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Happy World Amateur Radio Day

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the what's-your-handle? dept.

Communications 82

An anonymous reader writes "There are over 700,000 ham radio licensees in the USA and about 2 ½ million worldwide. Today, this international community of wireless communications devotees are celebrating World Amateur Radio Day, recalling the advances Amateur Radio Service has made for modern man. Their theme for 2012 is Amateur Radio Satellites: Celebrating 50 Years in Space in remembrance of the launch of the first Amateur Radio satellites OSCAR 1 on December 12, 1961 and the launch of OSCAR 2 on June 2, 1962. Their ranks have included people like Steve Wozniak of Apple and Jack Kilby who invented the integrated circuit, Dr. Karl William Edmark who invented the heart defibrillator, Scott Durchslag, the Chief Operating Officer at Skype, and Dr. John Grunsfeld of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the 87th anniversary of the foundation."

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Been on the calendar (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725407)

Our local club has had this on its calendar for awhile. I like it!

Ah Ham (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725437)

I was a ham until the fateful day when I discovered the internet~

Re:Ah Ham (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725509)

Did that make any difference?

Re:Ah Ham (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725563)

From ham to spam, eh?

Re:Ah Ham (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725639)

In some sense, I am a ham because of the Internet. I like participating in a global communication system that is operated by its own users. It is unfortunate that there are so many laws standing in the way of ARS being used in lieu of 3G/4G (the most prominent being the ban on encrypted transmissions).

Stifling regulations and old timers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725989)

Sad to say, I left amateur radio because of the laws that restrict what a radio amateur can do. When unlicensed Joe Bloggs can do more over wifi and the Internet than you can do over ham licensed channels, the incentive for building your own equipment is rapidly lost. The radio amateur should be allowed to do MORE than unlicensed consumers, not less.

There was also a second reason why I left: the old timers reacted violently at any attempt to get the laws reformed to increase amateur capability. I never understood their willingness to be restricted, and this was a terminal disease within the ranks, so I left.

Re:Stifling regulations and old timers (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727161)

probably more with culture of this country to buy something instead of making your own. Decades ago only big companies and govt agencies had two-way radios, and only the stinking rich had telephones in their cars. But the amateur radio operator had all these because they either built their own or put surplus equipment to have wireless systems two-way conversations and phone calls. Even people that do computers are more in users catagory instead of writing their own code. Yes, it is tough do build your own when wide variety of cheap equipment can easily be obtained from another country. But not a good thing as Richard Elkus points out, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfqKZlMfnX4 [youtube.com]

Re:Stifling regulations and old timers (1)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728081)

Thanks for your cogent comments and replies. I LOVE the idea of being able to fix your own electronics (vs buying another). After building an electronic kit you have the ability to detect and fix many obvious electronic problems.

And please any AARL old timers around this thread. Would you help train a novice? Would you support a novice? Myself and others need this.

Re:Stifling regulations and old timers (1)

Ghaoth (1196241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39731315)

dot dot dot , dash dash dash , dash , dot dash dot , dot dot dash , dot

Re:Ah Ham (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39731171)

"the most prominent being the ban on encrypted transmissions"

There is no such ban. There is a rule that says "data emissions using unspecified digital codes must not be transmitted for the purpose of obscuring the meaning of any communication," but that's a matter of intent. For instance, if one encrypts a remote control signal, not to obscure it's meaning, but for the purpose of protecting it from interference, that's legal. If one takes advantage of a ham license to communicate with a high power 802.11 AP in the ham portion of the 2.4 GHz (13 cm) band, one might legally use encryption to prevent non-ham access to that AP (which would be illegal).

Re:Ah Ham (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725813)

HAM? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hold_And_Modify [wikipedia.org]

Or maybe Sliced HAM (hi-res mode):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hold_And_Modify#Hold-And-Modify_mode [wikipedia.org] ;-)

Re:Ah Ham (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39731361)

Not everything with three letters is an acronym.

Re:Ah Ham (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726911)

So, does that mean you are, or are not, helping to migrate ham radio from IPv4 to Ipv6?

