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 The lure of radio - why do you do it?

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Victor
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PostSubject: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 8:06 am

Hello everyone,

I wanted to talk with you a little about radio....


Radio, an all encompassing term and so means something slightly different to all of us.

I'm not talking about the blissfully unaware aspects of radio either. 

Most people will recognise the DAB music system in their car as "radio", but no idea about the GPS/Sat-Nav or central locking key-fob. Their mobile phone signal is a maybe "radio" thing, Bluetooth - who knows(?), the bleep of the phone as it reconnects to the home Wi-Fi, nothing as they pass their 'wireless' doorbell and completely unaware of the spurious radio emissions as they turn on the LED lights, TV, plug in the phone charger and fire up the laptop.

I'm talking 'radio' as in the poor person next door who knows the blissfully unaware neighbour has got home....your background radio noise has gone from S2 or 3 to S9!!!!!

So yeah, you lot....the SWLs, (short wave listeners), the Hams, (amateur radio operators), PMR operators and of course the good old Citizen Band 27MHz, (or there abouts), CBers.

Pretty much every one welcome at Charlie Tango really Wink

(Of course there's the.....ssshhhh.....Pirates!)


You're all unique, in fact pretty special when it comes to the face of it!

The blissfully unaware 'radio' technology users and let's face it 'radio polluters', number in their billions!
As popular as radio operators have become, especially in recent months, they number merely in the millions worldwide. Most of them reside in the USA and Japan if you take the 'official figures'. Depending on where you live in the world you're only 0.1% or so of the population!?!

So what makes it so damn special for us? Are we just plain old weirdos? Very Happy


For me, it's almost indescribable, (but I'll try).

From getting a scalding from my parents for 'twiddling' the radiogram tuning knob as a toddler, (yeah, old git), to my first 'transistor radio', then shortwave set. From the first popularised CB radio wave/frenzy, (yeah, already said...old git), to rediscovering and welcoming my reinterest in radio, (life often ties us up)..... It's always been with me.

It's an old friend who's company I enjoy immensely.

Sure, I enjoy the technical aspects. Whether I'm restoring a radio, testing it or even simply building or erecting an antenna and bolting on the SWR meter, it's all good. I've even been known to recheck my SWR and sometimes key up the mic to simply whistle into it to check my radios output! Wink

I'll listen to a far off news station and hear stories that our own media doesn't bother with. (SWL interest).

I listen to Ham's stories on the amateur bands, serving in the forces stories, life's anecdotes and such. (Again SWL, many reasons for not taking my ticket....or maybe yet).

I damn near wet myself with excitement, (yeah, again....old git), when I get a good DX contact on the CB and waffle to a complete stranger, who is now my 'friend' as they too are on the other end of a radio!

Maybe many more things as well.



So what is it for you?

Share your stories, your experiences, a brief analysis or waffle on like I flipping well tend to Wink

I'd like to hear about it, I'm sure others do too. 

Don't like to write/no time/or simply struggle? Give a thumbs up or simply post a 'smiley'.



Oh, and maybe you can tell me why radio tends to be such a "sausage-fest".....
Male radio operators tend to outnumber woman by a huge number! So if you're a woman, gives us your radio reasons too Smile


All the very best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 10:00 am

The lure of radio.........................

1, No soaps to suffer.
2, No damned adverts
3, No Piers Morgan.
4, The tranquillity of the shack
5, The welcoming arms of kindred spirits
6, The whole world wants to talk
7, Her in doors cant see me having a fag

In these days of equality there are few male strongholds left,  Radio, fishing, shooting.

70thirds Tom

ps, T5 going well at the moment
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 10:46 am

Ha, ha! Very Happy
Nice one Tom, agree with a few of those points Wink

Your last mention of 'male strongholds' was interesting. I suppose with less women in the field it may well feel that way but I've met and spoke to some good female radio operators over the years. Maybe some are put off by the male prominence in radio

Cheers for that.


Yeah, heard T5 springing to life just as the grandchildren turned up for a visit. Haven't seen much of the poor blighters lately so the radio will have to wait til later Wink

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 12:20 pm

My father was a Ham so i got into radio early in life but for reasons of my own use CB/Freeband only and agree with Tom on numbers 1 to 6 (i dont smoke but hide from the misses anyway).

