I'm A Steamed Ham, But…

2022-08-20 21:16:15 PDT (last update 2022-09-06 21:56:47 PDT)

Steamed Hams

I got my Amateur Radio Technician license about 20 years ago, testing in along with a very good friend. The FCC knows me as KD7SQH, but you probably do not, since I've barely done any ham radio since then. I got the license for a purpose — to communicate in the Black Rock Desert during a rocket launch event, and once it served its purpose I set it aside.

I'm now getting involved in an amateur radio thing, and so I decided to upgrade to my General License. A couple of Sundays ago my friend and I went down and passed that test: my friend went ahead and passed the Amateur Extra test as well. I will be taking that test shortly with every expectation of passing.

With the upgrade, the next logical thing to do is to buy a real radio setup for my home. My hand-held transceiver worked for its purpose, but long-distance stuff requires more than an HT.

The sad truth is that when I think about the cost and time commitment of going there, I've pretty much decided to forego this plan for now. I'm somewhat budget-constrained at the moment: I'm also constrained by the hundred-foot fir trees surrounding my house, which while beautiful and wonderful make for unique setup challenges if I'm to get anywhere.

The fact of the matter is that the last thing I need in my life right now is to add another half-assed hobby to the dozens of those I already have. I may try participating in one of my local Amateur Radio Emergency Service groups in some capacity — that is a fine and noble endeavor. But I wouldn't need equipment for that right away: I can wait and see what I need and what I want to do.

Oh for the funds and time. Maybe someday. Maybe.