The Amateur Amateur

antennas zap battery melted wire earphones cartoon

Every now and then someone wants to know a little bit more about me and how I started writing The Amateur Amateur. I presume you do, too, but if you don't, that's fine. I'll just read the counter at the bottom of the page and pretend that every hit represents an avid fan. I was trying to figure out what to put on this page, when it occurred to me that I'd already written a summary of my ham radio writing career for a talk I gave to the St. Charles Amateur Radio Club in the winter of 2002.

Click here for a slightly edited version of that talk.

"The Amateur Amateur" columns

For permission to reprint any of these columns please write to

My thanks to the American Radio Relay League, and especially its Production Coordinator, Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB for tracking down my earlier columns and allowing me to redisplay them here. The 2001 through 2007 columns are in Microsoft Word format. The more recent columns are links to the ARRL Web site.

June 2001: Storm Spotting __ the Hard Way
July 2001: The "Calm" After the Storm
August 2001: Going Mobile
September 2001: Choking on RF
October 2001: Mobile Flambee
November 2001: Frequency __ the Movie
December 2001: Too Sexy for My Shack

January 2002: Assaulting the Battery
February 2002: Assaulting the Battery II
March 2002: Upgrading Made Difficult
April 2002: Putting It All Together (A Kitbuilding Saga)
May 2002: Lessons in The Radio Facts of Life
June 2002: My First Step Toward HF __ High on the RooF
July 2002: The HF Chronicles __ Part Deux__or__So Many Knobs, So Many Buttons
September 2002: The HF Chronicles __ A New Mode of Thinking
October 2002: Short-Lived Success with Shortwave
November 2002: CW __ Her Plan Versus My Plan
December 2002: The HF Chronicles __ EC-001 and Contacting NTS

January 2003: We Have Met the Examiners, and They are Us
March 2003: The HF Chronicles __ The Sweet Sound of Success
April 2003: But Are You a Real Ham?
May 2003: The Junkman Cometh, Part I
June 2003: The Junkman Cometh, Part II
July 2003: The Junkman Cometh, Part III
August 2003: Saturday in the Park with Ray, Part I
September 2003: Saturday in the Park with Ray, Part II
October 2003: Smoky Mountain High
November 2003: Thanks for the Megahertz
December 2003: Fifteen Milliseconds of Fame

January 2004: A Classy Seminar, Part I
February 2004: A Classy Seminar, Part II
March 2004: Discovering the Junkosphere
April 2004: Wake Me Before the Disaster Starts
May 2004: A Wealth of Possibilites
June 2004: Barking Up a Storm
July 2004: Q-S-Who?
September 2004: Net (Controller) Quake
October 2004: My First One Didn't Work Like That
November 2004: Simplexity
December 2004: All I Want for Christmas ...

January 2005: The First Ten Years
February 2005: Sad Shack
March 2005: Where Do Old Antennas Go?
April 2005: Hanging Around the ARES Table
June 2005: Creeping up on the Digital Modes
July 2005: Pouncing on the Digital Modes
August 2005: Dallying on the Digital Modes
September 2005: Hamityville Horror
October 2005: Don't Hurt My Car!
November 2005: Doughnuts Will Be Served
December 2005: Raiders of the Lost Shack

January 2006: Can You Hear Me Now?
March 2006: Our Net Controller is Missing
April 2006: Unpreparedness
June 2006: Aftershock, Part 1
July 2006: Aftershock, Part 2
August 2006: Closed for Reshacking
September 2006: Not-Quite-In-the-Field Station
October 2006: It's Not Over 'Til the Fat Man Falls
November 2006: So Long and Thanks for All the Cookies
December 2006: Three (or Four) Words About ARES

March 2007: Dances With Aerials
May 2007: The Return of Unpreparedness
May 2007: "Dump" Bag
July 2007: Field Day; An Etude in Three Movements
August 2007: Towering Prices
November 2007: A Tale of Three Tents, Part 1
December 2007: A Tale of Three Tents, Part 2

January 2008: Past Tents
March 2008: The View from the Other Side of the Couch
June 2008: Tipping the Mast, Topping the Hill
July 2008: Roof, Attic and Basement (Repeat)
August 2008: Doing It in the Street
October 2008: Meet the Zombies
November 2008: Radiomobile

January 2009: One Medium Counterpoise, Hold the Anchovies
February 2009: One Man's Trash
March 2009: Packet, Part I
April 2009: Packet, Part II
May 2009: A Day in the Parking Lot
July 2009: Please Answer the Following Question
July 2009 again: Field Day 0.9
August 2009: Diary of a Mad Ham's Wife
September 2009: Slippery-Slope Television
October 2009: A Soggy, Foggy, Doggy Demo in the Park
November 2009: Hammy-Grams
December 2009: Any-Bounce

March 2010: We're Having a Bad Transmitter Day
May 2010: Not Exactly Plug-And-Play
June 2010: APRS, the Beginning
July 2010: APRS Sneaks Into the Shack
July 2010 again: The Amateur Amateur Fills-In
September 2010: Musings from a Hamfest
November 2010: The Manual -- and Why We Don't Read It

February 2011: The Net Controller's Speech
June 2011: Cablegrim
July 2011: Fun, Fatigue and Fur
August 2011: Virtually There
October 2011: Simulated Emergency Mess

February 2012: It's a Jungle Down There
April 2012: Manic
May 2012: Standoffish
August 2012: * Some Aggravation Required
September 2012: Ready, SET 1, SET 2...
October 2012: Give Me That Old Ham Religion
December 2012: HO-HO-Handheld-Transceiver!

January 2013: Talking to Myself
March 2013: It's Not Easy Being Green-less
April 2013: I Think My Kit Is Missing a Piece
June 2013: Mastless in Missouri

Other columns and articles

The Amateur Amateur #6 -- Antenna Wars (This appeared in the SABRE newsletter.)
Winter in Kaboogie Falls. A completely off-the-wall bit of ham radio fiction

© 2017 Gary Ross Hoffman
E-mail Gary Ross Hoffman

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