ham radio operators?

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StatHaldol
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by StatHaldol » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:36 pm

Nice looking paddles! My code is so slow, I need to brush up and build my speed. I used to practice with my dad, he was a radio man in WW11. I miss those days.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:41 pm

StatHaldol wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:36 pm
Nice looking paddles! My code is so slow, I need to brush up and build my speed. I used to practice with my dad, he was a radio man in WW11. I miss those days.
I know what you mean.

My dad wasn’t a radio op (he was airborne in WWII), and he didn’t know code, but he was hugely supportive of my interest in radio and he enjoyed watching me operate.

When I passed my General exam in 1962 he somehow found, bought and gave me a used Vibroplex Original Deluxe to celebrate. It was a big deal. Money was tight in those days.

I miss those days, too.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:00 am

durangopipe wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:15 pm

My Vibroplex Champion arrived today. I swear, it had never been touched before it got to me. There wasn’t a mark on it. The contacts were very badly oxidized, but that’s to be expected after 72 years. Other than that, it was immaculate. The guy who sold it to me described it as “Excellent pre-owned condition.” I would describe it as New Old Stock.

Image

The Champion was known as the “Chevrolet” of the Vibroplex line. Back when the Original was selling for $15.95 and the Original Deluxe cost $19.50, the Champion sold for $9.95.

I connected it to my Yaesu, and I love it! Not only does it feel great to send with, its speed range is 16-26 WPM. It doesn’t need any kind of tamer to use for SKCC QSOs. I think I’m going to leave it plugged in all the time. I enjoy its “feel” as much as my Originals.

Here’s a Vibroplex ad from 1948:

Image
Wow! What a great find! It does look brand new.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:46 am

I had time to make a few more pictures this morning:

Image

Image


This is the bug collection ...

Image
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by StatHaldol » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 pm

Wow! That's a great collection! My dad and I practiced with a strip of tin, a buzzer, some wire, and a battery!!
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:26 pm

StatHaldol wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 pm
Wow! That's a great collection! My dad and I practiced with a strip of tin, a buzzer, some wire, and a battery!!
I remember those days too! :D
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:41 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:46 am
I had time to make a few more pictures this morning:

Image

Image


This is the bug collection ...

Image
Pristine collection! Great pictures as well. I'm jelly.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

"The yutz is silly Jocose. I have him foed yet still have to view his stupid and annoying thread titles." ~ Goose55

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Craft » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm

Who do you guys contact with those?
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 pm

Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm
Who do you guys contact with those?
Other hams all over the world.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Craft » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:54 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 pm
Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm
Who do you guys contact with those?
Other hams all over the world.
Is there some charm it has over social media, forums, and more contemporary mediums?
“I don't dislike babies, though I think very young ones rather disgusting.” - A. Victoria

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:57 pm

I think I answered this question earlier, Craft, but I’ll elaborate a bit.

Partly, it’s for fun.
Partly, it’s to provide a communication service when needed (which is more often than many realize).
Partly it’s the satisfaction of learning and doing something that takes time, effort and technical expertise to master.

Some of it is just nerdy things (assembling, building, programming, etc.).
And the “stuff”. The gear.

Regarding Morse code specifically ...

Although the emergency scenarios where code is truly the only available option are now extremely rare, there’s a great deal of pleasure and pride in being able to do it well.

I’d make an analogy with celestial navigation ...

My son was the last quartermaster on his ship who was well-versed in it. In fact, the Navy no longer teaches it and the ships have decommissioned their sextants. My son was able to buy his ship’s sextant when he left the Navy. He still practices.

Why bother? We’ve got GPS, right?

Well, for one thing, he loves it. For another, there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in doing it well.

Beyond that the GPS system is vulnerable, and if it goes down because of a major solar event, a hostile attack or some other malfunction most are dead in the water.

Similarly, even high-tech communication systems are vulnerable - things break, ships take on water and radios get soaked, components blow. If you’re at sea or a remote base or facility you could be left without a way to communicate.

A knowledgeable radio tech can construct a Morse code capable radio out of a minimum number of salvageable components. But it seems that now (as with celestial navigation) only a few will be able to do it.

Also, in poor countries (like Cuba, for instance) Morse code radios are still accessible (and affordable) to citizens wanting to maintain contact with the outside world.

In over 50 years on the air I’ve talked with dozens of Cuban stations.
I’ve never worked a Cuban on a mode other than code. Personally, although I know they’re there, I’ve never heard one, either.

Likewise, Russians, for some reason.
Russians radio operators LOVE code and are some of the best operators in the world.

If you’re not involved with it you’d never know it, but since the FCC ceased requiring code proficiency for licenses code has enjoyed a tremendous renaissance.

I’d chalk that up to what I said above: fun, the ability to provide a service if ever needed, a sense of pride and accomplishment.

