Author Topic: How alive is HAM these days?  (Read 3226 times)

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Offline DC1MC

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2020, 04:31:42 pm »
For a comm engineer the technical exam is peanuts, however you should still google for exam simulation software specific to your country.  A few years ago I have had the surprise to find a few obviously wrong answers were counted as the correct ones, and if you answer correctly you will lose points.   :-//  No idea how this was possible, maybe something was lost in translation.  I didn't check if today those wrong answers are still considered the correct ones.

Other reasons that put me down:
- the obligation to make public some personal data like phone, name, location, HAM license
- a HAM license will automatically put one on in the upper half of any 3 letter agency list
- once registered, a HAM can be fined for various reasons, no idea how often this happens in real life
- recently here it was introduced a new law, and the HAM must keep an audio record of all traffic that was done remotely in the last year on the owned station(s)
- the HAM license must be periodically renewed
- inside a big city there is not much space for antennas

- and the most important one:  I don't really need HAM radio communications, and if I want to experiment with an idea I would most probably experiment indoors, in the free bands and at very low power, so no need for a license.

I've taken my first HAM license in the '80s and some years ago (2016 I think), out of boredom, I've learned the German exam material for class A and got the German exam with zero penalty points at all 3 topics, so if an old foreigner can do it, a bio-German  ;D with an engineering degree will have no issues taking it, the traffic rules are really just fun to learn and you can always listen to this air traffic song to exercise :-DD




Now I've got the certificate and no chance to use it, as a condition to start transmitting one needs to have a (professionally installed) antenna and a fill a German specific document showing your radiation pattern in relation with the surrounding buildings, also pay a moderate fee for usage of the spectrum, but that is the last of the problems.
Of course, I live in a "Flachdach", that means an apartment block, surrounded by other apartment blocks, so the radiated power * antenna gain has to be minimal to not go over the maximum accepted levels and trying to install it on the roof, man, that was a ride, the geriatric owners of the surrounding apartments flat out refused to allow me even a miserable wire (I live at the top floor), much less a mast or anything else, the good guys got almost apoplectic telling me about "Strahlung" & "Elektrosmog" and how dangerous is, they were way ahead of 5G hysteria of now.

So so being a renter and owner and having less time than they have, I've shelved my finely tuned Kenwood transceivers that will most likely go for sale soon  :'(.

So, summary: if you don't have your own house and non cretin neighbors, forget about doing some serious traffic or experiments, and without this 50% of the joy is sadly gone. I can still go with my FT-817ND in the hills, but this sucks.

Regarding the Romanian law quoted by @RoGeorge, they didn't go full retard, it seems that the obligation is to record the traffic only when the station is operated from remote or you allow another HAM to use it, that kind of make sense:

http://yo3hjv.blogspot.com/2019/01/legea-nr-3562018-privind-unele-masuri.html (Romanian link, don't bother if you're not)

 Cheers,
 DC1MC
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2020, 04:40:18 pm »
youtube channel for Aussie amateurs
that like be Club'ed to death  :-DD


Bevan Daniel channel youtube
This is a visual adaptation of the VK1WIA Wireless Institute of Australia's weekly news broadcast,
that is aimed at amateur radio operators or those interested in ham radio.
each to their own, My assessment of this WIA youtube ch is that it is 90% ham club news with still images
of mostly of club competitions & organized advents.
  ;D ... :=\
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 04:57:01 pm by jonovid »
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline cdev

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2020, 05:09:01 pm »
This transceiver kit looks interesting, what is its name, how do I find it?

If you're looking to experiment with RF, it's a hoot !

Technology has never been more accessible; it's easier than ever to build, test, experiment. There's a geostationary satellite that reaches 5 continents and you can work it with an old satellite dish and some cheap WiFi equipment. There are programmes like SOTA or POTA that mix going outdoors with Amateur Radio and they're immensely popular. An engineer from India is selling this cheap highly moddable transceiver kit that covers all the HF bands in SSB/CW and tens of thousands have built it. High-power RF transistors? Leaps and bounds over the last decade. There's a huge list of learning & development plaforms available to make anything you want, all with online communities to help you along the way. These are golden times.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2020, 05:16:20 pm »
This transceiver kit looks interesting, what is its name, how do I find it?


 
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Offline cdev

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2020, 05:16:42 pm »
The contests should be limited to say, half of the band for each license class so people can still QSO away from it.

i use ham radio a lot,the thing that total pisses me off and makes me pull the plug is contests,they are all over like dogshit most weekends! 73 m3vuv

The cost of modern HF equipment is way too high considering how much the parts cost has likely fallen..
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online bd139

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2020, 06:10:57 pm »
It's not that expensive really. My desktop PC cost more than the average radio and that is made of parts that ship in orders of magnitude more volume.
 

