• 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

My Shack

Status
Not open for further replies.

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
Ok, been in Ham Radio for the past 3 weeks, purchased my very first radio a few weeks ago and I'm hooked. Here is my shack as it sits right now.

Icom 746Pro
Astron RS-35M Power Supply
50ft per Cable X-perts RG8X
Comet GP-3 2 Meter / 440 Dual Band Antenna
Radiowavz 20 Meter Dipole with 1:1 Balun
MFJ Guardian Angel Lighting Surge Protector for each antenna

The antenna's are mounted in the attic right now, I'm going to order LMR400 to put them outside. The RG8X will go to the wall, then the LMR400 will be used from the MFJ Surge Protectors to the antenna's.

 

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
Bluegrass1dcr1 said:
Good start and welcome to the world of amateur radio.What is your callsign maybe we can QSO sometime?
I'm studying for my Tech now, so only listening to people but as soon as I take the test and get my call sign I'll post it here.

This weekend was a contest bananza (not sure I'm interested in that aspect however), they were all over the 20 meter band. I heard Las Vegas, Canada, Florida, Arkansas and tonight I listened in on 80 meters LSB and heard so many QSO's it was fantastic! Not too shabby considering my only antenna (aside from my 2 meter) is a 20 meter Dipole in the attic with the side wires not extended all the way. I'm looking forward to getting licensed and then I'll add a long wire with antenna tuner to the set up.
 

SCPD

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
You are using a ham radio technique I've used. You buy the equipment before you get the license and then the listening you do motivates you to get the license as you want to be able to key the mike and talk with people as well. I would like to use this method with my Yeasu FT-847 HF, 6M, 2M, 70cm rig but I'm having some zoning and homeowners association issues with this plan.
 

mtindor

OH/WV DB Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 5, 2006
Messages
7,369
Location
Carroll Co OH / EN90LN
Nice job. I like that 746 for sure. I'm sure it'll provide you with hours of enjoyment. And because it's a general coverage receiver, you can do a lot of listening to all sorts of things, not just ham radio.

I wish you luck with the license. I'm sort of soured on amateur radio at the moment (been a ham since early 90s), but it's a good hobby. Somebody needs to whip the clubs back into shape. We used to have a great club around here but it went to hell in a handbasket. If you got a good active club in your area, join and I don't think you'll be sorry.

Field Day every year is a blast. I participate even if I happen to be alone. It's fun to make the contacts, but if you are participating with others its a lot of added fun just hanging out, putting up antennas, shootin the crap, etc.

Mike
 

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
Exsmokey said:
You are using a ham radio technique I've used. You buy the equipment before you get the license and then the listening you do motivates you to get the license as you want to be able to key the mike and talk with people as well. I would like to use this method with my Yeasu FT-847 HF, 6M, 2M, 70cm rig but I'm having some zoning and homeowners association issues with this plan.
Exsmokey,

First, let me thank you for the service you provided back in your smokey days, thats a hard job not enough people have respect for.

Regarding what you posted, agreed 100% and I went against what everybody told me, including several Ham stores, one of which wouldn't talk to me until I had my license in hand. My first thought was, why wouldn't I want the equipment first, I didn't want a hand held, which several people suggested I start with and I didn't want to get licensed without first insuring I was in this for the long haul. I thought the same thing, listening provides a great motivator!

It seemed people were more worried about having another "newb" polluting the airwaves with unlicensed illegal mojo ruining it for everybody. So they would forgo profit to "save the hobby" this is backward thinking to me. If someone wants to get on the bands and try to QSO without a license there are hundreds of transceivers on eBay and all over the web and no license is required to buy any Ham equipment that I know of. In fact I've heard a few people with no license (they refused to give a call sign when asked or when they keyed the mic) create QRM while others were talking, not cool and I would never do that.

I researched the radio I felt would suffice for me and handles most modes and got good reviews. I was going to start with the Yeasu FT-450 until I learned it didn’t support 2 meter’s which I wanted to have, in one unit. So I went in belly first and bought the radio, power supply a good 2 meter antenna and a 20 meter dipole because I knew it would also provide general coverage for hearing other bands, since I'm not transmitting I'll worry about the 80 meter antenna when I have the license for it. It's maybe not the perfect beginning but I have heard people on 80 meter LSB from Florida, Mesa AZ, AB Canada, Las Vegas, VT, WA and others. On 20 meter USB I have heard just about as much.