One more thing: there remains among users of code a wonderful sense of community, mutual respect and civility that is lacking in social media.

I believe the difficulty of becoming proficient serves as something of a filter.
Last edited by durangopipe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Craft » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:27 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:57 pm
One more thing: there remains among users of code a wonderful sense of community, mutual respect and civility that is lacking in social media.
Oh I don't doubt that... :smoke:
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by StatHaldol » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:36 am

Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:54 pm
durangopipe wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 pm
Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm
Who do you guys contact with those?
Other hams all over the world.
Is there some charm it has over social media, forums, and more contemporary mediums?
Many of us help By providing communications in times of natural disasters. I live in Louisiana, during Katrina, my wife and I worked in shifts to relay messages from those in south Louisiana to other parts of the country. Cell phone and conventional communications were the first things to go.
I keep my radio and antennas in working order, in part, to assist in major disasters I pray we never see.

“When all else fails, ham radio”.
"Twas much, that man was made like God before, but that God should be made like man, much more". John Donne

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:08 am

StatHaldol wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:36 am
Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:54 pm
durangopipe wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 pm
Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm
Who do you guys contact with those?
Other hams all over the world.
Is there some charm it has over social media, forums, and more contemporary mediums?
Many of us help By providing communications in times of natural disasters. I live in Louisiana, during Katrina, my wife and I worked in shifts to relay messages from those in south Louisiana to other parts of the country. Cell phone and conventional communications were the first things to go.
I keep my radio and antennas in working order, in part, to assist in major disasters I pray we never see.

“When all else fails, ham radio”.
:thumbsup:

Same here ...

During forest fires, searches for lost or injured hunters and hikers, and regularly for community events like bicycle races and hot air balloon rallies.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:26 pm

Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:54 pm
durangopipe wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 pm
Craft wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 pm
Who do you guys contact with those?
Other hams all over the world.
Is there some charm it has over social media, forums, and more contemporary mediums?
Syeve and Stat nailed it.

I also like that one can simply throw a wire into a tree or off of a Hoyel balcony and make contacts all over the country and even the world just using a 9 volt battery.

A lot of folks like to combine hiking and Ham radio with Summits On The Air or SOTA for short. Activators, as they're called, are folks who climb various summits on the globe and make contacts all over the world, chasers are ones who listen for the activators and both score points for the contact. I've activated a handful of summits before and I've chased about 40 summits this year using 10 watts of power or less.

Morse is super reliable in bad conditions and can be heard when voice cant be.

I also like to "travel" the world from my front porch with a pipe in my gob and meet some great people.

I especially like that CW is the gentleman's mode. It weeds out the idiots who just want to talk trash.

Anywho, I haven't had a chance to help in an emergency but I'm glad I could if the need ever were to arise.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:22 pm

Image

The Eagle has landed.

:chili:

This key is amazing, just a slight touch and code is sent. I had no idea how great these are.

Dit dit
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

"The yutz is silly Jocose. I have him foed yet still have to view his stupid and annoying thread titles." ~ Goose55

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:42 pm

Jocose wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:22 pm
Image

The Eagle has landed.

:chili:

This key is amazing, just a slight touch and code is sent. I had no idea how great these are.

Dit dit
I love the finish. Absolutely gorgeous!
Congratulations - enjoy it!
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:29 pm

Dare we believe?

Maybe there's hope for cycle 25!
“... we deduce that sunspot cycle 25 will have a magnitude that rivals the top few since records began. This outcome would be in stark contrast to the community consensus estimate of sunspot cycle 25 magnitude.”
This prediction is the opposite of everything we've been hearing for the past couple of years.

But if this is true we'll have the experience, one again, of the higher bands being open most of the time and working the entire world easily with low power on 10, meters. Those thousands of 20-15-10m tri-band beams out there will once again become useful. :D

Of course that also means that GPS will get knocked out more often. :(

We should know who's right in about 5 years.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:03 am

The solar flux has been 73 or 74 for the past few days; hopefully, it's a sign of good things to come.

Whenever I've gotten on the air recently, I've turned on both my Icom and my Yaesu. I leave the Icom on 6m with the beam pointed toward the Northwest, and I operate on HF with the Yaesu.

But I watch the band scope for any activity on 6m, hoping to get a chance to give Jo a holler.
So far - nada. Zilch. Zip.

Dead as a doornail.
And this is the good time of year for 6!

:(

On the bright side, 20m was hopping with Europeans this past weekend.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by TNLawPiper » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:32 am

Jocose wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:22 pm
Image

The Eagle has landed.

:chili:

This key is amazing, just a slight touch and code is sent. I had no idea how great these are.

Dit dit
Stop hamming and start posting again.
Stat crux dum volvitur orbis.

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