Why did you want to become a ham?
Interest in radio
Wanted more than CB offered
Listening to ShortWave
My reason was that in High School I had electrical-electronics classes and an interest in working on circuit boards. As the story may go 2-way CB communications mixed with a sin nature lead to freebanding, and with some encouragment from the Father in Law decided to just take the test, and see how far in depth Amature Radio really can go.
I have not been disappointed.
Because I didn't want to become bacon........
Seriously, nothing interesting to hear on SW any more. What a difference 10 years make. Also, I am old school, so I like to make things instead of buying ready-made or Ikea DIY.
48 years back i started in building tube amps for the school's band, listening to the pirate AM ship radio's we had before our shore, Veronica Radio, Paradise radio, Luxembourg on AM, those were the staions transmitting the popular music.
Since reception was not all that good where i live i went on trying to improve things, heard some hams in AM on 80 meter on a cheapo multi band radio, and decided that was something for me.
It took several years and meeting up as customs officer with a KLM pilot and ham in my work at Shiphol Airport i was working to get me to the exams.
In spring 1977 i got licensed, and never looked back.
My mentor PA0GE now passed away a year back, and i remember him for the person and friend he was.
I tried to do the same, helped out manyy hams here to learn, and pass the exams, part of the lessons was always hands on soldering and building circuits because for most that starts to become a thing of the past.
Building your own antenna's, and showing you don''t need to pay big bucks for a simple wire antenna you can make yourself.
I think i became a dinosaur in that field...
Licensed since 1977
My story on this subject has grown long in the tooth as it has been told many times and therefore is has likely grown stale to the general populous on the zed. So, what I will do is summarize it for you. To make a long story short, I took a long trip across the east coast with my grandfather after the passing of my grandmother. On this trip I met a lot of my grandfathers ham friends and this is where the spark came to me. Well, it starts before that as a child listening to the magical box in my grandfathers radio shack but that was only the tip of the iceberg. This trip opened my brain and my interest in radio. Particularly the weekend we stayed with W4CLM. She taught me more in two nights than most people have taught me in a lifetime. After obtaining a basic understanding of radio I was hooked and she sent me home with a few books, one of which was an older tech manual that I read front to back on my trip back home. A few weeks later, I was KB3LAZ.
To this day I still learn, and I enjoy it. Over the years my major interest in the hobby has changed. Yes, radio theory and communications are still a big part of my interests but they have expanded to other realms. Collecting is one aspect that has caught my attention over the years but it is not the most important. To me, ham radio is memories. Particularly the memories of the good times I have spent with my grandfather. Time spent learning and having fun.
There is so much more to say on this subject but I will leave it at that for now.
73 de KB3LAZ
In lieu of achievement we have mediocrity.
My father was an auto mechanic and I worked in and around the family business from the time I was 4. I grew up looking at things and having to visualize what was happening. I was always the one tearing things appart to see what made them operate: it was fairly simple with mechanical based things, but then I got a hold of an old radio and there was a foreign world! I became intersted and started reading and experimenting, a friend was a ham op and my first mentor. By the time I found ham radio, I was well hooked by the electronics bug, and it naturally fed my curisosity and desire to find out more.
Novice at 14 in 1973 20/25 words per minute straight key (max speed QSO's).
My story is different. I started off with CB radio back in the 70's when it was in its hey day. Then I got into law enforcement (volunteer officer) for a few years. This gave me a hint at a new twist in radio's. Years later I purchased some FRS radios that my wife and I used, then got a GMRS license a little over 10 years ago. Purchased various GMRS radios and joined a local REACT group. I settled on Kenwood UHF units. Our team does 30+ events locally each year. Still even with our repeaters, we can't cover our full area of events so have to use my mobile repeater at times. This still does not always cover everything we want to do. A few other of our members are hams and the team as a whole has discussed becoming hams so I jumped the gun and did it on my own. Right now my hope is that we can use local ham repeaters so that we can do events in marginal areas with better coverage. Also, I suspect I'll sign up for events local hams are also doing as I enjoy doing events.
I got my tech license in order to use Big Red Bee 432MHz trackers in my high powered rockets, which were flying out of sight and I wanted to get them back. that was good enough for a few years, then my friend NE6RD encouraged / nagged me to get the General. I did that, bought a used ICOM 735 and Cushcraft R7, my first QSO was 2500 miles to Hawaii, and I was hooked! then came digimodes, PSK31 was just amazing to me! I had a lot of fun designing and building the computer <-> radio interface, etc. I kept studying for Extra, because all of the material is interesting, and fun to learn about. Also I wanted to be able to use the entire band without worrying.
One thing in the last few year with the expolsion of communications technology is that one can pick up a cell phone and call the North and South poles. There would be no problem as long as the local cell phone towers dont get over loaded, *(as in the case of severe storms) but local and long distance communications is still possible with 2-way radios, and proper antenna setups.
Ham Radio has its advantages also being mostly private citizens, able to provide communications in an emergancy and not have to rely on the phone company and the promt service they provide when the lines get 'crossed.'
The 'trade' of electronics theroy/ repair/ application with radio can 'push' the kids also into not just playing video games, but can teach them how the "Idiot Box" works also. Televison being a glorified radio.
its one thing to be able to call the south pole, its another to be able to do it on your own, and with a little power as possible.
I have never heard of HAM radio or even knew it existed until I met my boyfriend. He got into it sometime shortly after him and I started dating. His father got him into it. He got his technician license in November 2011 and tinkered around with it while we were spending time with his father in Arizona for Thanksgiving. I observed and he seemed to enjoy it. In March of this year, he became a General. I became interested just by observing and the fact that he can contact all sorts of people in various countries, so I studied, took my technician and passed on the first try Now here I am. I am currently studying to become a general in hopes to talk on the HF with him and his father when we spend yet another Thanksgiving in Arizona. :-)
73 de Fred N0AZZ
The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
DX the thrill of the chase
""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""
" Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado