Showing posts sorted by relevance for query patriots. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query patriots. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Tablet" Problems

During the AFC Championship game, the Patriots had problems with their Microsoft Surface tablets. One of the commentators said they were going to use them with them with cables. So maybe it was wireless problems?  In any case, this is funny:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Future of Ham Radio

I think there is plenty of opportunity for growth in ham radio. In January of 2014, I had a list of reasons why, but I'll add to it here.

1. Morse code is no longer a barrier to entry.
2. Cheap radios mean cost is not a barrier to entry.
3. The prepper/survivalist movement includes interest in communications.
4. Ham radio on TV!
5. Maker movement and low cost computing options - think Raspberry Pi and SDR.
6. The breadth of ham radio - EME, digital modes, "traditional" HF, contests, Skywarn, ARES and the like, 

This January, I did several charts (1, 2, 3, and 4) to provide a visual for evaluating what is happening with the licenses.

Jeff's tweet and article are what brought this back to the top of my list.
"If on-air chatter, hamfest chit-chat, forum and blog postings are a reliable measure, then a large number of radio amateurs live in constant fear of the death of the hobby. This of course flies in the face of actual data — which shows the number of licensees in the US are at an all-time high." 
This meme is faulty, the product of unimaginative thinking. “I believe that children are our future” — that sort of tired, simplistic rhetoric. The bio pages on QRZ are testament to the tens of thousands of hams who got interested in this hobby early in life, then had no time for it in subsequent decades. Only after marriage, family and career were well underway was there enough free time to consider a return to amateur radio.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Digital Radios and Preppers

I talked some about ham radio and prepping after reading "Patriots - Surviving the Coming Collapse," but did not think about the potential benefits of something like the Kirisun S780:
"Preppers usually like to have communications equipment prepared for possible times of disaster.In a WROL situation, where someone could loot you for all your preparations if they knew about them, I'm sure preppers would like to have encrypted communications, so that anyone with a scanner can't find out where they keep their food stores or secret stash of fuel. 
These Kirisun radios provide inherent security, in that not many people will have radios that use the same vocoder, and it is unlikely anyone around you will have one. This could be called "security through obscurity". That is even if you don't turn on the encryption. To a scanner listening in analog, these radios just sound like a load of noise. Now, if someone were to buy a radio the same as you, and program it up to the same frequency, they would be able to listen in to any unencrypted comms. That's where the encryption comes in handy. Switch over to an encrypted channel, and they will not be able to understand it at all. All you hear when listening to an encrypted channel on a radio without encryption, is a few funny digital noises."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse & Ham Radio

Recently, I read Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse* as an apparent attempt to push myself into a state of depression. I've seen it billed as a how to manual for preppers with a story slapped on top of it. (It made me think of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement* - a story about a plant manager who implements several changes related to the Theory of Constraints.) It is not a manual for preparedness by any stretch, but it does try to present various scenarios for one to consider. One of the more interesting parts for me was toward the end when a character was getting a lesson in Communications Security from Edgar, the communications expert:
"My goal today is to first let you know what sort of equipment is out there -- friendly, enemy, captured enemy, and to teach you ComSec in a nutshell, so you won't get yourself killed or give the enemy valuable intelligence."
Edgar covers a lot of ground over the next few pages:
  • HF
  • VHF
  • signals propagating, bouncing off the ionosphere
  • sunspot cycle
  • sky wave
  • ground wave
  • direction finding
  • near vertical incidence
  • line of sight
  • 2M HTs
  • modifying radios that could transmit 118 to 180 megahertz, but limited by FCC to 144 to 148, so they opened them up to 140 - 170
  • frequency agile radios
  • mods to CBs
  • SWR
  • antennas
He recommends trying to find a particular radio:
"Speaking of CBs, you should try to and locate a Uniden President HR2510. This is a ham radio that you can modify to transmit and receive in the citizen's band range. You can open this model up all the way from 26 to 30 megs. It has a frequency counter that you can finetune down to 10 kilohertz."
He then continues the lesson talking about:
  • modifying cellular telephones
  • working split
  • Kenwood TH-79A
  • cross-band operating
  • operating AM on typical FM frequencies
As a ham, it was a fun chapter to read. It also made me interested in the Uniden President HR2510, so I had to look it up. I found this site with a long list of tip and tricks for modifying the HR2510.

* Links via my Amazon Associate account. You don't pay any extra, but I get "rich" if you buy through the link.