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A Visit to the Museum

from Greg Danes, KJ4DGE on January 18, 2017
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A Visit to the Museum

Tommy was spending the weekend with Gramps when he asked again for the 100th time. “What did you talk about with all these radios Grandpa?” Gramps was born in 2000 at the turn of the century and got his license for what was called “Amateur Radio” in 2016.

“Well Tommy I talked to folks far and wide, here and in other countries. We talked about current events, the antennas and radios we had and such things as fast cars we still drove before drivers no longer mattered.”

In the year 2074 cars drove themselves everywhere. Disease was mainly a thing of the past. The last Great War had ended and Earth was a much different place. Communications were via “The Grid” formerly known as the Internet. People were entertained by Holograms instead of television and cell towers no longer existed in the sense they did when Gramps was born. The world was truly connected.

Gramps house sat on a lake with 5 towers and miles of coax cable all running back to his “shack.” His house WAS the shack! He had the very old radios from the 90’s and later called solid state but also rooms filled with well kept antiques with names like ICOM, Yaesu, Kenwood, Heathkit, Drake, Swan and such. One room had even older radios from 160 years before, such as Hammarlund and Hallicrafters.

There existed still communication purists such as he but the number of “operators” once in the millions had dwindled to less than a thousand.

Tommy was still fascinated by the many walls filled with postcards called QSL’s that had pictures of faraway places or letters and numbers. Gramps most current radio was close to 100 years old called a Flex 6700 SDR.

Tommy liked to watch the colorful patterns form on the Holoscreen that filled a whole wall as Gramps tuned the radio across the “bands” Today the weather was getting colder and signals were getting louder for a change. Gramps had a few regular friends he talked to daily but still looked for “newbies” perhaps the grandsons or daughters of the few remaining operators to talk and “elmer” on his long history of this ancient hobby as some called it.

Oh there were still historians in COMMteach in schools that would explain the beginnings of all these things but it was more fun to actually listen and respond to someone else “over the air.”

It was as the two of them sat there that something amazing happened. A signal on 20 meters of enormous strength almost hurt their ears. It was unlike anything they had ever heard before. It sounded like another person but was sing-songy and almost electrical sounding and in a language neither of them could understand but slowly it cleared up in bits and pieces into very clear English!


I speak to you on this wavelength from the star you call Sirius. My name is Wolfe in your earth words as close as can be translated to your words. To whom am I conversing with?”

Gramps looked puzzled then smiled. Hey K6WWW that you Bill? What’s the gag?

“I am sorry but this is no “gag” if I understand that word. I am from a distant star system you call Sirius and I am seriously called Wolfe. The reason I speak to you is you have been the keeper of the radio history of your past and I wish to visit and see these things in what you call “The Museum.”

You need not key the microphone I can hear you without it. And with that a being took form in the room as solid as either Tommy or Gramps but it was not a hologram but a man-like creature with the body of a human but the head of a dog. And it was holding something in his hand.

Tommy looked in awe and Gramps jaw dropped; the entity seemed to be holding what looked like an old handi-talkie or HT!

He was wearing something like an old style military uniform or such with medals.

“Wolfe” from Sirius

Gramps stood up and walked over and asked the question. “We knew that others outside our world existed but nothing like you.”

“I understand Wolfe said, but there exists many things you have never seen, we are just one. I cannot stay long perhaps you can show me around your Museum?”

Of course. And that is what Gramps did along with Tommy in tow smiling at the wagging tail on this creature each time they stopped in front of a display he would bend down to inspect the gear then the furry tail sticking out the back of his uniform would wag approval.

It was Tommy who asked then “Sir (he was very polite) what is that device you are holding? With that Wolfe handed the device to Tommy and he said,” this for you as a piece of history. Tommy took and saw a word in English on it that read Yaesu FT-60.

