Transcript 2

A event log for Getting Started in Ham Hack Chat

Time to get your ham on

dan-maloneyDan Maloney 06/08/2023 at 16:490 Comments

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:09 PM
@Norbert - in the US at least, there's a big chunk of the 6-meter band devoted to RC. Not sure if anyone uses that anymore though

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:09 PM
@Dan Maloney There are study apps in the google play store and iPhone store. You can get the actual questions and actual answers as flashcards.

Peabody1929Jun-7 12:09 PM
Is it " know CW (Morse Code) requirement" or "no CW (Morse Code) requirement"?

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:09 PM
Work a few a day.

xBeauJun-7 12:10 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel great question, HF can cover extremely long distances, so you generally won't be making contacts with anyone local, although that is a thing as well, if you do a search for repeater [your area] 6m or 10m you'll likely get some hits.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:10 PM
@Peabody1929 no CW requirement in the US -- unsure about others.

virgil.machineJun-7 12:10 PM
Technician has privileges' on 10M and 6M, and you can do moon bounce, satellite, space station and other neat stuff--not as limited as many make it out to be

rezsikderspam joined  the room.Jun-7 12:10 PM

Norbert HeinzJun-7 12:11 PM
Morse code should work for robot control as well in case it is not allowed here in Germany.

Dan KB6NUJun-7 12:11 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel Just listen! If you don't already have an HF receiver, a software-defined receiver (SDR), like the SDRplay, is an inexpensive investment.

rezsikderspamJun-7 12:11 PM
Yeah guys I really don't have experience with hacking or anything but i do have the passwords of my cheating ex insta/snap/gmail/facebook and private pics/vids and she doesn't know that I have the passwords.

And no im not going to try to ruin her life or anything because it's still someone i once loved. I was wondering if anyone who knows about this kind of stuff would be interested about talking with me what kind of harmless pranks can be pulled with having access to her accounts

So if anyone wants to have a lil chat about it msg me, ill be happy to talk.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:11 PM
@hspil I was excited from a young age. I think I got my license when I was 15 or 16 (last century). This was before cell phones and my buddy and I could talk to each other. I also built all sorts of stuff -- inductors, capacitors, antennas. And got old gear at a yard sale. My poor parents had a giant Yagi and rotator mounted to their chimney.

fidJun-7 12:12 PM
I was surprised by how much a technician is allowed to do in the US.

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:12 PM
Wrong place for that @rezsikderspam. Take it elsewhere

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:12 PM
@xBeau Thanks! I stand corrected. I meant to say... how do I find; that in my locality, what frequency is active, and people are making contacts on?

xBeauJun-7 12:12 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel for "DX" long distance contacts, there's a cool thing called WSPR which gives you a lot of propagation info and idea of where you can get signals to and from on different bands. Beyond that it's learning how to read and follow space weather for more day to day variations and conditions.

xBeauJun-7 12:12 PM
I also like using WSPR reports

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:13 PM
And... he's gone

BigDanJun-7 12:13 PM
Kaushlesh, have a look at, that's how I found my local repeaters. Now I listen with an SDR

xBeauJun-7 12:13 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel I find the most active sources are generally club nets conducted on VHF & UHF frequencies, is there a particular band or type of communication that you want to focus on. It sounds like talking to people in your area?

GregK joined  the room.Jun-7 12:13 PM

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:13 PM
Another great resources is RadioReference -- you can load all the frequencies of interest right into your scanner or radio. Makes using the radio so much faster.

GregKJun-7 12:14 PM
Can I get started with just an SDR?

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:14 PM
Shameless plug for my "$50 Ham" series:

KevinJun-7 12:15 PM
I wasn't active for a few years. I find the 2m band here in southern Ontario, Canada seems mostly dead lately. I think the repeaters may have changed to digital operation which makes my 2m/70cm equipment obsolete.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:15 PM
@Norbert Heinz I wouldn't necessarily use CW for robot control. There are plenty of digital modes with much higher data bandwidth. CW is limited to around 20 WPM, Even slow data is 1200 Baud -- which is many times that number.

Jan WeberJun-7 12:15 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel There is a designated calling frequency for each band where you can expect some activity

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:15 PM
@xBeau I am preparing for my General. But I want to start listening to HF bands. But don't know where to start? 6M, 10M? I just sit, and keep turning the VFO, till i hear something..

