Specialization Is for Insects

(…with apologies to Robert A. Heinlein… )

A radio amateur should be able to talk on the radio, provide emergency communications, cut a dipole and throw it up in a tree, send and receive Morse code, advance the radio art, change a vacuum tube, act as net control, build a power supply, build a fire, perform CPR, operate a kilobuck rig, operate a $10 rig, configure a soundcard on a computer to run PSK, bounce signals off a satellite, fire up an ad hoc repeater, use low power, fire up a linear amplifier, put out a fire, tune an antenna tuner, solder, go bowling with the family, fix an RFI problem, cook breakfast on a camp stove at Field Day, radio direction find, respond to a mayday call, describe what impedance is, send pictures using slow scan, use a straight key, use a search engine, appreciate simplicity, understand complexity, QRS, start up a generator, explain what a transistor does, disassemble a rotator, change a diaper, call CQ, call home, drill a hole in the wall, climb a tower (or direct someone how to do it safely), sit with a child on the radio, be prepared, make a Morse code paddle out of a ruler, speak well, read instructions, figure it out without instructions, write the instructions, instruct, use a spreadsheet, use a slide rule, use a tape measure, read a resistor color code, score a contest, use a cell phone, know what the rules are, use duct tape, install a connector, make balanced feedline, send an email over the air, set up a tent, install a stealth antenna, install a huge antenna, scrounge for parts from an old TV set, wire a microphone, lay ground radials, mow the lawn (and not tear up the radials), be secretary at a ham club, act alone, join, grow old and not grow bitter, look towards the future, read and understand, use the mode switch, donate time, be diplomatic, understand propagation, ask for help, research, balance a bank account, balance work and family and amateur radio, ask questions, question authority, install a filter, be an authority, take orders, do digital, go analog, use a voltmeter, be tolerant, be patient, ragchew, calculate, estimate, attenuate, modulate, resuscitate, pontificate, emulate, stand up, stand down, assist, theorize, prioritize, organize, design, dream, reminisce, direct, follow, think, do, talk, hear, listen.
Specialization is for insects.

6 thoughts on “Specialization Is for Insects

    1. Jack of all electronics master of none. Doing everything, satisfied with nothing. Working with everyone knowing no one. Searching for everything, not able to find anything.

  1. So true. I might add, that surrounding yourself with like minded friends and marrying a woman that “gets it” makes life so much better. When I think about the diverse skill set of my “group” I’m stunned at the range of skills.

    Have a great 2015 (yes, it’s getting close)

    Chuck – WB8CEE

  2. And now it’s 2016
    I’m 76 and still enjoying Ham Radio. I have a wife who finds my hobby great (and she knows where I am). Propagation is awful and I find almost all new logbook entries are in CW. Additionally as Robert Heinlein would agree, I can still handle a large caliber pistol pretty well.

  3. My gut sort of lurched at the large number of things! But, I’m only 25, so I have no excuse to not start learning. I’m still working on learning -∙-∙ ∙–. In the event of a disaster, like an earthquake, my region is likely to lose power for a long time. Expectations are that it may take up to two years to restore power. So, most of those old school skills will come in very handy for me.

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