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YN2SX Nicaragua flag Nicaragua

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Hi, This is N2BA and I'll be operating YN2SX in the 2016 CQWW CW contest and a few days afterward.


What is Ham Radio?

Ham radio justifies its existence as a service. In 1972 during the Nicaraguan Earthquake my friend Walt and I manned our college radio station (WA2NPP) for 11 days in a row. Because we had free tie-lines to NYC and Washington and a booming signal we were the major hub for emergency communications on the East Coast and we even delivered a message to the White House. It was an amazing experience to be of service in such a time.

What should Ham Radio be when it is not being of service?

I think the answer is, "It should be fun." For me, contesting and dxing are the most fun parts of my hobby. In fact, I believe that contesting will be the key to attracting young blood into our hobby. I've written about this in a series of articles for the National Contest Journal called Game Design for Contesters.

You can find all four articles here: https://brookeallen.com/2010/05/05/game-design-for-amateur-radio-contesters/

What is ham radio to my wife (and other non-hams)?

My wife got her Technician license when were first dating in the 1980's. We took a trip to Montserrat and she was granted full phone privileges. She got on 20 M SSB and generated an enormous pile-up. So she said, "I want to practice French" and because she still had about 10 people calling she said, "OK, Let's try Swedish."

She operated for a few hours and got to practice her language skills while having some great conversations on all manner of things. However, she was upset because people kept interrupting asking for a "quick signal report." I don't think it made sense to her.... what do people care whether she in in Montserrat or not, shouldn't they care about her? That was the first and last time she has ever been on the air.

Ham Widow's Escort Service - an idea whose time has come?

Although she doesn't operate, my wife has been very tolerant of my hobby. I've operated from >30 countries and even took a rig on our honeymoon. But I began to wonder, "What would Ham Widows really like to be doing while their husbands are on the radio?" This led to...

Check it out at HamWidows.org

EXISTNTIAL QUESTION: Should I be allowed to have fun in ways you don't like?

I love pile-ups. Don't you? When I'm the cause of a pile-up it makes me feel popular, and when I crack a pileup it makes me feel powerful.

In the CQWW it will probably be easy to generate a pile-up since I'll probably be a needed multiplier, but Nicaragua isn't all that rare, so when my host (Octavio, YN2N) asked me what call I wanted I asked for YN2SEX. Why? Well, it's a sexy call, don't you think. QRZ.com says there are 59 calls with "SEX" in them; wouldn't it be great to get the 60th.

Sadly, it turns out YN2SEX had already been inssued so he got me YN2SX, which isn't nearly as sexy. So I decided to promote YN2SX as another silly "special event station" - this time commemorating the 1,200,000,000th anniversary of the invention of sex (plus/minus a few hundred million years). Isn't it amazing that the universe has been around for 14 billion years, the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and sex has been around  for 1.2 billion years!

Needless to say, there was an immediate reaction in the Twittersphere two French hams decided my "special event" hurts the reputation of ham radio, which they think should be upheld as a service.

My response: 

  • I've downgraded my operation from a "special event station" to an "ordinary event station" just to make it clear to the dense that I'm not serious.
  • If staying up 48 hours in a row repeating "59907" can be thought of as being of service, why can't helping hams to "get over themselves" also be a service?
  • Let's poll the rest of France to see if they think that by associating my hobby with sex I am hurting the reputation of sex?

EQSO Party - Reductio Ad Absurdham

After my game design articles came out in NCJ in 20012-13 lots of people have written to suggest that we invent new contests that would get more existing hams into contesting and non-hams into our hobby. But so far, nothing has come of it.

That is why I have decided to take matters into my own hands and invent a new contest I call the EQSO Party.

The goal of EQSO Party is to exchange the letter "E" with as many other hams as possible world-wide. When I'm not operating in the CQWW contest I'll be operating in the EQSO Party. Here is the QSL you'll receive:

EQSO Party is inspired by Cow Clicker, a trivial game in which you merely click on an image of a cow over and over. It was created by game designer, Ian Bogst, as a deconstructive satire of social games like Farmville. Bogst was surprised when Cow Clicker became a viral phenomenon and 50,000 players signed up, all furiously clicking on a cow to advance their score. 

I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the same thing happens to EQSO Party. Psychologists say that "everyone wants to be heard" and hams are no exception. However, most us are like me in that we want to know we are heard loud and clear but we don't actually have anything to say.

Learn more at: EQSOparty.org.

I'd better stop now; I've probably already said too much.


Brooke, N2BA / YN2SX

One more thing... Please, PLEASE, PLEASE






If you want to be kind then include an SASE or $1 domestic or $2 foreign, otherwise we'll QSL 100% via the bureau.


You are going to definitely want one of these QSLs, so write to Bruce, because if you send it to me the chances you'll get a return are slim to none.



7697867 Last modified: 2016-11-15 13:33:37, 8708 bytes

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