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And one more thing: get on the air!
It's easy to take ones self too seriously these days. We often blur the lines between "work" and "play", particularly when the hobby is so much like work, and the workbench at home looks a lot like the workbench at work.
We were glad to stumble across this web site, called Ham Hijinks, http://hamhijinks.com/ . These guys seem to be having a lot of fun with the hobby! It's reminiscent of the annual "April Fools" article that we used to see in CQ and QST, but their page is full of them!
This one was just too fun to let go by! Thanks to Dave Watson
SHARON, Pa. (AP) — Amateur radio — also known as Ham radio — is more popular now than it's ever been, said Tim Duffy, president of the Mercer County Amateur Radio Club.
That might be surprising considering, if you don't know a Ham operator, you probably aren't even aware of the hobby.
With more than 700,000 Hams in the United States, the hobby has grown since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as people felt the need to be more prepared for emergencies and disasters, Duffy said.
There are three ways you can get involved: one is by simply clicking the link and looking. Check it out.
Another way is by setting up your receiver and decoding the signals yourself... your computer will decode the data and upload to the site automatically. The third is receiving and transmitting as well. That one is automated also, and you can look at the web page and see who is hearing your signal. Pretty cool.
You can look for my callsign on that web page to see if I have been active lately, and on which band.
Check for your own callsign also, and get a really good idea where in the world the band is open right now.
You can listen to Joe Taylor describe this system in one of our 99 Hobbies podcasts here: http://99hobbies.blogspot.com/2010/10/joe-taylor-k1jt-speaks-at-masscon....
73, Dave KZ1O