What Ham Radio Means to Me

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N0WVA, Jan 9, 2003.

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  1. N0WVA

    N0WVA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ive been thinking quite a bit about what ham radio truly means to me, and decided to post my thoughts on here for others to consider and possibly help me form a better understanding of my own opinions.
    Time has the amazing qualities of letting you know what your true passions and feelings are towards certain things. One of these are most notably, people, and the other one of subject here, is for me, ham radio.
    When I look back on the first time I was introduced to ham radio( from my brothers Radio Handbook by Bill Orr, and old Electronics Illustrated mags that were given to me) I had this urge to do and build all these cool things that ordinary people were doing. It semed like such an on-the-move hobby, with doors wide open to exploration. This fascination has stuck with me for life, and Im always thinking and asking the question, "what if". I feel that the best thing that could happen to me in this hobby would be the discovery or pioneering of a new mode or new device, or just basically be on the cutting edge of technology.
    I have a long way to go and lots of things left yet to do in this fascinating hobby. I feel that it would be a great accomplishment for me to at least try my hand at every communication mode available.
    In my own opinion, I believe that this level of experimenting was the main reason we even have the priveledge of operating on such a wide part of the spectrum. It wasnt intended to be a sit-on-your butt hobby.Thats what c.b. is for. For this reason, I have a problem with our anti-code fanatics. It shows a rebellion against learning and using something new.
    Sure, you can buy you rig and be satisfied with just yapping and exchanging signal reports, but couldnt you do that on the phone or internet?
    The ONLY thing that makes ham radio unique and sets it apart from all other communication modes, is the opportunity for creativity and exploration. If it werent for this alone, Id say completely abolish ham radio all together.
    May the curse of the appliance operator and the "black box" operator be inspired by discovery and knowledge!
    So Ill continue to try to use ham radio in the way it was meant, and hopefully the option will always be there for you, too!...:) 73 Doug N0WVA
  2. wb6bcn

    wb6bcn Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok Doug:  
    This the path I took to get into ham radio.
    When I got the building bug was long before I ever heard of ham radio.  I think I was about 10.  Our TV quit working, and I knew absolutely nothing about electronics, but I was going to fix it. I just knew that a tube had burned out. Inside a metal box was a tube,  and I didn't see any glow from it.  I reached in to pull it out, and to my surprise a long blue arc came off the top.
    After that my parents called the repairman.  While he was there checking it I was watching intently. He took a small tool and began tapping the tubes.  Then he took a pencil from his pocket and placed it near the tube that bit me. I was surprised that he didn't get a small hole burned in his finger tip,  as I did.  I ask why he didn't get shocked or burned. Thats when I learned wood was a good enough insulator for that purpose.  He explained that was really very low frequency RF,  and this was a safe way to check for the presence of nearly any modorate to high power RF source.
    Every time I went with my dadafter that and we were anywhere near a radio/tv shop I gravitated over to it and proceded to get tons of answers.  
    After gleaning ample information I decided to start building things. first I built simple crystal radios. Then I designed and built many complex crystal radios,  some with up to four diodes in the detector.  When I felt more secure in the handling of electricity I built a number of line operated amplifiers and radios. When I was 18 I entered the service, still having no knowledge of ham radio. While in the service I found myself building electronic items for other people.  Many times when I got a pass instead of barhopping like others, I found either an electronics store,  fixit shop, or radio station. At radio stations I would have the engineer explain the equipment and how it all tied together. When I was in Munich, Germany my favorite hangout was a place called Radio Rim. They had some of best kits I have ever seen.  Needless to say, I purchased many kits from there and built them for my friends in the barrack.  
    After my tour of duty I had my first encounter with a ham. He operated 160 meters exclusively.  I got the ham bug then, but it would be another four years before I finally got my ticket.  Been licensed ever since. About the same time I got my First Class Radio License. With it I was able to get jobs in communications repair facilities. I also hung around radio stations. This led to a position of chief engineer for several stations.  This heightened my interest in ham radio. HAm radio has been an important part of my life for over 30 years, and no doubt will continue until I become a silent key.
    [​IMG]  [​IMG]
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