Author Topic: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?  (Read 183936 times)

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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #375 on: August 07, 2015, 08:05:51 pm »

This is an old picture...(needs to be updated)
I can tell you this; the more you know the cheaper the hobby is. The SX-62 was a gift from my friend Pat WA6MHZ who has a substantial boat anchor collection, and an up to date shack.

When I just want to talk; I'll pick up an HT or operate one of the two Icom Appliances.
When I want full contact amateur radio then the Kenwood, the Heath gear or the Swans come into play.
In another lifetime I could have been very happy running a steam locomotive, if there wasn't any of this good old gear that takes some know how to operate. :)

Sue AF6LJ
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Offline retrolefty

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #376 on: August 07, 2015, 08:13:47 pm »
Great picture. I see you have the nessesary rubber mallet to tweak for maximum output power.  :-DD

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Offline xrunner

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #377 on: August 07, 2015, 10:05:44 pm »
When I want full contact amateur radio ...

Good term - I like it!  8)
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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #378 on: August 08, 2015, 01:34:24 am »
Great picture. I see you have the necessary rubber mallet to tweak for maximum output power.  :-DD

73 WA6TKD
I get a lot of comments about that..
Actually I had finished alighting the spacers for the shelves, after pulling back the actual shelves to get cores and whatnot behind the radio gear.  The Heath SB-220 (AKA Oscar) is undergoing rehab which I should be finished with before next spring. A few things have come up in that regard and Antennas and the needs of my roommate regarding maintenance around here take priority around here. More on Oscar can be found here in spite of me and QRZ divorcing...http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/sb-220-find.372651/
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #379 on: August 08, 2015, 01:35:16 am »
When I want full contact amateur radio ...

Good term - I like it!  8)
I came up with it to describe what amateurs use to go though running the old gear during a contest.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #380 on: August 09, 2015, 02:04:34 pm »
While I haven't read the whole thread, I can assure you those of us who have our electronics hobby centered around amateur radio are plentiful in number.

Well that post was from two years ago.  :) But yea, I see that now, and thanks to this thread I renewed my license after the responses in the thread back then!

In other news, I got a new (old) radio coming off Ebay - a Kenwood R-1000. The seller stated it has one known issue - the mode switches stick and won't pop out like they should. I don't think that will be a huge problem to fix. I will post pics when it arrives.

It looks like this, although this is not the specific radio I bought -



Me too! ;D
I just picked up an R1000  at the Hamfest.
it cost me $A135----not sure how good a deal it was,but it's a nice radio.

My Transceiver doesn't have General Receive,so I wanted a good Rx.(looks like it's bad news for the Drake SSR1,though-----back in the cupboard!! ;D)

I got a Dentron AT160 ATU($40),too, & an audio oscillator in a neat leather carry case for $5!

I think the Dentron is a 160m only device,hence the name--not much on Google,except the old Ads which seem to think "it can match anything from a barbed wire fence,to a bedframe".
If it is that good,I might possibly be able to get on 160m! ;D
 

Offline Flump

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #381 on: August 09, 2015, 03:48:23 pm »
I hold the UK foundation & intermediate licenses and will be taking the Advanced exam for the full license in early December.

Ham Radio is still very active around the world,
each time I scan through the HF Bands there are always people on there.

Here is a useful link for people in the UK wishing to know more about Ham Radio or how to get started in it.
http://www.essexham.co.uk/
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #382 on: August 09, 2015, 09:11:37 pm »
It is also interesting that while Morse code exam was largely eliminated, it is still hard to find a free frequency in CW portion of a band when propagation conditions are good. All is filled , lots of people work CW.
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Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #383 on: August 10, 2015, 12:19:51 am »
It is also interesting that while Morse code exam was largely eliminated, it is still hard to find a free frequency in CW portion of a band when propagation conditions are good. All is filled , lots of people work CW.

As a VE Liaison, I have helped quite a few people become hams and a surprising number of them ask the best way to learn CW.  I think more people are interested now that it isn't a requirement than ever before.
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Offline xrunner

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #384 on: August 10, 2015, 12:48:47 am »
I just picked up an R1000  at the Hamfest.
it cost me $A135----not sure how good a deal it was,but it's a nice radio.

Kool! I should have mine by the end of the week - will post pics ...  8)
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Offline Radio Tech

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #385 on: August 10, 2015, 01:17:34 am »

This is an old picture...(needs to be updated)
I can tell you this; the more you know the cheaper the hobby is. The SX-62 was a gift from my friend Pat WA6MHZ who has a substantial boat anchor collection, and an up to date shack.

When I just want to talk; I'll pick up an HT or operate one of the two Icom Appliances.
When I want full contact amateur radio then the Kenwood, the Heath gear or the Swans come into play.
In another lifetime I could have been very happy running a steam locomotive, if there wasn't any of this good old gear that takes some know how to operate. :)

Great looking bit of gear Sue! Fine collection.  And I will agree Pat has a house full :)
I need to update my shack pictures. At the moment I am restoring a Heathkit HW-101. Was in really bad shape. Still looking for another Swan to add to the rest.

