Sunday afternoon & still wondering


Date: Sun May 21 2000 - 17:47:59 EDT


Officially Dayton's been over for a while. Maybe an hour or two. At any
rate, I ain't got no fone calls so I figger I didn't win nawthin. Just as
well, probably. Like I need more stuff. It was a tough call, though.

I didn't go to the final day. Cindy wanted me to go to the antique fleas
with her. It's probably better I did. If I'd found the guy with the WRR2
receiver, I would have spent money that I could spend on something else.
And had a 100 lb box of grey Navy, 60's vintage electrons to carry back
to the car, from the car to the house & up the steps without being
noticed. Maybe I'll do it next year. If I find one. &c.

I was thinking about some stuff while working on the mods I learned about
while working with the Elecraft gang how much this entire QRP thing has
become very much like the contest between web publication &
pay-by-the-page publication. I mean, look at it:

I get three QRP mags four times a year. That & CQ Magazine (the US one;
not the Japanese one). A lot of what goes into those pages is either
stuff what's been discussed and developed on this list & others, or it's
stuff that we've read on the list or on a web site. And there ain't no
problem with that. I mean, we dream up stuff, try it out & make it work.
If we hand it out on the net or web, people with access to those means
read about whatever we've done & try it themselves. The learning/creation
curve thing.

But for them what ain't got the web or net, print on paper is the only
way to get the news. So here's these three magazines.

So a bunch of us have NorCal 40s or Sierras or the same rigs from
Wilderness Radio/QRP Bob. We have 'em on the air & have a good time with
'em. But the design has only paid off for us what's got 'em. They were
net published, refined & put out to the public. Kinda like writing stuff
for the web. You don't get paid but you get the satisfaction of knowing
that your stuff (writing, radios, whatever) is appreciated & put to use.

Now there's also a lot of people make their living off this
interconnection between us QRP loonies what's on the web or net & them
what ain't. Dan's SP&Ks gets orders from people who sent for the paper
catalog. Or from folks who got 'em off the web. S&S Engineering sells
stuff both ways, more now on the web than before. In fact, they were more
noticeable back when at the Hamvention as two people with some neat kits
to sell. Paid by the page for what they had done. Same with OHR or
MorsExpress or whoever else. And meanwhile, there's crazy Wayne putting
more radio ideas together & having fun watching his stuff get snapped up
& slobbered together.

Here I am writing all this stuff and some of you appreciate it & others
have a special delete key with my name on it. Cool stuff. I have a
readership. Wayne has a radioship. Whatever.

So what's the deal? Well, look at it this way: There are folks who
entered the big leagues (selling radios to make some edge of a living)
from up front & do/did well. There are others who have come to be known
for their design savvy and who have probably made nary more than the
column inch for what they've done. Wayne probably hasn't gotten a lot of
extra spending mox off of the NC40a or the Sierra. But now, now it's like
deciding to send your stuff to New Yorker and getting published. Setting
up Elecraft, dreaming up the radio, getting it going. Having people like
me send money before it's even out to the field testers. Kinda like that.

>From the private press to the major publishing houses. My private press
poem book or getting published by the Latin American Review (which ain't
happened & probably won't, unless I get lucky or am as savvy with poetry
as Wayne is with the K2 or Dick & Kathy are with the ARK30 &c).

So Hamvention's over for another year. I got a lot out of it, as usual,
again. Met a lot of wonderful folks. Had a grand time not spending too
much money. Got a reprint book (History, Theory & Practice of the
Electric Telegraph, by Geo. B. Prescott, originally published in 1866 by
Ticknor & Fields [can you imagine this book, all set by hand in that
marvelous face upon which Monotype Modern 8A was modelled].) Picked it up
from the big book store place in the main arena right in the middle there
you know what I mean.

Recharged. Yeah, that's the word. Sure we are all tired for the serious
effort that we put into this. The late hours. The early mornings. The
coffee. The beer. The 7 millionth time that the customer wants to know
about the shipping date. The grumbly old guys who want to con you out of
the very last dime. Me. Yeah, lots of me's. Even a few mini-me's.

It was great. If you never have gone to Dayton, you must. It is the hajj.
You must make the hajj at least once in this life. You'll get recharged.
And you'll get some time to wonder about this hobby that, if nothing
else, is the ultimate in a pasttime based on technical skill & arcane
knowledge that most folks never even think about when they go channel
surfing. We know how the pyramids work. The rest of the world sees it as
magic, property of a priesthood. And for us, it's a hobby.

See ya next year?

Nils R. Bull Young -- El Gringo Errante -- La Estancia de los Guajolotes
Sonrientes -- W8IJN --
"In MY day we had to FIGHT to have signatures! Every DAY was a STRUGGLE!"
                                  -- Comrade Nikolai Sergeievich
McTovarishov, 19 Oct 1917

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