Friday, February 27, 2015

Hobby expenses? Experiment and experience!

How much do you spend in the radiohobby? This hobby could be a cause of endless expenses and it seems when you're hit by the radiohobby fever there is always a need to get better equipment. There just is too much for sale to expand this hobby, especially in this internet age you can get everything with some mouse clicks. But to enjoy the hobby spending money is not always necessary. If you're gifted with some technical skills you can build things yourself. If not (in this hobby almost impossible) you can find other ways to enjoy the radiohobby. If you get bored and after years want to expand your hobby it could be wise to see what you (still) have. You probabely discover things you never thought you had, or you can imagine other things you can do with old radio gear. A great example is the recently built hacksaw morsekey from EI2KC. It could be a challenge to play minimalistic radio, just a radio, a antenna and you. Sometimes I wish computers were never invented. These days it is the most important part of our hobby for most people. Experimenting with all kind of digimodes is fun and don't forget the computer logbooks and all kind of other gadgets related to the hobby. But really, it could also be a lot of fun when you just tune your radio and leave the computer switched off. You can do that at home but playing radio outside in the "wilderness" is even more fun. Our radio hobby doesn't need much money investment. What it needs is your effort to experience and experiment.

Now you think, Bas, nice wise words.....but there is always something I like to have. And yes, I have to admit that there is always something I wish for as well. This occured to me when calling to BG6CCP from China last ARRL 10m contest. I was calling him but he didn't understand my call for some reason (modulation not clear enough?). Then I heard neighbourstation PD2TW calling just one time and he was in the log. Now I found Tjip's modulation very narrow, punchy and good to understand. I asked him later on and he was working with a Heil headset with HC4 element. Wow, I thought this is what I need and I have to admit I was envious. But then I discovered the price of a Heil headset. I don't have a budget for that so I leave it, but it is something I wish for in the future. I have a number of other things as well on the list: a computer CW keyer, voicekeyer/compressor mike for the FT-817, mounted versatower antennamast with directional antennas, a smartphone and a HDMI-VGA adapter to connect the second monitor again. Well you see, I have a lot to wish for. But it doesn't mean I don't like the hobby anymore when I do not have it. I think I would have less joy in the hobby when I had the money and time to get it all with some mouse clicks just tomorrow.

Well, I hope this post did help someone who has less money and time to spend in the hobby like me. I know there are a lot of people that look at others and what they have. They are envious at the equipment and antenna's and all the gear what they see. When you just start your radiohobby I can imagine when looking at some QRZ pages photos especially from big contest stations you get very envious. But hey, don't look to much. Do your own thing and experiment. Look what possebilities you have and make the best of it, the experience is very important. If you make a DX contact using a superstation, expensive equipment and gear it is easy. Try it with a home made transceiver and a piece of wire, that's a total different story! But superstation or homebrew minimalistic station you both have fun with the hobby and that's most important.

Experience and experiment! Have fun with the radiohobby!

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas