That’s Not Real Ham Radio


Big Island ARRL News, 13 April 2017, 04:55 hrs, UTC, Post #168.


Accessed on 13 April 2017, 04:55 hrs, UTC.

Author:  Bob Witte (K0NR).

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Bob Witte (K0NR) writes an entertaining, thoughtful, and well-reasoned website that explores the wide world of Amateur Radio.  Bob does a particularly good job of describing the Summits On The Air (SOTA) and other VHF/UHF activity in his home state of Colorado.

In this post, Bob tackles the issue of new technologies and whether they are really “ham radio.”  Bob refers to the growing popularity of linking HTs with internet connections via TCP/IP.  Although there is a radio link, however short, some of us may feel the internet connection may not fall within the traditional definition of ham radio.

In a survey taken by Bob, the reaction to these new technologies seems to fall into three categories:

I don’t know (it isn’t real ham radio).

It’s fun to experiment with new technologies.

It’s just another way of bringing hams together around the world.

I agree with Bob and tend to treat these new communications methods as fascinating experiments.  Although I prefer CW and voice, I can see how digital modes can enhance our enjoyment of ham radio and “advance the radio art.”  If it’s fun, do it.

Bob ends his article with these observations:

“It really is important to not overthink this kind of stuff. Ham radio is supposed to be fun, so if you are having fun, you are probably doing it right. If you are not having fun, then you might want to examine what you are doing. See my post on the Universal Purpose of Amateur Radio.

Sometimes hams can get a little spun up about those other guys that don’t appreciate our way of doing ham radio. What the heck is wrong with them anyway? I’ve always been inspired by the Noise Blankers Mission Statement:

Do radio stuff.
Have fun doing it.
Show people just how fun it is.

If your preferred form of ham radio is so superior, it ought to be easy to show other hams how cool it is. If not, then maybe you aren’t doing it right. Conversely, as long as other hams are having fun and operating legally, don’t knock what they are doing. In fact, encourage them. We need more people having fun with ham radio, even if it’s not your favorite kind of fun.’

And speaking of fun, don’t forget Radio Day on Saturday, 29 April 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. (local time) at the Eden Roc park and community center. Here’s a perfect opportunity to experiment with new modes and expand your communications horizons. For details, contact Kim–

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

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