For the last twenty years I’ve been intermittently reading 2600 The Hacker Quarterly. This magizine holds a special place in my heart because it perfectly captures my feelings thowards technology. Articles within 2600 are written by fans of the magazine, and you’ll find a broad range of topics of intrest to hackers. While I’ve enjoyed 2600 over the years, I’ve never submitted an article for publication until now. After six months of waiting I can finally say that my article Ham Radio, SMS, and the ISS has finally been published in the Spring 2021 issue of 2600 The Hacker Quarerly.
I just wanted to announce a brief update on the Radio Hackers YSF Reflector. I’m shutting it down for due to a lack of interest on my part, declining use by others, and for financial reasons. It only cost me a few bucks a month to keep the server running in AWS. But with it and my other side projects the cost does add up each month. It is possible one day I might bring it back online, but I’m not committing to that at this time. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed meeting up on the reflector.
I decided to create a new YouTube channel. It’s nothing extraordinary, just a place to some videos of the things I find interesting about ham radio. I have no asperations of becoming a YouTuber, therefore don’t expect weekly videos or reviews of the latest Baofeng radio.
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, as pointed out by several people with links to their own blog post written years 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 I’ve developed an action plan.
“Ham Radio is dying!” A phrase all to often uttered that it’s become cliché, but it’s partly true. You can’t deny a considerable section of the ham radio operators in the world are in the latter part of their lives.They won’t be around forever so naturally new people must assume their place. The good news is amateur radio licenses are on the rise. The bad news is the people induced to ham radio these days aren’t interested in pushing the limits of RF technology. To be blunt I’m talking about preppers and those solely interested in emergency communications. Neither of which have any desire to explore ham radio beyond a disaster fetish in which they use their $25 BaoFeng HT to save the world.
About three months ago I unconsciously or perhaps consciously lost interest in ham radio. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, in fact this was what lead me to allow my license to lapse the first time in 2016. If it weren’t for a new coworker of mine showing interest in ham radio again after a twenty-five year absent; I presumably wouldn’t be writing this post now. His excitement about all of the recent advances that have been made since he was first license reminded me of the things I missed about ham radio. This forced me to reflect on the reasons that I stepped away from the hobby for nearly three months. After some time I narrowed it down to three primary reasons. Without further ado I present to you my three reasons I took a break from ham radio.