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Old 19-06-2021, 11:14 AM
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Gravity does not Suck

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Any "Ham" operators out there?

I am at a neighbours neat radio set up ..it sure is impressive..we cant raise anyone at the moment...I thought we had a few folk here interested so I thought a thread was in order
Any one interested or been interested in the past...it seems like another great hobby worth investigating.
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Old 19-06-2021, 11:45 AM
glend (Glen)
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I had a 6 metre transceiver back in Canada. I built it from a Heathkit, which shows you how long ago that was. The great thing about Heathkit is that you could send it to them to debug things that you might stuff up. There was no online support in those days, it was by telephone or snail mail.
The thing I found out in doing that, was that I much preferred building the radio to actually talking to people on it.
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Old 19-06-2021, 02:25 PM
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PCH (Paul)
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I used to be a ships Radio Officer, so Morse code and radio telephony was an all-day everyday event for me.

It was a brilliant job, I loved it.
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Old 19-06-2021, 02:33 PM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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I've been a ' listener ' for many years .... I owned several receivers ...Kenwood R5000 and the Kenwood R2000 + Kenwood R1000 + a Drake SPR4 loaded with all crystal.

All sets were connect to an AOR7000A external Antenna ....sometimes a 1/2 Wave 50ft Long Wire.

Often heard VK2 / VK3 / VK4 / VK5 Stations at times...a lot of the time the discussions revolved around what sort of Rigs they are running / Weather and general chat.

My best ' pick up ' was a US Military Station on 268.245MHz USB... a chat about a General was arriving next day.

Then it was 2 independent stations ( still US Military ) trying to contact each other ...1 call sign was' Loin ' and the other 'Jaguar ' speaking about a Mechanic coming to fix some ' Heilo's '

I did some ' digging ' and found out this was a US Military Team in Laos ....who were over there ' looking ' for MIA Graves of lost Serviceman during the Vietnam War.

Talking to the locals who often still go into the Jungles on walks and if they had ' stumbled ' on any items discovered / the location it was found...' dog Tags ' etc.

They try to find ' closure ' for families who don't no what happened to their Fathers / or Sons.....they are still doing it to this day.......this account I heard about 15 to 18 years ago.


Last edited by FlashDrive; 19-06-2021 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 19-06-2021, 03:06 PM
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Rainmaker (Matt)
Strictly Visual......

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I was comms radio operator and supervisor at VL1CP for 5 years .... and MRCP Training officer/operator for 3 years ..... does that count? Used a lot of nice gear all supplied by the Govt....
even had an Yaesu FT101 setup at home to play with.....
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Old 19-06-2021, 06:35 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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I’m a licenced ham, VK7ZPD, I believe that Renato is also a licenced Ham VK4TNT, I recall seeing him with some gear set up at Astrofest some years ago. I think he may have even made a contact with the ISS from Duckadang.

It’s not difficult to get a licence, the easiest level (Foundation) is a fairly simple level to achieve, Standard and Advanced require a bit more effort but still easily achievable.

If you just want to listen the easiest and cheapest method is with one of the RTL-SDR USB dongles. The RTL chipset was initially designed for Digital TV reception but some clever tech heads worked out how to hack the devices and make them receive from long wave right up to 2Ghz, all modes, e.g. FM, AM, SSB.

If anyone is interested I’ve written up some notes on configuration of the RTL-SDR Blog V3 and free PC software SDR console, together they make an excellent multi band radio for under $50. The notes are applicable for a stand alone application or as a Panadapter in conjunction with a CAT capable ham transceiver.

There are also online SDR radios, google KiwiSDR for a list of worldwide radios and more info.

The ASV has an astronomy broadcast on Friday nights at 10PM (3541khz LSB), it’s also streamed live on youtube and there’s an online Discord group as well.
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Old 19-06-2021, 07:35 PM
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tempestwizz (Brian)
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Yes, I’m a ham too. VK4BAC portable 2 at the moment. Started as VK0BC at Casey base Antarctica in ‘79. Then to Darwin VK8BC, then to Canberra as VK1ABC in ‘81. Have been quiet while in Laos, but since covid, I’ve re-activated as VK4BAC. Boarding at my daughter’s place near Sydney until I can get back to Laos. Operating in the HF bands. I think trying to operate legally in Laos May be problematic, but may look into it.
Interesting hobby for sure. Most of my working life has been entangled with radio communications of various flavours. I seem to get more enjoyment getting the technologies to function well rather than actually using them for conversation though.
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Old 20-06-2021, 07:59 AM
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Gravity does not Suck

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I always wanted to get involved but had no one close by who I could look to...
Thanks to all for taking the time to contribute to this thread...I am surprised we have no funny stories.
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Old 20-06-2021, 04:03 PM
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Also have a look at the SDRplay products including the impressive SDRuno software that is used with their hardware. I havenít got one myself but am contemplating the RSPdx or RSPduo, the latter having twin tuners and the former having better performance on long wave, both have multiple antenna inputs. There is also the RSP1A single tuner, single antenna unit.

I havenít invested in any and did start off looking at the USB dongle type but Iíve watched a few videos on the SDRplay products and they just look superior (at a higher price of course). I like the twin tuner version for listening to aircraft on voice on one channel and ACARS (with MuiliPSK decoding software) on another channel. Probably can be done with other receivers though but the videos from SDRplay were impressive.

I only mention it in case you were not aware of their products. Also if buying read their Fake product warning. They do sell direct online.

See https://www.sdrplay.com/
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Old 20-06-2021, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by acropolite View Post
Iím a licenced ham, VK7ZPD, I believe that Renato is also a licenced Ham VK4TNT, I recall seeing him with some gear set up at Astrofest some years ago. I think he may have even made a contact with the ISS from Duckadang.
Hi Phil,

Indeed that was at Qld Astrofest in 2005. Renato chatted to Andy Thomas
aboard the ISS. Played it back to everyone at dinner to enormous applause.
One of the coolest things I have ever seen at a star party.

Jeanette made this posting at the time and a transcript of the conversation
between Renato and Andy Thomas appears in this same thread :-
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