Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hamming it up

I've been interested in Amateur Radio since I was 8 years old. Back then, you had to know Morse code well enough to encode and decode a few words per minute.  Try as I might, that part gave me the most trouble. By the time I graduated high school, the FCC had ditched the Morse Code requirement. Then, the cost of equipment had me in sticker shock. All my life, I've been friends with various amateur radio operators.

A few weeks back, I got a good deal on a pair of handheld transceivers from a friend in California, a Yaesu VX-2R and Yaesu VX-7R. This turned a "pie in the sky" thing into a tangible, attainable hobby.
Radios

The VX-7R is beefy and heavy. It's got an alloy case, and it's submersible to 3 feet for 30 minutes, and can withstand hours upon hours in the rain. The VX-2R fits in the palm of my hand. It's light and packed with features. I don't really know how well either of them transmit just yet.

Few things motivate you to get licensed like having new hardware and being unable to legally use it to its fullest potential. I've been cramming these past few weeks, and a group of Volunteer Examiners was hosting a testing session tonight. I went in knowing I'd do really well on the entry-level Technician test. The group let me take the next-level General exam as well, but I missed one question too many to get that license. I hadn't even studied for general, and I guessed at more than half of the answers. I'll go back and take that test sometime later.

Anyhow, looky looky!
The Ticket!

That VX-2R is definitely going on my S24O adventures, and there's actually a lot of entertaining banter on some of the nearby repeaters.

More bikey adventures coming soon!

5 comments:

Rick Blaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yokota Fritz said...

Yay!

I've always been the one on the outside looking in, with a few ham enthusiasts as friends. My journey has been similar to yours, except I haven't actually gotten a license like you have. Congrats!

Wii Balance Board Admin said...

I just stumbled onto you great blog yesterday - you wasted a bunch of my time yesterday as I read your posts! :)

I have been a ham since about 1990when I took a class for credit at K-State - I hold a General ticket.

I ride a SWB recumbent, and would love to commute to work. However I live in western Olathe and work a 435 & Metcalf. Looks like about a 16 mile one-way trip. Legs not ready for that round trip yet. I have been a casual on and off rider, but would like to ramp it up a bit this year.

You have a great blog!

BTW - what is an S240 adventure?

Burke Jones said...

I just stumbled onto you great blog yesterday - you wasted a bunch of my time yesterday as I read your posts! :)

I have been a ham since about 1990when I took a class for credit at K-State - I hold a General ticket. Callsign is N0HYD - I have the Yeasu VX-5 - great radio!

I ride a SWB recumbent, and would love to commute to work. However I live in western Olathe and work a 435 & Metcalf. Looks like about a 16 mile one-way trip. Legs not ready for that round trip yet. I have been a casual on and off rider, but would like to ramp it up a bit this year.

You have a great blog!

BTW - what is an S240 adventure?

Noah said...

Thanks for the kind comments. I have been loving the banter on some of the local repeaters. I'm in the middle of building an APRS tracker out of a TinyTrak 4, an old Garmin GPS and the Yaesu VX-2 you see in the photo. I'm interested in digital modes, but that's going to become an expensive hobby indeed!

S24O is a term coined by the founder of Rivendell Bicycles, and it means a "Sub-24 Hour overnight" bicycle trip. It was designed to be constrained to 24 hours for convenience sake. It's basically a a one-night backpacking trip, except you use a bicycle to get to your destination. Out here in the great plains, it makes more sense to ride to a camp site than it does to hike to one. Let me know if you'd like to be included on the mailing list when I start planning the next one.

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