Do you know what happens when you voice your opinion about the state of ham radio and it’s featured on Hackaday? You piss off a ton of curmudgeons; more importantly you uncover many likeminded people. I’ve been overcome with people contacting me over the last few days expressing their appreciation for my recent blog post. I’m not going to name drop anyone, but I will say I’ve had some fascinating people contact me. The odd thing is, I’m not noting anything that hasn’t been said before. I merely happen to be the guy that most recently expressed his frustration with the technical side of ham radio taking a back seat to emergency communications. All of this recent exposure has me to asking the question “How do I turn this excitement into a proper movement?” I’ve been pondering on this question for a couple of days, and have developed an action plan.plan.
In my open letter to the ham radio community, I mentioned the needed to build communities that foster technical discussion and exploration. A few people have contacted me asking about starting up some type of all encompassing community for radio hackers. I always tell them the same thing, “Ok, go ahead and do it.” To my knowledge it hasn’t been done and that’s great. There doesn’t need to be a single entity for the radio hacker community. The overall radio hacker community needs to consist of smaller self-organizing groups of hackers that share the same interest. It’s that simple.
On a whim I created a YSF Reflector (ID #33360) while learning more about System Fusion just to see how they worked. I mentioned it at the bottom of my post, now we have nine people regularly connected to the reflector. Currently, I’m in the process of scheduling a weekly informal net. Or to put it another way, I’m actially building my own community of radio hackers. You can join my community if you like or can start one of your own. The important thing is you join a community of radio hackers that share your interest, or you start one on your own. This is truely a grassroots effort.
I’ve been a long-time reader of 2600 magazine and listener of Hacker Public Radio, however I’ve never contributed an article or recorded a podcast. This is now going to change. I’m going to make an effort to reach out to the potential hams out there through these two mediums. I encourage you to seek out various publications that take submissions from their audience and submit technical ham radio content. There’s a need for this type content, so fill it.
Well, that’s the plan I have thus far. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a start and that’s more than most people will do. As you can see, driving the change you want to see in the ham radio hobby is easy, it’s maintaining the momentum that is hard. Remember we’re not going to convert everyone into a radio hacker. But, we’ll provide a consistent reminder that ham radio is more than just an antiquated public service.