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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2017, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TheSpaceMann View Post
I remember a thing called a "Black Box". Kids were using it in the '70s to talk all over the world via telephone for free!
Thats what Keven Mitnick was using until he got Busted by the FBI .....
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 6:39 PM
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I ran into the same issue. My rather nice equipment was collecting dust and was rarely used. I got my girlfriend, my brother and a good friend of the three of us to FINALLY take their ham exam. Now that they're into it I'm picking up the hobby again and getting excited to start operating again.

So either get your friends into it, or make friends who are into it.

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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2018, 6:45 PM
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How True

There is still a romance to standalone off the grid gear that magically pulls voices out of thin air. And has accessories.[/QUOTE]
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kb5zcs View Post
Thats what Keven Mitnick was using until he got Busted by the FBI .....
That was a simple adjustment to Tone dialer , each coin inserted had a certain tone to let the operator know how much was deposited , so these hot wired tone dialers cost the phone company a fortune in lost revenue and with the rise of cellphones, payphone are an endangered species I know in my town of about 300,000 there are 5 left , 2 at each hospital and one on the exterior side wall of the bus terminal where in the winter you absolutely don't want to be , forget the snow and the precip , the cold with wind blowing off the lake is commonly -20, i am a local guide and am forever telling people where to find that phone it's in a very weird outside location, people pay alot more for cell phones and service then they ever did for payphone but people enjoy there electronic leash , me I am olde fashioned I carry a radio and if i need to make a call i use the auto patch , otherwise if you want to talk to me call me at home when i am home ,there is nothing that cant wait till i am home .and no ridiculous bill for the privledge of being annoyed by an endless array of grifters and trinket sellers trying desperatrly to get into my wallet.

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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:41 AM
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I think the point of any hobby is to get joy out of it. If you aren't getting joy from ham radio there's no reason to keep doing it that I can see. You have your license and so you get interested again in the future you can come back to it.

At 73 I have gone through many enthusiasms and losses of interest - there is always something new to get enthusiastic about. I have returned later to many of my enthusiasms and lost interest again eventually. We are not changeless beings, we change and it's rather pointless to resist that because it's happening anyway.

Or so I think.
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2018, 1:24 PM
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I got into it with my XYL until she found a ham with bigger coax & my older brother , in the early days it brought us great joy , we asked before testing if we would get consecutive callsigns, they said we'd be lucky if we got the same prefix , in the end we against all odds got consecutive calls with the three most special letters in radio , my XYL and I haven't spoken in years but i have never heard her on any band ,my brother hit a rough patch and was radioless so i bought him a new yaesu 8900 hes never fired it up (this was when the 8900 was just released and state of the art quad band ) He also despite swearing we would never change our calls he got a vanity call with his name , somi am the only one of the three of us who still uses there radios I have about four rigs in every room of the house , 30 years of haming will do that, i work all the modes and enjoy every minute of radio , i have made some great friends and guys who will at the drop of the hat come over and put up an antenna of fix a feedline as i am disabled in wheelchair these days , if radio wasnt in my life i dont have any idea what i would do , in the beginning we did a lot of public service events , I don't live there anymore but i live in nice town with a great bunch of guys on the same repeater with the same owner for 40 years hes kind of our leader, and I have had my ticket for 30 years but I still learn stuff from him all the time he's a former mother M employee and is chiefly resposable for keeping most of the repeaters in the state on the air , they have all spent time on his workbench, and i have had dstar for mahy years but itd never come to town so recently i bought a new hotspot and am exploring the worlds of dstar, dmr, c4fm , i have the first dstar radio Icom made and i have my beloved 74 A, i have played with packet, and APRS and my base rig is connected to a TNC my computer and Davis weather station , passing data to N.O.A.A as C.W.O.P and there's still a million + things I haven't done yet like my base will auto track the birds and uplink downlink splits and such but havent used it . Getting board in ham radio isnt easy because i have less time and more stuff to play with and learn. Once you have your ticket you can fall into a rabbit hole , i know guys with beautifull stations who sandbag alot as they tinker snd build and other guys with parts combled together using a rebuilt tv antenna with the most awesome audio ,ugly works better than the latest greatest stuff manufactured , if your bored with radio you havent looked around and found something else to mess with !


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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 02-01-2018, 8:45 AM
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I got my Extra several years ago and got onto HF, but it's just not for me. I have no amateur radios in the house that are connected; I don't even have an external antenna any longer. I simply don't like the sight of them nor do I like messing with antennas really. Sometimes I feel like the only Extra who can't diagnose a circuit nor identify an L network and so on. Let's just say I was able to pass the test through memorization.

So, I now use an SDRPlay to scan the waves. I can toss out a wire in the house and listen and put it all away easily enough.

