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Radio Days Are Back: Ham Radio Licenses at an All-Time High
Fox News ^ | November 22, 2011 | Michelle Macaluso

Posted on 11/24/2011 8:07:46 PM PST by SpaceBar

The newest trend in American communication isn't another smartphone from Apple or Google but one of the elder statesmen of communication: Ham radio licenses are at an all time high, with over 700,000 licenses in the United States, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Ham radio first took the nation by storm nearly a hundred years ago. Last month the FCC logged 700,314 licenses, with nearly 40,000 new ones in the last five years. Compare that with 2005 when only 662,600 people hammed it up and you'll see why the American Radio Relay League -- the authority on all things ham -- is calling it a "golden age." "Over the last five years we've had 20-25,000 new hams a year," Allen Pitts, a spokesman for the group, told FoxNews.com.

The unusual slang term -- a "ham" is more properly known as an amateur radio operator -- described a poor operator when the first wireless operators started out in the early 1900s. At that time, government and coastal ships would have to compete with amateurs for signal time, because stations all battled for the same radio wavelength. Frustrated commercial operators called the amateurs “hams” and complained that they jammed up the signal...

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ham; hamradio; hf
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1 posted on 11/24/2011 8:07:48 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

No morse code required?


2 posted on 11/24/2011 8:10:58 PM PST by GOPJ ( Democrats are the only reason to vote for Republicans.... Will Rogers)
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To: SpaceBar

In the event of an economic or national collapse, it may well be the only way to communicate.


3 posted on 11/24/2011 8:11:11 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: GOPJ

Not for several years. Licenses are administered by volunteer examiners near you. www.arrl.org for info.

Over 40 years and still havin’ fun with radio every day


4 posted on 11/24/2011 8:16:03 PM PST by bigbob
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To: GOPJ
No morse code required?

Nope. That requirement was dropped. The entry level license (Technician) requires you to answer 35 questions with a 70 percent passing grade.

Been in this hobby for almost 55 years and enjoy it everyday.

5 posted on 11/24/2011 8:16:42 PM PST by teletech (Say NO to RINOS!)
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To: GOPJ

A Morse code test is no longer a required part of the Ham radio tests. It still is one helluva lot of fun, though: My buddy just chatted from Denver to Paris on a 2 watt Morse rig.


6 posted on 11/24/2011 8:17:31 PM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: SpaceBar

Tried to study the book, you guys are a bunch of science geek geniuses!

I admire you all:) It’s really great fun to listen though:)


7 posted on 11/24/2011 8:18:03 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: SpaceBar

Well it is time for me to get active again.
Thanks for the post.


8 posted on 11/24/2011 8:18:11 PM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: SpaceBar

I’m a ham, been licensed since 1990.


9 posted on 11/24/2011 8:19:13 PM PST by Nowhere Man (GOVT.SYS corrupted run GUN.COM? (Y/Y) -- GUN.COM not found, execute BASEBALL.BAT? (Y/Y))
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To: SpaceBar

I’ve been thinking of buying a ham radio myself. Now I know what to ask for this coming Christmas!


10 posted on 11/24/2011 8:19:24 PM PST by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
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To: SpaceBar

When the untelevized revolution arrives, as it is scheduled to come, they’ll become indispensable!


11 posted on 11/24/2011 8:21:03 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: bigbob

Any recommendations on what equipment to start out with?


12 posted on 11/24/2011 8:21:56 PM PST by Errant
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To: SpaceBar

SHTF preps?


13 posted on 11/24/2011 8:23:05 PM PST by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: SatinDoll

“In the event of an economic or national collapse, it may well be the only way to communicate.”

John has a long mustache. John has a long mustache. The chair is against the wall. The chair is against the wall.


14 posted on 11/24/2011 8:23:25 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: teletech

No morse code required?

Nope. That requirement was dropped
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Guess I won’t have to find that Vibroflex after all.

Of course us old ‘sparkies’ will rule the world when the current fad of phones and internet runs its course.

Kind of like keeping a supply of buggy whips on hand.
But, keep screwing with the fuel supply and buggy whips will be back in demand.....

