My history with amateur (ham) radio started in 2010 with the second Charleston Barcamp. In an effort to encourage a little more topic diversity, one of the topics I suggested was “Intro to Ham Radio”, hoping someone would pick it up. It was something I had a casual interest in for a while, and a demonstration at Dragon*Con one year bumped the interest level up a bit more.
Fortunately for me, someone did pick up the topic and proceeded to give a nice session complete with radio demonstration. I also ended up discovering that some people I knew were also ham radio operators. They also “encouraged” me to get my ham radio license, which I considered, but put off because of lack of time.
Finally in 2012, after succumbing to increasing peer pressure, I started doing some studying for the amateur radio license. June 2, 2012 at the Atlanta Hamfest, I took and passed the Technician and General exams (Elements 2 and 3) and became a General class amateur radio operator. I also took a stab at the Amateur Extra exam (Element 4) even though I hadn’t done any preparation for it at all, but didn’t pass it (didn’t really expect to). A couple days later I was issued the call sign KK4JRP and it became official in the eyes of the FCC.
After a couple months of procrastinating, I buckled down and started studying for my Amateur Extra class license and received it in October 2012. Shortly after that I changed my call sign to what it is now, AB4UG.
In 2014 I took the Canadian Radio Amateur Basic and Advanced tests while on a trip back home and managed to pass both exams, getting my Basic with Honours and Advanced Certificate. My Canadian amateur radio call sign is VA6BUG.
Being a physicist, I find my interests in ham radio leaning toward the more technical topics, antenna design, learning about propagation, operating modes, electronics, DIY and low power (QRP). I’m looking forward to exploring everything that ham radio has to offer.
Follow along with my radio adventures over at my radioblog, blog.AB4UG.net.