Amateur Radio enthusiasts out there?

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by camcondor, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Just wondering if there are any amateur radio hobbyists out there amongst the motorhomers???

    I've got all interested (some would say in my dotage, I like to think of it as my prime!!) in Amateur Radio, and am doing my Foundation Licence exam next week. Looking to upgrade it to Intermediate and Full over the course of the year.

    If enough of us are interested, perhaps we could have a forum or sub-forum?

    Of course, it is a rather nice additional toy to add to any motorhome, and it has lots of useful properties as well!!!:Laughing:

    But as with any worthwhile hobby, one radio will never do and the best equipment is invariably not cheap. I will have to have a sale of unused and not needed items to finance this new interest..........:Sad:
     
  2. jacken

    jacken Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I was into amatuer radio in a big way many years ago but only with my 2M licence, swopped over from the CB days. I can't even remember my call sign- GO---something. I gave up about 8 years ago as the bands were not very active. I took down all my antennas but have still got my radios. As this is a RV site, you may well find plenty of CBers on here as they were popular in American motorhomes. In fact it's a good open question to put: Any-one still use CB radios in their RV?.

    ken
     
  3. Digger Driver

    Digger Driver Read Only Funster

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    I used to be heavily into CB and Sidebanding but aparently there are laws against using 200 watt boots without a licence!
    I did used to talk to a guy in Kentucky alot when i lived in London but my farthest DX was Rio de Janeiro!
    That was with a fully loaded (with kinky extra's) Stalker 9FDX with a built in 15 watt boot plus my Zetagi's running out of a Sigma 4 mast with a crows nest!
    I was known in my day as RB22!
     
  4. totalynutz

    totalynutz Deleted User

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2008
  5. Zozzer

    Zozzer Read Only Funster

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    Yes, I'm a G6. Took the RAE way back in the early 1980's.
    Never took the morse test as I never really had any interest in it.
    I was too busy enjoying the hobby with 2M fox hunts, RTTY
    followed AX25 packet. I did enjoy the occaision 2M contest
    working portable from Winter Hill near Bolton.

    However since the advent of the internet, amateur radio
    seems to have become redundant to my needs. Mrs Zozzer
    has often said I should get the old Trio 9000 out and take it
    away in the van.

    73 DE G6*** :helpsos:
     
  6. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for replies guys, just to clarify AMATEUR RADIO / ie RADIO HAMS, NOT CBers! Nothing against them, but its a completely different setup , pretty unregulated these days and not what I was intending !!! I too had a CB setup in the 70's when you needed a licence and it was fun then, but its become a mess now and I'm personally not interested, although I have an old Midlands rig somewhere. Maybe a project to convert to amateur bands at some stage!!:Rofl1:

    Digger, SSBs can cause a lot of interference with neighbours electrical equipment, esp if you are transmitting at 200w, which I think is highly illegal - AFAIK, only Amateurs with a Full licence can transmit at that power, with Intermediate licence holders restricted to 50w and Foundation to 10w. You'll have Mr Ofcom out looking for you if you still have a set up like that, not to mention a heap of angry neighbours, or even the entire neighbourhood with that amount of power!!!:Eeek:

    Jacken, why not reactivate your interest? If you kept your radios you perhaps had an idea you may start again?? If not, I'm looking for kit!!!:Wink:

    totalynutz, I'm pleased to find another m/homer on the amateur bands. I aim to fit a nice portable to the MH, say a face-detachable 2m or something, so I can use it wherever we may be. It would be nice if I could slide it out and into my car as well, although I believe no-one ever just has one radio....:RollEyes: I've3 joined the RSGB and we have a local club in the poxy little town I live in, which sounds friendly!!
    I'll send you my callsign after I pass the Foundation next week!!!

    Laurie:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  7. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Zozzer, I think its time to reactivate your interest and listen to the missus!!!

    Morse is out of the exams now and you only do it if you want to; have you kept your registration with Ofcom up? Apparently you have to log in to Ofcom once every 5 years to keep your licence "active".

    73 DE camcondor

    :Cool:
     
  8. Digger Driver

    Digger Driver Read Only Funster

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    Digger, SSBs can cause a lot of interference with neighbours electrical equipment, esp if you are transmitting at 200w, which I think is highly illegal - AFAIK, only Amateurs with a Full licence can transmit at that power, with Intermediate licence holders restricted to 50w and Foundation to 10w. You'll have Mr Ofcom out looking for you if you still have a set up like that, not to mention a heap of angry neighbours, or even the entire neighbourhood with that amount of power!!!undefined


    Like i said i used to!
    But it was in the days when TV turned off at 1 oclock!
    I have looked into Ham but i have a big shopping list of other things to do first!
     
  9. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Hi Ken
    Just like to point out that this is most definitely NOT an RV website mate :Smile: There are a few RVers on here but we are heavily outweighed by other types of motorhomers. Well possibly not actually "outweighed" but I think you get what I mean :thumb:
    Laurie, my step dad has been a radio ham since God was a boy, can't remember his call sign just now but he still has his daily "skeds" with his buddies all over the UK to this day and he is 80+++ :thumb:
    Let us know how you get on......

    Keith
     
  10. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Member

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    Still have my Trio 9130? somewhere.... slightly modded pots to give greater power on "high" (40w instead of 25 IIRC)...

