When you hear people say “ham radio” or “amateur radio” what do you think of?
Perhaps a licensed citizen band radio, or maybe you think about a radio the size of a window air conditioner. In some cases, you may be correct in your thinking.
Some people who are amateur radio operators may have started out talking on the citizens band.
The desire to be able to communicate over longer distances or talk without all the static and hiss of the AM band associated with the CB may have prompted them to study and get their amateur radio license.
I have had my license now for several years. Although I may not use the historic Morse code mode of communication, I have used many of the other modes available.
When I started with my technician license I, like most technicians, utilized many of the local FM repeaters in the area to communicate. I heard various strangers on the airwaves only to have them become very good friends.
You could hear anything from fishing reports to local and national news events discussed on the airwaves. Many amateur radio operators share all kinds of different hobbies and those with common interests enjoy talking or listening about those hobbies.
Other people use their amateur radios as a means of communication when no other communications will work. Imagine picking up the phone, turning on the TV or turning on the computer just to find out that it is not working.
Just the other day, a group of friends, as well as me, decided to go camping into a section of the Daniel Boone National Forest where there was no cell service.
A friend that I have yet to meet other than on the airwaves heard us discussing where we were heading and how we were trying to set up some sort of communication from the campground in case we had an emergency. Without hesitation, Will (call sign KB4PTJ), offered the use of the repeater system he has through many years of labor and expense built.
It is not just a regional repeater, but a statewide communication system. He linked a radio system into the Williamsburg repeater which enabled coverage of the area where we would be camping.
Two other repeater owners, Rod (call sign KG4LKY) and Mark (call sign KF4IFC), allow us to use their repeater system for emergency communication during severe weather and other emergencies. The KG4LKY repeater and KF4IFC repeater are a linked repeater system located on Pilot Mountain north of Manchester, which has very good coverage for the counties within the Region 11 coverage area.
Thank you to all the repeater owners for the time and money you put into the repeater systems. Thank you for allowing us to utilize your repeater system party line to communicate with all our friends and talk about anything and everything. I am proud to say I am a Ham Radio Operator in southeast Kentucky. I hope to meet many more friends on the airwaves soon.
W4WXR-Tony Anders, Keavy