It was an earthquake that made my amp out of work.

The amp won't be turned on. After it has worked trouble free for almost 15 years, was it finally acting up? ......I should bring this heavy box for repair to a dealer....sighing.....To make it sure, I have looked at its power line code beneath the table.

The plug was out of the socket! There was a plaque for the JIDXC lying next to the plug on the floor. It had been hung on the wall. Some time ago, this afternoon, we have had a pretty big earthquake of Richter scale 4 here. It has made the plaque fallen, which hit the plug to be pulled out. No other things fallen on the floor.

Inserting the plug into the socket, I found the amp working OK. And, recalling there have been a couple of contests going on now, one in Eu and the other in USA, I smiled bitterly to myself. I won't need turnig on the gear today. The high bands were full of contesters with very strong signal. Looking at the plaque on the wall, I told myself it was a way of enjoyment for them. Nothing to be blamed.

We have had much more earthquakes for the past years. They forecast there could be another big one hitting western Japan or Tokyo. It could be a real big disaster for us again. It is not a matter of fallen plaque or something like that. Hundreds thousand people are expected to be killed by the quake as well as the accompanying tsunami. Are we ready for that? I don't believe we have any room in badget to spend for the Olympic games in 2020.


  1. Speaking from utilizing antique or vintage equipment, I sympathize with you the mental anguish of anticipating that your equipment has bitten the dust. It is a wonderful feeling of relief to realize that it is merely gravity working its wonders on your electrical plug. However, I am much less sympathetic than you on the impact of contests. I work, as you know. During the week, my radio time is limited (although Wendy does not believe so). A nice Sunday morning is an opportunity for me to relax and talk to friends a bit longer or maybe catch a higher band. Not so with contest weekends. You cannot insert a signal anywhere, nor have a hope of finding a friend. And, if your friend cannot work a WARC band, you are out of luck. They should limit contesting to a section of the band, or at least a "suggested" section. Just like ARRL or WARC bandmap, suggested operating frequencies. The bandmaps have a DX window, why not a "Contest" window. Just saying.

    1. Don,

      I totally agree the contesting should be limited to certain portion of the bands. There are no reason they could occupy all the bands in week ends when the band condition is on the plateau. And, there are too many contests. This morning, 2 or 3 hours earlier than the SS is over, there were very few statessides in the SS. I believe most contesters were taking 6 hours rest or even have finished contesting by that time. Most contesters are around 60 years of age or older, I think. It is the time for them to put together so many into a few rhroughout a year. It is not good for contesters to let those many go for themselves. IT is an inflation of contests.

      When I found the amp was not working, I wondered what and how to do for the time I had spent for radio. It was not bad to me! Maybe ham radio activity has been inflated too much for myself. Since the amp has worked again with its plug put into the socket, however, I would go on enjoying radio as before.


    2. Shin,
      I am not a contester either but I do like activity on the bands. Without activity, our ham bands will be taken away. Contests are excellent for trying out equipment, testing antennas, and improving operating skills. However, I do agree that there are just too many of them. They should be conducted during all of the year but not so many of them. Another negative is that contesting seems to perpetrate the short, rapid-fire QSO mentality and does DXpedition operating.

      But the good old days are gone! Moderation is the key. Turn the rig off and do something else. Here we have too many different pursuits, though. Still teaching college part-time, making wine, cooking more, and managing my retirement investments besides many home repair projects.
      73, Dennis W0JX

    3. Dennis,

      I wonder if such as contesting will guard amateur ham bands on HF. I am afraid they won't care for ham radio if the HF is of use for the market. Here in our countryside, I sometimes notice the bands are messed by noise apparently generated by D/A converter or something. In the city area, the situation must be even worse. I could not be optimistic for the future.

      The relationship between the contest activities and the so called rapid fire QSO style should be investigated. I feel the more the contests prevail, the more the operators are inclined to do that style QSO even in the usual setting. There should be an epidemiological study by such as quetionnaire done to clarify the relationship!

      Yes, ham radio is not the only thing in our lives. I started practising cello again. My wife has started flute as I posted in another article here. I hope to have an ensemble in the family in the future. Who knows when?