Re:Ah Ham (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727977)

Ham radio is still far more interesting, and way cooler. They can shut down the net easily. Airwaves, meh, not so much. The last bastion of freedom!

Re:Ah Ham (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39729585)

Don't know why this is marked as funny. I miss shortwave radio. Shame that I have been listening since a kid in the 70s and 80s. Trailed off a bit and 8 years ago acquired the best portable radio I could have dreamed of and all I hear is static. BBC stopped broadcasting. CBC stopped. I think it was Poland stopped a few weeks ago. No one broadcasts anymore. They all went internet. Radio is becoming useless.

Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (5, Informative)

r_pattonII (1960654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725471)

Amateur Radio has evolved greatly since the early days of having huge receivers and transmitters. Today we have so many different modes - CW, PSK31, APRS, SSB, etc on many different bands with just a transceiver. We can even do satellites and even low power (QRP) operations with a transmitter as small as a tuna can! The best part is meeting people all over the world who share this great hobby. I am excited to see where it goes from here and the technologies it will bring for the future from the individual who has a "homebrew" project to the commercial radio manufacturers and other companies who provide us the "candy" we love to play with!

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (3, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725523)

You didn't mention software-defined radio, where some of the most exciting developments are happening ;-)

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725717)

Google "rtl sdr" for info about the $20 USB dongles that can tune anything from 64Mhz to 1.6Ghz.

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (1)

Malvineous (1459757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39732739)

FYI my Unikoo one (also RTL2832, arrived two days ago) can tune below 30MHz and just over 2GHz. The tuner chip actually goes down to 0Hz but the sensitivity seems to drop off outside the advertised range (i.e. strong signals only. I can tune into the normal AM radio band at ~1MHz but can't see any signals.)

But on that note, does anyone know where SDR newbies like myself can go to discuss these things? There are a bunch of extremely narrowband transmissions all over the place and I have no idea what they are and I'm hoping someone else might know. I'm also looking for a program like HDSDR that runs under Linux, and I have a ton of other questions that seasoned hams will probably just roll their eyes at, so it would be nice to find a forum or someplace that is beginner friendly!

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725915)

Explain please.

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (4, Informative)

StatureOfLiberty (1333335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726255)

Software defined radios digitally sample incoming signals. They then process those signals via software algorithms rather than electronic circuitry. Some radios can actually sample huge regions of the radio frequency spectrum (one amateur radio receiver I am aware of can watch a 60 MHz spectrum). They can actually decode many signals at the same time. So, for example, you could be decoding and watching hundreds of CW conversations (morse code) happening across the spectrum at the same time.

All the hardware has to do is digitize the radio spectrum being sampled. All of the remaining processing can be changed by replacing software. Previously, changing the processing of the signals meant replacing or adding electronic circuits.

The algorithms are quite sophisticated. Signals can be isolated for better reception or fairly easily excluded in the case of interference. This has resulted in a tremendous improvement in radio receivers especially in recent years. Neat stuff.

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39730667)

I need to get one of these. I've heard you can program your PC to become a shortwave radio and receive the "new" DRM digital standard.

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39729427)

http://www.websdr.org/

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (1)

Pinkfud (781828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725775)

Well, happy Ham Day from WA0YSK. :)

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (4, Interesting)

mgscheue (21096) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726089)

I absolutely agree. And don't forget JT-65, which is an absolutely amazing mode for pulling extremely weak signals out of noise. It's in many ways the ultimate geeky hobby and there are so many ways to be involved. I wish I had gotten started years ago.

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (1)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727561)

I'm glad the ARS de-emphasized Morse code as a gateway to a license. Even the armed forces have abandoned it.

However, it's still fun and useful. It's amazing how horrible the signal can be and still grok the message....just modulation of static-y noise is enough.

nerf-cough-glak-curf ack-snak
(dit-dit-dit-dit dit-dit)
Hi
 

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728003)

CQ CQ CQ!

Re:Amateur Radio keeps getting better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39752047)

You forgot to mention that when the governments of the world collapse their currency, we will probably be the major communication system for public messages.

