In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>, lordgnome <***@nospam.null>
Post by lordgnome Post by Spike
I've long thought that there is a mind-set among many Radio Amateurs
such that, if something is technically possible, it has to be done - but
with very little thought behind it as to whether 'it' is useful, or
wanted, or compatible with other systems. One thing that springs to
mind is the impetus to get the last fraction of a dB out of a VNA, then
applying that to an antenna to get the last fraction of a dB of the
return loss. Yet no-one mentions the trees or buildings or ground
conductivity that will have a far greater impact on the radiated RF
energy. A simple SWR meter or noise bridge would be sufficient for
antenna tuning. Now, with this posting above, we seem to have on hand a
'gateway' that lets incompatible systems talk to each other. It seems to
be digital systems gone bonkers, just to talk over a repeater.
I have to agree. I will be interested to see if some of these wonderful
(and expensive) 'do all modes' rigs will stay in production for very long.
When I were a lad, ordinary radio amateurs were often capable of
designing and constructing, from basic bits and pieces, state-of-the-art
- and even 'leading edge' - equipment.
This is no longer the case. Most of the latest technology involves the
use of a computer, with a few additional pieces of peripheral electronic
hardware tacked on.
While this might offer an opportunity to explore pastures previously
undreamt of, it represents a considerable departure from what we
understood as traditional basic radio communications and electronics. I
can't help feeling that fewer and fewer amateurs will be able to
understand the new technology - and while in the past most they had a
fair understanding of (say) what went on inside a modern transceiver
(even if they didn't build it), modern equipment is going to become even
more a black box than it used to be.
It may be argued that that there is no reason why amateurs can't
continue to engage in the old traditions (for example, building and
using relatively simple old-fashioned gear) - but there is probably less
incentive to do so these days. Yes, you can maybe still make a
two-transistor QRP CW transceiver for 40m, and get great satisfaction
from it, but such traditional modes are gradually being squeezed out by
modern, much more complicated stuff.
At present, there are still a lot of amateurs who mainly want to fire up
their (often extremely expensive) talk-box, and have a chat with
fellow-amateurs - and although I don't want appear to be discouraging or
dismissing all this 'clever modern stuff', I hope that this is what
sufficient of us will continue to do for the foreseeable future.