March 4, 2009 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #888678
Jothar, years ago it was a way to speak to people all around the world with a station located in your house and a special antenna on the roof. After you bought or built the equipment, you could use it as much as you want and there were no further charges, since you are directly transmitting via short wave (which can go long distances) to the other station. You are not using any provider like a cellular company or an ISP.
Because your signal can be powerful (up to 1,000 watts) which is much more than a CB radio (limited to 5 watts), there is a remote potential to harm oneself with the high voltage equipment, and also a possibility to interfere with other urgent communications, like aircraft, police, or even TV and radio. Therefore the FCC requires you to pass a test on electronic theory and rules and regulations and also on Morse Code, since the first radios were built by hams and this was in the day of telegraphs, so they wanted to keep the tradition alive.
Typically one can either arrange to speak to someone on a specific frequency at a specific time, or one can put out a general call to speak to anyone who is listening (CQ). Somebody else who hears the call may answer, and you will then start talking. Usually you would give him a signal report, since he always wants to know how his radio sounds to the other guy (it is a matter of great pride), and then identify your location and your name. The other party will do the same, and then you can chat about whatever you want (although most hams stick with ham issues like equipment details at first). You can talk about anything, but the govt has strict rules about obscenity and so on. Most of the time you are speaking one to one with one person.
There are also nets which are probably like a chat-room where each person takes a turn in a rotation and many people can be participating. Usually these are done via big repeater stations run by clubs that allow a weak portable station to be reamplified and broadcast over a large region so everybody can hear. Many times during commuting hours, people will be on for a half hour or so with a regular gang.
In the days before cell phones, if there was a road emergency, one of the hams could call for help from his phone (at home or work), if he heard a distress call.
Even today, in times of catastrophes and disaster, when power is out, hams will be the only communication in the middle of an earthquake or flood or similar. There are hams who do special training for these emergencies.
Every summer, there is a general nation-wide simulated emergency drill where one must assemble stations that use no power lines, but are either solar powered or generator powered (some even attach a generator to a bike and use human power), and are located out in fields, and one has 24 hours to set up the stations and antennas, and then 24 hours to make as many contacts as he can all over the world for points. These contacts are extremely short, so one can go on to the next and get more points. It is basically also an excuse to go camping with a radio, and is extreme fun. Clubs set up tents and make a mishmar like on Shavuos to operate around the clock, and barbecue and sit on lounge chairs while it’s someone else’s shift by the radio. There are loggers to keep records, and people to greet newcomers and the general public. It is also a major kiruv event for ham radio. Points are also awarded if you get a politican to visit your club and get into the papers, etc.
Believe it or not, this is a tremendous amount of fun. It is called Field Day. And there is a remez in the Gemara where it says Am Shebasodos.
Hams have been licensed as young kids, and there are people who are over a 100 doing it. Whenever you speak to someone, you usually exchange a post card with your station callsign and a design or picture that confirms details of the contact such as time, frequency, power, station type, etc. People collect them and put them floor to ceiling on their walls. If you get one from every state, you can get a special award. Same if you get one from 100 countries.
It is a whole world out there, truly a fascinating hobby. Once you get bitten by the bug, it is hard to shake it. In the club I belonged to, there were about half a dozen frum guys, and quite a few other Jewish fellows, as well. You don’t need to belong to a club, though, and can do everything on your own, as well.March 4, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #888679beaconParticipant
This is so interesting I never heard of this before. Where do you get the equipment?March 5, 2009 2:15 am at 2:15 am #888680
Hi Beacon, you can either buy new equipment or used at various swap meets called hamfests. I haven’t bought equipment in a while, so I don’t know the dealers of today. When I was younger there was this company called Heathkit that made the most phenomenal kits, where you really learned about radio electronics, and got a first rate product, as well. Unfortunately they are no longer around.
