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Nostalgia - Not SOTA

In this day of instant communications, it’s nice to look back to memories of another age and a reminder of how communication technology has developed. Somehow there was a magic about communicating across the world back then. Today most take it all for granted and the magic has gone with the instant gratification of Whatsapp or Facetime wherever we are in the world.
Will it ever match the feeling of those receiving that magical telegram from folks far away overseas, on your Birthday :smile:



…and decades later we SOTA operators get that little bit of magic when, with limited power and basic antennas, we cross continents.


Far as am concerned there still is a magic in what we do, even with instant communications so boring. Love being a Ionospheric jockey sailing the conditions as they happen at at the mercy of the conditions is the magic Even today some things still happen and not explainable as yet but wicked when it does happen and your part of that event that not happens to often.

And and MW0WML says even with the crudest of antennas thrown up as we do and small power still bridge those continents and the magic of portable outside the safety zone of you shack to seek another area to TX from.

End of day its called the big GRIN factor.


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Yes, there is still magic in the air, or I wouldn’t still be logging contacts after more than fifty years, but I still fondly remember remember hearing my first ham operator on my kit-built one valve TRF receiver, and feel nostalgia for the weird green glow of the “magic eye” tuning indicator on the ex Lancaster bomber R1155B receiver that I graduated to!


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Ah nostalgia, it’s not what it used to be!

Seeing this and hearing a piece of music (I had it on a tape) made me realise that it is now 32 years since I last loaded up a tape on a real-to-real tape recorder. (Revox B77 and Otari MX-5050). It’s intriguing thinking about how things which were common place, everyday actions get left behind. I’ve had a CD player in my cars since 1998. I have no recollection of playing a cassette tape since moving to Scotland 15.5 years back. Everyday activities yesterday, except it’s a bit more than yesterday!

One of saddest things I observe in people around age and younger is the complete lack of appreciation for how precious communication is. This is exactly because of the inventions of the cell phone and the internet.

They could never imagine trying to pull a weak station out of the noise actually feeling the distance of the contact. It all just meaningless to many now.

Marvelous hobby it really is !


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I disagree.

When passing walkers ask me “how far will you get on that?” and I say “USA”, they are both surprised and impressed. In fact they are both surprised and impressed when I say “Russia”.


Yes, I’ve had similar experiences, but I think it is because the gear obviously isn’t a phone. Few people even realise that a phone is a sophisticated walky-talky working by radio waves - they talk, somebody talks back, job done with no thought for how it’s done. It’s just a phone. We are different because we have to work for our communications so we don’t take anything for granted!


Bit like this Brian?Greetings from cold wet cloudy grey Cumbria (Occupied Territory of Lancashire)
Hope the picture works

I’m having difficulty turning the knobs… :smile:

All good stuff!


Oh, it works for me, all right, as I strike out for the shore of an ocean of nostalgia!

…I had a TCS3, too!


When I was first licenced as G8FHU the only way I could operate on 2m was using a fixed xtal freq from my Pye Ranger (my xtal was 145.471MHz). Then using a Heathkit RA-1 receiver and a Garex Communication 2n converter with an IF of 28-30MHz. I would call “CQ G8FHU tuning low to high” (or vice versa) then tune up the 2m band until I found someone else calling me on their xtal freq. If that failed to raise a response you would turn the beam a few degrees and try again. I had a fairly empty log!!

I am sure Brian (ADD) will remember those great days on 2m in the 70’s.

And you tell the kids today and they don’t believe you!!!


Very nice clip. Another good one is on You Tube called “Radio Hams” at this link:

At least the part of the CW I copied was accurate with the film notepad. The nostalgia is great. Not a super fast CW op, but really enjoy it. Only a couple of summits caught in CW from the shack so far, and still haven’t activated a summit with CW (yet). Like the old radios, and remember using an old Hallicrafters S-120 as a youngster to copy BBC,Deutsch Welle, and all the other big names. Also hearing hams on AM and the new SSB. Spent lots of time copying WWV and figuring out those “strange” propagation reports and trying to get an address to send a report in. Had a lot of fun with the radio back then, but didn’t know how “bad” it was till I read some eham.net reviews. Still had many fun winter nights with it as the tubes lit up the wall and ceiling.

Thanks for the post, brought back a lot of memories.

Mike, N4VBV

That is how it was on 70cms in the 60’s, too, I couldn’t operate on 2m until it was given to the G8’s in 1968. My crystal was on 432.200 until I edged it down a few kHz to avoid others with the same crystal. You got to know everybody else’s frequencies so you knew where the best chances of a reply were! I downgraded to an Eddystone 840A so that I could tune the band more rapidly, that gave me problems with images tuning 28-30, a converter tuning 4-6 was unuseable due to BC breakthrough. Great days, indeed, but you had to move on and find more great days or get jaded!


Yes, it presents the same degree of challenge as talking through a repeater, really.

73 de G3NYY

My problems were with the next door neighbour’s TV. It took a lot of head scratching for the GPO man to work out that it was the local oscillator in my HRO-MX that was the problem, not my transmitter. The second harmonic wiped out the Band 1 BBC television signal, cured by fitting the local oscillator with a harmonic trap. Later I “upgraded” to a Yaesu FR100B.

73, Gerald G4OIG

It’s obvious you have not used any of the D-Star or DMR repeaters then. The old analog method of hit PTT, whistle or grunt for a bit, release PTT check for some Morse, repeat, gain access, waffle about nonsense till the timeout kills you etc. well those days are long gone!

Hmm. In over 50 years of ham radio I have used a repeater once, to help a mobile who was lost!


I wonder if you had a complete set of coil packs for it Gerald ?

Hens teeth nowadays.


tnx to G4RQJ for the picture of his R1155.
Didn’t activate mine since decades.

73, cu on SOTA de Mike, dj5av