Thursday, November 22, 2018

Impress your non-ham guests

If you're an American, no doubt you will have visitors today as we celebrate Thanksgiving. In my case - and probably yours too - most or all of those visitors will be non-hams.

As non-hams they will be curious about those wires in your trees or that big honkin' telescoping tower in your back yard. How can they not notice and appreciate the care with which you've installed that K9AY receive antenna for 160m.

Or - best of all - that on the ground Beverage antenna for the new 630-meter band. Let them walk the entire length of it, staring down at the ground at a piece of wire. They'll be dazzled! And they'll really appreciate the history lesson when you explain that the Beverage is named for a person - "it does not refer to a drink". "Ahh" they'll say, thoughtfully and with all the gravity such a moment requires.

Of course this will all serve as the appetizer, warming them up for the main event: a Tour of the Ham Shack 2018. This is where you'll really rock their world as they wait 1m50s for a WSPR cycle to complete, then take turns hitting F5 on the keyboard to refresh the page to see where your signal has been heard.

If you've done your job correctly, they'll be referring to it as their signal.

More realistically, as they suppress their yawns, you'll have a second option.

Remember: non-hams think that we communicate and have actual conversations with faraway people who have vastly different cultures and wear weird clothes or loincloths.

I suggest that you make that happen. Be a good host and give your guests what they want and expect. Something to talk about. Impress the bejesus out of them so they'll return in 2019 with their own ham ticket and a 2m HT strapped to their belt.

For a mere $100 donation to the AE5X Fund for the Advancement of Radio Titillation (AFART), you can arrange an SSB sked with me. I'll speak in a funny accent "from far, far away" as a collection of MP3 sound files play in the background, mimicking the sounds of exotic birds and other animals native to my land.

Or maybe some music punctuated with bongo drums (whatever they are) will suggest my unimaginably distant location.

In addition to my accented English, I'll go the extra mile kilometer by screwing up the grammar and adding foreign words from "my language" throughout our conversation.

You guests will walk away totally awed by this fascinating hobby of ours. Your dinner table conversation will then revolve around other similar topics as your guests ponder the merits of JT65 vs. JT9, mobile QRN suppression techniques or how best to improves one's code speed.

I look forward to your donation. Happy Thanksgiving & 73!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving John! Hope you get a lot of donations\skeds. : )



    1. Thanks Tim - yep, the requests are just rolling in ;-)

    2. No, but I do accept contacts in CQWW - looking forward to working you this weekend, Franki. Have we covered all the HF bands yet?!

  2. I'll be SB40 this weekend. I took a break from SOAB in CQ WW after 2014.
    We have 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 checked.
    I do plan to be back on 160 late December. I have no idea when 10m is planning to be back.
    I'm usually quite active on 30 (my favorite band) but not recently.

    Have fun this weekend. Hope our signals cross. 73!

  3. This is the funnest ham related thing I've read in a while! 73 W7RLF