Ham Radio

(Check out the new KA5GIL ham radio page on this site. That’s where all of the amateur radio postings will be from now on. Head on over …)

Also known formally as the Amateur Radio Service, ham radio is the ultimate geek hobby.  From the days of Marconi, Western Union telegraph and other primitive forms of communication, amateur radio now melds radio, computers and space satellites; and in addition to voice and morse code communications, includes digital modes of email over the airwaves and the equivalent of instant messaging.

I was a ham years as (WB5IUT) and had let my license lapse. I am now (thanks to the ‘vanity’ callsign program) KA5GIL.  You can see more about that at the callsign info page at the ‘QRZ’ site.

My present equipment includes a mobile VHF/UHF rig (which is what hams call their radio — a Yaesu FT-7800) and a base/portable/mobile HF/VHF/UHF rig (Icom IC-7000). My antennas at the base station include for HF, a 20/40 meter trap dipole and a G5RV, each suspended at about 35 feet. The base VHF/UHF antenna is a simple J-Pole.

The antennas for the mobile include a 5/8 whip for VHF/UHF and Hustler center-loaded antennas for the HF rig. That setup is under construction at the moment but is just around the corner.

So what do hams actually ‘do’ with the hobby? The answer is too voluminous for a single website and these answers will be forthcoming.

This page is under construction. More later.

5 Replies to “Ham Radio”

  1. Wonder if my brother Bob’s K5RZJ has lapsed–believe I’ll ask him. He and Joe cut their techno-teeth on their rigs.

  2. I let my ham radio license lapse as well…What do I have to do to get it back.

    Thanks,

    Will Banks

    1. I replied directly to Will by email, but heck, here’s the info for anyone else who might have the lapse problem.

      If you are within 2 years of the date of lapse, you can renew it w/o re-testing. I would go to the FCC site on amateur licensing and find a link to the renewal process.
      Try http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=cft&id=amateur&page=cft_renew_amateur

      If you are beyond the 2 years, you have to re-test. That’s what I did. Just find a club doing a “ham slam” with volunteer examiners available and go do it. Take the class if you need to.
      You can find those on the ARRL site: http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml

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