How to (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725483)

How can make an FM radio transmitter?

Re:How to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725533)

Very carefully.

New Tradition (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725531)

Today should be celebrated by eating ham for dinner.

Re:New Tradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726147)

WARD Hooooooouh. What-is it good for?

Like BBSes - the range is too short (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725709)

I quit BBSes because they only had a range of ~100 miles (the local area code). I was involved in HAM for a while but quit for the same reason. Nowadays with the internet my voice or text can reach the whole world.

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725955)

Did you get your Extra ticket and try HF? With a simple wire antenna and typical 100 watt transceiver you can reach the entire globe.

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (1)

mikestew (1483105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726097)

You don't even need an Extra license. A General will get you most of what you need for long-range HF use. And good thing, because for a software guy with only light electronics experience, that Extra test is hard! General, OTOH, is a couple of weeks of flipping through the book and taking the test.
--
KF7SPZ

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (1)

rk (6314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39731841)

I got my Extra by the skin of my teeth (knowing a fair amount of E-mag physics helped me fake my way through some of it), but yeah, I wouldn't sweat the extra work (no pun intended) if all you want is the privileges. The general isn't much harder than the technician, but the extra is a LOT harder than the general, especially for the mild increase in privileges. Seriously, add it up and it's only around 500 kHz more spectrum, spread across the 80, 40, 20, and 15 meter bands. Privileges are otherwise identical.

Of course, you get a 2x2 call instead of a 2x3, so for some people that's a motivation.

73

AE7JR

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (1)

DaemonDazz (785920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739765)

Over here in Australia, the Advanced class has a lot more privileges than the Standard class - compare the frequencies and permitted modes for Advanced [comlaw.gov.au] versus Standard [comlaw.gov.au] . Also Advanced are allowed 400W pX for modes C3F, J3E or R3E and 120W pY otherwise, whereas the Standard class only permits 100W for modes J3E and R3E and 30W pY otherwise.

-VK5HZ

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (1)

rk (6314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739953)

That seems to make more sense than the US system of licensing. The extra is way too difficult relative to the general exam for the modest increase in privilege. I don't advocate making the extra simpler, but rather making the general a little more difficult. But the cat's out of the bag, I guess.

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726381)

I quit BBSes because they only had a range of ~100 miles (the local area code). I was involved in HAM for a while but quit for the same reason. Nowadays with the internet my voice or text can reach the whole world.

Well your voice or text can reach the whole world that's not blocked by their country's (or your own) firewall.

But, living in earthquake country, I became a ham so my voice can be heard even if local communications infrastructure has been destroyed. And through ARES [arrl.org] , I can help others.

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (2)

N7DR (536428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726975)

I quit BBSes because they only had a range of ~100 miles (the local area code). I was involved in HAM for a while but quit for the same reason..

Huh? I have made two contacts today using amaterur radio. Both were with people well over 5,000 miles away.

Re:Like BBSes - the range is too short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39730009)

He capitalized 'ham' so you can rest assured his 'involvement' was measured in hours or days.

Da-da-di-di-dit di-di-di-da-dah (1)

nani popoki (594111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726063)

de WA1GSF. I haven't been on the air much since 1980, though.

700,000? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726127)

Is that all there are in the USA? I would have expected that to be a much larger number.

(I think I'll forego signing off with my call, cut short one more link in a few three-letter's relational databases)

Re:700,000? (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726405)

700K is a lot but real question is how active? Licenses these days are good for ten years (and with many hams of senior citizens, some may die of old age before license expires). I haven't run the numbers but I think many of these are Tech licenses, relatively easy to pass, i.e. one day Ham Cram. Much of this is promoted for emergency communications (however, many hams stress amateur radio is also a hobby that you can have FUN with experimentation). Plus the EMCOMM is in ways subsidized by DHS (local govts get money to buy ham gear for their EOCs).

Motivational! (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726135)

It has been on my geek “bucket list” for many years to get my license. This story and a recent job change are just the motivation I needed to finally do it.

