Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Life In Amateur Radio

Well, 73% of it. I passed my first ham radio license back in 1960 on this day, which is a great chunk of the time I have spent rotating the sun. And a fun way to do it.

I started as a dots & dashes person and, while I did talk to people in the standard definition of “talking,” I probably spent more time dotting and dashing. When you are running low power and want to talk around the world, those little dits and dahs carry a lot further and clearer than a voice ever can.

So I got into the game, did my first year as a Novice class licensee, dropped out for a short while and got back in with the standard-brand license. Then, when there was an incentive to upgrade (the Feds took away lots of frequencies and gave them to hams who upgraded their licenses) I got the books, studied hard and ended up on top.

“Incentive Licensing” was the red-hot lightning rod of the day. You studied and upgraded or you lost big amounts of the frequency bands you once treasured. I studied; I went up two grades to the highest license and proudly came home with it in my hand. I rate it among my great achievements, along with my commercial engineering license.

There is an “Old Timers’ Club,” sort of, for 20-year hams; I have to see if there still exists an “Old Old Timers’ Club” (OOTC), merely a certificate, for the 40’s. I certainly qualify. In the early days, I lacked the confidence to do much of anything, but I climbed Everest: I have the highest and most difficult class of license. I’m proud of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and congrats

Exit 318

Are you a cruiseship addict? Two here in town, one 3000+ pax, the other a Costa, 2500+ pax......Want to make a million? Drive a taxi.

October 03, 2009 7:42 AM  

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