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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

A Great Hobby

lou giovannetti (KB2DHG) on February 24, 2013
View comments about this article!

Is was one of those snowy cold weekends, you know nothing to do but stay inside. What a great weekend to just relax with ham radio and that is just what I did!

I purchased a Yaesu FT-950 just less than two years ago and never really got into the meat of the radio. Just never seemed to have the time to read through the manual to learn about all the goodies this radio has.

Well, this was a good opportunity to do so. I spent the better half of Saturday just reading about how to use all the bells and whistles and the other half trying things out.

Being a boat anchor operator for most of my ham life I had no idea how wonderful these modern rigs really are! I learned a lot and still have not gone thru all the other things I can do with this rig. BUT this is not the main reason I decided to write this article.

During this weekend of being locked up in my radio room (shack) I made wonderful contacts, tried different things, and had a great time in doing so... I have been in this hobby for 30+ years and to this day, still learning and finding new things to do with it every day. It is an endless journey encompassing many different things to do... From collecting QSL cards, vintage equipment, building, experimenting, antenna construction, contesting, working DX and making friends all over the world, it goes on and on the wonders of wireless and the fun this hobby really can be.

I had a great weekend locked in my radio room and playing ham radio!

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
A Great Hobby  
by KI4ABS on February 24, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article! I've heard so many stories of people getting "fed up" and "bored" with our hobby, it's great to hear one of an operator that has been at it for three decades still learning and thriving. I believe there is more to our hobby now than ever before. Has it evolved? Absolutely! But growing things change, and I believe it has evolved for the better.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K8AG on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Been a ham since 75. Never did contests. On a weekend just like you describe I was home and there was a QRP sprint. I dove in. Now I love to do them. I would definitely NOT be considered a contester. But these friendly contact making sessions are fantastic.

Looking forward to my next weekend cooped up in the shack.

73, JP, K8AG
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by KE0XQ on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
When you are stuck in the "ARES/public service mode", the hobby can be quite boring. I "gave up on" ARES/public service 8 years ago and now I am enjoying the hobby as I should have been all along. If you get into the hobby for ARES/public service you are very narrow minded. Explore the modes and what our hobby has to offer.

73, Bill KE0XQ
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K9MHZ on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Bill, that's pretty rough on the guys who do the ARES gig. Personally, I find root canals more interesting than ARES, but those guys, along with the League's support and encouragement, keep us allocated with bands. It's easy to bash (I do it, too), but the League knows what will play politically, and the "noble ham down the street, willing to serve" is the most effective deterrent to very deep-pocketed lobbying efforts that would love to have our bands. It is what it is.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by KE0XQ on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I got burned several years ago as far as ARES is concerned. I am not against it, but it is not for me anymore. Quiet a few hams in my area feel the same way. All I am saying is give all aspects of the hoby a try.
 
Put your hands to work.  
by AI2IA on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, it is a great endeavor.

When fellow hams get bored or annoyed with ham radio it usually turns out that they have grown tired or have some issues with operating. When that happens, it's time to send for a kit that you always thought about building, or to switch off the power to the rig and start putting connectors together, making some wire antennas, or repositioning rigs in the shack to the way you really always wanted to place them.

Yes, when the mind grows tired of operating, it's time for the hands and the tools to get busy fabricating. It has always worked for me and for my ham buddies, too! So, if you are getting down, look toward the other fifty percent of the hobby, and soon you will back operating and with new gear, new connectors, new antennas, or new arrangements of your shack.
 
RE: Put your hands to work.  
by W1JKA on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
As per AI2IA (get out of the rut):

Got out of my last rut by switching every thing over to battery and solar power.Kept me busy and interested while scroungeing up batteries ,experimenting with small solar panels and figuring out hook ups.Now another aspect to the hobby,checking batteries,adjusing panels and even thinking about a small homebrew wind generator.Every time I get on the air now I kind of smile knowing the power company is out of the loop and my back pocket.
 
RE: Put your hands to work.  
by N6AJR on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I find that there is so much to do in ham radio, that you never need to get stale.

I got my ticket in 1978 an was active till the early 80's. I was then in and out till about 2001 when I got back to being on the air in a bad way. Bye the way, ham radio is more fun when you have some "extra" money to play with.

I have done the listing nets for a bit and then psk 31, then some rtty, Some amatuer television, then the ares type of operating with support for local bike rides and such, then I got into some modest contesting, and all along I have changed radios, and amps and of course, antennas.

This ain't bad for a disabled vet who can barely walk. I have ham friends who help me with the shack, antennas and such.

I also tend to collect "extra" gear and then when there is a local ham who is a little short on $$$ need a radio, I will give him or her one on casual payments, which is pay me when you can but take care of your family first. I works and I have never lost a dime doing it.

I also get stuff when I see a "deal" and then have some extra coax, antennas, connectors and such to give to fellow hams who need a little help. The only thing I ask is that when they can help some one else, please do it.

SO yes there is a lot to do in ham radio, and the hard part is to decide what to do today.
 
A Great Hobby  
by K6YE on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with most of the previous posts. I have been licensed since the early 60s and have found that I have never been bored with the hobby. I work CW about 70% and SSB 30% of the time. I did contests but am now limited to only being able to work from Saturday night through Sunday evening. It is nice to give others multipliers. I enjoy working DX but more importantly, I really enjoy chewing the fat. It is great to rag chew either with new people as well as those you have known for decades.

With so many different modes, there really is no reason to go stale. Enjoy the hobby while you can as life is quite short.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS and CW RULES
 
A Great Hobby  
by N1FDX on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Just to add my $0.02, I must agree with it all. I've been a ham for 27 years and have never been bored for a minute, maybe a bit frustrated at times when I can't get something to work but that's the challenge. When you get bored with something move on to something else, PSK, RTTY, The Birds, may favorites. There's so much you can do, so many modes, so many new people to meet. No hobby can offer what Ham Radio does. Statistics even show more people are coming into the hobby even thought there's all the web services and smart phones etc.
A fat wallet is helpful but rally not nessesary, an old boat anchor and a hunk of wire and the fun begins.
See you the bands, Jay N1FDX
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by WA8FOZ on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
All of the above! 50 years in ham radio here, and it's still magic.

73,
Bill WA8FOZ
 
A Great Hobby  
by K9MOV on February 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I too, am enjoying the hobby as much as when I first started in 1957 as a novice. I am proud to be part of a fraternity with you and all my other fellow hams.
73-- Lane, K9MOV
 
A Great Hobby  
by PA3ALF on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article Lou. For me the hobby comes and goes depending on family life. Got my tech license in 1977 and full license in 1979. Still enjoying it. There is so much to explore nowadays like QRP, digital modes and I still love to work in CW to work special event stations. I even did the PACC contest last year and this year. 73ís de Jos, PA3ALF
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K1CJS on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with most everything said here and also with KE0XQ. The only thing he said that I don't agree with is the narrow mindedness of people who get into the hobby only for ARES/public service. I believe that they are just mislead by propaganda. Once most of them start exploring, they find that the hobby has MUCH more to offer.

K9MHZ, the public service guys don't keep the bands allocated for us--at least not the HF bands or anything below 2 meters either. That's just more propaganda.

Although it is true that experimenters are pushing the E-UHF spectrum limits, bands that the big money companies (cell phone/comm companies/etc.) want, they usually get. Look at the 220 mhz and the 440 mhz bands as examples of that--especially the 440 band. We're being crowded into sharing the bands we have there and at higher frequencies, and sooner or later may loose them no matter what the public service hams do.

No? How about the reallocation that was done to accommodate Sprint in the 800 mhz section. Even public safety licensees aren't immune from it!
 
A Great Hobby  
by WA7NDD on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a ham for 53 years, married 43 of them, and my wife has always understood my passion for ham radio and electronics. I did really enjoy the 1960's big green key RTTY machines one could never get enough of and CW contacts all night long. But that was when I was young.

Because of health issues I sold all of my gear, could no longer pick it up or move it around. Took the money and bought a TS-590s, AL-600 amp, LDG 600 watt tuner, added to my FT-817. I can now deal with it all, have fun rearranging it every 20 minutes, and enjoy the data modes like never before.

Converted the entire station to solar power with 40 watt panels, and two ABS 150AH batteries and solar charger, and DC distribution. It was fun! I spent 45 years repairing broken electronics, and building tons of ham projects. All of it loads of fun. I am just a knob twister, button pusher, and menu adjuster now.

I've always been a writer, and after retirement I published three novels, and working on the forth, also loads of fun.
Jim, WA7NDD

 
A Great Hobby  
by WD9FUM on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I was first licensed as a Novice back in 1977. The service came along, then college, then a career, then a wife & kids. I never lost interest and upgraded and continued to renew my ticket and finally got 'reactivated.' I enjoy it now just as much as I did back in my Novice days. The thrill of being able to talk half way around the world without wires is still there.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by WD9FUM on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Jim, WA7NDD, that's why our wives like ham radio... they always know where to find us!
 
A Great Hobby  
by KD8TUT on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
That's a great little article. I agree with you. I'm pretty new to the hobby, and have only been working 2m and 440. But it's a great time. And learning what I need to do to create an HF rig is a lot of fun.

Maybe we'll talk at some point on the bands! Be well!!
 
A Great Hobby  
by K6CRC on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article. Good to have a hobby on a rainy day!

One point to the comments. Do we REALLY need our bands protected? Is there a band that some other entity want to take over that Hams are really utilizing? I don't think many Hams are on any freq above 70cm. You see some in QST on mountains with dish antennas, but how big is that part of the hobby vs the commercial value of those frequencies? Even 70cm is pretty light here, in a major urban area.

I have to wonder how much of the 'Spectrum Defense' is just fundraising exercises by the ARRL. Maybe I am missing something here.
 
A Great Hobby  
by K2FOX on February 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Good article, thanks. I've never gotten bored with HAM radio, I've just changed modes or bands. I started in '88 on HF, tracking down every state and over 100 countries, collected the qsl cards but never applied for the awards. I switched gears to the digital modes (PACKET mostly)for a while, then got involved with the local OEM (no longer active but still available), then on to the Satellites. They were a blast. Got a qsl card from the MIR Space Station. Eventually I drifted back to HF. Changing it up really kept things interesting for me. Just as important is keeping interest in other things besides radio (some golf, some astronomy, LOTS of fishing, and some other outdoor activities). And sometimes radio is a part of these other things. So it never gets old.

-Jay
 
A Great Hobby  
by AE5ZE on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A very provocative topic, great response! I came late to the party, have limited funds and time (full time job gets in the way). When I started reading the article I realized that each ham would have a different list due to their unigue approach to the hobby, which is a great attraction to me. The critial things for me should be, patience, Elmers, great XYL's,(which I have), keeping it a hobby not another job, and sharing time and knowledge. All the rest will only work correctly with the above.

See you down the log.
73
Jim
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K9MHZ on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
K6CRC.....are you kidding? Yes, the bands need protecting.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K6CRC on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
.".are you kidding? Yes, the bands need protecting."

OK. Are there any recent examples of -mainstream- ham bands that have come under 'threat' from other services? Maybe there are, I just haven't heard or read of it.

I DO hear regularly from the ARRL about how I need to give money to 'protect' from a 'threat'.
 
A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by AI2IA on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
If the FCC decided to auction off any or all of the ham bands, do you think that there would be any takers?

Do the ham bands need protecting?

Do wild bears urinate in the woods?
 
RE: A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by K6CRC on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Still waiting for a real example of our bands being 'threatened'. Other than feeding the ARRL machine and creating lawyer bills, I am not sure there is a purpose here.
 
A Great Hobby  
by KO3D on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
No argument that it's a great hobby and that DX and experimentation are alive and well. But FM repeaters are dead and I fear our bandwidth is going to become part of the 4G network. I just monitored 200 repeaters here in Eastern PA for an hour (2000-2100) and heard ONE kerchunk. Not one QSO on any repeater from 10m to microwave. Obviously, cell phones, digital voice, Echolink and the internet are major reasons for this. But not one ham is interested in just using their radios to communicate within a 50 mile radius? I know someone will respond and say they talk all the time or I should "start a conversation." The point is that part of the hobby is dead. Fifteen years ago there was constant chatter on the repeaters even at 3 a.m.

Honestly, it's hard to defend keeping UHF bandwidth from being sold to 4G companies when we aren't using it.
 
Idleness begets nonsense  
by AI2IA on February 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Now let's see.
We have ARRL bashers, and we have gloom and doom hams.
Oh, yes, there are plenty more deranged ham types, but these will do for the moment.
True, you are never going to convince them otherwise, but that's only because they don't want to be convinced. They are more interested in seeking consolation in their misery. They need everyone to agree with them.
They are quite happy when they're sad. They are always feeling bad. How are they feeling? Why, terrible! That's good. They're happy when they're sad.
Repeaters in your tiny neck of the woods silent, eh? Well, call on them. Be an innovator, or listen in on metropolitan repeaters for more action.
No threats to the bands, eh? Try a little research on just one band, like 70 cm and see what you can come up with. It's all up to you, you know! You've got to do it by yourself. All education, after all, is really self education. But there is one caveat, you can't put a million dollar education in a ten cent head.
 
A Great Hobby  
by W3TTT on February 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's a great hobby and wide enough that everyone can pretty much do what they want.
I like cw and ssb on HF, log on to the 3905 ccn net and do some of the NAQRP Sprints. I try to send qsl cards to all my contacts, even close by ones.
As for protecting the bands, well, let's see. Short wave broadcasting is way down, due to the internet, and radio streaming. Heck, the BBC stopped broadcasting to North America, Kol Israel stopped broadcasting completely. So there is less pressure for the HF frequesncies. And VHF is not being used as much as it used tobe, and now, with newer technology, uhf and above frequencies measured in multiple gigahertz are being used. For example, from 10 to 11 GigaHertz, you have a whole GigaHertz of bandwidth. It carries as much info as all the frequencies from DC to one gHz.
But there are more hams now than at any time in history. Must be something to say for that!
73, Joe, W3ttt
 
RE: A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by HAMMYGUY on February 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"Still waiting for a real example of our bands being 'threatened'. Other than feeding the ARRL machine and creating lawyer bills, I am not sure there is a purpose here. "

Hmmmmm...I'd say that BPL was an attack on most of our HF bands AND the ARRL played a very significant role in snuffing out any major corporate interest in pursuing it. You rarely hear about it now except for an occasional utility that uses some lower frequencies for low speed digital telemetry.

If we lower our guard for even a short time, money hungry government will be happy to auction off any of our bands. It doesn't matter if we think current interest is dropping off. HF might not be as attractive as 2m or 440, but it certainly has plenty of value.

 
RE: A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by K6CRC on February 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"Hmmmmm...I'd say that BPL was an attack on most of our HF bands AND the ARRL played a very significant role in snuffing out any major corporate interest in pursuing it."

That is legit. BPL was never going mainstream anyway, because of cost and performance limitations vs fiber buildout. But any permanent installation could have hurt the hobby.
 
RE: A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by AA4PB on March 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"If the FCC decided to auction off any or all of the ham bands, do you think that there would be any takers?"

For 220MHz and above they'd be lined up at the door!
 
A Great Hobby  
by KF6VCI on March 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A friend drove from Arkansas to California. If that had been me, I would have the ARRL's Repeater Directory open on every rest stop and gas station. Having a conversation during such a long drive makes all the difference!

By all means, it's a great hobby.
 
A Great Hobby  
by HAMMYGUY on March 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I've been in this hobby since 1971 when I got my Novice ticket as a freshman in high school. While I don't like necessarily getting on the air to talk voice, I do enjoy CW and digital modes. The various people I meet on the air and at swap meets really helps keep my interest going over the past 40 plus years.

If there is any thing that really irks be about ham radio is the bad boy cliques that seem to spring up on the various bands. 3.840, 7.255, 14.313, are three that are very prominent here on the West coast. Those all seem to take pride in the fact of flying in the face or right along the ragged edge of regulations. Jamming, swearing, and harassment are their persona's and they love every bit of attention they get. Including this.

Oh well it takes all kinds and while my grand kids are taking an interest in ham radio, allowing them to spin the dial on the rig is definitely NOT allowed.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K9MHZ on March 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, that is frustrating when they're parked on HF freqs. We have a 2 meter repeater locally that's nothing but trailer trash, but a simple QSY will land you on some machines with some of the finest people you'll ever meet.

Great hobby that's gotten pretty rough around the edges. But, thankfully with a little effort you can still find quality, very decent people.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K6CRC on March 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"If there is any thing that really irks be about ham radio is the bad boy cliques that seem to spring up on the various bands."

To a new Ham, it must seem like a hobby of cranky old guys, half off their rockers.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K7FD on March 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"To a new Ham, it must seem like a hobby of cranky old guys, half off their rockers..."

CW is a much friendly way to go! What goes on in the phone bands, stays in the phone bands, thankfully...

73 John K7FD
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by KE0XQ on March 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Then there are the ones the keeping leading the "bad boys" on.
 
RE: A Great Hobby because of ham bands  
by K1CJS on March 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>>"Hmmmmm...I'd say that BPL was an attack on most of our HF bands AND the ARRL played a very significant role in snuffing out any major corporate interest in pursuing it."

That is legit. BPL was never going mainstream anyway, because of cost and performance limitations vs fiber buildout. But any permanent installation could have hurt the hobby. <<<

While it IS true that the ARRL helped put a stop to the BPL threat, their main thrust was--and still is--in promoting activity under the guise of "emergency communications." The actual percentage of time and effort the ARRL invested in the BPL threat versus their time and effort invested in emergency communications? Best estimates have it at 1 to 10--or less. And don't forget that there are other less noticeable activities that ARRL supports, which makes their actual organization percentage of the BPL fight probably less than 5 percent--most of which was lab testing by one man.

BTW, Manassas, VA was one such 'permanent installation,' until, that is, the true nature of BPL problems kept popping up regularly, the BPL provider finally abandoned the venture, the city took it over, and finally the city terminated the internet provider part of the scheme and turned the rest of the installed hardware to a utility read and control system.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by W4HIJ on March 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"If there is any thing that really irks be about ham radio is the bad boy cliques that seem to spring up on the various bands."
"To a new Ham, it must seem like a hobby of cranky old guys, half off their rockers."

I agree and you certainly can come away with that impression too just by taking a tour of forums like this one but it's like any other hobby, there are cranks and crazies in all of them. I like the digital modes, seems like that's where I find the nicest people.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K9MHZ on March 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, but it seems like this hobby in particular has more than its fair share of cranks and crazies.

Can't figure it out, but I think the technical aspects of it attract many on the Asperger's spectrum, and also maybe that setting up a home station feeds a reclusive person's neurosis. I'm no Dr. Phil, but there are quite a few cases on the bands, and floating around local hamfests and Dayton that would keep a panel at any Freudian institute busy with plenty to study. The irony is that it's ultimately a hobby about communication, but filled with poor communicators.

I just don't subscribe to the idea that we have to be so accommodating the of strange, idiosyncratic, or abusive behaviors out of our own just because we all know that hams are "a little out there" so we just look away.

But when you find friends who are truly dignified, talented, bright, helpful, and willing to experiment and have fun like the "advancing the radio art" intends, this can be one fantastic and enriching hobby. Thank goodness there are over 700,000 of us, and many more internationally, to choose from.
 
A Great Hobby  
by NQ3C on March 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
.... Great article - however - I wonder what the age of most of the commenters is. I am 75 and as i attend club meetings, there might be 30 of us; of which only maybe 4 are less than 20. The rest of us are all old coots, and some "techies" who can still do a mean CW and read schematics. That being said, what I see as the future of the hobby is a glorified cell phone user club. No need to really know anything, memorize the test questions for whatever band you want to play in and go. With all the neat digital gizmos available and the aps for the handi-talkie, you can talk to anyone anywhere (D-Star), for free (well you need the HT) but if you don't want to bother with the pesky test, you can use your cell phone and talk to anyone in the world that a Ham can - with no QRN/M/QSB either! The challenge is to get the young people interested and keep them interested. Otherwise, Ham Radio will be going the way of the cassette recorder, nice toy, but who needs it? Now, where did I leave my cell phone?.....cc..
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by KE0XQ on March 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
.... Great article - however - I wonder what the age of most of the commenters is. I am 75 and as i attend club meetings, there might be 30 of us; of which only maybe 4 are less than 20. The rest of us are all old coots, and some "techies" who can still do a mean CW and read schematics. VERY WELL PUT....