The enjoyment of the airwaves are what you make of it. In my case, I'd rather keep a small 2m in the car and scan in the house.
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 02-01-2018, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by belvdr View Post
I got my Extra several years ago and got onto HF, but it's just not for me. I have no amateur radios in the house that are connected; I don't even have an external antenna any longer. I simply don't like the sight of them nor do I like messing with antennas really. Sometimes I feel like the only Extra who can't diagnose a circuit nor identify an L network and so on. Let's just say I was able to pass the test through memorization.

So, I now use an SDRPlay to scan the waves. I can toss out a wire in the house and listen and put it all away easily enough.

The enjoyment of the airwaves are what you make of it. In my case, I'd rather keep a small 2m in the car and scan in the house.

Rest assured you arenít the only Extra thatís not adept with diagnosing circuit boards. Itís very much the nature of the test these days.
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2018, 1:57 AM
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Originally Posted by belvdr View Post
I got my Extra several years ago and got onto HF, but it's just not for me. I have no amateur radios in the house that are connected; I don't even have an external antenna any longer. I simply don't like the sight of them nor do I like messing with antennas really. Sometimes I feel like the only Extra who can't diagnose a circuit nor identify an L network and so on. Let's just say I was able to pass the test through memorization.

So, I now use an SDRPlay to scan the waves. I can toss out a wire in the house and listen and put it all away easily enough.

The enjoyment of the airwaves are what you make of it. In my case, I'd rather keep a small 2m in the car and scan in the house.
Have you ever tried EchoLink?
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  #110 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2018, 5:48 AM
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Have you ever tried EchoLink?
or IRLP....
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2018, 11:10 AM
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Have you ever tried EchoLink?
Tried that and D-Star, why? I just do FM while mobile.
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  #112 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2018, 8:05 PM
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Forget VHF/UHF get into HF thats the real fun. Think about it, you are working your radio trying to bounce signals around to reach someone out there.

HF is much more interesting, most VHF/UHF is just like using an appliance so yeah you are going to lose interest if all that is involved is pressing the PTT button to hit some repeater.

HF you have the challenges of propagation, antenna design etc.. lots of cool stuff and you can do digital modes like RTTY etc..

Some folks run HUGE amps to do HF but that is unnecessary, 100W which is stock and good antenna is all you need.
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  #113 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2018, 8:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KE0GXN View Post
Yep. There is no better feeling then making an HF contact with another HAM, knowing its my wire to his wire/vertical/beam, etc... with nothing more than some watts of RF. No infrastructure, repeaters, internet or cellular network. Just antenna to antenna....I still find it unbelievable the distances I have been able to make contacts!

Worked 10 meters yesterday and made it as far east as NC. Again with just a wire in a tree. Cool stuff!
To me that is what its all about. Buying a 40 dollar HT, dialing up a repeater and pressing the PTT button would get boring real quick for me. I suspect once the OP gets a taste of HF operation he will be hooked and never turn on his VHF/UHF gear again. (unless its for simplex experimentation)
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2018, 8:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TheSpaceMann View Post
I remember a thing called a "Black Box". Kids were using it in the '70s to talk all over the world via telephone for free!
Bluebox. I was big into that, primarily for experimenting and exploring the telephone system we were called Phreaks back then. I also used to write articles for an online magazine called Phrack later on which was hosted on BBSes
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  #115 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2018, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by prc117f View Post
Forget VHF/UHF get into HF thats the real fun. Think about it, you are working your radio trying to bounce signals around to reach someone out there.

HF is much more interesting, most VHF/UHF is just like using an appliance so yeah you are going to lose interest if all that is involved is pressing the PTT button to hit some repeater.

HF you have the challenges of propagation, antenna design etc.. lots of cool stuff and you can do digital modes like RTTY etc..

Some folks run HUGE amps to do HF but that is unnecessary, 100W which is stock and good antenna is all you need.
VHF and above can be more than repeaters though.

There are areas with strong groups of FM simplexers.

Though not as common, AM, CW, SSB, data modes like RTTY and slow scan can be done on VHF and above.

Talking 300 miles on 2M sideband isn't uncommon. Then though you may have to use more watts and a yagi with many elements, there's moon bounce.
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  #116 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2018, 7:38 PM
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This thread is not intended to anger any Hams so please read this as my opinion and hopefully i will get some good feedback. I am looking for encouragement not discouragement or disappointment.