For general info on ham radio, the main national organization is called the American Radio Relay League. You can look up their site. They sponsor many of the contests, and put out a monthly journal called QST with many articles and with ads for both new and used equipment, and publish a ton of books from beginning to advanced. Some libraries carry the journal and some of their books.
I am reminded that Senator Barry Goldwater was a ham, as was King Hussein of Jordan (the father) and I knew a frum guy who spoke with him. In addition, on many of the space missions, NASA astronauts bring along a ham radio and speak to people. I seem to recall that they have arranged demos for kids where they would teach a class from space, and you could talk directly with them.
Some hams also are interested in low power communications where they build a small battery powered radio in a tuna can, and see how far they can get with it. It is still possible to go hundreds and even thousands of miles with very simple equipment. This is an advantage of Morse Code, since the equipment is simpler and uses less power, and is intelligible even when the signal is weak. Voice tends to be inaudible when it is not strong enough.
Other hams bounce signals off the moon, and have even built their own satellites in space. Many just use it to enjoy nice conversations without all the technical stuff. Unfortunately, the internet and cell phones have usurped that role, in some ways.
Many of the abbreviations that teens use on text messages which they think they invented have actually been around for 75 years and are standardized and listed in the ham manuals for saving time on morse code.March 5, 2009 3:06 am at 3:06 am #888681anon for thisParticipant
ames, how is that different from the internet?
PY, thanks for that description.March 5, 2009 3:10 am at 3:10 am #888682
Ames, Everybody has a call sign, and these are listed in databases and directories like a phone book. By law you must identify at beginning and end of conversation and every ten minutes. Theoretically, one could steal another’s call sign as an impostor, but you would get into big trouble, and be caught. Remember that you are on the open airwaves, and anybody can and does listen. It is not a place for private personal conversations. You can even listen without any license, just can’t transmit without a licence. The FCC monitors periodically, and any others listening who believed somebody was messing around would alert the authorities. Also, far away stations sound far away, fade in and out, and you would never confuse your next door neighbor with King Hussein.
I myself once transitted on a frequency I wasn’t supposed to be on by mistake, and got a citation (ticket) from the FCC monitoring all the way in Texas. (I was 13 at the time, and dial became miscalibrated, which is something you needed to check every so often, with older mechanical displays.) If you respond promptly and explain circumstances and what actions you have taken to insure it won’t reoccur, there is no fine or loss of privileges. However, if you ignore citation, then can get into trouble.
I don’t mean to scare you, as it is a pretty easy-going hobby, but deliberate messing around will eventually get one in trouble. There are some pranksters who try to jam and interfere with conversations and repeaters, and every club has members who know how to trace the source of interference and file reports.March 5, 2009 4:29 am at 4:29 am #888683squeakParticipant
charlie? we want to know if you’re a ham. Over.March 5, 2009 5:06 am at 5:06 am #888684
I think there is somewhat of a problem with bootleggers and pirates on the ham bands lately. And the FCC has nowhere near the manpower or resources to monitor or crack down on this, these days. (When you were a teen, things were different.) Especially if these pirates are not being particularly malicious, but just illegally operating on the bands.
Is your perception different?March 5, 2009 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #888685
Joseph, I am not so active these days, so I can’t tell you for sure. I mainly now operate CW on Field Day, and it is great. It is possible that in general things have gotten less disciplined. It is true that the FCC can’t monitor all the ham bands 24/7.
When you have a family and a profession, and in the frum world there are always many other responsibilities, like shlepping kids to and frum school and shul and learning and getting ready for Shabbos, and so many other things, it becomes harder to find the time to relax and get on the radio.
The recent rescinding of the code requirement after all these years I believe was a mistake, and lowers the barrier to unwanted elements getting involved with the hobby. Also competition from internet and cell phones has hurt the numbers, as well. Manufacturers were complaining that they couldn’t sell enough equipment so they petitioned the FCC to reduce or remove the code requirement to get more people involved with the hobby. Eventually they gave in, but I think this was a mistake.
