Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Okay, I swear this isn't going to turn into an amateur radio blog, and I swear I'm still riding, albeit not as much as I wish. While en route between home and work, I'll often participate in one of the local commute-time discussions. A few regulars tune in to the frequency used by a local repeater, discuss current events and shoot the breeze. Some of these guys are a riot. It beats morning radio, for sure. I do more listening than talking. On the bike, I leave a radio in a pannier pocket and hook up a handheld speaker/microphone.

I've been doing a bit of work on the side to drum up funds for a things I want or need. One of those was decent ham radio to to use at home; something 25 watts or better. A few weeks back, I went to what was essentially an amateur radio swap meet. I scored two used dual-band mobile transceivers with accessories for considerably less than the price of a single new unit with the comparable gear. Both are capable of pumping out 50 watts. One of them is tiny -- about the size of a hard drive.

But then, the real surprise was that c'Dude himself also picked up a tiny handheld that same weekend. It's not too much different than the VX-2R I have, but it's got some more features. I've known he was a ham since I met him. While he's had a license to operate on the air for a long time, he hasn't had a radio, as far as I know, in quite a while. This should be fun!

We've talked on the air a few times, but I think our commuting schedules are far enough off that we probably won't be ragchewing from the bikes at the same time too often. This should be a pretty cool addition to darkside rides and bike camping trips, though.


Apertome said...

That's awesome. I love the way you combine bikes and geeky stuff. I'm working on a post about warbiking, but it might be a little while before I can finish it, given that it's finals week and all.

Noah said...

Just wait until you see the TinyTrak 4.

It will take NMEA output from my Garmin GPS12, encode the coordinates into a split-second long audio format -- AFSK at 1200 BPS if you care to know. Every few minutes or so, it will then, by way of a special cable, emulate the pressing of the push-to-talk button and spew this audio blip out to the airwaves where they'll be picked up by internet-connected receivers and uploaded to the Internet, updating a map in real time. It should work properly with my little VX-2R handheld, so I don't have to tie up my more powerful Yaesu VX-7R with these infrequent but fun transmissions.

For more info, google APRS. Think of it as the inverse of warbiking, or something.

Apertome said...

Sounds like a DIY version of one of those Spot trackers. Excellent!

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