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Every dog has his day
2005 TD42 GU IV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not really sure I have a question here, just sprouting off a few thoughts.

Not sure what but something recently reminded me of an old radio my dad had that I used to muck around with about 35 years ago. Of course it had a rotary dial to turn which moved the tuner across the frequencies, and a couple of buttons.

Now it definately had AM (as in radio, not cb), and SW1 and SW2 (short wave), and I think it may have had FM radio, but not sure about that one.

It didn't have a huge aerial, just the telescopic thing you get with radios, probably about a metre or so long?

I used to love messing around with it when I was a kid. Going through the whole short wave spectrums, and hearing the constant crackled chatter in foreign languages that I couldn't understand.

Then in later years, when UHFs were still beyond my budget, I got a uniden PC122XL, a highly regarded am/SSB radio I'm told, and fitted it to my old *erhum* swb V6 Pajero (ok ok we all had to start somewhere and I didn't even know what IFS or live axle meant and it was great on the beach!).

Now is was probably ten years after what seemed like the golden age of am cbs, now it wasn't my scene but I worked with a bloke who had a VW beach buggy type thing with a cb aerial about a kilometre (give or take) high, and he and his mates would go park at the zig zag or John Forrest Nat park (lookouts in the hills overlooking Perth from the east) and presumably talk chit to other people.

So there was little traffic on the uniden when I got it, probably should have kept saving til I could afford a UHF. Nevertheless I liked the SSB function, got a swr metre to tune the aerial, and bugger me if the planets aligned and I held my tongue right I could occasionally talk to someone in Queensland! I decided that could be used to get me out of the chit if I was in it deep enough in the middle of nowhere. Also I used to quite enjoy being camped at Ningaloo, late arvo sitting in car with a coldie and flicking through the sideband channels listening to, once again, chatter in foreign languages. Maybe it reminded me of dad's old sideband when I was a kid.

Later I did get a UHF of course, but left the am SSB in the car anyway.

Then when I got a patrol, I just fitted the UHF, as I hadn't really used the am for years anyway. Then one day, maybe two or three years ago, I saw it in the shed, and thought bugger it I'll whack it in. So I did that just before a trip up north, then late one afternoon, in a nostalgic moment I turned it on and flicked through all the sideband channels... And much to my disappointment it was almost silent.

Maybe the world has moved on to VHF for marine use and HF and UHF for land, or whatever.

I took it back out of the car a year or so back, having never used it again anyway.

Nowadays I have a UHF, and a Codan HF, a far cry from the old SSB but I dunno, do you ever get that feeling you had armed with a kid's imagination?

Can you still get these short wave radios, and is there a use for them? Do you need one of them 10 metre aerials on your house? Bugger that.

Still, interested to hear other people's thoughts, although I didn't really have much of a question in there.
 

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nissan
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There are still many radios to tickle your fancy.

What you ask for is a communications receiver. No license needed, and it will cover the HF band. You can get all scientific with your antenna type and length, or merely use a random length of antenna - no harm to the radio.

You are right about AM CB. It can be quiet at times. SSB is dependent on the sunspot cycle.

With a small amount of study you could get an amateur radio license. It is the thing for those that like to experiment. This license allows you to transmit on many bands and modes.

There are so many facets of this hobby. Some people just like talking others strive to talk to as many countries as possible (contests), some are into home brew (making your own gear), foxhunting (finding hidden transmitters), cw (Morse code), digital modes, slow scan TV (transmitting pictures), making antennas, bouncing signals off the moon, aprs (tracking cars and other objects).

Not an exhaustive list!

But it is easily possible to change out the codan in your 4x4 to something you can tune around with like your father's radio.



Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
 

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nissan
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I too had those childhood memories. My dad, an amateur radio operator (HAM) is currently in poor health and always wanted me to get my license. So I did, earlier this year (it only took me 25 years). I went straight for the standard license as I have a reasonable understanding of radio and electronics, although, I still had to study a lot and learn a lot for that class of license. I now talk with a group of people most afternoons of which my dad is a member of and enjoy it a lot. My dad lives about 300kms from me and we talk quite happily on the 40m band on SSB (about 7mhz). People in the group are from all over WA and occasionally we get eastern staters listening in too.

I also have 2m setups in the house and 'shack' and in all the cars. My wife and one of my best friends sat their Foundation licenses when I did my standard and we are able to talk over a 100kms or so distance through the local repeater on VHF. Because we live in a regional area, hardly anyone uses the repeater except for us so we just leave it on in the house 24/7 and very rarely use our mobile phones anymore.

Sounds to me like you should go and get your Foundation license. It's not too hard and not too expensive. You can then start to dabble in the many, many different areas of HAM radio.
 

