Author Topic: How alive is HAM these days?  (Read 3080 times)

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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #75 on: May 29, 2020, 07:54:13 am »
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As a communications medium? Meh.
Well here the like to talk about there nasty decease and where the doc put there finger where...  :--
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public agencies now have better radios (digital, secure P25) than hams and don't need your help.
:-DD... sure when the Cell Service fail the have just there DMO Mode and no long range communication.
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or very personal problems of old people.
you are right!
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I assume by "relays" you mean repeaters?
the stupid germans talk about that stuff:


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HF can be a bit challenging these days.
with my cheap antenna i receive a lot.
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I can put in one of my RC airplanes to get a cockpit view
well in europe the law about that get more restricted about that!
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I still have a collection of scanners and enjoy listening to the local business frequencies, emergency services, aviation and pagers, there's all kinds of stuff on the air.
Well when you want risk your amateur radio licence... With that you are on the Radar of the Gov. at least here...
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In the U.S. once you have the license it's good for 10 years and really forever if you keep renewing.
Here you have to pay a lot of money for the licence every year when you want do HF.
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I get the same in the local repair cafés. While in am very happy that younger people pick up the fight against electronic waste, a lot of the people that come from the maker scene lack a lot of basics.
Well the problem as a Company with repair anything is the Customer call a lawyer about anything what happen with the device and you must proof you repair that 100% with in the standards. That cost and nobody want pay for that...
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- the obligation to make public some personal data like phone, name, location, HAM license
here you can choose if it should be public or not.
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in the free bands
there arent any...
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #76 on: May 29, 2020, 08:58:36 am »
The relays in the pic are also repeaters, just that they electro-mechanically repeat e logic level  :)

Offline cdev

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #77 on: May 29, 2020, 01:07:03 pm »
Why arent there some (small) portions of ham bands, especially above 30 MHz,  where unlicensed operation, at very low power levels (under 1 watt) is legal?  Maybe they could issue an identifier via a web site - simply taking down their name, address, etc. No fee. No test.

That also makes it easier for people who are unable to travel far to take tests.

(A group of people who would likely benefit from ham radio a lot more than the average person)

This all to facilitate more people's entry into the hobby.

It would be great if the unlicensed bands included some both at very high (UHF and above) and very low frequencies (low enough that the most common and cheap everyday parts could be used making cost of entry very low)

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.

Thats good to keep in mind, and I'm sure that its true for most people. Still The contests shouldn't occupy the entire voice or CW bands, on weekends which is the only time many hams have to QSO, however. (at least during normal times when they are not stuck at home)

 QSOs made in other parts of the bands should count, if they are the right mode, but people should behave normally, in that portion, not rapid fire "CQ contest" only.  Do you get what I am saying? That does drive other kinds of users out.

As (currently) a SWL only, I often go to ham bands wanting to hear "conversations" and just find contesting.

I think that it would be reasonable to leave just a little bit of spectrum contest free.

-----

Most of the spectrum where I live is so incredibly noisy! Arrgh..  badly made  E-junk, I am sure.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 01:29:51 pm by cdev »
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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #78 on: May 29, 2020, 01:34:06 pm »
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where unlicensed operation, at very low power levels (under 1 watt) is legal?
there arent...
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline vk4ffab

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2020, 10:04:08 pm »
Why arent there some (small) portions of ham bands, especially above 30 MHz,  where unlicensed operation, at very low power levels (under 1 watt) is legal?  Maybe they could issue an identifier via a web site - simply taking down their name, address, etc. No fee. No test.

That also makes it easier for people who are unable to travel far to take tests.

(A group of people who would likely benefit from ham radio a lot more than the average person)

This all to facilitate more people's entry into the hobby.

It would be great if the unlicensed bands included some both at very high (UHF and above) and very low frequencies (low enough that the most common and cheap everyday parts could be used making cost of entry very low)

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.

Thats good to keep in mind, and I'm sure that its true for most people. Still The contests shouldn't occupy the entire voice or CW bands, on weekends which is the only time many hams have to QSO, however. (at least during normal times when they are not stuck at home)

 QSOs made in other parts of the bands should count, if they are the right mode, but people should behave normally, in that portion, not rapid fire "CQ contest" only.  Do you get what I am saying? That does drive other kinds of users out.

As (currently) a SWL only, I often go to ham bands wanting to hear "conversations" and just find contesting.

I think that it would be reasonable to leave just a little bit of spectrum contest free.

-----

Most of the spectrum where I live is so incredibly noisy! Arrgh..  badly made  E-junk, I am sure.

To answer both your questions in two words, there are. There are the LIPD and Scientific Bands which are low power Class License band allocations to allow tinkerers and companies access to rf spectrum for free. They include HF, VHF, UHF and Ghz allocations. I have been working on a beacon project with a friend for 13Mhz.

