This Article is About
ham radio
morse code
radio gear
two trees
forms of communication
plug and play
standpoint
chunk
Ham Radio
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Ham Radio

Is ham radio really an outdated mode of communications, in this digital age ? I would like to think that it wasnt, but the reality of it is, that ham radio, or amateur radio as it is also called, is more of a hobby rather than anything else at this time. Sure, it can be usefual when networks go down, or the occasional emergency, but overal, it is a dying hobby. Maybe it is a bit extreme to call it "useless" though. I do find that I enjoy it, and it is fun talking to people on the other side of the world, using only a radio and a chunk of wire strung out between two trees.

I especially enjoy using radio gear from the pre-war era, to the mid 1960's to make what are called DX contacts. DX is a station that is not in this country (USA). I also use a mode that is called CW, or "Morse Code", to make 99% of my contacts. The boatanchors that I use, make this a lot of fun. I enjoy using a radio that I actually have to think a bit before I make any contacts, and try to get away from the plug and play aspect of my hobby. Sure, I do use modern gear as well, for when I want a fast contact, but i still glean the most amount of pleasure from using the tube radio gear.

back in the day, it was required to have a transmitter AND a receiver to accomplish a contact. These radios require a lot of knob twisting to make everything work properly. You also have to make sure that you are receiving on the same frequency that you are transmitting on. That can be a bit challenging at times, but I enjoy the challenge as well. It is also important to keep in mind that this gear can be extremely heavy, some exceeding 100 lbs, so it is important to have a strong back if you are going to work on this sort of gear.

I guess the point of this article, is that I have no point at all really, except that I enjoy amateur radio, so i can say that from an emergency standpoint, unless the entire US infrastructure suddenly breaks down, and all forms of communication were to dissapear, ham radio is nothing more than a dying hobby. I hate to say that, since it is something i love, but since I am one of the youngest club members in the area, that their isnt much future in ham radio.


Street Talk

A fun hobby and one that can become the only communication in times of disasters.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

i sympathize with your joy in using vintage equipnent.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great news Don - Ham Radio licensing is on the rise! I learned this just yesterday as I am interested in taking the test in February.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

DOnt get me wrong, because I absolutely LOVE ham radio, but in this day and age, i still feel like it is a dying art. Look at our own club roster, and see how many people in the club are under the age of 45 we have. Just an observation. Maybe I could have worded it better, but the ARES part of ham radio represents a small percentage of people.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I really can't believe this came from you of all people. Wow. I guess I didn't know you as well as I thought I did. I figured you were more aware than that. This isn't meant as an attack-I am genuinely surprised. However, I've read some of your articles on here, and even if I don't always agree with your point of view, I do think they are quite good.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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