I listen to several 2 meter nets and will be joining the FRRL on Tues 4/8/08 at their monthly meeting. I have enough material to study so I not only pass my Tech exam but kick its butt, then very soon after I’m going for my General and if I have my way I’ll be Extra class by the end of the year and next year I’ll go from a no-code to adding CW to my license. This is a lofty goal but I have set my mind to it, I suffered some brain damage (long story!!) years ago and it has affected my ability to remember things I have studied but I'm stubborn and will keep at it. I look forward to many QSO’s with many people from my QTH and hopefully there won’t be any QRM!!

I still have much to learn like why I hear many people on LSB, USB as well as AM (SAME frequency), which will sound stupid to many but it confuses me right now. But then 3 weeks ago I was confused about everything so I’m getting there slowly but surely.
Oh to make this long winded post even longer, there are loads of podcasts for helping a newbie learn this hobby, just check out iTunes and type “ham radio”.

Sorry for the long winded post, I am enjoying this hobby much more than I thought I would!
 
Last edited:

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
mtindor said:
Nice job. I like that 746 for sure. I'm sure it'll provide you with hours of enjoyment. And because it's a general coverage receiver, you can do a lot of listening to all sorts of things, not just ham radio.

I wish you luck with the license. I'm sort of soured on amateur radio at the moment (been a ham since early 90s), but it's a good hobby. Somebody needs to whip the clubs back into shape. We used to have a great club around here but it went to hell in a handbasket. If you got a good active club in your area, join and I don't think you'll be sorry.

Field Day every year is a blast. I participate even if I happen to be alone. It's fun to make the contacts, but if you are participating with others its a lot of added fun just hanging out, putting up antennas, shootin the crap, etc.

Mike
I hear you, my very first week I was soured a bit and felt the hobby wasn't worth getting into (until I thought about my reasons for getting into it), not because of the difficulty with antennas or the equipment. The PEOPLE made it difficult, stores ddon't want to talk to you unless you had a license, people on some forums don't want to talk to you until you got licensed. It's as if they feel they're members of the Knights Templar and you get to talk only when you have become a full fledged member.

Then, you get your Tech and guess what, some of the guys who had to test and pass with CW don't want to talk to you until you're a Ham with Code or they speak/look down to you because you had the nerve to get into the hobby after CW was dropped. As if it was your choice to drop CW, not the FCC.

You're simply a no code Ham wannabee, listening to some QSO's have definately soured me a bit. Some lunatic named VE7KFM was on just this past weekend spouting how he wanted Al Queda to kill someone and if they did he would donate to their cause. Then I did some research and find out this nut bag (VE7KFM) has been doing this for some time now, with nothing to worry about because he's in Canada and I guess you can say or do as you wish there on the airwaves with no fear of the law, unreal to me.

Then there are the great QSO's I heard, the guys on 2 meter giving advice on how to fix their lawn mower. Fix a TV or help their YLs with something in the house, it was great.
I heard some guys discussing their exploits in WWII and some were speaking about Vietnam, these are things you would never hear unless you were watching a History channel special!

As with other hobbies it's filled with people, both good and bad and as long as I ignore the bad and concentrate on the good I'm going to be very happy with this hobby. So far this has been the best forum I had been on for Ham Radio, I look forward to getting my license so I can get on the air.
 

mtindor

OH/WV DB Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 5, 2006
Messages
7,369
Location
Carroll Co OH / EN90LN
viking396 said:
As with other hobbies it's filled with people, both good and bad and as long as I ignore the bad and concentrate on the good I'm going to be very happy with this hobby. So far this has been the best forum I had been on for Ham Radio, I look forward to getting my license so I can get on the air.
As long as you have that attitude, you'll have a great time in ham radio. You can't change people. Those who are asses will continue to be asses, and it has little to do with ham radio and a lot to do with that person. The good far outweighs the bad.

Although I've had my license for a while, I'm still relatively young in the hobby (~16 years as a ham). I've participated in field day many times with my club, went on fox hunts (really really fun), learned to build many effective (and not so effective) antennas, etc, and most importantly had the opportunity to meet a lot of great folks who were willing to help me along the way.

I've got my 20 wpm, but in no way do I think that makes me superior. I don't have a problem wtih people who do not have code under their belt - I only have problem with all of those people who have come up with seriously lame excuses for why they haven't learned code (and I also have a problem with the coded licensees who think that you can't possibly contribute to the hobby if you weren't able to get through the code requirement). If a ham hasn't learned Morse code or has no interest in learning it, no need to make excuses or otherwise attempt to justify their no code license. Morse code does not make a decent and/or knowledgable person. After all, I can't count all of the people I've run across who do VHF/UHF/microwave operation who have built most aspects of their systems from scratch and whose knowledge far surpass mine, and many of those people have never learned CW.