Hams must and do police their own ranks and not rely solely on the FCC.
Maybe this is a good parnasa from someone to invent better anti-jamming technology that authenticates a user and distinguishes his signal from interfering signals.
Believe it or not, other countries would like to jam our GPS system in time of war so the many military functions that rely on precise aiming and positioning won’t work. The gov’t is investing a lot into anti-jamming systems now.March 8, 2009 2:30 am at 2:30 am #888686
Joseph, Still need to clear up some questions here. As you know, majority of hams are not yidden. In older threads you have come out very strongly against socializing in any way with these types of people. How do you reconcile this with the hobby.
As I mentioned in one of those threads, Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi was extremely close with the Roman ruler Antoninus. So much so that when he passed away, he cried and said nispardah hachavilah, the bundle has broken.
When I was younger, although I went to Orthodox schools, occasionally I met non-Jewish boys my age, who were extremely respectful, and we even built some projects together at each other homes. The parents of one would always get kosher ice-cream in plastic utensils for me.
Once I met a retired fellow who invited me and my family to come up to his home in New Hampshire any time we happened to be in the area, and once we did go to New England, and we took him up on it, and he and his wife welcomed my parents and myself and my siblings to his home on a lake and we had a nice visit.
More recently, A major officer of the club I belonged to who was a non-frum Jew passed away. He always conducted classes and organized meetings and was one of the best-known people in the club. I went to the funeral, and one of the speakers was a non-Jewish officer of the club, who is an extremely sharp-looking professional, and one of the major regional directors of ARRL, and was very close with this Jewish fellow, and he cried the whole time, they were so close. I thought, wow, this is the total opposite of anti-semitism, such warmth from a non-Jew towards a Jew. I was astounded.
Note that I believe if one is involved in yiddishkeit because he enjoys it, even non-Jewish friends will not cause him to go off the derech. I didn’t. However, if it is forced down one’s throat, and everything the child wants to do he is told no, then he may go off the derech to rebel. Yiddishkeit should be a happy and healthy experience which is not threatened by meeting other people.
But anyway, given your hashkafas, I am curious how you reconcile this hobby with your philosophy. If you are a baal teshuva, who was involved before you were frum, have you totally repudiated the hobby now?
On another topic, just wanted to clarify that when I received that citation for being out-of band, I had been out of the Novice area by only 1 KHz, and was probably due to the mechanical dial misreading the true freq (they used to be connected by string and pulleys from the knob to the tuning capacitor, something I learned from building kits, before electronic digital displays became widespread). Still, the FCC picked up on that.March 8, 2009 3:32 am at 3:32 am #888687moish01Member
mod – you read that and posted it ALL within 50 seconds?? why do i find that hard to believe??
I read really really fast…
Moderator-55March 8, 2009 3:39 am at 3:39 am #888688
Pahuteh, You haven’t said much that I disagree with here. You are making presumptions on my part based on an incorrect basis.March 8, 2009 4:04 am at 4:04 am #888689
Joseph, I believe it was you, but I could be wrong, who in one of the geirus threads during the summer, was very against a ger socializing even with former family members, where there is strong reason to do so because of causing ill-feelings and a possible chilil hashem that people will say Jews do not respect their parents, etc.
I am trying to figure out how that would fit in with this hobby, where you are pretty much bound to speak to non-Jews, unless you had a small nucleus of Jewish hams you associated with or were members of an emergency team like ARES, where it was not for the friendhsip, but was more like a Hatzalah organization.March 8, 2009 4:49 am at 4:49 am #888690
Pashuteh, Don’t know if it was my comment in the geirus thread, but how a ger particularly interacts with his former family is a specifically discussed halachic matter.March 8, 2009 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #888691JotharMember
Joseph, you are being very vague here without answering his question. Is this:
1. something that you are noheig lehakeil based on a specific psak, or understanding why it’s ok, or
2. something that you are noheig lehakeil because, like a smoker, it’s something you can’t give up, even though you intellectually know it’s something you should?
