The Amateur Radio Lifestyle
Looking for some vintage radio equipment on eBay, reading one of the descriptions, the seller included the reason for selling a collection of radios – “My father passed away and I am selling his collection of radios. I do not want to be part of the ham radio lifestyle.”
Ham radio has been traditionally defined as a “Hobby” and as a “Service”. This non-Ham described his father’s relationship with Ham Radio as a “Lifestyle”. That’s an interesting perspective on Amateur Radio.
What’s a life-style?
life·style also life-style or life style
A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group: “It was a millionaire’s lifestyle on the pocketbook of a hairdresser” (People).
Usage Note: When lifestyle became popular a generation ago, a number of critics objected to it as voguish and superficial, perhaps because it appeared to elevate habits of consumption, dress, and recreation to categories in a system of social classification. Nonetheless, the word has proved durable and useful, if only because such categories do in fact figure importantly in the schemes that Americans commonly invoke when explaining social values and behavior…
“habits of consumption”, “habits of dress”, “habits of recreation” – linked to social classification. Interesting.
For some folks their “hobby” does define their life. In groups and organizations some do find significance, recognition, and meaning for their life where, perhaps, other avenues may not be possible or available to them. Maybe this is what the eBay seller was referring to when he described his father’s relation to the Amateur Radio hobby as a “life-style”. Habits of consumption, dress, and recreation.
“Life-style” in Action
So, what does this look like?
Burt Fisher (K1OIK) is a retired high school teacher and long time Amateur Radio operator. Burt regularly makes videos related to Amateur Radio including hamfests; hamfests are a sort of flea market for radio equipment – and all sorts of things. And maybe, hamfests can provide a view of Life-style demonstrated.
Take a look at Burt Fisher’s video of NearFEST 2010. Of note is the interview with WBCQ radio. This is a 50,000 Watt broadcast radio station on which you (literally anyone) can buy airtime. Fifteen (15) minutes of air time costs about $30. “The more you buy, the more you save.” An hour of air time on this shortwave broadcast station ia about $60. WBCQ radio can be heard on 9.330, 5.110, 15.420, and 7.415 MHz.
Check out NearFEST 2010
Part I of Burt Fisher’s NearFEST 2010 video – http://www.youtube.com/user/burt2481#p/a/u/2/lWvT7TO60c8
Selected links from the WBCQ web site
Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio
Lumpy Gravy Radio Show
New England Amateur Radio Festival
QSO Radio Show
TennesseeBill’s OTR Library
This Week In Amateur Radio
WBCQ Audio Archives
‘ON THE AIR’ 1937 – How Radio Works – http://www.youtube.com/user/burt2481#p/a/f/0/6VHtZr_xsT8