Does anyone in our community do ham radio stuff as a hobby? I have been a licensed ham radio operator since 2004 and have been involved with the hobby off and on over that span. Currently it’s a somewhat big part of my life. I’m part of the Oak Hill Amateur Radio Club in Austin, TX (N5OAK) and also help to maintain the KA5D system here in Austin. I do some contesting here and there as well and have attended Contest University a few times now.
I occasionally find ways to combine Ansible with ham radio, mainly for configuring AllStarLink linking and deployment of club repeaters (using AllStarLink as a controller) and so on.
Curious if we have any other Ansible-using hams in the community.
Hey @relrod I know someone who is a ham operator here in the west of Ireland. That’s as close as I can get. I’ve always found it interesting. And there are always great stories. What would be like your top 5 coolest transmissions?
I’m not sure about top 5 contacts, but earlier this year I contacted 3Y0J which was a group that did a DXPedition on Bouvet Island. That is a very rare contact to make, and I was lucky to be able to use a friend’s contest station to make the contact.
Living in an apartment, I can’t really have big antennas. I have to live with smaller, compromise antennas and hidden wire antennas against the building. But I have a friend in the area who has a large contest station with “real antennas” which is a lot of fun, and he is open to people guest-operating and also using the station remotely
I tend to enjoy Morse Code (“CW”) contacts a lot. I was working to get my speed up (the “good” people can copy 40-50WPM with no issue, I cap out at about 20WPM right now), though lately I’ve been prioritizing learning German and have been spending less time on CW practice.
But the cool thing about ham radio is that there are so many different aspects to it. If Morse Code isn’t your thing, you can do sideband or plain FM contacts. Or you can talk through satellites, or bounce signals off the surface of the moon. Or do emergency communications stuff. Or do digital modes where you don’t have to actually talk to people and can just make leisurely contacts (FT8). Or do digital modes where you do chat with people in realtime (PSK31, RTTY). Or do digital voice modes where you combine ham radio with the internet. Or get into homebrew where you make radios and other projects. Or get into building and maintaining local repeaters for people to use. Or become a volunteer examiner and help people get licensed.
There are so many things to do in the hobby that it’s one of the few hobbies I can say probably legitimately has “something for everyone” and actually mean it
- .... .- - .----. ... / .- .-- . ... --- -- . -.-.-- (I cheated and used an online translator.)
I love the idea of boucing signals off the moon for fun. Radio technology is pretty cool stuff. In Clifden, Galway there was a station that Marconi built in the early 20th century that enabled the first transatlantic transmission. The history of that station and some of the events surrounding it are quite fascinating.
Back in the dim dawn of time, I started out as an analog engineer, working on a radio that would bounce signals off the troposphere for over-the-horizon communications…bounce bounce bounce…
I’m interested in getting started with a ham hobby.