Time marches on

I’m a little embarrassed that it’s been over two years since I’ve posted anything. Admittedly, I haven’t been on the radios much. Of course, I’ve done the 13 Colonies event every July 4th. It’s almost the only time I transmit. And, while I complete it every year, I’ve since stopped sending in the form to get the certificate. I’m just happy knowing I did it.

I was particularly amused by some of the CB-like atmosphere. I don’t know about everyone else, but I had to take tests to get my license that covered things like radio etiquette. And it seems that most hams are elderly, theoretically mature, folks. I would think they would know that listening is as important as talking. And yet, while a station was trying to cut through the contacts, there’s always at least a handful of people who will burst on the freq and start broadcasting their callsigns before even listening to see what’s happening. Of course, maybe they can’t hear what’s happening.. which begs the question of, “Why are they calling a station they can’t hear?” Besides… unlikely. Nah.. you have ot chalk it up to rude.

Don’t think so? How about when the event station is “working the numbers”?

“Taking stations with ‘5’ in the call. Taking the ‘5’ stations…”
And you get at least one or more people with N1*** or KJ7*** or some such. And to make it worse.. the event station will try and pick out one caller.. “How about that station with 5 whiskey juliet?”

Will someone barge in who has no 5, whiskey or juliet in their call? Of course, they will!

Again.. “listening” is as important as “talking”.

It’s usually not long before someone calls someone else an idiot, which they seem to be.. and I’m waiting for someone to start yelling “breaker, breaker. <sigh>

Overall, I just think it’s amusing.

Some months ago, I was listening for satellites and, after not hearing anything for days, I realized that my rotor was kaput! It was always a stop-gap setup. I really wanted a full blown satellite setup and ended up using TV antenna gear. It sorta worked but I didn’t end up doing a lot of sat work. Maybe a better antenna system would have enhanced my experience and I  would have done more but.. I didn’t have the money to buy one at the time. Since I hadn’t used my Yaesu FT736 much, I decided to get rid of it until I decided to get serious about satellite. I made some contacts with it. It was cool. But I wasn’t using it regularly. I’ve been going through all the “stuff” in my life and getting rid of things I haven’t used in years. It’s sorta minimalism but not extreme. So that’s gone, along with the rotor.

I have a Yaesu 2mtr mobile that I was using for packet. But there’s really not much going on locally, other than APRS. I had thought about maybe doing some coding and coming up with some sort of useful and cool packet app but.. it’s been one of those “someday” things and I’m trying to break that habit. If “someday” comes, I’ll get the gear I need. In the meantime, I can use my HT for packet. (Packet’s cool like that.) I haven’t quite ditched the mobile yet. But I’m trying to live without it to see if I need it. So far, so good. It’ll likely come out of the shelf.

I’m kind of a radio voyeur and far more likely to listen to radio than talk. So I’ve been spending a lot of time tooling around HF and looking for digital signals.. rtty.. amtor.. etc. I like seeing if I can decode stuff. Obviously, a bunch of it is encrypted or in some format I can’t decode. But it’s a fun challenge to try.

Sometimes, I still think I’d like to get a CB so I could listen to that too. But then I tune those freqs up on the Icom. That pretty much reminds me why I don’t want a CB. Besdies, on there, I wouldn’t even know what to call myself that didn’t feel like a silly, self-assigned nickname. At least on the ham bands, I have a callsign I worked for.

Oh.. and, after a long vacation from it, I’ve started working with morse code again.


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