as everyone had left AM for SSB. Then discovered 2/440 repeaters and FM. Then packet and BBS followed by RTTY and G-TOR. Then HF contesting, followed by VHF/UHF contesting and weak signal operations. The latest is AllStar linking, and next up is WSJT for 6 and 2 meters to increase my Grid Square totals. I have worked 276 Grids on 6 with a Par Omniangle loop hidden in a tree in my deed restricted neighborhood.

Along the way I have had plenty of fun, made lots of friends and helped others get started in the hobby or a new area of it. One thing that has not changed is the magic in hearing six meters open with E-Skip, F2 or TEP propagation. My very first contact was on 50.400 AM via E-skip and I get just as much of a thrill when the band opens today!

73!
 

902

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Great info 902! I have become an old f@rt, but that just means I can learn from my elders and younger folks! I have also reinvented myself a few times just like you. Started out on 6/2 meter AM because that's what I could afford as a broke college kid, just as everyone had left AM for SSB. Then discovered 2/440 repeaters and FM. Then packet and BBS followed by RTTY and G-TOR. Then HF contesting, followed by VHF/UHF contesting and weak signal operations. The latest is AllStar linking, and next up is WSJT for 6 and 2 meters to increase my Grid Square totals. I have worked 276 Grids on 6 with a Par Omniangle loop hidden in a tree in my deed restricted neighborhood.

Along the way I have had plenty of fun, made lots of friends and helped others get started in the hobby or a new area of it. One thing that has not changed is the magic in hearing six meters open with E-Skip, F2 or TEP propagation. My very first contact was on 50.400 AM via E-skip and I get just as much of a thrill when the band opens today!

73!
Tad,

I love 6 meters. Got my start with a Heathkit HR-10/DX-60/HG-10, and also had a 2 meter Gooney box with a big box of crystals. Then I bought a 6 meter rig at a hamfest and worked my county's RACES net which was on 50.3. I got adventurous and hooked up the VFO to the Communicator IV and was able to go all over the place. My biggest influence was when I was still in high school, my elmer had an RCA LD "waffle iron" on 52.525. It looked just like the radios in the fire trucks at the time and I was like, "Wow! We can use that for ham radio, too?" I ended up saving for it and using it with a simple dipole and an old car battery I dragged inside. I was hooked on 6 meters from that point forward. Very long story short, my wife and I used 6 meter FM for keeping in touch out in the Midwest. At one point, we were using burglar alarm tape on windows to make antennas (it worked great). And, like you said, the magic can be in learning the characteristics of many propagation modes that allow communication when the band opens, not just making the contacts.

Jay,

Just look at what 6 meters does to us two goofballs carrying on about it after all these years! You'll certainly find something in this hobby that will keep your interest.

73!
 

n9mxq

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RemoteHams.com - Home You can operate other stations around the country and world from your computer. Check into nets in California, have a simplex chat with a ham in South America. Find out how hams operate in Germany or the U.K. You can use voice, digital, CW just like you have the rig on your desk.

No antennas needed. Sign up, upload your license and request transmit privs.
 

CommJunkie

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I wasn't looking for this to be another turning in my license thread. I was just looking to see if anyone ever had the same thoughts as me. I might look into echolink though. I can do that from just about anywhere.
 
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