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Electronics Amateur (ham) Radio license

Discussion in 'Modding' started by foxx, 21 Aug 2005.

  1. foxx

    foxx New Member

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    A couple of friends and I want to start playing around in the rf's and maybe make a radio link between our houses. Now I have read up and seen that we would nead licenses, no problem right? Well we have a few questions...

    I know a lot about electronics but they dont know as much, how much would they nead to know to be able to get a license?

    Is it worth it to go to general, if so how much should we know? (Ive heard we nead to know mores code?)

    Is it worth it to go to extra, if so how much would we nead to know?

    If I have eny other questions Ill be sure to ask. :)
     
  2. smoguzbenjamin

    smoguzbenjamin "That guy"

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    As far as I'm aware they just removed the need for knowing morse, so the biggest hurdle's allready gone ;) I'd inform with the local radio controlling people, they'll tell you all you need to know.
     
  3. star882

    star882 New Member

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    If the houses are close enough, you won't even need ham radio. You could use WiFi. With the proper equipment, WiFi links of several miles have been built!
    If you choose to use ham radio, you'll find it difficult to modify the equipment to do what you want. You could mod a modem to connect to a ham radio transciever, but you'll get only 56k speeds. WiFi equipment could be modded, but chip datasheets for the WiFi circuitry are hard to find, and it also requires access to the IF circuitry of the ham radio.
    Just stick with a VPN.
     
  4. foxx

    foxx New Member

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    Ill try and contact the local ham radio group on that morse code. And our houses are about 10 miles from each other, yes I know the record is like 350 but they all had ham license. So wouldnt we nead a license to make our wifi stretch that far. Besideds we dont really nead it for data, just as an experiment. :)
     
  5. star882

    star882 New Member

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    You don't need a license if you're just dealing with high gain antennas connected to ordinary networking equipment. A passive antenna cannot amplify signals; it can only concentrate them. As for 350 miles, a booster amplifier is almost certainly necessary and therefore a license is needed.
    I remember that 22 miles has been achieved without booster amplifiers. And surprising results can happen with a good wireless card connected to a coffee can antenna. I remember a story about two chicks experimenting with wireless. On the beach, they were roughly 6 miles apart (forgot the exact number) and it was all done with a WRT54G on one end and an 802.11g card on the other, both equipped with antennas made from Pringles cans. The antennas were duct taped to tripods. IIRC, the connection was stable enough to allow Netmeeting with video to work.
    For your case, try to find a pair of discarded satellite dishes and modify the coupling horns by making some out of tin cans.
     
  6. foxx

    foxx New Member

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    Hehe I thing I should try and make a omni directional antenna or elts I would have 5 different satalite dishes on my roof! Hmm, Ill chat with them I think it would be cheaper for them both to just buy a couple wireless cards for 15 bucks instead of getting a license for 22. Thanks.

    BTW: They acualy didnt nead an amp, I think they neaded the licenses for the 2-meter radios they where using. But here is the link.
    http://www.wifi-toys.com/wi-fi.php?a=articles&id=91
    :)

    EDIT: I think I screwed up, Its like 150.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2005
  7. Top Nurse

    Top Nurse Member

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    In the USA you can get an FCC Amateur Radio Technician license, just by knowing some minor electrical theory, AR rules and regulations, and some operating knowledge. Go to the Amateur Radio Relay League for more information. I have had a Technician license for over ten years now. It will allow you to operate pretty much unlimited amount of wattage fron 50 Mhz and up. For the short range you are talking about a 2 meter handheld would probably be just fine and many of the new ones have data ports as well.
     
  8. woof82

    woof82 New Member

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    there are these things called Yagi Antennas which are outdoor directional wifi atennas. Or if your cheapscape and your houses are pretty close you can make one out of pringles boxes...
     
  9. One~Zero

    One~Zero New Member

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    I got my FCC license some time back (1996? I think), and it didn't require you to know morse code any longer. There are different levels of the license, depending on what you intend to use it for. The GROL (General Radio Operators License) is what I got, and most of it seemed pretty straight forward, but I do recall quite a bit of polar equations ("j factors"). You can also get supplemental Radar endorsements and another that I can't recall right now. But even with the GROL license, I'm not quite sure that qualifies for use of the HAM frequencies....?
     