I got into CB in the late 70s using a Colt 295am/5 ft Firestik in the loft and a car battery and i was hooked and while i have sold up and gone down a couple of times i soon return wishing i hadnt sold it all..Infact i had a ft450d bought for me by the wife a couple of years ago which i have kept unused in the box just in case i sell up again but making sure i keep the 450d

I love tinkering so i have my radio equipment in my workshop and chilling on my ox blood chesterfield while listening to real folks around the world makes me happy.I have a few hobbies but CB will always be there in my life even if i listen far more than i talk nowadays....Great thread by the way

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 12:58 pm

From 79 until 82 were the magical years for me i was dx obsessed .I  just like the challenge of dxing round the world  , not many cber's on the air where i live just hams  and most of them frequent vhf/uhf.
A bit like Cozzmik i have sold up a few times  but always seem to come back .Im sure my foundation licence has been revoked as i never bothered to renew it but its no great loss and it was so long ago since i did it has never bothered me  11mtrs is where i started  and i still like it today .
I had a great contact with a lad from Cambridge   the other day and had a bit oh crack with each other  but most qso's now folks just want a radio report and move on .
Its a bit of escapism  from the mad world wee live in now  .

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 3:49 pm

Well Victor, and interesting and insightful post indeed. As a new radio user, no, not due to lockdown, ( as I have been lucky enough to look after people and get paid for it) I was lent a 40ch CB in April. I couldn't be heard as the radio wasnt really transmitting very well, but I was hearing the 'skip' for the first time in my life! 
I found it magical that someone in Ireland or Scotland was booming into my shed! 
My interest grew, and I read and read about stuff I had no idea about. Watched literally hundreds of videos and joined sites such as this. I knew I needed a new rig, so I read what people were buying, including all the necessary bits, like swr meter, power source etc. 
A few weeks ago, I had a contact in Germany, on FM, but didnt have the confidence to go on T5. Then last week I made my first CQDX call. Only South France,  but I was so happy, honestly! Since then, a few Spain calls, and today my first contact in Portugal and was chatting to the guy for 20 mins or more.  I know some people may be laughing at this, but i really think its magical. That's why i love it. Its unpredictable, quite crazy at times and keeps me coming back for more! I hope that partly answers your question Victor! 
73's
Nik

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 4:02 pm

Hi Sam,

Cheers for that, good to hear your story Smile

I'd forgotten about the influence of Ham relatives.
The little Colt 295, remember it well and there seemed to be so many rigs based on that little chassis design for quite a while. Who can forget a good Firestik either!
Cor, wish my missus bought me a radio or anything radio related Wink Sure fire way to ensure you hang on to it, I do like a Yaesu myself.

I can see you sat on that Chesterfield, with a smile, listening to the radio. Often find myself enjoying a good listen nowadays and had always put it down to my SWL interests.

Thanks again.

All the best to you.

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 4:18 pm

Hi Saltire,

Thanks for your story.

I did think there'd be a lot of people with memories of CB from the late 70s to early 80s, sort of the heady days in the UK for radio interest and what else can beat a good DX! Smile Pretty sure most of us have sold up or moved away from it just to come back again...that "lure" of it as I put it.
Do know what you mean, had a few DXs with quick radio reports, (maybe their English couldn't hold up a conversation? or not interested?), but it does make the chattier QSOs more appealing and memorable.

Like your escapism mention as well, couldn't agree more.

All the best to you.

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 4:22 pm

No body is laughing Nik, but a lot will smile and nod,,,, we all been there and most of us still are that's why we still do it.    Well done matey keep shouting theres a whole world out there.. Don't worry about the zoo oops T5.... Little trick for you , listen for stations giving a qsy freq then get there quick and shout, Another is to come off T5, find a clear freq and start to call, you will pick up other stations doing the same as you,,,,,  lol DX by ambush,,, but what the hell it gets them in the log

Best 70thrids Tom    26-CZ-455
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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 4:53 pm

Hi Nik,

Many thanks for your story, so good to hear people's views and experiences.

I've congratulated people for sitting out patiently whilst furloughed, applauded people who've had to work through it, but I will always give a heartfelt thanks to those individuals who look after others no matter what the circumstances. Thank you Smile

Nice of someone to lend you a radio to get started and what luck to have occured during sporadic-E skip season!
I know exactly what you mean about the 'magic' and how it hooks you in taking up free time before you know it Wink
Well done with your pursuit of this new found interest and congratulations on your Continental DX's, the perfect reward for your avid interest and work.

I can assure you, any laughs you hear are laughter's of joy at your excitement of the 'magic' of radio. I know I did Smile

Lovely story and well done.

All the best to you.

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 5:00 pm

Nice one Tom. See Nik, laughing with you mate Very Happy

Nice tips as well Tom, used the off T5 frequency trick myself when the "Hola-Coca-Cola" crowds out!


Thanks again all. 

Nice to read your stories, for me and others alike. Love it!

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 5:02 pm

26CZ455 Many thanks for the tips!! I will sure bear that in mind! I sort of did do that by mistake earlier lol😂 Great advice though!
Victor, many thanks, I look forward to other peoples stories also, it's very interesting indeed. As it happens, it's been my most "successful" day on the radio. Spoken to four countries for the first time, which is special! It really is great to have a forum such as this with great contributors and a wealth of knowledge and also help for newbies like me. I think that part is important in order for the hobby/interest to continue to grow. 
Also thanks both for not laughing!! 😂
Take care!
Nik

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 5:52 pm

Me too Nik, loved the stories so far and look forward to many more.

