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[Ham-80211] Re: The ARRL's anti-experimenter attitude

Steve kb9mwr at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 30 19:24:46 UTC 2007


No offence but I hate how it's always looked as a "numbers game".  Like I 
said, you could give away licenses, but that doesn't ensure people will use 
them, or stay active with the hobby.  I think inspiring experimentation is 
they key.

I got interested in ham radio in the 90's in high school.  I remember 
reading something about The Amateur Packet Network by KC4WZK, and later a 
classmate brought in a copy of the Now Your Talking.  After obtaining my 
license, I cross paths with a student from my own school on the air.  He 
introduced me to other hams at my school and all the local ham clubs, and 
activities like fox hunting, etc.  There was one club at an adjacent school 
that we all best associated with.  This was the Ashwaubenon High School Tech 
Club.  Around 20 students from that school became hams, and what was unique 
was that the school allowed a "users group."  This group was made up of 
other students from other local schools (such as I), and it also included 
other instrumental and sometimes older-elmering members.

What was fortunate for us was that these instrumental older-elmering 
members, were never the type to discourage us by questioning rule 
interpretations.  Instead, they helped us get a repeater going, and later 
set up "cool" things like a NASA select audio rebroadcast.  That type of 
encouragement, lead to experimenting with SPI and the printer port where we 
interfaced the repeater controller to the club TCP/IP packet machine, and 
other unique ideas that we came up with.

Now, I happen to work in a school.  Every year I give a ham radio sales 
pitch to administration.  And I see the importance of creating that appeal & 
encouragement in the hobby.  We just had a recent ham radio demo/expo here 
in town.  I think the pair of IP phones hooked to the wireless modules got 
the most attention.

And PS. no I don't mind if you quote me, please do. 

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