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:16 PM
@GregK SDRs are a great place to start! But they're usually receive only (until you start paying for more expensive SDRs). You don't need a license to receive. Just buy it, plug it in, and go!

scubabearJun-7 12:16 PM
I'm Alan KM6AXY. I studied like @Dan Maloney and took the tests at the Ham Radio Swap Meet in Redondo Beach three months in a row. I got licensed up to Extra, but I've never set up a radio or transmitted. I listen in on the PAPA system but I haven't tried to join the conversations. Part of it is I don't know the etiquette and the other part is I don't know what I have to talk about.

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:16 PM
For HF I prefer 40M or 75M

KevinJun-7 12:16 PM
FYI, there are no code requirements in Canada. Knowing the code is still useful. I remember one day listening to someone trying to access the autopatch on a local repeater. They kept getting a response of dah di di dit dah dah di dit. They didn't seem to know morse code so they didn't know they were being told the autopatch was busy.

vincent.e.levequeJun-7 12:16 PM
KD9VFU - this site will tell you which bands are open -

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:17 PM
@vincent.e.leveque Thats sweet! Thanks.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:17 PM
@Kevin Yeah -- 2m isn't as active as it used to be. But you can link repeaters around the world -- talk through your local repeater to, say-- germany :)

xBeauJun-7 12:17 PM
@hspil as far as sparks, I was initially intrigued by the idea of APRS, which is a digital packet system data for sending location and small amounts of information. This was before GPS was really common or any other means of directly communicating over the are was common.

I ended up focusing more on earlier cell phones (NOKIA) with BlueTooth enable GPS and building on my system for experimentation.

Later I had the opportunity to do a free testing session at toorcamp 2018 and passed the tech test. It was then some years before I figured out what to do with it. And during the lock down I found it a fantastic way to "meet" new people with the built in effect of safe social distancing...

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:17 PM
I feel like I won't be a "real ham" until I learn Morse and actually use it for a QSO

Peabody1929Jun-7 12:17 PM
Technical Question: I have a Kenwood TS-520. Bought it new. Has not been turned on in 35 years. Should I do special maintainence before I plug it in and turn it on? Capacitors?

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:17 PM
CW has always been my go to mode.

wyohamJun-7 12:17 PM
VOACAP is a handy tool for propagation as well.

xBeauJun-7 12:18 PM
my obsession as of late has been BALLOONS, I started chasing weather balloons and now and spending some more time launch High Altitude Balloons (HAB) as well. for some of the more recent advenctures.

Norbert HeinzJun-7 12:18 PM
@Mark J Hughes Currently I only know that ham radio exists and the closest I have been to a device is the huge antenna I remember from my childhood days on my neighbor's lawn. trigger something in me ;-)

wyohamJun-7 12:18 PM
Peabody1929 - I'd SWAG a good visual inspection would be a start point. Look at those caps, if any appear to be leaking or deformed - time to dig deeper.

KevinJun-7 12:19 PM
@Mark J Hughes I know that one repeater I used to use is gone. Another one is too far for me to reach but I used to be able to hear it. The local one I used to use was quite active but they went digital according to the website for it so I can't talk to the people I used to talk to on that one any more.

mandrejkoJun-7 12:19 PM
So in the USA you need a Technician level license to talk to Satellite? are There any geostationary satellites repeaters aren't run by the US military's?

Dan KB6NUJun-7 12:19 PM
I'm going to try to organize a forum on methods for learning CW for the next Dayton Hamvention.

BharbourJun-7 12:20 PM
not aware of any geostationary sats accessible from the US


Mark J HughesJun-7 12:20 PM
@Scubabear -- Well, it's pretty common to be scared of making your first contact -- or first of several contacts. The first thing to remember is this. "Nobody gives a crap if you screw up. Nobody is going to remember 30 seconds later." PAPA is a members-only system, but they're find with guests coming around too. The general etiquette is to not interrupt an active conversation. Wait for a pause, and then issue your call sign. See if they hear it, if they do, they'll say "KM6AXY, go ahead" and you can just say. "Hey, I'm a new HAM, and this is my first contact. Nice to meet you!"

KevinJun-7 12:20 PM
Someone mentioned listening. That is a good way of doing things. My speed improved from just casual listening to morse via a shortwave radio. Find some code that sounds like a comfortable speed.

xBeauJun-7 12:20 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel gotcha, ya that's a great way to go, just start scanning around. It's not just the frequency it's also the time of day. Not for propagation though, there's usually a regular time and day of the week that local area groups will get on a frequency and talk.