Well done with today's DX, typically I've missed it but grateful for family visits. 
A few hours of daylight left so could catch the ending trail of possible skip but grandkids have fair worn me out!

Think I'm seeing a common ground already with the unexplainable pull and magic of radio. Maybe that's why we tend to be a helpful bunch Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 6:42 pm

No idea what draws me to radio......
Yeah, boring answer I know, but I never figured it out, especially as I’m not the most talkative person on the planet.
Tried CB when I was a kid, (late 90’s) and it was dead in my area.
Trying again now as there is SSB and I have my own house so a proper aerial can go up!!

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 7:30 pm

Nik70UK wrote:
Well Victor, and interesting and insightful post indeed. As a new radio user, no, not due to lockdown, ( as I have been lucky enough to look after people and get paid for it) I was lent a 40ch CB in April. I couldn't be heard as the radio wasnt really transmitting very well, but I was hearing the 'skip' for the first time in my life! 
I found it magical that someone in Ireland or Scotland was booming into my shed! 
My interest grew, and I read and read about stuff I had no idea about. Watched literally hundreds of videos and joined sites such as this. I knew I needed a new rig, so I read what people were buying, including all the necessary bits, like swr meter, power source etc. 
A few weeks ago, I had a contact in Germany, on FM, but didnt have the confidence to go on T5. Then last week I made my first CQDX call. Only South France,  but I was so happy, honestly! Since then, a few Spain calls, and today my first contact in Portugal and was chatting to the guy for 20 mins or more.  I know some people may be laughing at this, but i really think its magical. That's why i love it. Its unpredictable, quite crazy at times and keeps me coming back for more! I hope that partly answers your question Victor! 
73's
Nik
No laughing here and the buzz a new contact gives still attracts me to this wonderful hobby and it reminds me of a couple of great contacts i made back in 2014.
One while i was in qso with a fellow CT op on 27.565 usb when all of a sudden a spainish sounding fellow qsk`d.After letting him in it transpired he was in Paraguay and we all chatted for 20 mins or so.We exchanged emails and sent eqsl`s.
With conditions so good in 2014 USA,Australia,Carribean,Canada etc were all worked with ease but a chat for over 30 mins with a op in his ute in New Zealand topped them all.He was tending a bbq while parked on the beach and heard me call on T5 and qsy`d a little further down the band...Vertical to vertical with 100w my end is the icing on the cake for me and i cant wait for the solar maximum to come back..Great to hear the stories so far

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 7:32 pm

Hi Rory,

Not at all a boring answer, say it as it is Smile

There must be something that has you hooked in some way, you've obtained equipment, asked questions here on Charlie Tango and plug on with it. Might just simply be that it's an interesting pursuit or hobby for you at the moment that fires your brain and keeps you interested Smile

All good stuff and doesn't have to be explained with radio 'magic' , history or other such.

I like the answers, "Just 'cos", they're often just as informative.

Appreciate it, thanks.

All the best.

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 10, 2020 7:42 pm

Nice one Sam,

Great QSO stories of past DXs, really excites others at the possibilities we can achieve when conditions are favourable. We're on the way up for this solar cycle so things can only get better! Smile

Love it!
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PostSubject: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeWed Jul 15, 2020 12:19 am

Why do I do it, Victor?..I don't really know why, I, as a kid, was just fascinated by radio, especially the old valve receiver types. So, since around the age of 4 I was bitten by it..and that's all I can say about it, got the bug and it's never left me.

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PostSubject: Re: The lure of radio - why do you do it?   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeWed Jul 15, 2020 5:42 am

Hi Mike,

That's as good an answer as many mate Smile

Sometimes analysing or trying to fully explain something could strip it away, like learning the secret behind a magicians trick!
Nice that you've had the 'bug' for most of your life.

Got to agree with you as regards valve stuff. 
Recently I was gifted an old "Jubilee II" valve LW/MW/VHF radio, it wasn't working so I set my mitts on it. Despite being some years since working on valve stuff and the fear of the 300 volt DC HT line (!) I got it all working and aligned......Amazing reception!
No loud "sscchhh" noise whilst tuning around just the gentlest breeze and when the 'magic eye' tuning indicator lit fully for a station the audio was pure quality. Honestly, if you haven't heard valve stuff it's like the radio presenter or newsreader is sat right there with you! Smile

Thanks for your input Mike, appreciated.

Victor
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PostSubject: The lure of radio   radio - The lure of radio - why do you do it? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 24, 2020 11:08 pm

Tom

Did find your post most amusing, but apt in your ooints why.

Bovril.
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