Introducing myself

Started by piggybankcowboy, August 12, 2012, 04:33:50 pm

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August 12, 2012, 04:33:50 pm Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 09:06:30 am by piggybankcowboy
Hi there!  Nice to see a new board centered around preparedness. As the new guy, I figured I'd tell you a bit about myself.

I am not yet a licensed ham, but will be soon. A gentleman from Reddit was kind enough to send me study guides, and I'm basically just waiting for a testing date in my area that I can make.  They are unfortunately few and far between, and I am bound to a familial obligation for at least five days out of the week, so between that and my job, it can be difficult to make the testing dates and times. Should happen soon, though.  There is a date at the end of this month (August) that I'm pretty sure will fit into my schedule.

I became interested in prepping after a massive blackout in 2003. It was on a scale that I had never seen before in my lifetime, and I decided right then and there that if it can happens once, it can happen again, and it could possibly be worse next time. My major concern became communications. At the time, I was living a bit far from my family, and had no way to contact them aside from braving roads that seemed to be filled with a lot of panicky people in my area, out snatching up water, gasoline, and whatever else. 

To be honest, back then, I had no idea what "preppers" were, so to speak, but the idea of it made a lot of sense to me.  It wasn't until much later that I discovered various prepper communities online, and watched as the idea slowly has made it's way into pop-culture with tv shows. After speaking with my uncle for awhile (who's hobby is repairing old radios and was a former member of a local radio club that I wish to join), and discovering r/AmateurRadio on Reddit, I become incredibly interested in the hobby itself. For now I just listen, and study, and try to participate in what conversations I can, but my main focus is learning everything I can about it so that I feel comfortable and confident once I get licensed, as especially during any emergency situations I might be able to lend a hand with.

My hope in joining this community is to learn more from you guys, since I believe information on any subject should not just be received from a single source. For now, of course, I only have use of scanners, but I spend about an hour a day or so just cruising around and listening.

I also use an Android phone, and have downloaded and tried just about every ham radio related app there is that didn't require me to enter a call sign to use (those I'm saving for later), so if anyone is interested in hearing about those, I'm pretty sure I can lend something to the conversation in that department.

The radio communities I have interacted with so far have been nothing short of nice and helpful. This just makes me want to get into the community as a full fledged member even more. I look forward to learning and seeing what you guys have to offer!



Welcome. I am new also. I do not have a license or radio yet. I am tied up at home and can not get out to take a class. Need to start learning Morris Code perhaps. That is something that looks very interesting to me.

Not real new to prepping. Live on a farm. I can understand your interest to be a HAM.

I had to Google the answer to the registeration question: wavelength in Meters/6.



Sunflower, there are many study guides online, to at least get you prepared for the test.


Sunflower, download this.  This free study guide and Google are all I used to pass with 3 wrong.


September 29, 2012, 06:28:05 pm #5 Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 07:47:14 pm by piggybankcowboy
Wow, the past month has been really busy for me (a good thing, because money!) and visiting this board kinda got put on the back-burner (sorry!) along with many other discussions I was having.

Anyway, I just wanted to do a quick update on myself, because I feel I've made some progress.

I now have my Technician's license, and call sign! Also joined the local radio club, and I'm looking into RACES as well.

I also managed to quit smoking! I did a weaning method, while reading through Allan Carr's stuff and playing the accompanying video game on a Nintendo 3DS.  Yeah, you read that right; there is a video game for quitting smoking.  Sounds really silly, I know, but I have nothing bad to say about it. It delivers the principles of Carr's method while giving you some goofy and simple games to help demonstrate the points. Anyway, after about 4 weeks of carefully calculated weaning, I am now on day 4 of zero cigarettes. The cravings are there, but they are being embraced as "symptoms of becoming a healthier person" instead of "I would kill your mother for a cigarette right now."

I think this is really important, since, as was discussed last time I visited the board, one's health is paramount when it comes to survival. Knocking that terrible habit is a must-do for anybody wanting to be prepared.

On top of that, I also started exercising on a daily basis. I use a treadmill for approximately an hour a day, mixed with some mild (for now) weight lifting and Tai Chi. The Tai Chi is interesting, and was recommended to me by a health-conscious friend who claimed it help him improve coordination and general muscle control for more effective workouts. I gotta say, I was skeptical as hell about this at first, but after doing it for awhile, there is a noticeable difference.


**edited to remove call sign. In retrospect, that was pretty stupid of me, even though my anonymity is pretty much blown.


Congratulations Nick on both the license and the health decisions! Two big steps in the right direction! Now you can learn Morse code and we can chat on 40m  ;)


White Tiger

Congratulations Nick KD8TDU - I'm right behind you!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.


Gil, I'm working on Morse.  I *just* started a few days ago, though, and haven't got a key to practice with yet, but I'm using an app on my phone to at least get used to hearing it and learning the letters and numbers. What sort of equipment do you recommend for CW?

WT, awesome! Honestly, I'm glad I did it, plus the local radio club I'm now a member of seems chock full of guys who have a lot of fun with what they do, and they're all pretty passionate about radio. I'm looking forward to learning what I can from them.


Hello Nick.

Great, first, Morse was, and still is very hard for me. Don't despair, stick to it, you will see progress soon or later.
I used "Ham Morse" on my iPod, as well as, great resources.
As far as paddles, check out and
They both have very good affordable paddles.
As far as radios, in my opinion, nothing beat an Elecraft K1!



Those Vibroplex paddles look absolutely beautiful. American Morse has a few right in my price range.

That Elecraft looks right up my alley, consider I need to learn some building basics. Just a matter of coming up with the cash.



I use the DCP paddle from American Morse; works just fine when affixed to a base.
The K1 is not all that hard to build. The manual is exemplary, it's just a matter of following directions. If you get one, DO get the backlit option, trust me on that!
You'll see one come up on Ebay once in a while. Mine will NEVER be for sale, that's for sure!
The Weber Tri-Bander is also a good option:
Not as many features but much cheaper!


White Tiger

Gil, I'm surprised you didn't tell him about your Rock Mite!?

[...gratuitous photo op]
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.