Started by Hoofer, January 10, 2021, 04:04:47 AM
Quote from: Trisha007 on January 15, 2021, 09:04:45 AMTIDRADIO TD-F9GP Ham Radio Handheld Upgraded Version of Baofeng UV-5R Radio Uhf VHF Radio 2 Way Radio High Power Dual Band Walkie Talkies (1Pack-Black)
Quote from: Trisha007 on January 15, 2021, 09:04:45 AMI thought I would try this out with the way things are going. So I got this today: TIDRADIO TD-F9GP Ham Radio Handheld Upgraded Version of Baofeng UV-5R Radio Uhf VHF Radio 2 Way Radio High Power Dual Band Walkie Talkies (1Pack-Black)It is charging right now. I also got a book, Ham Radio for Dummies, mainly because well, I know nothing about these types of transceivers.So, tomorrow after is is charged full, I will be programming it. I'll read my book, and go from there. Wish me luck.
Quote from: Hoofer on January 10, 2021, 04:04:47 AMProbably should have started this a long time ago.I have held my Extra Class Amateur Radio license since 2007, just a couple of months AFTER the Morse Code requirement was dropped. I am "a no-code Extra", a "johnny-come-lately" - whatever, get a life.Before HAM radio, I designed and built CB antennas, used graph paper & plotted everything by hand - it took WEEKS to do what I can do in 1 hour today. The hobby is EASY compared to 10 years ago, and nothing like it was in the 1970s. My dad was a Radio man in WW2, my first introduction to Short Wave (SW) was via crystal radio sets he helped us build. On the farm, we listened into wee hours of the morning, stations from So. America, Israel, London, Germany, Italy, and of course, the USA.During the attack on Israel by Saddam Hussein - we listened to KOL Radio Israel, on a 1938 RCA model 281 beauty.... hearing the Skuds coming in, before the US news media put it on the air. When Hurricanes hit the islands Costa Rica, St. Croix - we heard first hand from people there, what was going on over an Elecraft K3. Unfiltered, unedited, pure gut wrenching "journalism". I've been to St. Croix, and operated from the beach with 10watts to NY, KY, OK, a little hand held Elecraft KX2, battery powered radio on an antenna I built (and sell). Anyone can do what I'm doing. I've talked literally around the globe, to Madagascar, and heard my voice echo back on occasion, with just 100 watts of power. My log is filled with thousands of contacts, from all over the world. And I enjoy taking to a bunch of guys/gals who are just a couple of hours drive - we know each other, but never shook hands in person. Some of them are quite *interesting* maybe an understatement. For instance, I've learned how to make &age good moonshine, how to bury Conex boxes for an underground house, when to buy feeder cattle & goats & why northern Hickory is better for smoking meat. What does it COST? As much as you want to spend. My dream radio is $18,000, hand made, just a like driving a very nice car, with all the bells & whistles. The radios I currently use cost $900 and $3500, IC-7000, IC-7300 & IC-7610. I've owned Elecraft, Yaesu, Kenwood, it's like cars, some you like, some are OK, some you sell. My favorite car was a 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster... it finally rusted away, even wifey loved driving that little thing - maybe it was all the guys trying to chase her down...? Like cars, there is no "rule of thumb" to how much you can expect to spend, whether you buy new or used.The really CHEAP way... SDR radio (software defined radio).All radios are going the direction of SDR. About a dozen years ago, Elecraft led the way with one of the finest SDR or semi-SDR radios, which reset the standards for radio receivers. Now everyone is migrating, with Icom's entry of the IC-7300 about 4 years ago, blowing the market wide open ($900-1100). The radio I'd recommend to anyone looking for a solid, portable, intuitive HF radio. Easy to operate and a little help learning how, an "Elmer" (helper), is where you'll get a good start. This isn't CB radio.But, what if all you want to do is LISTEN and not talk? It's even cheaper, but requires a computer (no internet needed). Enter the ultimate in SDR radio, the AirSpy HF Discovery (https://airspy.com/airspy-hf-discovery) plugged into your computer's USB port running SDR Console or SD Sharp, hooked up to a simple wire, or any kind of antenna gives you the *world* of AM, FM, SSB - broadcasts, HAMs, CB, TV, it picks up *everything* - about $170, add an adapter for an antenna, or just stick a wire in the end of it, download the software, and start playing. This is like me, as an 8yr old, with a super-duper crystal radio. The size of this "dongle radio" - about the size of a box of matches, fits into your shirt pocket. There are other RTL-SDR radios, but curiously in reviews, the Airspy is absent, yet, it's the *easiest* to set up and use. Note: NO License is required to use a receiver, but, it will take a little investment of TIME to get comfortable. If you live in the country, may suggest 75-80 meters at night, LSB - just to get a good listen to guys/gals rag-chewing (plain talking). A SDR radio will pull in stations, world wide, with very little for an antenna, and it's got electronic filters to scrub out the noise.About Antennas. Bigger is better for the lower frequencies, smaller antennas *can* work to receive, but... it takes a "tuner" to transmit. Tuners can come built into the radio, or as a separate, device that inserts between the radio & antenna. There are manual and automatic tuners. Manual tuners are about 1/10th the cost of Automatic tuners, and there are also more and more RF Amplifiers with Automatic tuners build in....now, we're getting into REAL money. It's all the other stuff that's added, where the cost really goes up. This is where a HAMfest, Swapmeet, comes in handy - and you can often find good, used gear that someone has grown out of, moved on to bigger, more expensive gear, or even a new