As i sit at my computer typing this and stare at my Motorola Sabre VHF and my Motorola xpr6550 dmr turned off i think about turning it on. I received my Ham ticket 9 months ago. I was hot and heavy for the first month on everyday and now not so much. The club that sponsored the class and test are very into being Hams, years or experience which is great because they answered all of my questions. This thread is not a knock on them at all. I have a few thoughts that I would like to get out there. First difficult thing for me is participating in conversation. Most guys in my club repeater area are retiree's and i am in my early 30"s. I bet i'm not the only one that fits this category. The discussion's on the local repeaters are generally about personal events each guy is having and or radio equipment they are using. I tried leaving my radio on to monitor to pick up lingo and callsigns but the conversations became pure white noise.I eventually stopped monitoring. I know the purpose of Ham is to be an open forum at all times and closed private discussions are not allowed. I just wish there was more group specific conversations , example Sports like ESPN where you can chime in and or listen to a group discuss current sporting events like MLB or NFL ect via a 2way radio. My career is a Firefighter and i wish there was a "Happening now" group which discuss current major events going on in the USA example major fires, major police activity or something that effects a large group of people. I would differently monitor that all the time. I understand everyone is using different equipment but it would be nice to have a group discussion about Motorola or Md380 or whatever which is discussed on this group. I would love to see ham or Digital Ham ( DMR , fusion ect ) have a severe weather group so weather spotters could discuss what they are seeing as they are spotting. That would be an interesting group to monitor for Adrenalin junkies. If you are still reading my post im sure you understand my point. I am just a young ham trying to figure out what the next exciting new way to keep Hams talking could be. I really like talking on a radio but i try to have a purpose driven conversation as much as possible. I do respect the origin of Ham and many of the experienced Hams who still do Morse Code, Packet radio, participate in contests and field days. I just want to create something new that may attract younger Hams and keep them involved. I read articles in ARRL magazine and QRZ.com about the Whats new on the horizon or what can be done to attract a younger crowd. Remember this younger crowd is social media based facebook, instagram, twitter all information passing apps. As for me ,If i didn't love actually playing with and programming radio codeplugs i most likely would have already loss excitement in becoming a Ham. I will say it again this is not a dig on my local club. They are more then helpful. Its more then that , its what is next to keep me and possibly many other young Hams on the radio. Be safe you' all
Some seem to expect a lot from VHF/UHF repeaters, as if it's their main social outlet. I view any interesting, or engaging conversation that's encountered as an exception, rather than the rule.
Always preferred simplex.


There's plenty of AM sports stations, if that's your interest, which allow you to call in.

I have an interest in radio, but don't consider the hobby an end all. Doubt I will ever be on the air much, as long as I have full mobility. Too many activities to pursue.

Have you considered upgrading your license?
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  #117 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2018, 10:45 PM
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If someone has a problem trying to figure out what to do within ham radio, they may have a problem. There are so many different aspects of ham radio that it would take a life time to try out and become expert at all ham radio aspects. Some include public service events, HF, Digital HF and up, moon bounce, meteor scatter, QRP, satellites, ISS, APRS for vehicle and email, building and testing different antenna systems, and this is only the start.
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  #118 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2018, 11:49 PM
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I've had my license coming up on 30 years, and I find it difficult to stay interested. I've put more focus into scanning, DMR, P25, and storm watch. I feel that when we started using the word "hobby" in lieu of "volunteer community service", we somehow took a lot of value away from it, not to mention the damage inflicted when we took away most of the code requirements to pass the tests. I still think Tech's should do 5wpm....not gonna kill them.


This is not the same thing as stamp collecting, bird watching, or the like. I feel like we are more than that.
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  #119 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2018, 1:39 AM
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Amateur radio is a radio service of
1)self training 2)intercommunications
3)technical investigation.
Amateur radio is populated with folks that are solely interested in communications, and those solely interested in the mechanics of the communications. All of us fall somewhere between these points. A human lifespan isn't enough time to do more than just scratch the surface of all facets available to us. How fortunate as teenaged amateurs, many of us were, to make lifelong careers out of our adolescent hobbies, and still not lose interest. How fortunate I was as a 9 year old with a crystal radio, and it pointed the way to amateur radio and a lifelong vocation!
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Old 03-16-2018, 2:35 AM
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It all depends on the person and their tastes. Some get the ham bug and it never goes away and I can appreciate that. However some try it, get bored, and move on.

I have been fascinated by radios since i was a small child, about 45 years ago. I finally got a ham license, then tested for general, then extra, and worked most all of the bands, built a bunch of antennas, talked to people around the world, etc. I ended up enjoying local vhf and uhf simplex the most, but even there after talking about the same things so many times it gets old. With HF you make a contact, talk about how good somebody sounds, your antennas, your rig, maybe the weather or other small talk, then onto the next contact. I can't stand local repeaters, and the snobby cliquish mentality that exists there. To me it was all just pointless after a while.

Oddly enough, my scanner hobby is going stronger than ever, and that was my first interest in radio. Bottom line is that different people enjoy different things, and that ham radio will not float everyone's boat, and that's OK. Each to their own.

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