Spurred by this excellent response
to a question, and more generally having known ham operators, I'm curious what the rewards of the hobby are.
One time, I was listening to Steve Dahl
on the radio, and he had Joe Walsh
fame, of course) on as a guest. Joe was talking about what he does in his down time, and it was ham. Being an indulgent rock star, he of course had a whole extra house filled with radios, dedicated to the craft. Then a caller called in, and they started talking 30 meter this, and long band that, and so on. It seemed quite enjoyable from an amateur radio engineer perspective. I think I would enjoy doing that.
I guess I'm not understanding the "point" of it. (Beyond the hobby process of constant tweaking and the joy of creating and all that.) If I build model airplanes, well, then I go out and fly them. If I restore cars, I have a sweet ride to cruise around in. If I build computers, now I have a computer.
OK, so you get the soldering iron, build the radio and the antennas and the plywood shack in your basement. What then? Who do you call, who do you talk to? What do you use it for?