If I knew then just SOME of what I know now......

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N2EY, Dec 7, 2017.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The thread about "my first receiver" got me thinking about what I'd have done differently, EQUIPMENT-WISE, if I'd known some things "back then" that I know now.

    For example - if I'd known about ARC-5 Command Sets when I first started out, I'd have used them, and not wasted time and effort on homebrew regeneratives and bottom-end receivers like the AR-2.

    I'd have used the ARC-5 receivers as receivers but the ARC-5 transmitters for parts and as VFOs.

    If I'd known about surplus crystals from JAN and others, I'd have bought more of them as a Novice.

    I'd have sent away for more mail-order catalogs.

    I'd have invested in a basic VOM and a GDO much earlier. And Vibroplex Champion.

    How about others?

    NOTE: "I'd have bought a whole bunch of (fill in the blank) as investments" doesn't count. Too obvious. I'm talking about stuff you would have done differently with the limited $$ of the times.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    W2AI likes this.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would have used RX-optimized antennas from the start, rather than learning the hard way that good transmitting antennas sometimes make noisy receiving antennas.

    I would have experimented with STLs several years earlier than I did. It would have completely changed my expectations of a ham-friendly QTH for most purposes.

    I would have owned far fewer radios, because I would have known which features and measurements were important, and it would have required far less experimentation to find the ones that I liked.

    I would have worked solar maxima, even when I didn't feel like it, because the opportunities to learn would have been useful during the solar minima, which is when I tend to have the time and interest to tinker with HF.

    I would have spent more time working on joint projects with other people back in the days when I knew people who had interest in doing joint projects (even though most of them were FM, repeaters, packet, etc.)

    I would have skipped Yaesu entirely.
    N2EY likes this.
  3. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would not have let my father talk me out of somethings. I would have known that even though he had a degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked for RCA at their (then) vacuum tube plant in Harrison NJ, that didn’t mean he knew anything about SW receivers. (And my first real SWL receiver would have been a much better one!)

    I would have kept my younger brother away from my first home brew attempts, and not accepted my mother’s telling me that it was “OK” for him to “play” with my first transmitter (which resulted in a rewiring, thus a short circuit, and her throwing it out in the trash as “burned up”)

    [ I’d have also found a better place to keep my telescope, before she moved it to “clean” it, broke it, and blamed me for putting it in a corner she couldn’t easily get to, which actually was the point of my putting it where I did, but that’s not radio related. ]

    I would have paid more attention to my code speed and worked harder to get my General, rather than stay a Novice during High School.

    I would have found some way to buy new 1625 tubes for my ARC-5 transmitter.

    I would have joined the ARRL as a Life Member back when that cost about $150 or so. Despite my father’s belief that my interest in radio was a “passing fad” and that it would have been a waste of money.

    And I would have had trouble sitting down, as my parents would have undoubtably paddled me for being a smart-a$$ and talking back to them.
    N2EY likes this.
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not just true of the hobby true of life as well you may not earn a degree but experience is one of the greatest of all teachers.
    K9ALT likes this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Experience is even better when it's someone else's.
    W9FTV and W2AI like this.
  6. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    A very wise friend of mine (now a SK) once said, "If you hadn't made the mistakes you regret in your younger days, You would not be the person you are now."
    Tom WA4ILH
  7. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I JUST finished my ARRL book on RX optimized antennas! (Sorry I didn't write it 40 years earlier for ya. :) )
    WD4IGX likes this.
  8. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Somehow this thread remind me of this 1964 Chad & Jeremy Song:

    K3EY and K1OIK like this.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's OK. I'd be willing to bet that the antennas I use the most didn't make it into your book, anyway. ;)
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I've been told that too. And I replied "Yes - I could be somebody better!"


    "Experience is learning from your mistakes. Intelligence is learning from other people's mistakes."

    "Be original. At least make a different mistake each time."

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