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nayr

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Denver, CO
Got my tech a while ago, got the vanity call sign I wanted this last week.. Saved up and bought a Kenwood TS-2000 and TH-D7AG. Hooked it to a UHF/VHF omni ontop of a pole way up the roof coming into a duplexer into the radio.

Spent a small fortune, and now what.. I can find people chatting, they sound great. but dont feel right butting in.. should I key up a dead repeater or simplex frequency and see if anyone responds? I dont have any ham friends to key in or guide me, should i just continue listening until I pickup on the ediquete or stumble around blindly and get help as I go along.

Is it just me or did this suddenly get alot more intimidating when it got beyond paper and silicon? I guess after all my years i really hate being a newbie in a crowd..

I really got into it for the data/packet stuff but I feel like I'd be missing out on alot if I went straight into it.

-R
 

rescue161

KE4FHH
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Just listen, as you said, to pick up the proper operation. That etiquette can change depending upon your location and the actual repeater itself. Some repeater owners run a very strict setup while other run a more relaxed repeater.

1) Listen! It really is the best bet. If they are talking about something that interests you, or you can add something to the conversation that they need help with, then by all means wait for them to break, key up, and then say just your call. They will usually reply with, "[Your Call] go ahead with your traffic." If they don't, then you probably didn't want to talk to them anyway. :)
2) Don't call CQ on repeaters.
3) Don't use Q codes on repeaters. Just use plain language and leave the Q signals to HF.

There is a lot more that I'm leaving out, but those three will get you off on the right track.

Take care,
Scott
 
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hhrj

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Congradulations and welcome to the wonderful world of ham radio!

Simply announcing your call sign on a quiet repeater will usually get a friendly response. Tell them right off that you are new to the scene and they will take care of you. Hams are by nature friendly and will coach you. I usually can't remember call signs but there were quite a few guys that knew me as I would invite people to a Sunday afternoon towboat ride. Besides, if I have to spend a few hours moving barges I may as well have a little fun. It was also good to put faces on the people that I had been talking to.

As far as the lingo...just be yourself. Don't let mic fright keep you quiet, everyone started out as a newbie and now most of them you can't shut up!
For me a simple "how ya doin', have a nice day" contact is fine.

Also, you never know who's on the other end. I don't have time right now to tell the rest of the story but a very interesting converstaion over 2m put me on the 6 and 11 o'clock news. I became the star of the story!!!
Gotta run,
73, kd4kza Ron
 

Rt169Radio

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Congradulations and welcome to the wonderful world of ham radio!

Simply announcing your call sign on a quiet repeater will usually get a friendly response. Tell them right off that you are new to the scene and they will take care of you. Hams are by nature friendly and will coach you. I usually can't remember call signs but there were quite a few guys that knew me as I would invite people to a Sunday afternoon towboat ride. Besides, if I have to spend a few hours moving barges I may as well have a little fun. It was also good to put faces on the people that I had been talking to.

As far as the lingo...just be yourself. Don't let mic fright keep you quiet, everyone started out as a newbie and now most of them you can't shut up!
For me a simple "how ya doin', have a nice day" contact is fine.

Also, you never know who's on the other end. I don't have time right now to tell the rest of the story but a very interesting converstaion over 2m put me on the 6 and 11 o'clock news. I became the star of the story!!!
Gotta run,
73, kd4kza Ron
What was the story about?
 

hhrj

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Messages
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SC Low Country
Ok, here we go:
As stated above I captained a towboat out of Florence, AL and our company got a contract to do the towing for the removal of the old railroad bridge lift span over the Tennessee River. This was in 1992 and we supplied 2 boats, a 61' 1100hp and a 52' 700hp. The plan was to lift the 900 ton span intact with a barge at each end. Each barge had a large scafolding like support that the span rested on. The barges were flooded and after half a day all the rigging was in place and each boat faced up to a barge. There was a large group of spectators gathered on shore just across from my boat. One of my ham friends and I talked on 2mt as we waited for the water to be pumped out of barges and the lift to occur. However, when the pumps had run dry the span still sat on it's mounts.

My friend asked me what was going on and I told him that the river was too low and the contractor had asked Wilson Dam just above us to release enough water to float the bridge and it would take about an hour. He asked me to step out of the wheelhouse and wave, which I did. That night I started getting calls that I was on the news...sure enough, the tv crew had zoomed in on my friend's scanner as I explained the delay. The audio was very crisp and clear from my HTX202 and then there I was stepping out of the wheelhouse and giving a quick wave with a caption of my name. My fleeting moment of fame!!!

After the alotted hour the span did lift about a foot and was held in place by cables to keep it from running downstream with the current. Up to this point I had looked at this whole thing as a party but that feeling disappeared when the forman called the boats with a get ready warning. Right then the game changed and I broke out in a sweat as I came to grips with the task at hand. We had to keep the span from hitting the Hwy 72 bridge directly behind the boats. Plus there was quite a bit more current from the dam release and the span was almost overhead. I could imagine this 900 ton steel monster tipping over and crushing the smithereens out of the boat.

In about a half hour the span was well clear and the winch cables removed. As we allowed the current to back the span to clear the dolphins a construction tug began pushing the whole works sideways to the right. We got the word to hold our position but I was having a problem stopping the drift and the camera crew filmed the black smoke rolling out of my stacks and the other boat hardly breaking a sweat. My boss was on scene on a 20' tug and asked over the radio if I needed help, I gave an immediate reply of "YES".
The news showed the little boat tying off alongside and one of the guys going up to the my wheelhouse.
With the help of an extra 300hp the drift turned into headway and we got the talking about what had happened, after all I've pushed many 1200 ton loaded barges up and dowm the river with this boat, I knew it had the guts, but for some reason my half of a 900 ton load was too much. Then I pointed to the construction tug, "I think that he's got his rudder port". A quick call brought a "SORRY" and so much headway that I had to back down a bit.

