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Part 1 of 2: Life-changing Moment and Solar Cycle 25

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Dec 14, 2021.

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  1. NW7US

    NW7US Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When you were knee high to a grasshopper, did you undergo a game-changing experience that shaped your future career?

    From the introduction to The RAIN HamCast, Episode #56:

    Tomas Hood/NW7US did. In this first part of a two-part interview, Tomas tells of that pivotal moment, that led him to a life-long journey not only in ham radio, but also in space weather.

    Tomas has been a shortwave enthusiast since 1973. He was first licensed as a ham in 1990 at age 25. In the mid 1990s Tomas launched the first civilian space weather propagation website,, which later spawned His has been up and running since June, 1999. Tomas has contributed to the Space Weather Propagation column in CQ magazine for over 20 years, and for Spectrum Monitor since 2014.

    A product of the Pacific northwest, Tomas resides today in Fayetteville, OH. RAIN's Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Tomas recently about Solar Cycle 25 and the game-changing afternoon Tomas experienced in 1973 at age 8 (Read more about this, at



    Mentioned in the interview is Skylab:

    From Wikipedia's article on Skylab: Skylab was the first United States space station, launched by NASA, occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974. It was operated by three separate three-astronaut crews: Skylab 2, Skylab 3, and Skylab 4. Major operations included an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of experiments.

    Tomas was drawn into Space Weather as a life-long passion, by inspiration from Skylab, and from WWV's propagation bulletin each hour.


    The RAIN HamCast will conclude Hap's conversation with Tomas in RH57, scheduled for posting Christmas Day.


    Hap Holly, of the infamous RAIN report (RAIN = Radio Amateur Information Network), is now producing The RAIN HamCast. The results are both on and on the RAIN hamcast YouTube channel.


    The RAIN Hamcast is produced and edited by Hap Holly/KC9RP; this biweekly podcast is copyright 1985-2021 RAIN, All rights reserved. RAIN programming is formatted for Amateur Radio transmission and is made available under a Creative Commons license; downloading, sharing, posting and transmission of this ham radio program via Amateur Radio in its entirety are encouraged. Your support and feedback are welcome on Thanks for YouTube Technical Assistance from Tom Shimizu/N9JDI.
    PY5CL, KP4JM, M1WML and 1 other person like this.
  2. 2E0TWD

    2E0TWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A Very interesting and knowledgeable Gentleman. Thank you for posting.
    PY5CL, HB9EPC, M1WML and 1 other person like this.
  3. M1WML

    M1WML Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. WA5KM

    WA5KM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I missed Skylab cause I was drafted into overseas service, but I did contact MIR via 2 meter packet in 1986. Keep up the good work Tomas.
    NW7US likes this.
  5. KB2SMS

    KB2SMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, look at that old Apple iMac in that Hap photo! I remember those.
    M1WML and NW7US like this.
  6. HB9EPC

    HB9EPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    très bon sujet, la tête dans les étoiles c'est bon pour Noël, bravo.
    M1WML likes this.
  7. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When you were knee high to a grasshopper, did you undergo a game-changing experience that shaped your future career?

    Since that was the OP's question my answer is this. Becoming a licensed amateur radio operator at age 12 did directly impact my public safety career which spanned over 50 years. Even at age 12 I was inclined to become a police officer. However, I had no real direct exposure to anyone in that profession. That changed once I was old enough to get my driver's license. I became involved in the amateur radio auxiliary of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department --LASD--(known then and now as the Disaster Communications Service). I spent many a Monday night while in high school and college at the DCS headquarters in East Los Angeles serving as "net control" for the DCS weekly check ins from the many LA Sheriff sub stations around the county.

    The time spent at DCS put me into frequent contact with 3 people all of whom encouraged me to become a Deputy Sheriff. The DCS head, Sgt. Tommy Thompson, was not a ham but taught me a lot about LASD. Deputy Frank Oakden (K6TOW SK) and the full time civilian employee Jerry Kunz (W6BVG SK) all had an influence on my public safety service. Jerry, BTW, was blind but knew his way around the front panel of every radio in the building.

    Sgt. Thompson retired shortly before I was hired as a Deputy. He made sure that I got his old Deputy's badge number. Some years later when I promoted to Sergent--yep--I got his old Sergeant's badge number. I could go on and on about how ham radio played a role in my public safety career---frequently over the decades. But enough for now.
    M1WML and K9BBV like this.
  8. KK4JI

    KK4JI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Haven't watched the vid yet -- been busy on work conf calls, but I will. I got started because one of my Grandfathers was an avid scanner listener, and after upgrading, gave me his old receiver. My Uncle was always in to electronics and computers, and built a Heathkit TV, which seemed unreal to me as a kid in the 70s. My Dad eventually got into CB, then added a marine radio to his boat. I also had walkie-talkies as a kid that I'd use with friends. Eventually, I got into CB, and met an Amateur there that invited a few of us over to see & operate in his shack. I was hooked at that time, and took the test when I was 16. License didn't arrive until after my 17th birthday (took 3 months or so back then), but that also lead to a military career in communications and I still work in that field today (cellular). They were still teaching (and using) vacuum tubes in the military when I went in, so I also collect, operate, and maintain some vintage AM and SSB gear. It still amazes me that we can talk around the globe with this stuff, as well as how far it's come over the 4 decades or so I've been into it.
    M1WML likes this.
  9. NW7US

    NW7US Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Boy, I relate!

    I took my Novice test in 1989, but did not get the license and my first call (KA1VGL) until early 1990.

    Thank you for your service!

    Yeah, that is the magic by which I became hooked in this hobby, and career choices.

    As I explain in my blog, I discovered the magic of "traveling the world by radio waves without leaving home" when I was a boy, back in 1973. This discovery led to my eventual journey into the US Army Signal Corps as well as into amateur radio.

    M1WML likes this.
  10. N1JDW

    N1JDW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've always been fascinated by anything having to do with electronics, since I was barely out of diapers. I repaired my dad's tape recorder at age 8. At around age 12, I became involved with cb radio, and ham respectively. I was 13, when I made my first phone contact on 10m ssb,(through a control operator), with an American serviceman in Vietnam, which was a 5/9 solid copy. At age 30, I returned to the hobby, and received my extra within 6 months of my tech. license. I also received my GROL, and became a certified electronics tech. Even as a senior citizen, I'm more fascinated with the magic of electronics, as ever. The new technology may have contributed to fewer young folks embracing the hobby, but for the rest of us, it will always be special.
    N4XRD likes this.

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