It's been a couple of weeks since I have my ham radio station licence lapsed. I have been wondering if I should renew it or not for the past months. I made up my mind not to renew it sevral weeks before its expiration.
Ham radio has been an essential part of my life since I started it in 1963. Except for during '70s when I was a med student and, later, a resident, it has always occupied a large part in my mind. I have known a lot of good friends through it and have had exciting time together with them. Why have I decided to quit it?
The most important reason is that ham radio, especially my having beloved mode of communication, that is, CW, has undergone drastic change for the past one or two decades from my point of view. I have been interested in ragchewing on CW as you may know. I used to enjoy every aspect of CW, from contesting to ragchewing. As I get older, my interest has been focused in "tell me your story" type QSOs. I believe CW as a communication mode gives us a pleasure when expectation of the message sent to me turns out successful. It is comparable to the pleasure in music which we feel rewarded in the same expectation. Unfortunately, year by year, such operators have been decreasing in number. CW has become a mode for quick and instataneous QSOs. Every evening, taking a glass of beer, it was a habit for me to call CQ on 40m expecting such a "tell me your story" type QSO, which was quite common back in '80s through '90s. Lately, I found myself turning off the switch oftener in despair.
I should add that most CW QSOs have become two way monologue these days. I won't humiliate any person at all but believe I have often become one of those two way monologue operators. This may reflect aging in the CW operator population. i have enjoyed any long story from friends if I knew them well. But it was, I should admit, a torture for me to be forced to listen to stories from anyone whom I have not known well. This might be a subtle but prevailing issue among CW operators.
Maybe, ham radio has undergone a drastic change which I could not catch up with. It has made me inclined to quit this hobby. For the few winter months this year, I have been quite active on the bands to ascertain whether my decision to quit ham radio was right for me or not. I have concluded my decision was right and was not due to a temporary mood.
The other reason for quitting radio was the mess in licencing system in our country. I won't repeat it here. This is an event typical for such dysfunction or corruption in administration widely observed in various aspects in our country. It is inactivating our society in bad manner, I am afraid. If you should be interested in such a problem, pay a look to this previous post in this blog.
Later, I heard the administration office has postponed or withdrew that ridiculous regularion. It has not changed my mind. When I heard of this concession story for the bureaucrats and the related organization/manufacturers, I have firmly made up my mind not to be involbed in this system any more.
I have been active in the garden outdoor in the daytime and in the evening, I occupy the kitchen preparing dinner while taking a glass of beer as usual. Not much difference and change in my life since I quit radio. But a few days ago, I have had a strange dream. It was that I had talked to an operator in a club station unknown to me, possibly certain school station. Funny enough, it was on 40m phone. Just like when I started radio with a tiny set up of 6AQ5 transmitter with a 5 tube receiver and a low dipole fed with ladder line. It might be only a recollection of such old days or still could be a desire to come back in subconsciousness. I don't know. If the licence system is deregulated to the level of most other countries or I sure would like to come back to it, I might set up a smaller set up and return to this hobby again. So I would say it is only an intermission even though I don't know when it will be finished.
I have hesitated to post about my decision to friends. It might be an unpleasant and even upsetting news to some of them. But, in belief that I should inform you expressing my gratitude for your friendship with me for decades, I have finally made it. We might get in touch with through this internet, which has replaced our hobby away, or by traditional post mail. Time still goes on. We should get ready for the end of our lives.
Of course, I would carry on activities in this blog or in Facebook. Any news from you will be appreciated there.