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Any other Amateur radio operators?

Couldn't find an exact forum for this topic. Hope I'm not out-of-place.

Because it came up, off topic, in another thread, I thought I would ask if there are any other hams on B&B. I'm KI4WKT and the name is Lyle.
For me, MrBurns, it's about the ability to communicate without any intervening provider. I don't need a cell provider, and Internet provider or a telco. I don't even need the power conpany. All I need is a radio, a battery, an antenna and anyone else with a similar setup. I can call for help in my local connunity or I can shoot the breeze with someone in Mongolia.

Just like shaving, everyone gets into amateur radio for different reasons. Some, like me, feel bulletproof communications are important. Some get intl it because they like building their own equipment. Some like assisting with disaster mitigation and relief. And some like to experiment. We even have a very promising cancer treatment that was discovered/invented by a ham. Just look up the John Kanzius Cancer Research. He was K3TUP, passing away in Feb 2009 from cancer but not before starting this very promising research.
I used to be KA2GRI, Advanced Class, but I let my license expire around 1998.

I had HF and 2M gear. I used the 2M for rag-chewing, and the HF mostly for 40m CW. But no matter what the band or mode of operation, I listened far more than I transmitted.
AB9VN here. I run a tube only station, Swan 350 and Amp Supply LK-500Z with a beam for 10,15, and 20, and an inverted V for 40 meters. I mainly chase DX, but occasionally play in some HF contests.
Same stuff as usual. Amateur radio may be the only communication mode that the NSA doesn't monitor!
I used to work at a Ham Radio / computer store that was right down the road from NSA headquarters. We would often have customers come in and buy high-end, general-coverage receivers, and whip out a huge wad of cash to pay for them. We'd ask them if they were from NSA, but they'd carefully avoid giving anything that might be a Yes or No answer. But c'mon, who else would be buying a $1,500 receiver for cash every 2 or 3 weeks?
who else would be buying a $1,500 receiver for cash every 2 or 3 weeks?

To me it's the law of diminishing returns. $1500 for a receiver is nothing compared to paying technicians 24/7 to sit and listen to hams talk about the weather and their latest antenna project. I bet that in this day and age, these guys are focusing all their efforts on cell phones.

Also, if you're a terrorist or spy organization, HF communications comes with certain problems: antenna farms are difficult to hide and it takes a fair amount of training to create a competent radio operator.
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