I understand either way.March 8, 2009 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #888692
noheig lehakeil to blow my nose with kleenex rather than puffs.March 9, 2009 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #888693JotharMember
Joseph, based on what? As far as I know, tissue-asam hayisa lanetzach requires a tissue that lasts forever, and Puffs tend to be stronger than Kleenex.March 11, 2009 1:00 am at 1:00 am #888694chaimssParticipant
Getting back on topic… I was licensed on the eve of September 11, 02, when I was in 8th Grade. I was fairly active on my local machine, never missing a net, until I went to Yeshiva. I still have my HT with me, but I rarely find time to get on any machine there. When I iy”H get a car I plan on getting a mag mount so I can hit my home repeater(2m/70cm) from there.
Are you in the NYC area? I’d love to attend a field day, but all the ones I’ve heard of are on Shabbos.March 11, 2009 3:41 am at 3:41 am #888695
Chaim, Field Days are chok vlo yaavor always on the last full weekend in June, azoy shtait in ARRL rules. (Probably because they are the longest days of the year in terms of daylight hours.) The rules are that from 2 pm EDT Friday till 2 pm Sat they set up the stations. From 2 pm Sat until 2 pm Sun they operate. I usually go Motzaei Shabbos and/or Sunday morning until the end. This is the same everywhere in the country and in the world (except for time zone differences).
I used a mag mount for a while, but haven’t been on a repeater for a number of years now. At Field Day I usually operate CW (morse code), but I think there is some activity on 2 meters/70 cm at my club. But I am not sure if it is official Field Day contesting that counts towards the score. I have been to a number of clubs in different locations, and they will probably be glad to let you operate for a while, even as a guest. You may want to give them membership dues when you are there, if you plan on being active in that club and using their repeaters regularly.March 12, 2009 4:46 am at 4:46 am #888696chaimssParticipant
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to go, but my local club (to which I belong) only really did anything on Shabbos, not so much on Sunday. This year may be different I’m hoping, since we’re actually in a danger zone, and I’m really going to try to go.
Do you know any other Frum hams from your area? I have a really, really funny story, but it’s too late to post now.March 12, 2009 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #888697
Chaimss, I do know some frum hams in my area, but most of us aren’t that active these days. At field day it used to be that we would get 5-6 frum hams, but now sometimes I am the only one. The rest of the year, I myself have not been too active. Things are just too hectic at this point.March 13, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am #888698
Amateur radio club losing its Hall of Science signal
BY Clare Trapasso
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Thursday, March 12th 2009, 10:44 AM
AN AMATEUR radio club that has been doing volunteer demonstrations at the New York Hall of Science for more than 35 years may soon be in search of a new home.
The Corona museum is undergoing extensive renovations and no longer has enough space to host the club, museum officials said.
Though nothing has been finalized, the club has been talking to other museums about finding a permanent home.
“It looks pretty likely to me that we’ll leave the museum by the end of June,” said New York Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club President Tom Tumino.
His group started an online petition in December to protest the move. It has garnered more than 1,300 signatures to date.
“We’re 96 volunteers who paid and volunteered their time to maintain an exhibit,” Tumino said. “I can’t imagine why the museum would ever want us to leave.”
Robert Logan, the museum’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, said the decision was just a matter of logistics.
“We have maxed out our space,” he said. “The time has come to move into the space with exhibits that draw more people and involve more of our visitors.”
On weekends, volunteers teach visitors how amateur radio works before putting them on the air. Sometimes they’re able to contact ham radio users from around the world.
The club was asked last year to take its antennas down from the Great Hall, now closed for renovations. After club members complied, they were told not to put new ones up. This effectively shut the club down.
Allen Pitts, a spokesman for the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio based in Newington, Conn., said the biggest losers are the museum’s visitors.
“The kids will have lost being exposed to the opportunity that amateur radio presents,” Pitts said.
“This is where kids can get hands-on learning. This is where engineers come from.”
