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.
I'm very sorry to hear this Shin, but understand your reasoning. I'll keep in touch on Face Book...73, BillReplyDelete
Thanks, Bill. The Begali paddle, your gift, is and will be still on the table. See you on line or by mail.Delete
So sorry to hear of this decision Shin. Our rag chew QSOs have always been a great pleasure to me and will be sorely missed.ReplyDelete
Shin, let me add that in the late 80’s I became overwhelmed with our horses/pony club activities and my work/travel to the point where I quit FOC and sold my Ham Radio gear. Several years later I was still very busy, but began hearing Morse in my head at odd times, especially in the shower thinking there were signals in the noise! An epiphany soon followed: CW was part of who I was and would always be, so with that I returned to the hobby.Delete
Hi John, it is not an epiphany but an illusion like symptom! If you could see Chiaki, you may consult to her! So far, no illusion in my case. Life is going on without Morse Code. But in case I secretly come back on it, I will let you know. Stay well with Betsy and that big dog, I can't remember her name...Keep in touch with me on line.Delete
You can count on it Shin! The dog is Tarly, 80 pounds of fun!Delete
Well old friend, I now know the reason why I've not received a reply from you to my 2 emails asking, "have you made a decision." At the moment, I'm left speechless and can only tell you the Morse Code world has lost one of its best by JA1NUT going QRT. You and I will always stay in contact, but email will never be like all of our many enjoyable QSOs over the many years. Maurie has been asking me if you replied to my emails, and I'll now forward your most recent blog to him. I won't say sayonara to you because I won't stop trying to convince you to return to the airwaves....ReplyDelete
Rod, I am sorry I haven't replied to you. I wanted to announce this in my blog before that. I am sorry if my decision has hurted you. But the memory of the good old days we have shared since '80s won't be extinguished. I will keep in touch with you. Say hi to Maurie and Celia. Take care. You have been and will have been one of the elmers for me.Delete
I am without words and quite sad about your decision, for myself of course, but more because of the reasons that led you to it. The fraternity of radiotelegraph operators and relationships they developed with each other is of a dying era, but one I am clinging to at least for now. We will keep in touch.ReplyDelete
My dear Shin-san, I, too, am without words about your decision. Your big signal has been a beacon on the bands and I will miss hearing you. Our QSOs have been rather infrequent, I admit, but I always have a smile when I see JA1NUT spotted on RBN. May I suggest that you renew your license so you do not have to go through all the steps to get it back. You can just leave the radio off for a time, but if you are like me, then it won't be long before the old ham radio bug starts to call. For now, vy 161!ReplyDelete
Pete, thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I will consider that later. It seems you have become even stronger and healthier these days. I am always glad to read your posts. Take care. Best wishes to Bobbie.Delete
My dear Shin-san,ReplyDelete
This is a shock, but not something I don't understand. I too have had some of the feelings you mention, but I just didn't see the solution you have found as the answer for me. Since moving here to Portland (for family reasons) it has been extremely difficult for me to operate from this new QTH with any effectiveness. Covid didn't help! How I will miss our chats, as I have for these last couple of years following my move. For 30 or more years I have known I could always rely on a wonderful visit with my friend Shin! Shin, I do respect your decision, but I just don't agree with it. I think as we grow older these thoughts plague us. Do as Pete suggested and renew your license. You don't have to use it until you again feel the urge. I, for one, am not going to assume this urge will not return to you someday. I hope it is soon dear friend!
Dave, your signal with a simple vertical dipole, was it it?, always sounded great. It was as if there had always been a spetial path between us. I understand it has been frustrating to you that you could not enjoy radio so freely as before there. Yes, I might maintain this call to avoid other FT8ers to take it over, maybe. Give my best regards to your wife.Delete
So sorry to learn of your decision. I will miss the warm rag-chew QSOs that we had over the years.ReplyDelete
Stay well and all the Best Shin-san
Thanks, Hans. Since your OH2BDP days, right? Too sad bands open to OH too few times. Take care.Delete
Hi Shin, I am sorry to hear that you will be leaving us. It has been my pleasure to know you Sir, and to have shared many great QSO's together since 1996. May you find satisfaction and greatness in the future. Best wishes and thank you for your friendship.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Bill. Enjoy with your company. One reason why I got bored might be that I am located in the Eastern Asia where bands won't open to NA or Eu for too long. Anyway, I am spending everyday in good shape. We might meet again if the situation allows it. 1990s is really far away for now...Delete
Good day, Shin San.ReplyDelete
I understand your feelings and move. It does remind me of my earliest mentor, Harmon (Dale), W4QM, when he dropped out, a total shock. He was one of three that taught me ham radio, the electronics and code, to this dumb 13 year old kid. I, also, spent my time with 5NN TU QSOs, but now miss a just plain old rag chew. Relegated to an antenna handicapped apartment, I do hope to get another mobile setup going. Like Harmon,you will be missed and there will be hopes of your return to the hobby and inspire new blood to follow. With the loss of CW requirements in licensing, I felt a death blow to our hobby and CW. But, I am seeing an increase in CW activity these days and I pray that us Old Timers will lead to more CW activity, especially beyond the 5NN TU MAM type of QSOs. Even when on a DXpedition, Harmon & I would sneak in a few words about old times. I am still trying to emulate Harmon & other top ops.