Wolfe “This device had many bands and channels and much communication options. It was teleported in times past after we left a compensation with your HRO people for it of what we have in abundance on our world you call a Diamond” Wolfe then produced a small wooden box and handed it to Gramps who opened it to find all the accessories normally found with the FT-60. -- Speaker mic, extra batteries, etc.

After an hour or so Wolfe looked at the two of them and stated, “I must leave now but if you wish I will return in the future and we can talk more of your and my world and how we can communicate, 73 my friends.”

He turned and walked through the wall and disappeared.

Tommy looked at gramps and asked a loaded question...

Gramps? Was this what you are always calling DX?



Member Comments:
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A Visit to the Museum  
by WX4O on January 18, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
A Visit to the Museum  
by KJ6ZOL on January 18, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
How about this:

The old man checked his old digital clock, and made sure to glance outside so as to confirm that his battered old Sharp clock wasn't acting up again.

"Time for the news." he said to nobody in particular, and he switched on his Yaesu FRG-100. He carefully tuned across the 41 meter band, looking for Voice of Cascadia.

"Gee, shouldn't be that weak in July!" He slapped the side of the Yaesu. "Much better!"

In 2057 the vast computerized information networks that had existed 40 or so years earlier were largely a thing of the past. A few people had ancient "personal computers" that had survived the wars and the pulse bombs, and used them on the 20 meter band, in primitive "packet nets" that were kind of amusing to listen to in AM, with all that electronic screeching.

There were maybe 1.3 billion humans on Earth, and they generally relied on over the air radio to stay connected and informed. A few really wealthy areas had televisions, or "picture radios" as they were known in 2057. People who had been "amateur radio operators" before the Crash were in very high demand, keeping old gear alive so that the general public could keep up on the latest news and communicate with each other. The best were called "elmers", and taught the youth the trade.

The hooting of a spotted owl crackled over the Yaesu's speaker. It was time for the news. The Republic of Cascadia generally had the most reliable newscasts of any shortwave station; a lot of micronations tended to waste a lot of precious electricity on the latest actions of the local king or royal duke or fuhrer. Imperial Tokyo was probably among the worst-who really cared about what instant rice noodle factory the emperor had visited the day before?

The Comstock Republic reported another banner year at the casinos; the Elysians sure liked to fritter away their gold at card games, the old man chuckled. Radiation levels were stable in Fukushima and Vladivostok.

After the news, the old man made sure to unplug the radio; no sense running down the glass mat battery in his solar power setup, especially with batteries being so strictly rationed.

He heard a familiar sound, the old Ram pickup truck belonging to the eldest son of the farmer down the road. Like the rest of the autos in the North California Republic, that pickup had been fixed over and over again. The old man could remember when there were car dealers with acres of brand new cars, pick one.

"It works!" Yonet was holding his newest creation, a two transistor radio called a "regenerative". "Take a listen!" Yonet popped the batteries into the holder, pushed a switch, and fiddled with the variable cap a little. Sure enough, the old man could hear the official national mediumwave station in Sacramento, sixty miles away. "I built it myself! All by myself, just the schematic and the parts you gave me! I can't wait until I'm good enough to tackle that FT-400 you promised me."

"Try the two tube receiver next." said the old man. "I sure will!" Yonet drove back down the road. The old man fetched a few eggs from the chicken pen. Those would have to do for tonight. Maybe he could splurge on a little chicken meat tomorrow night, if he could remember to rehydrate it before he went to bed.

He took out the old three transistor regen he'd built after he'd gotten back from the skirmishes in Taiwan and managed to tune in the shortwave music station in Reno. The young of today absolutely hated that old "electronic" music, and the old man sometimes wondered why he bothered with the music of his youth himself. But he just wanted to relax while the eggs boiled.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by WA7SGS on January 18, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
KJ6ZOL, get the book "A Canticle For Leibowitz" to see how the revival of radio gets described. This book deals with a distant post-apocalyptic Earth that soon enough winds up with another nuclear war. You should be entertained!

RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by KJ4DGE on January 18, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Like the follow-up. Oh that's right this space is meant for technical articles....
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by KE7FD on January 19, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Technical articles? I thought this site reflected the best of free speech and expression in the area of amateur radio. It's fun to try to figure out how things will be in the future. To this idea I ponder, "It's 2017! Where's my flying car?"

Glen - KE7FD
A Visit to the Museum  
by KK7GB on January 19, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you. I enjoy these types of short stories.

Glenn KK7GB
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by KJ6ZOL on January 19, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
WA7SGS, it's funny that you should mention A Canticle For Leibowitz, I had been looking for a good condition copy for a while and finally found one in a local thrift store in December. It's on my VERY LONG to do list. That novel is legendary, and stands head and shoulders above the field of post-apocalyptic novels.

The creepy thing is, in the last 20 years some previously unknown Early Christian texts have been found in places like desert monasteries. New computerized techniques can now "open up" old scrolls too damaged to physically unroll. Archaeologists are scrambling to unearth ancient libraries that were severely damaged ages ago, in the hopes of deciphering previously unknown manuscripts. Life imitates art.
A Visit to the Museum  
by K3LUE on January 19, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Kind of a weird twist on the old "Scratchi" from CQ days gone by.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by N4UM on January 21, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
As I recall the sacred words in the hollowed writings of the Canticle for Liebowitz went somthing like..

1/2 lb. Lox
a dozen bagels
1/2 lb. cream cheese

RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by K9MHZ on January 23, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Like the follow-up. Oh that's right this space is meant for technical articles...."

Or some that didn't come from a bizarre place. Oh, you're being "creative," got it. radio....technical articles.... starting to see a pattern here.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by KJ4DGE on January 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Oh your being creative.....And your being condescending?
A Visit to the Museum  
by W1XYZ on January 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Well done. It is perhaps timely for the aging hams to be reminded that history will continue. One takeaway for me is the idea that only a few hams would remain: I hope to see it the other way, with greater direct public access to the spectrum, rather than through very expensive repeater systems owned by Verizon. Many people don't get the humor or the point, and can only discuss SWR.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by K9MHZ on January 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Oh brother, they really come out of their bizarro worlds to defend each other. That's quite a narcissistic manifesto you have of your QRZ page, XYZ. Weird, weird people.
A Visit to the Museum  
by N0FQN on January 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not against progress if done in a reasonable, studied manner. If it continues as predicted with speed increases doubling every couple of years and, down to months, or less, eventually. Smaller and smaller devices. We will be implanted with all the communication devices we'll need, forcibly if necessary. They will be able to track every move you make, every statement will be documented and. they'll know what you buy, where and when. Knowing your habits they will control every aspect of your life. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? If we keep wanting more "conveniences" in our lazy ways, we'll end up like this. No one seems to see the danger involved or, just laughs it off like some fantasy. It's nice to have the gizmos, gadgets, flashy whiz bang stuff but, I was taught the more accessories you add the more it costs to fix and, the less you understand what it's doing to you. In today's world they make sure you have to buy new by not manufacturing parts for what they consider legacy devices. Parts used to be kept in stock for 10 years more. Now, it's maybe 2 years if that. Out economy is driven by a need for constant increase in output. If it ever stagnates, it will collapse in on itself. Watch the movie "Brave New World". Listen to what the workers, Deltas, have to listen to all day.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by W6IVO on February 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
You're. Not your.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by K9MHZ on February 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
^^^^^^^^^^"Oh your being creative.....And your being condescending?"

I was waiting for someone to mention that. Didn't want to pile on the great author.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by KJ4DGE on February 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Pile away. A good writer never improves their writing without paying attention to critics.
RE: A Visit to the Museum  
by W8LV on February 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

A Visit to the Museum  
by AJ4DW on February 16, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I loved the article and the followup... I'll be looking for A Canticle For Leibowitz too.

Many thanks guys.

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