ENTERTAINING AMATEUR RADIO “The most versatile hobby on earth”
The hobby that surely is the most entertaining in the world is “Amateur Radio – the most versatile hobby on earth”. To me the most fascinating aspect of Ham Radio is the fact that even when you have exhausted the fun to be had with what you have been doing for the last year or what, there will always be a lot more excitement round the corner with just another aspect of the hobby, and it is always affordable. Ham Radio can get very intense, it grabs hold of you, holds your attention and keeps you occupied for periods longer than your loved ones will happily allow. Many a poor, innocent Ham has experienced this strange phenomenon in the past: just doing what comes naturally to him and then without warning finding himself in an uncomfortable situation with his closest allies at home or at work. Of course, this is just a hobby, but make no mistake: once you have wormed yourself into a specific aspect of the hobby you will certainly get hooked.
Be it DX’ing via satellites, CW or Phone; chasing DX could get addictive. More so with QRP DX’ing, and this even happens when you are only competing against yourself; it just gets so exciting that you cannot stay away from it! The same happens with home construction projects, be it kit-building or “Rolling your own” (what we Hams call building equipment from circuits out of a magazine or handbook). Once you get started with a project, with the first signs of success, the excitement gets so intense and you get so absorbed with the building and experimenting that you cannot leave it, you just have to finish it. The next stage: you have to try it out on air. And so it goes, you lose all sense of time and nothing else matters. Many Hams get completely hooked on what they find themselves to be doing in the hobby; and be advised, there are hundreds of different facets to the hobby, each one as addictive as the other.
“But that is excellent!” you say. Sure it is, if you are single, have no family and do not have to work for a living. If you can pay someone else to do the chores around the house and do not have to worry about anything else in life; yes, then you could have your heaven on earth now. Reality says that we will not find anyone that lucky in real life. There will always be someone or something to attend to in our lives; be forewarned, do not allow yourself to fall into this trap. Life is too short for all the trouble and hurt this can cause. By all means enjoy the hobby, get absorbed into the exciting intricacies and go full-out for whatever you set your goal to be and do it to the best of your ability. However, you have to be disciplined about what you are doing. Set yourself goals and work toward those goals by allocating time to a worked-out timetable and keep to that schedule. Never overdo it.
I have enjoyed Ham Radio now for a couple of decades and find it even more entertaining now than at the start, the reason being that I know more now than then. My frame of reference, confidence and methodology practicing the hobby have matured with time. I can tell you though, I’m privileged to have the absolute backing of my family, colleagues and friends. Always being encouraged and at all times finding them interested in what I am doing counts for more than my own capabilities. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to just enjoy the entertainment the hobby provides without ever worrying about what the loved ones think and feel in my absence. I have to admit, it was not always like that, I also got hooked in the beginning. The entertainment swallowed me hook, line and sinker with dire consequences. I made a decision then and negotiated entertainment time, I drew up an approved timetable, started practicing my entertainment accordingly and have never looked back. Sure ….., sure, sometimes you just have to do your thing, but then, don’t take it for granted that you can have the entertainment time – negotiate for it. Life is always give-and-take, and for the entertainment that Amateur Radio provides I will always and willingly give more than I will take from life.
Vic – ZS6EA