Here to your eventual return to rncourage others again as you have in the past, Shin.
161, Joe, K8JP/K5
Joe, Dale was a really great operator. I used to talk to him as VQ9QM. I hope you could set up a good mobile station. Who knows I might join you in the future. Stay safe and well.Delete
Great, my dear friend. As I understand it, your JA operator's license is for life, I know many will and have expressed they will miss the chats with you over the air. I hope these new operators over here in the USA will get past their CW jitters and learn to chat more. I think back when I started as dumb kid at 13, nothing scared me. These days as some get into our hobby at a more mature age, they worry too much about their image, thus do not allow themselves to make mistakes. I have later learned from my mistakes, well learned from most of them. Hi Hi. Many look for your return after your holiday from the hobby. I know from my mobile, I hope I will not get so excited to have an accident. 8^) I still have two sons to get grown up, 18 & 14, so I hope to even yet get one interested in the hobby. You & your family stay well in these trying times. 161, Joe, K8JP/K5Delete
Shin, I know you've been dissatisfied with the hobby for quite awhile and I totally understand your perspective...Having a good CW ragchew has become an increasingly rare occurrence...While I do my share of contesting, the rapid 5NN TU contacts outside of contests doesn't come close to filling that void...In the 90's I took a 10 year hiatus from our hobby to pursue another one, sports car racing...With that out of my system, it was time to I retire and move out here...I'm glad I kept my license intact and I suggest you do the same...A hobby is something we do in our precious free time, on our terms...My hope is that given time, you'll choose to rejoin us on the air...Until then, Mahalo for our many QSOs...Vy 161 & Aloha, Lloyd, KH6LC. .ReplyDelete
Hi Lloyd, thanks for your comment. I know you are enjoying every aspect of ham radio. That is why I respect you. I might come back on the air if not too soon. Take care and stay safe with Memo or Meme?Delete
One of the masters of Morse conversations. I remember with great pleasure our frequent contacts from N1EA and N1EA/MM as i sailed the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. 161ReplyDelete
David, thanks for your comment. Sorry I haven't replied to your mails. Keep in touch in the internet. It's been years since I last heard N1EA. Take care.Delete
Shin-San, K5OT sent me this link. I am very much shocked and saddened and think that in some way I have contributed to your frustration. Previously we were regulars on 7026 at around 12z (7 am here) but with Diana’s stroke and now her dementia it is nearly impossible for me to get away to the station then. I have managed a few contacts with you but not regularly. Please do not let ur license lapse! I know with ur cello and reading and cooking expertise and with ur lovely MD wife who is retiring soon you have a good life ahead of you but for many of us it is sad news not to have the Nutty Cellist on the air!ReplyDelete
No, Jim, it's been a great pleasure for me to yak with you. The licence is already expired. But it is possible for me to maintain this nut call. It is not the end. We might meet somehow in the future. Take care of yourself and Diana. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I decided to reply here as well as on FB to say how sad this makes me feel. I always enjoyed our CW chats, even though the early days were when I was mostly mobile headed to work in our hospital as you were getting home from work. I could almost count on your signal cutting through the QRN associated with the various small towns along my 16 mile drive in the mornings on 40 meters. Then after i retired, it was always great hearing your CQ on 20 meters in my evening time just as you were starting your day. I do wish you and Chiaki all the best in the coming days and hope you'll return to the hobby some day. It has truly been my pleasure to listen to your musical CW and only wish I could've heard your cello music as well.
73/161 my dear friend.
