August 05, 2008
To augment poor cell phone coverage when we're gallivanting around the hinterlands, I've been talked into Amateur (Ham) radio. After blasting through the Technician-level test a couple weeks back, it took the FCC almost two weeks to get me in the ULS. (No, I'm not going to put up my callsign. I'd like to keep a fig-leaf of Internet annonymity. You can get a lot more than a name from a callsign.)
Until I figure out exactly how much vandalism I'm willing to do to the interior and exterior of my truck, I'm sticking to a (not-so) simple 5W handheld radio. (A base station is simply out of the question. I don't want to invest in that much equipment. I'm really not in need of another neglected hobby, and the HOA would have my nuts if I tried to put up a decent antenna.)
So far, I've been using the wide-band receive to listen in on a couple of nearby repeaters and some aircraft frequencies. I now know that the airport tower near me shuts down at 9pm and re-opens at 6. Beyond that I haven't so much as "kerchunked" the radio.more...
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