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Old 03-01-2016, 03:36 PM   #16
michaelk
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There are lots of ways to install an antenna in a limited space so do not let that be a factor. It will not perform like a something on a 100 foot tower but challenges are what make the hobby fun.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 03:48 PM   #17
RPI
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Yeah, I have to take that into consideration too. I live in a city and in an apartment. I have to research and figure which antenna and any extra gear will be required to get descent coverage in a city.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 06:16 PM   #18
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I have a portable radio that takes in shortwave. (Grundig). Most of what's available is Christian dreck, beamed to Africa, but every once in a while I can get Radio Peking or other foreign capitals in English. Worth listening to, as in AM/FM? No, but I'm no ham operator either.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 07:02 PM   #19
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I was sitting in my living room in Chattanooga, Tennessee, talking with a group of folks all over the United States using a network of "linked" repeaters. The signal from my handheld radio was picked up by a local repeater which immediately rebroadcasted it to hundreds of others.

Yeah, it's fun. For the same reason that hanging-out on a Linux forum is fun.

Also, to clarify: "shortwave" radio is a particular frequency band, one of a great many that are available to US amateur radio operators. Of course, the entire electromagnetic spectrum is carved up into specific frequency ranges, and you are legally obliged to operate only in the frequencies available to you, at power-levels not to exceed the stated limits for that frequency. Furthermore, you are obligated not to cause interference.

For example, a CB Radio operator can't exceed 4 or 5 watts, and is not supposed to engage in "DX" (long-distance communication). Nevertheless, on 10 Meters, 4 watts can "skip" all the way to Chicago and has known, late at night, to be international. An amateur with a proper license class can put over 1,000 watts ... but is not allowed to do so on the CB frequencies.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-01-2016 at 07:06 PM.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 08:48 PM   #20
Doug G
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RPI you should take a look here: http://www.arrl.org/

I do think it's sad that morse code is no longer a requirement for a license. Code is quite fun once you learn it and have a ham license to use code to talk with someone else somewhere else in the world.

Ham shortwave bands are 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M, 10M which basically are located within the shortwave spectrum from just above your AM radio to just below TV and FM. The advantage of shortwave bands is you get long-range communication depending on the "skip". My measly old 60W heathkit got me connected from the Rocky Mountains to hams in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Nighttime is the time for long-distance stuff.

By the way, with the technician ham license (entry level, was called novice in my ham days) you can't use any voice transmission in the ham shortwave bands except in the 10M band. Ham shortwave bands are 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M, 10M which basically are located within the shortwave spectrum from just above your AM radio to just below TV and FM.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 09:01 PM   #21
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An old timer... Forgot about 160,60,30,17 and 12 meter bands?

Last edited by michaelk; 03-01-2016 at 09:06 PM.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 09:28 PM   #22
OregonJim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
An old timer... Forgot about 160,60,30,17 and 12 meter bands?
Technically, 160m is mediumwave...

And below that, we also have 600m and 2200m (but few of us have the space for a proper antenna!)
 
Old 03-01-2016, 09:46 PM   #23
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True HF is 3-30 MHz...

600 and 2200M is limited use...
 
Old 03-01-2016, 09:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
True HF is 3-30 MHz...
Exactly. And 160m is below that. Isn't that what I said?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
600 and 2200M is limited use...
Yep. Mostly experimenters with homebrew rigs. But that's half the fun.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 09:55 PM   #25
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I was agreeing with you...
 
Old 03-01-2016, 10:09 PM   #26
OregonJim
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I was agreeing with you...
Oh, ok then. We are in agreement. (I read your reply as "True HF is...", not "True, HF is..." - comma makes a difference )

If the OP is interested in Ham Radio, I would suggest starting with a police-type scanner, and listening to the Hams on the 2m band (144-148MHz). That's where most of the newbies start out, and you can learn lots just by listening to them. There are a lot of us 'old timers' there too, acting as "elmers" (teachers/advisors). Most cities are high in 2m activity, so your location and ability to set up an antenna are not issues.

Last edited by OregonJim; 03-01-2016 at 10:20 PM.
 
Old 03-01-2016, 10:17 PM   #27
Doug G
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An old timer... Forgot about 160,60,30,17 and 12 meter bands?
Yes. I haven't had a license since the 1960's (if I remember the date right. These days I have a good memory, but kinda short )
 
Old 03-02-2016, 07:29 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
If the OP is interested in Ham Radio, I would suggest starting with a police-type scanner, and listening to the Hams on the 2m band (144-148MHz). That's where most of the newbies start out, and you can learn lots just by listening to them. There are a lot of us 'old timers' there too, acting as "elmers" (teachers/advisors). Most cities are high in 2m activity, so your location and ability to set up an antenna are not issues.
Agreed, and there are some extremely cheap 2m transceivers on the market now, thanks to one or two Chinese companies. I think (but you'd better check) that most places would allow you to own one and just use it as a scanner until you get a ham licence.

Even in my remote location (which has occasionally been nicknamed Siberia by others in the UK), the local ham society had an active 2m net last time I checked, which was about 5 years ago. Morse was still very poplar too.

I'm not really a ham myself, but I've dabbled a bit in recent years and still keep my licence up to date.
 
Old 03-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #29
273
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This intrigues me, I have a couple of cheap Software Defined Radio USB dongles which can, usually, pick up local FM stations and some AM traffic from the local airport but not well.
What kind of antenna is one looking at to try to receive amateur shortwave broadcasts?
A big problem I have with the AM and FM broadcasts is antenna type and being located in a valley on a hill. Won't shortwave just be "bouncing around"?
 
Old 03-02-2016, 01:29 PM   #30
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This intrigues me, I have a couple of cheap Software Defined Radio USB dongles which can, usually, pick up local FM stations and some AM traffic from the local airport but not well.
What kind of antenna is one looking at to try to receive amateur shortwave broadcasts?
A big problem I have with the AM and FM broadcasts is antenna type and being located in a valley on a hill. Won't shortwave just be "bouncing around"?
Hills are not a problem for shortwave, as it uses skywave propagation - the signals bounce around in the ionosphere before getting to you - not like local AM/FM, which uses groundwave.

A good place to start for an antenna (listen only, no transmit) would be a length of wire about 30 feet long, placed outside. Higher is better. However, unless you have a downconverter, most SDR dongles won't tune down into the shortwave bands below 30MHz.
 
  


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