Stan, thanks for your kind comment. Yes, it has been a real pleasure for me to listen to you/M on the way to office. Now you have retired and I retired from radio! Life still goes on. I would get in touch with you from time to time. Have pleasant retirement days with Linda.Delete
You will be missed on 40 m CW ! Hope not for ever ! 161 Rag LA5HE .ReplyDelete
Wow, another old call! It's been years since I heard you last. It has been a fond memory to hear you from LA. Take care and stay active.Delete
Petr, is it your translation or AI? Thanks for your kind words. Maybe, in sometime when the situation here is improved and I feel I would come back. Stay well, Petr.Delete
Fantastic, Petr. You are doing very well with it. You might still be pretty young and would achieve much in your study. Keep it up.Delete
Shin, I've never been much of a ragchewer but it has always been nice to hear your excellent CW and to be able to say hello. It was a real pleasure meeting you in person at the FOC gathering in Seattle some years ago. I'm mostly a contester and DXer and appreciate all the times you gave me a contest QSO even though not a serious participant yourself. You will be missed on the air. I hope at some point I hope you will return. 161 - Marv N5AWReplyDelete
Marv, thanks for your kind comment. It was a great honor to see you in person in Bellevue. I remember coming across with you in the elevator. I always admire you still being indulged in contesting which may require you much preparation for the antenna etc. Yes, some day, we might meet again. Then I won't mistake you for Bob N6AW as I often did with you in contests.Delete
Shin, I'm sad you left ham radio. I agree with you about today's CW and perhaps I will do the same in future....I wish you all the best my friend. 161 Fabio IK0IXIReplyDelete
No, Fabio. You are still a young brilliant star in the CW world. Keep it up. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Shin--- Surely going to miss our 40 CW rag chews with your big signal and and keeping up with things . Also will miss the wise advice you have shared with me on many things. I understand completely your position - Ham radio has been a large part of my life for 72 years now and a great CW rag chew on 40M has been and always will be my number one priority. I share your feelings about how things have changed in Ham radio and I guess its also just a sign of the times in the world. I am still hanging in there but there are many days I just do not turn the rig on any more . Adding to that is at my age so many of my old qso friends are now SK and some very recent that I have worked for years. Take care -may your garden grow well !!ReplyDelete
161 Hank K7HP
Hank, yes, a lot of old guys who got on around our sunset on 40m have gone SK. W7CB, K9JJW and so forth. A lot are not heard any more as well. You have recovered from that fracture miraculously and may carry on enjoying radio there. Also play organ. Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing. Thanks for all the nice chats at your midnight.Delete
Shin, I understand and share your views. I am 61 now and our first QSO took place when I was a teenager. Thank you for those many chats over the years.ReplyDelete
John AE5X (ex KA5BBL)
John, thank you for the nice comment. A vague memory of AE5X. I will look it up in my PC log later. You have a long way to go in ham radio. Advocate it to the next generation. Thanks, again.Delete
I'll write off-line - but in public I must say: these comments are rather like the words we write when a friend passes unexpectedly - which has happened all too frequently as of late - and we respond with an outpouring of empathy and shared loss. By choosing to depart, you allow us to give you instead, a small farewell gift - our appreciation.
This life - your ham radio life, has passed - to be shed like a chrysalis from which another you emerges; with warm memories to fuel your journey.
See you on the other side Shin :-) You will forever be JA1NUT.
73 and 161 Chris NW6V
You are making the point. I just wanted to quit without any clamour. I am sorry if I have given you or the others emotional stress. I have enjoyed those morning yakking with you. Let's keep in touch on line. Complete your writing and let me be an honorable first reader then. Take care and spend peaceful life with your Judy.
Shin ex JA1NUT hi I may keep this call sign with very small set up later
Hi Shin. I enjoyed our conversations and will miss hearing you on the air. I hope we get to chat now and then by some other means. Of course, if you are not having fun there is no reason to be there. I hope you enjoy some nature, gardening, music and your family!ReplyDelete
I have also enjoyed our QSOs. How is your son doing? I hope he is making good career as an MD. So far, I will be on this blog as well as in facebook. See you on line. Take care.
I am sad to hear that you will not be on the air, at least for the time being. One of my best memories of operating was a series of rag chews with you while I was working out in Oregon. With the bands improving, I had hoped I might work you from my home station in Kansas. We share many interests, both in vocation and avocation. I am still working as a pediatrician, and working toward rekindling my previous love of music and brushing up my skills since I am a former professional horn player and spent nearly 20 years as a symphony musician. I will look forward to the day when the love of CW brings you back to HF.
Chas - NK8O
I looked up the PC log for any record of QSO with you. It seems we have had 3 QSOs so far as this log says. In the very 1st ever, you used to run 5 W into a balcony vertical!! Eight years ago. The solar cycle favored us much those days. You must be around69 years of age. It is great you are still working as a pediatrician. For the past 3 or 4 years since I quit working, I sometimes would like to come back to work for sick children. But nowadays, I am totally a chef and a farmer. No regret now. Drop a line in this blog when you have time. I appreciate it very much. For example, what works or composers are you fond of etc. I haven't listened to full orchestra staff these days. One of the exception is Mahler 9th. The 4th movement makes me almost intoxicated. Other than that, I have been carefully following the story and music of Bach's St. Matthews Passion. So see you on line, my colleague!
Rich W2VU in an editorial in CQ Magazine described "Personal Sunspot Cycles." I used his concept to get me through many different kinds of cycles in my life. They have been personal, family, professional, and avocational cycles. As long as I saw they were a phase and not a trial that was to last to the end of my life, I was (and am) OK. I started CW at the age of 11, got my code speed up to 40WPM when I was 12, and in the next year totally let go of the hobby to join the Catholic priest seminary! How many ups and downs occurred after that before ham radio started poking itself into my life again. Once ham radio is in one's blood, it never comes out. Similar to how malaria used to be: once you got it, you died with it somewhere hiding in your blood! As far as I'm concerned, Shin, you will never be gone, even if I never hear your fist again. Thanks for being a part of my life. (Note, I'm not saying goodbye) Take care and 73 - Andy W9NJYReplyDelete
Thank you, Andy. I was pleased to have found you in the photo of PJ2T crew this year. You seemed to be vivid and happy. Yes, when "malaria" gets activated in the blood, I may return to ham radio. Not at present. One good news is that our authority is deregulating the licence system soon. It may help me to incline getting a ticket again with the same call sign. Anyway, keep me informed what piece you are practising with piano. I am looking forward to talking about music sometime in the future.Delete