During this past weekend spending some time with my parents in Virginia (it was my mother’s birthday and she wanted to spend some time with her mother and sister) I’ve come back somewhat interested in getting into some of the more geeky hobbies of the years past Amateur Radio. Don’t be confused by the name Amateur Radio simply means it is non-commercial and they cannot be paid (with very few exceptions) for operating various stations across much of the US. Most of the “Amateurs” are very highly skilled electronic engineers (many without formal training) and build their own antennas and equipment for transmitting and receiving radio signals as well as analyzing.
A couple years ago for Christmas I got my dad a 2-Meter HT (Hand-held Transceiver) shortly after he received his Technician’s license (callsign KI4NDF) for operating a limited set of frequencies on Amateur bands. I had very little interest at that point, and was basically feeding his hobby. I saw modern day technologies as more interesting and my dad’s interest in repeaters seemed to be as close to talking on Skype or Ventrilo as anything else with a considerable less cost involved by using the latter. He has since tested for his General and Amateur Extra license and now has the callsign of AI4ZV.
It wasn’t until this past weekend that something actually piqued my interest… [Read more…]