Julian is into ham radio, but as a blind person, it can be a challenge. But he's found some resources. With OpenGD77 firmware, a handheld radio can be made accessible with voice-activated menus and more. He found it on a community called BlindHams.com.
Ron has an old Drake HAM Receiver that he'd like to repair. Or should he buy a new one? Leo says that there are a lot of radios out there for listening to HAMs. Many of them are software-defined. He can get a single sideband receiver for around $20. Eton makes some really good ones. So it's going to be more affordable to just replace it. And it really doesn't matter what brand. C-Crane is a little more expensive, but they make really good stuff.
Getting into Ham radio can be super exciting, but you'll need to brush up on some training material! Gordon West's radio school is an awesome way to learn all about amateur radio operations and related matters. Visit the site at https://www.gordonwestradioschool.com/main/page_home_page.html
Reise would like to get into Ham Radio. What does he need to do? Leo says there are three levels, and he can start with the Technician license. That's great for starting out and just talking to people over the air. There are three levels: Technician, General, and Extra. And each requires a test for a license. Check out the Gordon West Radio School.
Amateur radio operators have access to frequencies that work over long distances, bringing ham enthusiasts together and helping out during emergencies. Whether it is a natural disaster or electrical outage, amateur radio operators enable communities to stay in touch when other methods can't. TWiT also has a show called "Ham Nation" that features hosts/guests discussing the importance of ham radio and providing tips for particular situations/hardware. Check it out to learn more about amateur radio.
Lou is from the Bahamas and he's looking for a way to stay connected after a natural disaster. Leo says Satellite Phones are a good option. They aren't cheap, but if he can rent them, he can stay connected when he needs it. But a more affordable thing to do is to become a ham radio operator. He can get a handheld device and become a part of the emergency action network. Then when he needs to make a call, have a ham route the radio through to a phone. That's both affordable and valuable when there's an emergency.
James is a HAM and he wants to build a Raspberry Pi for using D-Star to run his HAM online. Leo says James will need a few extra pieces to work, but it's the ideal device for that purpose. Check out RaspberryPi.org for more information on how to use a Raspberry Pi for a host of uses. You can even use it as a computer running Linux and Windows 10.
Bob Heil is a legend in the broadcast and music recording industry. He's also an amateur radio enthusiast. He is the creator of the Heil PR40 mic, which Leo uses on the radio show. Bob is currently doing an interesting project called the Pineboard Project, which teaches people how to solder electronics. The idea is to build electronics on a pineboard to design your gear. To date, he's had over 100 people involved.
Allen is a HAM radio operator and came across a website called HamSphere. Leo says it's a software-based app for the smartphone or a Windows device so he could listen to HAM Radio using the Internet. Leo says it's a simulation, but it would allow him to talk to HAMs all over the world. It's called software-defined radio and he can even have a special call sign. It's worth a try.
Allen should check out HamNation here on TWiT. Maybe Bob Heil will talk about it.
Alan wants to get back into Ham radio and has heard about SDR, or software defined radio. Leo says that most modern radios are software defined and he can get back into it by just installing the software on his computer. Alan should check out EchoLink. He should also listen to Ham Nation on TWiT. He'll still need a license, but it's a good way to get back into it.