Today, a dream came true. My own amateur radio call sign appeared in an FCC database –which confirms my Technician’s license!
I am officially a HAM.
My first foray into tech was through C.B. radio. My grandfather, who’s handle was ‘Bankrupt Farmer’, let me play with the radios he used on his farm. I became obsessed. We spent the evenings testing the range, tweaking the channels, and mounting antennas. As we took care of farm business, I got exposed to commercial radios. At the grain elevator I studied the manager’s base station radio. When we visited his farmer friends, I would peek into their tractors and check out their UHF mobile units. Everywhere I went I could always find a radio or antenna to study.
When we came back to the city, we would stop at the local Radio Shack to pick up a catalog and poke around. I spent so much time at Radio Shack that I got to know the staff and I would routinely and politely badger them with all my questions!
School projects were always an excuse to go to the library and camp out in the radio section. I read books on antenna construction, tubes and transistors –whatever they had! I even picked up a book of radio vernacular; a whole book dedicated to trucker phrases like “There’s a bear at your back door.”
But HAM had always seemed out of reach. I guess it was the test, or perhaps not having channels, or maybe it was the cost. Whatever the reason, I got bored with C.B., I didn’t move onto HAM, and so I picked up a Comodore 64 instead. Yet here we are, 25 years later, with a bonafide amateur radio technician’s license!
Since picking up my radio I have talked to several folks all over California. I’ve gotten plugged into a repeater network and I’m also talking with a friend –who lives nearly 3 miles away– in simplex mode. This is truly a dream come true. After all the advances in technology over the last couple of decades, I’m still amazed with radios.
I was cooking dinner when I heard my call sign in the repeater net. LOL
Anyways, drop me a line if you are a HAM! firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and Grandma for supporting a young fellar interested in radios! 📻
And thanks to Kevin for inspiring me in my 34th year.