Getting old and ham radio……….

Keeping it simple
I'm only 54 years old but over the past few years it's either my age or the growing of the hobby both technically and gadget wise that has given me some senior moments!! I really can't blame just the hobby as I have had times when heading to the car to only stop and wondering where is was I was heading too and for what! I'm comforted from online reading that says this is from having lots on the go and nothing to do with loosing your memory.  How does this relate to ham radio you say...........The rigs I have are the Elecraft K3 and KX3 both are menu driven as are many other rigs on the market are. I find myself going to the user manual or as I call it sometimes the "useless manual" to relearn a function that was just used the week before. I have had my ego get the best of me at times and refused to hit the books as I "knew" how to do this silly function command!! After going through several unknown menu's and not knowing how I got there, what I have done to the rig and better yet how to get the hell out! Oh and don't get me started on passwords that a whole other blog post!
3x5 life savers
For those of you who have the same memory melt downs at times as I do here are some helps that I use. In high school and University the good old 3x5 cards helped me learn (notice I said learn and not memorize very big difference) and pass many a test. The 3x5 helped me in the past and is doing so today, I write down step by step instructions for anything ham related items so I can refer to the card and not the Advil bottle. I cover over the card with clear tape so it will last for some time and the only thing I have to do is keep the cards in a place I can remember.....but maybe there is a card for that...:)). Just today I wanted to charge an external battery for my KX3 as I was going to do some hamming this weekend. I pulled out the battery and for the life of me I could not remember the setup to charge this darn battery. Thanks to a fellow blogger Larry W2LJ who has the same battery set me on the right path with an email. Now the instructions (simple as they may be) are taped on the side of the battery. 
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “Getting old and ham radio……….”

  • John K0EBC:

    Mike, After you reach 60 the memory problems go away. I no longer remember forgetting.

    73 and Happy New Year.

    John, K0EBC

  • Bill K7BRR:

    I have to chuckle right after I defeated a pesky problem this afternoon this blog came in the email.
    I spent most of the day trying to upload firmware in my new Hardrock 50 connected to my KX3.
    Well even though I built the blame thing does that mean I have to remeber stuff about it?
    I finally figured out the db-9 on the back was not where the FTDI plugs in.
    Alos decided I did noy need a FTDI. The USB-B on the back was where you plug in and use the internal USB convertor for which I had downloaded the driver for earlier. I finally let this stew in my brain until it all came together.
    Well after doing correctly it all came together. Whew John at 68 you still remember bits and pieces If Jim Veatch and Curtis Pope only knew the people they were dealing with. I wonder if Wayne has hair? Eric has pulled some of his. Isn’t life grand when compared to the alternative. 73’s

  • Ned W8VFM:

    Hi Mike: Thanks for the good words on “getting old and ham radio”. I have enjoyed the hobby for 59 years now. I have been active, to some degree, each one of those 59 years. I still enjoy cw mode the best and have built a K2, K1 and several radio kits in the past 10 years. I find writing down notes, to remember things to do helpful; but the eyesight is the real problem as I mature! (75 now) I still love 40 meters best and it was the band I used most when I was a Novice. I have witnessed many changes in the hobby and find them challenging. I remember the days of AM vs SSB (called “Donald duck by the AM boys). We must all remember that there is “nothing so permanent as change”; so, we adapt and enjoy.

    73 and Happy New Year.

    Ned/W8VFM

  • Fred AE2DX:

    I was going to write something but I forgot.

  • Chuck KB8YIT:

    We all suffer from CRS, some days are worse than others.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening John, well it’s good to know this will all just become a fuzzy memory….:)))
    Have a good week John and thanks for stopping by
    Mike
    VE3WDM

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    HI Bill, good to hear that all worked out but I am sure both you and I will have many more stories to come in the near future.
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Ned congratulations on the 59 years in ham radio I hope to achieve the same as well. I will say you must have seen some big changes from AM to SSB to digi and then all the computer “stuff” that is going on in the hobby. Thanks for the encouraging words regarding adapting…….
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    I’m very sorry AE2DX if just read your comment but forgot is your name…….is it Fred?? Oh dear it’s happening again.
    MIke

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Chuck it’s good to know I’m not alone!
    Mike.

  • Steve G0PQB:

    I try and label everything with my Brother P1000 label machine especially leads which can be difficult to remember where they go if you dismantle the setup for any reason. It’s not cheating to do this- it is essential.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Top of the evening Steve, I do have a brother and try to label most if not all connections at the back of the two rigs. I have found in the past that you can disconnect things and then re-connect and some how things get mixed up. But yes the brother is a great unit to have and can save lots of headaches.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    Have a nice week.
    Mike

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