HAPPY 2019/2020/2021

HAPPY 2019/2020/2021

What will 2019 hold for us? It will hold whatever we give it. That means that we can expect out of it just what we put in it. So, what should we put in it? We should put in it what we want…where we would like to see it go. The Yellow River Digital Group was formed with the idea that anybody can contribute and that it belongs to no one in particular.

There are no officers, no dues, no charter. There is only the legacy of what the group did, or did not do. If you have an idea, then present it. If you have a subject you’d like to talk about, present that. If you have a subject you’d like to hear about, we can make that happen too. Make it your organization.

So far this year there have been two major announcements for those interested in Yaesu System Fusion. The first was the introduction of the Portable Digital Node early in the year. This truly allowed us to go mobile just about anywhere while being connected to WiRES-X. The second was the presentation of the FT-3DR handheld radio. No doubt there will be more to come.

Here’s the 2020 part: Now that we have just turned the corner of 2019 into 2020, it’s a great time to reflect upon what has passed and what might come. No doubt, 2019 was a good year for the Yard Dogs. The organization grew and prospered. It grew slowly, but that’s who we are. We are not trying to set any records. We’d rather have a GOOD, slow-growing organization than a flash in the pan. And what did I mean by prosperous? Well, it certainly has nothing to do with finances since there is no treasury!

We did recently begin accepting donations to offset costs occurred in the past. That simply reimbursed some of us for costs we bore voluntarily. The group does not hold cash. Those costs were recurring costs, not the cost of equipment. The group does not own any equipment except for perhaps the banners we purchased. Everything else is privately owned and donated for use by the group and the Fusion community at large.

So what are we anticipating for 2020? Well, we would like to see some expansion of our coverage area. That is, we would like to see some gaps filled in and perhaps some backups put into place. We are still totally dependent upon the Internet and if there were some method of reducing that dependence, we would be in favor of it.

In addition, we hope that each member that can will become more involved. This is a group effort and the involvement of a higher percentage of participants can only make us stronger and more viable. The Yard Dogs will continue to assist other people and groups in their quest to utilize System Fusion and WiRES-X. We will continue to communicate. Hey, that’s what the whole thing is about!

The Yard Dogs is not about any one or two people. It should be something that represents all of us. At the moment, we have a format that seems pleasing to most of us. That is, we are not getting any complaints! If we are lucky, we’ll be able to continue in the format we have developed, but as we all know, change is inevitable. So, one day, or perhaps over a period of time, the Yard Dogs may become something different than what it is today. What that might be, I have no idea. I can say this: what the Yard Dogs are now is not what they started out as. We started with Emcomm activities doing FLdigi, D-Rats, Winlink and so forth. So, something like that could happen again. True, we have more of a focus now than we did three years ago. Whatever the outcome, the friendships that are more important than anything else. To that end, we have done very well. I personally have met so many folks and made more friends than I ever expected. That’s the beauty of amateur radio.


Now, forward to 2021 and a look back at 2020:

We won’t belabor the pain of 2020. Instead we will comment on the positive. Many feel that Amateur Radio was a big winner in 2020 since folks turned to the airwaves for social contact. Let’s hope that is true. I spent more time on HF and that was a goal of mine. That is a positive right there.

More new products came out but prices were slow to drop. The marketplace for used equipment is strong. One negative is the impending loss of amateur access to the 9cm band. Too bad since this was one of the few places we could rely on a less crowded situation. We placed emergency communications devices there and now we are being kicked out the door. Thanks a lot!

What about 2021? I am loathe to speculate since I failed miserably in my guesses in 2020. However, I think it is safe to say that Amateur Radio will continue to grow and prosper worldwide. So too will interference no doubt. Why do nations sign off on a set of rules, only to be the first ones to break those rules. I thought we were making progress. Guess not.

My best advice for 2021 is to call CQ, even if you think no one is listening. If no one takes the first steps, no contacts will be made. The band is usually more ‘open’ than everyone thinks. Here’s a positive note: Propagation appears to be on the upswing! Let us hope that is true. Enjoy the bands and the hobby with its myriad aspects. There is truly ‘something for everyone’.