Ham it up

I was in grad school in computer science a bunch of years ago and one of the professors was into amateur radio (AKA Ham radio).  I went into his office early one morning to talk with him about how to get started in the hobby.  We were doing a bunch of electronics projects and some pretty cool stuff in his class so amateur radio seemed like a pretty natural step.  He pretty much said I shouldn’t bother…get a cell phone and forget about it.

Well I showed him!  Last weekend I went to a cram course for the technician class ham radio license and I passed!  I am now a licensed ham operator!  I do have a cell phone so it may seem pretty weird why I bothered getting into amateur radio too.  I think the best answer is because I can.  I also like the idea of being able to communicate with people all over apart from the cellular network.  I also still like the challenge of building electronic circuits and learning new stuff like I did in Professor CellPhone’s class.

My father-in-law also wanted to become a licensed ham operator since he was a kid and he is also licensed now too!  I figure we will probably talk to each other a lot at first as we try to learn how this whole process works.  There really is a lot to amateur radio and apparently the FCC takes a lot of it very seriously…I’ll have to be careful not to have an audio Janet-Jackson-in-the-Super-Bowl moment on air!

There is a lot to learn so I am in search of an Elmer – a ham willing to help a newbie learn the ropes.  Much like beekeeping, it seems that the number of people entering the hobbies are declining.  I do not fully understand why but I hope to do my part to keep both hobbies middle-age friendly!

6 thoughts on “Ham it up

  1. Warren-
    My neighbor is a ham radio guy. I could ask him about helping a ‘newbie’. Even though we’re about half a continent away, I’m sure there’s a way.

  2. Ceecee – I just got my license and am waiting somewhat patiently to get my first radio from the internets. I hope it will be here tomorrow because I have a trip planned soon and would love to have it from the drive!

  3. Odie – Thanks for the offer. I think I have a guy lined up…my father-in-law lives a few houses down from the local club president…we had no idea! Anyhow, thanks again!

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