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Tell us your ham radio beginning here!

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #1
Howdy,

What got you into ham radio? Where and when did the passion start and how far did it advance all the way until today?
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #3
I got into ham radio because being out Storm spotting cell service sucks at times so ham gets me into nws . I am now a general class operator.
I can attest to your response. In May of 2009, a powerful derecho hit my local area causing multiple-week power outages. It was really the ARES folks that kept communications going for several days. My hat is off to you guys :)
 
#4
A Jeep friend and I were talking and I expressed by discontent with CBs and how most others I Jeep with have poorly installed CB setups and can barely talk a half mile. He informed me that there was something better and I have fully embraced it. I have also surrounded myself with more off roaders who are hams and generally go on adventures with them instead. The local radio club I associate with does activate for severe weather and since I have always been fascinated by weather it seemed only fitting to get involved with Skywarn as well.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #6
A Jeep friend and I were talking and I expressed by discontent with CBs and how most others I Jeep with have poorly installed CB setups and can barely talk a half mile. He informed me that there was something better and I have fully embraced it. I have also surrounded myself with more off roaders who are hams and generally go on adventures with them instead. The local radio club I associate with does activate for severe weather and since I have always been fascinated by weather it seemed only fitting to get involved with Skywarn as well.
That is pretty cool! Over here, people jeep a lot off road in the forest. I'd imagine you can get fairly good signal doing something like that, right?
 
#7
It works pretty well, then when I get to camp I put an antenna up in a tree and talk all over the Country/World.
If I don't have cell signal, I can send a text message to my wife from the ham radio in my Jeep either through a local digital repeater or via the International Space Station.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #8
It works pretty well, then when I get to camp I put an antenna up in a tree and talk all over the Country/World.
If I don't have cell signal, I can send a text message to my wife from the ham radio in my Jeep either through a local digital repeater or via the International Space Station.
Now that is something I never knew about. That is pretty cool! Why aren't more people into ham radio!!! :D
 
#9
My introduction to amateur radio started with my late uncle, he was an interesting person, very intelligent, was a classmate of Neil Armstrong. he was a quadriplegic after a bad auto accident, but didn't let it slow down his enthusiasm. he was an avid shortwave listener, years ago a company called Heathkit made kits you could build to make short wave radios, amateur radios, clocks etc. He ordered a kit and at the age of 8 years old, I became his hands and built the radio for him. In turn he bought me a kit for myself to build. many a night i stayed up late tuning through the bands listening to broadcast stations and amateur radio stations from around the world.

Going forward a few years, my father owned a business customizing cars, this was in the 70's/80's when the CB boom was still in full swing, we had a CB in his van, one in the shop, and one in my room. Had a lot of fun talking to the locals on CB, during the blizzard of 78 for many rural folks the only means of communication was CB or ham radio.

I had been interested in getting my license, but life kept interrupting, every time I lined up a testing session I would end up getting deployed to some far end of the country either by FEMA or the Red Cross on disaster relief operations. When I was deployed to NYC for the 9-11 operation I worked with a few cool guys who for Christmas bought me a 2m HT as incentive to get my license. When I finally returned home in 2002, I was at the first testing session available locally and got my license. After that I was active with skywarn on amateur radio, prior to that I worked with a bunch of folks that used CBs and had one guy as net control who would call the NWS WFO spotter hotline (not many cell phones in those days.

I was invited to one of the local clubs Field Day sites and had a blast, I was operating the 20m HF station, made contacts all over and got bit hard by the DX bug, so I upgraded from technician to General. From there I started working with the NHC VOIP hurricane net and the HF hurricane net.

Now I am a VE and give the exams to help bring new members into the hobby. I enjoy helping new hams get their feet wet.
 
#11
I was introduced to 2-way back when I was 7 or 8. My babysitters husband had bought me a couple frs radios for Christmas/Yule, and it just fascinated me. How did they work? and so on. Skip ahead 8/9 years and my buddy, whose dad used to be a trucker and now is again, got me into CB. I was in my wood shop class, and had a cobra CB HT out. Our school janitor saw it and talked with me for a minute. "Hey I got someone you need to talk to. Meet here after school?" I said sure and he introduced me to a staff member whom was licensed. He told me about the hobby and well "Hello Barnes and Noble I need this ARRL Tech Manual please" (This was 2008/9) And lets just say my wood shop teacher gave up and left me alone to study in his class. Got my ticket April of 2009 as KD0HJY. I almost immediately applied for the vanity W0JLH. OPWeather from the times of Skywarn Online and Dave sold me his yaesu VX-170 or 270 the predecessor to the FT-270 2M HT and well now I am N7AGV have HF worked a few special events sadly i live almost literally across from a power sub station so my noise floor is s9+ and well only can hear booming stations for the most part. Then I had a Ham drag me into Moto equipment, but thats another story lol.
 