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:20 PM
@mandrejko - AFAIK, we in the US don't have anything like the QO-100 geosync satellite the other side of the world enjoys. Think it covers all of Europe, most of Asia, and a lot of Africa. Maybe a bit of West Australia too.

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:21 PM


Es'hail-2: Hams Get Their First Geosynchronous Repeater

In the radio business, getting the high ground is key to covering as much territory from as few installations as possible. Anything that has a high profile, from a big municipal water tank to a roadside billboard to a remote hilltop, will likely be bristling with antennas, and different services compete for the best spots to locate their antennas.

Read this on Hackaday

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:21 PM
Another thing you can do is wait for the first Sunday night of each month -- around 7:45 or so (not too sure), PAPA links the entire system together and does a directed net. You'll hear a bunch of call-signs. Keep an ear out towards the end they'll ask for visitors, drop your call there, and say "new HAM, first contact." and they'll likely welcome you with open arms.

scubabearJun-7 12:21 PM
@Mark J Hughes Thank you, that sounds like a good way to go. I guess it's like starting up any new conversation...

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:22 PM

KevinJun-7 12:22 PM
I've made one contact via the birds which was somewhat surprising as I didn't use anything more than a handheld on 2m and a transceiver tuned to 10m.

vincent.e.levequeJun-7 12:22 PM
Listening to a radio is a good way to get morse practice. If local conditions won't allow this, try WebSDR. There is an SDr somewhere that can get clear morse at your speed.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:22 PM
Or just show up to breakfast sometime and meet the other members in person. You'll find someone who is willing to help you.

Peabody1929Jun-7 12:23 PM
In my humble opinion, it would be easier for me to teach a Raspi Zero morse than for me to learn it.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:23 PM
@mandrejko Yes, there are a few. Not much though.

xBeauJun-7 12:23 PM
@Peabody1929 I'd do a quick search of any common issues with that rig. Caps are definitely something to watch out for. As long as you've checked for major water damage and such you should be able to give a quick smoke test without too much risk.

Peabody1929Jun-7 12:23 PM
Thank you!

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:23 PM
@scubabear I did my first contact on a local repeater. I kind of felt at ease as these were folks around my area :) Good luck with contacts.

scubabearJun-7 12:24 PM
@Mark J Hughes I tend to listen in on their Wednesday net tests. And I wanted to do a breakfast but they stopped for the pandemic. I'll check if they have since restarted somewhere near me. Thanks!

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:24 PM
Mic shyness is real -- it's why I favor digital modes

KevinJun-7 12:24 PM
Communicating through a geostationary satellite eliminates the issue of dealing with doppler shift on the transmit and receive frequencies.

xBeauJun-7 12:25 PM
@mandrejko I haven't seen too much geostationary that you can get to from the US. The ISS is pretty interesting, it now has to Amateur repeaters, one for voice and one for data, and you can use them with just Tech privelages

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:25 PM
@scubabear - Long time no see! Welcome back!

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:25 PM
@Kevin Some radios can track the frequency shift for you so you don't have to have your hand on the dial trying to zero-beat.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:25 PM
@Dan Maloney Absolutely is!

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:25 PM
@Dan Maloney I got a digital yaesu HT ( 5DR ) . I regularly use 2M. How can I start on digital modes?

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:26 PM
The other thing you can do is just lurk and wait for a couple of guys to finish their call and jump in as they're signing off.

KevinJun-7 12:26 PM
@Mark J Hughes Yes, but I didn't have anything that could do that.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:26 PM
Call 'em out by call sign.

scubabearJun-7 12:26 PM
@Dan Maloney Thanks! But, you can actually contact the ISS with a Baofeng??

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:26 PM
I find people who are driving are particularly willing to just chat.]

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:26 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel - start here ;-)

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:26 PM


The $50 Ham: Digital Modes With WSJT-X

As it is generally practiced, ham radio is a little like going to the grocery store and striking up a conversation with everyone you bump into as you ply the aisles. Except that the grocery store is the size of the planet, and everyone brings their own shopping cart, some of which are highly modified and really expensive.

Read this on Hackaday

BharbourJun-7 12:26 PM
Gpredict sat tracking software will do the doppler calcs and setup if the sat has all the base info in the database

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:26 PM
qrp and dsb homebrew

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:27 PM
@scubabear You can probably do satellite with a baofeng and a good antenna. But it would be challenging for a new HAM to be successful at it with the cross band setup.

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:27 PM
On 75M and dipole at 2 watts about 150 miles typical