equipment dealer. Prices from dealers are essentially the same as going online - trust me, as a veteran HAMfest dealer, they don't make money selling expensive radios. The real money is in all those accessories you've just gotta have, wall hangings, desk junk, adapters, etc., which does make the hobby that much more enjoyable.Listen or Talk, sooner or later, everyone is gonna wanna talk. To get some valuable experience, CHEAP, get an SDR dongle, load up the software, stick a wire in the end of it, and start tuning around. They have really fine audio quality. The software is free, your investment is under $200.OK, for the people who just want a GOOD radio, with superb reception, AM & FM. Look for these $50 gems, the GE Super Radio III. They have great AM receivers & good speakers - I have one at my bedside, playing softly at night to help cover my tinnitus. The station I listen to is 800mi away. I can easily hear clear channel stations at night, from Toronto to Atlanta to Cincinnati, Chicago. The wide/narrow let's you tune between the weak stations. This old radio has been around a long time, we have several as backup radios, they're great on low power consumption (8D cell batteries and a power cord), we keep one in the basement for the Tornado warnings. And they sound GREAT.A good portable SW radio, Tecsun PL-880. It can recharge the battery off a USB port, and gives you some nice features, but, most importantly, USB & LSB (Upper Sideband & Lower Sideband), which is ESSENTIAL to listen to HAM radio in the HF bands. USB/LSB takes less power to go further, that's one of the main reasons we use it. AM takes a lot of power, and uses more bandwidth (like space), to do the nearly the same thing. The real benefit of a decent SW radio is when your local stations are playing crap, or something unrelated to the real news - think us listening to Radio Israel instead of some local, playing pre-recorded Dr. feel-good pills, during the air raids. At a low, reasonable volume, the single 3.7v rechargeable battery has lasted us 40hrs continuous on a single charge. Not the easiest to operate, but, as a radio that's compact, & does it all, we have several for the kids, and us if we need them.I'll end with this - since I work on the Internet for a living, the transport side, the provider to the providers - I know the vulnerabilities, strengths, limitations and where the future of Internet is probably going. Even plain old telephone is going over the net, SIP trunking, IP phones, the old telephone systems are being dismantled from localized systems for big centralized switches. That means, if those "pipes inbetween" are shutdown/interrupted, or they're too busy for you in New York to handle your phone call to your neighbor 1 mile away - your call is not gonna go through. The local Central Office is going away. Your wired home phone service will still seem the same, but it's "switched" out of another state, maybe 1000 miles away. It's not a conspiracy, it's driven by cost savings & demand for cheaper service. Take 50 big, 20-30yr old energy hog 5ESS or DMS phone switches, delivering service over an aging, decaying copper plant, and convert it over to a router/switch, in a centralized location, at 10th the electrical, cooling cost with 1000x the computer horse power & features... why we can even offer free caller-id & long distance, cheaper to the customer. Maybe you're already on SIP or IP trunking and didn't realize it? How many digits do you dial for a local call? 7 or 10? 7 is a local switch (the old stuff), 10 is a newer switch in tim-buck-two, over IP trunks, just like you CELL PHONE is.HAM radio is the last form of free communications left. CB radio is pretty short ranged, and is not self policed, but HAM radio is self-policed. The FCC gets involved with those breaking the law, the jerks who abuse the privilege, making radio life miserable for all of us. The FCC is very, very slow to do anything. OK, so it's not completely "private" - yea, everything broadcast goes everywhere - so, expect the whole world to be listening in. The beauty of that, you'll connect with people of similar interests easily, if you want to. There are specialized "nets", preplanned times for people of similar interests, religions, prepping, radio projects, military, aviation, maritime, travel, weather, etc., they get together and talk over long distances, sometimes send a message - and it's all free. If you don't want to talk, but would just like to listen, here's a link to a PDF, last updated awhile ago, but an example of times and frequencies.I can't think of a better time to get your Amateur Radio License, start connecting with similar minded people. HAMs run the whole gambit of geeky techs to good-ole-boys... getting sloshed on the air. But, it's kept pretty clean & family friendly. HAMs have been on the cutting edge of communication technologies from the start - and still are, and always be the place where those looking for innovation in communications, look to. Virtually every means of communications in use today, has the fingerprints of HAM Radio folks all over it.When all else fails - there's HAM radio.
Quote from: dickfoster on January 16, 2021, 02:55:38 AMI haven't heard the words ham radio in years. I was really into it back in the day and was even in charge of a MARS station for awhile. Of course there was a code requirement back then but I'd already learned that as a boy scout as did many.
Quote from: Rick on January 16, 2021, 12:58:54 PMInteresting, AmRRON has gone to defcon 2.https://amrron.com/net-resourcestools/amcon-amrron-communications-condition-level/
Quote from: Rick on January 17, 2021, 01:59:25 AMThanks for the memory. Just spent the week with an RS 485 system ground/ground loop/shield issues. Multiple building, multiple power sources, multiple locations. Only lost one controller, when my helper tied 12v to a 5v buss.