HAM Radio 101

How I Became a Ham

Last year, my husband decided to get into the amateur radio world.

He was an electronics technician in the Navy for more than ten years, and he has a master’s degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. As I watched him build his station here at home, I just said “ho hum” because I knew NOTHING, ZERO, NILCH, ZIP about that stuff. He got his Tech, General, then Extra in a few months’ time. He built a great station, has a good portable unit when we travel, and really enjoys all the contacts he’s logged. 

 As he continued racking up all those call signs, countries, grids, etc., I was intrigued. We went to several hamfests, and I was bemused at all the folks who had their badges (of course, no names—just call signs). I felt I was on another planet. Sooo…

I got tired of “carrying the clubs.” I wanted to play the game. I ordered some books and studied online tests and quizzes. Hubby Ben, NE6CG, showed me a lot of things and I thought I’d try. I took my Tech test in November, and I became KQ4EFG—a real mouthful.

Over the holidays, it was hectic here. My mom became ill in December and passed away. I had so much work to do taking care of her, and I put my studying aside. I hit the reset button and got back on track. I did take my General exam, and I thought that would be it. How could I possibly learn enough for an Extra? 

Well, Mr. NE6CG helped me study, work the radio, participate in some POTA activations, set up antennas, and immersed me in the ham world.

Yes! I took the Extra in May. Now there are two Extras in this house. Can’t believe I did it. I truly believe that you need to have a lot of hands-on experience, see the radios in operation, and practice, practice, practice!  

Christine Srock, NE7LT

Christine Srock photo
Christine Srock and Ham Radio station

At OnAllBands, we enjoy sharing inspiring stories of how people became involved in amateur radio. These personal memories of studying to take the Technician exam, Elmers who made all the difference, and first QSOs abound in the ham world. Each one is different and special. They ultimately remind us that ham radio is about something much more vital than coaxial cable or baluns. It’s about people—mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends, and neighbors who have kept ham radio thriving through the decades. What’s your story? We’d love to hear it!

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