Re:Motivational! (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726223)

It has been on my geek “bucket list” for many years to get my license. This story and a recent job change are just the motivation I needed to finally do it.

Now that the there's no Morse requirement, getting a tech license is trivial - any geek can do it with a couple hours glancing over a study guide. Most of the "technical" questions are common sense to anyone with a bit of electrical knowledge, so you just have to familiarize yourself with things that need to be memorized like license restrictions, power limits on various bands, etc.

Re:Motivational! (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726265)

Thanks. I believe I heard that from Leo Laporte on TWiT as well. I'm going to do it! Now the bigger issue: Will my wife kill me if I buy a nice ham rig? I do have a nice "man cave" in the basement with a spot for it :)

Re:Motivational! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727401)

SDR for the win!

Re:Motivational! (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728079)

Thanks. I believe I heard that from Leo Laporte on TWiT as well. I'm going to do it! Now the bigger issue: Will my wife kill me if I buy a nice ham rig? I do have a nice "man cave" in the basement with a spot for it :)

Depends.

A nice radio (used) can be around $1000-2000+. A nice HF rig can be $5000+. And don't forget the antenna farm you need, so if your wife cares about the backyard, it can be an issue.

(If you have a PC, a fully kitted out Flex 5000 (HF+VHF/UHF, tuner, 2nd receiver) is only around $5000. But it's a completely SDR system so PC required).

Re:Motivational! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728353)

But you can also put together a very workable station with only a few hundred or less. My first HF rig (IC-737) I got at a flea market for $300. Strung up a simple wire antenna on the back fence and five minutes later had my first QSO with Hawaii. My first VHF/UFH mobile rig was only $200 used and spent another $75 for the antenna and mag mount.

Ham radio doesn't need to be expensive to enjoy.

Re:Motivational! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39729601)

Will my wife kill me if I buy a nice ham rig?

Don't know. What did she say about that 737 simulator [slashdot.org] in the garage?

Re:Motivational! (1)

beachdog (690633) | more than 2 years ago | (#39731201)

On getting a ham license. I got a technician license after the Loma Prieta earthquake. About 15 years later I had about two weeks of relative unemployment. In about a week using only Internet study resources I upgraded to General. In another 5 study days, using an online practice Amateur Extra exam, Wikipedia and a helpful website on electronics math, I passed the Extra Exam.

On ham radio equipment. The market for equipment like a solid state transceiver made in the last 20 years is extremely high priced, based on checking the San Francisco Craigslist.

I have been disappointed to see Linux has been squeezed to the margins of ham radio. It appears that the software defined radios appearing are sold with a Windows software interface. The open source software radio from Ettus is a research instrument and I don't see much of an amateur radio community supporting it.

As a side editorial comment: I am having a dickens of a frustrating time getting a Linux laptop to record and process sound. I actually wind up rebooting the laptop when the sound devices hiccup after unplugging a microphone or signal cable.

As an institution and cultural object, American ham radio is one of the oldest Federally established non-monetary and non-commercial and non-broadcast communications institutions. Look at the swarm of cell phone businesses squeezing trillions of dollars out of billions of people worldwide reselling electricity at a markup of 50,000 to 1 or more. Amateur Radio has this really special relationship with the previously inaccessible and formerly free electromagnetic radio spectrum.

Considering the very high commercial cash flow generated by the Federally organized oligopoly of selling chunks of the electromagnetic spectrum exclusively to the highest bidder, resulting in no free cell phone service for anybody ever, Amateur radio is a relatively quiet place.

Restricted (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726291)

Amateur radio seems to be overly restricted in the States. I have little interest trying to participate in a P2P communication system where encryption is explicitly forbidden. Also, the fact my country would prosecute me for communicating internationally with someone who lives under a repressive regime seems totally bogus.

Re:Restricted (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726769)

Anonymous because I'm at work.

If you're worried about privacy, with packet you can encrypt the data payload itself so long as the headers are not obfuscated and the transmission is properly identified.

