So, I’d love to tell you from my tiny seat on Easyjet that I had a massive revelation this week, and that I’ve rediscovered all my old passions and that life is better than ever. I can’t though - I’ve not spent all week excitedly doing things I’ve loved in the past. Who does, however? You move on from things because your personal circumstances require it or you lose interest or you have too many hobbies and can’t handle everything all the time.
I fall into the first category and the last category for most things - I’ve not played with the insides of tractors and machines because I don’t live in the ’shire near a farm conveniently full of them, for example, or I don’t make the time for projects that challenge my abilities any more, as I’m busy spending time at work or trying to be social or just de-stressing and turning my brain off.
With that in mind, I’m trying to get better at doing things that aren’t vegging out thoughtlessly. I feel it’s kind of an excuse, that I don’t have time or I’m too tired. Everyone else manages, don’t they? I’ve kind of stuck myself in a rut with that bullshit lazy mindset.
So I finally set up my radio set in the flat - admittedly, I’m not staying here much longer, but I’ll radio while I linger! Antenna by a window - coax tidily hidden away into the back of the body, head split off under my computer monitor, so the only visible bit is the head unit, seen below.
It’s nice having it just scanning in the background, listening in for noise. I have a funny relationship with amateur radio - I love it because I wouldn’t have my current career or passions without it, and the experimentation it offers me is great for playing with data and home made kit, but, I’ve always been a bit reluctant about the whole talking to other radio nerds thing. Dunno why - I’ve always seen the folks on the other end of the radio as being a bit boring, only wanting to talk about radio or the weather. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule - people I’ve met who’ve inspired and continue to fascinate me, but generally, I’ve not got on with ~radio people~.
Having the noise in the background, though, of a few local guys in Aberdeen chatting away is good - I’ve heard regulars, and they’re knowledgeable, interesting and well spoken. I feel like I could hold my own in some topics and learn from them in others. So… I thought I’d ’break’ in, as we say. No response… disappointingly. Tried again on the repeater - no response. K, must be me - radio’s set up wrong or I’m in a bad area. Try again later, I’m happy listening.
After more failed calls and all sorts, it was time for an investigation! RTL SDR stick, connected to my phone listening to a random UHF channel that my radio’s set to transmit on. Call out, testing audio. I can see my signal light up my phone’s display but hear nothing. Hrmm…. Try again, and again and again in different positions. Finally get some horrible, distorted version of me. Nope - looks like the microphone’s goosed. Time for a new one - I dismantled the current one, naturally, but couldn’t see anything wrong with it particularly.
So yeah - I’ve not had any revelations this week, and I’ve not rediscovered anything, but I am discovering a new variant maybe. Nothing better than open minded exploration!