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With so many members already participating in ham radio, and the proliferation of software and other internet based applications to amateur radio, it just makes sense to have a forum here to discuss, explore, and introduce the hobby to others.
I guess it's fair to say you could pick up your cellphone and somehow find a number for someone in Belarus that you never heard of, call him and start talking about whatever pops into your mind. I guess you could also expect him to figure you for an escapee from some rubber-room, and just hang up.
But with ham radio, you can explore the bands, choosing a frequency that is enjoying good activity, hear someone talking, make a contact with him via your radio, and have the pleasure of a friendly, informative conversation with him! You can communicate from your home or behind the wheel of your car, even on a cruise ship. You can take radio wherever you go!
During disasters like the devastating Hurricane Wilma, when regular communications channels completely fail, hams can swing into action assisting emergency communications efforts and working with public service agencies. Hey, you can even talk to astronauts in the space shuttle do what's called "moon bounce". You can use telegraphy, voice, digital modes, or television images in communication with other hams.
A very interesting aspect to the ham radio hobby is the spirit of cooperation among those involved. It is not unusual for someone to approach another group of hams at a club or "hamfest" and seek assistance, maybe with getting an antenna installed or something similar, and what results is an "antenna rasing" where they all show up to help, even though they may not have met before. This sort of attitude has been a hallmark of amateur radio since its beginnings.
There are some who think that because there is so much digital technology available now, ham radio is all but dead. But hams have embraced the new technology and there are many modes of communication that incorporate your computer to communicate with the world via amateur radio. This hobby will never die, and you can be part of it!
1) If you are offering equipment for sale, you must include a picture of the equipment offered with your callsign. 'shopped pictures, or digital overlays of your callsign will not be accepted. You must have your callsign *in* the picture. (sharpie on a folded piece of paper sitting atop the equipment, for instance, is perfectly fine).
If identification is not included with the for-sale offering, it will be removed. (Sorry.. Its the internet, too many scams out there..)
2) You must include an email. (If you wish to be contacted through your QRZ account, just indicate so. Thats also fine)
3) As soon as the equipment is sold, please indicate so in the thread.
WTB (Want To Buy) threads:
All I ask, is keep your WTB traffic to a single thread. Start a thread with your list, then edit your original post as / if you acquire each item. If the site tells you its too old to edit, please "Hey Mod" your post, and one of us will be along to unlock it for you. (or IM the mods shown at the top of the page in the Ham radio forum)
Generally, the Amateur radio group is pretty great at self-moderating, and keeping things on the level, so the rules here are fairly tolerant. Yet, as this develops, we may make changes.
73 to all.