The rest of the move was uneventfull with the span being tied off to the remaining bridge structure in the middle of the river. It was dismantled, sandblasted, and painted then loaded in barges for the trip to Hanibal, MO. There it was reassembled and put back in service.

The owner of the company was elated that I had used my radio to talk to the reporters and that they had placed the company's name under my name. Free advertising at it's best, I got my 15 minutes of fame and a bonus in my next paycheck. I just wish that I could find a copy of the video, I used to have one but somhow it got erased years ago. I tried to contact the station but they changed hands and have no record of it. There is a group called the "Old RailRoad Bridge Association" in Florence but they have also failed to find a copy of the tape.

A note in closing: That HTX202 was my first radio, and I still have it. Except for the battery (which failed many years ago) it still works just fine with the alky batt pack. In fact I have 2 of them, can't think of anything bad to say about them.

Ok, That's it...
Ron
 

ka4gfy

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Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
55
Nice story , Ron. Goes to show you never know who may be listening.

Nayr, if the club that sponsors the repeater has a weekly net, that's a great time to drop in. The net control will ask for check-ins and you state your call. Let them know its your first net and they will probably offer all kinds of help. You can also find out about the club as well. Clubs are great places to find help with the millions of questions we all have when starting out. We all have them.

73,
Rich, KA4GFY
 

Rt169Radio

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Ok, here we go:
As stated above I captained a towboat out of Florence, AL and our company got a contract to do the towing for the removal of the old railroad bridge lift span over the Tennessee River. This was in 1992 and we supplied 2 boats, a 61' 1100hp and a 52' 700hp. The plan was to lift the 900 ton span intact with a barge at each end. Each barge had a large scafolding like support that the span rested on. The barges were flooded and after half a day all the rigging was in place and each boat faced up to a barge. There was a large group of spectators gathered on shore just across from my boat. One of my ham friends and I talked on 2mt as we waited for the water to be pumped out of barges and the lift to occur. However, when the pumps had run dry the span still sat on it's mounts.

My friend asked me what was going on and I told him that the river was too low and the contractor had asked Wilson Dam just above us to release enough water to float the bridge and it would take about an hour. He asked me to step out of the wheelhouse and wave, which I did. That night I started getting calls that I was on the news...sure enough, the tv crew had zoomed in on my friend's scanner as I explained the delay. The audio was very crisp and clear from my HTX202 and then there I was stepping out of the wheelhouse and giving a quick wave with a caption of my name. My fleeting moment of fame!!!

After the alotted hour the span did lift about a foot and was held in place by cables to keep it from running downstream with the current. Up to this point I had looked at this whole thing as a party but that feeling disappeared when the forman called the boats with a get ready warning. Right then the game changed and I broke out in a sweat as I came to grips with the task at hand. We had to keep the span from hitting the Hwy 72 bridge directly behind the boats. Plus there was quite a bit more current from the dam release and the span was almost overhead. I could imagine this 900 ton steel monster tipping over and crushing the smithereens out of the boat.

In about a half hour the span was well clear and the winch cables removed. As we allowed the current to back the span to clear the dolphins a construction tug began pushing the whole works sideways to the right. We got the word to hold our position but I was having a problem stopping the drift and the camera crew filmed the black smoke rolling out of my stacks and the other boat hardly breaking a sweat. My boss was on scene on a 20' tug and asked over the radio if I needed help, I gave an immediate reply of "YES".
The news showed the little boat tying off alongside and one of the guys going up to the my wheelhouse.
With the help of an extra 300hp the drift turned into headway and we got the talking about what had happened, after all I've pushed many 1200 ton loaded barges up and dowm the river with this boat, I knew it had the guts, but for some reason my half of a 900 ton load was too much. Then I pointed to the construction tug, "I think that he's got his rudder port". A quick call brought a "SORRY" and so much headway that I had to back down a bit.

The rest of the move was uneventfull with the span being tied off to the remaining bridge structure in the middle of the river. It was dismantled, sandblasted, and painted then loaded in barges for the trip to Hanibal, MO. There it was reassembled and put back in service.

The owner of the company was elated that I had used my radio to talk to the reporters and that they had placed the company's name under my name. Free advertising at it's best, I got my 15 minutes of fame and a bonus in my next paycheck. I just wish that I could find a copy of the video, I used to have one but somhow it got erased years ago. I tried to contact the station but they changed hands and have no record of it. There is a group called the "Old RailRoad Bridge Association" in Florence but they have also failed to find a copy of the tape.

A note in closing: That HTX202 was my first radio, and I still have it. Except for the battery (which failed many years ago) it still works just fine with the alky batt pack. In fact I have 2 of them, can't think of anything bad to say about them.

Ok, That's it...
Ron
Thanks for writing all of that,it was interesting.
 
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hhrj

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Joined
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Messages
178
Location
SC Low Country
Thanks to both KA4GFY & Rt169Radio for taking the time to read and comment on this.

I noted that the OP mentioned data and packet. That too was my intended purpose for 2mt to stay in touch with my friends back home before the days of Internet & cell phones. But then I started talking on the repeaters and found a whole new fascinating world out there filled with all kinds of interesting people.

GO FOR IT!!!
73 de Capt Ron
 
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