February 22, 2010

401 words 2 mins read

Jon & John – Now with 100% more Ham

A long time ago, when I was but a wee little chibi, still in middle school, I was interested in Ham Radio. I checked out the book to study, even when to a local convention type thing (well I convinced my father to take me, then proceeded to key up the radios that were out for sale and annoy people in general (Editor’s note — it’s kind of his thing)). For whatever reason, I never followed through, though I think partially it had to do with the cost of the equipment and as a young child having no money. Through the sands of time, I forgot about the ham radio desires… until recently. When I started into the Disaster Prep research, I realized one of the important, but sometimes overlooked areas of disaster preparation is communications. The only logical solution for disaster communication during an emergency, assuming that power and phones are out, is Amateur Radio.

After doing this research, and remembering about my previous ham desires, I decided I would go ahead and get licensed. I bought the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual (Technician) and read that. I have to say, I recommend the book. It provides all the information you need in a clear and logical fashion, along with why you should care. It even has a bonus section on what to look for when buying your first radio (in case you don’t know anyone to help you with that). That was just over a month ago. On Friday, I went to the monthly meeting of my local amateur radio club and tested for the Technician level (which is the entry level certification).

I’m pleased to announce that I passed and am now officially a ham. On Saturday morning, John attended a local testing session in his area and also passed. Not only did he pass, he 100%‘d the test, just to show me up. Unfortunately it takes about a week to get our assigned call signs, so I can’t transmit yet. I am looking forward to exploring the spectrums a bit, especially since I bought myself a shiny new radio (which I’ll be covering in a later post).

Until then, 73

Also, if you are curious as to why an Amateur radio operator is refereed to as a “ham”, you can thank Wikipedia and their article on the Etymology of ham radio. Personally I like the “Ham-fisted” story.