Bouncing off the moon
Hopefully before I move up North I will finally get my Amateur Radio license (call sign), something that is very, very long overdue. Pop has been a Ham Radio Op for years and belongs to the K1MUJ club. He has acted as Net Coordinator more times than I can remember. Recently, ARRL has reported that the FCC is entertaining the idea of dropping the Morse Code requirement for all classes of licenses. Personally speaking, I could probably do five wpm if I really put my brain to it, but it's tough. It's a language learned by sound. For example, the word "alphabet" would be:
dit-dah, dit-dah-dit-dit, dit-dah-dah-dit, dit-dit-dit-dit, dit-dah, dah-dit-dit-dit, dit, dah
To everyone I just confused out there, the most "famous" Morse code is the S.O.S., meaning "Save Our Souls" or "Save Our Ship", which translates in Morse to dit-dit-dit, dah-dah-dah, dit-dit-dit. Yes, you have to learn by dits (a.k.a. dots) and dahs (a.k.a. dashes). The whole set of international characters is here if you want to take a look at it.
So anyway.. the Morse requirement may be dropped altogether. For me that's a good thing. Right now I'm going to go for what is called the "no-code" license. I should be able to pass the test without issue.. hopefully. (insert sheepish grin here)
Here's something that will make you think:
If all the air transmissions in the sky could be physically seen, it would block the sun. Never mind the fact that there are wireless phone transmissions, wireless internet, cordless phones, AM/FM radio, satellite and so on. Amateur radio transmissions alone would most likely block the sun.
Here's another thing to ponder that some people actually do:
It is totally possible using 100 watts or less (even as little as 5 watts) to transmit a signal, bounce it off the moon and have someone receive it. This is called an EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) using QRP, which means "Please Reduce Power".
One never would have thought 5 watts could go so far. More info on it is here. Good reading.