I had wanted (as a kid) to get a ham license but the code requirement and the testing was too much of a barrier at the time. I did build crystal radios and had a blast listening in on a very large antenna (120ft - did not make my mom happy!). I wondered about going back and getting the exam now that the code is not required. One interesting side note: my son in college got his license a few months ago in order to use a radio on the SEDS (Students for Exploration and Development of Space) balloons!
Thanks for starting this blog, Doug. I got licensed in high school as KN3HJI and dropped the 'N' a few months later when I got my General. Also got a First Class Radiophone license and worked part time as a broadcast transmitter engineer in college. Sorta dropped out of ham radio for a few years while getting my career started and then got an Extra license with my current call - N3EE. Always liked CW best, especially traffic handling and contesting. Have been inactive a long time, but when I retire in a few years, I hope to get active again. My love for electronics and physics stemmed from those early experiences in ham radio, and I have worked as an engineer now for over 45 years. I would be designing and building electronic stuff even if I didn't get paid for it! 73 - Tom
I also got into electronics thanks to ham radio. Back in 1953 got my license back in high school, W7VLB (W7 "very little brains"). That led to my getting the commercial FCC license while I was still in high school and a job at the local TV station transmitter in Phoenix right out of high school. Worked in broadcasting for a few years than moved into that exciting field of semiconductors were I have worked for the past 50 years. All thanks to ham radio!
It all started with my father (mechanical engineer) being interested in electronics and building some amateur circuits. In my early teens I found a radio club in my home town and that got me really into electronics, later secondary technical school with yet another ham club, got my licence, first job at my teacher's company (ham also). RF experience from first job helped me get another job - a start-up company was making radio controlled key-fobs and they could not get their heads around it. Now I went more into embedded world with MCUs but still try to finish few of my ham projects (it's a bit hard with wife and a baby and no time :)).
One of my teachers once said: If you can design RF circuits you can design anything.
I think he was right :)
Like all of you, I am looking forward to your blog. And like others, ham radio was a key element in choosing electronics engineering (and all that has brought me) as a career. And I too was away from it for too long. I was licensed in '56, and was able to re-claim my original call sign even though I am no longer in that area via rule changes by the FCC enacted a few years ago.
Yep...ham radio has changed - a lot. But the personal contact, and contacts, that it affords remains strong.
I, too got into electronics through my early interest in ham radio. I have been licensed since 1956 (yes I am an OOTC member). I still have my license and my original callsign too. I have witnessed LOTS of change during my career, so much so that I couldn't have imagined most of today's technology then! Sadly, though, ham radio has fallen victim to these advances. The Internet with all its enticements like like instant messaging and social networks, video games, cell phones, and IM have drastically changed personal communications and shrunk the world even more. It's nice to see you starting this blog and I hope it succeeds and maybe gets a few more people into our hobby. Good luck and 73.
Looking forward to your blog. I pretty much followed your path into engineering. The code was a big problem for me. To get to 15 WPM, I once calculated I had listened to about 1 million characters during daily practice. Oh, how I envy those guys that used to brag they learned the code in a couple of weeks. Took me over a year. KG2RU