It is that time of year when we tend to think about changes. Christmas is a time for family and it can make you realise just what has changed in your lives. We see children that have grown up, miss folks who have moved away or passed on. We see new wrinkles and grey hairs either on ourselves or our relatives. It is a time for reflection. The New Year follows shortly on its heels and is more of a time of friends and looking forward. It is a time for making plans and change. Some of us may make resolutions, but how many of us looking back achieve those goals we set ourselves?
I would like to set you all a challenge. It is not a competition, although if you want I can design a certificate for you to print out, but a personal challenge in the hobby of amateur radio. What I would like you to do is pick ten of the items from my list of things you might not do otherwise and try to complete those ten challenges by the end of the 2011. Some are a bigger challenge than others.
1. Try to learn Morse code
2. Try to teach someone Morse code
3. If you mainly use CW then using the HF band of your choice call CQ at least once a month on SSB
4. If you mainly use SSB but know the code then using the HF band of your choice call CQ at least once a month on CW
5. If you only work HF call CQ at least once a month on VHF/UHF (repeaters allowed)
6. If you only work FM call CQ at least once a month on HF SSB or CW
7. Make at least 12 contacts during the year on 6 metres
8. Make at least 12 contacts during the year on 10 metres
9. Try to have at least one real conversation on HF each month
10. Join your local club and attend at least 25% of their meetings
11. Offer your services as a committee member to a radio club or related organisation.
12. Give points away in three VHF or above contests (at least 10 contacts per contest)
13. Enter a VHF or above contest and submit a score
14. Give points away in three HF contests (at least 10 contacts per contest)
15. Enter a HF contest and submit a score
16. Set up a satellite station
17. Build a kit
18. Finish that project you started
19. Build an antenna using a design on the Internet or from a book
20. Give a lecture at your local radio club on a subject you are passionate about
21. Persuade your XYL to take her licence
22. Persuade your children to take their licence
23. Set up an APRS gateway or repeater
24. Help out at a special event or JOTA station
25. Do a Summits on the Air or Wainwright’s activation
26. Operate portable from a beach
27. Write a letter to a ham magazine and have it published
28. Write an article for a ham publication
29. Operate QRP make at least 12 contacts on HF using 5 watts or less
30. Help a newbie by loaning or giving them spare kit or helping install antennas.
The purpose of the challenge is to try and make the hobby more interesting for everyone and by moving out of your comfort zone you will be giving something back and you may find you enjoy doing something different and make new friends.