Is anybody still interested in Ham Radio?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
After finding the University of Michigan's Ham Radio club (W8UM) to be essentially defunct, I decided to take it upon myself, a second-year EE undergrad student, to try and restart it. I have had tremendous support from various faculty, including EE professors and even the new chair of the EECS department. But my question is: are there any students who might still be interested in this form of wireless communication? From what I understand, it was lack of student interest that brought down the club in the first place.



I would think that people would find the prospect of around-the-world communication without having to rely on an infrastructure a rather interesting one, especially since we are so heavily reliant on our connectivity. And the many digital modes of operation, including the newest, HSMM, which is based on the 802.11b protocol, allowing licensed hams to operate stations much more powerful than those allowed on the non-licensed commercially-available access points, should really interest all those people who are rushing out to by wireless PCMCIA cards. Everyone thought that iChat AV was the coolest thing ever...try doing that around the world, with no wires whatsoever!



As our world becomes more reliant on wireless technologies, I can only hope that there are still people out there with the pioneering spirit of those whose home-brew equipment has gotten us to where we are today.



I hope that didn't sound too desperate...I'm just curious since I assume many of your are the type of people who'd be interested: you folks are interested in the development of cutting-edge technology, communications, and I know a lot of you really like to talk .



-KC8TKP

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    skipjackskipjack Posts: 263member
    I haven't looked at amateur radio in a long while. I thought that packet radio would develop into something significant. Apparently it hasn't. Heathkit used to have packet radio equipment, but I don't know if anyone ever ported the applications to the Apple II or Macintosh.



    If I ever got a shortwave transmitter/transciever, that's something I'd like to try. It's kind of like a foreign language, though. Not much use unless there's someone else out there still doing it.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    It's a losing battle.

    Like morse code clubs..deadly silence...

    People are lazy.

    They want to be entertained not do the entertaining.

    \
  • Reply 3 of 8
    mmm.....a radio made out of ham.....



    -homer j. simpson
  • Reply 4 of 8
    dstranathandstranathan Posts: 1,715member
    No.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by superkarate monkeydeathcar

    mmm.....a radio made out of ham.....



    -homer j. simpson




    So Muslims and Jews aren't allowed ?

    This " ham " radio stuff is an insult to other cultures.

    Maybe we should change it to Vegan radio !
  • Reply 6 of 8
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Ham frequencies are totally different from PCMCIA wireless cards. But the idea of a Ham radio/PCMCIA is pretty cool. You could probably implement a worldwide P2P AIM/Chat network that would be "kick-ass" -S. Jobs.



    EDIT: Oh, I am thinking of shortwave radio. Or is that the same as Ham? You can see I am not an expert.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    noleli2noleli2 Posts: 129member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Skipjack

    I haven't looked at amateur radio in a long while. I thought that packet radio would develop into something significant. Apparently it hasn't. Heathkit used to have packet radio equipment, but I don't know if anyone ever ported the applications to the Apple II or Macintosh.



    If I ever got a shortwave transmitter/transciever, that's something I'd like to try. It's kind of like a foreign language, though. Not much use unless there's someone else out there still doing it.




    There actually is a bit of Mac software. The stuff I've checked out is from Black Cat Systems , namely MultiMode.



    Quote:

    Ham frequencies are totally different from PCMCIA wireless cards. But the idea of a Ham radio/PCMCIA is pretty cool. You could probably implement a worldwide P2P AIM/Chat network that would be "kick-ass" -S. Jobs.



    Actually, there are quite a lot of amateur radio bands that run all the way from HF (1800KHz) at the low end all the way (non-continuous, obviously) through 250GHz at the high end. Anything over 350GHz is also in the ham bands.



    As far as 802.11b/g compatibility, the FCC has given hams "primary" rights to parts of the 2.4GHz band, including 802.11b/g. That basically means that all you unlicensed AirPort users are at the mercy of us licensed hams. While you are stuck having to follow FCC Regulations Part 15 ("...This device must not cause any harmful interference. This device must accept and harmful interference...." You've all seen that on the back of just about every piece of electronics you own), hams are allowed to boost are output power from the 30-50mW you use all the way to 100W, assuming we follow certain rules. People are doing all kinds of cool stuff with this, like running NetMeeting (or any h.323 software). I even read about one guy who, using amps and parabolic antennas was able to get wireless internet at his cabin, which is some 60 miles from his house.



    So basically, there is a lot of potential here.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    skipjackskipjack Posts: 263member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Noleli2

    There actually is a bit of Mac software. The stuff I've checked out is from Black Cat Systems , namely MultiMode.



    Thanks for the info. Actually, I did know about Black Cat but not about MultiMode.



    As for Mac software, I was only referring to the software to interface with the Heathkit TNC. I wasn't sure where to go after Heathkit went out of business, but apparently there's other equipment available now. Guess I have about 15 years of catching up to do.
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