To your 2nd point, the rules of ham radio are simple first come, first go, IS THIS FREQUENCY IN USE. If its not then the frequency is not in use, then its yours for as long as you want to keep talking. Its a simple and effective way of sharing a finite resource among competing interests. To say that some part of some band needs to be reserved for one interest only IE rag chewers, is not the ham radio spirit, its selfish and exclusive, no one owns any band space in ham radio.

Further, there are bands that contests, by convention, do not operate on. So for the 5 or 6 times a year that one special interest group in impacted by a contest, and yes, its like a handful of weekends where a few bands are crowed, people have other bands, free from contests to operate on. The reality is, we are talking 3 bands at most that are impacted out of all the ham bands, 80, 40 and 20m. That still leaves 60, 30, 17, 12m on HF to operate in with no contest activity, 15 and 10m have plenty of space that even contests never fill them up, 6m, 2m and 70cm have plenty of space also.

I am not a contester,  but any hams that claim they cannot find a space to operate during the biggest contests in the world are just not trying, but mostly, I seem them as narcissists who think only their use of spectrum matters. And if using another band is not something they can do, they can operate a different mode. Real hams are flexible in the modes they can use, and agile in the bands they can use. If a ham only uses one band and one mode, he is not a ham, he is a CBer.
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #80 on: May 29, 2020, 10:16:13 pm »
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and Scientific Bands
No  there are not.
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are low power Class License band allocations to allow tinkerers and companies access to rf spectrum for free. They include HF, VHF, UHF and Ghz allocations.
There are some Bands, Freq for professional Equipment. But the duty Circle and so on is horrible.

Well my legal CB Radio make more fun and cost me 0€ Monthly.
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #81 on: May 31, 2020, 01:44:00 am »
That sounds reasonable to me. Thanks for your thoughtful response.


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.
.......


To answer both your questions in two words, there are. There are the LIPD and Scientific Bands which are low power Class License band allocations to allow tinkerers and companies access to rf spectrum for free. They include HF, VHF, UHF and Ghz allocations. I have been working on a beacon project with a friend for 13Mhz.

To your 2nd point, the rules of ham radio are simple first come, first go, IS THIS FREQUENCY IN USE. If its not then the frequency is not in use, then its yours for as long as you want to keep talking. Its a simple and effective way of sharing a finite resource among competing interests. To say that some part of some band needs to be reserved for one interest only IE rag chewers, is not the ham radio spirit, its selfish and exclusive, no one owns any band space in ham radio.

Further, there are bands that contests, by convention, do not operate on. So for the 5 or 6 times a year that one special interest group in impacted by a contest, and yes, its like a handful of weekends where a few bands are crowed, people have other bands, free from contests to operate on. The reality is, we are talking 3 bands at most that are impacted out of all the ham bands, 80, 40 and 20m. That still leaves 60, 30, 17, 12m on HF to operate in with no contest activity, 15 and 10m have plenty of space that even contests never fill them up, 6m, 2m and 70cm have plenty of space also.

I am not a contester,  but any hams that claim they cannot find a space to operate during the biggest contests in the world are just not trying, but mostly, I seem them as narcissists who think only their use of spectrum matters. And if using another band is not something they can do, they can operate a different mode. Real hams are flexible in the modes they can use, and agile in the bands they can use. If a ham only uses one band and one mode, he is not a ham, he is a CBer.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline El Rubio

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #82 on: June 07, 2020, 02:05:13 pm »
Most hams couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, including Raynet here. They’d make good crackling if the world went to shit though.
As a licensed ham radio operator for the past 20 years, I beg to differ. I live in South Louisiana. 15 years ago we had a storm named Katrina that devastated New Orleans. The flooding destroyed the wireline communications network, something like 8 million people in the surrounding area lost electricity. Over 50,000 utility poles were down. Over 1500 people were killed in La. and nearly 1000 in MS. I live north of the city and our local emergency operations counted on hams for almost all communications initially. This included relaying med-evac from another isolated smaller town to the local Air National Guard. They sent a helicopter to get that person to a functioning hospital. Hams were the only communications up and running at all of the local hospitals including the one where the guard delivered a critical patient thanks to those old men that some here want to mock about discussing their “ ailments”. When it hit the fan, hams came through. There are other stories from the city and other affected areas.

Typically, an evacuation shelter would be opened at a school or other facility. Guess who goes out and erects a working station usually on 2 meters? Yeah, those same old men. They were the only comms at places like that. They train to pass msgs accurately and did so by accounting for how many at a shelter, supply needs, medical needs, etc. They practice for this regularly. Our local group had an over the air net every week and practiced forwarding msgs, etc. This may sound boring to some of the self absorbed types without patience. It can be boring monitoring a radio, but when it counts, its a very valuable and maybe you should ask the folks whose are living now because of a ham’s communications. Thankfully, our locally government has enough sense to support a group of technical volunteers who are offering to help for free. I am going to stop my reply to you here because your comments are starting piss me off and I may type something inappropriate.

