That title won’t mean much to most of my friends, colleagues, or folks who stumble across this post.
It will, however, mean much to those who know what it is.
The cliff note version is straightforward. Amateur radio operators have been around since Tesla and Marconi discovered ways to transmit and receive noise. They didn’t call them that in those days, but I would argue they were two of the first. If you think about it, they were doing what we do today.
No FCC or regulatory board was selling them permission to transmit a signal. No Japanese or Chinese companies were marketing expensive radios or other products, gadgets, etc. There was only raw determination, a pioneering spirit, and scientific discovery.
When I got into the hobby, I built my first transmitter out of TV parts. That might sound impressive, and it was for a ten-year-old, but I built it from a schematic created by an engineer.
We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Many of those giants, in my world, were the attendees at an event called Hamarama. A convention of folks organized by caring individuals for those like-minded is impressive.
Unlike most conventions for different hobbies, ham radio conventions and activities have ‘non-pecuniary’ as the cornerstone of their existence. Their motive is not for profit.
Most have a servant’s heart.
When there is bad weather, and your TV personality reflects his brilliance by what the ‘storm chasers or spotters’ are seeing, those people are genuine heroes. They are ham radio folks performing volunteer service that is risky and costly. They do this to keep you safe. And still, the FCC charges them for the right to have a license to use that same radio. Something is very wrong with our system of government.
Think about that as you try to relate your hobby to this one.
Contrast this hobby with the hobby of writing as an example. I can speak to this as I am a writer and author and out to change how writers think of themselves.
Conventions for writers are ridiculously expensive. Maybe someone can tell me or justify why someone should spend $500 on a ticket to hear these authors. They do public speaking to promote their brand.
I know many of the authors that would speak at this event. The draw for the writers is simple, access to an agent. Whoopie.
I realize that the description is vague, but the conventions for radio operators have the same programs, speakers, and alike that assist those who want to learn more about their craft. A ticket to Hamarama in Ardmore, Oklahoma, is $8, $10 at the door. That money goes back to the convention center rented for the event.
The speakers at writer’s events do it for notoriety, and they have pecuniary interests. They want to sell their books.
I have slogged through the trenches of both hobbies. Being an autodidact, striving for perfection is my way of life.
Marconi, Tesla, and Mark Twain were autodidacts. You could add Bill Gates to the list.
During my last trip to Ardmore, I realized that many of those people I looked forward to seeing were no longer with us.
Time is precious and fleeting. Don’t let it slip away from you.