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Radio SOCIETY
  Some new HAMS do not realize that there are two HAM communities. The second is made up of HAMS from all over the world, from about every country no matter the size.  A HAM using (international) morse code (CW) can make a contact (work) a ham in any country, without either knowing the others language, by using "Q" signals.  The fun of operating on the H.F. bands is unlike the VHF & UHF contacts which tend to be Q5, (arm chair copy, like you're in the same room.) Operating on the H.F. bands is a lot like fishing, it takes patience and calling CQ is like throwing out your bait.  What will you reel in? There is suspense, there are rewards, called "RARE DX," followed by awards for "WAS" Worked All States and Worked All States on one band etc., rewards for good diligent operating.

 Of course there are exceptions to every rule.  We are about to experience (about a year away) a slow rise in sunspot activity which follows a roughly 11 year cycle) which ends more quickly, but at its peak world wide communications with a minimum of power will be the rule instead of the exception.

  I could go into great detail about going after a weak signal and landing a QSL card, or making it through a pileup for a confirmed contact, or a sked (scheduled contact) with a cousin in California, a childhood chum in Chicago, or a brother in South Carolina.

  If this is a pretty much new to you, and you don't have a GOOD 1 to 30 Mhz receiver (with filters etc.,) talk one of your friends in BARS into letting you go over to their HAM shack, not once but several times and experience this as an observer.  You might want to upgrade and make it a participation sport for yourself.

Ron KA4INM ka4inm@qsl.net