Retirement and Ham Radio

Last Monday, January 4th, 2016 marked my last official day as an employee. I am now retired. I made the decision a year ago, so I've had some time to get ready for the transition. I had a very demanding job and life was a very tight schedule. Now I get to decide when I get up in the morning.

Basically my last day in the office was mid-December, so I've had a nice taste of freedom from employment already. My schedule, or lack thereof, is starting to gel although I'm sure I will go through numerous "phases", I think the pattern is set. So below are  few things that I've already experienced on how retirement will effect my ham radio pursuits.


  • I've had time actually read the owner's manual for my radios.
  • I've learned to set-up and use the frequency/band memory functions available on the K3
  • I now understand more of the menu options for the radio
  • I can now operate my HT.
  • I'm reading books about antennas
  • Contacts can actually last longer than 10 seconds
    • I love CW and have found that rag-chewing is a very enjoyable aspect of ham radio. I have met some very interesting people and I've started to make a lot of new friends since I've taken time to just call CQ and not append DX to it
    • I joined the local 2 meter weak signal group and I actually check in to their weekly net.. When I'm home I monitor 144.200 on SSB/CW. VHF/UHF can provide a lot of excitement for a DX minded ham. The DX isn't as far, but it's just as satisfying. 
  • Cleaned out my shack
    • I've acquired a lot of new equipment over the years, but I haven't gotten rid of much. There are many avenues to sell gear, EBay, QRZ.com, eHam, etc.... Now that I'm retired I will have a more modest ham radio budget and getting rid of the old stuff provides a little cash for even more toys.
  • Build the kits I've purchased
    • I haven't finished this yet, but I've started
  • Consider more expeditions
    • I love SOTA and can now plan extended SOTA activation trips with no time lines.
    • I've activated 10+ IOTA islands and can now consider planning more trips.
    What I have come to learn is that Monday is just as good a day as Saturday and weekend crowds are to be avoided. There are no crowds on Tuesdays.

    I'm sure I'll write more as I get settled into this new lifestyle.


    Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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