Our new hobby: Amateur Radio

Our new hobby: Amateur Radio

This winter we ran into an RVer who was into amateur radio (ham radio). John was looking for his next hobby to read about and decided to pick up a number of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) e-books to read through. He decided to take both the technician and general exams, but had not really found a reason to buy any equipment until he started reading about Summits On The Air (SOTA) and Parks On The Air (POTA).

These two activities involve operating ultra light ham radio gear on summits or within nearly any type of park. It usually involves operating “QRP” (low power). However, this is not a problem if you use Morse Code, which is very effective at going great distances through a mode called Continuous Wave (CW).

John was reading the book, “Zen & Art of Radiotelegraphy“. It was so fascinating that he started reading it out loud to Brenda, which we have been doing for years. After reading this book we decided to get into this segment of the hobby. We both just passed our technician exams and got our first calls (call signs): KI5PGQ and KI5PGP. However, we decided to get vanity calls and changed them to KX2CWB (Brenda) and KX2CWJ (John). You might recognize the CW as Continuous Wave. The KX2 happens to be the model of our transceiver (ham radio). Our transceiver is an Elecraft KX2, which is an ultra portable transceiver commonly used in SOTA and POTA activations.

We are in the process of learning Morse Code using a website called Learning CW Online (LCWO). We have two fifteen minute practice sessions each day and will continue this for at last a year. We are also studying for our general license exams. We have found an interesting community of ham radio operators who do SOTA and POTA through Facebook, Youtube and other internet platforms. Some of them even happen to be RVers. We enjoy that we can extend out our love for hiking and getting into nature with this hobby. It is a perfect fit for us.

2 Replies to “Our new hobby: Amateur Radio”

  1. Welcome to amateur radio! I hope to work your station on POTA events. Please watch for my activations as well. I also see that you enjoy Astrophotography. Me too! Look up my Facebook page to see more of my radio and astro adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *