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Amateur Radio

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Insanis:
On another thread, the topic of Amateur Radio was brought up (someone accused me of not having any hobbies, and I listed a bunch, which included Amateur Radio, and someone inquired about that specifically). I hope this redirects the conversion.

Are there any hams here?

For those who are not, I recommend it if possible. It gives you a license to use more radio than anybody else, and that can be useful in itself (or just something to accomplish). All the radios you use are tightly type restricted and very weak (cell phones, remote controls, Bluetooth, WiFi are all basically pop guns whereas Amateur Radio gives you an arsenal of almost any power you want). When things stop working, only people with equipment that can do more than just interact with cell towers or ISPS will be able to communicate. This is possible, but most never use it this way, but it is a strong reason to at least look into it, plus the education one can get on the way is useful.

Almost all countries have it, but for Americans, one get the scoop from the FCC about it. One can get prepared for tests at HamdStudy.org, get a free PDF study guide (and buy ones for the higher licenses). One can get some great videos from Dave Casler (link specifically to his licensing preparation series). One can visit the ARRL for more information. There are many clubs and other organizations and individuals available. These are just some, and there are many interests and most people only focus on their particular slice of the hobby. (I like QRP for instance, and the big stuff doesn't interest me, although it is cool, if it doesn't run on batteries and fit in a sack easily, it isn't for me).

For other countries, the science is the same (and largely, the testing as it is all internationally coordinated), but you'll have to find your nations governing body and organizations that provide licensing, etc.

Lydia Purpuraria:
I was visiting with my sister and her family Thursday and asked my brother-in-law if he knew anything about Amateur /Ham radio and he said, 'yeah, I have my license."   I had no idea!  LOL. (Apparently he's had it for a while, too, because he got it when there was still the morse code requirement.)

So anyway thought I'd share that -- and thanks again for all of the information, Insanis.

Insanis:

--- Quote from: Lydia Purpuraria on June 05, 2021, 12:38:06 PM ---I was visiting with my sister and her family Thursday and asked my brother-in-law if he knew anything about Amateur /Ham radio and he said, 'yeah, I have my license."   I had no idea!  LOL. (Apparently he's had it for a while, too, because he got it when there was still the morse code requirement.)

So anyway thought I'd share that -- and thanks again for all of the information, Insanis.

--- End quote ---

There are more hams than people realize. I learned code too, but it is not part of the test.

People complain about this change, but the testing isn't there to prove something. It is based on international communication standards.

The code requirement was dropped not because it was "hard", but because commercial requirements for it were dropped.

It used to be ships had to have a radio operator who could use it and it was the international standard. You can still get a Radiotelegraph Operator License though. That is a commercial license and issued under a different system.

Are you going to get licensed?

Lydia Purpuraria:

--- Quote from: Insanis on June 05, 2021, 12:41:40 PM ---There are more hams than people realize.
--- End quote ---

I believe it; there's a house sort of close to mine that had a really tall antenna tower on its roof (probably 30' tall or more if I guessed) and I always wondered what it was for ... I think I know now.


--- Quote ---People complain about this change, but the testing isn't there to prove something. It is based on international communication standards.

The code requirement was dropped not because it was "hard", but because commercial requirements for it were dropped.

It used to be ships had to have a radio operator who could use it and it was the international standard. You can still get a Radiotelegraph Operator License though. That is a commercial license and issued under a different system.
--- End quote ---

Oh that's interesting to know. And yeah, he said he's not even sure how much he remembers of morse code because it's not something he really used much himself.


--- Quote ---Are you going to get licensed?
--- End quote ---

I seriously might if I can make the time to study for it!  My sister only lives about a mile away, probably less, but we decided that if I do get it we'll start using that as our only means of non-"in-person" communication.

 ;D

Insanis:

--- Quote from: Lydia Purpuraria on June 05, 2021, 12:56:10 PM ---I believe it; there's a house sort of close to mine that had a really tall antenna tower on its roof (probably 30' tall or more if I guessed) and I always wondered what it was for ... I think I know now.

--- End quote ---

There are many types of antennae. The tower could support any number of different types, some of which may not be obvious, but Yagi antennae stand out easily.

There are vertical antenna too, and they might not look like much, but sometimes you can see radials.

Also, towers are great for going up, and up is good, but antennae can be quite invisible. The antennae itself can be just a wire. In fact, for certain designs, wire is easier to work with than trying to erect something more substantial.


--- Quote ---I seriously might if I can make the time to study for it!  My sister only lives about a mile away, probably less, and we decided that if I do get it we'll start using that as our only means of non-"in-person" communication.

--- End quote ---

For that kind of thing, you can get prepared now. If you are in the USA (note: I know you are, but others may be reading this), you can get an FRN with the FCC. Be sure to look into what is displayed in the public database before doing this if you have concerns about that.

Amateur Radio is great, but there is a simpler license to get for local communication. One can pay for a GMRS license and the entire family can use it. So be sure to check whether any close family already has one. For local communication, you'd be using the bands GRMS uses anyway.

(I have a GMRS license too, just in case, but I haven't gotten any GMRS radios yet.)

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