Tumino, who was first exposed to amateur radio at the Hall of Science as a child, agreed.
“When I put a kid in a seat in front of the radio and he turns the dial and tries to make a contact, I don’t know if the Central African Republic will come back to him or Germany or Japan or Kansas,” Tumino said.
“That’s what makes it so exciting. And that could be lost.”March 15, 2009 3:29 am at 3:29 am #888700BogenParticipant
Maybe one of you guys can answer some questions?
What does a repeater do? Is it to extend the range of the radio signal? Because I thought you could communicated across the globe even without a repeater.
What do these terms refer to? HT, CW, mag mount, HF bands, QRP, net.
Do mosts licensees participate in social gatherings like field day, or just use their transceiver from the privacy of their place? What do you do at field day different than at home? What are clubs?
Do people use morse code manually or with a computer/software? Why are you against dropping the morse code requirement? Doesn’t that make it easier for new people to join? What usefulness does morse have these days? Who gives the tests these days? How hard are they? What are you tested on? How much harder is an Extra or General license as opposed to a Novice?
Is it possible to get one transceiver for all frequencies and all available ham areas? What kinds of antennas do you need to put on the outside of your home? How much would a new user expect in cost to get setup? Are handheld units powerful?
Thanks!March 15, 2009 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #888701
Bogen, good questions.
A repeater extends the range of weak portable stations. Ham radio is in a sense divided into two ranges, The HF (high freq) bands (160-10 meters) can go very far. They can do this because these frequencies tend to bound off the earth’s atmosphere. Therefore like a giant mirror in the sky, your signal can bend around the earth to the other side. In addition, usually these transceivers are very powerful and bulky and use a lot of power and big roof-mounted antennas (but do not have to). They also have a very short wave radio-like sound with a lot of static and crackle, etc., and different people may be on same freq which causes one to drown out the other.
There are also the VHF (very high freq) bands which are 2 meters and 70 cm and above (remember that the smaller the wavelength the higher the freq.) These bands are mainly line of sight which limits to about 50 miles max with the best antenna, but if there are buildings or obstructions, then much less than that. In addition, they are usually used for portable walkie-talkie (HT=handy talkie) sized devices which are weaker, and have small antennas. The method of modulation for these is usually FM which is much clearer and without static. In addition, instead of a continuous freq dial, there are usually well-defined slots (like channels) which prevents people from getting on top of each other. Practically, about 2-3 miles I believe is the best you can do directly (simplex) with most of these portable units. In a car, where the roof blocks the signal from getting out, it can be less.
For this reason many clubs sponsor repeaters which are very powerful stations mounted on tall buildings that rebroadcast whatever they hear. This allows many people in cars to be able to speak to each other. They rotate if there are more than a few people at one time. The range is now about 30 miles. A mag mount is an externally mounted magnetic mount for your car to allow the signal to get out of the car better. (Listeners on the repeater sometimes get annoyed of someone is weak and breaking up and 25 other people can’t hear what he is saying.)
While some transcievers can cover both of these ranges, they are not that common, and generally you would be sacrificing the portability you want on the high bands. (Remember, before cell phones, hams were happily talking away with each other on the road when it was only a pipe dream for everybody else. There were also no laws then about not talking while driving. The good old days.)
Will answer the rest of your questions shortly. Need to take care of something now.March 15, 2009 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #888702
Bogen, now for some more of your questions.
CW means Morse Code. It stands for continuous wave. For speech (or TV or Fax which some hams also do) one needs to modulate a radio signal, meaning to change it in accordance with the message that is being sent. The radio signal gets louder or stronger with the speech (AM), or changes its freq with the speech (FM). This requires more complicated equipment at the transmitting and receiving end. For morse code, a simple, single, steady radio signal simply needs to be turned on and off to make dots and dashes. This requires much less elaborate equipment and less power. In addition, it can be often be deciphered in the middle of static, as it stands out better.
