CQ Amateur Radio

LEARNING CURVE

I confess. I am attracted to inexpensive workbench test gadgets, especially when a gadget proves to be useful and accurate. The operative word in the preceding sentence is “inexpensive.” I’m always looking for an innovative “good deal” in electronic test gear.

For many hams, the allure of DIY (do-it-yourself) is a vital element of amateur radio. If you attend any QRP (low power operating) gathering, for example, many conversations are centered on DIY electronics and radio. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) not only allows, but encourages amateurs to experiment and contribute to the radio art. There’s an immense sense of pride derived from successfully building a kit or repairing a radio. Test gear allows us to gather critical data while examining a circuit at the component level.

However, the skills of building and repairing your own gear are in danger of fading away in the broader amateur community due to modular technology, inexpensive radios,

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