The end of the line

Elrika, my XYL, and I were talking last night and the subject of ham radio came up. This year in October we will be married for forty years and in not one of those years did she ever have a love for ham radio, my “hobby”. I see her point.

Ham radio requires attention and does not fit in well with interruption. I too get very “mission driven” when practicing ham radio that it would almost come across as being irritable. I enjoy ham radio and the challenge but it’s always a battle really.

A little over a year ago I made a really bad decision to trade in all my equipment to go the Xeigu route, typically the X5105. If it was a KX3 or even close things may have been different but it wasn’t. Replacing the equipment I once had is really not worth the cost and the second hand market is very limited, hams holding onto what they have (I don’t blame them) or asking brand new prices for them!

I retired officially a year ago and invested in a 1.6 hectare piece of land next to a home I built a few years ago on which I am creating a nature trail and within that space the trail is a kilometer long. I also saw this area as my “RaDAR training ground” and also used for trail running (Even at age 62). I spend hours there practically every day working like a gardener but it gives me a lot of pleasure and a sense of achievement. Elrika refers it to be my new “hobby”.

Ham radio had served me well throughout my entire career. I celebrated my 45th year as a ham just last month on the 17th of February. Even during my service as technology manager with a large company in my home town I once suggested that the technicians reporting to me do the RAE (Radio Amateur’s Examination) and at least get a recognized qualification. I was told by my immediate superior to leave my “hobby” at home. It still saddens me but maybe many see ham radio as a hobby. I like to see it as a professional ability.

To be honest, the most fun I ever had was with a single frequency (7.023 MHz) 49er CW transceiver running 300 mW. To me ham radio must serve a purpose. That is why I developed RaDAR that through RaDAR ham radio could serve a purpose. I’d like to think I have made a difference throughout my ham radio career and will continue to do that where I can.

I’m still active on the FM satellites with my very old Kenwood TH-D7A(g) but I find the “Five nine” thing to be most boring. I’d love to see the RaDAR concept actively present within the satellite community. It would fit in extremely well there. On the 4th of April 2020 the first RaDAR Challenge for the year takes place. I’ll be RaDAR active using SatComms and moving on foot.

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