About Ham Radio (I)
From Daryl Stout
@HURRICAN/THUNDER to All
on Sat Apr 1 00:06:00 2017
HAMS ARE "HI-TECH"
Amateur Radio has been a "Hi-Tech" hobby longer than the phrase
"Hi-Tech" has existed!!! Technical advancement is in our charter from
the Federal government. The rules setting up Amateur Radio say one
reason the service exists is to continue and extent "the amateur's
proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art."
THE "FIRST" HAM
He never had a license, but there were no licenses when Giglielmo
Marconi invented radio in 1895. Marconi himself said he always
considered himself an amateur. We proudly include him in our ranks.
In the early days of radio, the "short wave" bands were thought to be
useless and were given to hams for experimenting. Experiment they did,
and hams discovered that, far from being useless, these frequencies
could provide world-wide communication with relatively small amounts of
power. This experimentation in untested areas continues today, and many technical developments pioneered by hams have been adopted by
professional radio and TV users, helping improve overall
HAM RADIO IN THE COMPUTER AGE
Ham Radio and computers are a switch on the old song about love and
marriage. You can have one without the other, but having both is a lot
more fun!!! Personal computers are finding their way into more and more
Amateur Radio stations as their cost comes down and the number of
ham-related uses goes up. Computers can be used on the air - to "talk"
with other computer-equipped hams, or they can be used in the "shack"
to keep track of contacts, write "QSL" cards to confirm a contact, or
even to control equipment and antennas.
"TALKING WITH COMPUTERS"
The popularity of personal computers has been directly responsible for
a big surge in the use of Radio-teletype or RTTY, on the ham bands.
Stations talking with RTTY or PACKET type their messages to each other
on computer keyboards and read incoming messages on their monitor
screens. The conversation can also be printed out, giving you a
permanent record of the contact. Computers can also be "taught" to send
and receive Morse Code, and many hams use the computers own language,
ASCII, to exchange programs and other information. An overview of
packet is elsewhere in this door.
A more recent mode, VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol...allows for
such modes as Echolink, IRLP, Wires-II, etc. to allow ham radio operators
to talk to stations in many parts of the world...even with just a
Technician class license. An overview of Echolink is elsewhere in this
THE AUTOMATED STATION
Computers may be used to automate certain parts of a ham station's
operation - even if the station owner isn't home! If a computer
equipped ham knows a message will be coming in at a certain time, the
computer can be programmed to turn on the radio at the right time,
"copy" the message, remember it and play it back later. Hams using the
OSCAR satellites can program even the simplest home computer to figure
out where the satellite will be at what time - and to automatically
move the antenna to follow OSCAR's path.
The spread of computers and technology into virtually every area of
our lives is already translating into vast new career opportunities for technically minded people. Ham radio is an ideal way to "get your foot
in the door" of this expanding marketplace. It provides basic
electronic training and practice, plus the opportunity to specialize.
Many hams will tell you their hobby has been a key factor in landing
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