Recently a dear radio friend had passed away and myself and a few other hams were asked by his wife to help with removing and cleaning up years of radio gear, parts, books, keys etc etc. This is never an easy experience. Lots of memories, years of QSO’s all over the walls and I start to think about when that day comes when someone else is cleaning out my shack. I feel I am probably more of a minimalist than most of my peers but then again I am 42 and I hope I have few more cycles left in me to possible collect more “junk”.
I have access to more towers, big stacks and QRO than probably anyone else on the planet. There is clearly a luxury to having access to these resources and most would think why would you need anything else, especially smaller? When we were cleaning out my SK friends shack, buried in a drawer was a little portable radio with a key attached to it. As I pull this thing out of the drawer, move all the papers, dust the paperclips off, a plucky little Elecraft KX1 appears. My first thought was, ” O, isn’t that cute” and I really didn’t think much more about it. Then the wife says ” O wow! I remember that, we used to take this when we travelled all over the world”. At that point something kinda struck me to have a personal appreciation for the little tyke. I have since then decided to give this little gem a overhaul. I sent to the ham with the best reputation for repairing/building Elecraft gear, Don Wilhelm W3FPR. A quick email to Don and a very appreciative quick reply, I had the KX1 packed and shipped. About a week later I had the radio back with a very detailed report on the what work was performed and how the radio spec’d out.
Say what you want about this hobby but the magic of radio never dies. I felt exactly like I did 28 years ago at age 13 turning on my Drake TR4C for the first time living in Maine. Firing up the power button on the KX1 to a simple 40m OCF literally 1 meter off the ground which I just threw up outside my office window was a thrill. I loved it.
I have experienced “waves” in this hobby, there have been high points and low. And every few years or so there is some new mode, technology or DXpedition that rekindles that magic of radio spark. For me this little QRP KX1 has done just that.
What has re-sparked your interest in the hobby?