The Early Beginning
One may wonder what got me into this... the electricity, the electronics, tubes transistors, radios, science.... I could probably go back to when as a little boy playing on my own wondering what that funny little slotted thing was on the wall. (AC outlet). (We're talking early 50's here) Poking a butter knife into the slot I managed to get a feel for the tingly stuff, luckily across my hand (bite #1)... Hmmm.. Yes, don't do that again... That's the way kids learned back then. Try things out, experiment, learn the consequences firsthand.
It (the hobby) Really Finally Truthfully Begins
To and from work I listen to podcasts to pass the hour long commute.... I'm so done with CDs, tapes etc.... The radio plays ok..... I'd rather listen to AM but the distance traveled finds many of my favorite stations fade in and out. A number of years back I received a lil iPod (8GB) which was perfect for the purpose.... I found lots in astronomy, model railroading and many other topics. After going through back logs of 2-3 year old podcasts I started looking for other subject. Radio! There's gotta be something... Sure enough I found a few and two of my favorites are Bill Meara's (M0HBR) "Soldersmoke" and the "ICQpodcast" from Colin (M6BOY), Ireland & Martin ( M1MRB), England.
Well there were lots of podcasts to catch up on as each was several years old already when I found them. In listening I gradually wanted more involvement and came to the conclusion I needed my Ham license... But let me define a little here... I'm 66 now. You say Well it's about time!!! Well in my younger days there was a Morse requirement to the license, and that was the limiting factor for me as many other folks. Today of course its different.... A bit easier, even in the questions on the exam. One might want to listen to a few episodes of Jean Shepard's radio broadcasts detailing his milestones and achievements in Ham Radio. Back in the 40s & 50's you had to be quite versant in the eclectic science of electronics BEFORE you got a license. The tests would scare anyone away today....
The test was easy.... In my head I made it hard.... I guess like most folks... I don't like tests! We make things hard...Next the General ticket, Morse code, and the Advanced ticket eventually.
But I do like making things! Hence when I heard the Soldersmoke podcast, my ears perked up. I can make my own, I don't have to buy!? Mind you I'm not looking to blow all my retirement money on expensive radio equipment.. I like the DIY route. I like creating, making, breaking and fixing. Hence my main interest being QRP and computers. But my interest spans DC to daylight. The lower frequencies for Natural Radio, the sounds of the Earth, Nature and the universe. Radio waves of course, all the Ham and Shortwave bands and everything in between. The higher frequencies is Radar, microwaves..... all sorts of scientific applications. Radio Astronomy sprinkled throughout the radio spectrum. And the research, creating the largest optical and radio devices known...not just the observatory of yesteryear, but today, spanning across countries, the Earth and space!
So many things to do... so little time.... all fun.....