#13
I was introduced to 2-way back when I was 7 or 8. My babysitters husband had bought me a couple frs radios for Christmas/Yule, and it just fascinated me. How did they work? and so on. Skip ahead 8/9 years and my buddy, whose dad used to be a trucker and now is again, got me into CB. I was in my wood shop class, and had a cobra CB HT out. Our school janitor saw it and talked with me for a minute. "Hey I got someone you need to talk to. Meet here after school?" I said sure and he introduced me to a staff member whom was licensed. He told me about the hobby and well "Hello Barnes and Noble I need this ARRL Tech Manual please" (This was 2008/9) And lets just say my wood shop teacher gave up and left me alone to study in his class. Got my ticket April of 2009 as KD0HJY. I almost immediately applied for the vanity W0JLH. OPWeather from the times of Skywarn Online and Dave sold me his yaesu VX-170 or 270 the predecessor to the FT-270 2M HT and well now I am N7AGV have HF worked a few special events sadly i live almost literally across from a power sub station so my noise floor is s9+ and well only can hear booming stations for the most part. Then I had a Ham drag me into Moto equipment, but thats another story lol.

Bummer about the high noise floor, only so much filtering you can do to alleviate that.

I know all about the moto gear, have a friend/fellow ham who is a moto service tech for a local Motorola dealer/service shop, though him, and my public safety background I have gained an appreciation for moto gear, i have several HT-1000 and PR-860s they were used by local fire departments before they switched to a 700/800 Mhz trunking system that covers much of NW Ohio and they donated their old gear to our club. Have programmed them for our area repeaters and offer them to new members getting licensed.
 
#14
Bummer about the high noise floor, only so much filtering you can do to alleviate that.

I know all about the moto gear, have a friend/fellow ham who is a moto service tech for a local Motorola dealer/service shop, though him, and my public safety background I have gained an appreciation for moto gear, i have several HT-1000 and PR-860s they were used by local fire departments before they switched to a 700/800 Mhz trunking system that covers much of NW Ohio and they donated their old gear to our club. Have programmed them for our area repeaters and offer them to new members getting licensed.
Sorry it took me a bit to respond Keith. I forgot my password and the question you have to answer doesn't like my iphone lol.

Yeah I am going to try and get the collins ssb filter and see if that drops it at all, maybe get a 9:1 Balun and some more wire and get it higher.

I love Moto gear I just wish i had the money to drop on an APX7000 vhf/uhf1 split and the software etc or an 8000, For our City's EOC Volunteers we have HT1250s and utilize the old VHF Fire dispatch repeater since they got it grandfathered in luckily. That was my first experience with Moto gear I liked it. Then a local Ham was selling Maxtracs and i bought a 32 channel one. I regret it since he used some modified RSS and my buddy can't use his genuine copy to modify the channels, but anyways yeah i got bit by the moto bug. Now a mcs2000 VHF hi-power split 2 146-174 is in my car. Have a vhf ht1250 and then a uhf xts3000 and I love p25...and MDC....MDC more for reasons and then the MCS2000s GE star for the same reasons as MDC lol.
 
#15
We currently have an unused UHF commercial 4 bay folded dipole on the 150 ft tower outside my office. I am seriously considering getting a DMR repeater and putting it up for amateur use. Would be very simple to put it online. the feedline to the antenna is already there, and the repeater shed already has conduit run to it to run a ethernet cable for linking.
 
#17
I have been a CBer since I was 16. Back in 1995 a bud of mine handed me a book and told me to study it for the test. I crammed for 3 weeks and walked in after 15 minutes later I walked out with a piece of paper [I aced it]. Later I joined RACES in my county EMA and from 1995 to 2001 was with RACES. In So Carolina I went to a SKYWARN class and was hooked, Unfortunatly my health has deteriorated and I haven't been to a TEXAS class.
 
#18
In So Carolina I went to a SKYWARN class and was hooked, Unfortunatly my health has deteriorated and I haven't been to a TEXAS class.
Welcome Reed. The NWS does Spotter training webinars too. I don't know why more NWS offices don't promote that other than than want people to come to their classes.

Mar 1st 6:30 PM- https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1162622882563654402
Mar 13th 6:30 PM- https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5082554458910673666

There is also and Advanced Spotter webinar, Apr 9th 6:30 PM
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5457703428458491394
 
#19
A long time ago, my Dad had a tube shortwave receiver in a big wooden cabinet. I bugged him about it enough that he “made” me listen to his lectures on radio theory, atmospheric impacts on same and how to use his Heathkit tube tester (among other magical electronic gizwidgetry. I was hooked on listening to SW for life. I forgot all about the electronic theory except the part about the smoke. In 1992 I got a Tech plus license and over the next 5 or 6 years went to Tech Plus, General, Advanced and Extra. Along the way I learned to enjoy CW, 2m FM and Packet. Have been inactive and back again several times. Now somewhat active, but no longer live where I can grow antennas. So I piddle a little and listen a lot.

That is the Cliff Notes version. :censored:
 
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