Besides, privacy seems to be somewhat defeating of the purpose of Amateur radio. The spectrum set aside for hams is intended for educational use, and the ability to be heard is important so you can gauge the effectiveness of your rigs, vice versa for the other parties involved, learn how to make those improvements and gain a better understanding of the sciences involved. If you need privacy, there is other infrastructure in place for private transactions of information.

Re:Restricted (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727179)

If you're worried about privacy, with packet you can encrypt the data payload itself so long as the headers are not obfuscated and the transmission is properly identified.

Incorrect. Any use of ciphers or codes to obscure the meaning is prohibited, with the limited exception of control signals for space stations (47CFR97.113(a)(4)) [arrl.org] . That includes the bodies of packets sent via packet radio. That's the US law, perhaps you are referring to a different country?

Current software [winlink.org] in common use compresses the bodies of email messages sent via packet and pactor systems, but software can be used to decompress the messages and is thus not considered encryption.

Re:Restricted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728277)

D-STAR... Need I say more.

Re:Restricted (2)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728689)

Incorrect. Any use of ciphers or codes to obscure the meaning is prohibited, ...

There was a forum discussion which someone complained, "so what if I want to talk like a CBer on ham radio? As long as I'm licensed and mention my callsign every 10 min, end of transmission, bla-bla, I can talk in whatever style I want!" However, someone gave example: "That's a big ten-four good buddy and I sure do appreciate that there smokey report on the five oh niner. Well, I'll catch you on the flipper flopper!"
Bzzzzztttt. FCC Part 97 prohibits codes and ciphers used to obscure communications.

Re:Restricted (1)

caffeinated_bunsen (179721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728869)

There was a forum discussion which someone complained, "so what if I want to talk like a CBer on ham radio? As long as I'm licensed and mention my callsign every 10 min, end of transmission, bla-bla, I can talk in whatever style I want!" However, someone gave example: "That's a big ten-four good buddy and I sure do appreciate that there smokey report on the five oh niner. Well, I'll catch you on the flipper flopper!" Bzzzzztttt. FCC Part 97 prohibits codes and ciphers used to obscure communications.

Which is thoroughly irrelevant to the issue of talking like a CBer. Nothing in your example message is a code or cipher; that's simply slang. All of it is publicly known. The reason hams discourage talking like a CBer is that it makes you sound like one of the drooling shit-flingers who infest CB.

Re:Restricted (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39734913)

aw shucks, you missed the joke.

Re:Restricted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728073)

Incorrect, no Amateur Radio Transmission can be encrypted in ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.

Re:Restricted (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726943)

I have little interest trying to participate in a P2P communication system where encryption is explicitly forbidden.

Some encryption is allowed, and the prohibition is against the use of codes or ciphers to obscure the meaning, not explicitely against all encryption. HSMM (ham WiFi) uses WEP (maybe WPA, I don't know) and gets away with it.

What's more important is that amateur radio isn't supposed to be used for things that would really require encryption anyway. No commercial use. You can't order a pizza, so you don't need to send anyone your credit card number, for example. The HSMM folks need to keep non-hams from using amateur systems, so they've taken the steps to do that.

Also, the fact my country would prosecute me for communicating internationally with someone who lives under a repressive regime seems totally bogus.

You've got it backwards. It's not the US saying "thou shall not", it is the other country. Yes, it's against the US rules to do it, because we're part of the worldwide treaty organization ITU and we've agreed to those rules. According to The FCC [fcc.gov] , there are currently no banned countries. I'd think you would want to refrain from doing it, if there were any, not for your own protection, but to protect the hams in that country from prosecution there.

What is more restrictive are the rules about third party communications, which is sending messages for someone else into other countries. The same link [fcc.gov] convers that topic, and lists the countries that have third party agreements with the US. That's different than just communicating with someone there via ham radio, however.

Re:Restricted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728499)

HSMM-MESH uses NO encryption. If you want to use WEP/WPA, you must go to Tomato or other firmware

Re:Restricted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39729023)

Your pizza example is a bad one because they specifically allow that now (as of like, decades ago actually).

