Now that we have a “foundation” for this Amateur Radio / Radio Enthusiast web site, I would like to hear your comments about how I can improve this site and make it more useful for you so that you will check back often for information and also refer this site to your friends and to all new hams.
My initial purpose for this site is like Bob Heil describes in his “Ham Radio Handbook” – when a ham gets a new license or an upgrade, everyone expects him/her to have enough knowledge to know how to operate the equipment and get the most from it. We all know that this is not true. Passing the license exam is only the initial step. It is my belief that the real learning begins when the ham starts operating. Then all of the information they learned for the license exam might begin to make more sense. What bands? What modes? What do I say? How do I act? How does all of this connect together? Where does the power/SWR meter go in this daisy chain of station accessories? How come I can’t talk on this repeater, I programmed in the frequency I was told?
So based on this belief, this site has three purposes. First, to educate the new ham and offer helpful information that will allow them to “get on the air” and enjoy operating. Second, to continue to offer new information as your interest in amateur radio grows, introducing new topics and techniques and offering a library of helpful information through several carefully sorted pages of hyperlinks to other ham radio sites. And third, to introduce and explore other related uses of radio, such as scanners, shortwave listening, CB radio, FRS, GMRS and other services that might be of interest, as well as exploring other ways of using ham radio such as emergency communication, digital modes, contests, DX, satellites, slow scan TV, and others. Many hams, myself included, started as shortwave listeners or CB radio users, so I don’t want to lose track of these other radio users because they are completely valid radio hobbyists as well as the hams!
Also, a lot of new hams start with handi-talkies on local VHF/UHF repeaters, and I would like to encourage them to continue their license training, upgrade to General Class and then possibly to Extra, and hopefully have the opportunity to enjoy some long-range DX contacts on the shortwave bands using voice (phone) mode, maybe even learning CW, and maybe even checking out what the digital modes have to offer.
In other words, I want this site to be the best place for a beginner to start, and also versatile enough to hold your attention as you move up the license grades, gain experience, and require more technical and more complete information.
Now I will turn it back to you for your suggestions. Email me at email@example.com with your suggestions. I would also welcome links, articles, photos, news, events, and anything else you would like to contribute. This site is not for me, it is for you also, and for everyone else interested in the radio hobbies, so please use this site to your full advantage.
Finally, I hope you are a subscriber to CQ Amateur Radio Magazine and are enjoying my monthly column “CQ World Wide” as well as my occasional feature stories such as “4-Wheel It To The Field” in the June 2014 issue.
As I like to “sign off” my monthly column, “73 de AA6TS.”