The Aging DXer Population

Kure, K7C – Cordell Expeditions last activated it in 2005

The DX Community is not getting any younger – I was with Bob, KK6EK, when he announced to a small circle of friends that he was retiring from DXpeditioning. I was also with him when he decided to sell his Cordell Explorer – an old Salmon Fishing boat that he ran on the SF Bay and where he worked with the Berkeley School District to give kids a great lesson on marine biology out on the SF Bay.

WA2QHN at age 14 or so in 1975 with a fancy sweater and shirt. No tie or pipe like the older fuddy duddies for me!

Lately I have taken part in a strange ritual of sorts. Several hams who are 15 – 20 or 25 years older than me are looking for homes for their old equipment. Some are beautifully restored – some need restoration.

My new (old) Collins 75A-4, beautifully restored by Howard Mills, W3HM

These fellows are in the age range of my “elmers” from back in Newton, NJ, so I am reminded of those early years often lately. This is a phenomenon that I did not anticipate at all. The 75A-4 is one rig I will not sell – until I am too old to use it. I have secretly pined for such a rig since you see me in that picture above. Howard Mills, W3HM I hear no longer does restoration work – and he was the Collins expert.

Geochron Kilburg Edition Mechanical World Map Clock

I was recently “indirectly bequeathed” Chuck Patterson’s old Geochron clock – but I have found that while it also fits nicely in my nostalgia jag – it wasn’t practical. You need to be able to keep it on 24 x 7 – or you have to reset it every time you turn it on. It uses two compact flourescent bulbs – and I don’t like leaving anything on in the shack – so it got to be a pain. Because I now can’t live without a Geochron – I will be receiving the Geochron 4K – and yesterday mounted a new TCL 43″ 4K TV in the shack. I’ll blog about it soon.

Alberto Frattini J-36 bug

I ordered an Alberto Frattini bug because I heard that he also will be retiring from making them in the not too distant future. Like the Howard Mills restored 75A-4, Bob – KK6EK (a DXpedition leader and legend), I will be getting a work of art key by a practitioner who will be retiring.

The last Baby Boom “wave” is my generation – I am at the end of that generation, and I do expect that after my generation, the numbers will dwindle in ham radio, and especially DX-ing. But I had not thought about these “specialty skills” that have been available by hams for decades and their retirement – that snuck up on me as a big surprise.


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