how did You get in to ham radio?

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by KB3LAZ, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Though I made this thread what seems like ages ago and I am no longer considered to be a youth op please keep the posts coming. I really enjoy reading stories about how ppl got started specifically when they were young (something that I can relate with). Im sure that others would like to read about this as well.

    What I have learned so far is that young and old alike most of us have developed an interest in the hobby in a similar way. This common ground works as a bridge for the age and cultural gaps. So not only is it enjoyable to read but it is a learning experience as well.

    Once again I have enjoyed every post so far and am sure that many others have enjoyed reading your/our stories and sharing their own.

    Thank you.

    -KB3LAZ-
     
  2. N4WSH

    N4WSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was a rookie cop back in 1975 a state trooper friend of mine was a ham and after spending a few hours at his house one evening I was hooked. I came in the old fashion way of Novice, Tech, General, Advanced then Extra and has to do the 5, 13, 21 WPM on the code. That has been many moons ago, my trooper friend is still a ham and we talk once in while, not on the radio, but rather via email, LOL.
     
  3. KF7BMO

    KF7BMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I first learned about ham radio, well pretty much when i was born. My grandpa (w7jzn) has been a ham since about 1943 or so. Technically I first learned of ham radio the first time I went home, my grandpa had come down to see me born and help watch my older sister (she was 1 1/2 at the time) and brought along a radio (we lived in AZ) Since then I was always only bout half interested till bout a year or two ago I really got interested. April 2009 I got my tech and I'm now working on my general. I have been listening on my grandpa's hf rig probably for 5 or 6 years now and know a lot about how to operate hf. I am totally hooked
     
  4. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I to have been around amateur radio since I was a small boy..since before I could comprehend what AR was.:p
     
  5. N4CYA

    N4CYA QRZ MODERATOR Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I got started in to ham radio scene back in 2006 and learned quite well from my elmer teacher he taught me the basics of ham radio, how to talk, how to make contacts, and top all of that, learn to have fun and live it up on the frequency. I've met some nice guys and ladies while I've been on the radio for the past 4 years. As I say thank you for the people I've met/QSO'ed with in the past and the ones I meet in the future I say Hello!


    - Jamie (N4CYA)
     
  6. K5HDE

    K5HDE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've always had an interest in radio. Built Radio Shack projects as a pre-teen including one that was very memorable, a diode receiver. Pure magic to hear an AM station with no outside power. Later on listened to Voice of America and other stations on a very cheap short wave radio with an end fed wire antenna of unknown length hanging outside the window. I wonder today how I was able to receive anything.

    Later on my skills in radio and electronics became useful in aircraft maintenance which is what I do. First real job was an avionics installer with a specialty in autopilots. The black box side of aviation is still one of my strong suits.

    Never gave amateur radio much thought. Never had a 'need' to go through the hassle of learning code, passing the tests, and the expense of setting up a ham shack. However I did know that I could count on hams being there when the chips were down. Four hurricanes in a short period of time changed all that.

    Katrina, Rita, Gustave and Ike hammered the region. I took a very close hit from Gustave. House was crushed by a tree that fell on it. Cell voice and text service was down. Internet was down. I was cut off. And I didn't like it.

    Did the research and found out that code wasn't required anymore. Hmmm. Maybe I could do this. Researched some more and found that ham radio will do the job when everything else is out of service. I had my reason, my 'need' to get my ham license.

    Now I'm a freshly licensed ham and having a ball learning the hobby, setting up my equipment, and exploring the options and possibilities. Some things work, some things don't. All of it is a learning experience. Yes, my focus at this time is personal communications when everything else has quit however I'm also having fun just making QSOs. Who knows what adventures I may find down the road?
     
  7. N0JPR

    N0JPR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started out on the CB and got a handheld and brought it to school and Dave one of the janitors saw it and asked what is was. I told him it was a CB and he started talking about I should go get a HAM license and introduced me to Mr. Laudie (KC0ZUT) and he encouraged me to go get my tech. then I found out that my Teacher Mr. Frager (K9PJP) was also a HAM and he assisted me here and there as well and so now I'm Licensed and working on my Extra now. I posted this as KD0HJY but I forgot to ask for them to change my username XD and I have a few posts under account as it is
     
  8. AB8MA

    AB8MA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Growing up in Grand Isle, Vermont in the early 1960's, our next door neighbor was Major General Ernest Harmon and his wife. His grandchildren and I were about the same age. He had an old shortwave radio up in the attic, and we used to spend hours at night fiddling with the dials and hearing strange signals come out of that box. I wish I remembered the make, but as a kid who cared? At that time there were not many TV or commercial radio stations easily received where we lived (except nighttime AM dx), so that radio seemed like magic.

    The General was really a cool guy. He would shoot ground hogs out in the field between our houses with a 30 ought 6, and his gravel voice was unmistakable. He served in France during World War I with the only horse regiment to see combat, and he was the only man in World War II to be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal four times and the Legion of Merit three times.

