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Spark Gap to the Future

We've come a long way in the 100 years of Amateur Radio but we have a long way to go if ham radio is going to keep up. I think you will see in the near future ham radio will have digital voice and maybe Amateur transporter as in, "Beam me up, Scottie!"  We will not need UPS - we can beam it over the air. I would love to see Ham time travel like the movie by H. G. Wells or talking to the future like the movie "Frequency." I know this is way-out thinking but so were expectations of walking on the moon back in 1950. You would have wanted to send me to the funny farm for suggesting it.

Add a dimension
Now is the time for us all to start experimenting with different ways to communicate and get away from the plug-and-play techniques. Possibilities are unlimited with todays Technical engineer in electrical designing. New computer techniques and internet technology make data available at our fingertips 24/7. The only limit is new ideas to start working on. We have to stop thinking in only three dimensions. Start experimenting today in electrical. Who knows, you may be the one to engineer time travel in the fourth dimension.

Half the fun in Ham radio is experimenting with the rigs and antenna. We need to put the fun back in ham radio. Start experimenting with Homebrew equipment, get on the air with your friends and test it out. Checking out the mic audio and looking for smoke is lots of fun. I know the new Ham books are made for the plug-and-play Hams and not much into homebrew. So look for older ARRL handbooks back in the 1955-1985; they have lots of things to experiment with.

Ham movement today is going back to the older equipment because they can service it. Many are getting the older AM rigs and reworking them. It can cost over $ 70.00 a hour to have a tech look at some of these new overseas rigs, perhaps taking weeks just to get in the shop. It took me 6 months to get the clubs 2-meter amplifier repaired, costing right at $300.00 for a amplifier that only cost $599.00 new. So now we have a Homebrew amplifier on the repeater at a cost of $100.00 and a weeks worth of work - not only saving some money, but we can repair it at the repeater location. Hams are homebrewing QRP rigs and working the world with a handful of parts and low power.

That can make you feel so good inside knowing with some experimenting and some time you can make a Ham rig that will talk all over the world or outer space from your home, field day or maybe the future. So plug in your soldering station, its time to start on your new future in Ham radio. I will tell you something from the future: the Astronauts we will be sending to Mars will be Ham radio operators, with on board amateur stations that will make them DX out of this world. So for me it is time to RETURN TO THE FUTURE !

ELRAY HARVEY can be reached at

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