Now A Little About Myself: (Yes, this is the boring bit nobody reads)
I have only become a member of the Amateur Radio fraternity recently (1999) and I was first licensed in the United States by pure chance. Whilst sitting in my truck (18 wheeler) I was approached by another driver (KD5DWE) now AC5DE, who enquired as to what was the radio I had installed in the truck.
Being unconcerned, I told him it was a Kenwood TS-50S and that I used it to chat with other drivers. He invited himself into the truck and proceeded to check it out. After a short while he said "I have something for you, I will be right back, don't go away"...so I dutifully sat there awaiting his return. Mark came back and handed me a book and told me to read it and be back there on Friday afternoon at 5pm so we could go to the local club where I would be sitting for my exam. Well, I was not too sure about all this, so, I said OK and off I went with the book. I did make it back on Friday at 5pm and we went to the local club rooms in Corsicana, Texas (just south of Dallas) and there I passed the exam and some days later, the FCC issued me with my very own Amateur Call Sign - KD5NHL (Giving that suffix to an Aussie truck driver was probably NOT the best decision the FCC ever made)
I enjoyed the warm reception I received across the US as a fellow HAM and I learnt a great deal. Mobile antennas, radios, amplifiers, tuners and the list goes on. My introduction to the "World of Amateur Radio" was perhaps not very celubrious, but nevertheless, I found a "friend" that day and since then I have met many HAMs from all over the world and each and every one has greeted me with a ready smile and a willingness to "Chew the Rag" about their experiences as a HAM.
I believe there IS a special "Bond" we share as HAMs and although we sometimes tend to maybe "overstate" our DX prowess, it is always fun to sit down and share a cup of your favourite brew and solve the complexities of radios and antennas.
Some of us would appear quite normal wearing a hat with a cute little propeller on top, some of us would be equally at home wearing those "Grandpa Glasses" and some of us even look at home in very casual clothes that maybe should have been cast aside a few years ago. But the common interest of radio and "fiddling" with "stuff" makes us all unique and yet so much alike. We are a very large "club" spread all over the globe, we come from many walks of life and we share many unique life experiences but when we sit down in our shack, be it plush or sparse, we become equals. We share in a hobby that gives us all pleasure and satisfaction. From Milliwatt to Kilowatt, we are all the same behind the key, the microphone or the PC, the equipment does not matter, it is the HAM spirit that unites us all.
We serve our communities in times of need, we help our neighbor with his busted toaster, the TV that just don't work right, we help the local Scout Troop and Girl Guides and local sporting events where we lend our knowledge to provide communications and when we do these things we impart just a little of our knowledge and experience as well as show them that HAMs are willing to help and this spirit is right through our hobby from Australia to Zambia, North Pole to South Pole, we are HAMs, so you all should be rightly proud.
To all my fellow HAMs, a very sincere thankyou for the many QSO's I have had and the welcome I have received from you all.
Copyright VK1ZZ 2015
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