Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    POS Tennessee
    My Bikes
    Gary Fisher Simple City 8, Litespeed Obed
    Posts
    7,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Ham radio buffs-Talk to me.

    What does one need to get started? Cost? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nausea, New Hamster
    My Bikes
    (see http://wildavis.smugmug.com/Bikes) Bianchi Veloce (2005), Nishiki Cascade (1992), Schwinn Super Sport (1983)
    Posts
    1,572
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ARRL

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need an FCC license and some radio equipment.

    The license costs $10 and you need to pass a test. The cost of the radio equipment depends. It ranges from free (stuff you find in a junkyard) to thousands of dollars.

    Can you be a little more specific about what exactly you're interested in doing with ham radio?

    Propofol (Ham license KG6PHX)

  4. #4
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    POS Tennessee
    My Bikes
    Gary Fisher Simple City 8, Litespeed Obed
    Posts
    7,596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Propofol

    Can you be a little more specific about what exactly you're interested in doing with ham radio?
    Listening to broadcasts and talking with people the next state over and on the other side of the planet. I've always been intrigued by it, and was listening to Art Bell the other night-He's obviously a huge enthusiast-he was absolutely gushing over it. Was mainly inquiring about cost because I can't afford many other expensive hobbies besides cycling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Listening to broadcasts and talking with people the next state over and on the other side of the planet. I've always been intrigued by it, and was listening to Art Bell the other night-He's obviously a huge enthusiast-he was absolutely gushing over it. Was mainly inquiring about cost because I can't afford many other expensive hobbies besides cycling.
    Oh boy...if you think cycling takes up a lot of your time, wait until you get into ham radio. It's an electronic tinkerer's dream.

    Just to clarify a few things you mentioned. First, hams are not allowed to broadcast (like a FM or AM radio station) - they can only transmit over radio to communicate directly with someone or something. The broadcasts you are referring to are shortwave radio broadcasts and not amateur radio (which can be very interesting to listen to in and of themself). Stations like the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Netherlands, Deutche Welle, etc. are shortwave broadcast stations and can be heard around the world. Shortwave frequencies are unique in that they have the ability to 'bounce' and 'skip' off the earth and earth's atmosphere to propagate around the world from one location.

    Ham radio operators are allocated certain radio frequency bands for 'hobby' use and can be used for lots of different purposes. Some frequency bands are more suited for round-the-world communications and some work better for 'local' use. In order to use (read: transmit on) these frequencies, you have to take and pass a test administered by the FCC and receive a license. However, you do not need a license to tune into and listen to ham radio or shortwave.

    If you're talking about shortwave, then all you need is a shortwave tuner. These can be as cheap as $50. The most important thing isn't the radio, but the antenna - the longer the better. And antenna design is a whole other ball of wax.

    I suggest looking at http://www.ac6v.com/swl.htm to start. Shortwave and amateur radio is a fun hobby. But be careful, it may eat into your cycling time!

  6. #6
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    - find a good local club...

    - for practice tests, go to:

    http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl

    - you shouldn't have to spend any money to take the tests (they're free in many places), but other tests may charge a nominal fee...

    - if you get serious, get one of these to learn CW for your Element 1 test (which will give you high-frequency privileges for world wide communication)...

    - it's a blast to operate bicycle mobile on HF - have talked with many US and foreign operators using a 20-watt transceiver in a pannier on a rear rack!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Right. The tests are free, but I think it's $10 or so for the license fee.

    I like operating 2M and 440 with a 500mW handheld and handsfree transceiver while riding!

  8. #8
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Propofol
    Right. The tests are free, but I think it's $10 or so for the license fee.

    I like operating 2M and 440 with a 500mW handheld and handsfree transceiver while riding!
    - some VECs and clubs charge for 'filing'... but if you're in the Northern Virginia area, there is no charge for testing or filing thanks to the Laurel VEC and the Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club:

    http://www.mvarc.com/pages/1/index.htm

    - it's also great that the FCC license is free and good for 10 years!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, OK...I stand corrected. I guess the check I wrote went to the VEC and not the FCC. It's been 4 years, so my memory is spotty

  10. #10
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Propofol
    Oh, OK...I stand corrected. I guess the check I wrote went to the VEC and not the FCC. It's been 4 years, so my memory is spotty
    - if you like operating 500mW, you're a QRP'r!

    - i love low-power ops... best so far was 500mW phone on 17M from western Maryland to Belfast (wire dipole 50 feet up a pine tree)... best 2M QRP i've done was 35 miles via an Alinco DJV5 (at 2,400 feet elevation in the Appalachians to hit a WV repeater from MD)...

