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Old 09-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default Anyone here into Ham Radio?

Just curious if we had any Hams on the site. I've been a storm spotter for Skywarn for awhile, which got me interested in Ham radio. Our NWS works really well with the control net setup by county. Much easier than stopping the radar to call stuff in. Took my Tech class license test and aced it. ULS just posted my call sign yesterday.
Took the General class test the same day, just for the heck of it, (hadn't studied at all for that yet), and just missed passing by 2 questions. (Not bad for some educated guessing!) Going to study the material and take the General class next month.

Running a Yaesu FT2900R, with a Hustler SF2 on a Firestik mount.

If you got a call sign, post it up!
73! -Kilo Delta Two Charlie Uniform Kilo (KD2CUK)
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Congratulations on passing the exam. With a little more studying, you should be able to ace the General exam. Just looked you up, your only 2 hours from me.

I took my Tech in 2001ish when I was stationed at Ft Drum. I was very active in Skywarn, the local club(KC2ELX), RACES and I even applied for M.A.R.*, never followed through though. I upgraded to General when they removed the code requirement. I haven't been active in the last few years. Sold off most of my equipment including my beloved Icom 706MKIIG...been kinda thinking lately about getting back into it.

My original call was KC2JGA, now I have a vanity call, W2JGA.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Awesome.
Did you do Skywarn through Binghamton'* WFO or only while at Drum?

I've been either emailing or calling in reports to BGM'* WFO. I haven't tried getting through to them using the 2M yet. But, we have some repeaters in the area, and the Yaesu pumps out 75 watts. Hope I can get the hang of reporting in that way. I hated having to stop the radar on my phone to call something in, then wait for it to load back up. Our cell service out here is horrible.

I'll have to save for awhile to get a good HF rig once I get the General class aced. I have plenty of room here out back for a small-ish HF antenna, and we are on top of a hill, so its got potential. Theres a few clubs in the area, I ended up taking my exam all the way up in Rome. Nothing was being offered near me. I spend most of my time in Otsego county, and they seem to have a lot more active clubs and members than over here. Now that I'm official, I'll have to check into things.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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I did Skywarn through Buffalo. But now that I am down here in Elmira, it would be through Binghamton.

Try to get a multi-mode, multi-band rig. When I had my 706, I used a Cushcraft tri-band 6mtr, 2mtr, 440 beam antenna and a dipole for 20mtrs. I remember one summer at FtDrum, 2mtrs opened up and 144.200USB was alive with stations from Florida. I cranked the power to 50 watts, turned the beam to the south and threw my call out. EVERYONE started calling me. I think I logged about 30 stations in about an hour before the band went dead. That was a good day!! 6 meters is really fun too!

If your into computers and radios, get a dipole cut for 20 meters and do SSTV. I have many pictures from stations in Russia etc. The opportunities are endless.

Be careful with clubs. Some of them tend to be more "political" than being geared toward members. Google them. If you find one that did FieldDay as a 10A or even higher, stay away. The 10 means they had 10 transmitters on emergency power(A). I seen one club that was a 50A. WAYYYY too many people. How the hell did they even copy any stations with the amount of RF in the vicinity? I'm surprised the ARRL allowed such a large group to participate.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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The Rome Radio club welcomed me with open arms when I took the test. Its just too far, and wouldn't make sense.
Theres one in Norwich, which isn't really an active group, more like a bunch of volunteer FD'* working out of the emergency management office. They have some cool stuff, but I don't think they take it beyond local communications.
The one in Oneonta looks interesting, they have a lot of ARES and RACES members, plus it is the central hub for all transmissions in the area to Binghamton'* WFO.
Again, now that I'm official (been waiting for a class for 3 months now.. had 2 cancel on me, and 2 I couldn't do because of work, but got into the Rome session at the last second), I can look around and see what is going on. I didn't want to poke around until I was official.
There are some options.
You should get back into it. Skywarn could use some more help next summer. This year was crazy for storms out here. Heck, SPC is giving east of 81 a elevated risk for today. Stuff like that makes me excited. I tracked a tornado (vortex sig indicated) storm all the way through Greene and Ulster counties before it got away. No one could get a visual confirmation, but something was doing damage. I rolled through some towns in the Catskills with the FD'* already rolling out as I passed through.
I've been taking distance learning courses for Meteorology for radar, flooding, and other stuff to supplement the Skywarn. The radar class was awesome. And free.
Looking forward to the winter classes, since with my job, I'll be out ahead of DOT and road crews, and bad weather comes up fast here in the hills and valleys on my way to work.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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i can get you back into h/f very cheaply. i have a tempo one in mint condition. this is a tube settup with the 100 watt amp built in. i live in ok. but will send it where ever. i no longer need it, i bought it to get into ham, and just listened. now it just sit'* in the closet in a box. shoot me a price if interested.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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The rig may be cheap, but I can bet that thing would cost an arm and a leg to replace some of the 30 year old resistors/capacitors tubes and alignments again. Probably cheaper in the long run to get a brand new 706.
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