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auntblabby
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14 May 2019, 10:44 pm

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?

bands lower than about 6 meters [depending on the maximum usable frequency which varies from day to day relative to solar activity], will allow you to use skip [ionospheric bounce] to chat with other people in other nations/continents. i understand, however, some countries such as Yemen and NK do not allow their citizens to use amateur radio or to communicate with outsiders in that manner at least.



mr_bigmouth_502
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14 May 2019, 11:05 pm

auntblabby wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?

bands lower than about 6 meters [depending on the maximum usable frequency which varies from day to day relative to solar activity], will allow you to use skip [ionospheric bounce] to chat with other people in other nations/continents. i understand, however, some countries such as Yemen and NK do not allow their citizens to use amateur radio or to communicate with outsiders in that manner at least.

It's pretty neat that you can do that. I wouldn't expect to be able to talk to anyone in North Korea. :P

Another question I have, can you send and receive digital data like computer files and webpages across the ham network?


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MrLucky
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15 May 2019, 10:53 pm

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?



Both, it depends on the frequencies you use. VHF/UHF is usually local and HF can go worldwide. Right now, I only have VHF/UHF equipment so I'm restricted to local for the most part. My Tech Plus license does give me very limited HF, especially 10 meters but I want to get my General Class first plus my economic situation forbids me getting HF equipment now.



MrLucky
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15 May 2019, 11:08 pm

auntblabby wrote:
MrLucky wrote:
Well, My Canadian contact is my record, excellent since I was running basically barefoot. ;) It was my only international contact. When I was in Pittsburgh, O could hit East Liverpool Ohio about 40 miles away using my HTX-202 and a two meter 5/8ths wave mobile antenna on a cookie sheet as ground plane. On good days, 1 watt was OK, but most of the time, 2.5 watts high power was better (using NiCads) or 4 if I use alkaline but with external power, I get 5 or 6 watts. I could also hit the middle of Westmorland County, PA about the same distance the other way. I was able to hit that repeater that where it was part of a chain of repeaters that went down to Washington DC and a little beyond. I remember chatting on the system and when one ham got off, another wanted to talk to me and I never got a break to go to the bathroom. I had to take my scanner to listen to take care of things when he got longwinded. ;) I'd like to try to get the ISS (space station) sometime. Well, I'm in a bowl here in the Ohio Valley close to the river so I'm lucky I can hit Wheeling, maybe Steubenville.

how high elevation were you on the mobile dx attempts? do you ever try to see how far you can receive DTV broadcasts or FM [broadcast] radio? using a portable [sony watchman] with its built-in telescoping antenna, [upon the roof, south of tacoma WA] i could get vancouver BC [CBUT-2] many days, and KVOS-TV12 [bellingham WA] most days. now and then i could pick up the lower channels of Portland OR. FM-wise, furthest west i could pick up a signal was ocean shores WA, about a 2-hour drive away. east is impossible due to blockage from the cascade mountain range. southwise, portland and medford OR were now and then receivable on the lower end of the FM dial. AM radio is easier to DX with, often i'd receive lower-end stations in san fran [KNBR-680] and now and then los angeles. canada was easier for some reason, vancouver was a most days thing. DTV is basically impossible without an expensive 100'+ tall mast and deep fringe array, very carefully aligned and focused. as it is, i have a 100' tall single deep fringe antenna aimed in between the various towers on cougar mountain, and downtown seattle. am barely able to, at about 50 miles distant [as the crow flies] pick up the stronger stations without serious digital drop-outs. KCTS-9 is the worst as its antenna is half the height of KOMO-4's antenna and also located BEHIND it AND its signal propagation is mostly north as well [most of the viewers with money are up north]. IOW a deep-fringe amplified channel master quad-4 array up 770 feet + 100 additional feet atop a tree, less than 50 miles distant, could often not get that [KCTS-9] station, just a purple screen. IMHO our DTV system is [in terms of signal propagation/reception] sub-par, and not robust. if you live more than an hour's drive outside a major metropolitan area, you prolly aren't getting much reception over-the-air. anyways, this all was at an elevation of about 700 feet above sea level.
btw, what kinda antenna is needed to talk to ISS? how much power needed?


