I assume that becoming a Radio Amateur is not the consequence of a decision, but it is rather a long process, which origin has lost at a certain point in time. A process that ended to a pretty unresistable desire to play with some Radio stuff.
I assume, despite the various National regulations, that becoming a Radio Amateur is not understood as belonging a Radio call, officially assigned by some Institutions.
A Radio Amateur is ANYONE interested in the Radio communications, performed in whatever manner he finds interesting for himslelf. A Radio Amateur, perhaps, is also someone that plays with Radio stuff for his personal interest and curiosity, but in general I consider as Radio Amateur anyone who is fascinated by the appeal of sending information to far places and receiving them through the 'aether'.
Most of those guys named 'Radio Amateur' developed that interest at young ages and being 'young' comes pretty often along with being without reasonable quantity of money to buy Radios or pieces to make one.
I belong to such cathegory of guys and I spent the most beautiful hours of my youth trying to assemble (almost casually) various electronic components in the hope, one day ... , to send over the air my own signal.
Later, some tens of years later, I made the transmitter that at the time appeared to me the most simple for the purpose: the Hartley. At the age of 12 I made a half 6SN7 triode to oscillate and to generate such a quantity of harmonics I could totally blank the TV. But no radio contact.
Today I operate, at last, what decades ago appeared to me a winning solution to make my dreams true, because essential, cheapest, sure fire. Below in the picture, my Hull-Hartley, along with its power supply.
One Triode oscillator. Only one tube. And a bunch of watts.
During the last 3 months since its construction, more than 100, reliable, radio contacts have done, over distances of up about 1000 miles.
Today, realizing that my naive, candid, childhood ideas, about the simplest radio by which I would have become a 'true' Radio Amateur, are solid, working and technically correct, unavoidably lead me to say what William of Occum said:
'Frustra fit per plura quod fieri potest per pauciora' (it is vain to do with more, when less will do).
At the time I had to make a virtue out of necessity: I was not successful though (too much inexperience ...).
Downstream to what I'm achieving now (successfully) following my childhood ideas, could it be today that we, Radio Amateurs, all should make virtue our necessity ?
That is ... do we really need to play, just a bit, with Radios, so many 'obsucre' digital stuff about which the very great majority of us only have a pale clue on how it works, and that we could never neither make by ourselves nor probably repair ?
Radioman, Dec 2016