Tuesday, February 27, 2018


jail-QSO # 669 

World Meteorological Organization, United Nations (WMO
Vienne International Centre, Vienne, Austria
World Meteorological Organization quarters, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: wmo.int

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Top Ten Reasons Why Hackers Should Get a HAM Radio License

author: Christopher Grimsley, AB3YS

First appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of "2600: The Hacker Quarterly"

K1TTT Multi-Multi contest station. The owner, David Robbins,
is standing. Oct 2017, CQWW contest. Photo by Ed Kritsky, NT2X.
Many hackers, technology focused hobbyists, GNU/Linux users, computer programmers, and others are already aware of some of the really neat things that can be done with radio, and probably take many of them for granted.

Take Wi-Fi, for example - the use of small radios that allow our computers and laptops to access a local network or the Internet without having to plug in. My first real introduction to the world of radio came when I built a cantenna in order to extend the range of my wireless network, and to be able to connect the free university Wi-Fi which was just out of range of the stock antenna on my wireless card. There are, of course, more ways to use radio than just Wi-Fi.

Users of GNU/Linux and other FLOSS (free and open-source software) may be familiar with GNU radio and other software defined radio (SDR) applications available in the free software world. With a $10 RTL-SDR dongle, it is possible to listen to the countless VHF and UHF radio transmissions that are flying through the air right now, virtually unnoticed by most.

As a hacker, one of the things that draws me to the world of ham radio the most is the fact that it sort of reveals an otherwise hidden world. Wherever you are, there is almost certainly an invisible conversation happening right around you. It's invisible because it's happening through the use of radio waves, but it can be heard if you know how to listen, and you can even participate if you have a license.
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