Sunday, January 10, 2016

Retirement and Ham Radio

Last Monday, January 4th, 2016 marked my last official day as an employee. I am now retired. I made the decision a year ago, so I've had some time to get ready for the transition. I had a very demanding job and life was a very tight schedule. Now I get to decide when I get up in the morning.

Basically my last day in the office was mid-December, so I've had a nice taste of freedom from employment already. My schedule, or lack thereof, is starting to gel although I'm sure I will go through numerous "phases", I think the pattern is set. So below are  few things that I've already experienced on how retirement will effect my ham radio pursuits.

  • I've had time actually read the owner's manual for my radios.
    • I've learned to set-up and use the frequency/band memory functions available on the K3
    • I now understand more of the menu options for the radio
    • I can now operate my HT.
    • I'm reading books about antennas
  • Contacts can actually last longer than 10 seconds
    • I love CW and have found that rag-chewing is a very enjoyable aspect of ham radio. I have met some very interesting people and I've started to make a lot of new friends since I've taken time to just call CQ and not append DX to it
    • I joined the local 2 meter weak signal group and I actually check in to their weekly net.. When I'm home I monitor 144.200 on SSB/CW. VHF/UHF can provide a lot of excitement for a DX minded ham. The DX isn't as far, but it's just as satisfying. 
  • Cleaned out my shack
    • I've acquired a lot of new equipment over the years, but I haven't gotten rid of much. There are many avenues to sell gear, EBay,, eHam, etc.... Now that I'm retired I will have a more modest ham radio budget and getting rid of the old stuff provides a little cash for even more toys.
  • Build the kits I've purchased
    • I haven't finished this yet, but I've started
  • Consider more expeditions
    • I love SOTA and can now plan extended SOTA activation trips with no time lines.
    • I've activated 10+ IOTA islands and can now consider planning more trips.
What I have come to learn is that Monday is just as good a day as Saturday and weekend crowds are to be avoided. There are no crowds on Tuesdays.

I'm sure I'll write more as I get settled into this new lifestyle.


  1. Congratulations, Mike. Great post.

    Bob K0NR

    1. Thanks Bob. Hopefully I can make the 14er event this year.



  2. Keep the ARRL's Natl Parks on the Air event in mind too. I activated the Big Thicket here in se TX a few days ago and had a great time with far more callers than I had anticipated. I think that as the year progresses, this event is going to gather even more steam and become quite popular. I'm already thinking of where to go next.

    Enjoy your retirement! 73,
    John AE5X

    1. John,
      Nice to hear from you. Yes, NPOTA is on my agenda. I have a new teardrop trailer, a refurbished R7 vertical and a K3, packed and ready. I just need to do some scheduling. Thanks and 73.

      Mike AD5A

  3. Every day is Saturday! Enjoy your retirement.
    Bill Turner, W4WNT

  4. Bill,

    Thanks. And every night is Friday night:-)

    Mike AD5A