A Lapsed ham returns

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AL7RG
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:58 am

A Lapsed ham returns

Post by AL7RG » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:22 am

I was licensed at 12 years old as KB2YDI and I was way into CW and HF bands. My buddy and I (we got licensed together) would hang out on 3.865 and it was a riot on Friday nights. I still remember how nice most of those guys were to us and I remember them saying "you'll forget about ham radio in a few years when you find out about girls..." We insisted that couldn't ever happen. Then, a few years later it did. I had made the advanced class with the 20wpm code on top--I was hopeful that I might even pass the extra written and get 2 for 1! I did not. But I had my advanced ticket and that was where I left it in about 1998. In the intervening years I became a climber, a photographer and a father. I still love tinkering and gadgetry--something that I directly attribute to my years as a young ham. Now there's no code requirements and the advanced license is gone...

I want to get back into ham radio--but it seems so hard now. I've been away for so long and radios seem so complicated and expensive. I have one year till my license expires--and I'm motivated to renew. Id love to hear from anyone who could give advice about getting back on the air again, good solid radios that are simple but reliable--and ideally small as I travel a lot. I can still copy CW (better than I expected after 15 years away!)

Right now I'm at my dads place, just visiting with my family--this is the house where I grew up and built my first wire antennas. I looked through all the closets and boxes hoping to find my old CQ or QST copies but alas my rash decision making as a youth got the better of me and they are now gone. So have any of you had to re-enter ham radio? Does CW still exist? Is re-elmering a thing?

(If anyone wants to see my non ham life's work: www.livingvertical.org)

W3ATT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:42 am

Re: A Lapsed ham returns

Post by W3ATT » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:16 pm

I can't believe nobdy would post an encouraging word to help you get started again. Oh well here goes.. I hope you will someday read this..

I also fell away from the hobby only to return 25 years later, and yes, cw is still alive and well! I'm mostly a cw operator on all the bands.. Wires work well for antennas and older, simpler radios can be had for a few hundred bucks or less if you find a good deal.

I hope you pursue the hobby again. There is so much to offer with all the portable radios out there. And low power back pack radios are the rage.

Email me any time. You can find me on my qrp blog:

http://qrpzone.com

Good luck!

W3ATT, Brian

N9LCD
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:32 pm

Re: A Lapsed ham returns

Post by N9LCD » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:12 am

After something like 22 years and 6 months as a ham, I finally surrendered my general class license for cancellation.

You knows something, I feel a HELL OF A LOT BETTER NOW.

No more worrying about putting up outdoor antennas.

No more worries about starting something and running out of cash to finish it.

I try to run the equivalent of a 10K twice a week. In the last twelve months, I've put in some pretty impressive times: 12 miles in 87 minutes; 4 miles in 25 minutes.

I'd like to run the Chicago Marathon. But I've got enough smarts to know thdre's a heck of a big difference between 12 and 26.2 miles. Why get bent out of shape over an unachievable goal?

That great philosopher, W. C. Fields, summed it up: "If, at first, you don't succeed, try again and then give up. Don't be a stubborn fool."

I decided it wasn't worth being a stubborn fool.

N9LCD


PS: BTW, I'm 68!

k9yli
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:35 pm
Location: northwest wisconsin

Re: A Lapsed ham returns

Post by k9yli » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:01 pm

I have been a ham since 1960.. Not overly active on HF. But more so lately with a WARC band radio, as 17 meters is really fun.

But after all ITS A HOBBY not an obssesion.. I like to build and repair and experiment, not necessarily yakk a lot.

It wlll be what you make of it, like any hobby... and not all that expensive, Plenty of good used gear..On the air for under $500...

go for it ....

n5ifi
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 3:15 pm

Re: A Lapsed ham returns

Post by n5ifi » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:10 pm

k9yli wrote:I have been a ham since 1960.. Not overly active on HF. But more so lately with a WARC band radio, as 17 meters is really fun.

But after all ITS A HOBBY not an obssesion.. I like to build and repair and experiment, not necessarily yakk a lot.

It wlll be what you make of it, like any hobby... and not all that expensive, Plenty of good used gear..On the air for under $500...

go for it ....

I've been a ham since 1981.
Good Explanation. It is a hobby. I can afford any radio, antenna or amplifier I want but I refuse to spend 30,000 dollars and just purchase everything. That's not fun and I don't learn a damn thing that way. Part of the fun in the hobby to me is to build as much of my gear as I can. This used to be a fiscally conservative(not political) hobby but not anymore. I run across people everyday that can't or wont even build a dipole antenna. I think a lot of people have forgotten or never even knew the other side of the hobby. Nearly every aspect of the hobby can be done for little money and some hard work. I also take a sabbatical from the hobby from time to time and that helps to rejuvenate me. Like you said, it's a hobby, it's not life or death. When I find it becoming life or death, I take a sabbatical.

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