Re:Restricted (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39737409)

Your pizza example is a bad one because they specifically allow that now (as of like, decades ago actually).

No, they do not. Stop spreading such patently absurd information. Read the rules sometime. Like this one [gpo.gov] , 47CFR97.113(a)(2) and (3):

97.113 Prohibited Communications

(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided in these rules;

(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer.

This wouldn't appear to prohibit you ordering the pizza, just the use of amateur radio to reply by the pizza dealer, but then there's this, same section:

(b) An amateur station shall not engage in any form of broadcasting, nor may an amateur station transmit one-way communications except as specifically provided in these rules;

And gosh if I can find a specific exemption from this one-way communication prohibition for "pizza shop".

Now maybe the rules in YOUR country differ, but in the US of A the FCC rules apply, and the FCC rules still prohibit the use of amateur radio for commercial purposes -- with very few exceptions, none of which cover buying pizza.

Re:Restricted (1)

ve3oat (884827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727375)

my country would prosecute me for communicating internationally with someone who lives under a repressive regime

AFAIK, there is no country that prosecutes licensed Amateur Radio Operators for communicating with Amateurs in any other country, regardless of their government. If a government permits the Amateur Radio Service as part of their telecommunications policy at all, then those Amateurs can communicate with any other Amateur anywhere, provided the other Amateur is duly licensed in his or her respective country. (I have been licensed as VE3OAT since 1983.)

Ham for life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726339)

Been a ham for most of my life almost 30 years KA3NXN

Re:Ham for life (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726735)

And you still haven't a Slashdot handle.

Re:Ham for life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727559)

Are you British? "Haven't a" is a 19th century construction too... Wow.

from the what's-your-handle? dept. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726455)

Handles are for CB.

Re:from the what's-your-handle? dept. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726795)

Handles are for Anonymous Coward.

Re:from the what's-your-handle? dept. (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727455)

All the VK* people would have missed the day due to the 18th being yesterday. This article "Posted by samzenpus on 04:10 AM -- Thursday April 19 2012"

Are The Amateur Bands Routed Through (+1, Helpful) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726591)

The N.S.A. [slashdot.org] ?

Yours In Free Speech,
Kilgore Trout, Ulyanovsk

73 de w7com (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727087)

Happy ham day.

Well... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728093)

I guess that explains all the interference with my WiFi and XBee units.

Re:Well... (1)

space fountain (1897346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728379)

I don't know about XBees, but WiFi shares one of its channels with Amateur Radio on a bases with the Amateur Radio operators allowed to interfere with Wifi, but not visa versa. Also I'd bet XBees have terrible receivers.

Think I'll have some ham for dinner.. (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728679)

K7DGF here.. Been licensed since 1976, ex-WA6QNW, got the Extra in 1998. Kinda been inactive, due to the Internet. BUT.. I may just get back into it to play around with Gnuradio/SDR/IRLP/EchoLink.. Had no idea there ever WAS an "amateur radio day".. Too bad its not Field Day...

Why...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39729167)

Can someone explain the fascination of this hobby to me?

My understanding is that you use a special radio to... what... talk to people (strangers) all over the world? What do you talk about?

I don't mean to sound disrespectful, I'm just ignorant. Is there something else you do?

I guess I could see how this could be considered pretty cool in the dark ages. Unless I'm missing something, how is this still relevant?

Re:Why...? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39729517)

Oh, I don't know. Why don't you tweet about it?

Re:Why...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39733233)

Emergency Communications ("When all else fails...")
Electronic Experimentation (today including software, new comm protocols)
The challenge of building something (a circuit, radio, antenna) better, cheaper, smaller, more powerful
Infrastructure free communications (unlike cell phones, the Internet, etc.)
Talking with people, just like chat rooms, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Conquering difficult challenges: moonbounce, meteor scatter, tropo scatter, VLF
And... it's just a heck of a lot of fun.

73,
KQ3T
(licensed since 1965)

73s de KD0REQ (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#39729405)

back in after 40 years.

73's de KB0GNK (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39730301)

From the area of Springfield Missouri. Ham since 1990
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