• how to tune into ham radio?

    From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to All on Thursday, August 24, 2023 04:11:00
    Hi!
    I've never used ham radio before, but the ham radio scene seems quite cool. Does anyone have any recommendations for a radio to buy and how to tune into one?

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  • From Gamgee@VERT/PALANTIR to candycane on Thursday, August 24, 2023 07:20:00
    candycane wrote to All <=-

    Hi!
    I've never used ham radio before, but the ham radio scene seems
    quite cool. Does anyone have any recommendations for a radio to
    buy and how to tune into one?

    Ummmm, perhaps you should look into getting a license first...?



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  • From badweather@VERT/BTTMLSS to Gamgee on Thursday, August 24, 2023 12:18:00
    Tuning in, is different than operating - So I think their question was a
    valid one. But yes - if you want to transmit on amateur radio bands you'll
    need to be licensed by your country of origin. If you just want to listen,
    what you're going to be doing is what's called SWL (Shortwave Listening).

    If you tell us what you know about the hobby so far, then it'll be easier to give some next steps.

    73
    badweather (VA3BFW)

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  • From Weatherman@VERT/TLCBBS to candycane on Thursday, August 24, 2023 09:56:04
    Hi!
    I've never used ham radio before, but the ham radio scene seems quite cool. Does anyone have any recommendations for a radio to buy and how to tune into one?

    I think the best way to start is by listening. You can listen to local traffic on UHF/VHF scanners, analog will do, digital not needed. You can also try some of the scanner apps available for phones and tablets. Many of those will have the capability to listen in on local VHF and UHF repeaters.

    For worldwide listening, grab a fairly decent shortwave receive that has LSB/USB (Lower Side Band/Upper Side Band) and AM capability. You'll want to be able to listen to 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. 160 meter would be nice, but doubtful you'll find a portable SW receiver that would function satisfactorily there.

    Listen to the traffic, if you find that you'd like to be licensed to transmit, contact a local radio club and see if they offer any licensing classes.

    My wife got her ticket after studying for only three days. The Technician ticket is very easy to get. All you have to do is pass a 35 question multiple choice exam.

    Regards,
    -==*>Weatherman<*==-

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to candycane on Thursday, August 24, 2023 10:42:57
    Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to All on Thu Aug 24 2023 04:11 am

    I've never used ham radio before, but the ham radio scene seems quite cool. Does anyone have any recommendations for a radio to buy and how to tune into

    Like others suggested, maybe just find something to listen with, first. A nice handheld scanner (or even desktop) can be fun. Check for hamfests (read: overglorified radio-related swap meets) in your area. Talk to various old farts that have tables with radios. You can often find scanners at those for reasonably cheap (which is subjective). I was at a hamfest, saw a pristine looking Radio Shack PRO-89 scanner priced at $20, and immediately pulled out the money. Sometimes it's worth haggling, but sometimes it's just already a good deal.

    If you can just talk to some of those dudes about being interested in radio, someone might even just give you an old scanner they don't use.

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  • From fusion@VERT/CFBBS to candycane on Thursday, August 24, 2023 19:01:00
    On 24 Aug 2023, candycane said the following...

    I've never used ham radio before, but the ham radio scene seems quite cool. Does anyone have any recommendations for a radio to buy and how to tune into one?

    https://a.co/d/aIDrLCF

    learn to program it, like this tutorial:

    https://www.noji.com/hamradio/prog/Baofeng-UV-82-Programming-Guide.pdf

    but for a local repeater to you. you can probably find the repeaters with the repeaterbook app. look for a ham radio club that does a NET so you know when to listen.. it's really easy to coincidentally listen at all the wrong times and hear absolutely nothing!

    unfortunately without a ham radio license you aren't supposed to transmit, but at least you'll get an idea of what goes on on VHF (or UHF) .. if it isn't specifically written on their website, send an email to one of the ham radio clubs and ask when they do testing. you can pass the test studying less than a week i'd bet, using an android/iphone app. testing is either free or around $15.

    ( before anyone ELSE responds, refer to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsSO-NBSKUg )

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to badweather on Friday, August 25, 2023 08:57:00
    If you tell us what you know about the hobby so far, then it'll be
    easier to give some next steps.

    Oh sorry, rn I just want listen to it (SWL). I know there's a common radio
    band and thats it.

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to fusion on Friday, August 25, 2023 06:58:30
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: fusion to candycane on Thu Aug 24 2023 07:01 pm

    https://a.co/d/aIDrLCF

    I didn't click this yet, but if it's a link to a Baofeng UV-5R, I highly recommend anything BUT this :). Like maybe a Quansheng UV-K5 which can be had from Banggood for $25. It sounds and works sooooo much better.
    I also like the Baofeng UV-6R and the UV-82HP.

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  • From badweather@VERT/BTTMLSS to candycane on Friday, August 25, 2023 18:47:00
    One very easy way to get familiar with HF(Shortwave) bands is to tune in
    using a webSDR. I like using K3FEF's because he's in the eastern NA area like me, but you can hop on one anywhere, and you'll get an idea of programming
    and propagation from different areas.

    You can also pick up inexpensive USB SDR dongles on Amazon and get familiar with tuning across a huge range of spectrum.

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to badweather on Friday, August 25, 2023 20:05:00
    using a webSDR. I like using K3FEF's because he's in the eastern NA area

    So thats what it's called..neat!
    Where/how would I find a list of channels?

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to badweather on Saturday, August 26, 2023 05:58:27
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: badweather to candycane on Fri Aug 25 2023 06:47 pm

    You can also pick up inexpensive USB SDR dongles on Amazon and get familiar with tuning across a huge range of spectrum.

