Thinking about 10 GHz
By terryh on Jul 12, 2005
I'm a licensed amateur radio operator (ham). I've hardly been on the air at all in the last few years, but I think I'm getting the urge again. For me, ham radio isn't about talking to people. I've got a telephone for that. Rather it is that the FCC has given me a license to experiment with radio technology, over a quite large range of parameters. Hams are allowed to build their own equipment, and operate it without it needing to be certified by the FCC. We can invent our own modulation methods and data encodings — currently, low bandwidth digital modes are in vogue, and many new ones have been invented recently. We are allowed to use much higher power than typical consumer equipment, too.
So the thing that's got me interested again is discovering that there are several microwave clubs in Southern California, and that I live about mid-way between two of them. Furthermore, these clubs operate beacons on microwave frequencies. I was thinking I could get a 10 GHz transverter kit from DEM (more likely to succeed than home-brewing my first ever piece of microwave equipment), and use an all-mode 2m radio I already have as the IF. I could then listen for some of the "local" beacons. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd get anything from home, because the mountains either side of the valley obscure line-of-sight to all the beacons. But certainly from either the top of the tram or from Joshua Tree national park, I should be able to get something. From Joshu Tree, I might be able to work both the San Bernardino crowd and the San Diego folks.
Was that a bit geeky? Oh well...
Tag: Ham Radio