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For me the best thing about HAM is that it makes you learn before you can play. For a non-engineer such as myself, having to learn the electronics, physics, antenna design, FCC rules etc. forced me to acquire knowledge I probably wouldn't have otherwise gone out of my way for as an adult. I got my General class license a few years ago and keep trying to get myself motivated to go for my Amateur Extra license but doing HAM in NYC is hard. Unless you are lucky enough to have someplace you can put up some kind of antenna you are largely limited to a 5 watt HT. There is so much that is exciting happening in HAM today. SDR systems are very exciting as is all the internet hybrid. It is super fun and I do hope a new generation gets psyched about it and drives innovation.

My parents live somewhere relatively rural and I live in a major city. For a while I had a laptop hooked up to a Tentec tranceiver and a 40' vertical back at my folks' place. I was able to remote in and control and hear everything. If amateur radio were more popular I kind of wonder if timeshare on a system like that would be feasible. Sort of defeats the point of operating your own equipment though :P

These guys are doing just that: http://www.remotehamradio.com/

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