Online 0culus

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2020, 07:58:47 pm »
Pedantic note: it's "ham" not "HAM". Thank you.  :-DD
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2020, 08:22:52 pm »
Pedantic note: it's "ham" not "HAM". Thank you.  :-DD

Being pedantic as you say, I expect you have data outside of Wiki.   :-\
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2020, 08:36:21 pm »
Pedantic note: it's "ham" not "HAM". Thank you.  :-DD

Being pedantic as you say, I expect you have data outside of Wiki.   :-\

The name of this group. It is in "Headline Caps", implying that it would be lower case normally.
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2020, 08:47:22 pm »
A good story at best...  Seems like it's a group that doesn't know what to call itself.
http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/origin-of-ham.htm
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2020, 09:05:29 pm »
At first they called their station "HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY". Tapping out such a long name in code soon became tiresome and called for a revision. They changed it to "HY-AL-MU," using the first two letters of each of their names. Early in 1901 some confusion resulted between signals from amateur wireless station "HYALMU" and a Mexican ship named "HYALMO." They then decided to use only the first letter of each name, and the station CALL became "HAM."

So, there was some confusion between HYALMU and HYALMO the ship, but no confusion between HAM and ham, as in ham and eggs?   ;D

Online 0culus

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2020, 09:08:55 pm »
Pedantic note: it's "ham" not "HAM". Thank you.  :-DD

Being pedantic as you say, I expect you have data outside of Wiki.   :-\

 ::)

This is a forum, not a research journal. I expect that the majority folks here are perfectly capable of searching around for something as elementary as correct English capitalization and seeing that I'm correct.  :palm:
 
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Online bd139

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2020, 09:20:07 pm »
Indeed.

Also while we're on pedantry, it's Wikipedia. "Wiki" is the technology it is based on which came out of Ward Cunningham. A comedically meta URL for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2020, 09:31:23 pm »
Pedantic note: it's "ham" not "HAM". Thank you.  :-DD

Being pedantic as you say, I expect you have data outside of Wiki.   :-\

 ::)

This is a forum, not a research journal. I expect that the majority folks here are perfectly capable of searching around for something as elementary as correct English capitalization and seeing that I'm correct.  :palm:

Another interesting article on it.
https://www.kb6nu.com/ham-ham-radio-ham-radio-amateur-radio/

Get your "HAM" stickers from the arrl. 
http://www.arrl.org/shop/HAM-Oval-Sticker


« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 10:46:16 pm by joeqsmith »
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Online nuclearcat

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2020, 09:46:31 pm »
Thought to rejoin ham recently, but faced some legal obstacles and some disappointment on current state.
Expectations: Building state-of-art algorithms that are laughing on Shannon-Hartley theorem by tricking it and radios that are capable to talk with other planets on 1db antenna, syncing time from pulsars on 90cm satellite dish, and etc.
Reality: People are relaying digital radio over raspberry and IP, using ready-made images, and buying ready-made hardware for all that, and even their soldering irons are eating dust.
 

Offline vk4ffab

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2020, 10:51:43 pm »
The contests should be limited to say, half of the band for each license class so people can still QSO away from it.

The cost of modern HF equipment is way too high considering how much the parts cost has likely fallen..

They are. During an SSB contest, the CW and Digital portions are unused. During a CW contest the SSB and Digital portions are unused. During a Digital contest, the SSB and CW portions are unused. A real ham is flexible and can find a QSO even when one part of a band is chockers full of 59 tu 73 in the contest. And then there are WARC bands where there are no contests allowed. If one does not like contests that is fine, but to say one cannot find a clear space to have a qso is UTTER BULLSHIT. Only CBers are stuck with 1 mode and 1 band.
 

Offline vk4ffab

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2020, 11:01:14 pm »
Thought to rejoin ham recently, but faced some legal obstacles and some disappointment on current state.
Expectations: Building state-of-art algorithms that are laughing on Shannon-Hartley theorem by tricking it and radios that are capable to talk with other planets on 1db antenna, syncing time from pulsars on 90cm satellite dish, and etc.
Reality: People are relaying digital radio over raspberry and IP, using ready-made images, and buying ready-made hardware for all that, and even their soldering irons are eating dust.

Actually, there are plenty of people working on different things, sure it might not be state of the art, but they are working on stuff none the less. I am a postal worker, not an EE. 6 years ago i did not know what a resistor was, let alone how to use it. Now I am close to having built a homebrew station worth using more than once. The picture is my radio shack, well the part i actually use almost daily. There are plenty of guys out there just like me, you wont hear them on the radio, you wont see them making lots of noise or complying that some dx pedo touched them on the frequency, but they are out there in small groups who stay among themselves or on their own doing their own things. Its a much bigger group than people give credit for.

