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 No.54229

Don't know if we've ever had thread even though it seems like a very wizardly hobby. I bought a really cheap tecsun but i could only get a couple channels, two spanish (cuban?) ones and some mainstream new channels. Not sure if spending more money would help or if I should try a different area. I've been told the hobby is completly dead but looking on reddit and forums it looks like there's still some activity

 No.54231

Shortwave radio is fun. I like it a lot. When traveling I like to turn on the radio and see what new channels I get.

 No.54260

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I have some radios. They're great to play around with and learn about, but the hobby is borderline dead owing mostly to stagnation resulting from smartphones. I still like to listen to police/EMS frequencies and the local businesses as background noise. It's cool memorizing 10-codes and funny hearing the workers at a nearby hotel talking shit about people behind their backs. It also feels a little exclusive because who the hell else would still be listening to this stuff?

The old Uniden Bearcat 210 (right) I use exclusively for NOAA Weather since it's one of the few things it'll still pick up– a lot of these older scanners are borderline obsolete because the frequency ranges have been moved around by the FCC every few decades for whatever reason, so I can only get NOAA and my local fire department's paging calls.

The Uniden BCD536HP (left) is much more useful owing to my local law enforcement using trunked systems (meaning normal analog scanners can't pick up their transmissions) but all the really juicy stuff like federal frequencies are of course encrypted. Still, it's interesting to hear stuff like fireworks reports around the 4th of July or reports about a guy trying to suicide by cop. It makes me feel connected to the outside world without having to actually leave my home.

And then I have the BaoFeng BF-F8HP (top). I don't use it as often, but it's still good for getting analog frequencies like local businesses since my scanner is often busy. I also collect all sorts of shitty throwaway radios like alarm clock radios and boomboxes, but I don't use them regularly. I wanted to get a CB to round out my collection yet I can't bring myself to drop $100+ on something I'll probably never hear anyone else on. To those who own a CB radio: do you actually hear anything aside from scattered trucker chatter?

If any other wizards have any radios I'd love to hear about what you have and how well it works for you.

 No.54276

>>54260
How do you like the baofeng? I remember looking into trunking/shortwave years ago briefly and I think that was one of the recommended starter radios. Are ham radio clubs worth it even if you arent sociable? I heard they could be helpful at times.

 No.54277

>>54276
>How do you like the baofeng?
It works great. There's a cheaper variant for around $20 but I opted for this one as it has some fixed software issues when programming and is a little hardier.

>I remember looking into trunking/shortwave years ago briefly and I think that was one of the recommended starter radios.

It is, namely because it's so cheap. It's good for listening to commercial stations or analog transmissions, but if you want to pick up law enforcement/EMS/etc you'll need to check RadioReference to see if your state/area has upgraded to trunked systems. Some rural wizards might get lucky enough that they can pick up all of it on a $20 BaoFeng instead of needing to drop hundreds on a digital scanner. Unfortunately I had to do just that since my state has been rolling out ARMER nearly everywhere.

>Are ham radio clubs worth it even if you arent sociable? I heard they could be helpful at times.

I'm not in a club and haven't interacted with them in any capacity. All I've heard over the years are negative things (IE all they do all day is tattle on unauthorized transmissions and jerk off over whatever hardware they have). It might be a nice experience, but I'm not in a hurry to share my interests with 50-year-old normalfags.

 No.54398

>>54277
Do you use chirp on it?

 No.54399

>>54398
I do. It requires a separate programming cable you'll need to purchase, but I've heard it's a massive pain in the ass to program without it. That'll probably go for most radios that aren't pre-programmed or exorbitantly priced.

 No.54495

>>54399
Well I finally caved and bought a uv5r, so far it does seem a bit difficult to program but it's a neat little thing and its fun searching for stations and familiarizing myself with it.

 No.55721

I don't own a car at the moment but I want to put a cheap CB radio in the next vehicle I buy.

 No.55852

>>54260
>do you actually hear anything aside from scattered trucker chatter?

We have two CB bands here in Aus. 27mhz is mostly SSB and mostly people at home. They mostly spend a lot of time in long drawn out conversations and sometimes verbal shitposting. We also have UHF FM CB which is where most of the truckers and serious users have gone.

I also listen to shortwave, mostly amateur radio. Also listen to amateurs a on v/uhf scanner. Unfortunately v/uhf analogue FM is fairly dead due to many amateurs moving to digital modes to escape baofeng pirates.

I've toyed with the idea of becoming an amateur but I'm not much of a talker irl so not sure its worth it.

 No.55865

Sometimes when I have time I can check kenwood radio stations user manuals http://kenwood.manymanuals.com/radio-stations to find a couple of channels but you're absolutely right- it's much more harder then it seems.. there are not many people who still use radios..

 No.56683

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I like radio, it's not a major hobby of mine though but I do mess with it from time to time. Unfortunately it is not very active anymore and it's pretty quiet where I live in the sticks. I can pick up a few local hams on the 2m band(not hf i know) but that's about it as far as amateurs. My experience with radio is as follows:

I purchased a baofeng uv-5r when they were all the rage, still are but they've been crippled now, tuned into to a local ham club and ems. Got my technician license but never made contact unfortunately. Purchased a tecsun pl-880 as a dedicated short wave receive, it works best in summers but was a little down you can only really hear crazy church people and latin american news stuff, specifically cuba but at least I understood cause I know spanish.

After that got into software defined radio and purchased an inexpensive rtl-sdr kit which if you're into radio I HIGHLY recommend. For $25 you can't do better. It'll pick up from 500khz to like 1.8mhz and as it's software it's much nicer to use. I'm interested in capturing satellite imagery but I need to build a proper antenna so I haven't don that yet. If you're interested in radio that's what I would recommend, it takes a bit of setting up but it's absolutely worth it.

 No.56684

>>56683
Wht do you do can you talk to people and find friends on the radio? Maybe you could make a wizchan radio channel.

 No.56685

>>56684
In theory you can but it's not like the internet where I can just give you an address or an irc channel and we're instantly together. It takes time, work, relatively expensive setups since we're all scattered and to be honest unless yo're within a few hundred miles written mail is probably a better way to communicate.

The tecsun/rtl-sdr are only receivers, you can't transmit but it's still interesting to listen to what's going on.

 No.56693

>>56683
Radios are fun. I never got into the hobby but I were in the army as a radioman and still in the reserves and it's some pretty cool stuff. I see why people get so fired up about it.

 No.59229

Is Morse Code still taught?

 No.59233

>>59229
Not in school if that's what you meant

 No.59236

>>54229
I bought a baofeng just because I thought they'd ban then, what with how often everything is banned now days, but never use it. I also bought a 5v adapter cord so I could charge it with cheap 5v solar panels and or 'battery banks'. I sometimes listen to the weather channel with it. I figure if I have to go into the woods or on the ocean some day in a sailboat that being privy to storms would be rather wise.

Also truckers doing radio checks a lot seems to happen….

Honestly no matter how much I search for hours nothing interesting ever happens.

 No.59296

>>59236
>Honestly no matter how much I search for hours nothing interesting ever happens.

I hate to say it because I'm a ham myself see >>56683 but really it's because radio is dead. There's no new blood, boomers chased that off with regulation, the internet took over as the communication medium of choice, and really why limit yourself to local networks when you have the entirety of the internet at your disposal for a few bucks.

It's as dead a hobby as you can make it.

 No.59297

ever listened to number stations?

 No.59310

>>59297
No. I thought they were made up.

>weather

>truckers and school buses doing radio checks
>rapid beeping stations (towers to warn planes?)

That's all I ever did hear.

>>59296
I like only buying go-bag tier sized devices and the radio being small for that reason turns me on to it. The cellphone route is bad because it's a cellphone also unless you can use it after soldering off the various antennas.

 No.59346

>>54229
if any of you is interested you can get some radio frequencies here
http://radio.garden/visit/sana-a/2JoBHDl1

 No.59348

>>59310
>I thought they were made up.
They're very real, there are a lot of them, and some of them sound quite creepy. The mystery around them has been shredded however. In short, they're broadcasting benign military exercise commands and info. Info such as "A plane flying West over position X at 0600 is friendly, do not report or engage" read in a simple but ever-changing code. Position X might be in an area where access to electricity is sparse, so the signal strength is very high so that small compact radios like consumer solar pocket CBs can intercept it. The substance of the information is mixed in with static, strange noise, and scheduled nonesense. Stationary receivers pass the audio output through a series of analogue and digital filters that remove most of the noise, but even if such cleanup isn't available the code can still be heard.

A popular one was triangulated a few years ago in southwest Russia. When some radio enthusiasts noticed it changed locations, they went to the initial position and found a small bunker a few blocks from residential buildings. Inside they found a mostly empty bunker but behind some tables or something they found maps and an old codebook that stated something like "during a certain span of days of the year, the transmitted numbers would correspond to these letters, and the transmitted letters would correspond to these positions and times". If the enthusiasts could find a recording of a broadcast from the dates outlined in the book, they'd be able to decipher it in a matter of minutes.

 No.59349

>>59348
That story sounds surreal, not only did they manage to locate the source but they just walked in and there was no one and they found all these documents lying there? Right.

 No.59351

>>59349
It wouldnt surprise me. The Soviet Union produced a lot of military stuff. Such a large amount of "guns" that the country fell apart because the citizens lacked "butter". I would assume the russia is trying to operate a lot of this military infrastructure with low investment.



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