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What things have you wanted to try but not yet done?

Aug 2nd 2011, 21:06

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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This forum seems a bit slow, so let me have some fun.

What things in Amateur Radio have you wanted to try, but not yet done? Although this is as much an operating question, I bet that the reasons that most people haven't done things have a strong technical focus, so I'm posing the question here.

If you haven't done something you've always wanted to try, why not? What resources could be developed to help you give it a go? If you are new at ham radio -- or at least new at some parts of it -- hearing about how big the mountain looks to you is something that will help we old timers better understand your needs.

And just maybe out of the discussion will come some good information that might let hams try a few new things. The ham that lives in an apartment, so thinks that satellite operation is out of the question may be surprised to learn that it can be done with a hand-held dual-band transceiver and a hand pointed antenna!

73, Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums moderator
Aug 3rd 2011, 00:55

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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My dream has always been to build a huge (significantly greater than 20 dB gain), high vertically-stacked array for 144 and 432 MHz for SSB/CW long-haul tropo work. Point-to-point communications, that is.

K1WHS has exactly what I have in mind (almost), an array of vertical antennas that can work very long DX on 2 meters (such as DX is there). Take a look at http://www.directivesystems.com/lva.htm and drool. That thing makes its own 24/7/365 band opening. :-)

IMO, I think pointing at the horizon and working very distant terrestrial stations on 2 meters is a greater accomplishment than working them off the moon. Certainly, it's MUCH more exciting than working the other side of the earth on HF, even on 160 meters!

And I don't mean waiting for a band opening, such as tropospheric bending, ducting, E-skip, meteor scatter, or aurora. I'm talking about being able to work modestly-equipped stations 500+ miles away under nearly any conditions with near 100% reliability. Just think what the possibilities of such a station would be when there's a band opening!

Vertical stacking works better than you can imagine. The ARRL has long said that the apparent gain from stacking two VHF beams is considerably greater than the 3 dB that one would expect. I found that to be true, and wrote an article about that at
http://www.w0btu.com/VHF-UHF_vertical_antenna_stacking.html.

What keeps me from doing it? Age and lack of funds.

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com
Aug 3rd 2011, 03:08

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Before I received my Novice back in '83 the shuttle and amateur satellites fascinated me. Then I got into the usual amateur radio stuff and never got into the birds. There is a slight tinge of regret that I never worked Mir or a shuttle. ISS remains, of course, such as they can.schedule it in.

That may change. Earlier this spring I bought a FUNcube dongle and have been playing with it on and off. It's my first foray into the world of SDR (except for my K3 which is another story) and I really need to put up a set of Moxon style antennas as described by W4RNL back in 2001 to improve my reception on 2m/70cm.

I'm taking it slow, learning as I go.

73, de Nate
http://www.n0nb.us
Aug 4th 2011, 10:46

KA5FPT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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For me I would say pushing the technology envelope and learning to program fpga. I see these being used in SDR and suspect they will be the future for radios. As to what it will take... the answer is time, willingness, and a kit.

73, Paul KA5FPT
Aug 4th 2011, 12:49

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Wikipedia has a nice page of information about Field Programmable Gate Arrays. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array.

I did a Google search on "fpga kit" and found the following:

http://www.easyfpga.com/

There were more.

On eBay, I did a search of fpga kit and found some starting at $99.

PICs are also popular for hams to experiment with. ARRL sells a PIC programmer and book that may be of interest to some:

http://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-s-PIC-Programming-Kit/


73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums moderator
Aug 7th 2011, 02:19

ka9wgn

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I have always wanted to experiment with different, and new, modes of modulation. Of course I have a big interest in digital. But I also want to try out some ideas in analog modulations that have a digital form of implementation (possibly even in software).

Decades ago, while reading an article about the phasing method of modulating SSB, I learned to think about modulating signals in terms of vector mathematics, as well as analyzing signals in terms of vectors.

There are also other areas of signal processing related to radio that I would like to explore, too, such as "radar vision".
Aug 15th 2011, 19:51

K8AG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I would like to homebrew a fairly complete qrp transceiver all from Radio Shack parts. Simple, robust, VFO, 40M and 20M with perhaps a tuner for portable operation. If I had the time that is probably what I would like to do.
Mar 2nd 2012, 02:04

N0MZR

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I am soon using the windings from an electric motor which is resonant for 30m loop.The wire is enameled and solid copper so, care must be taken but, it is of heavy gauge copper.It will be a vertical loop with a wood mast support.It will be Armstrong rotated. I will be feeding it with 300 ohm feedline to my MFJ tuner and 4:1 balun. My next warm day project.73 n0mzr
Mar 17th 2012, 02:04

tscott

Joined: Mar 5th 2012, 02:13
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Go on a DXpedition.

W5TS
Aug 7th 2012, 01:08

K0RGR

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I've always wanted to build the cheap ham equivalent of the Very Large Array, with a whole bunch of small yagis perhaps on the side of a big hill, that can operate together as though they were one huge antenna. You could call it the 'Very Small Array' but N6TX and his SETI people have already grabbed that moniker.

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