    But, of course, we kids didn't know all that. We just knew that if we behaved we would be treated well. If not, well that is another story. Remind me to tell you about the frogs that kicked the bucket sometime.
     
  9. KC7YRA

    KC7YRA Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I agree that these stories are great for folks to read, so I will write my story here :D I am not necessarily a "Youth" by today's standards (26), but I was when I was licensed.

    I was born and raised here in Wyoming. I grew up in a small ranching family. I originally got into radio with an old Midland CB that I found in the barn. My dad and I built a box that would allow me to use it on any of the tractors I was driving. I also built some antennas for the barn and would sit out there for HOURS, just listening for somebody. Even well below freezing, I would stay and listen.

    I would occasionally hear some truck drivers on the interstate (10+ miles away), but it was not very common. At this point in my life, I figure the ones I heard were running amps LOL. I did meet up with an old feller who lived a few miles away on another ranch. We would talk a little, but it was not very stimulating for a young man of 8ish.

    I continued to build bigger and better antennas but never got anywhere. My plight caught the attention of my step dad who had been a ham when he was young. He decided to get his tech license and show me what ham radio could do. Needless to say, I was hooked. It was a simple way for me to bridge the gap from the ranch to civilization.

    I studied my butt off and got my tech license when I was 13. Got my first handheld and jumped in. Built a ton of antennas and annoyed the old locals :cool: It was fun, but it was far more utilitarian, It was the ability to talk across the county and never be out of communications. I would outfit my go-carts, 4 wheelers and bicycles with radios. I could always talk back to my family and it was great.

    I upgraded quickly to Tech plus, then General. Caught everything in time to take the 5WPM and 13 WPM code tests. Eventually making it to Extra.

    After having to move back into town during my high school years, the utilitarian aspect took less of a meaning. I still used it during my off roading, hunting/camping excursions, but that was it.

    Only recently have I really begun to enjoy ham radio as a hobby. My step dad, mother, wife, and many aunts and uncles are licensed now. We all talk whenever we get together. I have taken my love of radio and remote places and expanded upon it. My trucks are outfitted with full HF thru UHF regalia. Multiple antennas and mounts of my own design that can take off road abuse. My 4 wheelers have antennas and radios mounted to them. Even my wife's vehicle is radio ready. I have a plethora of handhelds and custom designed battery packs that allow me to carry or haul every manner of radio equipment into the most remote places I can find. I even have collapsible, homemade HF thru UHF gain antennas (Yagi, moxon,etc.) that fit into small bags.

    My lovely wife has embraced my hobby and is amazingly tolerant :D, Even of my large HF beam, tower, and vertical antennas that take up the yard. She also tolerates me using the radio a LOT. I am on the air anywhere from 20-40 hours a week with 90% of that on HF. Since Sept. '09, I have started my DX hunt all over and have worked 200 DX entities in that time. Mostly SSB but CW is taking over slowly and I find myself gravitating towards it more and more.

    So there is my story. Sorry it was so short, I just am not one for words :D

    73 from Wyoming,
    Brad
     
  10. KA5ROW

    KA5ROW Ham Member QRZ Page

    My story, I got a pair if walkie talkies for Christmas at a very young age. I heard some other people talking one guy was called Arkansas Fats talking to someone some ware. There were several people all over the country. I also at about the same time DX AM radio stations from all over the country before I would go to bed. I would listen for 20 minutes just to hear a call and QTH. I was about 7 or 8 years old.
    Later I had a transistor radio and it wasn’t long I took a screwdriver to the tuner and turned screws. Now I was picking up short wave on the 49 meter band. I was about 12 to 13 by then.
    I bought a Midland 8 CH CB model 13-874 and friend about a mile from me did the same. It was the only radio we could afford $79.95. It came with channel 14 and 9. Channel 9 was useless to us. One day I got the idea of putting the receive channel 9 crystal in the transmit and the receive crystal in the transmit. WOW it worked. We weren’t on CH 9 anymore, we had no idea where we were but now at least we had 2 channels to work with. We even did split I would transmit on 9 to him and he on 14 to me. 13 year old kids experimenting.
    Later came CB and amplifiers, then ham equipment. A Johnson Viking Vallaint. A hallicrafter HT-37 and a Lafayette HA-800-A receiver everything I need for ham but the license. I was about 15 to 16 years old.

    All the local CB’ers said Ham is not the way to go. “They Lied” sorry SOB’s. They said I would half to pay $25.00 per month repeater fees and follow a very strict regulation system and if you did not follow it to the letter you will be fined and it happens every day.

    If it weren’t for the stupid CB’ers influencing a young naive kid I would have had my license around 1973 – 1974 instead of waiting until 1983 for my Novice. Dammed CB’ers :mad:
    By the way I did buy a Midland 13-874 “8” CH CB on e-Bay in good shape just to have it. “Why Not” :D
     
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