Tell us your ham radio beginning here!

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
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Thread starter #1
Howdy,

What got you into ham radio? Where and when did the passion start and how far did it advance all the way until today?
 
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#2
I got into ham radio because being out Storm spotting cell service sucks at times so ham gets me into nws . I am now a general class operator.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
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Thread starter #3
I got into ham radio because being out Storm spotting cell service sucks at times so ham gets me into nws . I am now a general class operator.
I can attest to your response. In May of 2009, a powerful derecho hit my local area causing multiple-week power outages. It was really the ARES folks that kept communications going for several days. My hat is off to you guys :)
 
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#4
A Jeep friend and I were talking and I expressed by discontent with CBs and how most others I Jeep with have poorly installed CB setups and can barely talk a half mile. He informed me that there was something better and I have fully embraced it. I have also surrounded myself with more off roaders who are hams and generally go on adventures with them instead. The local radio club I associate with does activate for severe weather and since I have always been fascinated by weather it seemed only fitting to get involved with Skywarn as well.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
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Thread starter #6
A Jeep friend and I were talking and I expressed by discontent with CBs and how most others I Jeep with have poorly installed CB setups and can barely talk a half mile. He informed me that there was something better and I have fully embraced it. I have also surrounded myself with more off roaders who are hams and generally go on adventures with them instead. The local radio club I associate with does activate for severe weather and since I have always been fascinated by weather it seemed only fitting to get involved with Skywarn as well.
That is pretty cool! Over here, people jeep a lot off road in the forest. I'd imagine you can get fairly good signal doing something like that, right?
 
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#7
It works pretty well, then when I get to camp I put an antenna up in a tree and talk all over the Country/World.
If I don't have cell signal, I can send a text message to my wife from the ham radio in my Jeep either through a local digital repeater or via the International Space Station.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
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Thread starter #8
It works pretty well, then when I get to camp I put an antenna up in a tree and talk all over the Country/World.
If I don't have cell signal, I can send a text message to my wife from the ham radio in my Jeep either through a local digital repeater or via the International Space Station.
Now that is something I never knew about. That is pretty cool! Why aren't more people into ham radio!!! :D
 
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#9
My introduction to amateur radio started with my late uncle, he was an interesting person, very intelligent, was a classmate of Neil Armstrong. he was a quadriplegic after a bad auto accident, but didn't let it slow down his enthusiasm. he was an avid shortwave listener, years ago a company called Heathkit made kits you could build to make short wave radios, amateur radios, clocks etc. He ordered a kit and at the age of 8 years old, I became his hands and built the radio for him. In turn he bought me a kit for myself to build. many a night i stayed up late tuning through the bands listening to broadcast stations and amateur radio stations from around the world.

Going forward a few years, my father owned a business customizing cars, this was in the 70's/80's when the CB boom was still in full swing, we had a CB in his van, one in the shop, and one in my room. Had a lot of fun talking to the locals on CB, during the blizzard of 78 for many rural folks the only means of communication was CB or ham radio.

I had been interested in getting my license, but life kept interrupting, every time I lined up a testing session I would end up getting deployed to some far end of the country either by FEMA or the Red Cross on disaster relief operations. When I was deployed to NYC for the 9-11 operation I worked with a few cool guys who for Christmas bought me a 2m HT as incentive to get my license. When I finally returned home in 2002, I was at the first testing session available locally and got my license. After that I was active with skywarn on amateur radio, prior to that I worked with a bunch of folks that used CBs and had one guy as net control who would call the NWS WFO spotter hotline (not many cell phones in those days.

I was invited to one of the local clubs Field Day sites and had a blast, I was operating the 20m HF station, made contacts all over and got bit hard by the DX bug, so I upgraded from technician to General. From there I started working with the NHC VOIP hurricane net and the HF hurricane net.

Now I am a VE and give the exams to help bring new members into the hobby. I enjoy helping new hams get their feet wet.