View Full Version : Bought vs Built
Thu 3rd Nov 2011, 19:49
Another Point to Ponder:
For me, "Ham Radio" means homebuilt on shortwave (HF). Buying a rig and an antenna is just... well, buying something and using it. And VHF seems little more than a replacement for a cellphone. And the digital modes, where your computer is talking to another computer over the air (just like the Internet but without the fibre...) in my mind is even farther away from the spirit of Ham Radio. I'm not saying buying a rig is BAD, just that in my mind it's not really "ham radio". Just a matter of perception, I think.
It's a bit like flyfishing: you can buy your flies, but most of us get MUCH more satisfaction from hooking one with a fly you tied yourself.
What do others think? What does "Ham Radio" mean to you? Does it involve building stuff? Did you build part or all of your rig?
Thu 3rd Nov 2011, 20:22
I'd like to build more than I do.
I'm quite happy with the soldering iron out, I enjoy melting solder but when it comes to designing stuff, I'm not really interested. I'm quite happy to assemble a kit and have done a few things this year, I've built some QRSS transmitters and I've got a nice shack clock.
I'm also partway through building an 80m transceiver kit and earlier this year I built myself a dummy load - You can read about that by clicking here (http://qso365.co.uk/2011/08/building-a-dummy-load/).
When it comes to the equipment I use on a daily basis, no. At the moment there's nothing in my shack that I've built which I use to talk to people.
I am looking forward to when I finally finish the 80m transceiver though because I reckon I'll get a kick out of using that on air.
Thu 3rd Nov 2011, 20:24
I have used home brew for years since 1970, even on VHF. But it is a big hobby and whatever floats your boat is fine with me. To be honest I don't think there are many hams these days that are capable of building their own rig, this is no reflection on them because I've been blessed with a career in electronics most of my working life and a lot of hams haven't, that's what makes the hobby so interesting it is the sear variety of people on the air, even now I'm in charge of a medical electronics department in a hospital, the problem I'm finding is the time to devote to projects like building rigs, that is part of the reason I've bought myself a K3 and used a screwdriver to put it together. If we all had to build our own rigs there would be less people coming into the hobby and less people to speak to.
By the way, I've never bought an HF antenna in my life, I can't see the benefit of buying a G5RV :eek:
I like using CW, I have SSB but don't often use it, I have PSK31 but don't use it, not interested, I have RTTY, but don't use it, again not interested. I'm still interested in the technicalities of those modes and understand how they work, but prefer not to use them, I rather use a mode that is 100 years old.
Thu 3rd Nov 2011, 20:29
G6NHU, where the hell did you get those Nixie tubes from? I haven't seen those for years. I had an old synthesiser that used them and the slowly went on the blink one after the other until I converted the synth to TTL and LED displays, now that was a fun project.
Thu 3rd Nov 2011, 20:36
I bought a kit from PV Electronics (http://www.pvelectronics.co.uk/index.php) which had the tubes with it - That one is the IN-8-2 kit. Since building that I've picked up another six IN-18 tubes which are double the size and will be building them into another clock in the next couple of weeks.
I love it, although I put it together a while ago (click here (http://qso365.co.uk/2011/09/building-a-nixie-clock/)), I still just sit in my shack and watch it from time to time.
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