12/13/09 - Another year draws to a close

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kg7hq Sun, 12/13/2009 - 15:49

As with many years, this has had goodness and sadness combined.

We are wrapping up 2009 in amateur radio with some memories of this year. We have seen a year in which innovation in digital technologies has sparked the interest for many in the hobby. D-Star had seen it's first contest with the emergence of D-Rats. after the APRS Summer Conference, there was a renewed effort in using open sourced WRT within common every day routers that support APRS and now even sound modem operations. Who would of imagined something like this 10 years ago?

WSJT and WSPR modes have sparked an interest locally as it has opened the door for low power digital operations. Along with this I'm reading the local reflectors on the interest on high speed packet radio as a low cost alternative to the D-Star technologies.
The Radio Amateurs of Skagit County along with Skagit County's ARES/RACES have expanded their operating portfolios to include NVIS HF on the 80 and 40 meter bands. They also have bucked the trend and have had the club membership strengthen during the last 12 months.

On the sad side, We had lost a well respected operator, Bob Donnell (KD7NM). We also have seen the over all population of amateur radio operators slowly decline as other technologies capture the attentions of many. I have witnessed local clubs and organizations fragment as personalities over shadow the true meaning behind amateur radio.

As for myself, this year found me travelling abroad. I had met great people through amateur radio as I travel for my employer and on my individual vacations. In that, I see a collective hope for our hobby as it feels good to be welcomed into a strange community openly solely based on my license.

The year 2010 has many surprises in store for all of us. No matter what they bring forth, I'm hoping that each and everyone has an enjoyable and healthy new year. Cherish those around us and reflect upon the meaning of family, friends and of course our hobby, "Amateur radio".

Have a safe Holiday Season, healthy prosperous New Year and Great DX!

Michael - KG7HQ