An Amateur's Discoveries ...
So much to learn in ham. So many directions you can pursue. I rediscovered the ham radio i saw in my youth less than 3 months ago because in just one month in Olivebridge, the area lost power twice and SPECTRUM wifi went down 4x. In the last 9.5 miles when I get off the main highway and drive home at night on the country roads, I have limited but mostly no cell phone service if I were to break down.
I researched ham... read and read and read ... found a local club (OMARC) that also gave the exam ... i bought study guides and drove my wife crazy for 5 weeks walking around replaying my recording of the tech test questions on a Sony mp3 player (Walkman if you're old enough) ... Looking at the sky at night dreaming about the ionosphere.
I purchased a Yeasu 70dr handheld .. found about the 835onthe805.net morning "rag chew" ??? ... woke up religiously every morning for weeks and was amazed that the little radio came alive. Just a month before I was clueless as to what a repeater was.
When I passed the exam in the Town of Kingston, I waited 2 weeks for my call letters to come up in the database. First person I spoke to when i clicked the PTT button was Paul Brown on the morning talk.
Later i found from occasional ramblings that there was alternative world in ham radio called Digital that this group was headed too.
More research. Many had the Anytone 878 digital radio. I bit the bullet and bought one. For two weeks it made an excellent paperweight as I read about the world of code plugs and colors ... then I found out there was no digital repeaters in the area to make it useable. Never fear, Paul told me many were using something that had to do with pie ....raspberry pie .... hotspots? What?
More stuff to learn.
Luckily, one morning Kenny (upcoming weather net) spoke to me after the morning chew. Kenny said, don't worry, he'd set me up. In one day he was on the phone with me most of the day ... Kenny had my Anytone radio programmed (with code plugs), up and running and he provided me with a hotspot which he built.... as well as got me on the air. A great teacher ... okay... I guess you'd call someone like that an Elmer.
Last night I was in my attic putting together a Diamond x50 antenna which Paul Brown recommended and many OMARC members use. I linked into the Ellenville repeater. All of a sudden on my little analog radio I was listening to hams from Scranton PA ....Wurtsboro ... and Vero Beach Florida ... huh... how did these guys located in different states ..hook into this repeater? Hams talking about how all the bands were working tonight.
A ham named Greg was on the chew.... also said he was also located in Olivebridge. He said ...let's try sb??? Sorry... I only know what I've learned so far and that's limited ... but line of sight communication. We talked for about 45 minutes ... unbelieveable clarity (then I found out of course .. he was only .5 miles away)... almost perfect line of sight.
Today I'll be looking into why I was able to make such great contacts last night with just a handheld ... was it as the other hams said .... due to perfect conditions? And then there's the digital groups and trying to deconstruct and recreate what Kenny set up for me so I can replicate it. My wife is going to shoot me. She said, "You can buy radios, I want a new iPhone!" Do you know how expensive an iphone is? :)
Btw: Thanks to all the hams in this group who have helped this newbie locate the PTT button.