Probably for this reason, and also for historical reasons (the mesorah of radio which began with Marconi and others in the days of telegraphy before speech was ever transmitted) it was always mandatory for hams to know code. In an emergency, one may be able to use it when nothing else is available. (On a ship, even a simple flashlight will do to send an emergency msg to another ship, if power fails.)
This sort of made ham radio an exclusive club that only those who really wanted to join would put in the time to learn and get tested on code along with the written exam. There used to be 5 levels:
Novice and Technician: 5 WPM (words per minute)
General and Advanced: 13 WPM
Amateur Extra: 20 WPM
The written tests were different for each license as well. The higher the license, the more priviliges. More bands and modes. For instance back then, Novices were only allowed to use CW, and only on a few segments of the ham bands. They could not use voice anywhere in the ham bands, and had to upgrade after 2 years (because Novice license was nonrenewable). They also had an N as the second letter of their call sign to identify them, i.e., WN2XYZ.
You used to get tested by the FCC at their office. They would give the written test in a classroom, and then transmit a 5 minute piece of text and you had to copy 1 minute straight out of that.
Later, the FCC authorized ham clubs to give the tests, and I think the code test became multiple choice at one point, which made it easier.
But the FCC probably bowed to pressure from equipment manufacturers who wanted to get more customers, and they lowered the code requirement to 5 wpm for all classes. Then, about 2 years ago, they did away with the code requirement altogether. This for many is apikursis, a complete break with mesoras avoseinu. It is like interleague play in baseball or the DH rule. But there is an int’l rules body called ITU which is above the FCC, and they gave permission to countries to do away with the requirement, and the FCC decided to do so. Many people still love the code, and use it regularly, altz minhag avoseinu byadeinu. Some use regular telegraph keys, others use electronic keyers which make dots and dashes, and others (the supremely lazy) just type on keyboard and computer generates symbols. (At receiving end most people copy themselves, but computer copying software is available, I believe. This is like reform or reconstructionist branches. Just kidding.)
A net is usually a group of hams who get on a particular freq at a prearranged time for some regular purpose. There are emergency traffic nets, and swap and shops, and code practice groups, and news and info nets, etc.
QRP means lower power. Some hams like to try to get around the world with 5 watts or less, although they may use up to 1000. There is an entire chart of about 40-50 Q signals which are abbreviations that hams use. Aside from abbreviating regular english words which is often done, Q signals abbreviate entire sentences. QRT means stop transmitting, QSO means to make contact with someone. QSL means to confirm receipt (usually with a mailed postcard). QRZ means who is calling me, etc. They were also part of the written tests, I believe.
As far as equipment, there is a wide range in price. If you want simple and used, you can probably get for a few hundred. Antennas also vary widely. There are simple wire omnidirectional setups you can build yourself, or very complicated beam antennas that require a rotor and tower to aim towards a particular direction which concentrate all the power in that one direction, thus giving a strong boost to your signal. There are also amplifiers which take the normal 100-150 watts a transceiver will put out, and boost it to 1000 watts. (These monsters use a lot of electricity, needless to say, and probably big vacuum tubes, as in old radios.) Many hams have an entire room filled with equipment, not just a transceiver. (Hams love gadgets.) You can save money if you are good with your hands and like building things, but you must be careful, as this kind of voltage is dangerous.
Field day is only once a year, so most people do most of their operating from home. There are also other contests which you can do from home, as well, during the year. The halachos of field day are that no power lines can be used, only from generators.
In general contesting is different than regular contacts, because you just exchange a location and some other short info according to the rules of that contest, and then go on to someone else to get more points. Normally, you might speak to someone for a long time without time pressure.
There are clubs that have regular meetings about once a month, in addition to various hamfests and outings and field day where people get together. But most of the time you operate from your home or car.
