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It takes all types to make a ham community (was RE: DSP Modems)

> "We don't just need new people: we need new techies."
> The Hams need everyone!

Well said!  The only prerequisite is an interest in ham radio!  Even the
communicator types have their purpose, they are the "consumer" who will
probably use the satellites (or whatever else the ham community conjures up)
most, and will be in a position to offer feedback based on countless hours
of "end user" experience (hams are supposed to have a degree of technical
knowledge, even if they're not skilled in design or construction - i.e. we
all did pass our exams!).

Those "operator types" are also the ones who will be the most visible to the
authorities montioring the use of our bands.  More of them makes our bands
look better utilised on a spectrum analyser in a Government department (FCC,
ACA, RA, <name your spectrum menegement authority here>).

However, those of us with some vision or idea need to "sell" it to the
operators.  If digital voice or L/S looks like the way of the future, then
it's up to us to make people _want_ to use these modes, use them ourselves,
tell everyone of the successes and play Elmer to them to get them up and
running.  Ans also, DEMONSTRATE!!!  I've got a number of people started on
satellites, after having conducted presentations and demonstrations at a few
radio clubs.  A few people were surprised at how easy satellite operation
can be for the newcomer.  Some of these people will probably progress on
from their FM beginnings to bigger and better things.
> Just because someone does not know all there is to know about 
> everything does not mean
> they cannot contribute overall. My fileds of expertise do not 
> include programming.
> However, when I went to college after the Vietnam War, I knew 
> more than the kids that
> were in class about just about everything including Calculus.

I work better at the "systems" level.  I'm not a coder or a hardware guru,
but I tend to take various subsystems and make them work together (probably
goes with the territory, I'm a network administrator :) ).  I would have
been a good programmer, but made a conscious decision not to carry on with
it, as I couldn't see myself lasting long in the field (i.e. it clashed with
my temprament).  I also have a basic understanding of DSP, having studied it
at university, and written basic DSP code as part of that study (got as far
as writing an adaptive notch filter and a low frequency tone decoder).
Rather rusty on it now, but could get back into it, given time and the right

> Laura, you are being too hard on the "newbies"!

Can anyone say Elmer?  Sure, DSP is a specialised branch of science, and not
everyone's going to be a DSP guru.  But some newcomers _will_ take to it,
with some self study and guidance from an experienced person.

> Yes, AMSAT and Ham Radio in general could use some tech 
> types, but others can ask
> questions and maybe spur on developement in an area.

Ham radio also needs sales people and promotors!  One area we've been
traditionally very poor in, and now it's showing.

<facing a crowd of people in the town square...>

"How many people have heard of ham radio"?  (a few hands here and there pop

"How many people know what ham radio is all about"?  "Isn't that like CB"?
"Old men with strange contraptions and Morse keys"?  "I thought it died out
years ago"  (don't laugh, I have actually had a member of the public say
"Didn't know you guys were still around", at a public display! :( ).

> How about volunteering to give talks at your local schools 
> about HR and getting some
> interest going.

That's one area I haven't yet considered, but it's definitely not out of the

> 64! It takes all people in HR to make up the community.


> Are you a teacher? Then teach!

I intend to do that.  I'm already playing Elmer to a couple of prospective
hams who are studying for their ticket.  I also will have a training
qualification soon, and I intend to keep those skills fresh with hams and
prospective hams as the participants. :-)
> What ever level that you feel that you can handle, step up to 
> the plate and take a swing!

Yes, the worst that can happen is you'll miss the mark.  But that already
happens when we do nothing, the pitch goes through, and a strike is recorded
because no one had a go!

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