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125 Since May 2006


What do amateur radio operators do?
Written by Chuck Hopper   

Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers, and Morse code. Some hams (like me) bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many (me, too) use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets.

Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on space shuttle missions and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space!

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 May 2006 )
 
My history in amateur radio
Written by Chuck Hopper   

I have been an amateur radio operator off and on since 1958. In that year I received my Novice class license, and the call sign KN9PLS. When I earned my General class license in 1960 the N was dropped and my call sign became K9PLS. There is no more Novice class now, so N's in call signs don't mean Novice. Some time in the 1980's I let my license expire (because I was stupid, that's why!). Early in 2002 I really got the bug again, and in April both my son Tim and I took our license exams. Tim passed his Technician Plus class and received the call sign KC9BLJ; I passed my General class and received the call sign KC9BLK. When I looked to see whether I could get my old call sign back, I found that someone else had been assigned that call during the years I was inactive. Bummer! The closest call sign to my old one which was still available was K9PLX; I requested that sign and it was assigned to me on April 28, 2002. I don't plan on changing again. On August 28, 2003, I passed the written exam to upgrade to Extra class, something which had been a long-time goal for me.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 September 2009 )
 
With a serious side...
Written by Chuck Hopper   

Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds of emergencies including hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods, motorist accidents, fires and chemical spills, and search and rescues. They help organize parades and other local events... the list goes on and on.

The above was adapted from "Hello Radio" on the ARRL web site. Give them a visit... there's lots of interesting stuff there.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 May 2006 )
 
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