I've always wanted to get into HAM radio, radio propagation stuff fascinates me.
The problem: I could only use it to talk to the kind of people who use HAM radio.
@KitRedgrave Me, but with Diaspora*.
@Elizafox disclaimer: never done radio stuff but receive over shortwave (RIP local shortwave station)
but: I hear SDR is a good way to get into it. Bonus: find all the TEMPEST violations locally!
@calvin @Elizafox although domestic HF broadcasting is now stopped in most of Europe (QRM is too much of a problem) Romania was still on air recently (in EN/RO/FR and DE), and China Radio International turns up in multiple bands (I am sure they are quietly using HF masts rented from European companies as there is no way signals from Albania or wherever they claim their TX masts actually are are going to be this strong in the UK especially by night).
CRI is actually quite an interesting station and not as heavy on the propaganda as you might imagine., not like 1980s Soviet radio...
Content is very similar to BBC World Service in 1980s or RNI, DW, CBC etc.. (I also think they bought a lot of their studio equipment when Bush House closed in 2012!).
@Elizafox its changed a load in the UK, Germany and some other EU countries (due to new licensing types) and a lot more hams are our age group and with similar views; the middle aged slightly nationalistic males who dominated this hobby are becoming less prominent at least in European countries.
@Elizafox There's a reason I never operate really.
HF is impractical in my current living situation (I've hit Cuba using PSK31, but it's just not a good setup), and the local traffic mostly consists of the 2 meter repeater being used for either ARES activity (potentially useful but uninteresting to me) or old men shit-talking. Last time I listened in on the Columbus repeaters (I can't pick them up from my apartment), it's either traffic net (useful, but uninteresting) or hi-vis vest discussion.