It is worthwhile to get some intro books on ham radio. Many libraries may have some, and you can look on ARRL site for much info and the names of books. I think they have some videos you can watch about the hobby. The best thing is to find a rebbe (called an Elmer for some reason) who has been a ham for a while and will guide a talmid through the process. If you find a club near you (from the ARRL site or from a list published in their magazine, QST), they will be happy to find you someone local. There may be regular classes offered by a club near you, although you are free to study on your own. You can probably call the ARRL in Newington, CT and they would look up which clubs are near your location, and may even be able to refer you to an individual whom you could visit and see his station. Most are extremely friendly, and love showing their station to people. For many people this hobby is their entire life. They think about nothing else 24/7. I was like this when I was a kid.March 16, 2009 1:08 am at 1:08 am #888704
The ARRL web site for beginners is Hello-Radio.March 16, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #888706ZachKessinMember
If you local club tends to meet on Saturday maybe send an email to their list asking them to meet on a sunday once in a while and explain why. I have found in general a polite email on this kind of thing can do wonders.March 16, 2009 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #888707
Mods: If you will allow this, in response to an earlier question, a knowledgeable friend of mine emailed me the following info on where to buy ham equipment in the NY/NJ/CT area. I just copied his email, and these are his recommendations, only.
“As far as ham radio stores, the best way is to go mail order, Lentini Communications in CT is a reliable source, my dad used to always order from them, the owners name is Alex, also KJI Electronics in Cedar Grove NJ is excellent, they all have good prices. I know there was a store that opened on LI that sold or could order Yaesu radios, not sure if they are still around though. Barry electronics is still in NY city, but they charge full list price, the best prices are all mail order. I would try KJI or Lentini Communication or AES-amateur radio supply, or HRO-ham radio outlet. Also look on eham.net and qrz.com they both have classifieds sections. I have done well with them selling radios.”March 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am #888708BogenParticipant
Pashuteh Yid, much thanks.
Can I reliably get used equipment on eBay? Did a lot of people become licensed since the morse requirement was dropped? Is most communications over the air voice or morse code? And are the airwaves male dominated?
And what are you tested on these days? Also, how is the test different for the various classes?March 17, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm #888709
Bogen, I never ordered any ham equipment via ebay, but I have heard of scientists that have bought lab equipment, so I guess it can be reliable sometimes. It probably all depends on the honesty of the seller. I have bought used equipment at an in-person hamfest, and it always worked perfectly. If it is from a club regular, he will especially not want to ruin his reputation with other members of the club.
I don’t know the current stats on numbers of hams. You can probably get them on the web. A good place is the ARRL regular site and the beginners site hello-radio. They have sample test questions and a wealth of other info. You may communicate either way, by voice or code. I don’t know the stats, but I believe voice must predominate these days. There are license study guides and review books and sites. The test is progressively harder for the higher classes.
In the past, most hams were men. I don’t know the current stats, but you can probably look them up online. I will see if I can find that info.
One interesting thing is that if you buy a fancy antenna, and need help assembling and climbing on towers, club members love doing this and will not charge. You will probably get a whole crew of volunteers and you only need to serve them a good meal.March 18, 2009 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #888710charlie brownMember
charlie? we want to know if you’re a ham. Over.
Posted 1 week ago #
sorry for not responding sooner but this was my first visit to this thread. Which kinda gives away the fact that no, I’m not a ham. Over.June 15, 2009 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #888711
For anybody who is interested: Field Day 2009 haba aleinu v’al kol yisroel l’tovah will IYH take place June 27-28. Anybody interested in seeing amateur radio in action should look up on the ARRL web site the location of the ham clubs nearest you, and go down to one of the many Field Day sites all around the USA. (Note that the larger clubs will be more well-organized, so you may want to contact the club in advance to see what they are planning.)
The sefarim hakedoshim say that the way one operates on Field Day, will set the tone for how he is zocheh to operate the entire year.June 15, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #888712I can only tryMember
If PCs can get computer viruses, can Ham Radio catch the swine flu?
