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Author Topic: Inactivity and family/career  (Read 1989 times)

Posts: 179

« on: May 27, 2012, 07:01:12 PM »

I have read quite a few bios where the ham mentions being QRT for a number of years due to raising a family and a career.  Has that happened to anyone in this forum?  What did you do to keep your interest during the period of inactivity?  Did you get depressed about not being on the air?
Did your operating skills decline very much?  How did you know when it was time to get active again?

John AF5CC

Posts: 6760

« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 09:22:48 PM »

Hi John:

During my working life, I was never QRT but in fact, being active with ham radio is the only thing that kept me from going insane or becoming chronically depressed.  No joke!

However, I've been around a few that found it necessary to give 100% to the career and family as well as reading about others.

A few completely divorce themselves from the hobby for a period but most will have their finger in it someplace, even for very fleeting moments.  Some use a mobile installation to satisfy their craving for the hobby, others simply read to keep abreast of what is going on.

For those who are away from ham radio completely, returning and bringing oneself up to speed is a fairly quick process.  I'm now speaking of CW which is the biggest thing to take a "hit" when not used.  Even then, returning is much faster than the initial learning process.

It's been my understanding that someone who is 100% involved with family and career doesn't have time to get depressed. But this is what I read and hear.... but one never knows what goes on in the minds of man.  Only the Shadow knows!


A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 165

« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 11:56:13 PM »

My problem has not been the inability to have a station, just the total lack of time to operate, especially as for many years, I 've been travelling abroad a lot. Plus getting involved in amateur radio politics...

Posts: 2008

« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 10:19:26 AM »

I was more-or-less completely away from ham radio, or any sort of radio tinkering, for nearly fifty years, from the time I went to college until a couple of years ago.

My license expired and the only radios in the house were FM broadcast band.

Now I'm in my late 60s and don't have to go to work every day. Two years ago something got me thinking about shortwave radio and I bought a kit regenerative radio. That was fun. I also realized that I remembered Morse Code very well although I hadn't used it for half-a-century.

I did some research and went out and took the exam at the Technician level, which is essentially a no-brainer, and got re-licensed. I exchanged my assigned call for a vanity one that is close to my old call and somewhat shorter for CW use.

I bought an Elecraft K2 kit and had a lot of fun putting it together. I put up an antenna and got on the air on CW.

Learning something new all the time. I realize how little I actually understood about radio and electronics half-a-century ago. Got my General license a year ago and just finished assembling an SSB option adapter for the K2. Lots to learn about voice communication! I actually prefer CW with a straight key!

Sometimes I don't do anything with radio for weeks. There's much else to a full life and many other things to learn. Recently I've put up another antenna. I've collected a couple of older receivers to fix up and play with. I collect old bugs and other keys.

Invariably there are times when the dust gathers. And then there's the excitement of dusting off and starting again!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 10:22:05 AM by N6GND » Logged

Posts: 2243

« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 03:54:21 PM »

What did you do to keep your interest during the period of inactivity?
Still had my ARRL membership and read QST when I had time.
It was a matter of switched life priorities.
MY XYL and I moved out of a rented house with antennas to
a cheesy cheap apartment to save money. Worked 20 to 25 hours
a week overtime to save up for a down payment
for our own house.....before the So Cal real estate boom
of the early 90's hit. Got lucky....REALLY lucky.

Did you get depressed about not being on the air?
Nope, never. It's a gosh darn hobby for cryin' out loud.
Was also FAR too busy, too tired from taking care of sick and dying parents who lived nearby.

Family and LIFE are 1000x more important than a hobby.

Did your operating skills decline very much?

Mostly my CW, which came back up to speed in a few weeks.
How did you know when it was time to get active again?
When we purchased our own single family home and
was able to erect antennas! Smiley
73, Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 330

« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 09:46:47 AM »


That sounds like an interesting survey question, try submitting it to the survey manager on this site and it will probably get posted in the survey section.  It would be interesting to see the results.


Posts: 9930

« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 12:58:57 PM »

I call us "retreads".  I too was active from 1978 through 1981 or 1982. Then I ended up selling off my radio gear to start a gun business  as extra income. I always kept my ticket  good, but was really off the air till 2001, then I got back into it big time.  I also up graded from my original Tech license in 2001 to general and a week later to extra.  The credit I got for the cw with the old tech license was good to go  in 2001. I never was a novice , I tested at the FCC office in San Francisco in 1978. I currently have 6 or 8 HF rigs in the shack, with 900 mhz, 1.2 g , 2m/440  220, and hf most have their own amps and such. I also have an ft 857d in the car and 5 radios in the pickup.

One thing nice now is that I make more $$$$ so I can buy more toys. I remember way back when , when I had to save up for a 100 foot roll of rg 8.  Ham radio is more fun with more money.  I also now do VE testing, and help new hams get started with either a loan or a gift of a radio when it seems appropriate.  Ham radio is fun
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