Pay it forward…..Your old gear can make a difference.

Posted: August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


As hams, we have a lot of opportunities to do some good. I have been writing about humanitarian hams.

Today, I am writing about the concept of “Paying it Forward” and how it applies to our hobby. We all remember during our youth dreaming about those spectacular rigs of yesteryear that are now probably gathering dust in a corner of our shack. We know that we could probably sell them at a ham swap meet, but often they continue to gather dust. This creates an opportunity to pay it forward.

All across the globe, there are young people that still dream about technology and most of them don’t have the funds to get started in our hobby on their own. This is where you can help. Rather than sell that old rig at a swap meet or let it continue to accumulate dust in the corner, why not donate it to a youngster who can put it to some use?

They don’t need to be a licensed ham. Many of us started out listening to the bands and various broadcasts before we got our ham license. They can do the same. You say you don’t know any young people deserving of your old gear. That is a problem easy to solve. Through the Boy Scouts of America, you can contact a local Scout Master and ask him to recommend a young person to receive your gear. You can do the same thing through the Girl Scouts of America.

To this day, Boy Scouts are still earning merit badges for communications and amateur radio. What a great way to reward a young person by bestowing your old used rig on them so that they can get a taste and enter our great hobby.

“Its easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference” – Tom Brokaw.

What do you think?

  1. Ray W2RE says:

    What a great idea! I have a FT1000MP that is collecting dust and Im going to do clean it up and donate it to a good cause. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mike KJ4Z says:

      Hey, the FT-1000 is a nice rig! I think not-so-young hams could be worthy recipients too. I recently gave my old FT-101 to a 40-something new ham with no rig and he’s been loving it. It had been sitting in mom’s basement for 17 years and I was never gonna use it again. Now he’s upgraded it with a digital VFO he made and it’s back on the air.

  2. n6pse says:

    Ray and Mike, I’m really glad to see guys like you and your willingness to pay it forward. I hope that more will follow. This could become a healthy trend within amateur radio!

  3. Love the “Pay It Forward” idea! (great movie) I have a ICOM 765 sitting under a desk collection dust and would rather see it collection QSO’s! I have added “Find a new home for the 765” to my to-do list.

    Thanks Paul!

    73 Lee

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