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2130 No. 2130 [Edit]
Does anyone here have experience with ham radio (perhaps even getting a license)? I recently stumbled across http://www.websdr.org/ and it's been kind of fun playing around with it, tuning into random parts of the spectrum and catching people's conversations (it's also mind-blowing that we now not only have enough computing power to do the demodulation and signal-processing that used to be done with dedicated circuits directly in software, but that we can do so in real-time inside a browser). Seems like ham radio is a dying hobby these days, and the only people left doing it are the older generations, but the sort of insular culture is also kind of neat – almost like an imageboard community.

Most of the topics I saw being discussed were people talking about their setups, but aside from the communications aspect there's got to be some other cool stuff you can do with broadcast/receive permission for all that spectrum.

Post edited on 23rd Dec 2020, 7:03pm
>> No. 2131 [Edit]
I was going to create a thread about this on /ot/.
Thing is i recognize that it is very useful for survival, but I don't understand how it someone can call it a hobby. It doesn't look like you can have much fun in it. I watched a bunch of videos like "having fun after achieving your license" and all that is done in the video is ask someone else's code(the letter thing) and where he is based, then they end the call and go to someone and repeat again.
Do you have any experience? I understand nothing about it to be honest. The way I'd put it is, it has potential but I can't see the purpose beyond the hypothetical survivalistic scenario.
Also, if you're interest in getting your license, what do you want to do? Morse code? Send images?
I think the only new people who get into this hobby nowdays are army personnel who work with comms or something else.
>> No. 2132 [Edit]
>>2131
I guess you'd have to have a different perspective to get it. Before the internet, connecting with people all around the world with amateur radios must have been a very incredible thing. It's probably similar to how just knowing that you are connecting to parts of the internet that don't get mainstream traffic is enjoyable, like browsing through the hundreds of unlisted imageboards. My granddad over 40 years or so kept a map of all the people around the world he had talked to, and by the time he put the hobby away he had talked to hundreds of people and in every country and every continent, he even talked to people in the north and south poles. In a time where soon enough satellite internet will be available to every corner of the globe, it certainly doesn't seem very interesting, but you have to think about it in context. And something can be an enjoyable hobby just from the curiosity of it alone. Personally I'm of the opinion analog technology should be kept alive due to its much easier to construct nature and potential longevity.
>> No. 2133 [Edit]
>>2131
>ask someone else's code(the letter thing) and where he is based
That's the callsign. And yes, when I listened in on conversations that's basically how most of them went: ask for someone's callsign, where they're form, do some idle chatter, and off to the next person. I suppose there's nothing precluding longer conversations, but then at that point it's no different than chatting with someone in "real-life": there's not much to talk about since you are complete strangers, and the only thing you reliably have in common is your radio equipment which is what the other 30% of conversations seemed to be.

>Do you have any experience? I understand nothing about it to be hones
No I don't, I was just curious which is why I made the thread. I was actually a bit drawn to it from the EE aspects of it: it's a neat way to play around with stuff that you would previously only learn the theory about: about signal modulation, antenna design, coding theory (*), etc. But aside from the educational side of it, I don't know what else one would do.

(*) Supposedly you have to be a bit careful with this last one since all communications are supposed to be in the clear, and any sort of long-transmission encryption is prohibited.
>> No. 2134 [Edit]
>>2132
Yes it should be kept around as well.
>>2133
Yes, but that looks very difficult. They say the questions and answers are pretty easy, but I always found it to be very complicated.
>> No. 2135 [Edit]
>>2134
I think the questions are actually drawn from a fixed pool which they publish ahead of time, so worst case you can just brute-force memorize them, although from a pedagogical standpoint that's not very useful for fundamental understanding.

I also realized I never actually looked through the question set before: I just did, and the questions seem to be divided into five rough sections
* Trivia - FCC Rules, descriptions; Operating Procedures
* EE knowledge – Radio wave characteristics; Electrical principles; Electrical components
* Basic Antenna Theory
* Physical(?) knowledge – Station equipment; Electrical safety
* Signals Knowledge – Modulation modes

The trivia is stuff you've just got to memorize since they're just arbitrary conventions. The physical knowledge is stuff you can probably study last since it's basically an application of the theory things; for instance, if you learn the basic circuit theory you'll be able to get most of the electrical safety ones correct. The difficulty of the other four probably depends on whether you've already been exposed to those topics.
>> No. 2145 [Edit]
>>2130
My primary interest in Ham Radio would be due to Broadband-Hamnet. I think it would be cool to host an imageboard using radio in a post-apocalyptic world. Outside of that though, I don't see the point of Ham Radio. To me, it's inferior to forums because the two of you have to actually be available at the same time in order for communication to be successful and due to time-pressure, you can't structure what you want to say as well as you could in a forum.
I understand the technology had a former glory and I do support archiving and preservation of history but it's still generally irrelevant to me as I have little interest in using something purely because it's an older way of doing things.
Ultimately, if you just want to talk to random people around the world, why not just go on Omegle? I don't know if people still use Omegle like they did in the late noughties or early 2010s but nonetheless, I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
From what I've read on the Ham Radio subreddit, it seems Broadband-Hamnet or some technology like it is what's really rejuvenating the Ham Radio scene.
Anyway, for the time being, as I haven't got the funds, I'll ignore it for now but I have to say, I'm greatly looking forward to where things could end up going.
>> No. 2148 [Edit]
>>2145
In the US doesn't all communication over ham radio have to be done in cleartext (i.e. you can't encrypt things)? How does that gel with broadband-hamnet? It means that you can't do any sort of encryption and that means you can't use almost any of the modern application protocols.
>> No. 2435 [Edit]
https://spectrum.ieee.org/ham-radio was a nice recent article on the current state of ham.

I guess "ham radio" as a community is dying, which makes sense since there are endless ways to communicate these days. Moreover, from a technological standpoint the ability to transmit information over distances via radio is no longer as captivating as it once was, since the Internet suffices for the vast majority of use-cases (especially since you don't need to get a license to experiment with it, equipment is ubiquitous, and development can be done at the software-level).
>> No. 2436 [Edit]
>>2435
Apparently you can use ham radio to make a mesh network.
http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/

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