  10. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    i agree, it would definately be easier to use computers to communicate than a radio. computers through the internet also wouldnt have weather interference
     
  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Hi

    I'm a licensed ham radio operator. Despite the new technologies available, it's still rewarding to use radio. Getting a signal around teh world using nothing more than a few watts and a a bit of ionised atmosphere is an acheivement... makes you feel good.

    You only need morse cose if you want a class A license.. class A is where teh good stuff is tho. Then you can use HF (shortwave) and SSB to get the real long distance stuff. Without morse, you will get a class B license, wich is just VHF and above. You'll not really get any great long distance stuff with a class B license, but VHF and UHF tend to be better for data transmission, so if you want to tie it in with your computer, it's ideal. HF is more old school voice and morse.

    You;ll need basic electronic and AC theory like Ohms law, inductance calculations stuff like that... nothing too hair raising, but it;s not a walk in the park either.. you'll need to study. There are tons of books out there. If you're in the UK look up the RSGB (radio society of great britain) as they can give you all the help you will need, if you're not, then i'm damned sure youll have a similar organisation.

    Go for it.

    G0 SLV <------ ham callsign
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2005
  12. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    errr.. that's the whole point... if you want reliability, use a computer... if you wanna mess around with stuff, play with radio. It's a hobby.. not a means to an end. It's rewarding when you DO acheive something.

    Plus... it depends on distances involved. If you just want to send data to someone across town, or even a few hundred miles away, it can be very reliable, and not really influenced much by weather... after all, when was the last time you actually lost your terrestrial TV signal due to weather? I bet you lost your internet connection more often. Only HF global communication is effected by the elements, and even then it;'s rarely weather... sunspot activity is the main factor, and if you go low enough in frequency you can even get around that.

    You're right... using the net is more reliable, and easy... but in a way therefore... more boring. People like me play with radio as well as computers because its fun... not as a means to an end.

    If all he wants is to transmit data, and has no interest in radio, then I agree with you, but if he has any interest in radio whatsoever, then I say he goes for it.
     
  13. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    touché. if they just want to mess around, go ahead and use the radio, but if they want a reliable data and communications link, use a computer
     
  14. star882

    star882 New Member

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    Actually, I've had some problems with HDTV being "rained out" before I got a signal amplifier. With the amp, it's a lot better, although the BER still rises a little bit during rain showers.
    Now, one of the biggest advantages of radio is the potentially very high bandwidth for both download and upload. Some big files can be passed around in a "Bittorrent-like" fashion, but with wireless. In theory, a P2P network can be built around WiFi, with amateur radio being used to extend it further. I'm not sure, but I think it's possible to build a linear transponder that simply translates between 2.4GHz ISM and an amateur radio band.
     
  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    To be honest... despite being licensed for around 15 years now, I've never once even tried to transmit any data. Just doesn't appeal to me. To me, radio was all about hearing some guys voice from the other side of the world.. replying, and him hearing me... that was like .. "Wow.... my voice has just gone 12,000 miles!"
     
  16. theshadow27

    theshadow27 New Member

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    I have had my licence for 5 or 6 years now, and to be honest: cell phones killed the fun of it. there is hardly any use for a ham licence any more... and data is all RTTY which is veeery slow. just play around with some tinfoil and dont worry bout the FCC.
     
  17. RadioJunkie

    RadioJunkie New Member

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    That greatly depends on your location. You can either use a ham radio or a WiFi.

    _________________________
    AES Ham Radio - AES Ham Radio Catalog by AES Amateur Electronic Supply
     
  18. smoguzbenjamin

    smoguzbenjamin "That guy"

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    Read last post date before posting, please :) This thread is ancient!
     
  19. foxx

    foxx New Member

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    Gasp* I was reading through this thread then I came to your post smoguzbenjamin and looked up at the date. I hadnt even realized this was my old thread!

    If anyone cares, I have been studying radio books/equipment/etc, but I never have gotten around to getting a license. It was intended for vocal, but as someone else put it, cell phones came along and ruined it all. I might get back into it one day, perhaps after my schooling in a couple of years. :)
     

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