As a radio ham regular civilians sometimes say to me “You get the REAL news.” I usually squint my eyes and nod knowingly. Of course more and more I’m finding myself in QSO’s where I get in line to send my call sign, hear the response “AB9NZ 5NN TU” and the send back “5NN TNX dit dit”. On it’s face this seems rather unsatisfying, that is until you consider what went into that exchange of signal reports. Seasoned operators, masters of the telegraphic code, travel to the farthest reaches of the globe, endure great expense, hardships, and even danger and occassionally loss of life, just to activate radio stations for our pleasure. At my end there was a little work too, building a station, learning the protocols, and actually achieving a small semblance of Morse proficiency.
I can’t think of another hobby where eternal signals are created, where one can witness the speed of light, and where a fella can feel the sheer joy of actually dabbling in the supernatural. To me, a quick handshake from some remote outpost, traveling through thousands of miles of aether, is a pleasure and privilige that just shouldn’t be denied.