[attach=1]
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 11:04:06 pm by vk4ffab »
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2020, 01:34:00 am »
I enjoy ham radio almost daily.  I agree with some of the criticism but I recognize that I can't change the system so I work with it.

My on the air focus these days is on DX.  I have worked some of the exotic stations so many times that we are on a very comfortable conversational basis.

I like repairing and testing as well.  I keep changing the configuration of my station just to make it better for me.  It's gratifying to break through a pileup and have the other guy say 'wow' or something similar.  I am not one of the 'big boys' but I hold my own nicely.

Bob K6DDX
 

Online nuclearcat

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2020, 02:03:31 am »
Actually, there are plenty of people working on different things, sure it might not be state of the art, but they are working on stuff none the less. I am a postal worker, not an EE. 6 years ago i did not know what a resistor was, let alone how to use it. Now I am close to having built a homebrew station worth using more than once. The picture is my radio shack, well the part i actually use almost daily. There are plenty of guys out there just like me, you wont hear them on the radio, you wont see them making lots of noise or complying that some dx pedo touched them on the frequency, but they are out there in small groups who stay among themselves or on their own doing their own things. Its a much bigger group than people give credit for.
As long as you are doing magic on your level and your soldering iron stay hot - in my eyes you are true ham!
I just don’t like it when ham only buying ready-made devices and connecting them.. to internet, without any tinkering. They are not better than toddler with walkie talkie.
 

Offline vk4ffab

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2020, 02:44:24 am »
Actually, there are plenty of people working on different things, sure it might not be state of the art, but they are working on stuff none the less. I am a postal worker, not an EE. 6 years ago i did not know what a resistor was, let alone how to use it. Now I am close to having built a homebrew station worth using more than once. The picture is my radio shack, well the part i actually use almost daily. There are plenty of guys out there just like me, you wont hear them on the radio, you wont see them making lots of noise or complying that some dx pedo touched them on the frequency, but they are out there in small groups who stay among themselves or on their own doing their own things. Its a much bigger group than people give credit for.
As long as you are doing magic on your level and your soldering iron stay hot - in my eyes you are true ham!
I just don’t like it when ham only buying ready-made devices and connecting them.. to internet, without any tinkering. They are not better than toddler with walkie talkie.

I tend to agree, but I am not so absolute about it. I have friends and people who i respect in ham radio that are never going to solder anything together, ever. This does not make them any less of a ham than say someone developing the next big thing. People who go out and do SOTA or IOTA or WWFF, in other words, people doing ham radio with a distinct point to it are doing ham radio and are within the ham radio spirit as the guy with his soldering iron and pile of parts. Its a horses for courses kind of thing for me.

If all you are doing is playing talkie walkies with your hotpot or talking rubbish with the same group of morons everyday, then yeah I agree with you, that is pointless and something you can do on the telephone. I do not see talking to someone as a skill to be proud of, but learning morse to use CW well that is keeping history alive and is the ham radio spirit as much as building your own radios also.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 02:47:39 am by vk4ffab »
 
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2020, 03:56:29 am »
Actually, there are plenty of people working on different things, sure it might not be state of the art, but they are working on stuff none the less. I am a postal worker, not an EE. 6 years ago i did not know what a resistor was, let alone how to use it. Now I am close to having built a homebrew station worth using more than once. The picture is my radio shack, well the part i actually use almost daily. There are plenty of guys out there just like me, you wont hear them on the radio, you wont see them making lots of noise or complying that some dx pedo touched them on the frequency, but they are out there in small groups who stay among themselves or on their own doing their own things. Its a much bigger group than people give credit for.
As long as you are doing magic on your level and your soldering iron stay hot - in my eyes you are true ham!
I just don’t like it when ham only buying ready-made devices and connecting them.. to internet, without any tinkering. They are not better than toddler with walkie talkie.

I tend to agree, but I am not so absolute about it. I have friends and people who i respect in ham radio that are never going to solder anything together, ever. This does not make them any less of a ham than say someone developing the next big thing. People who go out and do SOTA or IOTA or WWFF, in other words, people doing ham radio with a distinct point to it are doing ham radio and are within the ham radio spirit as the guy with his soldering iron and pile of parts. Its a horses for courses kind of thing for me.

If all you are doing is playing talkie walkies with your hotpot or talking rubbish with the same group of morons everyday, then yeah I agree with you, that is pointless and something you can do on the telephone. I do not see talking to someone as a skill to be proud of, but learning morse to use CW well that is keeping history alive and is the ham radio spirit as much as building your own radios also.

