Ham Radio endures in a World of Tweets

Somehow it makes little sense that amateur "ham" radio continues to thrive in the age of Twitter, Facebook and iPhones. Yet the century-old communications technology -- which demands such commitment that you must generally pass an exam to receive a licence -- currently attracts around 350,000 practitioners in Europe, and a further 700,000 in the United States, some 60 per cent more than 30 years ago. What is it about a simple microphone, a transmitter-receiver and the seductive freedom of the open radio spectrum that's turned a low-tech anachronism into an enduring and deeply engaging global hobby?

For a start, there is that thrill in establishing a magical person-to-person long-distance radio conversation that no commodified internet communication can compete with. In a world of taken-for-granted torrents of emails, instant messages and Skype video-chats, there is a purity and a richness in the shared experience of exchanging "73s" during a live "QSO" with strangers on another continent. Why, the very "ham slang" that defines the community -- 73 translating as "best regards", and QSOs as two-way conversations -- tells practitioners that they belong to a special, mutually curious and highly courteous club. And the fact that DXers -- long-distance amateur operators -- take the trouble to acknowledge received transmissions and conversations by sending their new contacts custom-designed postcards through the analogue postal service.......

Ham Radio survives

A New British Yagi Antenna Company

On 1st March 2011, Justin Johnson, G0KSC launches InnovAntennas Limited to fill a niche in the global antenna market; high-quality design and construction in one package.

Justin has become well known globally for his LFA (Loop Fed Array) Yagi and the marked impact it has had upon specialist areas such as EME (Earth Moon Earth) communication. He also introduced the OWL (Optimised Wideband Array) Yagi to the world with its combination of high-performance and wide bandwidth to the ham community last year.

Like the many other manufacturers that have already adopted the G0KSC designs (under license), InnovAntennas will produce a wide range of these antennas in addition to the unreleased OP-DES (Opposing Phase Driven Element System) Yagi which has been specifically designed to cover individual HF bands in their entirety without the need for an ATU or antenna matching device which can badly effect the efficiency and performance of Yagi antennas.

Read more on Innovantennas

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