Any other Hams here

Just wanted to see if there were any other Ham radio operators here on ELR
I hold an extra class license and am located in West Virginia if there are others that would like to try a contact over the airwaves please post here or send me a PM. I have capabilities of covering all bands and all modes of Ham radio.

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I think that is really cool…I don’t operate a ham but my old boss used too. I am also from WV but I live in VA now…I am from Rainelle and Rupert area of Greenbrier County…Whereabouts are you located if you don’t mind my asking?

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Hampshire County

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Ah…I love WV, it has got to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

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I did HAM-radios when I was young. I was popular because I sent QSL-cards from Greenland :smile: My callsign was 38-SR-101 :smile:

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Could not agree more I love it in the mountains could not live anyplace else on earth and I have traveled the entire world during my military days.

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Cool I have a qsl card from Greenland and we even exchanged some of our different currency the guy in Greenland was collecting US State Quarters so I sent him the ones he needed to complete his collection and he sent me one of every coin they use. Ham radio is a wonderful hobby I have truly talked all over the world from right here in WV. It’s a shame you don’t still operate it would be great to put a voice with the name. My callsign is W4DMH. I just thought it would be cool for anyone here that’s a ham to give a try at contacting each other on the air.

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I think ham radio has largely gone the way of tobacco pipes, fender skirts, saying please and thank you and yes ma’am, and letter writing. Mostly older people do it, some younger ones do, but its a rarity to see.

I think it’s awesome you are enjoying what is basically a lost hobby. I used to enjoy hanging out with my step dad in his radio room. It was always fascinating to know he was talking to people so far away. He even did a lot of morse and I’ll bet that’s another seriously lost art.

This reminds me of my childhood so much and also brings back another very fond memory of when I was a kid and had a short wave radio and listened to all sorts of programs lying in bed at night. Fell asleep by the light of those tube hundreds of times.

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I’ve enjoyed being a Ham for almost 35 years. Hold an Advanced Class license. I’m strictly CW (Morse code) now. I used to restore & operate old 50’s era tube rigs. I know the glow of the tubes you remember, Sthrn.

The death of Ham Radio is greatly exaggerated, as the saying goes…lol. From the ARRL web site, I quote:

As 2012 came to a close, ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, had a good
reason to cheer: The number of radio amateurs in the US reached an
all-time high of almost 710,000. “2012 was definitely a banner year for
the number of Amateur Radio operators here in the US,” she said. “It is
amazing to see these new numbers and to know that Amateur Radio is
experiencing such a healthy trend.”

You’d think as the old timers went silent, the hobby would be slowly fizzling out. and be on it’s death bed. People (hams included) have been predicting it for years. Yet there is a steady influx of new operators. Go figure.

I’m not as active as I once was. I think that’s because my interest in radio has changed a bit, over the years. I enjoy taking a low power radio, battery, and portable antenna into the field, and seeing what I can stir up. I’ll toss a wire antenna into a tree, or set one up on a little tripod, get out the lawn chair, or find a picnic table, and have some fun.

I enjoy it, but I’ve always been the weird type!

@SthrnMixer As @d_fabes Has posted the numbers are growing big time right now. In the area I live in the largest numbers are coming in from the 20 & 30 something age groups. I think much of this had to do with the FCC dropping the CW (Morse Code) requirement for the licensing. The interesting part of that is that many of the newer hams are taking more interest in operating CW. One of the older Hams at the local club teaches CW and he has had a hard time keeping up with the number of people wanting to learn. I guess when it is not mandatory there is more appeal to it.

@d_fabes Good to see a fellow Ham here. As you have already described portable operation. I do a lot of Mountain Topping here in WV lots of places here for it and the Grid Square chasers love it because I am often the only person that has ever operated from many of the Grid Squares I operate from. My portable setup is capable of everything from 440 to 160 meters. I use a 40 foot military surplus antenna mast that attaches to a device that holds the base of the mast and slides in the tow hitch on my truck. The devices head swivels allowing us to put the mast together on the ground and tilt it up in the air. On top of the mast we mount a dual band 440 & 2meter beam antenna and below that I attach my 160 meter Carolina Windom antenna and as you said I toss the ends up in trees using para cord and shooting a line up with a sling shot. It takes 3 of us about 2 hours to get it all set up and we can operate all weekend out of a 3 room tent so wet weather don’t stop us. Nothing fancy about the setup at all just functional and easy to use, to be honest I have set the whole thing up by my self. The entire setup, with a portable grill, coolers, small generator and all fits in the bed of a full size pickup truck

This is good information - and really good to hear. Last time I looked into it (quite some time back) I was a truck driver. I would sneak onto the 10 meter band and listen in. Back then I would hear the hammys talking about how numbers of users were dropping off and honestly I figured with all the new technology these days that would have just gotten more severe. But I also used to notice more antennas at homes and now, not so much. Do you think the increased numbers of hams are largely mobile? Oh and hey, when I was a young guy of maybe 10 yrs old I was actually studying the manuals for the day I would get my ham license. Morse code was the end of that for me. Maybe 40 years later I would be more interested but back then it bored me to tears. Good thing it was dropped as a requirement. I have retirement coming in another 10-15 yrs and that may be a good thing to finally get into.

