To The Editor
I read your editorial, "Ham Radio Is Alive And Well" with interest in the October issue. When I saw the previous reader feedback I didn't respond, though I suppose I should have as I knew something was amiss. But, because of your "correction" I must pipe up. Much ado over the years has been made for amateur (ham) radio's involvement in emergency communications as well as "hobby radio," and for the right reasons. However, what bothers me is the lack of articles written about the gains made in the engineering world directly or indirectly because of ham radio. Many RF engineers are also ham radio operators. It would be interesting to know how many subscribers to your publication actually owe their career to ham radio. I developed a love for ham radio, and the technology behind it, as a teenager in the early 1970s, first licensed at the age of 15. And it is that love and fascination of ham radio, the curiosity of how it all works, that prodded me on to engineering school and a great career since. From my interactions with other colleagues I know I'm not the only one out there. May I suggest that your fine publication sponsor a "fact-finding" mini research project to see how many of us there really are out there?
Tim Russell (WA7TOF) Staff Principal Engineer
We appreciate your thoughtful comments and your points about the role that ham radio plays in this industry are well made and valid. Most of us in this industry share an intense love for electronics, and often with side interests, such as operating and/or building ham radios or repairing or "upgrading" computers. Ham radio is and has been an important starting point for people to become engineers and it will not be neglected or forgotten for its importance to this industry in this magazine. Your suggestion of a factfinding research project is intriguing and likely of interest to our readers. It may also be in keeping with next year being this magazine's 50th year of operation. I will consider your request for a studywhich might fit nicely in a November 2011 issue we have planned to celebrate Microwaves & RF's 50 years of service to the industry. J
ack Browne, Technical Director