Egad! It's the artist also known as VK4HAT!-------How are you, Rob?

But, mate, the morons I talk to are friendly old morons, & I can talk to two or more at a time.
Can't do that with the phone without a lot of drama.

I like using old gear that I maintain myself to talk to people who are, mostly, into Electronics outside of just ham radio.

Back in the day, Techs at Radio & TV stations were, to a large extent the mainstay of Amateur radio, as there were a lot of us.
Not so much now,  -----"Suits" don't like us, because we tend to say nasty things like "you can't do that!", so they simply dispensed with us.
They still "can't do that",but they can waste their. own time finding out!

Thankfully, Computer people still have them bluffed!

Now, to  get our radio/electronics fix, we have to do ham radio,  play with old test equipment, & frequent websites like  eevblog or QRZ.com.
 
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Offline vk4ffab

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2020, 04:22:39 am »
Actually, there are plenty of people working on different things, sure it might not be state of the art, but they are working on stuff none the less. I am a postal worker, not an EE. 6 years ago i did not know what a resistor was, let alone how to use it. Now I am close to having built a homebrew station worth using more than once. The picture is my radio shack, well the part i actually use almost daily. There are plenty of guys out there just like me, you wont hear them on the radio, you wont see them making lots of noise or complying that some dx pedo touched them on the frequency, but they are out there in small groups who stay among themselves or on their own doing their own things. Its a much bigger group than people give credit for.
As long as you are doing magic on your level and your soldering iron stay hot - in my eyes you are true ham!
I just don’t like it when ham only buying ready-made devices and connecting them.. to internet, without any tinkering. They are not better than toddler with walkie talkie.

I tend to agree, but I am not so absolute about it. I have friends and people who i respect in ham radio that are never going to solder anything together, ever. This does not make them any less of a ham than say someone developing the next big thing. People who go out and do SOTA or IOTA or WWFF, in other words, people doing ham radio with a distinct point to it are doing ham radio and are within the ham radio spirit as the guy with his soldering iron and pile of parts. Its a horses for courses kind of thing for me.

If all you are doing is playing talkie walkies with your hotpot or talking rubbish with the same group of morons everyday, then yeah I agree with you, that is pointless and something you can do on the telephone. I do not see talking to someone as a skill to be proud of, but learning morse to use CW well that is keeping history alive and is the ham radio spirit as much as building your own radios also.

Egad! It's the artist also known as VK4HAT!-------How are you, Rob?

But, mate, the morons I talk to are friendly old morons, & I can talk to two or more at a time.
Can't do that with the phone without a lot of drama.

I like using old gear that I maintain myself to talk to people who are, mostly, into Electronics outside of just ham radio.

Back in the day, Techs at Radio & TV stations were, to a large extent the mainstay of Amateur radio, as there were a lot of us.
Not so much now,  -----"Suits" don't like us, because we tend to say nasty things like "you can't do that!", so they simply dispensed with us.
They still "can't do that",but they can waste their. own time finding out!

Thankfully, Computer people still have them bluffed!

Now, to  get our radio/electronics fix, we have to do ham radio,  play with old test equipment, & frequent websites like  eevblog or QRZ.com.

LOL I am good, how about yourself? Keeping well in lockdown? and yeah I lurk here now and again to, reading mostly, not posting.

Actually you bring up a very good point, I do not begrudge the older or retired guy his afternoon net. Ham radio is, if anything a hobby for all seasons and when I have retired, or built everything that I ever want to built, or built a station that I am proud of that could replace the Icom, then I would probably want to retire to the afternoon net also and enjoy my hard won gains.

There are a lot of ex industry guys like yourself who are doing that very thing, maintaining old gear and getting on for the afternoon chat with other such guys to chew the fat and relive the good old days, whatever or whenever they were. That is as very much ham radio as my desire to understand the fundamentals of rf electronics.

I think a lot of us newer type hams forget that. The old guys have done their time, they built their stuff, the learned the technology of their day and now they just want to sit around and enjoy it. More power to them I say,
 

Online Electro Fan

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2020, 06:11:44 am »

But, mate, the morons I talk to are friendly old morons, & I can talk to two or more at a time.
Can't do that with the phone without a lot of drama.

LOL :)
 

Online Electro Fan

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2020, 06:14:28 am »
I think a lot of us newer type hams forget that. The old guys have done their time, they built their stuff, the learned the technology of their day and now they just want to sit around and enjoy it. More power to them I say,

Amen
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2020, 05:36:23 pm »
Oh and when you get the license you get to have a cool plate for your car.
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 


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