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Author Topic: What's on the ham radio bands today?  (Read 10960 times)

WA4STO

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What's on the ham radio bands today?
« on: October 20, 2012, 11:44:02 AM »
This weekend is above-average in the way of long-distance contacts on the amateur radio bands.  At least, if you're into the ham radio digital modes.



Note in the graphic above from my logbook that most of these QSOs were made via RTTY or Radioteletype.  An ancient mode, relatively speaking, and no error-correction like some of the modes offer, but there sure are a LOT of overseas DX stations that enjoy RTTY.

It was a nice surprise to see 10 meters open today.  Ten is usually an "iffy" band and certainly not at all reliable to anywhere, normally. 

For all newcomers: please note that these millions and millions of frequencies are available to you at no charge for their use and that for those of you here in the USA, we publish all the questions and all the answers to the tests, so as to make it super easy for you to begin a lifelong and very enjoyable hobby.

73 de WA4STO
QTH: Wilber Nebraska

White Tiger

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 02:41:08 PM »
I never asked you this Luck...when operating on digital...is there a keyboard interface with the computer, or do you need to know code?
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 03:03:16 PM »
Tim:

Digital modes are "no code" as opposed to "know code".  Gettit?  har har.

When you press a PC keyboard key, it produces a "code" of sorts that the sound card spits out to the radio (by way of the ham radio software) and thus to the world, or perhaps to your BOL across the street.

Easy Peasy!

73 de WA4STO

White Tiger

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What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 06:50:05 PM »
Ok, then Olivia, JT65, & PSK31 are going to be at the TOP of my "want to" list!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 09:38:10 PM by White Tiger »
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 09:20:39 PM »
Ok, then Olivia, JT65, & PSK32 are going to be at the TOP of my "want to" list!

Sounds like a plan.  A good one.

1.  JT65 and PSK31 for the FUN aspects of ham radio

2.  Olivia for the prepper-friendly transfer of data, inquiries and files.

Let us not forget Winmor, the King of radio communications preparedness.


73 de WA4STO


RadioRay

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 11:59:46 AM »
Most of the digital modes are like being in a in Internet chatroom.  You 'text' back & forth by keyboard and read it on the screen.  The GREAT part about doing this via ham radio, is that it works without internet.  Your computers 'talk' over radio - no wires, no phones. As long as you can keep things running, like powering your radio and computer, there is no commercial infrastructure required at all.

I love Morse CW because it's so much less complicated, not requiring a computer to be 'interfaced' into your radio transceiver.  However, it does take a bit of learning, which should be a major joy of life anyway.



73 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 06:08:26 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

White Tiger

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What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 04:25:55 PM »
I'm already anticipating it!

luck, I'm going to need one of those Signalink USB's!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

RadioRay

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 06:15:28 PM »
WhiteTiger and others -

To monitor digital communications and even download weather charts off the air from marine radio, you do NOT require a SignaLink or anything like that as long as you are only listening.    :)     All that you need is a shortwave receiver capable of receiving SSB.  There are several of these under $100.  Here is an article showing how to couple to your radio using a common set of ear-bus type earphones, to a low grade laptop running FREEware software from the internet.

http://www.radiofreeredoubt.com/2012/04/02/how-to-receive-ham-radio-digital-communications/

EZ-PZ, lemon squeezeeeee   ;D   and you're monitoring the world of ham radio and other HF radio.

... and here it's being done with a receiver that I built, before it's even finished.  I'm using an App for my little iPod Touch.

http://youtu.be/_btTD_PedH8


Have fun - - -


RadioRay ..._ ._
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 06:20:02 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

White Tiger

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What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2012, 02:31:30 PM »
WhiteTiger and others -

To monitor digital communications and even download weather charts off the air from marine radio, you do NOT require a SignaLink or anything like that as long as you are only listening.    :)     All that you need is a shortwave receiver capable of receiving SSB.  There are several of these under $100.  Here is an article showing how to couple to your radio using a common set of ear-bus type earphones, to a low grade laptop running FREEware software from the internet.

http://www.radiofreeredoubt.com/2012/04/02/how-to-receive-ham-radio-digital-communications/

EZ-PZ, lemon squeezeeeee   ;D   and you're monitoring the world of ham radio and other HF radio.

