The HomeBrew Spectrum


Date: Mon Feb 14 1994 - 13:50:52 EST

   Rather than attempt to define what HomeBrew means, I am submitting this
spectrum of operator involvement with respect to equipment used for amateur

 | 1. op buys rig and knows how to operate it
 | 2. op buys rig, learns how to operate/modify/repair it
 | 3. op buys turn-key kit, builds and operates it
 | 4. op buys turn-key kit, builds/modifies/repairs it
 | 5. op builds project from article, procures parts manually
 | 6. op designs/builds project from previous designs, procures parts, etc.
 | 7. op designs/builds project which utilizes new technology, procures
          parts, etc.

I am suggesting that as one starts at the top of the spectrum and proceeds
down, that a greater level of knowledge and pride in equipment and
abilities is attained. I will also go so far as to say that the learning
curve is less linear and more exponential as one proceeds down the
spectrum. I am not suggesting that a person needs to follow this progres-
sion; we all have limits to our abilities, and not everyone wants to spend
all their spare time doing ham radio activities. Thus not everyone will
end up designing equipment which breaks new ground. As an anology, I ran
a marathon in 4 hours and change, and believe me, I might as well have won
the NYC marathon for the feeling of accomplishment that I felt. I had
challenged myself and won. Yes, the "winners" of the race had long since
gone home and gotten a shower, but that didn't dilute my accomplishment.
I think those who have built equipment toward the bottom of the above
spectrum will attest, it is within the abilities of many amateurs to get
more involved with the entire building process. But like marathon
running, having two legs is not enough, you have to be motivated. I
think that the fun of getting more involved is what drives the amateurs
at the bottom of the spectrum to try and coax (i.e. feed them a line!)
those at the top of the spectrum.

73 All.
Gary N2JGU

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