Hmmm, I've done some TV DXing in Pittsburgh. I've received WRC-TV from Washington DC on channel 4 when WTAE-TV signed off for the night. That was 1988, using rabbit ears and a 1982 Zenith System 3 TV. I've also received the PBS station from Muncie, Indiana too one day. I was about 1160 feet up, my house was close to the top of a hill. We can also receive Wheeling, WV, Steubenville, OH, Youngstown, OH and Johnstown, PA. That was back in the days of analogue TV.

Where I am now, forget it. I'm in a valley, the Ohio River is just a few blocks from me due east. I've got mountains west and east of me so the Pittsburgh TV signals do go above my head. I just get two station, channel 7 from Wheeling and channel 9 from Steubenvile since I do get a good north/south shot. I can hit one repeater in Wheeling on 146.760. I'll have to try Steuenville on 147.060. I'd love to get a portable DTV so I can try to see what I can get when I drive out of the valley just for shats and giggles. DTV is a lot more tricky to DX, it CAN be down, but it is tougher. Either that or make a cable for a small 5 inch portable I have and take a DTV converter and antenna and run the thing off of my car's battery using my inverter.

AS to my Canadian contact, I was at the edge of the lake but there was a cliff where I was down that lead to the beach so I think the height helped me too.

Yemen and North Korea do not allow ham radio so those places are out. BTW, one thing I always wanted to try is to contact Cuba on 2 meters from Key West, that would be interesting.

BTW, I've been using the same 1982 Zenith since we bought it in 1983.



MrLucky
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15 May 2019, 11:11 pm

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?

bands lower than about 6 meters [depending on the maximum usable frequency which varies from day to day relative to solar activity], will allow you to use skip [ionospheric bounce] to chat with other people in other nations/continents. i understand, however, some countries such as Yemen and NK do not allow their citizens to use amateur radio or to communicate with outsiders in that manner at least.

It's pretty neat that you can do that. I wouldn't expect to be able to talk to anyone in North Korea. :P

Another question I have, can you send and receive digital data like computer files and webpages across the ham network?


I don't think that is doable because IIRC, you're limited to 1200 baud and that would take a long time to send webpages. I could be wrong though, I do need to study it more.



halfwave
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02 Jun 2019, 7:59 pm

MrLucky wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?

bands lower than about 6 meters [depending on the maximum usable frequency which varies from day to day relative to solar activity], will allow you to use skip [ionospheric bounce] to chat with other people in other nations/continents. i understand, however, some countries such as Yemen and NK do not allow their citizens to use amateur radio or to communicate with outsiders in that manner at least.

It's pretty neat that you can do that. I wouldn't expect to be able to talk to anyone in North Korea. :P

Another question I have, can you send and receive digital data like computer files and webpages across the ham network?


I don't think that is doable because IIRC, you're limited to 1200 baud and that would take a long time to send webpages. I could be wrong though, I do need to study it more.


Hi!
In theory, you could send any data on the network or on the radio. But the system can only be used for radio amateur purposes and for the transmission of related information. (in the IARU countries...)



MrLucky
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26 Jun 2019, 6:33 pm

halfwave wrote:
MrLucky wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I'd love to get my ham radio license. Can you talk to people around the world, or just other ham operators in your area?

bands lower than about 6 meters [depending on the maximum usable frequency which varies from day to day relative to solar activity], will allow you to use skip [ionospheric bounce] to chat with other people in other nations/continents. i understand, however, some countries such as Yemen and NK do not allow their citizens to use amateur radio or to communicate with outsiders in that manner at least.

It's pretty neat that you can do that. I wouldn't expect to be able to talk to anyone in North Korea. :P

Another question I have, can you send and receive digital data like computer files and webpages across the ham network?


