|[AMRadio] Getting on the Air - May 2008 QST|
Bob Bruno - K2KI
k2ki at starc.org
Mon Apr 21 01:35:08 EDT 2008
Hi Joe, and to all the AMRadio members,
I agree. Amateur Radio has been hit too many time with the "Dummy-Down
Stick" or "Nerf Bat".
I got my novice ticket on May 14, 1984. At 49 years old, I too am a
newcomer to this hobby. My very first rig was a Viking II. And the rcvr
was an HQ-129 with a 110V Dow-Key. Lotsa voltages there that can kill
ya. Hell, you could die from a heart attack from carrying one from the
car to the shack! But... I learned about high voltages. I learned Ohms
Law and understood it. I had an elmer who instilled homebrewing into me
and made me appreciate what we were doing! He taught me respect and
reverence for these things. I love the smell of tubes!
Today, Amateur Radio has become an appliance hobby. You goes to the
store, you pays your money and you walks out of said store with an
"Appliance" Radio that you plugs into your 12 VDC "Appliance" Power
Supply and "Appliance" Antenna which you just took out of the box all
assembled and tuned. Then you makes your very first contact with another
"Appliance" operator who just did the same thing. No tuning, WTF is an
SWR? And, what do I do if I have one? (seriously, I heard a young
GENERAL say that to me.)
"Load and Plate? Whuts dat?" "B+? Is that a new Vitamin Water?" "You
actually use that big heavy monstrosity? Why?" "You know THE CW?" All of
these things I have heard from the mouths of the new Amateur Radio Operator!
Now don't get me wrong, I am happy when I hear of another person joining
the ranks of Amateur Radio. I am pained however when I learn that the
same person passed his test by sheer memorization and no learning! No
love and respect of electricity and its fundamentals. NO FREAKIN'
CLUE!!! I am proud of my daughter Sarah who presently hold her Tech. She
was sad when they did away with the code. She wants her General. She
loves boatanchors. In fact, her favorite thing in the shack is the
National NC-125! And she is coming with me to Near-Fest and is looking
forward to meeting the AM crew (especially TimTron) Proud I am!!!
And while I am ranting... What the hell is up with Radio Shack? I
remember I could walk in there and buy a 100uf 450VDC Electrolytic right
off the rack and maybe a 6AU6 and a 12BY7. Plus, the guy working there
knew what they were and what they were usually used for! Plus, the
ENTIRE WALL WAS COVERED WITH ELECTRONIC PARTS. Now they are tucked away
in drawers with the entire area measuring 3'x3'x3' and mostly LED's and
maybe a few fuses! SAD!!!
And, you don't want to start me on the whole CW thing. I know that would
stir up some serious Sh... err Stuff...
For crying out loud people, Learn about what makes our hobby special.
Learn to use your brain!!! Seek out the old timer, He can open the door
to great aspects of the hobby. All ya gots to do is walk through and
open your eyes and ears! Regress a bit and embrace the possibilities.
Oh, I am no longer a member of the ARRL. I gave up the "privilege" a few
years back. I remember I used to soak up every issue. Even before I
became a ham, I would go to my elmers and he would give me a years worth
at a time. This was when they were smaller in sized and packed with real
content! I hate the direction they have allowed amateur Radio to be
taken. Elitist bunch of bureaucrats! Go sit in Riley's lap. How do ya
like me now?
Ok, I guess I am getting old and buzzardly. I apologize. I too hate to
see where our wonderful way of life is headed!
Oh, and I too play the guit-fiddle and work on my amps. Ya wanna know
what is on my bench at the moment?
DX-100 (Recap, retube and Timtron mods,)
SX-42 (Recap, retube and align)
NC-183 (Recap, retube, align and new paint)
BC-779-A (Just got it. Retube and maybe recap and align in it's future)
Softrock40/30 TXRX (New kit. Hey, I like the new stuff too!)
De k2ki <SK>. Flame all you want!!!
Joseph Bento wrote:
> The "Getting On The Air" column by W1ZR. Vacuum tube based equipment
> is far too dangerous to consider for a first rig, and building your
> own equipment apparently isn't even a consideration any longer. If it
> uses tubes, GASP! High Voltage! We can't have any of that! Also,
> avoid gear older than 8 years, because you might not be able to get it
> repaired. I hang my head in shame over what has happened to this once
> great hobby where people were somewhat technically competent. Those
> that lacked technical skills at least learned a bit of theory to at
> least have a basic understanding of the operation of their equipment.
> At 44 years old, I'm a relative youngster in ham radio. I build and
> restore vacuum tube equipment. I also play the guitar. The electric
> guitar fraternity seems to embrace homebrewing far more than the
> amateur community does today. Most good guitar amp designs are still
> vacuum tube based, including modern designs. People regularly modify
> their amps or build clone designs. Yes, high voltage. You learn the
> proper precautions. Seems rather funny that a musician might be more
> apt to work with electronics than a ham radio operator.
> Modern electronics is too complicated, tubes are too dangerous - it's
> no wonder that electronics isn't even taught any longer throughout
> most of the school system.
> I'm really beginning to question why I continue to support the ARRL.
> At first when I saw the cover of this issue, I had thought there would
> be all these neat projects from the Homebrewer's Challenge. Needless
> to say, I was disappointed. I used to treasure QST. While I still
> save all my issues, I'm beginning to wonder why. It certainly isn't
> the technical journal it once was.
> Joe, N6DGY
> Pleasant Grove, UT
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