I got my first amateur radio license almost 40 years ago. My first call sign was Y63TI, followed by Y25KI before I finally got DL2AKT.
I am a proud member of the German amateur radio association DARC and its local X17 (Gotha) devision. Unfortunately, only about 50% of licensed amateurs are member of the club. Maybe, some guys do not understand that amateur radio bands, repeaters and other infrastructure are on risk if there is not strong club and active members who take care.
Amateur radio is offering so many different opportunities. It is impossible to do everything possible. Therefore my focus areas changed over time. In the 1980th I was very active on HF bands, DX and contesting and with my good old friend Harti, DL6AUI, I was doing RTTY as well with home made electronic equipment, i.e. no mechanical TTY but state machine with >60 TTL and CMOS logic IC. Remember, home computers were not yet available in the early 80th. This first ‘digital’ amateur radio experience triggered some other interests in the following decades.
Also, since the very beginning of my amateur radio ‘career’, already as SWL, I have been member of the most successful VHF/UHF/µWave contest team in Europe DL0GTH (former call signs Y37Q, Y59ZI, DM5TI and DM7TI). Still, I have fun with that great team and I am usually operating 23cm band at DL0GTH. See dl0gth.de. The photo above shows the usual DL0GTH contest setup from 1296 MHz up to 24 GHz bands in JO50JP.
As mentioned, my digital modes interests did not stop with RTTY. I was an early user on Packet Radio and APRS including APRS via ISS. I also did ATV for some years.
Currently, I very rarely operate HF bands at home. Most of my activity is on 2m, in contests also on 70cm and 23cm. Outside of contests I also enjoy digital modes (FT8, MSK144 and more). Recently, I also became QRV in C4FM/Fusion/WIRES-X, DMR, DSTAR.
Amateur radio changed a lot in the decades I have been doing it. Even, I see some changes less positive, more critical, there are more positive changes and huge new opportunities, more than a single ham can do. So, I am looking forward to the future of ham radio and hope to continue to enjoy it many years to come.