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Author Topic: What good is a Ham radio anyway???  (Read 27974 times)

richard2003

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2011, 07:59:31 PM »
I have had my ham license for almost 20 years. The thrill of talking to someone my radio to his is still with me.  And I have never done it in an RV but i will be soon.  i remember one time i was talking to a guy in Russia while driving my kids to a soccer game. How cool is that??
Being on the road you can get bored quickly but listening to and talking to other hams is a lot of fun.

Molaker

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2011, 08:18:03 PM »
I got my "nervous novice" license in 1954 or 1955 (can't remember for sure).  My Jr. High shop teacher was a HAM and he got several of us interested.  My call sign was KN0GSS.  But, in those days we didn't have a pot to pee in and I was unable to get or even build my own rig (it took more than $1 even back then).  I managed to get on the air only a few times using some friends rigs.  But, my interest soon morphed to girls and what money I could scratch up went elsewhere.  If I recall, the Novice license was only good for a year then you had to get a General.  I didn't bother.  Sometimes I think about wadding in again, but I still have too many other irons in the fire.  Oh well...
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

PancakeBill

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2011, 10:47:19 PM »
Ham radio is like any other pasttime.  Golf, tennis, fly fishing etc, it is for some, not fo others.  Not for others to decide for you.  I am not active right now, but itching to get back on the air, just need to save for a rig and antenna.  Have friends back in RI with my requests and budget. 

Mobile DX is a kick, many EU contacts over my years HF mobile.

Yes, novice back then was 1 year up or out.  My first license was 1964, I went out after a year, then went back about 15 years later, been licensed ever since.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

donandmax

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2011, 08:09:23 AM »
Ok, let me start out by saying I've had my ham license for 4 or 5 years now but I've never used it.   ???

Some background, for a while growing up I wanted to get my ham license, even bought an old Heath Kit receiver and got at least one confirmed station from Brazil or some other South American country.  I just never could learn code or more precisely, I never took the time to learn code. 

When I found out they dropped the code requirement a few years ago I decided, just as an experience, to take the test to see if I could pass. 

Well I did and got my license but I never had a real desire to cruise the airwaves so I just filed it under 'Things I've always wanted to do as a kid and now I have as an adult but never want to do it again'  meaning I was happy I finally had the license but I never really wanted to use it.

Now that I'm getting into RVing again, we had a class A when I was a kid, I've seen ham radio mentioned a few times in the forum so I'm asking, in all seriousness, what good is it??

Is it just mainly for the fun of chatting with people or is there a more useful aspect that would give me a reason to dust off the license and get a mobile rig.

Not that I'm putting down the chatting aspect but that's just not me  ;)

If I do decide to get a rig what should I go with as a basic system??

So many things so little money  ::

Bill

Oh you can always talk about the weather like most do on their really expensive rigs thats all I ever heard. So I decided I didnt need ham radio. Yea I know they do a lot of good in broadcasting disasters but so do the tv networks. But if ham radio rings your bell then by all means go fer it.
Edit: Fixed quote.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 06:52:12 PM by Tom »
Don and Maxine
1996 damon Intruder 33 ft class A
Amber the spoiled rotten Dachshund

PancakeBill

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2011, 08:23:08 AM »
What is the point of quoting a previous post and not commenting? 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

John From Detroit

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2011, 10:20:56 AM »
Another thing about Ham Radio.. It is so varied it's amazing. You can talk to others on many modes, AM-FM-SSB, D-Star and at least one other digital mode.

You can TYPE to each other RTTY, PSK-31, Olivia, MFSK, and again a host of others.

You can send PICTURES to each other.. I have two different software packages that do that using different formats.

You can share Data.

you Can work Sattellite,  Repeaters,  IRLP/Echo-Link, and more

How about standing in Las Vegas with a low power hand held chatting with a ham in Austrulia, half away round the World.. Done that. (IRLP)

Typing to a ham in Spain with only 30 watts power.. Done that too.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

donandmax

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2011, 10:25:16 AM »
What is the point of quoting a previous post and not commenting?
Read the bottom of the quote and the signature below that.
Don and Maxine
1996 damon Intruder 33 ft class A
Amber the spoiled rotten Dachshund

Jim Godward

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2011, 11:11:30 AM »
>>Now that I'm getting into RVing again, we had a class A when I was a kid, I've seen ham radio mentioned a few times in the forum so I'm asking, in all seriousness, what good is it??<<

Yes, there are fun aspects of the hobby but there is the serious side too.  Here we support the Search and Rescue people with auxiliary communications - we can communicate where the Law Enforcement and S&R radios do not work because we have additional knowledge and more versatile radios.  We provide supplemental weather information to the NOAA weather people in Billings or Great falls - Hams do this a lot in the mid west and east during tornado seasons.  Some of us provide emergency communications in the case of disasters, think Andrew, Katrina, the recent tornado's in the south and east.  There are groups of Hams that provide specialized emergency communication inside and between Hospitals during phone outages, earthquakes and other mass casualty incidents.  Check this URL for such group, the Hospital Disaster Support Communication system in Orange County CA
  http://www.hdscs.org/]http://www.hdscs.org/] http://www.hdscs.org/

On June 5, I will be part of a group of Hams that will provide emergency communications on a Marathon where no other communication service will work.  There are several other functions locally that will require the same type of support because of the terrain and distances, bike rides, iron man, etc.

The Rose Parade on New Years is supported by Hams for both parade coordination and emergencies, think people watching collapsing etc.  Next New Years, watch for people in white suits with radios in their hands although with the new radios it is harder to spot as they fit in pockets etc. 

