[amsat-bb] Re: D STAR is here to stay

B J va6bmj at gmail.com
Thu Nov 14 11:14:50 PST 2013

On 11/14/13, Greg D <ko6th.greg at gmail.com> wrote:


>> I often get a similar reaction when I talk about amateur radio,
>> particularly from younger people.  They can't quite grasp why I'd want
>> to put together a station and, perhaps, talk with someone when there
>> are easier ways of doing that.  Even if I don't have any contacts, I
>> like to find out just what the hardware can do and how far my signal
>> can go.  It's fun to know that I can reach a satellite that's, say,
>> somewhere over the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia putting only 5 W into
>> my Arrow yagi.
> Don't give up hope.  Not all of the next generation is a lost cause.

What surprised me was that I got the aforementioned reactions
from--ahem!--engineering students or recent engineering graduates.

When I started my engineering studies 40 years ago, I had been an SWL
for nearly 2 years and had QSLs from a number of foreign stations.
Even then, I knew I wanted to get my callsign some day.

I haven't given up hope.  I'm just saddened that amateur radio is
viewed not as a technical activity that makes use of much of what's
taught in university but more like an eccentricity.

> I just got back from the 38th anniversary reunion of the original
> Homebrew Computer Club, a group from the '70's and '80's with similar
> objectives focused on learning, experimentation, and mentoring.  The
> group was formed in 1975, and by a show of hands, the vast majority of
> those attending the sold out event weren't even born yet.  But they were
> there, engaged, excited, and wanting to pick up the torch being
> symbolically passed to them.  "Cool" to them has a lot in common with
> what it is to us - accomplishing something with skills and random parts
> in ways nobody thought possible.

One thing that's often forgotten is that hams were among the earliest
users of personal computers.

> To me (an early member of the club), there's still nothing more amazing
> than being able to stand in the middle of nowhere with my TH-D7, and
> bounce a packet off the International Space Station as it zips by at
> 18,000 miles per hour, resulting in a PC elsewhere on the planet "ding"
> with a new bit of email.  Then talking to a (younger) co-worker, as I
> did last week, explaining how I did that, and getting a genuine "wow" in
> reply.
> Hang in there.  Initiatives such as what the FunCube team is doing will
> help get the word out, and the awareness up.  And a new generation of
> "Wows" will be inspired.

I still get similar comments from people but it's usually from older adults.


Bernhard VA6BMJ @ DO33FL

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