January 29, 2002


TO:  My Amateur Radio Friends


I am coming to you asking for your help and involvement in what I believe is becoming an issue and problem for our hobby, Amateur Radio.  Over the past several years it has been my observation, as I know it has been for some of you, a slow decline in the way Amateur Radio is viewed and the operating practices within the hobby.  The purpose of this letter is to bring this topic to light to you as my friends and to hopefully create positive change.  The reason for me writing this letter is to begin the process of openly recognizing a problem does indeed exist and that all of us, including myself, should begin making the change so we as a group can and will be recognized by others as a truly positive influence within Amateur Radio.


Recently I purchased an ICOM receiver, IC-70, for my grandson who lives in Florida in hopes that he becomes interested in Amateur Radio and that I will have the opportunity to continue this wonderful hobby within my immediate family.  In doing so, this initiated the process of self-assessment and evaluation.  Typical questions came to mind such as use of language/conduct/innuendo during transmissions, what is the hobby about, what are the values of the hobby, Amateur Radio as a life time positive influence, and just as importantly my associations.


As I recall my coming into the hobby, those who I was introduced to had been in the hobby for some years and were extremely proud of their association with Amateur Radio both personally and professionally, (it was a key component of their resume’).  Every person was striving to improve their knowledge of electronics, antennas, and how they could give back to Amateur Radio to continue the positive future of the hobby.  These attitudes had a profound influence on a 13 year boy and encouraged me to experiment, not to be afraid ask questions, and learn more about this fascinating hobby of ours.  An example of this attitude and behavior was those who held the prestigious Extra Class license.  This meant more than just technology knowledge; it meant those who held that level of license had the responsibility of how they conducted themselves and how they gave back to the hobby.  This in its most simple form becomes the essence of Amateur Radio and our reference point of conduct and responsibility.  I view this the “man in the mirror” perspective and see me having the personal responsibility of change.  So you see this open letter is not necessarily about you, it’s more about me, and what I need to recognize that should take place and changed.  It is my hope this letter influences you stop and reflect on what you see happening and if there is something that needs to change and/or positively be influenced you will be that agent of change.


Thank you very much for taking a few minutes to read this letter.  It has been meant in the spirit of all that is good about our friendship and this wonderful hobby of ours.




Ron Lowrance, K4SX