Hooked on DIY?

HAMMING IT UP: Amateur radio operators find themselves hooked on do-it-yourself technology

On Jan. 6, 1838, the message, “A patient waiter is no loser,” went out across a telegraph line set up in Morristown, N.J. It was the first successful attempt to send a telegram, and it traveled an unheard of distance — two miles.

Six years later, another telegram was sent, this time from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, setting in motion an industry that has been the precursor of cell phones and the Internet.

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Are you a Radio Geezer? I sure am…

You know you are a radio Geezer when:

  • you have more tools than you’ll ever need, but can’t find them.
  • you need to keep your radio’s user manual on the desk.
  • your antennas are getting smaller and closer to the ground.
  • it’s been 40 years since you’ve had the snot shocked out of you.
  • you forget the band plans.
  • you check into the weather net, the noontime net, the Bell Telephone net, and some other net just because they are there.
  • you still have a phone patch and Q multiplier in the cabinet.
  • your radio warms up faster than you do .
  • RF gets into your hearing aid.
  • you have to find your teeth to have a QSO.
  • you can no longer see the parts used to make radios.
  • you know how to properly tie a wire bundle using waxed string.
  • some of your test gear is older than your adult children.
  • you have to add light in front of your radio so you can read the dials.
  • you buy a piece of gear only to find out you already had one in the garage you forgot about.
  • you can no longer log, make QSO’s and drive at the same time.
  • you realize a Life Membership in the ARRL is no longer a good value.