Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thank God for the money

Do we realize how wealthy we are? When you own a transceiver or other expensive radio stuff, you are one of the riches. When you see a map with radio activity, you also see a lot of blank spots all over the world. E.g. Africa and South America. Not because there are no radio amateurs over there, no it says something about lack of money. It’s a rich men’s hobby. Even the low profile amateurs with our FT817 and wire antennas. We are wealthy. And a lot of us yearn to posses that blank spot on the map. Very, very rich radio amateurs go with their expensive radio equipment to a far away island and satisfy the folks at home with a 599. And don’t think you have worked a indigenous ham radio operator. Oh no, I will not disturb your dreams but it was a rich man with a hobby. [Watch]

This morning I worked E77AW and UA1AJ with CW on 20 meter. With BPSK31 I worked on 17 meter: UA6CET, and on 20 m: RV3LZ and UA1ALW.


  1. Very true, Paul. The small attachement speaks volumes. Many guilty parties, including dictators (presidents-for-life) in some of those countries that take foreign aid and place the cash in their private Swiss bank accounts. Also sell donated food, clothing, etc. on their own black market. More ETC., ETC...!

    Amateur radio. I seem to recall a program sponsored by, I don't remember what organization, that gave MFJ Cub kits to young Africans. The objective was electronic training via amateur radio construction of a small, inexpensive, transceiver kit. Seemed like a good idea. I don't remember the exact details.

    Amateur radio need not be an expensive hobby, but too many of we amateurs in the major industrialized countries make it so, demanding the latest $3000 belled and whistled transceiver, when a perfectly good QRP kit at a reasonable price is available.

    With the current economic crises, disposable income is reduced, and you are fortunate if you have a job. Pensions and social Security (American) payments haven't increased and, in some cases, been reduced or eliminated.

    The "third" world is becoming the entire world. Except for a chosen few of it's inhabitants.

    End of rant. A comment should never be longer than it's source. Hi.

    73 Dick

  2. I agree, Paul. Yet another reason why I'm happy to pass by the DX chasing aspect of the hobby.

    I'm fortunate at this point in my life, not to have any undue restrictions on what I can spend on my hobby. But if circumstances permitted, would I buy a legal limit amplifier, a tower and a beam costing many thousands? No. Because nothing you can do in the hobby justifies (in my opinion) the expenditure of that kind of money. Unfortunately for those who like DX chasing, those who do feel the expense is justified have created an "arms race" where everyone else feels they either have to do the same or admit defeat.

  3. Hi Paul - 100% with Julian here, I choose NOT to invest in the latest bells and whistles - I made a decision some years ago when Icom announced their first £3K radio.
    There's a limit.

    73 Peter

  4. Inderdaad Paul, we mogen niet klagen...Dick heeft wel gelijk, het hoeft geen dure hobby te zijn. Maar we hebben hier zoveel (geld) beschikbaar dat alles wat we nodig hebben maar gekocht wordt. Ik realiseer me echt wel dat we hier stinkend rijk zijn. 73, Bas

  5. Hello Paul,

    Ditto on all of the above....I've always said above food, shelter, and clothing, life is what you make it. There are many people in the world living out of a backpack which carries their entire worldly possessions.

    Corruption is the major issue here....there are untold riches in most countries but wealth is concentrated only in the very upper tiers of society. It doesn't "trickle down" to the masses. It does however, create a system ripe for exploitation.

    Spending several thousand dollars on radio equipment would make me feel guilty when it could be put to much better use.

    Thanks for reminding me of what I sometimes take for granted.

  6. What estrange mixtures of feelings in me! I am a very fortunate one that have more than I really need to do some ham-radio hobby activity. Its time to start seriously thinking about make the difference and try help others enjoy the hobby too. Don't know exactly how, but something must be done.


  7. Amateur radio does not have to be expensive. Perhaps we need to get together to produce some simple CW transceivers that we could make and send to hams in poorer countries? I think the GQRP club did supply kits once, but how about built, low cost rigs? A simple 20m or 15m transceiver could be built (with a team of volunteer builders) on a small PCB for less than £20 if QRP (5W with an IRF510 PA), direct conversion receiver, VXO controlled. Such a rig would allow worldwide communications as well as a rig costing £3000 in most situations. A dipole for 20m is only 10m long and cheap and for 15m only 7.5m long. Either could be supplied with 10m of coax to string up to the nearest tree. This is a project I could get interested in!


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