Why waste your time studying for an Amateur Radio License?  You can do anything with your smart phone that a licensed "ham" can do, right?

I have had my license since 1953 so I do have some experience with the changes in technology.  Knowing Morse code is no longer a requirement in obtaining a license as it was when I got my mine.  Many hams lamented the dumbing down of license requirements when the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) dropped the code requirement and yet Morse code is alive and well because now it is a status symbol to "know the code".

There are 700,000 plus licensed amateur operators in the United States and many more around the world.  I personally have talked to hams in well over 250 different countries.  This is one facet of the hobby and is called "DXing".  DX is an acronym for "long distance".  We use a lot of shortened words and acronyms which came from the use of Morse code over 100 years ago.  Reminds me of text messaging LOL.

When I say "talked"  I mean I contacted them.  Not always talking though.  Some of the modes I used are digital (BTW, Morse code is the only digital mode that can be decoded by the human brain).  There are many other digital modes that require a computer to transmit and decode.  They are all keyboard to keyboard methods of communicating and would be another subject of discussion.

Of course you can use a microphone and actually "talk" to another ham.  I have also used this mode many times and talked to Russians, Japanese, South Americans, Europeans and many other nationalities too numerous to mention. The only provider between them and me was the ionosphere.  Sure it cost money to buy or build the equipment I needed (did I say build?).  I purchased a Chinese hand held for less than $50 and used it to communicate with other radio amateurs through amateur built satellites. What a thrill!!  BTW, the International Space Station has licensed amateurs on board that communicate regularly with young kids in school.

As you can see, I am very enthusiastic about this hobby and want to spread the word.

That's all for now so I will say 73  & 88 (ham speak for "best regards" or "hugs and kisses" in case a YL "young lady" reads this).

Rich AA9L

Last weekend the MSOE Amateur Radio Club put MSOE on the map by participating in a North American amateur radio contest.  The object of the contest was to make as many contacts with other amateur radio operators in North America as possible.  Most of the club members that participated had never competed in Radiosport type operation.  It was a learning experience.  The MSOE club was in competition with other universities in North America.  Here is how it works.  When we hear other stations calling we answer them.  If they acknowledge us we send them a specific exchange of information.  They would then acknowledge that they received the message and send us their message. This would count for 1 contact.  Our group made 218 contacts.  Scores are calculated by the number of contacts made times the number of different states worked.  Our contacts will be submitted to The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and scores will be published in the future.

You must have a valid FCC license to operate a radio transmitter in the amateur radio bands.

Here is a list of the participants and their call letters.

Max KC9YZX, Cat KC9IBZ, Dan KC9ZGW, Adam KC9ZQJ, Rich AA9L, Jake KC9OSU, Brandon KE5WOR, Jim KC9TZO, Jack W9ULA and Brenden KC9CMP.


73, Rich


    Jake KC9OSU                                                            Brandon KE5WOR