Amateur Radio.

ARRL  Ok, this goes way back... Back to when I was living in Rock Hill SC and I was in the third grade.  My father got an interest in Amateur Radio or Ham Radio as it is generally called.  He had a friend who was into it and as any self-respecting Electrical Engineer, my father got interested in it as well.  So my interest in Ham Radio started at this early age, when I was about 8 years old.  Soon after that, we moved to Columbia, SC and Dad and I would make a trip down to Dixie Radio nearly every Saturday.  He would by electrical parts and I would roam around the showroom wondering what all of this was about. 

Then came my first HamFest, a gathering of Ham operators to generally mingle , buy and sell radio equipment and electronic.  Now remember this was back in the early 60's.  1963 if I remember correctly.  At that HamFest, Dad bought a Ham Radio receiver and brought it home and plugged it in.  I was amazed!  The first night we listened to the air traffic control tower chatter at Homestead Air Force base in Homestead, FL.  I was hooked!  Dan went on to get his First Class Radio Telephone license with a Radar Endorsement.  Me?  Well I decided to get a license too.  But one thing stood in my way, Morse Code.  See, back then you had to learn Morse Code to get a Ham license. 

So Dad rigged up a code generator and bought a key and I took off... and crashed.  For some reason, I just could not learn code.  But being a budding electrical engineer, I still wanted to learn electronics.  So Dad pulled out the old Heathkit catalog (now I'm showing my age...) and began to order kits for me to put together.  My first was a Color Bar Generator so Dad could work on our new color TV.  Then came several other kits.  Finally my biggest kit, an Oscilloscope. 

When Heathkit announced they were out of the kit business on March 30, 1992, an era came to a close.  The "Heathkit" was no more.  Heathkit became an educational systems business. 

So after several years in the amateur radio world, I moved on to other hobbies. 

About a year ago in 2009, several of my old AJC buddies got into Ham Radio and started enticing me to join their ranks.  Rob Osattin and Ade Shamblin told me that the code requirement was gone.  With requirement gone, I decided to give it a whirl.  I signed up for a HamCram ( a one day training and testing session) on June 12th, 2010.  I began studying.  Then Rob told me about the Atlanta HamFest on June 5th, 2010.  They were having walk-in testing for all types of amateur radio licenses for only $14!  So a 1:15 PM on 6/5/2010, I sat for my Technician license test.  At 1:35 PM I was passed the exam and became a Ham Operator; my call sign is KJ4VPT - Kilo, Juliett, 4, Victor, Papa, Tango. 

HamFest Dates

Over the next few months there are several HamFest will be held within driving distance of Atlanta.  Here are a few.  IF you know of others, please e-mail me. 

Latest Ham News...

June 13, 24, 2010

Now that I have my Tech license, I need a radio!  So that is my quest now.  

Here are a few pictures of my Ham Setup.

hamworkcenter1 My Ham Work Center