Enjoy yourself!

Mike
 

shaft

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
419
Location
Wentzville, Mo
Exsmokey said:
You are using a ham radio technique I've used. You buy the equipment before you get the license and then the listening you do motivates you to get the license as you want to be able to key the mike and talk with people as well. I would like to use this method with my Yeasu FT-847 HF, 6M, 2M, 70cm rig but I'm having some zoning and homeowners association issues with this plan.
Not sure how much research you've been able to do on this, but a few mins on google brought up a few links. It appears that Nevada is an amateur friendly state and the laws are on your side in regards to putting an antenna up, no matter what your HOA and local ordinances say. That is unless you live in a historical area.

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-278.html#NRS278Sec02085
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2001/05/24/3/
 

frankblues

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
16
Location
South Salt Lake City
viking396 said:
I still have much to learn like why I hear many people on LSB, USB as well as AM (SAME frequency), which will sound stupid to many but it confuses me right now.
I hope I can offer a coherent explanation. Think of AM as a sine wave going from left to right. You have the upper part of the wave, let's call that USB. You have the lower part of the wave, call that LSB. Down the center of the wave, the axis itself, that's the carrier, and that's what you'll hear if you put your rig in CW mode right on top of an AM signal. In fact, if you're trying to tune right onto an AM broadcast or shortwave station, often the best method is to get that carrier in CW mode on the rig, then switch to AM (it's called zero-beating).

So, if you take our little sine wave, and chop everything out except for the part of the wave that's above the axis, that's USB - upper sideband. Do the same for the bottom, you get LSB, or lower sideband. LSB/USB are more power efficient (you're only transmitting half of the wave, and you're not putting any power into a carrier) and they tend to be invisible to each other. Say you're listening to 20 meters, which is usually USB. If your rig is in LSB mode, you're only listening for the bottom half of that sine wave, and every one else is transmitting with that upper half of the wave. So you miss each other.

Hope that helps,
cheers,
Alex (kb7pst)

Edit: Oh, and btw, I think that's a great way to get into the hobby. I used to have an old TS-700 two meter multimode rig, and I'd listen to all the repeaters and SSB stuff, it really whetted my appetite to get my license and be able to participate.
 

SCPD

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
shaft said:
Not sure how much research you've been able to do on this, but a few mins on google brought up a few links. It appears that Nevada is an amateur friendly state and the laws are on your side in regards to putting an antenna up, no matter what your HOA and local ordinances say. That is unless you live in a historical area.

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-278.html#NRS278Sec02085
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2001/05/24/3/
This only applies to government agencies, not to homeowners associations. There is a paragraph in the ARRL link that discusses this. California passed a similar bill within the last 2-3 years.

Viking, thanks for the kind words. On the average, people do not know how difficult of a job it is. They think we drive around keeping track of trees and animals. The reality is much more difficult, stressful, and dangerous than they realize. I lost three coworker friends in this business and have lost dozens of coworkers I didn't know during my career. Every time it happens I hurt for months as I know how poor the death benefits are for survivors. This at the federal level, local level survivor benefits are usually far better.

I must admit that ham radio has a lot of jerks. I could not continue to participate in the QRZ.com forums because of the rudeness and incredibly narrow minded views many felt they had to express. All of the radio hobby seems to be made up of a lot of politically conservative people, which is OK even though I don't share that orientation on many issues, but the most vocal of them are simply reactionaries. That is they just don't want any change and they won't listen to anything that might challenge their viewpoints. They seem to feel it is Ok to discuss issues and make fun of people who don't hold their point of view, something that Rush Limbaugh practices and many seem to imitate. I call it rudeness and non-productive.

I've been insulted on the air a few times for either holding a viewpoint that many others did not, or just because of the career I was in. In addition there are many people who hold a bias of California that merely reflects their lack of knowledge of the geography of the state. They think the whole state is beaches, freeways, and people sitting around in hot tubs drinking wine. We have that, but so do every other state, at least those on the three coasts. We have mountains, snow, and very isolated country, as well as more agriculture than any other state. The two county region I live in is 13,271 square miles in size and has 32,000 people, so remoteness is not in question and we don't have any freeways or beaches.

