I just noticed it's been more than three months since I last posted to this blog. That's a verrrry long time! Had I lost interest and drifted away from ham radio? No, not at all. I have been spending at least an hour or more a day on ham related activities, much of it reading and planning my way forward with radio. This has been very helpful to me. Some paths forward are becoming more clearly defined in my mind.
This may result in some changes in this blog. It may evolve into more of a notebook where I keep track of my progress on these paths forward that are coming into focus. I'll start by describing some radio activities that have become habits for me.
For many months I've been reading the classified ads on QTH.com. This has been an important resource for me for many years. When I needed a new tool or accessary for my station I would search used items to buy from other hams. I have very rarely bought brand new rigs from a ham radio store. I like buying used because I save money. For a very long time the only brand new rig I bought was my Icom 751 which I bought after moving into our newly purchased home in Little Hancock Park in Los Angeles in the early 80's. We had a detached garage at the back of the property which had a room above the car storage part of the building. It became my first dedicated ham shack, so I decided the space deserved to have a shiny new top of the line HF rig. I spent a long time researching new rigs and it came down to a choice between an Icom 751 and a Yaesu 102. The owner of Jun's Electronics in LA strongly advised me to buy the Icom radio instead of the Yaesu. I can't recall what convinced me he had it right, but I was very happy with the purchase for many years.
In the past year or two, my use of the classified ads has changed. I used to read through the listings in a category that interested me, such as Radios-Antique or Radios-HF; going back several weeks of listings. But now I read just the new listings for the day from beginning to end, regardless of category. When I find something that interests me, I read the reviews about that product on eHam.net. I like to find great products with high user ratings. I learn a lot about the options that are available and the pros and cons of each product. I frequently go down rabbit holes learning all about a particular radio or antenna. Sometimes I decide it is not for me. Other times I go ahead and save the item to consider for later or even go ahead and email the seller about buying the item.
My plan is to upgrade my stations by buying great products, while also using the classified ads to sell off equipment that I no longer need or want. For years I have been accumulating gear and pretty much never selling any of my stuff. I'd like to start reducing the size of my collection, freeing up some cash and reducing the amount of capital I have tied up in all this wonderful technology.