Amateur Radio as Testbed

Amateur radio practitioners are interested in how and why it works not just the fact that a communications “black box” does work. Access to diverse spectrum is a huge advantage of the amateur radio community. Other spectrum users have to be specific, in advance, about what they want to do. Amateur radio operators do not. Amateur prototyping sometimes helps a vastly diverse ecosystem of users, projects, companies, and communities. Curious investigators can try things. This sparks true innovation. How well (or if) it works can be secondary to the fact that it is tried. Sub-optimization and failures are tolerated and lead to improvements with significant knock-on potential. Pros and cons of the amateur approach will be presented in detail.