March 9 2007 License Numbers
On Mar 17, 3:38�pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:
In my opinion there is another motivator. *To me, the main fascination is
being able to communicate without the need for any infrastructure. *All I
need is my radio, the stuff to make a basic dipole, a source of power, and
my mike or key. *Nothing ties us together except the ionosphere. *On top of
all that, when conditions are moderately good, it can be done with
relatively small amounts of power. *i.e. *It is the ability to basically do
At one time I would put all that under "operating radios",
but I think you have hit on something that deserves its own
classification. Or at least more words.
What you describe is a combination of independence and
simplicity. It's partly about not being dependent on a communications
infrastructure other than your station, the
other station(s), and natural features like the ionosphere,
troposphere, etc. It's also partly about the relative simplicity
of an amateur station compared to the enormous but largely
unseen complexity of other modern communications
systems. Sure, I can call Australia on my cell phone - but
the cell phone is only one small part of the enormous and
complex infrastructure needed to make the call.
In amateur radio, the complex infrastructure is replaced by
a combination of luck (propagation) and operator skill.
This makes for unpredictable communications at times -
which is actually a big part of the attraction. When I call
CQ, or listen for another's CQ, I don't know who I'll run into,
whether I'll contact them or not, etc.
IMHO, one of the things many people miss in modern life is
a certain feeling of actually doing something start-to-finish. In most
jobs nowadays, people are part of a team, or a process, contributing
their specialized part to the result. This
is how our complex technological society is able to function
The downside is that very few people today can point to
something in their work and say "I did that, start to finish,
all by myself". In fact, many things that people used to do
for themselves like car repair/maintenance and fixing things
are either too complex for the DIY person, or are not
meant to be fixed economically.
Amateur radio (and many other DIY activities) offer a way for people
to actually do something start-to-finish, all by
themselves. That's a key point is 'selling' amateur radio.
It's also a big reason behind homebrewing - the
homebrewer knows every part of the radio, how it works,
and how to fix it. That it may not be state-of-the-art or have
all the features of a manufactured item is besides the point.
That's something that simply cannot be bought.
73 de Jim, N2EY