Beginner’s Corner December 2019



    I subscribe to a ham blog from KB6NU.  I always like to learn from other hams, whether they are new or have been on the air for decades. I received ham blog dated November 27th, 2019 from KB6NU that sparked something in me.

    He quoted Wayne Green, W2NSD, “Rag-Chewing for Fun”.

    One measure of intelligence is how long it takes someone to get fed up with exchanging the same old crap over and over…how long it takes before they begin to start looking for people to actually talk with instead of broadcast to. Some old-timers have been exchanging signal and weather reports, and not much else, for decades.

    “It’s a pit that we’ve allowed our ham communications systems to evolve on a simplex basis, with one of us talking at a time, instead of duplex, as on the telephone. It’s difficult enough to generate conversations when you meet someone new, that you can see and hear, but trying to find mutual conversational ground with someone you can’t see and can’t hear while you’re talking is a real challenge.

    “If you’re into pioneering, you might consider developing a system which will allow us to at least talk to each other at the same time. We can do this via either time or frequency splitting. Eventually we’ll have video along with voice, if you’ll start working on it.

    “In the meantime, let’s get along as best we can with what we’ve got. I’ve been hamming for over 50 years now, and contacts haven’t changed much. Oh, we’re using sideband on the low bands and NBFM on the VHF bands, but our conversations haven’t changed. We’re still where we were 50 years ago as far as actually talking with each other is concerned. We’re still in the dark ages when it comes to communicating.”

    It got me to thinking about somethings we hams talk about.  I have heard hams meeting on the air for some activity or other, and that’s great. There are the Skywarn events that really prove the value of amateur radio.  I participate in the “EmComm Ragchew Net” that takes place every Wednesday at 8 pm on the Stone Mountain 146.760 repeater.  Lastly, there are the public service events that go on, such as the dog show and the various running events that take place in the Metro Atlanta area.

    What about the rest of the conversations?  I wonder if I am looking hard enough for something interesting to say.  What other hobbies do I have besides radio? I am an amateur puppeteer. I also like rock and mineral collecting (thanks to Cub Scouting). I am thinking of taking up simple drawing, even though I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.  I am going to start making my amateur radio conversations more interesting.  I will look for topics to share with my ham radio friends.  How about you?  Will you join me?

    Unfortunately, we are moving out of the area soon, so this will be my last column.  It has been fun trying to come up with topics to share with new hams, and more experienced hams, as well.  I have really enjoyed the many years I have spent with GARS.  I would like to thank all my friends and Elmers who have helped me to learn and grow.

73 to all.

David Harden