Amateur Radio


Updated 10 June 2020

Many years ago, my father enjoyed playing with CB radios, but at that time - in the mid-1970s - a license was required.  The licensees had to be at least 18 years old.  I was not old enough for that, but he knew a friend that taught classes for an amateur radio license.  My father made a "bet" with me - if I went to those classes and obtained my amateur radio license, he would get me a small station at home.  In the end, we both took the classes, and passed the exams.  He bought the equipment needed to use our licenses, and I had my own station (he didn't ever use his license). 

Amateur radio is often called "ham" radio.  There are a variety of stories attempting to explain how this started.  I won't attempt to document those stories on my web pages, but a query at any Internet search engine (my favorite is Google!) should provide some answers to that question. 

If you are not familiar with this hobby, one requiring a license in order to fully enjoy it, please take a look at the web sites of the ARRL (the USA's national organization for amateur radio), Radio Amateurs of/du Canada (the national organization in Canada), or the Radio Society of Great Britain (UK national organization for amateur radio) for lots of information about this hobby. 

Amateur radio and me, today...
It has been many years since I obtained my initial license, but I still enjoy this hobby.  I have had a small station at home, along with other equipment I can use when I am away from home.  I have occasionally operated from other locations across the USA, from Canada, Mexico, and Argentina in the last few years. 

I enjoy using digital modes like radioteletype (RTTY) and PSK31 at home, sometimes dabble with Morse code (CW), and will occasionally use a microphone (SSB or FM).  I have made contacts through repeaters carried by balloons.  I have made contacts with other stations using amateur radio satellites orbiting the Earth - similar to using a satellite phone, but without the huge expense for the calls.  I have also spoken with an astronaut on the International Space Station several times.  Overall, I have confirmation of contacts with different countries and territories from around the world.  Within the USA, I have confirmation of contact with all 50 states and several territories.  I have some "wallpaper" for various accomplishments in this hobby - not a lot, but I'm still having fun. 

Somewhat related to my radio hobby, I have a small collection of vehicle license plates with my amateur callsigns on them.  Some of the plates are (or were) official plates for my car, others are not official - but manufactured in the same places official plates are.  Just in case I forget who I am.... :-) 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions about me or my web pages.