Monday, September 20, 2010

Controversy in ham radio

Everywhere in life you find duality, also in ham radio. When I first had contact with radio amateurs I found two categories: the technicians and the communicators. The first is busy with technique and the second with making contacts with other amateurs on air. (some do both) So we have home brewers and buyers of commercial products. Some of the home brewers look down on the ham’s who buy their equipment in the ham shop. The home brewers find their selves more superior. They think you should build your own equipment. I think that is nonsense. For me technique is to understand the principles why things are working as they do. But when someone like to build his own equipment instead of buying is fine to me. In the early days I build some radios, but soon I found out that Yaesu can do that much better for me. All I want was to be on air, make contacts with other amateurs. Then I found out the next duality: rag chewers versus DX-ers. Oh boy, and QRO versus QRP. CW versus phone, big antennas versus low profilers. Cheap versus expensive. Commercial antennas versus home-made antennas. Digi modes versus standard modes. Contesters versus non-contesters. HF versus VHF/UHF, straight keyers versus electronic keyers. Echolink versus D-star, believers and non-believers. Old versus young. Internet & computers versus the old fashions, conservative ham's and progressive ham's. I think I’ll go crazy. But finally I found out that we are all radio amateurs, sharing the same thing: ham radio, whatever that may be. We should respect each other specialities, not condemning others, not to judge our differences, but see where we can find each other in this unique multiform community. Where people with different languages, religion, politics, can be as one and share this wonderful hobby of ours. Isn’t that nice? Everyone have core qualities, and we can learn from each other. But above all respect is the main thing we should keep in mind.


  1. I agree. No-one can be expected to share all of the same interests, but there is no reason to denigrate others whose interests and priorities within the hobby are different from yours.

  2. Hallo Paul, nog niet zo lang geleden wou je nog stoppen met bloggen en dan schrijf je zo een top stukje als dit. Ik denk dat de redactie van Electron hier nog jaloers op kan zijn ;-)
    Het is inderdaad vaak zoals je zegt, er zijn veel overeenkomsten maar ook veel verschillen. Er zijn mensen die op je neer kijken en tegen je op kijken. Er zijn er ook die bijna alles al gedaan hebben. Maar je hebt het toverwoord in iedergeval heel duidelijk gemaakt - respect -. Jammergenoeg zie je het niet overal, maar gelukkig wel hier rond het groepje bloggers.
    De diversiteit vind ik juist zo leuk. Zo lees ik bijvoorbeeld altijd de SWL en de Vossenjacht onderwerpen in de electron met veel belangstelling ondanks dat ik daar absoluut niet mee bezig ben. Dat zelfde heb ik op internet. Dit was echt een stukje top stukje bloggen van je Paul, bedankt. 73, Bas

  3. Mooi stuk Paul. Wat Bas ook schrijft, het zou in Electron niet misstaan.

    Hier is het momenteel wat stil rond de hobby.

    73, Tjeerd

  4. When we all pool our knowledge, skill and most of all our support for each others unique contribution to the hobby. We have a very attractive and strong hobby.

  5. Great article Paul!

    Listen and share with respect to each other. We have a great hobby!

    73, Elmar PD3EM

  6. Very interesting post Paul, at the end of it all, we are all interested in RADIO - One you didnt mention was CB vs amateur radio, something that causes a lot of argument in the UK, some Hams seem to think that ex-cb'ers are a lower life form, oh and that Foundation License holders are no better than cb'ers !!

    All absolute twaddle, it's how you conduct yourself and behave on the air is what matters IMO.

    As Mike says, pool the knowledge, and we all benifit.

    73 Paul.

  7. Hi Paul:

    Yup ! Have to agree with you - we're all in it finding our own "niche"

    73 Peter


Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. 73 Paul

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