Still long for the ‘cans’ and ‘bug’ days...


15 posted on 11/24/2011 8:25:47 PM PST by xrmusn ((6/98) If govt involved, the more outlandish a scheme appears, the truer it probably is.)
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To: SpaceBar
... _ _ _ ...


16 posted on 11/24/2011 8:28:26 PM PST by Gene Eric (Save a pretzel for the gas jets.)
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To: teletech

“No morse code required?
Nope. That requirement was dropped.”
___________________________________________

Sorry to hear that. It will open the gates to the CB types.
DE W4EX...first license in 1958.
DXCC top of the honor roll.
Now inactive from the Philippines


17 posted on 11/24/2011 8:29:42 PM PST by AlexW
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To: xrmusn

Bookmark


18 posted on 11/24/2011 8:30:05 PM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: GOPJ

Morse?

My license has the certification for that. Advanced since 1976, Extra since 1985. Commercial later.


19 posted on 11/24/2011 8:32:37 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: SVTCobra03

LOL!


20 posted on 11/24/2011 8:33:13 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS U.S.A. PRESIDENT)
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To: SpaceBar

Proudest moment of my life ... getting my general class license in the mail. Worked hard for about a year learning the electronics necessary (back in the 60s) and passing the 13 wpm exam. Built my own rig and worked the world.

Along came the military and I dropped out as a HAM, never got back into it, to my regret. Glad to see there is a comeback to this marvelous hobby. Just wish they hand kept the original requirements ... forced everyone to discipline themselves into learning electronics and code.


21 posted on 11/24/2011 8:36:03 PM PST by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote)
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To: Kartographer

And now something completely different.....


22 posted on 11/24/2011 8:36:17 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: bigbob

My first exam was before an FCC examiner on Commerce Street in Dallas in 1976. 2nd exam was at same place in 3 months. Left that one with my Advanced.

Extra was by a volunteer examiner in 1985.

GROL in 2000.

Yes, it has changed.


23 posted on 11/24/2011 8:37:06 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Errant

Yeah I’d be interested in hearing how to start out and the pros/cons of this given the internet/technology age. I remember a friend’s dad really into hamming it up but haven’t thought of that in years until today’s thread.


24 posted on 11/24/2011 8:37:47 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat (There's nothing more hypocritical than a white liberal calling someone else a "bigot")
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To: SpaceBar

Morse was what always kept me out - had a commercial third class ticket at one point many years ago. Sounds like the Ham test might now be along those lines.


25 posted on 11/24/2011 8:44:48 PM PST by PAR35
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To: A_Former_Democrat

There’s little that ham radio can do that the internet, cell phones, droids, etc. can’t do a thousand times better. But when a tornado or a quake or a hurricane drops ALL the cell towers and takes out the local power grid, all the high-tech stuff in the world won’t work without the backbone. But the ham radio and car battery will. That’s a big reason to have one, even though they’re so pathetic compared to modern technology.


26 posted on 11/24/2011 8:45:28 PM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: SatinDoll

We have walkie-talkies with a five mile range for that too.
Dad works within the five miles.


27 posted on 11/24/2011 8:46:29 PM PST by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: xrmusn
Vibroflex

Takes a pretty good OP to copy a bug. Electronic keyers sound much better, but so does a hand key used by an operator with a good fist.

I have a beautiful homebrew CMOS twin paddle keyer I use on QRP rigs. It has no on-off switch. The quiescent current is so low that shelf life of the battery is about how long it lasts. Silky smooth twin paddle key I fashioned for it is a joy to operate. The only cable is to the rig, battery and logic is in the brass base of the keyer.

28 posted on 11/24/2011 8:46:44 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: teletech
I have an Amateur Extra license which I got when a 5 WPM Morse Code test was still required, and I'm afraid that's all I'm good for. My dad had his general license, but he had to do 13 WPM. My grandfather became a telegrapher for the Lehigh Valley RR when he was 13 and I heard that he was comfortable at 40 WPM. When I was a child and he was nearly blind and in his 80s, we used to sit by the Halicrafters shortwave radio. He would have me tune it until we got some Morse which sounded like no more than a buzzing it was so fast, but he would just translate to me with hardly any effort.
29 posted on 11/24/2011 8:46:55 PM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: AlexW
It will open the gates to the CB types.

