A few years ago I started looking for some radio software that provided all of the facilities that I wanted and that had a user friendly interface when I stumbled on Ham Radio Deluxe.
In those early day Simon Brown and Peter Halpin (Now SK) had just started the development and over the years the program has changed dramatically and now includes the following features.
Full rig control - Supports most radios Logbook DX Cluster Built in web browsers Winkeyer support Rotator Support Most of the data modes including SSTV, PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Throb etc Satellite tracking with Doppler tracking and AZ/EL rotator control Plus many other features to numerous to mention
HRD is in my opinion the best Ham software available today and it is completely free, although some of its 50,000 users do donate via PayPal to help Simon defray his costs.
During my first 30 plus years as a SWL followed by over 28 years as a licensed amateur I like to believe that I have changed and adjusted to the many new developments and challenges presented by this great hobby.
As an example, I no longer build my projects using an alloy chassis and valve bases nor do I keep a paper log having moved with the times to transistors, IC?s and computers etc. all of which are great improvements and enhance my enjoyment of this hobby.
However of late there are many changes that I find hard to accept particularly in the area of operating practices, for example:
I fail to understand why operators find it necessary to tune up on air. Have they not heard of analysers etc for monitoring the VSWR while matching to their aerial? and why not use a dummy load for tuning the PA or linear? Neither of these cause live transmissions and interference to other operators.
Some of the vocabulary (or lack of it) that is creeping into QSO's beggars? belief and some of it is bordering on gibberish e.g.:
“The personal is” - I understand this translates to “My name is”!
“The rig, personal or location would be....” - I wonder why it ‘would be’ is it an imaginary rig/name/QTH?
For as long as I can remember the order of call / hand over has been ‘Your call’ de ‘My call’ why now is it being changed to:
‘My call’ sending it right back to ‘You call’ or something similarly stupid? Whilst on this subject what is wrong with the long established ‘Over’?
These are just a few examples of what I, and I am sure many others, consider to be the current declining operating standards in our hobby.
Perhaps this decline is caused by most new amateur’s relatively short introduction to being a radio operator without the proper foundations? In the past these foundations were laid by a much longer association with the air waves and experienced radio operators before being allowed on the bands.
With due respect to Bob Dylan's original protest song I don't consider that operating practices are "a-changing" for the better. Perhaps experienced amateurs should correct these bad practices whenever they hear them on the air but one wonders what reaction this would solicit from the offending parties?
Terry - G4POP
The result of the general dumbing down of standards.
Born in the East End of London in 1940 my interest in radio communications was kindled by my science master at school, Jim Turner G3AYZ, and for many years I was a short wave listener and built a lot of my own equipment from war surplus parts.
My other lifetime interests have been, motorcycle and car racing, flying RC models and sailing with excursions into fly fishing and SCUBA diving
My wife and I travel fairly extensively having been around the world several times and we travel all over Europe in our motor home (RV)