    Good call! I don't know why I didn't mention SDR dongles. They do require a little more fiddling, though, and the stock antennas leave much to be desired. Seems like you could get more (use and satisfaction) out of an SDR dongle after you are familiar with the radio a bit more.

    Man, the price of them really has gone up. You used to be able to pick one up for $6-7 shipped. Now looks like if you go to eBay and search for RTL2832, then sort by price low to high, the cheapest one is about $13 shipped. Still worth it, but under $10 is nice :)

    Once you've got one of those, you can even map APRS use in your area. Automatic Packet Reporting System is often used by people in their vehicles to transmit their position coordinates. In the USA, usually the standard frequency for that is 144.390mhz where you will hear short bursts of modulated data. On Windblows I use Pinpoint APRS software. On OSuX, I use CubicSDR (or GQRX) and QTH.app.
    If you have a "digipeater" nearby, you could probably hear from all over your town and see people driving around on the map.

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to Phigan on Saturday, August 26, 2023 14:20:00
    Good call! I don't know why I didn't mention SDR dongles. They do require little more fiddling, though, and the stock antennas leave much to be desi Seems like you could get more (use and satisfaction) out of an SDR dongle you are familiar with the radio a bit more.

    Hmm... so should I go for a handheld or a SDR first?

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  • From fusion@VERT/CFBBS to Phigan on Saturday, August 26, 2023 17:07:00
    On 25 Aug 2023, Phigan said the following...

    I didn't click this yet, but if it's a link to a Baofeng UV-5R, I highly recommend anything BUT this :). Like maybe a Quansheng UV-K5 which can

    hah, i'm not that evil. it's a UV-82.

    recommend anything BUT this :). Like maybe a Quansheng UV-K5 which can

    yeah i've been wanting to check that one out. apparently the firmware was hacked so now there's all sorts of custom stuff that can be done with it. we'll see how long it's cheap once the manufacturer starts using the open source firmware as their own..

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to fusion on Saturday, August 26, 2023 18:19:00
    yeah i've been wanting to check that one out. apparently the firmware
    was hacked so now there's all sorts of custom stuff that can be done
    with it. we'll see ho w long it's cheap once the manufacturer starts
    using the open source firmware as their own..

    Oh, like what?

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to candycane on Sunday, August 27, 2023 01:53:14
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to Phigan on Sat Aug 26 2023 02:20 pm

    Hmm... so should I go for a handheld or a SDR first?

    Probably depends on how comfortable you are with fiddling :). If it's cheap enough, go for both! But IMO, you'll probably get more initial understanding with a scanner or handheld.

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to candycane on Sunday, August 27, 2023 01:55:13
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to fusion on Sat Aug 26 2023 06:19 pm

    Oh, like what?

    One of the custom firmwares adds a "spectrum analyzer" mode where it shows something like a waterfall of the frequencies above and below the currently tuned frequency. It's not very wide, but still a cool feature. Another custom firmware adds the game "snake" :).

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to Phigan on Sunday, August 27, 2023 12:12:00
    enough, go for both! But IMO, you'll probably get more initial understandi with a scanner or handheld.

    Yea, I looked at some SDR conference and was massively confused.

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to Phigan on Sunday, August 27, 2023 12:13:00
    One of the custom firmwares adds a "spectrum analyzer" mode where it shows something like a waterfall of the frequencies above and below the currentl tuned frequency. It's not very wide, but still a cool feature. Another cus

    Huh, I'd expect that to be a builtin feature.

    firmware adds the game "snake" :).

    But can it run DOOM?

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  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to candycane on Sunday, August 27, 2023 11:18:12
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to Phigan on Sun Aug 27 2023 12:13 pm

    Huh, I'd expect that to be a builtin feature.

    Well, you would be correct to expect it in the higher priced radios, but not in the $25 Chinese ones :).

    But can it run DOOM?

    We probably won't have too wait too long!

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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to Phigan on Sunday, August 27, 2023 18:28:00
    Well, you would be correct to expect it in the higher priced radios, but n the $25 Chinese ones :).

    Yea, that's pretty fair.

    But can it run DOOM?

    We probably won't have too wait too long!

    Can't wait! Always enjoy seeing DOOM in increasingly odd places.

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  • From Khronos@VERT/CWSHACK to candycane on Monday, August 28, 2023 07:58:32
    Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to All on Thu Aug 24 2023 04:11:00

    Hi,
    I don't know if this has been covered as I am far behind in reading messages, but if you want to see what is out there check out www.websdr.org.
    Read up on what portions of the bands are voice to get started.

    Tom

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  • From Digital Man@VERT to candycane on Monday, August 28, 2023 12:11:33
    Re: Re: how to tune into ham radio?
    By: candycane to Phigan on Sat Aug 26 2023 02:20 pm

    Good call! I don't know why I didn't mention SDR dongles. They do require little more fiddling, though, and the stock antennas leave much to be desi Seems like you could get more (use and satisfaction) out of an SDR dongle you are familiar with the radio a bit more.

    Hmm... so should I go for a handheld or a SDR first?

    The SDR dongles are fun and can receive *more* bands than a handheld (HT), but they can't transmit. So you don't need a license for the SDR dongle usage. SDR dongles are super cheap, so little risk to your investment.

    Handhelds are great for *chatting* with folks or listening to a lot of chatter (if you don't have a license), but only somewhat locally to you (VHF/UHF) or (and most often) using repeaters.

    So... both?
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  • From candycane@VERT/BTTMLSS to Digital Man on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 00:04:00
    The SDR dongles are fun and can receive *more* bands than a handheld (HT), hey can't transmit. So you don't need a license for the SDR dongle usage. ngles are super cheap, so little risk to your investment.

    Yeah, I looked at how to get a license and was very confused. I should
    probably listen in first. And I won't get in trouble with the FCC ^^

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