Kila, the Magic Husky’s Ham Radio College

featuring Kila and her Trusty Sidekick, Ben

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  • Local Clubs and Organizations
    The first half of each show on Monday from 1pm till 1:30pm will be about Ham Radio Culture and Operations and stories and annedotes and interviews and stuff. This page shows some of the topics which may be covered, loosely organized by when we'll talk about them.

    1. What is Ham Radio?
      • As the hobbyists who invented radio continued to want to play with it, agreements were made to set aside frequency spectrum for more hobbyists, provided they passed an exam in Radio Wave Propigation, Electronics, and rules and regulatioins.
      • Hams (persons who have passed a Ham Radio License Examination) can use those frequencies allocated for them for non-commercial communiation.
      • Hams are technocratic; that is, we respect those who learn and build stuff. Even (especially) easy stuff. We already have that whole "Talking about it" thing down pat; we need more folk who actually "DO" stuff.
      • Hams have a culture of being helpful and mutually educational.

    2. What is Ham Radio for?
      • Meeting new friends and learning about
        • electronics
        • Computers and microprocessors
        • electric cars, boats and flying machines (yes, you can build your own drone)
        • off-grid solar systems
      • Keeping in contact with friends and neighbors, as long as they’re hams too
        • GMRS & CB & MURS are alternatives
        • Keeping a radio available for emergencies outside cellular range
      • Chatting all day
        • Like the internet, but without the monthly fees
        • Or, if you can’t get the internet (or telephones)
      • Contests (including mountaintoping and field day)
      • Public Service
      • Traffic Handling

    3. Callsign Regions
    4. How do we look up a callsign to find to whom it belongs? Ham Radio Callsigns contain a number which you can use to look up where they live.
    5. Shortwave listening (and chatting) on HF
    6. 2m Operations
      • Half Duplex vs Full Duplex
      • HT & Mobile Range
      • Home Antennas, car antennas HT antennas
      • Frequencies, band plan and # of channels. 144.00 - 147.99 every 15 Khz = 133
        • The Band Plan allows only 70 pairs on 2 meters + 22 simplex FM
        • 144.6 - 144.9 repeater inputs
        • 145.2 - 145.5 repeater outputs (20 @15 KHz each)
        • 146.01 - 146.37 repeater inputs
        • 146.61 - 146.97 repeater outputs (24 @15 KHz each)
        • 147.0 - 147.39 repeater outputs (26 @15 KHz each)
        • 147.6 - 147.99 repeater inputs
      • minus Satellite & weak signal work areas
      • divided into Simplex and Duplex portions

    7. Repeaters
      • Repeaters are early cell sites
      • Most Ham Radios use "Half Duplex", a scheme wherein you may either talk or listen, but not both at the same time, as you can on a telelphone. To talk and listen at the same time requires "Full Duplex". In Half Duplex, you must press a "Push-to-talk" button, then wait up to half a second before you begin to speak, then talk, then release the button before you can hear anybody else. While you are talking, nobody else can hear anybody but you on that frequency. To get a good feeling for how this works, I recommend using the Zello app on your phone to talk to somebody.
      • Squelch Tail and Courtesy Tone
      • Offsets and CTCSS Tones and DCS signaling
      • Repeaters are financed by Clubs
      • Morning and Evening Commutes; Nets
      • Sometimes Links during nets
      • What is Cross-band Repeat and when might one use it?
      • 2m IRLP and WinSystem

    8. Solar Power
      • How to Install your own solar power system, with guest Solar Scott who has been installing photovoltaic (solar) systems in Lake county for over 15 years.
      • Off Grid and Grid Tie systems -- The "Grid" here refers to PG&E Power Grid. A "Grid Tie" installation uses PG&E's power lines as a giant battery for nightimes and cloudy days. Off Grid systems use your own batteries instead.
      • First, figure out how much power you need throughout a single day
        • If you've got a PG&E bill, you can just see how many watts used in a single day
        • If not, figure out how many watts each device uses, and:
          • Multiply by the number of hours in a day to find total Watt-hours in a day, then
          • Divide by the actual percentage of each day during which you expect to use it.
        • Assume that your panels will see the sun for around 6 hours per day, so divide by six to see how many total wants of panels you'll need.
        • Multiply by 4 to 7 days to account for cloudy days. Or maybe only 2 days' of batteries and buy a generator to top them off when it's cloudy for a long time.
        • For example, If I have the folling appliances:
          ApplianceCurrent at 120 VoltsWatts used in 1 hour % used during 24 hoursWatts in a day
          Mini Fridge2 Amps2 × 120 = 24050% of 240 × 242880 watts
          Microwave Oven1800 watts ÷ 120 volts18005% of 1800 × 242160 Watts
          Television200 watts ÷ 120 volts20033% of 200 × 241600 watts
          Laptop Charger85 watts ÷ 120 volts85100% of 85 × 242040 watts
          Water Pump1/2 HP = .5 × 746 ÷ 120 volts37312.5% of 373 × 24108 watts
          LED Lights70 watts ÷ 120 volts7 watts × 10 lights = 7050% of 70 × 24840 watts

