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Surfin': My World Is a Radio

01/22/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin' views the world through radio-colored glasses.

How do you look at the world?

I have been involved in radio nearly five decades: more than 40 years as a ham and a half dozen or so years as a shortwave listener and AM radio DXer before ham. I have been so active for so long that I look at the world through radio-colored glasses. You probably do, too.

For example, if a radio appears in a scene of a movie or television show I am viewing, I always check to see if the radio is a ham radio. I'm sure my wife watching the same movie or TV show does not check to see if the radio is an ICOM, Kenwood or Yaesu, but with my radio-colored glasses on, I do.

Heaven forbid that the radio is one I actually own. If that is the case, I stop paying attention to the plot and anxiously await the next appearance of "my" radio! For example, my Kenwood TS-520 showed up in the 1976 adventure film Sky Riders and I missed some key events in the story. More recently, my Yaesu FT-1802 appeared in Get Smart and distracted me from Agent 99 for a few minutes.

I notice the same thing with my computers. For example, Carrie's laptop in Sex and the City and Liz's laptop in 30 Rock are "mine." I guess my glasses are Apple-colored, too!

Getting back to radio, you can divide the topography of my town into three levels, more or less. The south end of town is relatively flat, the mid-section is hilly and the north section is hillier!

The antenna for the police and fire department communication system was on a hill in the midsection of town (in the shadow of the higher hills to the north). With my radio glasses firmly planted on my nose, it was no surprise to me that the police and firemen found radio communications in the north end of town a little spotty.

When the town considered correcting the problem, I wrote a letter to the mayor suggesting that maybe an antenna in the north end of town might improve things. I don't know if the town paid me any heed, but the new communications system that went in last year includes an antenna in the north end and spotty police and fire radio communications are a thing of the past.

So, wearing radio-colored glasses can be annoying (like when I elbow my wife during a movie to point out "my" radio), but at times, those glasses can also be useful.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, desperately needs a new eyeglass prescription, radio-colored or otherwise. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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