HAM (amateur) radio

Anyone use HAM radio?

I am looking at tuning it into the technology.

Would have thought weather and amateur radio would go hand in hand together, discussing it and sharing it.

Any views?


There are quite a few hams here…including me (G6FCI). APRS is one place where the two hobbies touch. Unfortunately the building work here means that I’ve had to lose my HF antenna and I can’t find another place to put it, so I’m off air until (or if) I can find a suitable place for an antenna agreeable with the Chief Weather Controller and neighbours.

I’ve held a ham license for slightly better than 50 years (K0JJV) but unfortunately haven’t made much use of it in the last decade. It’s not as easy to climb the tower for antenna repair as it once was :frowning:


I have been in amateur radio since the mid 1960’s and in the past 10 years have been toying with weather stations. One aspect to weather and ham radio, as mentioned previously, APRS is one avenue to interface weather with this hobby. My call is KH6HHG and my APRS station can be found at http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/near.cgi?call=KH6HHG. Currently I use my DSL line to upload the necessary file to this site. WD interfaces well with APRS, thanks to Brian. I have used RF with a TNC and it is still in the box since moving back to Hawaii from the Midwest. No outside antenna as of yet. I have used APRS for the past 8 years that started in the Midwest to track my location while weather spotting for the NWS. I still am using APRS to track my truck as I travel around the Island of Maui.

Hope more amateur radio operators on this forum contribute their experiences with weather and ham radio.

–Stan Y.
Maui, Hawaii

Put me on the “had a license forever, but not currently using it” list.

'Lo, Stuart.

I too am an amateur radio licensee (VK2BZB). I started a bit later than some of you though - late '70s. After the first few years of flurry on the HF bands I concentrated on VHF and UHF - I even held the Australian distance record on two metres for about 2 and a half minutes and, as far as anyone knows, became the first person to work Western Australia from New South Wales. That was back in '86 and was via SSB: dual 13 element home brew yagis horizontally polarised and vertically stacked.

These days I don’t have the aluminium up in the air to do any serious experimentation though my 15 metre hydraulic mast is still lying neglected in the back yard. sighs

Other than a period of playing (receive only) with RTTY with a home brew decoder (not of my design and which worked beautifully) hooked into . . . wait for it . . . a Commodore 64, I haven’t played with digital modes at all.

makes mental note to check out what APRS is

I’d like to get into HAM a little, enough to talk to others and to put one of them vehicle trackers in my RV so family/friends can find out where we are located when on the road…

It’s relatively easy to get an amateur license. It does require that you pass a test covering electronic theory, and rules and regulations - but I believe the requirements for morse code have been dropped completely in recent years. APRS, or “packet radio” is one phase that lets you track vehicles, automatically report weather conditions, etc. It’s an enjoyable (and sometimes expensive) hobby.

I also have been licensed since the late 60’s (WA3YML), but haven’t been very active in recent years. I thought that after I retired I’d have more time for the hobby, but haven’t so far. I did a lot of DX (long distance) operations early in the hobby then went to satellite communications for a few years and then other things took priority over Ham Radio, like the family, computers and weather stations. Ha Ha Anyway all that said it is a GREAT hobby and you will meet a lot of GREAT people just like you do here. Good luck



Easy to get a license. A lot of clubs run one day events like this. A bunch of people who don’t know an amp from a volt show up and many of them pass the multiple choice test first time, and if not they can try again.

I’ve been a Ham for over 25 years (KC5SF) but have been inactive for
last 10 to 15 years. Was mostly into traffic handling and didn’t use it
for weather at all. Didn’t have time to keep up with two hobbies and
computers won out. Would be interesting to get active again but as
someone else said I’ve gotten a little to old to be climbing towers.

That’s called APRS. (Automatic Position Reporting System) Not only can you send your location FROM your vehicle (see my truck gated onto the net) but, with an APRS home station, you can send your weather conditions TO your vehicle (see my SLOweather station’s APRS data), if you have the right setup in the vehicle.

ZL1UYC was my original callsign - back in the days when “email” was bouncing packet radio BBS stuff off the MIR space station. It was really fun and I often had voice conversations with the the Russian and American crews. I had a contact in the US that I would regularly “email”. I uploaded my message as MIR passed over NZ and he downloaded it - and if he was fast enough replied - as it went over the US. The time window was normally about 5-7 minutes, provided there were not too many users wanting to get on at once :smiley:

I’m just about to renew my license with the new callsign of ZL2ARL, and hope to get into APRS.

Ham is used by SKYWARN Spotters here in the USA. A few Spotters like myself arent ham radio but i do have a cell phone and Private 800 number for my local National Weather Service. onc my money comes in a few weeks, ah Inheritance, i will get my license and buy a radio and join the big boys!

I have a Advanced license (KA0MCS) which I got in the 80’s. I got started because rtty something interesting to me. I also played with fast and slow scan TV. Had my own fast scan TV station for a while. I am no longer active on HF, but dabble in VHF and UHF just so I can buy a new handheld every couple of years. The APRS is interesting, but with so many toys and so liitle time what’s a person to do? :smiley:

I have had an Extra (K5BV) since 1968 and licensed since 1956 (KN5JEY). After 15 years of inactivity I didn’t think I would use it again. Then 2 months ago I was asked to help with city emergency communications. Will see what happens. Getting up to speed is not going very fast.

I have been a ham for maybe 15 years, but currently I am in the antenna challenged group. The Arizona sun has apparently rotted the co-ax of most of what I have up. I also have some new antennas lying on the back porch, but it’s just too hot right now to go up on the roof and mess with it.

I am also using my dedicated 24/7 computer to monitor the NCDXF/IARU DX Beacon System and publish HF propagation conditions to my website every 15 minutes, in addition to the WD weather posting that it does.
This is running except when I am operating or there is likely to be nearby lightning, at which time I disconnect the antenna to protect the receiver it is using. To do this you need a receiver with a computer control interface, a sound card, a receiver to sound card interface, and some software.

I am into Amateur TV. I am looking forward to doing a weather report, including solar and propagation conditions, on the weekly ATV net once I get my ducks back in line and I can make video again. I am also trying to get an HF antenna up. I like the computer/digital modes such as slow scan, PSK31, and HELL.

73 de N7XSQ

APRS, does this go by another name.

I am looking around for HAM radio’s but can’t see one that supports APRS (unless it goes by another name like internet relay or whatever).

I would want the PC to interface with the radio for slow scan TV etc…

One thing i am not sure on, all these digital modes liek slow scan, APRS, what frequencies are these all used on? Can you use them on any frequency, that’s for Amateur bands obviously?

APRS uses AX25, i.e. packet radio. Technically you can use them on any amateur frequency…the band plans aren’t enforceable, but you’ll upset a lot of people by using the wrong mode on a frequency. People tend to stay within the agreed bandplans to avoid that. I don’t know what frequency is used in the UK for APRS. I stopped using packet radio 10 years ago and I’m fairly sure the frequencies have changed since then. I ran a packet BBS for many years…on 2m, 270cms and 223cms, but things started to get less friendly than in the early days so I gave up when my eldest son was born.

The Kenwood TM-D710A has APRS capability. It does need a GPS connected and has the connection.