There is a lot more to Ham radio that just talking about the weather, what radio you have or what new gadget you bought or made, there is real service too.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 11:13:40 AM by Jim Godward »
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

JayT

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2011, 04:00:19 PM »
Very well said Jim.

Quote
There are groups of Hams that provide specialized emergency communication inside and between Hospitals during phone outages, earthquakes and other mass casualty incidents.  Check this URL for such group, the Hospital Disaster Support Communication system in Orange County CA
  http://www.hdscs.org/]http://www.hdscs.org/] http://www.hdscs.org/

I am a former member of the HDSCS group in Orange County. My core hospital was Childrens Hospital of Orange County, where my wife works. I enjoyed my service to the group very much. I would like to say that being a ham operator is more than just talking endlessly about nothing, as Jim said we perform a service. We are not just radio guys, we make up the "Amateur Radio Service". We serve our country through our knowledge of communication equipment and our skill to communicate.

Become a ham operator, its not that hard. See web site below

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/

73s

Jay T
K6ruv
We have been RV'ing for 20 years and much tent camping prior to our first RV.
2008 Holiday Rambler Arista 33'
1983 CJ7 Jeep
Amateur radio operator call sign K6RUV
Home is Southern California in the Coachella Valley

Jim Godward

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2011, 05:53:13 PM »
Jay,

I don't recognize your call as I left the HDSCS in the spring of 2000.  I responded to Either Los Alamitos or Westminster Pulmonary care.  Moved to MT in 2000 and am pretty much out of things we are gone so much of the time in normal years.  Kind of stuck here for a few more months as I work through a back problem.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

JayT

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2011, 06:03:58 PM »
Jim,

I first met April when she came in to my store in 2002 and immediately signed up. I was active with her group for about 3 years then life changed and had to put it on hold. Now that it is back on my mind I will see if there is a chapter out here in Palm Springs.

73s

Jay T
K6ruv
We have been RV'ing for 20 years and much tent camping prior to our first RV.
2008 Holiday Rambler Arista 33'
1983 CJ7 Jeep
Amateur radio operator call sign K6RUV
Home is Southern California in the Coachella Valley

Jim Godward

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2011, 06:14:25 PM »
Jay,

I got into the group about 1978 or 80 through a couple of guys in the Anaheim radio club, Ted Kramer and Ralph Swanson.  I still keep in touch with Ralph when we visit my son in OC.  Not much contact with Ted after he lost his wife a few years ago but usually see him while in OC too.  I have had dinner with April and Joe when ever we are there too.  Long time ago now and a lot of great people in that group.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

JayT

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2011, 06:32:13 PM »
I hang out on the Catalina Repeater when I am in town, give me a shout when your in to visit your son. I also monitor it a lot from out here and usually make the repeater in the morning hours. The HF rig is not up but will be installed in the RV in a few months.

Jay T
We have been RV'ing for 20 years and much tent camping prior to our first RV.
2008 Holiday Rambler Arista 33'
1983 CJ7 Jeep
Amateur radio operator call sign K6RUV
Home is Southern California in the Coachella Valley

Tom

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2011, 06:54:06 PM »
Quote from: PancakeBill
What is the point of quoting a previous post and not commenting?

I fixed the quote Bill; The original had the reply/comment inside the quote.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Jim Godward

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2011, 09:30:39 PM »
>>Oh you can always talk about the weather like most do on their really expensive rigs thats all I ever heard. So I decided I didnt need ham radio. Yea I know they do a lot of good in broadcasting disasters but so do the tv networks. But if ham radio rings your bell then by all means go fer it.

The TV networks are interested is stories, not real communication to help aid people.  Occasionally they do and the overhead pictures can and do help but coorination of actual relief and transfer of patients is either done by the Law enforcement or some other fixed communication or Hams, most usually Hams.  The Salvation Army and Red Cross both use Hams for coordination of their services.  A look at the ARRL web site, arrl.org will give a better view of the public service performed by Ham volunteers.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2011, 11:19:12 PM »
Thanks Tom

Don Max, missed the extra sig in there...

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

VA6LM

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2014, 11:22:15 PM »
The day may come when you wish you had your license and a ham radio.
Be prepared!
Les M
2007 Winnebago Journey 34H
Edmonton Alberta Canada
Ham Radio VA6LM

NT5CC

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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2016, 02:05:25 PM »
Based on what you wrote I would recommend against bothering with Ham Radio.  Unless you are a back country camper or go where there is no cell signal you will get very little use from it.  Even then it would only be in an emergency situation.  Honestly, unless one is willing to spend the time and money to become an accomplished operator the chances of making emergency contacts is pretty slim anyway.  To be quite honest, our hobby and avocation really doesn't need any more people who really don't want to participate.

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: What good is a Ham radio anyway???
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2016, 12:02:14 PM »
Just starting back up.  Bought an Icom 706 Mkll-G.  Found a bargain on a High Sierra screwdriver antenna. but I think I need to replace the contact ring based on testing.

Planning on getting the RV set up just in time for the low end of the sunspot cycle it looks like.

What good is it?  As the prev post says, none of you don't actually want to really get into it.  You don't just buy a radio and an antenna and expect plug n' play.  However if you are really interested in radio and communications, it is a very rewarding hobby.  Meet many interesting, (some more interesting than expected), and learn lots of things (if you have that particular aptitude and interest), and it is something you can do into your dotage.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

 

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