I’m EXTRA Ignorant

I’m EXTRA Ignorant

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

On Sunday, I received the following e-mail from a reader:

“Just wanted to let you know I passed the General exam using your study guide.  It was very helpful.  I am now generally ignorant whereas before I was only technically ignorant.  Ha!”

My reply to him was:

“Well, if you’re generally  ignorant, I guess that makes me EXTRA ignorant!”

This isn’t just a joke–being ignorant is part of the hobby. Amateur radio operators will always be ignorant about something or other. Even if you could master every facet of the hobby at some point in time, your mastery would be short-lived as the technology continued to advance.

Over the course of my amateur radio career, we’ve gone from equipment that primarily used vacuum tubes, to solid-state gear that first used discrete transistors and then integrated circuits, to software-defined radios. I could have, at some point, simply given up on the new technology and still enjoyed amateur radio. Some guys do that, and that’s OK. It is only a hobby after all.

I’m not one of those guys, though, and if you’re not one of those guys, then you have to resign yourself to being ignorant. But, that’s a good thing, as long as you realize that you’re ignorant. Realizing that you’re ignorant will spur you on to learn new things and accept new challenges.

Recently, I realized that I’m mostly ignorant about satellite operation. I know some of the basics from having read articles and writing about the topic in my study guides, but I have never made a contact using a satellite. I think that might be one of my next challenges. With the advent of CubeSat, there are many new satellites up in the air and many more opportunities to have interesting contacts.

So, what are you ignorant about? By that I mean, of course, what’s going to be your next challenge in amateur radio?

When he’s not challenging himself with new things, Dan falls back on something he knows pretty well–operating CW. You’ll find him mainly on the 80m, 40m, and 30m bands. Dan is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com, and you can contact him by e-mailing cwgeek@kb6nu.com.