K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities
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Report by Jack, KD5SCG

Way back in April 2002, I found a scanner in the local radio shack, then I found the pricetag for that scanner. I thought that there had to be a better way, so I looked around for a while and finally found what I was looking for on e-bay. When the scanner finally arrived I was rather disapointed. At the time I was living in the vast suburbs surrounding the Dallas/ Fort Worth metroplex, where Most radio signals could not reach the telescopic whip on my scanner. Most radio signals except those of the airport (boring if you ask me), and the hams. I was intrigued that these hams could talk to each other from miles away. I decided to make another trip to radio shack to get Gordon West's study guide for Technician class licenses. After a week of studying, I was pretty sure I could pass the test. I passed with only one question wrong.

The first thing I did after getting my license was to go to the Ham Radio Outlet website and get a 2 meter radio. While I waited for the radio to arrive I made a two meter j-pole and mounted it on the roof. When the radio finally arrived I was really excited, for about a week I lived to talk on the radio. Then as the initial excitement began to wear off, I stopped talking and just listened. I just wasn't having fun anymore. Then one day while I was listening in on the Dallas Amateur Radio Club repeater and someone mentioned field day, I wasn't exactly sure what field day was but I had heard of it. I jumped in on the conversation and asked for them to explain what field day was. After they were done explaining it they asked me if I wanted to come.

I was so excited about field day that I could barely sleep the night before it started. When I finally got to the field day site I was thouroughly impressed. The club had an old delivery panel van that was filled with radios, and covered with antennas. They also had four HF stations and a sstv station setup outside. I fiddled around with the radios not knowing anything about what I was doing. While I was fiddling, my mother had struck up a conversation with Ginger W5AAN. Ginger took us over to her camper where she had a station set up. she handed me the mic and showed me how to tune around the band, and what frequencies to use. She picked up the logbook and started logging, I made about 20 contacts until the antenna tuner broke. Not even that stopped us, we took the tuner apart and fixed it right there in the camper. I learned two things that day, (1 you can fix anything if you are determined enough, and (2 HF is fun. That was when I decided to get a license upgrade.

The problem with getting an upgrade was that I had to learn morse code. I tried (unsuccesfully) two or three times before I was finally able to Forest Gump my way through the 5wpm test. I was so glad to have passed the test and finally be a general, I figured that I would never need to use morse code again. But within a few days I discovered that HF voice was as boring as 2 meters. One day while cleaning my room, I came across a cheap ameco key that I had bought to practice code for the code test. I figured I might as well try calling a CQ. On the second call a canadian staion came back to me, I had a 45 minute QSO with him which I only copied about 15 minutes of. I was instantly hooked on CW. Ever since that QSO, my mic has been hidden under my desk, and I've been raking in the CW contacts.

Report written in 2003 when Jack was 14.

When you are through reading this page, close this window to return to the Stories index - or - click here to go to my home page if you came here from elsewhere.

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