Buddy kc4umo

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #386 on: August 10, 2015, 01:27:01 am »

This is an old picture...(needs to be updated)
I can tell you this; the more you know the cheaper the hobby is. The SX-62 was a gift from my friend Pat WA6MHZ who has a substantial boat anchor collection, and an up to date shack.

When I just want to talk; I'll pick up an HT or operate one of the two Icom Appliances.
When I want full contact amateur radio then the Kenwood, the Heath gear or the Swans come into play.
In another lifetime I could have been very happy running a steam locomotive, if there wasn't any of this good old gear that takes some know how to operate. :)

Great looking bit of gear Sue! Fine collection.  And I will agree Pat has a house full :)
I need to update my shack pictures. At the moment I am restoring a Heathkit HW-101. Was in really bad shape. Still looking for another Swan to add to the rest.

Buddy kc4umo
Pat does have a house full, a garage full, and a portable office full.
There are a number of items that Pat has passed on to me that are in exchange for my halp in moving gear for him and other activities such as antenna work and the like....
http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/progress-on-the-north-wing-of-the-crest-radio-museum.461382/
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 01:31:51 am by AF6LJ »
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline piranha32

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #387 on: August 10, 2015, 04:06:43 am »
As a newly licensed HAM (since Jan 2015), I'd like to give a few words of encouragement for people thinking about getting US license.

I thought about taking the exam for a LOOOONG time. Things started to move forward when I joined local HAM club, and asked around about the procedure, exams, and all technical details related to getting licensed. It turned out to be much easier than I though. When I checked requirements for Tech license, I decided that it would be a waste of time (trivial exam, I'd just have to study a bit the rules), and I should get the General license instead. However the real kicker that motivated me to wrap up and take a trip to the examination center was ordering a handheld radio. It was a cheap Baofeng, but gave me a strong motivation to move on. After I went through the material for General exam, I still did not feel challenged enough, and I started to study for Extra. My goal was still to get General license, but I decided to take a try with more advanced topics. I went through the entire material in less than a week. The exam session was on Saturday. I went to the examination center in the morning, left after 3-4 hours having passed all 3 exams on the first tries, and on Monday before noon I had callsign assigned by FCC and I could start using my brand new radio.

Turns out that for someone with EE background getting the license should not be difficult. Tech exam is trivial. You will have to study the rules a bit, but I have a friend who passed the exam after reading the ARRL manual once during his flight. General is probably what most people should shoot for, and it's the license which really opens the HF bands, where most of the fun is. If you like the challenge, you can try Extra. You can take all 3 exams on the same day, and you loose nothing if you don't pass, however basic EE knowledge may not be sufficient to be successful.

Regarding studying materials: I found "The no-nosense study guides" written by KB6NU to be very helpful. Electronic versions (PDF) of guides for Tech and General are (were) available for free, if you prefer e-book or printed book, you can buy them from the author. Guide for Extra exam is also available for purchase. These are good books to help to study.
Another useful resource is http://hamexam.org/ You can go through the entire question pools for all three levels, take practice exams, and check your stats to see what topics you know well enough to pass, and on which you should spend more time studying. Dot try just to memorize what answers to check. You don't have to hurry, so don't guess. If you don't know something, go to google, or open a book, and learn how to answer the question.

Offline xrunner

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #388 on: August 10, 2015, 10:33:25 pm »
It arrived - but it's dirty. Very dusty. So dusty that some of the buttons would not work like the clock settings, I pushed them about 100 times and they started to work, so most of this unit will have to be deep-cleaned. Also the old bulbs are long since burned out, so will have to decide whether to make it original and get new ones, or to defile it and convert to LEDS ...  :)

But - it is picking up signals.  :phew:



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Offline Flump

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #389 on: August 11, 2015, 08:05:56 am »
please dont fit led's to it, try and put new bulbs in as close to original as possible   :-+
 

Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #390 on: August 11, 2015, 08:51:06 am »
please dont fit led's to it, try and put new bulbs in as close to original as possible   :-+

Having once owned a couple, being a fan of old comms. receivers, and being a bit of a originality purist in general, that's one of the few mods I would do. For some reason both of the examples I owned went through dial lamps at the rate of 1 every few months, with only light-medium use.

Compare that to my FRG-7700, which as far as I know is still on all its original 1981 lamps.

And put a padlock on the MSM-5524 display/clock IC - they're unobtanium, and in the FRG-7700 are frequently blown by people trying to replace the VFO dial lamp without completely disassembling the front of the unit.