    Oh, and I'm a G1 , but inactive for a few years although I've kept my licence up.
     
  11. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Never really been in to the radio stuff, I imagine that years ago it must have been quite exciting to have the ability to talk to someone half way around the world, but not now.

    What is the attraction today, is it just the kit and the tuning of it etc? It can't be the desire to chat, you can do that further and faster on Skype. My 7 year old talks to her friend in Australia most mornings before she goes to school, there is a terrible echo sometimes but mostly the comms are very good, and she doesnt need a licence:BigGrin:

    I know that Am radio is still very popular, so what am I missing?
     
  12. jacken

    jacken Read Only Funster

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    I think back then it was the excitement, before mobile phones and computers became popular for means of communication. It was a hobby and like most hobbies there was something exciting about getting a contact furthest away, which you would log with pride and getting a contact from some unknown island at the bottom of the world on HF. On 2M you had the repeaters which was great for getting your signal further out. You were actually talking to a person voice to voice rather than typing like we are doing now. Also the hobby was great for experimenting with different antennas and tweaking your radios. Most of us went to all the radio shows, just like going to motorhome shows, and spent lots of money on gadgets and gizmos. Ah, the good old days.

    ken
     
  13. reader

    reader Deleted User

    Its a hobby like any other, I was recently told about the Amateur Radio Caravan & Camping Club (think that was the name) and looking at photos these guys certainly were enjoying both their hobbies. They were in fields away from any possible source of interference (yes our equipment suffers interference from domestic appliances in peoples homes etc) and they had some massive aerials up.
     
  14. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    I'm really enjoying it. It's very much 21st century now, if you want it to be, as the modern rigs connect to PCs and you can use all the data modes and SSTV etc as well. Busy with my next licence stage now and hope to have completed course and exam within the next month.

    :Wink:

    Laurie
     
  15. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Are you guys going to get a "Ham Meet" together? :Smile: Combining two hobbies into one would be most enjoyable.
     
  16. reader

    reader Deleted User

    IMO Laurie the Intermediate is by far the most interesting of the current three stage system, it also gets you a decent power level. I wish you the best of luck.
    In the van on HF I seldom go over 50watts in fact for ages I only used a FT817 (5watts max) and worked all over the place, If I am on a mains hook up I may go upto 100w to catch a decent distant station.

    Regarding pc's there are a lot of stations use PSK31 etc data modes and you would probably enjoy these.
     
  17. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Hi Reader,

    Well, good taste!! :thumb: I managed to get an excellent used buy - an FT-817 for under £200 boxed with extras the day I wrote the Foundation Exam as someone advertised one on the day and I snapped it up. Its crystal clear audio and versatility amaze me - I use it in the car at present as I don't have an antenna set up at home yet. I use the local repeater and chat a bit most mornings, haven't tried any HF stuff yet due to the lack of an antenna. The propagation has been quite odd in recent weeks and the bands have opened as far as Nortnern Germany and other parts of Europe, not to mention far-flung parts of the UK. Its certainly been fun if a bit chaotic!!

    I'm trying to play catch-up due to my late start in radio at, err, advancing years, and looking forward to passing the Intermediate. I scored 100% on the Foundation much to the astonished reverance of the tutor et al, but I think a repeat of that may not be that easy with the Intermediate!! I hope to complete the Advanced this year and crack on with the marriage of PC and radio......

    :thumb::thumb:

    Laurie
     
  18. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    AM-CB during the '70s (pre-legalisation days) undoubtedly made a massive contribution to the interest in Ham Radio which had previously been the preserve of a few 'geeks' and the hobby was in the doldrums. I know of many CBers who went on to sit their RAE who previously would never even have dreamt of picking up a mic had it not been for AM-CB.

    I was heavily involed in AM-CB and during my lifetime it accounts for one of only two instances i can think of (the other being Offshore Pirate Radio) where literally 'people power' forced the Government to listen to what the nation was telling them. People wanted CB radio.

    It's rise was nothing short of phenomenal.

    My local town (pop. approx 73000), formed a CB club. Within two months we had over 5000 members and it kept growing. This was going on throughout the length and bredth of the UK.

    Of course its history now but once Government legalised CB giving it a poor FM frequency, interest soon waned once the kids got hold of a set and the foul language started.

    Amateur RT equipment is not cheap and as many here have said, it's simpler and far far cheaper to use the internet. But it's thanks to AM-CB that Ham Radio enjoyed a revival with a much needed injection of 'young blood'.

    Looking back, i think the real fun of AM-CB was it's illegality and running around in cars with 'funny aerials' on trying to out-manouvere and outwit the local DTi guys who spent their evenings chasing and trying to catch someone. Making something illegal simply makes it more desirable. If you want people to lose interest....just legalise it!
     
  19. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Up until 18 months ago I ran GB7TDG ( packet BBS ) which precluded voice radio use ..
    But as packet declined in popularity I ended up with less than 5 users ( had 200 at peak so REALLY went down the pan ! )
    Now that has gone I have started using voice again.. Use an oldish Iconm 737 or somesuch for HF and a kenwood tribander for 6 2 and 70 ( fm only though )
    Favorite band is 80 metres.. Enjoy dx'ing on that and also WAB'ing on there..
     

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