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Oh boy, I've tripped into the DIY wormhole a bit deeper

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  • Oh boy, I've tripped into the DIY wormhole a bit deeper

    So I 'found' a DIY universe in a parallel plane recently. Short back story: I was digging around through some gear I bought and forgot and found a handheld radio scanner I bought about a year ago. Still in the box, very much up-to-date as far as technology and just needing programming. Easy-peasy. Then I find out that it is actually not-so-legal to possess such a device in your vehicle in the state of Indiana unless a person meets one or more of a certain set of qualifications. One of those is to be in possession of an amateur radio license. Well, okay. That sounds like fun.

    The days are long gone when I had my FCC broadcast license back in my college radio DJ days so this sounded kinda neat. I found out that there was an exam date in the hometown so I did a good bit of online studying within a couple of weeks' time and took the exam. Passed it! So now I'm waiting for my official papers and call sign and I'm reading up on what the hell I've gotten myself into...

    Ermagerd!!! We speakergeeks are not alone! The HAM crowd is just as "weird" as us! And the spirit of DIY is totally off-the-chart. Google up DIY antenna design and have a blast. I know I have been lately. I'll get a proper shack built up soon enough but I'm really geeked out about building some of the antenna designs I've found. Speakers! Radios! Antennas! Big fun to be had.

    shawn
    My favorite woofer is a Labrador retriever.

  • #2
    If you have any ham gear that has vacuum tubes let me know... I just scored a treasure trove of tubes, 500+. And there are a good number of RF tubes.
    Craig

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    • #3
      My son and I built two DIY antennas earlier this spring to pull in more FM stations. Less than $20 resulted in awesome reception!
      Craig

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
        If you have any ham gear that has vacuum tubes let me know... I just scored a treasure trove of tubes, 500+. And there are a good number of RF tubes.
        I'm really resisting the temptation to hit Hamvention up in Xenia. I have a feeling I could probably find a TON of old tube radios.

        shawn
        My favorite woofer is a Labrador retriever.

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        • #5
          An avionics tech friend of mine collects Collins gear. I confined my activities to a Yaesu receiver.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
            My son and I built two DIY antennas earlier this spring to pull in more FM stations. Less than $20 resulted in awesome reception!
            Good to know, thanks.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
              My son and I built two DIY antennas earlier this spring to pull in more FM stations. Less than $20 resulted in awesome reception!
              Which ones did you build.

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              • #8
                Oh boy is right. My boss at my other job was really into ham radios. His house was next to the office and he had enough power when transmitting that his voice came through on the work telephone system. He spoke of 'skipping' off of the ionosphere and talking to folks half-way around the world if the sun spots were cooperating. It's pretty cool that communication can happen long distances like that even without the internet!

                Tell you what though, when things go down in a serious emergency, those ham radios may be the only way for public officials to communicate over any distance. We probably owe a debt of gratitude to the folks who man the ham radios.

                Sounds fun if you like to talk! You'll probably have the best-sounding ham radio setup in all of ham-radio'dom.

                TomZ
                *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post

                  Tell you what though, when things go down in a serious emergency, those ham radios may be the only way for public officials to communicate over any distance.
                  TomZ
                  I've often wondered if our government has enough forethought to maintain some old world technology in case the digital thing gets purposefully corrupted.

                  GeeDeeEmm

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                  • #10
                    Just like many other hobbies, astronomy has its fair share or DIY. I spent plenty of time modifying and upgrading telescopes that I owned.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gdmoore28 View Post

                      I've often wondered if our government has enough forethought to maintain some old world technology in case the digital thing gets purposefully corrupted.

                      GeeDeeEmm
                      My boss used to participate in drills for emergency preparedness where ham radio operators would be used to transmit information to and from to the various agencies.
                      They do have a plan, or at least some districts do as far as I know. We have a lot to be thankful for, really. As goofed up as this country seems sometimes, they still get an awful lot of things right!

                      TomZ
                      *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                      *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                      *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gdmoore28 View Post

                        I've often wondered if our government has enough forethought to maintain some old world technology in case the digital thing gets purposefully corrupted.

                        GeeDeeEmm
                        They have warehouses full of old and obsolete technology. Just dust it off and plug it in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
                          My son and I built two DIY antennas earlier this spring to pull in more FM stations. Less than $20 resulted in awesome reception!
                          Yea, what they said. Which one did you build? Indoor, outdoor, recommendations, links??? There's a station I'd like to listen to, but living down in a valley makes it impossible, and putting some kind of large'ish antenna in the living room is a no, no.

                          He spoke of 'skipping' off of the ionosphere and talking to folks half-way around the world if the sun spots were cooperating.
                          Back in my CB days, it wasn't uncommon to talk from here (Missouri) to the Virginia's, Carolina's, or down South to Alabama/Georgia, when the skip was rolling, and IIRC, using way less watts than those Ham guys use. Funny thing how the skip rolls, although at times we could talk fairly easy from the middle of the US to the East, or South, we could almost never talk skip to the West.

                          Should have seen some of those hand-built HeathKit linears. A friend brought one over to the house that covered my entire desk. It was full of those warm, glowing glass bottles, some of which lit-up blue when modulating. It was covered in knobs and gauges. It's not in these pics, but they give you an idea https://frrl.wordpress.com/2008/08/0...102-hw-100101/

                          Still have some vintage tubed CB goodness around here somewhere; a pair of whitface Johnsons and a Green Robin. IIRC, the whiteface Johnsons was only 5 channels (40 + SSB today). You could pull the cage off and swap 'crystals' on the Johnson for more channels.

                          Simpler times.
                          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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                          • #14
                            We ended up installing one like this in our attic:

                            https://www.google.com/amp/s/fmdxing...-about-20/amp/
                            Craig

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post
                              Oh boy is right. My boss at my other job was really into ham radios. His house was next to the office and he had enough power when transmitting that his voice came through on the work telephone system. He spoke of 'skipping' off of the ionosphere and talking to folks half-way around the world if the sun spots were cooperating. It's pretty cool that communication can happen long distances like that even without the internet!

                              Tell you what though, when things go down in a serious emergency, those ham radios may be the only way for public officials to communicate over any distance. We probably owe a debt of gratitude to the folks who man the ham radios.

                              Sounds fun if you like to talk! You'll probably have the best-sounding ham radio setup in all of ham-radio'dom.

                              TomZ
                              Yep, I got to thinking about which speakers I want to pipe it through LOL. As far as the SHTF stuff, I have to admit to my relatively recent slow slide to a prepper mentality. This kind of falls right into that stream of thinking for me. I've been studying mobile radio packs and how to get one made up that I can live with. Its pretty darn fun to say the least.

                              shawn
                              My favorite woofer is a Labrador retriever.

                              Comment

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