(I’d better not say things like that with too much frequency, but rather channel my creative efforts elsewhere)
<gong><gong>June 25, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #888713
Last Reminder: Field Day 2009 is this weekend June 26-28. Setup begins on Friday 2 pm, and operation begins Sat 2 pm. If you want to learn how to set up a station, you can go for an hour on Erev Shabbos to watch. They will be putting up towers and running wires and generators all over. They have 24 hours max to get everything going. Then You can go motzaei shabbos (even in the middle of the night like Shavuos, lhavdil) or Sunday until 2 pm, to watch the stations operate in the contest. Big clubs will welcome visitors and have booths and refreshments with all kinds of interesting stuff.
You can find a club near you by checking the American Radio Relay League web site or calling them (probably better, as they can give you info on best clubs for visitors in your area).
This is a big kiruv event in ham radio. (I do not think there will be Carlebach songs, though, but you can always try.)November 14, 2010 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #888714danielbaralMember
If you are ever traveling through Baltimore, would be happy to show you my station…W3DCBJuly 30, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #888715Kosher HamMember
Does anyone know if the net “Mesivta D’Rakia” is still going on? What day, time, and frequency, if so?July 30, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #888716ZeesKiteParticipant
I hear their inventing some sort of modern equipment that will translate these signals into Morse code for telegraphy.July 31, 2012 4:20 am at 4:20 am #888717Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
This is so funny that this thread came up just when I am studying to get my license.July 31, 2012 4:25 am at 4:25 am #888718
Why are you getting a license?July 31, 2012 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #888719ZeesKiteParticipant
I forgot. After translating the signals into Morse code, the device then turns them into smoke signals.July 31, 2012 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #888720Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
I am getting a license because I believe in the value of having a means of communication other than cell phones and email. Chas V’shalom if for any reason those systems went down, or were overwhelmed (ala 9/11) most people would be without any forms of communication. Power outages too. Most cordless phones run off of electrical service, not the phone line like the old phones (does anyone even have those anymore?). Ham radio gives you the ability to communicate over short and long distances. And its almost for free (the study books do cost a bit)the exam is free, and you dont even need the books anymore. You can download and memorize the question pool. So that’s why I’m getting a license.July 31, 2012 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #888721
Get an old (non-AC powered) phone.
Or get a pigeon carrier.July 31, 2012 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #888722
Ctrl Alt Del – But who would you talk to? Very few people here in the CR are Hams. Does your family and friends have them? The Gov. doesn’t use Ham frequencies to alert people in emergencies. They use news outlets (Eg. Radio, TV, internet). If these are down -the cops go around with loud speakers to give anouncements.
If you don’t want to wait till they come to your neighbohood for the anouncement, buy a hand-held scanner. You’ll know what the emergency services are doing at the same time they find out what they’re doing. And the equip is a lot cheaper than Ham equip.
If you must have a talking option, consider FRS radios or CB radios, if the other party is not too far away, which are also cheaper than Ham equip.July 31, 2012 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #888723
choppy -“Get an old (non-AC powered) phone.”
Phone lines can go down too. If it’s a widespread electrical outage, most likely there isn’t phone service either. The phone company uses a small amt. of electricity to run their lines.July 31, 2012 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #888724
Health: Phone lines get their power from the phone company, not directly from the buildings electric company. And in all power outages I’ve had, the phones continued working. Including the big outages that cut electric power to the entire city and region. The phone continued working.July 31, 2012 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #888725
choppy -“Health: Phone lines get their power from the phone company, not directly from the buildings electric company. And in all power outages I’ve had, the phones continued working. Including the big outages that cut electric power to the entire city and region. The phone continued working.”
And where did I say differently? If the electricity is cut to the main phone station relay area, then you’ll lose phone service.
Btw, just like you don’t usually lose phone service, you don’t lose cell service. The phone company supplies it’s own power to the cell towers.October 20, 2021 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #2019156ujmParticipant
Has anyone gotten QSL cards lately?
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