Question. I *just* got my technician license. My call sign isn't even posted yet. I'm that new.

In conversations with other hams I mentioned that I'm fascinated by digital modes such as FT8, etc. Also, SDR looks interesting too. I got the "that's not really ham radio vibe."

This seems strange. Maybe it was the (several) generation gap between myself and the other hams, but to me that's very much in scope for ham radio.

I'm into weather nets and want to learn CW too. So there is that.

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@profoundlynerdy Well, congrats on joining the hobby.

While I personally have not experienced many curmudgeons, I do know they exist (in fact, that's one of the things we talk about in my QSO Today interview). Who cares if they don't think it's ham radio? Ham radio is whatever you want it to be.

FT8 is wildly popular. So is SDR (even with non-hams). Do what you want and leave everyone else behind.

@profoundlynerdy @bcallah The hobby is very wide and very deep. Don’t let anyone tell you what is or isn’t ham radio. Also age isn’t what makes a curmudgeon. I know many old timers that have embraced the newer modes. I’m personally not a big fan of FT8 but that is because I like modes that allow conversations to be had. My favorite is Olivia which has many of the weak signal benefits of FT8 but allows unstructured two way conversations. Congratulations on getting your ticket! 73

@profoundlynerdy @bcallah Explore and try as many aspects of the hobby as you like. I think the most important thing is to be respectful and pay it forward down the road helping other new hams. Please follow up and let us know your callsign. Or create an alternate account here on for ham radio using your callsign. Again congratulations and welcome to the hobby! 73

@W8HF @bcallah Thanks! What is this 73 that keeps coming up? You're not the first person to use it.

Do you have a link to details about this Olivia mode? Now you've got me interested.

@profoundlynerdy @bcallah This one may be dated as far as popular frequencies. Things are evolving as FT8 activity continues to grow.

@profoundlynerdy @bcallah The digital stuff evolves pretty rapidly. Olivia is not as popular now. A really good program is FLDIGI. It operates a lot of the non FT8 digital modes. It is cross platform and open source. This site has some other good links.

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