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Comments

M_Krieger

Great piece, Peter. I still have my log log decitrig "slipstick", and have enjoyed amateur radio (and CB too, before it blew up) since my pre-teen years as well. Brought a big smile.

Cebess

I am surprised you didn't cover the integration of digital technology with ham radio. You lament the changes in the same way that some thought spark gap was the pinnacle of the hobby. The integration of computing techniques has opened RTTY (which when I started was the domain of the relatively wealthy), PSK, DSTAR, APRS and a myriad of modes to nearly everyone. There are more amateur radio operators in the US today then there has ever been. With the experimental nature of the hobby, most of them have some experience integrating radio with digital technologies and this bring even more breadth of possibility -- it just may be a different path than the one you (or I) took. 73, AD5EN

Peter Coffee

As you observe, and as I said myself, the Amateur Radio Service is "by some measures...as healthy as ever." What I was asked to provide was a view of changes that have altered my own experience over time. My comments don't, it seems to me, disagree with what you say -- but they are clearly complementary.

I would like to see ham radio serving as a qualitatively different entry point to technology, rather than being assimilated into the "everything's digital" world view. Are digital modes important? Absolutely. Are more hams working at increasingly high levels of abstraction from the physics of their equipment, and from the raw medium of radio itself? I don't believe we disagree on that.

I appreciate your taking the time to comment, and I hope that no one thinks I was accenting the negative. I believe that ham radio needs to work harder to preserve its distinctive role. I certainly hope to contribute to that.

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