2. It makes you part of a worldwide community
3. The opportunity to help neighbors by providing public service and emergency communications
4. Some of the nicest people you'll ever meet
5. Some of the smartest people you'll ever meet
6. Some of the most interesting people you'll ever meet
7. Some of the most generous people you'll ever meet (along with some of the cheapest!)
8. Lifelong friendships
9. Friends around the world (including those you haven't met yet)
10. The opportunity to go interesting places you might not otherwise go to
220 MHz amateur radio boasts of a long and colorful history, affording it a special place in the hearts of amateur radio enthusiasts.
Conceptually, amateur radio repeaters are not too different from public safety devices (fire, first response, police) or those in use at federal, business or military services. However, they are often assembled (power supplies, transmitter, receivers, antenna etc.) or commercially packaged to operate only within amateur RF (radio frequency) bands, like 222-224.995 220 MHz band.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved VHF bands as early as 1938, one of them being 1.25 meters (224 MHz) band. Amateur radio activity spiked rapidly in 1960s and 1970s, as 2m and 70cm bands swiftly rose to prominence in the hobby. The commercial spectrum of the VHF and UHF bands became the backbone of emergency service communications like police, fire and ems. The 1.25m band however, escaped the commercial popularity - partly due to lack of enough commercial frequency allocations. Add to it, commercial radio equipment for the band has been scarce. Amateurs willing to go live on this band have had to build their own equipment or buy specialized amateur radio equipment from designated manufacturers.
Here are some thoughts and pictures from our visit to Ham-Com 2015 in Irving, TX.
Ron and I left the Kansas City, MO area on Thursday morning and it was 80+ degrees. When we got to TX it was 90+ degrees, so summer is officially here.
Driving from MO to TX without the radio on leaves for a lot of random conversation, good, but random. Ron and I discussed our thoughts and expectations for Ham-Com. We expected to have a good booth location, plenty of foot traffic, and generate a positive buzz surrounding BridgeCom Systems and our products. We packed with us three repeaters (BCR-50V, BCR-220, BCR-40U), the new BCM-220 mobile, and our MV-DMR server in a 2U chassis, plus the assorted banners and spec sheets.
We arrived in TX about 3:30p Thursday and went straight to the Irving Convention Center to unload and set up. The people of TX are very nice, lots of yes sir, no sir. We got set up pretty quickly, we like to keep the booth small with just a few products and brochures. I'm not a fan of the table across the entire front of the booth, but it seemed to work well this time giving us some shelter from the masses. However, I should have put the banners out front on the corners where people could have seen them better.
Here's a quick road to victory for getting a BCR Repeater going with DSTAR. Yes... the BCR Repeater works fabulous with DSTAR!
Purchase one of these for each repeater: DVRPTR V1