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Understanding Our Ham Radio Hobby

ham radio hobby

Our ham radio hobby can be wide and deep. Offering lots of opportunities for satisfaction and fun. And learning, too.

You may be surprised to learn that most hams are not electronics hobbyists. Most amateurs spread their time across operating, technical and social aspects of our ham radio hobby. Only a third actually build homebrew circuits or kits. Our greatest interest is in operating, and our most frequent “builds” are antennas..

And, among those of us who build things, about half just copy published articles or “recopies”. And while half of us have a dedicated workbench, only one in ten actually design original circuits.

While two-thirds of electronics hobbyists have some formal training, most hams are self-taught. Electronics hobbyists spend about 16 hours a month on technical projects, but among hams it averages much less. Our ham radio hobby is not actually as technical as outsiders may think.

Now, having said all of this, I believe that the sizeable of minority in our ham radio hobby who enjoy technical projects deserves encouragement to explore and engage in learning and making.

Yes, I know hams have to pass some tests to get their license, but those tests are pretty superficial when in comes to actually designing or understanding all types of electronics in depth.

Our Ham Radio Hobby Brings Satisfaction

Hobbies involve active pursuit of knowledge and skills, sometimes in depth, as part of a satisfying leisure experience. Hobbies involve “free choice” learning, or activities that combine fun and learning intensive practices. Although hobbyists have specific learning goals and expect some outcomes, satisfaction is the main motivation to continue towards these goals.

As with any hobby, you have choices to move from novice to competent to proficient in your areas of interest. You might even become an expert. We can learn to design, build and use all sorts of projects and have fun doing so.

But what is the best way to move forward? What best supports our activities? We will answer these questions next.

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