Every now and then a person has a reflection on their life activities, examining their level of commitment and their goals.
To do so is healthy – very healthy.
This summer and early Autumn I found myself hardly on the air at all.
Longer than usual hours at work, road time, getting our first (Tom KC9JGD) off for his Freshman year of University, family, “outside” weather, a forlorn Motorcycle, houseguests, several weeks of “teenager-minding” as Alison KC9MPL – my XYL- traveled overseas to look in on family, a summer of having less access to my friend George W9EVT’s shack as he rebuilds it into a mega-shack, and a myriad of other distractions.
Having taken on spearheading a rewrite of my local club’s constitution, a task which required asking enough questions to upset just about everyone, took some of the shine off the hobby.
Having my shack outside of that recommended “six steps from where you live the rest of your life” made it easier to put Amateur Radio on the back burner.
Lets not forget that a great part of the time I have had free there has been less, much less at times, on the air due to lack of solar activity.
A thousand reasons, none which on their own would be enough to keep me off the air for long.
There have been some success during this period, a chance to order a new rig, catching up on my amateur radio reading – and of course encouraging Paul AE5JU to make the transition from non-licensed to Amateur Extra in one session was a huge highlight.
But all of that is “yesterdays” and my deep reflection has been more about “tomorrows!”
Where do I go with Amateur Radio? What is in it for me that makes it worthwhile?
I could wax on sillily about the obvious juxtaposition of “People & Technology” making it “real for me.”
Could end up typing banter that reads like copy for Peace Song or TV commercial.
So one strives to dig deeper, to examine harder.
What’s special about Amateur Radio?
For Me, for Steve K9ZW, it really is about the people. I have met so many great people through Amateur Radio. I hope to meet many more. I hear the DX voice from somewhere far away and for that brief few minutes feel the camaraderie of time shared over the electronic ether.
The technology is important and appeals to the gearhead part of my nature, but in the end it is about the people.
Looking forward into my world of Amateur Radio I have several things on the short term and on the long term I hope to have a go at.
On the short term I want to finish up the Club Constitution, be an active part in restructuring to accommodate the differences between ARES/RACES & the general club, and work at making Amateur Radio “FUN” for the club members. What a huge chance to share with so many people! Can’t pass this one up!
Getting a bit better traction on earning additional DXCC credits appeals. Perhaps that 5-Band DXCC might be a worthy goal!
Helping others explore the hobby through education & elmering figures huge both short and long term. I’m finding it hard to compete with the Internet when working with youth, except I’ve noticed they really take to contesting, Emcomm and digital modes. I’d like to work up the club Hamcram material to a good enough “package” that some of my fellow club members could run the Hamcrams while work starts on meeting the requests for upgrade classes and specialty classes.
Through all of this I would like to in some way be part of getting at least one new Amateur a month going in the Hobby and as many upgrades as are willing.
Most importantly I’d like to be a “train-the-trainer” by helping others learn to recognize & trust their abilities to teach & elmer. Perhaps a “How to run a Hamcram” class for those of us who feel more confident following a system than working it out as we go along.
I’d like to get my own sons more involved. Between the internet and inexpensive cellphone communication it is hard to show a youth the advantages of Amateur Radio, but I seem to be making some headway as occasionally I will come home from work to find Winston KC9FVR has set up his “Go Kit” 2m Station in the driveway and is talking to friend of all ages from the club.
Then there is my alter-ego, the “gearhead,” who does enjoy the technology. This new SDR (Software Defined Radio) is right up my alley. Getting my station up to where I want it is another applied technology project with huge appeal. Refining a portable HF setup for Island-Hopping and mini Radio-Expeditions is in the cards.
Curiously my longer term list looks much the same – “People & Technology.”
See you on the air!