Update August 7, 2022: Appliance Boxes and the ARRL have killed Ham Radio!

This is a Freedom of Speech Input. I am suggesting that Appliance Boxes and the ARRL have killed Ham Radio!

[I have heard from others who didn't see the ARRL Lab as anything other than a high-end radio demonstration facility! ARRL has lost sight of what created this hobby! That is what happens when you sell your soul!]

The following you tube video HERE created by the ARRL touting their new ARRL Lab is the evidence. BTW they have a call sign W1HQ.

A very bright and articulate YL Intern gives you the tour of the new ARRL Lab. My first point is that it is NOT a Lab but a Showroom for some of the latest expensive appliance box ham gear. One station position has an ICOM IC -9100 and the second position a couple of FLEX radios. 

But you don't actually see the radios as they are in environmentally controlled cabinets. The actual operating position has two large screen monitors, a keyboard and a mouse. In one position is a key. This is really sterile looking and not the Ham Radio that we usually think of as a typical station.

How can this be a lab? The YL Intern mentions you can bring gear here and test it. Fat chance of that happening. Imagine one of my designs and projects sitting on one of their rollaway desks. The P3ST seems like a perfect candidate to be checked out in that lab. Never Happen

As I watched the video there was nary a hint of anything handmade being in that ARRL Lab -- instead only stuff made in downtown Japan or on a line in Austin, Texas.

By showing such a video this is leading hams to invest in very expensive appliance boxes and fails to touch back to the roots of ARRL and that being homebrew. The Newington Illuminati have become "uppity".

By failing to recognize the experimental side of the hobby this can only lead to stagnation and if you priced a FLEX full boat radio -- it starts at $7K. I certainly can't afford that, and many hams are faced with the same dilemma. But I can scrape together $100 and you can indeed build something like the P3ST for that sum.

Eventually the average ham will be priced out of the market and that is the hobby killer as many hams simply cannot build anything!

It gets down to learning IC-7300 menus or learning how to homebrew an SDR radio (like I did). Navigating menus or listening to Jimmy, (the ham with the 5 call), tell you how to adjust your mic gain does nothing to foster new innovation. But building a P3ST certainly gets you closer to the electrons and the very root of our hobby.

The real killing of the hobby is the jump to appliance boxes and the ignoring of the innovation aspect. Take guys like Farhan and Hans Summers who have built simple but highly innovative and sophisticated radios being sold as kits --where is a space for those guys in the ARRL Lab?

Pete N6QW

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