Pedantic Pontification of a Peculiar nature...

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by AF7XT, Jul 31, 2019.

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  1. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems I have my fingers in several pies.

    A little history. The crystal radio my grandfather and I built circa 1962. I'm forever amazed that voices and music came from that .
    I did get a CW merit badge but I did it visually. It has been a life long impediment.
    We had a Trans Oceanic in the home. For most I don't have to explain.
    I had an S-53 by the bedside.
    Then I was a teenager

    I did find CB radio or it found me in my late teens.
    Then NAVY.

    After the service and an education the bug bit again . First phone and several local jobs in broadcast and marine service.
    Eventually there was CB radio again. Although there were power restrictions there were no antenna restrictions.
    I had enough of people an the city and headed for the woods. With enough space and wire you can do amazing things.
    300 + feet of broadside array taught me plenty about phasing and the use of a GDO and noise bridge.
    The temptation of a little more RF into the array got me noticed. When I got the predictable visit I had nothing in the house other than a stone legal , part 95 accepted radio hooked to 18 1/2 waves in phase. Officially I got a ERIP pink. Unofficially I received a compliment for ingenuity and asked why I was wasting my time on 11m .

    Wasting my time on 11m ? SSTV, RTTY, 300baud audio modems. 49/46MHz repeaters and remotes, RDF via remotely linked stations and successive approximation routines to resolve the location of aberrant stations/operators. Sure it was just .45MHz of social misfits but I fit right in.
    Since I lived at the base of two radio hills I had to rescue several hilltop techs that that did not have an appreciation for mother nature.
    This led to a job with several land mobile companies and requests from several club repeaters .

    I maintained my first phone and grand fathered GROL over the years and occasionally it came in handy .
    All this time friends, family, acquaintances, and co-workers would be amateur licenses and bug me about a license.
    Eventually I took my 45 years of experience into an ARRL VE session and passed. Extra in a day, or 45 years.

    I've never been far from radio. Radio has always held that same fascination as the crystal radio
    Ididn't initially gravitate to the latest , greatest but restored a WH-101, Tempo 2020 and settled with a TS-830S as a daily driver.
    I do own a shack in the box FT-857 but it largely gathers dust.
    HR-2510's seem to multiply here almost as much as Baofengs.
    Recently I acquired a uBitx and some interesting pieces from NXP.
    I've built or restored most of my test gear. If I can't repair it it doesn't get repaired. No one else does my work.

    I haven't joined any clubs and doubt I will. I'm a never leaguer for my own reasons. I do however thank the ARRL for my VE . I've signed over 300 605's in the last 3 years.

    I continue to experiment and happily rag chew and answer CQ as often as I randomly call.
    For now I'm strictly phone and obscure digital modes .
    There is some question as to whether my fist , ear or key is more rusty.

    Now some observations.

    I must have found the worlds worst hams at the worst possible field day operations , not once but twice.
    Their sanctimonious , holier than though , church of st Hiram , safety vest , whacker attitudes drove me off each time.
    I nearly didn't take my original test as we were excluded from the general meeting prior to or testing.
    I've been confronted on the air about being new and not having a clue about amateur radio.
    My better half (also an extra) has been patronized and subject to misogynistic dolts frequently. This most often happens at a VE session.
    "So when are you going to get a license little lady?" ... as she dons her VE badge and asks the general , "When are you going to upgrade?"

    I've given repeated exams to challenged and challenging prospective hams only to see them finally pass with relief , smiles and congratulations.
    I witnessed my pretty lady obtain he grandfather's call sign.
    I've made the acquaintance of a Korean War Vet that was able to get his original novice call back after near 60 years.
    I've signed the CSCE of the wife of an SK that decided to take the plunge rather than sell off the shack.
    I've gone over a failed exam with an 11 year old boy whose pride was severely damaged by his 9 year old sister passing.
    I helped sell off an estate of choice equipment for top dollar rather than see anyone take advantage of a grieving widow. A year later the widow sent me his well worn J-38 .

    From the crystal radio to the microprocessor radios of today it's all radio to me.
    From the CW stalwart licensed for decades to the prepper with the Baofeng they're all operators.
    I hide my opinions well and put the best face on amateur radio that I can.
    I explore the many facets of the service (or hobby) if for no other reason than to be able to provide good answers to the prospective or new ham.
    I teach. As I'm teaching I learn.

    There is something here for everyone . I've realized though that the one that responds to my handheld with an iPhone may not be a willing audience let alone an interested party.
    I'm disappointed by the "tech upgrade for nothing" contingent. Not because of the "me too" or the "participation trophy mentality" but because of the blank stare I get when I say "privilege is earned" . It seems to be a concept so foreign to these people that any attempt at reason results in that same blank stare.
    I'm hopeful because of the exams I've participated in. The new blood will do us good.
    I'm also thankful that the ARRL may, may just, be accomplishing a much needed change. Time will tell.

    In the end it's just this simple for me . see you down the log...
     
    K3UJ, KU4X and WR2E like this.

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