As many radio amateurs will tell you, ham radio is a hobby with as many aspects as there are radio amateurs. It should be an exciting and dynamic place, but as those who enter it sometimes sadly find, it can be anything else. Tightly connected communities whose interests lie in the use of $ 1000 stations to pursue DX (long-distance contacts), an advanced age profile and the curious charm of many amateurs with disaster communications. Still something [Robert V. Bolton, KJ7NZL] sounds in an open letter to the amateur radio community entitled “Radio Ham must embrace the hacking community now more than ever“.
In it, he complains that the influx, especially of those for whom disaster preparedness is the reason for obtaining a license, is to blame for the fact that amateur radio is losing its spark and offers the hobby to respond by expanding its appeal in the direction of the hacker community. The emphasis should be shifted from emergency communications, he says, and instead topics such as software-defined radio and digital modes should be brought to the fore. Finally, he talks about creating hacker-specific radio discussion channels to provide a space where the conversation is tailored to our community.
Given our experience in the amateur radio community, we will have to agree with him. The hobby offers the unsurpassed opportunity for analog, mixed signals, digital and software interference in the best tradition of the road set by early radio amateurs about a hundred years ago, but sometimes it seems to have lost its way for people like us. It is something expressed in words a few years ago by our colleague Dan Maloney and if you follow [KJ7NZL]on a path you could do worse than reading Dan’s lengthy $ 50 ham series from the beginning.
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Title image: Unknown author, Public domain.