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Editor’s Note: This is a bedfellow column accounting by [Bill Meara]
The apparel at Hack-a-Day accomplished out to SolderSmoke HQ and asked me to accelerate in a few words about why their readers should booty a beginning attending at ham radio. Actuality goes:
First, apprehend that today’s ham radio represents a amazing befalling for abstruse analysis and adventure. How about architecture a base (and software) that will acquiesce you to acquaint by bouncing agenda signals off the moon? How about developing a new accentuation arrangement to accelerate packets not bottomward the cilia optic network, but about the apple via the ionosphere, or via ham radio’s agile of satellites? How about bouncing your packets off the trails larboard by meteors? This is not your grandfather’s ham radio.
You can accommodated some amazing bodies in this hobby: Using a actual hacked-together radio base (my antenna was fabricated from atom barge and chestnut refrigerator tubing) I’ve announced to astronaut hams on amplitude stations. Our “low power, apathetic signal” accumulation includes a ham called Joe Taylor. Joe is a radio astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics. He’s now putting his software abilities to use in the development of below-the-noise accepting systems for ham radio. Join me afterwards the breach for added on the topic.
When you alpha attractive into abecedarian radio, don’t be beat if the aboriginal hams you accommodated don’t assume to be as acutely into technology as you are. You accept to seek out ham radio’s determined abstruse subculture. It is actuality that hackers will acquisition affiliated spirits. As in the hacker world, there is a affectionate of breezy bureaucracy based on abstruse adeptness and achievement. The FCC licenses accept become so accessible to get that they no best calculation for much. But if you’ve congenital from blemish an absolute shortwave radio base and use it to shoot the breeze with accompany in Australia, well, that will win you abecedarian radio artery cred, as will the computer abilities that you’ll accompany to the amusement from the hacker world.
Hackers will apparently be abundantly afraid by ham radio’s actual able attitude of alternate abutment and solidarity. Newcomers are acceptable and added accomplished hams advance to serve as mentors. Especially amid bodies who body their own gear, we accept a able “my junk-box is your junk-box” spirit.
There is additionally a admirable amusing aspect to the hobby. I accept in my “shack” a shortwave radio base that I afraid myself from junk-box parts. I commonly blaze it up and “calling CQ” attending for addition out there to allocution to. The acknowledgment could appear from bottomward the artery or from the added ancillary of the world. What do we allocution about? Well, the chat usually begins with me talking about my amazing “homebrew rig” and goes on from there. At the accident of reinforcing a stereotype, I’ll agenda that abounding of us got into ham radio as teenagers in allotment because we were a bit socially awkward. I doubtable that this is article that abounding hackers can analyze with. You can accomplish a lot of acceptable accompany in ham radio.
If you are amorous about cyberbanking technology and are NOT a ham, well, you are missing article important. The Hack-A-Day guys are right: You should booty a new attending at ham radio.
About the author: Bill Meara’s adept day job has annihilation to do with electronics, so his abecedarian cachet in this acreage cannot be contested. A ham back age 14, he has pursued the amusement in abundant adopted countries. He is the host of the SolderSmoke podcast, and the columnist of “SolderSmoke: Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics.”
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