I don't think that is doable because IIRC, you're limited to 1200 baud and that would take a long time to send webpages. I could be wrong though, I do need to study it more.


Hi!
In theory, you could send any data on the network or on the radio. But the system can only be used for radio amateur purposes and for the transmission of related information. (in the IARU countries...)


True, although at 1200 baud if the web page has pics and so forth, it will take a long time to send. I remember surfing the Internet at 2400 baud but that was over 20 years ago on a text based gateway. You can download pictures if you wish but you had to view them after downloading.



MrLucky
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18 Jul 2019, 1:58 pm

auntblabby wrote:
MrLucky wrote:
Well, My Canadian contact is my record, excellent since I was running basically barefoot. ;) It was my only international contact. When I was in Pittsburgh, O could hit East Liverpool Ohio about 40 miles away using my HTX-202 and a two meter 5/8ths wave mobile antenna on a cookie sheet as ground plane. On good days, 1 watt was OK, but most of the time, 2.5 watts high power was better (using NiCads) or 4 if I use alkaline but with external power, I get 5 or 6 watts. I could also hit the middle of Westmorland County, PA about the same distance the other way. I was able to hit that repeater that where it was part of a chain of repeaters that went down to Washington DC and a little beyond. I remember chatting on the system and when one ham got off, another wanted to talk to me and I never got a break to go to the bathroom. I had to take my scanner to listen to take care of things when he got longwinded. ;) I'd like to try to get the ISS (space station) sometime. Well, I'm in a bowl here in the Ohio Valley close to the river so I'm lucky I can hit Wheeling, maybe Steubenville.

how high elevation were you on the mobile dx attempts? do you ever try to see how far you can receive DTV broadcasts or FM [broadcast] radio? using a portable [sony watchman] with its built-in telescoping antenna, [upon the roof, south of tacoma WA] i could get vancouver BC [CBUT-2] many days, and KVOS-TV12 [bellingham WA] most days. now and then i could pick up the lower channels of Portland OR. FM-wise, furthest west i could pick up a signal was ocean shores WA, about a 2-hour drive away. east is impossible due to blockage from the cascade mountain range. southwise, portland and medford OR were now and then receivable on the lower end of the FM dial. AM radio is easier to DX with, often i'd receive lower-end stations in san fran [KNBR-680] and now and then los angeles. canada was easier for some reason, vancouver was a most days thing. DTV is basically impossible without an expensive 100'+ tall mast and deep fringe array, very carefully aligned and focused. as it is, i have a 100' tall single deep fringe antenna aimed in between the various towers on cougar mountain, and downtown seattle. am barely able to, at about 50 miles distant [as the crow flies] pick up the stronger stations without serious digital drop-outs. KCTS-9 is the worst as its antenna is half the height of KOMO-4's antenna and also located BEHIND it AND its signal propagation is mostly north as well [most of the viewers with money are up north]. IOW a deep-fringe amplified channel master quad-4 array up 770 feet + 100 additional feet atop a tree, less than 50 miles distant, could often not get that [KCTS-9] station, just a purple screen. IMHO our DTV system is [in terms of signal propagation/reception] sub-par, and not robust. if you live more than an hour's drive outside a major metropolitan area, you prolly aren't getting much reception over-the-air. anyways, this all was at an elevation of about 700 feet above sea level.
btw, what kinda antenna is needed to talk to ISS? how much power needed?


Well, at my old home near Pittsburgh, I was about 1160 feet up, close to the top of a hill so I had lots of clear shots. DTV DXing, it is more of a challenge because there is a threshold where you either get it or you don't. I haven't done much TV DXing now because, again, I live in a valley, 620 feet above sea level and the sides are at least 1000/1100 feet. In Pittsburgh, I lived west of the city and one station was always hard to get, Channel 4, WTAE-TV. ISS, well, the best is a directional antenna although people have done it using their standard rubber ducks.