Wednesday, February 17, 2021

We need modern a radio we hack hack.

I got into the hobby in the 90's. And to this day I still love the Motorola Maxtrac (and its variants; M120, GM300, etc). I can typically find these things for about $40. I always buy the ones everyone else passes up. 

Not the right VHF bandspilt? No problem hack the MDF file and change the bandsplits in hex. 

Doesn't have that 16 pin accessory port on the back for the COR? No problem, tack a transistor to the audio amp enable line, and route that signal out the front on an un-used mic jack pin. 

A radio that all I can do is talk on, like this stupid Baofeng stuff really doesn't do anything for me. And I suspect it's not really doing anything for the hobby. 

Ham radio leaders need to focus on attracting the right kind of people to the hobby. People who will pay it forward and contribute back to the technical phases of the hobby. Without that we have what we have now, boring people excited (briefly) to talk on a Fisher Price walkie-talkie. 

 The ARRL Introduced the "Fifth Pillar" at Dayton Hamvention 2008. 
 "ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, announced that the League will expand its identity program to include greater emphasis on technology. Harrison explained that "Ham radio operators, and particularly ARRL members, closely identify with current and emerging radio technology. Today, we are naming 'technology' as ARRL's new fifth pillar." 

While I hoped this meant a greater emphasis on the ARRL Technology Task Force or Future Systems Committee, the only thing I really observed was the We Do That Radio website that was launched. 

Perhaps a Digital Voice working group should be formed to address things like; 
Talking to manufactures about open firmware. 
Approach DVSI about purchasing a copy of the spec for the D-Star AMBE 
TR-9 handheld etc? 

The question is does the ARRL want to be a leader or are they content bringing in a bunch of bottom feeders and effectively being one themselves?