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Hamming it up for fun and profit
August 1, 2006 9:34 AM   Subscribe

One might think that in today's world of cell phones, text messaging and the Internet, you shouldn't write off ham radio just yet. Not only can Morse code be faster than text messaging, but when when you need it most, you can still communicate with the world [PDF]. If you're lucky, and the conditions are right, you might be able to chat with operators hundred of miles away thanks to tropospheric ducting. There's more to ham radio than just the old chatter, though: you can use the ham radio bands to operate radio-controlled planes, send and receive TV [PDF] (sort of), wirelessly connect to networks, or talk with astronauts.
posted by Godbert (44 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Morse code be faster than text messaging

Not for this guy ...

Utah Teen Sets Text Messaging Record -- "The 18 year-old blitzed through 160-character message in 42.22 seconds"
posted by ericb at 9:42 AM on August 1, 2006


In other words, Godbert is calling CQ.
posted by drezdn at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2006


ericb, that's about on par with morse code records, which can go over 200 characters per minute.
posted by zsazsa at 9:54 AM on August 1, 2006


Ericb, that teen was the same guy they had on Leno a while back going up against Morse code ops, and he was roundly beaten.

If you have a look at

here

There are folks there who can copy Morse at 300 cpm and up.

The world record for sending is 375 cpm, sustained for 3 minutes:

here
posted by oats at 10:16 AM on August 1, 2006


CQ, CQ, DE KE6ZRH....
posted by nlindstrom at 10:20 AM on August 1, 2006


KE6ZRK, de KC2ONL
posted by Godbert at 10:30 AM on August 1, 2006


D'oh, I managed to miscopy your callsign. One more time:
KE6ZRH, de KC2ONL
posted by Godbert at 10:31 AM on August 1, 2006


-.-. --.- -.-. --.- -.. . -.- -... ..... .--- ...- --.. .- .-. -.-
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:37 AM on August 1, 2006


•• ••• / — •••• •• ••• / ••• ——— —— • — •••• •• —• ——• / •• / •—— ——— ••— •—•• —•• / —• • • —•• / •— / — • •—•• • ——• •—• •— •——• •••• / — ——— / ••— —• —•• • •—• ••• — •— —• —•• ••——••
posted by Zozo at 11:17 AM on August 1, 2006


.- .-.. .-.. / -.-- --- ..- .-. / -... .- ... . / .- .-. . / -... . .-.. --- -. --. / - --- / ..- ...
posted by Pastabagel at 11:18 AM on August 1, 2006


monju_bosatsu:

-. --- / - .... . / .. -. - . .-. -. . - / -- .- -.- . ... / .. - / . .- ... -.--
posted by Skorgu at 11:31 AM on August 1, 2006


err sorry, that was directed to Zozo not monju_bosatsu.
posted by Skorgu at 11:32 AM on August 1, 2006


.. - / .... . .-.. .--. ... / - --- / .... .- ...- . / - .... .. ... / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - --- .-.
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on August 1, 2006


yes, but how many of use carry a Ham radio in our pockets?

Faster is not more efficient in this case.
posted by Elim at 12:28 PM on August 1, 2006


yes, but how many of use carry a Ham radio in our pockets?

Actually you can.

KA8PFA/6
posted by birdsong at 1:05 PM on August 1, 2006


I know a Ham radio guy who, as recently as two years ago, was still able to pick up analog cell phone calls on his setup.
posted by Clay201 at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2006


. .-. .. -.-. -... / .--- .- ...- .- / ... ..- -.-. -.- ... / - .... .. ... / --- -. . / .. ... / -... . - - . .-.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:18 PM on August 1, 2006


.--. .- ... - .- -... .- --. . .-.. --..-- / -.-- --- ..- / .- .-. . / .- -... ... --- .-.. ..- - .-.. . -.-- / .-. .. --. .... - .-.-.- / - .... .- -. -.- ... / ..-. --- .-. / .--. --- .. -. - .. -. --. / - .... .. ... / --- -. . / --- ..- -
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on August 1, 2006


True but you still need to rely on a control operators and care and feeding of the software. when I can just call, from my phone anywhere, no training, no Licence "N0IOG" no big Rig no training on the other end to read.


Simplicity. Efficient easy and availible on the go...

none of that easily obtained with Ham.
posted by Elim at 1:23 PM on August 1, 2006


-.. --- - / -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... / -.. --- - / -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... / -.. .- ... .... / --. . - -... .- -.-. -.- - --- .-- --- .-. -.- -.-- --- ..- .-.. .- --.. -.-- --. --- .-.. -.. -... .-. .. -.-. -.- / -.. --- - / -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... / -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... / .. / -.-. --- ..- .-.. -.. / .-. . .- .-.. .-.. -.-- / --. --- / ..-. --- .-. / ... --- -- . / .--. .. . / -. --- .-- / -.. --- - / -.. .- ... .... / -.. --- - / -.. --- - / . .-.. .-.. .. .--. ... .. ... / . .-.. .-.. .. .--. ... .. ...
posted by Pastabagel at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2006



none of that easily obtained with Ham.
posted by Elim at 4:23 PM EST on August 1 [+] [!]