On the plus side, you discussed the kinds of conversations people have on ham radio. You can find people who are well versed in such a wide variety of topics that conversations become fascinating as well as educational. Despite what I've indicated in the above paragraph regarding geographical illiteracy, more than half the hams I've met or talked with are very geographically knowledgeable to the point they impress me, a complete geography nerd. When you are traveling and find a friendly bunch of folks on a repeater, you can get the best lodging and dining information you can get anywhere. Often you get better information about where to visit than you do in visitor centers. If you are lucky you can make lifetime friends via the airwaves, some in very interesting locals.

All in all, it is a great hobby. I don't think you will be disappointed.
 

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
mtindor said:
As long as you have that attitude, you'll have a great time in ham radio. You can't change people. Those who are asses will continue to be asses, and it has little to do with ham radio and a lot to do with that person. The good far outweighs the bad.

Although I've had my license for a while, I'm still relatively young in the hobby (~16 years as a ham). I've participated in field day many times with my club, went on fox hunts (really really fun), learned to build many effective (and not so effective) antennas, etc, and most importantly had the opportunity to meet a lot of great folks who were willing to help me along the way.

I've got my 20 wpm, but in no way do I think that makes me superior. I don't have a problem wtih people who do not have code under their belt - I only have problem with all of those people who have come up with seriously lame excuses for why they haven't learned code (and I also have a problem with the coded licensees who think that you can't possibly contribute to the hobby if you weren't able to get through the code requirement). If a ham hasn't learned Morse code or has no interest in learning it, no need to make excuses or otherwise attempt to justify their no code license. Morse code does not make a decent and/or knowledgable person. After all, I can't count all of the people I've run across who do VHF/UHF/microwave operation who have built most aspects of their systems from scratch and whose knowledge far surpass mine, and many of those people have never learned CW.

Enjoy yourself!

Mike
Agreed 100%. I am interested in learning CW, my wife was a radio operator for the Army back in the early 80's and HATES CW with a passion, when I do learn it I'm going to have to do it with headphones on! When she hears the dah dah dit dit on my radio she says her skin crawls. She likes the fact I'm taking up the hobby and was actually the person who suggested it. She knew I always wanted to so this is working out very well.
 

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
frankblues said:
I hope I can offer a coherent explanation. Think of AM as a sine wave going from left to right. You have the upper part of the wave, let's call that USB. You have the lower part of the wave, call that LSB. Down the center of the wave, the axis itself, that's the carrier, and that's what you'll hear if you put your rig in CW mode right on top of an AM signal. In fact, if you're trying to tune right onto an AM broadcast or shortwave station, often the best method is to get that carrier in CW mode on the rig, then switch to AM (it's called zero-beating).

So, if you take our little sine wave, and chop everything out except for the part of the wave that's above the axis, that's USB - upper sideband. Do the same for the bottom, you get LSB, or lower sideband. LSB/USB are more power efficient (you're only transmitting half of the wave, and you're not putting any power into a carrier) and they tend to be invisible to each other. Say you're listening to 20 meters, which is usually USB. If your rig is in LSB mode, you're only listening for the bottom half of that sine wave, and every one else is transmitting with that upper half of the wave. So you miss each other.

Hope that helps,
cheers,
Alex (kb7pst)

Edit: Oh, and btw, I think that's a great way to get into the hobby. I used to have an old TS-700 two meter multimode rig, and I'd listen to all the repeaters and SSB stuff, it really whetted my appetite to get my license and be able to participate.
Alex, that really helped, I have been reading the study guide for Tech and am hitting the part regarding sine waves now. I guess it also explains why AM sounds fuller than LSB or USB. I was kind of frustrated that when I first set up the radio I was listening to 80 meters USB and couldn't understand why I heard so little. On some you heard it on LSB/USB/AM, these were always AM stations however, it's so cool reading about this and it's also helping me better understand my other hobby 1930's tube radios.

I digress.. One day as I'm going through the books I set the radio to 3.892.00 LSB and the world (ok the US) opened up to me! I was thinking holy mackeral! There are so many people on here!! I am enjoying this so much the bug to find some kind of way to get an antenna up on the roof is unreal. BUT I'm taking that slow, my neighborhood will be hard to keep happy should a big antenna go up so I'm hoping for meeting an Elmer tomorrow night to help me figure that part out.

Thanks Alex.

73's
Erik
 

SCPD

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
Where's the Scanner's??

J/K not everyone listens to the local stuff on a scanner - Not everyone even listens to the Local stuff ... LOL

Nice start!
 

viking396

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
41
MaxTracker said:
Where's the Scanner's??

J/K not everyone listens to the local stuff on a scanner - Not everyone even listens to the Local stuff ... LOL

Nice start!
I also have a Radio Shack Pro-92 ;)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top