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subject

Back in the 70's and 80's, I used to muck about with CB radios..mainly a Kraco SSB, set up with power mike and quarter wave antenna. On good days I could chat with my brother...I was in Adelaide and he was in Port Hedland!

Over here in Europe, UHF radios are rarely seen, but normal AM/FM/SSB are quite common. I have a President Jackson II ASC installed in the dash of my GU and every now and then listen to traffic between UK and USA, as well as lots of chatter from all over the EU. Every so often I can hear a bloke in Victoria, but I've never been able talk to him.

All good fun.
 

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nissan
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A sparky I had was into ham radio he had a distance record for awhile Perth to Tassie I think
Will suit you Lee all old lonely farts:) hey maybe you could chat to Esty while he's bludging:p:grinroll:
 

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Every dog has his day
2005 TD42 GU IV
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha!

Thanks fellas that's all very interesting, I just assumed in the modern era of the world being so small there was none of this sort of thing going on any more :)

Clearly I was very wrong.

After the Gas Dash this year I am retiring from racing, and after the next 3 or so biggish jobs I've got booked in I'm retiring from spending multiple weekends wiring people's cars and race cars, (um, the missus had her say in that one, and I'm over it), so I plan to have more spare time to actually use my patrol... And any other hobbies I come up with :)

Top of the list is learn another language.

Meh...
 

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nissan
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One of my housemates is into ham radio, something something HAX if you've heard him on the airwaves ethanboris. Has picked up/spoken to people on the other side of the globe, played with an 8m antenna on an extendable pole out the back, and other messes of wire.

Don't mind it too much, except when on a certain frequency it activates my touch lamp when I'm trying to sleep, a bit trippy when it starts turning itself on and off before you realise the bugger is on the radio :p
 

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Cruisin for a bruisin
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Ham radio has many many facets available. More keeps opening up and I've had my full licence since the days when morse code was a requirement at 10 words a minute.

And my Brunswick has a tri band unit. Vhf UHF and UHFCB frequencies all in one radio.

Enjoy mate
 

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Every dog has his day
2005 TD42 GU IV
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18,613 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So hypothetically where would one buy these things and what sort of costs are involved and with whom does one enquire regarding licenses?

Thanks again fellas this is quite interesting.
 

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nissan
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So hypothetically where would one buy these things and what sort of costs are involved and with whom does one enquire regarding licenses?

Thanks again fellas this is quite interesting.

I have just received my HAM license so can give some info.
the WIA does the exam on behalf of ACMA and once u pass the test it notifies the ACMA who assign you a call sign. There are three Level of HAM License: Foundation, Standard and Advanced.
Go for foundation, its fairly easy , have a read here , and you can do some practice exams here .
Once you score above 90% on that test exam, you are good to go.
 
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I have both UHF and AM SSB in my patrol.
SSB can be great fun. As a youngster I made a bracket to hold an old Ringo antennae on the towbar of my Sigma. (I used to pack it up for traveling, it wad 16 feet long) Me a few mate used to go park on some local hills and talk to people all over the place.

I will never forget sitting on the foreshore at Victor Harbour with a standard SSB radio and a 5 foot whip antennae talking to a guy from France like he was just down the road. Skip was great then.
 

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nissan patrol
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I have just received my HAM license so can give some info.
the WIA does the exam on behalf of ACMA and once u pass the test it notifies the ACMA who assign you a call sign. There are three Level of HAM License: Foundation, Standard and Advanced.
Go for foundation, its fairly easy , have a read here , and you can do some practice exams here .
Once you score above 90% on that test exam, you are good to go.
Thanks for the link Ron1n, thats a great practise exam and had fun doing it. Like wise there Leethal always had a fascination with amateur radio although it was always conducted illegally. From doctoring up the old SSB radio with a few more watts coupled with the station master antenna listening to Mexicans in Mexico was good for a laugh. Got a bit serious in the early 90's with the ACMA or who ever it was tracking down my mate's and myself, issuing warnings that if we did not stop we would be in serious trouble.

Will look into it myself if the exam is really that easy ?, what is required in the practical assessment ?, I always thought you needed to know morse code and recite the phonetic alphabet or something similar ?.
 

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nissan
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Hi mate, the exam is fairly easy. if you are serious, grab a copy of this book https://www.wia.org.au/licenses/foundation/foundationmanual/ or alternatively
watch videos made by Ron Bertard. He has done two lots of videos, one for Theory (18 of them) and one for Practical (21 short videos). I made notes as I watched them. That was enough for me to pass the test.

Also depending on where you are based, join a ham club, they really look after you and guide you through the exam. here is a list of clubs Ham clubs

The practical is very easy, u need to know a few type of cables and connectors, work place health and safety stuff, how to initiate a call etc. The link to youtube I put above has it all.
 
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