That's why the expression is "easy as pie". Duh.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2006



posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2006


I was enthusiastic about getting my amateur radio license in 1992, but after a few years of hearing old men talk about their aches and pains on the two meter band, it was enough. Hams are good people, but still ...
posted by elmwood at 1:32 PM on August 1, 2006


ericb -

It's on.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:42 PM on August 1, 2006



posted by Pastabagel at 1:51 PM on August 1, 2006


Yeah; I had a cow-orker *give* me an IC-2G/AT recently, and I put it on the repeater I grew up on around here, whilst thinking about un-lapsing.

3 days later, having heard nothing (and yes, FCC, I illegally kerchunked the repeater to see if it was still there), I shook my head in unhappy silence, and put it back in its box.

de KA1FJX/4
posted by baylink at 1:54 PM on August 1, 2006


Joe: Hello? Anyone out there? Anyone at all? I’m willing to talk to absolutely anyone!

Bob: Hi there Joe! I can kinda hear you… I’m in Toejam, WV, and I’ve got a 500 Series Bakelite rotary telephone, and the weather’s nice!

Joe: Oh, wow, hi Bob, one of the old 500 Series, eh? Those are nice old phones, I’ve got a brand new Verizon cell phone, and the weather’s pretty nice here too.

Bob: Well, great, nice talkin’ to you!

Joe: You too.

Joe: Anyone out there? Hello? Anyone?

[repeat nearly identical conversation several hundred times, win award for doing so]

de N2SXX, lapsed since 1992 (year of licensing).
posted by dmd at 2:02 PM on August 1, 2006


Pastabagel -- I ain't going anywhere near danger!

Matter of fact --


posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on August 1, 2006



posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on August 1, 2006




posted by Pastabagel at 2:19 PM on August 1, 2006


[repeat nearly identical conversation several hundred times, win award for doing so]

de N2SXX, lapsed since 1992 (year of licensing).
posted by dmd at 5:02 PM EST on August 1 [+] [!]


dmd, you need to have a little fun with it. Broadcast this in the dead of night :

"This is not a dream. We are using your brain's electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year two zero zero nine." (from prince of darkness)

or Make up something fun:

Does anyone see this? What is this? (static) so many trucks (static) doing with herds of the people (static) shooting my god they are shooting [click]
posted by Pastabagel at 2:33 PM on August 1, 2006


you need to have a little fun with it. Broadcast this in the dead of night

Or play loops from 'numbers stations' ala the Conet Project -- "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" [repeat].

Previosuly discussed here.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on August 1, 2006


*Previously*
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on August 1, 2006


ericb

are you my sock puppet? Am I yours?
posted by Pastabagel at 5:46 PM on August 1, 2006


are you my sock puppet? Am I yours?

I am no one's puppet!
posted by ericb at 6:22 PM on August 1, 2006


Mmmm...bagels....urmmph...I mean donuts.


posted by ericb at 6:24 PM on August 1, 2006


Text morse and semaphore graphics aside... it's sad to me that the golden years of ham radio are behind us. One of my old favourites - shortwave listening - is just about a lost art in the western world, and an important medium only to the folks in the 3rd world, til they get online.

I imagine it's hard to interest a kid with an X-Box and hispeed internet in a 3-transistor shortwave radio project (http://www.hamoperators.com/bars/regenproj.html). Pity, because my interest was really fired up by stuff like that.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:36 PM on August 1, 2006


Ok, to be serious, I think ham radio is very very cool. The problem actually is the licensing and regulation. They should just open it up to anyone.

And you might be able to fire up their interest by telling them that in 2009 after the broadcast networks switch to hdtv only, those old frequencies will be free of television, even though all those old tv's are still around. Thus, get a 6 meter amp and have some fun.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:01 PM on August 1, 2006


N9YKX, licensed through 2014?
posted by drezdn at 9:12 PM on August 1, 2006


.- .-.. .-.. / -.-- --- ..- .-. / -... .- ... . / .- .-. . / -... . .-.. --- -. --. / - --- / ..- ...
posted by Balisong at 9:41 PM on August 1, 2006


de KE7FYU.
posted by Charlie Bucket at 10:35 PM on August 1, 2006


Balisong:

-... . .- - / -.-- .- / - --- / .. - / ---... -.--.-
posted by Pastabagel at 7:57 AM on August 2, 2006


Don't be too quick to overlook the benefits of "just chatter." There's something very relaxing about a Saturday morning spent with one hand on the dial and one on the mike. Many hams schedule QSOs with friends for years, even decades - and because they're at a distance, they can be the best kind of friends!

-.. . .-- ----- .-. .... -..- .- .-. -.-
posted by Twang at 10:18 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel writes "Ok, to be serious, I think ham radio is very very cool. The problem actually is the licensing and regulation. They should just open it up to anyone."

Yes, that's what ham needs. To be more like CB. Besides which you don't even need to know code any more to get a basic license in the states. The barrier to entry isn't exactly high.
posted by Mitheral at 12:05 PM on August 8, 2006


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