Now when I was a trucker I would often talk some fairly long distances with my CB radio. Of course conditions had to be perfect, and when the ionosphere was in that certain state I would often be able to speak across the country. I reached the West Indies once, a few times off the US East Coast I made it to England. I don’t know why this would excite me so much but it did. About 15 yrs ago or so I spoke with a guy almost every day for about a month. He was in Phoenix, AZ and I was here in South Carolina in a dump truck. Fun times.

[quote=“SthrnMixer, post:11, topic:34407”]
But I also used to notice more antennas at homes and now, not so much
[/quote]I will do my best to grab some pictures and put up but the Carolina Windom Antenna I referred to is nothing more than a piece of insulated12ga stranded wire you stretch out and hang from trees or whatever else you can use. If you don’t know it’s there they are very hard to spot. Don’t get me wrong at my house I do have a tower with a large beam antenna but if it was only the wire antenna as many have you would drive right by and never see it.

It is a very fun hobby and there are aspects of the hobby that appeal to a wide range of folks. One good example I can offer you has to do with weather reporting. A fair amount of the pin point local weather reporting is done by everyday hams thru the SKYWARN System which reports sever local weather spotted by trained Hams directly to the National Weather Service via ham radio.

I truly believe that the drooping of the Morse Code (CW) requirement has done a great deal of good for the Ham community and the numbers of active operators. I am a firm believer that Morse Code (CW) plays a very legitimate role in Ham Radio but I am personally glad that it is no longer a stumbling block for many that wanted to enjoy this wonderful hobby but could not master it. Although I know CW I am not much good at it so I just don’t use that mode. I am much more interested in just talking with folks as if we are sitting next to each other in a room.

I also drove trucks for a living for many years and yes it was amazing the distances you could talk with a CB when the atmospheric conditions were just right. Ham radio is also dependent on those same conditions to a degree anyway. As Hams we have a much larger selection of bands to chose from and different bands work better or worse depending on the distance and/or the type of terrain you would like to be able to communicate.

Wow, this is such a great thread and I’m learning things…most interesting is the increased number of hams out there.

As for the wire antennas, is that primarily a 2 meter band type antenna or what? When I say I see fewer antennas I’m referring to the beams and towers and long telescopic that used to be around so often. Heck I have a neighbor I’ve never met with one of the moonraker types, but he’s such a hermit I dare not visit and ask :slight_smile:

Your mountaintop set up sounds like a blast. Also, what might not be apparent to most, you’re not only having fun, you’re practicing for an emergency. If an emergency arose, and the power was out in your area, you can still communicate… All your weekend camping / radio weekends are refining what works and what doesn’t, and you’re having fun to boot.

Like a lot of hobbies, all the different facets of the hobby isn’t apparent, until you jump in a little deeper. Just like vaping! We wanted something to help us quit smoking, so we gave a little starter kit, a try. We saw the potential, and started digging a little deeper. Next thing we knew, we were having a blast. Learning about DIY, recipes, winding coils, applying ohms law, batteries, etc. Ham radio is the same way. Satellites, Morris Code, AM, FM, sideband, digital modes, EME (bouncing your signal off the moon, and back to Earth), building your own radios & antennas, etc…there is a huge list of different things to try.

One thing has stayed the same for me, since I started in Ham Radio. The mystery. I create this little signal, send it up the wire, it bounces off the ionosphere, and comes down where? Who out there might hear it? Who might send a reply? I might be nuttier than a squirrel turd, but I just think that’s so cool. The old ‘message in a bottle’ traveling at the speed of light.

howdy, I am a fellow ham, am from the tidewater area of Va. W4MWC

Good to see others come in and say Howdy.

I will soon be putting up some pics of my portable set up, I had to find the hard drive I have them stored on. I have not transferred them onto this computer yet but coming soon.

Welcome Chris, N8EPE here, in S/E Michigan.

Here are some pictures of a group of us setting up for a field day event at a campground along the Potomac River just outside of Berkley Springs West Virginia.

This is us getting the antenna mast set up
This is the mast now in the air 2 meter beam on top with a 160meter Carolina Windom mounted below that
Here is a close up but with 3 wire antennas attached just below the 2 meter beam We set 3 little pulleys up on the mast to pull them up with that way if we want to change any single one we can without lowering the entire mast.
This is one of the tables with radio and computer as well as the batteries under the table. The batteries are the worst part of doing the work they are 120lb each but with the 4 we are capable of running the radio at 100 watts for well over 32 hours without re-charging.
A view from the entrance of the campground showing the field we set up in.

We also use this same set up for doing Mountain Topping which is just going to the top of any mountain we chose and setting up for the weekend to make contacts. We have talked all over the world on this same set up on many occasions.

I hope some of you have enjoyed looking at this set up.

73 de W4DMH
Ham Radio Slang Meaning
(“73”- best wishes - “de”- from “W4DMH”- my ham radio call sign)

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upping a very old 3d… 73’s de Iv3shf

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Often get Half, chop it up with some carrots, onion and celery in a split pea soup… Chicken broth as well as a good bulb of garlic

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