I just got married and we were about to head to a distant island in the Maldives. I still looked at my Yaesu FT-857D and the ATAS-120 but I din’t think the wife would aprove them on the luggage. No problem, I took my Sure F22 that would do the trick.
Hanimaadhoo is a small island, in the north of Maldives, with two 4G/LTE cell antennas, each one belonging to the two available carriers. The hotel has wifi, so I would be good with this radio.
At this time of the year, the wet monsoon takes place so the weather is very unstable. You can have a wonderful morning doing some snorkeling and constant sunshine and one hour after you will face a heavy, but warm tropical shower.
During the rainy part of the day, I could play with my Sure F22. I was concerned at first that I could have had trouble with customs. It’s a mobile phone anyways, but with its typical shape of a handheld radio there could have been trouble. No questions were asked, so you are ok to bring such radio to Maldives.
I know that some “old” Hams claim that using network radios is not hamradio. I have a very different opinion. I can only guess that during the CW era, many Hams back then would consider voice communications as non-hamradio when they first started. Voice is no fun, nothing “amateur” would they think.
For me, amateur radio is what you want it to be. Amateur radio is something in your soul. You just like to speak with other Hams, mostly about ham topics. Going to a ham radio club and meet fellow hams, for me, is doing hamradio. You share knowledge, you share experiences and you learn.
I was never the type of guy who loves ham contests. Some Hams consider contests as the “only” hamradio thing. Honestly, what I do like, besides all the rig experimental part, is the real QSO with other Hams, with different cultures. I like to know their name, what they do for a living, what type of station they are using. Very far from the “You are 5 and 9, good bye”. I am glad the hamradio world is so vast that there are flavors for all tastes.
Coming back to the subject, is network radio a form of hamradio?
Talking to my common hamradio community over a network radio like the Sure F22 (over 3G) or a Sure F25 (over 4G/LTE) is hamradio. Just use the IRN and they are all there! No matter where I am in the globe, I am in touch with them. It’s not CW, it’s not a communication full of static noise, fading like in HF, but it’s still a round of tens of Hams talking and discussing about hamradio. Isn’t that hamradio for you? At the end, it’s all about the joy! And that, I can assure you I get from this little new net transceiver.