(If anyone knows of a free/cheap FRG-7700 with a blown MSM-5524 in Oz, let me know - it's been in the back of my mind for years to build a PIC/AVR-based drop-in replacement, and I ain't going to risk my very original set on it...)
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #391 on: August 11, 2015, 12:04:57 pm »
The lamp thing is easy to fix. just add a ten ohm resistor in a piece of heat shrink in one fo the lamp leads.
The smaller lamps are more sensitive to thermal shock than even the #47 bulbs used in tube gear.

I made the mistake of replacing the lamps in my Kenwood R-599 with LEDs, now I have the proper lamps and will be using them. I really find the white light a bit too hard to look at so back to incandescent bulbs it goes.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline xrunner

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #392 on: August 11, 2015, 12:10:17 pm »
please dont fit led's to it, try and put new bulbs in as close to original as possible   :-+

OK, I decided to get some bulbs. the originals are 4mm and the supply is 14V DC. I found a US supplier on Ebay that had 4mm bulbs but they stated the voltage rating as 12V. Other suppliers in China list similiar bulbs as 12 - 14V. What do you guys think - is that rating pretty flexible for these little bulbs?
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Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #393 on: August 11, 2015, 07:59:16 pm »
OK, I decided to get some bulbs. the originals are 4mm and the supply is 14V DC. I found a US supplier on Ebay that had 4mm bulbs but they stated the voltage rating as 12V. Other suppliers in China list similiar bulbs as 12 - 14V. What do you guys think - is that rating pretty flexible for these little bulbs?

Not really, which may be why the originals didn't last.

If on the other hand you underrate a low voltage incandescent lightbulb, then it will on average last a very long time. For instance high quality German tube radios from the fifties frequently ran 7V rated bulbs at 6.3V (nominal), and those bulbs usually still works today. The price you pay by underrating, or using a series resistor, is a slightly more yellow/orange light.
 

Offline Andy Watson

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #394 on: August 11, 2015, 08:21:55 pm »
Not really, which may be why the originals didn't last.
+1
IIRC the folklore is that over-driving incandescent lamps by as little as 5% halves their life expectancy. Similarly, under-driving by 5% doubles life expectancy.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 09:39:54 pm by Andy Watson »
 

Online nfmax

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #395 on: August 11, 2015, 09:31:56 pm »
It's been a long time now, but I remember delving into data sheets of incandescent bulbs for use on aircraft, and I think the life was inversely proportional to something ridiculous like the 12th power of supply voltage - but that might have been under vibration stress as well. I do recall it was really scary!
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #396 on: August 11, 2015, 09:34:11 pm »
OK on the bulbs, I'll try to find the best fit.

I thought I had a big problem. The seller stated the mode switch bank was sticking, and it was, so I pulled the assembly. I sprayed a good amount of Deoxit into each one, but it didn't help the sticking. I worked the switches and let it sit an hour, but they were still sticking. The only way to further investigate the issue would have been to take apart each switch.

The way these are put together is that the switches are crimped onto the main holder, which also holds the top of the switch on. In order to get the innards out, you have to pull off the top blue hat and then the thing will release out. I didn't want to do that because you have maybe one chance to bend the crimps out and back. A second bending might break them off. But I had no choice. So I started on the end and very slightly bent one away to see how it would go, and that switch unstuck!

I did the same thing to the others and got them all to work properly. The problem was that after 35 years, the strength of the metal crimp force had cause the inside of the switches to collapse just enough to make them start sticking. You just never know what it will take for this older equipment.  :D

The bottom pic shows the front face removed, so I could clean and get to the bulbs to remove them.



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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #397 on: August 11, 2015, 11:45:19 pm »
please dont fit led's to it, try and put new bulbs in as close to original as possible   :-+

OK, I decided to get some bulbs. the originals are 4mm and the supply is 14V DC. I found a US supplier on Ebay that had 4mm bulbs but they stated the voltage rating as 12V. Other suppliers in China list similiar bulbs as 12 - 14V. What do you guys think - is that rating pretty flexible for these little bulbs?
You are going to want to add a dropping resistor to increase their life and compensate for the lower voltage. My FRG-7 uses 28V lamps.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #398 on: August 11, 2015, 11:48:25 pm »
Good work on the switch rehab.
...
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Whatever Happened to Ham Radio?
« Reply #399 on: August 12, 2015, 03:53:32 am »
The lamp thing is easy to fix. just add a ten ohm resistor in a piece of heat shrink in one fo the lamp leads.
The smaller lamps are more sensitive to thermal shock than even the #47 bulbs used in tube gear.

I made the mistake of replacing the lamps in my Kenwood R-599 with LEDs, now I have the proper lamps and will be using them. I really find the white light a bit too hard to look at so back to incandescent bulbs it goes.

I got away with LEDs with the FT301,as they don't directly light the dial,but shine in from the edges.
I had to sand the surface of them,though,to stop them being too "spotlight" like.

It looks a bit "white",but not excessively so.
The incandescents had series resistors already,so I just changed the values.
Should be easy to do with lower voltage incandescents,too.

Another idea might be to use 18v lamps as I think that is the next standard value.
 


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