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Author Topic: Interested in SWL feedback  (Read 1837 times)
K4EZD
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Posts: 133




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« on: June 27, 2016, 07:47:54 AM »

The hobby of “radio” is diverse, with something for every interest and taste.  What one person sees as boring another sees as interesting or even exciting.  Some amateur operators see JT65 as exciting as watching paint dry but others are fascinated by how weak signals can be transmitted with minimal power.  What is the fascination with SWL today and those who are in this hobby please fill me in on what you enjoy about it.  I received a QSL card from an SWL person who copied my JT65 transmission and while pleased with the quaility of the card and the effort that someone took in sending it I was wondering what was in it for them?  I am a retired psychologist and still trying to understand different aspects of people.  Thanks.
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KC2QYM
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 09:18:06 AM »

Ha ha ha...I found your quasi scientific inquiry amusing in a positive sort of way.  I agree about the diversity of radio interests and the levels of boring pursuits within it.  I guess my opinion may help in the diversity perspective.  When I was about six or seven my dad gave me a 5 tube Emerson radio from the 40s and showed me how to use it.  This was a big deal because I was always fascinated in picking up stations hundreds of miles away at night.  This led me to an enhanced interest in maps when I could find the cities where the stations were located and calculate the point to point distances using the map's scale and a ruler; I kept a log that I was proud to show friends and relatives.  When I was ten I bought a Hallicrafters SX-110 receiver and expanded my interests to listening to international broadcasts, hams, marine operators, etc.  I never QSLd hams but sent many reports to stations like radio Peking, Moscow, etc.  What excitement when Radio Peking sent me a QSL along with Mao's little red book which I still have (no I'm not a commie).  When I was about 12 the rage was CB and my dad bought me a Lafayette HA-85 walkie-talkie as all the kids in the neighborhood were buying them.  We had so much fun on channel ten and the interests expanded into getting a license in order to operate five watt stations. It was great.  Then, as I moved on thru high school my interest declined to the point where I sold the CB stuff but kept the Hallicrafters (which I still have).  My interest in radio did not resurrect itself until 2007 when I met a few guys at my gun club who were hams and encouraged me to study for the license.  So fast forward to the present time.  I built a decent station, have a few rigs, etc.  and after a few short years of figuring ham radio out I found myself totally bored with nets, contests, emcom afficionados, etc.  The only interest I have is finding intelligent people to have a conversation with in the subject area of politics, history, religion, current events.  Believe me, I have found it very difficult to find such people on ham radio.  Part of it is that hams don't like to expose their personal opinions on the air and take the neutral road on everything; also, many people on ham radio just don't have the intellectual curiosity in the aforementioned areas. And then there are the legions of miscreants who infest ham radio.  Oh, and about SWLing, forget about it; English language broadcasts beamed to NA are few, and many aviation SSB transmissions have transitioned to Satellite comm.  I have no interest in following numbers stations or digital modes.  So to sum it up, the fascination that I had when I was a kid is gone (IMO, many adult hams are fascinated by radio just for the sake of the technology itself).  What they use it for such as netting, contesting, QSLing, etc. to me is simply boring so all the power to them.  I also find that getting young people to form an interest in radio technology will continue to decline since once the kids see how almost silly Ham and SWL really is they move away from it very quickly.  Men in their 40s and up appear to represent the majority of hams and even though I'm in my 60s my radio interests are so limited as an overall component of my other pastimes.  In other words I don't find radio to be magical anymore.  So once you cross that threshold your interest declines and you move onto other things.  At least that's the way I see it.
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K4EZD
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 04:01:28 PM »

Quote
Ha ha ha...I found your quasi scientific inquiry amusing in a positive sort of way.
Not sure if that was an insult or a compliment but either way I appreciate your thoughtful response.  The phrase "intellectual curiosity" along with the diversity in human nature probably explain a lot.  As my grandmother used to say, de gustibus non est disputandum.   Grin
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KC2QYM
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« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 06:58:09 AM »

No, it was refreshing to read your inquiry...hope others will bear their souls Smiley
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N6XJP
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 02:19:49 PM »

Vincent...

I've been a ham for over 25 years and never have lost the allure of SWL.  In the wee hours of the night....on a dark and stormy night listening to a broadcast from far away.  The mystery of a foreign language, struggling to understand a heavy accent speaking in English, wondering where exactly is it originating. 

Guess, at age 72, I'm still a little kid listening to my crystal set in the early 1950s.  Thanks for your article...very much. 

And if I ever get a QSL card from a SW listener I will always, always send a card back immediately...at my expense.  Especially in that I am 99% CW now and someone has taken the effort to listen and decode. 

Cheers and 73,
Dave
N6XJP
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