        • All of those things together add up to 9628 watts per day. Let's round it up to 10kw per day. That's how much we need in panels.
        • If we use standard 300 watt panels and we can rely on approximately 6 hours per day of light, then we need 10kw ÷ 6 = 1,666 watts or 6 panels. (300 watts × 6 panels = 1800 watts, which is slightly > 1,666)
        • Now, we need to get batteries which those 6 panels can charge. If we buy a generator for cold weeks, then just 4 days' clouds = 40kw of batteries.
        • Obviously, your milage may vary. :o)

    9. Batteries
      • The famous Peter Senkowski will talk with us about batteries for keeping our homes warm on cloudy days, electric cars, boats and motorcycles n'stuff.

    10. High Frequency Bands
      • Half Duplex Voice (unless you've got 2 radios & 2 antennas
      • Dvided up by mode -- you must have to memorize the band plan.
      • Wire antennas will work, but a tower and beam rules
      • SSB
      • Most efficient voice transmission mode
      • 100 watts is enough to talk around the world
      • 5 watts isn't enough -- except in scientific experiments
        • Rag Chews
        • Nets
        • Traffic Nets
        • Contests
        • DXing and Pileups
      • CW
      • SSTV
      • Digital Modes
        • PSK31, etc.
        • AMTOR
        • PACTOR
        • WeFAX
      • AM
      • FM on 10 and 6 meters

    11. Camping with Ham Radio
      • SOTA
      • Field Day
      • Mountaintopping

    12. Disaster preparedness and ARES/RACES
      • Monthly Hospital Preparedness exercises
      • The Olden Days
      • Search and Rescue ops in New Mexico
      • Hurricane Sandy, etc.
      • Preparing for the unprepareable - assumbling a go-kit

    13. Public Service Events
      • The County Fare
      • Bicycle races
      • The Mendocino Rally

    14. Intersellar Communication
      • Satellites - portable and base; iPhone/Android Tracking software
      • Meteor Scatter - JT65
      • EME (and EVE) - Giant VHF/UHF Antennas, Az-El Rotators

    15. ATV
      • Ballooning
      • Drones

    16. APRS and digital VHF/UHF
      • APRS
      • Digital BBSs
      • Digital net

    17. Fuxhunts and RDFing
      • Walking or driving

    18. Hamfests and Swapmeets
      • .. "and potlucks and picnics, Oh My!"
      • Finding cheap junk and fixing it up!

    19. Other Radio Services
      • Citizen's Band
      • FRS and 49 MHz Walkie-talkies
      • GMRS and Business Band
      • MURS and Marine Radios
      • Commercial Radios and how they're different
      • What the law says about listening in
      • Cellular Phones & WhatsApp
      • Wifi and Mesh Networking

    20. Computers
      • Number Systems (Binary, Decimal, Hexidecimal)
      • CPU and RAM
      • Hard Disc Drives and Optical Drives
      • Keyboards and Displays and Peripherals
      • What is source code? What is Object code?
      • Firmware and software programming
      • Open Source vs Commercial Software

    21. Microcomputers
      • Open Source Hardware
      • Arduino
      • Arduino Development on a host platform
      • Rasberry Pi
      • Applications
        • ArduPilot
        • RepRap and 3D Printing
        • Mesh Networking
        • Satellite Tracking
        • non-Internet based worldwide automated digital communications

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    Kila and her sidekick
    If I've made any mistakes, please Call me or or email Kila or you can call us directly at (707) 413-6435.
    Here is my main website.