Why was AREG formed?
Formed to unite people with a common interest.
A number of ham radio friends would from time to time work on common projects. Forming a group helped promote teamwork and support for these projects. Large project could be broken down into smaller tasks, which could be more easily managed.
Solving some insurance issues.
Covered members while preforming club activities. Such as antenna installs, kits, field days and launching rockets. (We are joking about rockets for now – we do balloons though!).
Present a Professional image to commercial organisations.
Many commercial organisations i.e. component suppliers, both in Australia and over seas don’t want to know you unless you have a fax machine, phone, web site, e-mail and credit card facilities. When you only want just one component to try out for a new design, sometimes you can talk them into giving you a sample or two. This helps on costly mistakes when exploring that new idea.
A forum in which to present ideas.
While some of the members were out on the town one night, they came up with some ”crazy” ideas. At the next meeting these people spoke about what they thought up. The club provides a forum for idea development and problem solving. In other words having a place that ideas can be discussed with out the fear of someone saying “what the hell do you want to do that for” or “that’s impossible, it can’t be done”.
What does AREG hope to achieve?
After all, experimenting with Amateur Radio is supposed to be fun (well isn’t)! Enjoying the hobby is one of the most important aspects of the hobby. If you don’t enjoy it, then you would not continue with Amateur Radio for very long.
Help raise the profile of Amateur Radio
In the early days, Amateur Radio was leading the way of technology. In the days of Marconi it was said that frequencies above 200 metres were useless. Amateur radio operators proved that communications between countries was possible. The world started to use HF as a means of communications. This is only one example of how Amateur Radio has advanced technology.
Today it is harder to make advances in technology, however you can at least play with the latest and greatest things. You never know, you may very well come up with a world first and once again launch Amateur Radio into the leading edge of technology. (nothing wrong with recreating old ideas).
Promote the challenge of new technologies.
To explore new technologies can at times be very daunting. Such things as surface mount construction, new LSI (Large Scale Integration) and other chips, combining many circuits into one package. Sometimes present a perception that these devices are hard to use. In fact once you know how to use it, your life as an experimenter just got a whole lot easier. For example, a PLL ( Phase Lock Loop ) for a HF or VHF multi channel radio can save much in the way of crystal costs. However to calculate the loop filter for this system can be a challenge. It is worth giving it a go, even if you have to seek assistance getting it to work. By giving it a go, you have started down the path of learning about new technologies.
Make experimenting with new and old technologies easier.
Some of the time you would like to build something, but you don’t know where to start. By having some vital bit of information you gained from some place, you are able to make a start, or even get over the problem you were stuck on. By making available information to experimenters, like articles on construction of various items, or even just ideas for a project. It can get others started down the part of discovery, and start experimenting again.
Self education through;
Kits (easier to build things, and promote experimentation).
Having a Kit available for a project takes worry out of weather that idea will work or not. If you do have a bit of trouble, then the people that put the kit together in the first place may have FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) information available that you can look through, or even be able to just answer questions that were not covered by the FAQ.
Presenting Discussion papers is a good way of conveying a new idea across to may people. This process of information sharing is essential if Amateur radio is going to move forward.
Another good way of conveying information is a lecture. This practice is use widely in the professional world, and some people demand a high price for you to sit and listen to them talk for a few hours. AREG would like to encourage its members to present a lecture on a topic that they know something about.
Self funding of R & D into new ideas and projects.
R & D (Research and Development) is a costly exercise with no guaranteed results. The project may never gets off the ground for one reason or another or ,worse still, you get part way through the project only to find your idea is not going to work out. At this stage many dollars have been spent in the pursuit of an idea. Through AREG activities we hope to help fund R & D into new ideas and projects.
Professionalism in design and construction.
Building of projects, one of two schools of thought exist,
1. Throw it together and it will be right mate or
2. Build it right the first time.
Which one is the right one for you only you know. Many people do take pride in their work. AREG is no exception to this. Many of us like to strive to build projects with a professional finish that sometimes could be confused with something that was brought off the shelf. Having a professional approach to construction helps in many ways, one of which is long term reliability. Projects that are well constructed tend to last longer then if they are thrown together. This philosophy is nice to have, but it can still be good to throw something together just to see if it will work.
Just give it a go.
If someone says “it is impossible” or “it can’t be done” it is usually because they have not tried to do it. So why not just give the idea a go. AREG has the basic philosophy that if you would like to try to build something or do something, and you can see no blinding reason why it would not work, then why not give it a go. There are too many people around that say “that is impossible” or “are you crazy, that will never work”. Just imagine the outcome if NASA listened to people’s negative comments, they would have never tried to put a man on the moon, then where would we be today?
” Nothing is impossible; it just takes a little longer and requires more effort.”