... and here it's being done with a receiver that I built, before it's even finished.  I'm using an App for my little iPod Touch.

http://youtu.be/_btTD_PedH8


Have fun - - -


RadioRay ..._ ._

Along those lines...I downloaded a SSTV app from Apple that supposedly allows me to hold the iPad in proximity of the speaker and it will generate the picture...that is just wild!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 10:44:32 AM »
The HF bands are doing pretty well today with 10 and 12 meters being quite the surprise:



White Tiger note!  The second one down is from Bradenton.  He's aware that you're just getting things going, about 40 miles from you.  Check out his nifty "green antenna" at http://www.qrz.com/db/ad4wg  Added bonus:  he absolutely LOVES his Ten Tecs.  Well, but who wouldn't?

73 de WA4STO

White Tiger

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What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 03:26:27 PM »
Hey Luck! That's awesome!! I'll definitely check him out!

would love to get his input on my antenna - or rather help in thinking it through. I don't have a pool cage (or a pool) so I might need to do things a bit differently...
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 11:33:11 PM by White Tiger »
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 02:00:28 PM »
Here's the callsigns (and bands) that I've been working today:

http://www.clublog.org/last10_iframe.php?call=wa4sto

Most of the contacts have been on JT65, a mode that was developed with moon-bounce and meteor trails in mind.

Meteor trails?  Yes, as it turns out, the military has known for decades that you can bounce your transmitted signals off of the ionized trails that meteors tend to have.  Now, amateur radio operators can do the very same thing, thanks to the software development efforts of some very talented amateurs.

Lots of fun and games, provided to you for free, on millions and millions of radio frequencies.

Best 73 de Luck,



cockpitbob

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 02:48:19 PM »
You have quite a few 10M contacts in there.  Cool.  I need to spend more time on the short bands.  Usually I'm so busy that it's long past dark when I get to sit so it's 40M and 80M for me.

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »
Yes, it's always interesting to me that ten meters is open so well during the daytime.

On the one hand, I'm always babbling about how poor the CB band is, and yet 10 (and 12!) meters is open.  On the other hand, for prepping purposes, it's probably useful to admit that reliability only happens a VERY small percentage of the day, if at all.

Sure, I can work Outer Slobovia (populated by many of my relatives) once in a given month, maybe.  Whoopie.  What we need is a ham radio method of obtaining 85% reliability.  My best guess is that we could accomplish that with a system that scans at least five bands and utilizes ARQ error-correction.

Well, golly-gee, we already have such a thing.  Hmmm...

73 de Luck, WA4STO

WA4STO

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Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 11:11:16 AM »
Here's what I've been working this weekend:



In case you're wondering about the word "HELL" in the mode column, no that doesn't refer to the difficulty of working stations on that mode but, rather, the name of the mode itself, FELD HELL.



FH is an interesting mode in that it's very unique; VERY few FH signals can be heard on the bands.

It may also prove to be useful to the group assembled here; its OPSEC capabilities are excellent for several reasons:

1.  It's a 'visual' mode that doesn't lend itself well at ALL to intercept

2. It's frequently found (when it's found at all...) right in the busiest parts of the digital frequencies.  Meaning that an automated intercept tool would be hard pressed to zero in on it, rather than the plethora of other signals so very nearby.

3.  It requires very little transmit power

One of the downsides of Feld Hell is that it's fine for very short texts but lousy for sending prepping-related data of any substantial amount.  For that, we use Winmor, which can squish the data by 80 percent before sending, which also of course means that nobody else is going to intercept it.

Plus, FH is slow and really offers no error correction.  What is you send is -- maybe -- what you get, just like CW and SSB.

So if you want high OPSEC and low interception likelihood, FH may work just fine.

Imagine the following brief transmission:  "See you on Olivia 16/500 usual freq" which would convey a huge amount of information.

Are we having fun yet?

73 de Luck, WA4STO



Radio Preppers

Re: What's on the ham radio bands today?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 11:11:16 AM »