IMAGINATIVE AMATEUR RADIO “The most versatile hobby on earth”
I have read somewhere that anything any person on earth could ever imagine could somehow be realized and made true. When reading this statement I immediately thought of “Amateur Radio – the most versatile hobby on earth”. Think about the advances that we have made in the last one hundred years of radio and related sciences. It is incredible if you really think about it, what has been achieved is amazing and it is still developing at such a tempo that it is getting rather difficult for Hams in general to keep abreast. Taking into account what has been achieved and the tempo that these advances in science happen, can you imagine what we will be using to communicate with one hundred years from now? I don’t think we can, that is why I always wonder if these guys searching for signals from intelligent beings in outer space are not wasting their time, I mean, why would more advanced beings still be using radio waves to do their communication with?
These days transceivers are being built with technologies so far removed from what we started out with that in relation the two are not really comparable, I suppose the principles stayed the same, but the components are far removed in development. Things are getting smaller, minute in comparison with what we started out with, and not only that, these minute components are multifunctional. Are you looking for a complete FM receiver that is very compact, look no further, you can find it on a single IC (Integrated Circuit) chip. Pre-amps, audio amplifiers, you name it, smaller and smaller we are going with everything electronic, all on IC’s. “Where will it end?”, you ask. Well I can imagine that in twenty years from now you could perhaps be wearing a wrist watch consisting of a GPS, mobile phone, digital camera, personal computer, FM radio and much more functional and useful items all in one. It seems that nothing is impossible these days.
Generally, home-brewing Hams have kept up with SMT (Surface Mount Technology) development, however, most Hams do shy away from home-brewing with or trying to repair equipment utilizing SMD’s. By researching on the Web what the future techniques in electronics will be, I have learned that we are in for a major surprise when it comes to home-brewing. Nano electronics will be the future trend and it is already being used in selected applications called (MEMS) Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. MEMS is the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through micro fabrication technology, making possible the realization of complete systems-on-a-chip. Further to this, a new field is already emerging in computer electronics that will be a giant leap in computer and electronics science. It is the field of quantum computing and (QT) quantum technology. Quantum computing is that area of scientific knowledge aimed at developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory.
A recent paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Physics states that in quantum computing the “q bit” instead of the traditional bit of information is used. All the computers up-to-date are based on the “bit” principle. However, the new “Qbit” is able to process anything between 0 and 1. This implies that new types of calculations and high processing speeds can be achieved. Quantum computers have been more of a research area until now, but recently, the first quantum computer has been built in the United States and this new computer is said to achieve unseen processing speeds to the tune of a billion times per second, making this the fastest chip on earth. We are bound to see many nano technological applications within the electronic industry in the near future. These will undoubtedly increase the quality of life of our society. However, if we Hams had problems with keeping abreast with SMT, can you imagine what MEMS and QT will do to the hobby? Hams are very imaginative though, I am sure we will overcome like we always do.
Vic – ZS6EA