Regarding ham radio in general, it’s not expensive hobby. You can make it expensive, just like any hobby. It is good for older people who aren’t as physical or even disabled . I got my first license in 1999. Not long after that I had a 2mtr/70cm mobile rig in my vehicle. I had about 40 minute commute and was scanjing the bands just listening. I came upon a transmission that sounded odd. I initially thought the person talking was unlicensed since they were not using their callsign. I locked on and eventually was rewarded with the source. The guy signed and said he was Commander Jim Voss on the Space Shuttle Discovery. There were just crossing the eastern coast of Mexico over the GOM. I didn’t have the uplink freq linked to attempt to contact, but it was exciting just listening to one side of the conversation. I know other hams that worked satellites and space stations regularly-without a fortunes spent on hardware. It’s an awesome hobby that you can make it what you want. There are many facets including digital modes, voice, CW, soundcard digital modes, etc. you don’t have to have an engineering degree either.
 
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Online aristarchus

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #83 on: June 07, 2020, 03:36:27 pm »
Seen quite a few comments.
Please allow me to express my opinion.

In my view, a person who has the =real= ham radio spirit does not care if there are 10, 100 or a 1000 others on the bands.
The real radioamateur wants to get the ticket and be on the bands regardless of what others do or say.
A real radioamateur is not just an operator.
Wants to learn, wants to communicate (even though that is a generic human need), wants to make things by himself and enjoy the feeling of creating something useful.

He/She is doing this just because it has that spark.

 

Offline tkamiya

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #84 on: June 07, 2020, 03:51:00 pm »
When I was active in 70s and 80s, I did everything.  Talk late into night, wake up middle of the night to work US stations (from Japan), home brew, rig updates, antennas, etc, etc, etc,.  I used to build new antennas or new something every weekend.  When I came to US, I was shocked with abundance and price of surplus business radios.  Convert high VHF radio for 2 meter band and hit repeaters, joined club, etc, etc, etc. 

After initial excitement of talking to far away people faded, technical side of amateur radio stuck.  These days, I buy 70s and 80s dream radio and refurbish.  I don't even put it on the air.  FR101D is my favorite, then 101, then 820, etc, etc, etc....  All for far less than price of one new radio.  Then I got into time-nutting, test equipment collecting, etc, etc, etc.... I have a home lab my friend nicknamed WWII bunker.  It's full of 80s and 90s HP and Tektronics, again pennies on the dollar.

While I may no longer quality for an active "ham", the spirit of ham lives on.  Curiosity, experiment, and passion for knowledge.  Being on the air is just one aspect of ham, as far as I'm concerned.  In that sense, I'm very much alive.  Microphones and keys are not even plugged in.
 

Offline DH1AKF_Wolfgang

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #85 on: June 07, 2020, 04:33:04 pm »
New impulse: QO100
The new geostationary satellite QO100, with which India, South America, South Africa and Iceland can be easily reached from Europe, will give new impetus to amateur radio. Today I have put my system into operation and I am very happy that everything works out.  (Adalm Pluto, WiFi power amplifier 2 Watt, 60 cm dish with helix and normal LNB- nothing more is needed).
 
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Online bson

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #86 on: June 07, 2020, 06:12:05 pm »
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'm not sure what a hotpot refers to in this context, but my wife has a technician class license and we often carry HTs when we go skiing and such.  The radio works better than phones on a mountain, and by using it in a variety of terrain you get a good sense of what blocks VHF, how to get around it, how to use blind spots to localize the other party (they're not going to be calling from where you can't get signal at the observed strength) - and much more.  I'd recommend it.  Same when on road trips, we usually toss them in the car since I often like to hike places where she doesn't, or bicycle through a park - she'll drive the car down the road and meet up 60-100 miles ahead.  I'll call her when in range, but of course range limitations apply (but generally if she were to come looking for me I'd be near the road). Phone service is often iffy.

Other than walkie-talkie use, I'm personally more interested HF and doing my own stuff. The license is just a necessity to gain band access; I don't really care so much for chatting or operations.  The license also isn't supposed to be some kind of lifetime achievement award or proof of expertise, its purpose is to enable us to use the bands in an orderly fashion.  I actually think in the U.S. the EE portions of the extra license test, while simple for a trained EE, are just about right - they require just enough understanding to be able to get into simple equipment design and construction, which is a good initial trajectory.  We can't reasonably set the bar so high only MSEE's can possibly pass it, that's not what the licensing is for.  It really only reflects the minimum required knowledge and understanding to be granted band access without causing mayhem.

As for contests, meh.  Amateur radio is dying because the bands are crowded on weekends?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 06:15:39 pm by bson »
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #87 on: June 07, 2020, 07:53:45 pm »
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Amateur radio is dying because the bands are crowded on weekends?
I  would say i ts because the old angry people are so angry because the dont want use mordern stuff like drm.
Its typical Austrian to hate new thinks.
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline frogg

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Re: How alive is HAM these days?
« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2020, 04:23:09 pm »
Is classic HAM still worthwhile?

Yes. Although I have no idea what "classic" HAM is as opposed to amateur radio.
 


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