Not really, because it hasn't happened.

"CB types" - even if we may use such a wide brush - are all sitting on 2m FM repeaters, enjoying their signals at +40 dB above the noise floor. Yes, there are people there. Not all of them are "CB types." Some have a long ham career and obviously they had to know the code at some point in time. I don't even have an HF rig in the car; the FT-8800 that I have there is tuned to repeaters, and I don't expect anything out of it than a nice chat on my way somewhere. No DXCC points, at least :-)

HF requires effort that is much higher than V/UHF. You have to have an antenna that is larger than your house. You have to have an expensive rig (if you want contacts, that is.) Or you can build one, if you are a professional (I am, and I do that on occasion.) HF is harder.

And on top of that, even if we somehow imagine an inundation by the "no-code" unwashed masses ... they don't have access to CW subbands anyway. Why to bother what's happening above 14.100? All the DX stuff is in the lower 5 kHz :-)

So far I don't see any problem with new hams - and I don't expect any. I will be working CQ WW CW tomorrow for a few hours, and I expect all bands to be full. Plenty of people know code. With modern equipment it is easier than ever to copy and to transmit. In fact, contesting pushes you toward automated keying because so much is tied into your logging software - generation of exchanges, rig lockout (in multi-TX setups,) tracking of worked stations and multipliers, perfect quality, and so on. Your old straight key still works, but you'd be doing double, if not triple work.

30 posted on 11/24/2011 8:47:27 PM PST by Greysard
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To: SpaceBar

I hear the ‘ham’ radio commercials on the radio all the time lately “Become a ‘ham’ radio operator...” and it sounds to me that someone/some agency is pushing it for the pending problems of the future...when the SHTF what will be left? Ham and CB’s.....


31 posted on 11/24/2011 8:51:39 PM PST by libertarian27 (Agenda21: Dept. of Life, Dept. of Liberty and the Dept. of Happiness)
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To: SpaceBar

One of my good friends was a ham actor, does that qualify?


32 posted on 11/24/2011 8:52:22 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: PAR35
Sounds like the Ham test might now be along those lines.

They publish the exam question pool. ( http://www.arrl.org/question-pools ) If you can read the question and answers and remember the correct answer you can pass the exam.

Find you a local club and I will be someone can help and make the process half way interesting.

33 posted on 11/24/2011 8:52:59 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: PUGACHEV

20 WPM was required when I got my Extra.


34 posted on 11/24/2011 8:54:51 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Errant

“Any recommendations on what equipment to start out with?”

Study a current Technician book. And pass the test. It is easy.

Then get a 2 Meter transceiver and “work” the local repeaters. Then possibly a TNC and discover digital capabilities. (radio email)

Antennas you can make.

Best bang tor those entry dollars.

Check out a local radio club.


35 posted on 11/24/2011 9:02:35 PM PST by prolusion
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To: Beowulf9

Was that really the Technician book, or the one for General or Extra class? The Technician test has about two formulas, one equation, and it’s all multiple choice. There are practice tests online at: http://www.eham.net/exams/

I’ll bet you can top 50% taking it cold.


36 posted on 11/24/2011 9:08:19 PM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: prolusion

Thanks! Obviously there is a LOT to learn. Are there any small off the shelf portable units that would work better than say a CB for a SHTF scenario?


37 posted on 11/24/2011 9:13:45 PM PST by Errant
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To: AlexW
The invasion of the "10-4 good buddy" types was all the talk back when dropping Morse was discussed. From what little I hear on the air, has not happened.

OTOH, I realized soon after getting my license and listening to all the jabbering, that I was just not the talking sort, and never got into much beyond packet radio for a short bit.

Would not mind whipping up an EME array for the challenge, but anal HOA rules make that a problem.

38 posted on 11/24/2011 9:19:12 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: QBFimi

So, anybody can CW, code speed requirements no longer a requirement? Learn as you go I guess. Just curious.