After not helping with teaching a class (Technician) for many years, I helped with one about 10 months ago. There were 6 in the class. All of these were members of REACT. The local REACT team requires their members to have an Ham license to do storm spotting. During the 2 Saturdays the class was held, I handed out QSL cards with my phone numbers and email address on them. I offered to have these people come over to my shack and see what ham radio was all about. I was disappointed at not having any takers.

They will most likely never use their license for any other aspect of the hobby except storm spotting. I am an ARRL LIfe Member and I support the leagues' efforts in keeping our bands and increasing our ranks. The thing I am disapointed in is the lack of effort on the ARRL's part to encourage more people to discover all the aspects of the hobby, not just one thing. I hope that I don't live to see the cell phone technology to replace "real" amateur radio. There is more to the hobby than getting your license just so you can be a storm spotter. Please explore what a wonderful hobby this is. I have been a ham since 1987 and I am still learning more things about the hobby. My age is 64, I am retired and am thankful to have ham radio as a hobby.
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by NQ3C on March 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
...... Yep, I see Ham Radio dying a slow, tortorous death as other technologies which do not require a test and a license take over. I understand when a disaster hits and the repeaters are down; more than likely so will the cell towers be down and no one talks to anyone unless they use simplex and are within range of each other. But you can do that with a Radio Shack HT that the kids use and no testing, no license or gov interference. As for long distance, unless you have a sked with someone, it is easier to contact Vermont on the phone than to try and nail some QSO with VT. With the advent of LoTW and eQSL, you don't need paper QSL cards anymore, so what's the draw. I like paper QSLs rather than the electronic confirmation, but I am an old geezer. I do not like, however, the "Send 2 green stamps or IRCs or no card" type of QSLing prevalent today. I have about 5 or so Carribean stations contacted in my log book, QSL'd each and have yet to receive a card. I think those guys out in the islands are making a cottage industry of QSL cards. But, I could be mistaken and am just one of the unfortunate few who has yet to get a QSL card from that particular area. I saw the QRZ.com listing for a Kuwait station - this guy had a mansion for a ham shack, land rover fully loaded with antennas, looked like capsize indicators on a boat, herds of camels, massive antennas next to the pool which was next to the shack..... and he wanted Green Stamps for his QSL!!!..... real cheeky dude.....c...
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by AD6KA on March 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>"...... Yep, I see Ham Radio dying a slow, tortorous
>death as other technologies which do not require
>a test take over"

I dunno, I may be old fashioned but I find
that there always seen to be folks who think
that radios are "cool". (I used to say "magic".)
There are young people into scanners, SWL and CB,
many eventually find there way into ham radio.

As for "technologies which do not require
a test" taking over...there is room for both,
or all, IMHO. Dire predictions were made when
computers and the Internet became commonplace,
but many have found that computers enhance
our hobby. Digital modes, propagation software,
contest and logging programs, antenna modeling, etc.
73, Ken AD6KA
 
RE: A Great Hobby  
by K9MHZ on March 10, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I think both of you are right.

The dilemma today is to decide exactly what to test, since simple circuits are only used in the most basic of ham applications...sound card applications, very basic QRP work, whatever. While biasing transistor circuits, filter designs, etc should never be dropped as a knowledge requirement, knowledge of systems of components is gaining ground, since gear is becoming so advanced that digging down into individual components is getting impractical or even undoable.

Still, some of the things that many General and Extra Class licensees don't understand (God bless 'em if they're genuinely trying to learn), wouldn't have happened in yesteryear. Back then, gear was considerably less complicated/sophisticated, as well as less reliable. A ham really didn't have a choice but to get smart on the gear he owned, just to keep it running well. The AM resurgence is a bit of renaissance of that time. Many don't like those guys because of the bandwidths they use, but if one listens to their QSOs, you find that they're very dedicated to understanding circuits, equipment building and maintenance, etc.

Definitely a different world today.

FWIW.
 
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