Radio Is Fun

Radio Is Fun

Yes it’s true: I am a grumpy old man and my posts reflect that. Now I believe it’s time for a much more light-hearted post, and the name of it is Radio Is Fun. Heck, it must  be fun…I do it all day! In earlier posts I mentioned how I loved to listen to shortwave years ago and how we tried everything from CB to VLF. I guess part of the fun comes in the experimentation and part comes in yakking with your buddies. I distinctly remember knocking on a ham radio operator’s door about 1968. We knew he was a ham because he had a ‘duo-quad’ on a tower in his back yard. His wife answered the door and we told her what we wanted: we wanted to meet the ham radio operator.

This nice lady escorted us back to the man’s shop behind the house and he was very gracious. He showed us around and we enjoyed every minute of it. I believe we bowed and declared that we were not worthy when we found out he was an Extra Class. I think what really caught my attention was that he was talking to his buddies all around the state like they were sitting in the room with us. That was really neat I thought. Sure, we had CB radios, but we weren’t talking out of state unless we had ‘skip’. This guy was talking wherever he wanted to whenever he wanted to. I sure liked that action!

I knew some other hams too and some 35 or so years later, I heard one on HF while I was mobile. I had to relay through another station who heard me better, but it sure was fun to make contact with that guy after all those years. The only sad part is that I missed many opportunities to reconnect with some of those folks before they passed on. It’s always sad to me when a ham becomes an SK and his or her estate is liquidated. When it happens to me, somebody’s going to have one heckuva mess to clean up!

What else makes radio fun? Making new friends, that’s what. One of my best friends at the moment is another ham whom I met on the radio. Isn’t that kind of neat? Meeting a voice first and the face later? Don’t they always turn out to look different than you thought they would? I thought so! And here’s another thing: Ham radio is not dead by any means. You and I know that it is alive and well and doing great!

I’m sure each of us can find different things that make radio fun, like perhaps the satisfaction of completing a kit or homebrew job and turning it on for the first time. It’s been a long while but I used to do a little soldering. Now it’s more like engineering and rigging. Hey, it’s all good! I’ll tell you one thing that dang sure is satisfying: having someone ask for your opinion or asking for advice. I am NO genius, but I sure do feel good when someone asks me how something works or asks how to accomplish something. Rightly or wrongly, it gives a sense of ‘standing’ in the amateur community and that’s what we thought about that guy in 1968.

Radio is so much fun, I just had to write about it!

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