39 posted on 11/24/2011 9:19:46 PM PST by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote)
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To: SIDENET

That was the family assignment given to our daughter - become a ham. She got her licence last month and researching equipment, now.


40 posted on 11/24/2011 9:23:34 PM PST by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: SwankyC

Ham ping.


41 posted on 11/24/2011 9:26:09 PM PST by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: doc1019

later


42 posted on 11/24/2011 9:26:24 PM PST by varina davis (We grow too soon old and too late smart -- Pennsylvania Dutch adage)
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To: Texas Fossil

I got my GROL in 1996, haven’t used it since. It was part of a required class for college and I did well at it, but I was always more into computers and microelectronics. What you don’t use, you lose. I know the GROL was relatively tough, but I got 99% or some such correct.


43 posted on 11/24/2011 9:30:59 PM PST by jurroppi1
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To: scripter

GOOD—we may need them if things go really bad in the near future. Magnetic Pulse Attack, Massive Terrorism to the Electrical grid, War with all of its horrors. Hams a=may well be our best communications.


44 posted on 11/24/2011 9:32:19 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: SpaceBar

Bump for later. (I’ve claimed this was going to happen)


45 posted on 11/24/2011 9:33:51 PM PST by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts bolt The Constitution together as the loose screws of the Left fall out!)
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To: SpaceBar

If you could shield your transmitter-receiver against EMP a HAM outfit would be a big asset when the SHTF.


46 posted on 11/24/2011 9:33:54 PM PST by AU72
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To: coloradan
My father in law is a ham, he has a radio that is about the size of two cigarette packs side by side. He talks to people literally all over the world. I don't call that technology pathetic.
47 posted on 11/24/2011 9:39:42 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: AU72
Assuming you have a way to power the thing. The big HF ses suck up some serious amps, not a trivial task with battery power.

A true SHTF setup would have photo-voltaic charged battery banks. Major $$$ to set up, but once done, can power the house as well to some extent.

Of course, solar is not much of an option for Oregon and the like...........

48 posted on 11/24/2011 9:42:40 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: SpaceBar

Have neen licensed since 1976. Tech in 1976. Advanced in 1978. Extra in 2000. Have had First Class Radiotelephone + Ship’s RADAR endorsement since 1976. Grandfathered into GROL. Lots of fun. It morphed into a career.


49 posted on 11/24/2011 9:43:51 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Errant

There’s two main manufacturers, Yaesu and Icom. There are multiple retailers online, among them www.aesham.com. I don’t think there is any standard route, but a lot of us started out with a handheld radio that operates on the two basic bands where most Technician traffic is located, 2 meters and 440 MHZ.

I’m kind of fond of Yaesu’s FT-60R. It’s straightforward, lets you get on the air, and allows you to access local repeaters, many of which offer internet based connection with other repeaters all over the world. All in all, it’s a good introduction to the hobby for under two hundred bucks. There’s similar radios offered by the other manufacturers.

Here’s the FT-60R site
http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=6EC43B29CEF0EC2B4E19BB7371688B7F&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

Lots of folks are perfectly happy sticking with the UHF/VHF bands that include most of the frequencies Technicians are licensed for. The real shortwave part of the hobby occurs on the lower frequencies, where a General class license is required. That test does take a bit more studying, but it’s not overwhelmingly difficult. Most of the folks with antenna farms in their backyards are General or Extra class hams.

The licensing process has become amazingly easy now. Most every medium sized city has a club with volunteer examiners who give the test, usually on Saturdays. In my county, there’s a test every weekend in one city or another. The testing resembles the DMV exams, and offers instant results. It also offers near-instant gratification, in that your results usually get sent to the FCC early the next week by internet feed, and their computer gets updated each night. As soon as your name appears in the record, you can get on the air, even before the license arrives in the mail. I passed my Technician on a Saturday, and got my call sign after midnight on Monday.

Not unlike golf, you can put a lot of money into the hobby if you want to, but the basics are pretty accessable.


50 posted on 11/24/2011 9:47:28 PM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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