    - during a 15M opening 16 months ago, i sat on my back deck down here in Pineapple Junction and chatted with a fellow 50km south of the Arctic Circle in Finland using 20W and an NVIS (i.e., crappy $5 wire dipole at 15 feet) antenna...

    - ham radio is a *lot* of fun!

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, me likey QRP operation.

    My best QRP DX was in Hawaii, at the summit of Mt. Haleakala in Maui. At 10000 feet, I was able to hit repeaters in Kauai (over 100 miles away) with 500mW and a telescoping whip antenna on my Yaesu VX-2R!

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Close to home
    Posts
    766
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    KP chattin' old school, yo!

  13. #13
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Home alone
    My Bikes
    Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
    Posts
    6,021
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've got a license, but don't use it. Haven't been on the air for many years. Really there isn't much appeal since the advent of cell phones and the internet. HF rigs to talk overseas, are pretty pricey andn FM stuff which is affordable isn't all that exciting anymore. Used to be thrilling to talk three counties over but since the advent of cellphones what's the big deal?

    Either way, it does cost.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I've got a license, but don't use it. Haven't been on the air for many years. Really there isn't much appeal since the advent of cell phones and the internet. HF rigs to talk overseas, are pretty pricey andn FM stuff which is affordable isn't all that exciting anymore. Used to be thrilling to talk three counties over but since the advent of cellphones what's the big deal?
    Because when the Internet goes down, your cell provider goes down, or you find yourself in an area with no internet or cell coverage, it's good to have a backup.

    Remember, the primary function of the amateur radio operator is to assist in emergency communications when other means are down or overloaded. That's part of my motivation to stay in practice.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Close to home
    Posts
    766
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Propofol
    Because when the Internet goes down, your cell provider goes down, or you find yourself in an area with no internet or cell coverage, it's good to have a backup.

    Remember, the primary function of the amateur radio operator is to assist in emergency communications when other means are down or overloaded. That's part of my motivation to stay in practice.
    Yup...cell phone companies will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  16. #16
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Home alone
    My Bikes
    Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
    Posts
    6,021
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Propofol
    Because when the Internet goes down, your cell provider goes down, or you find yourself in an area with no internet or cell coverage, it's good to have a backup.

    Remember, the primary function of the amateur radio operator is to assist in emergency communications when other means are down or overloaded. That's part of my motivation to stay in practice.
    You're preachin to the choir. Look, I'm an advanced level amateur operator. I know the value of amateur radio. I'm just talking about the reason for my lack of interest. In a perfect world, I would be able to afford and have time for tons of hobbies, but when time and money are involved, one has to prioritize. And amateur radio is not appealing enough for me at this time to sacrifice $ from activities that i really enjoy like cycling.

  17. #17
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Corona and S. El Monte, CA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale D600, Dahon Speed T7
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I enjoy being a part of my community's Communication Specialist Volunteers (CSV's). We practice very week to assure we will be able to communicate in an emergency.

    I'm not really into HAM as a hobby, but I enjoy the community service and preparedness aspect.

    It's also helpful to have a couple of the high powered radios on Scout trips...where cell phone signals fear to tread.

    If you're interested, and since I'm not sure where you live, check with the police department to see if a CSV team exists in your area.

    "73"
    rich

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    631
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    You're preachin to the choir. Look, I'm an advanced level amateur operator. I know the value of amateur radio. I'm just talking about the reason for my lack of interest. In a perfect world, I would be able to afford and have time for tons of hobbies, but when time and money are involved, one has to prioritize. And amateur radio is not appealing enough for me at this time to sacrifice $ from activities that i really enjoy like cycling.
    Fair enough, Ranger. I just didn't get the impression that you knew the 'value' of amateur radio since you gave the impression that the reason why you gave it up was because the popularity/availability of the Internet and cell phones obviated the need for ham radio. You didn't say anything about not having the time to devote to it.

  19. #19
    Hi, folks sdold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    Used to be thrilling to talk three counties over but since the advent of cellphones what's the big deal?
    It's funny, when I got my driver's license, people asked me basically the same question, only it was "Why do you spend an hour riding your bike to Davis (the next town) when you can drive there in ten minutes?" I don't have a good answer but it's just fun, somehow, like cycling or making your own hooch.

    Sorry to resurrect such an old post, I'm spending my lunch hour at work playing with the search function.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •