August 20, 2016
I was reading about amateur radio and some things that you can do for that hobby. I used to have a ham license in high school. I wanted to learn Morse code and it was very easy. I made flash cards with the letter on the front and the Morse code for it on the back. I began with the first three letters of the alphabet and when i could remember those three letters, i added three more. It didn’t take very long to learn all 26 letters. Numbers are even easier to learn. Once you learn the alphabet, numbers are a breeze. All you have to do is learn 26 letters and 0 through 9 on the numbers and you know Morse code. At first of course we are very slow at sending and receiving, but we get faster with practice. I remember we used to be able to get Morse code practice tapes at different speeds, and this was a good way to learn and practice and build up speed. Once you are on the air though, you will become quick and be able to converse with a lot of people around the world, in all different languages, using Morse code. One time i talked to another ham and he taught me how to play chess over ham radio, using Morse code. I told my friend Dan, who just happened to be the first board chess player at my high school. Next week i had another invite to play chess with that same guy, so i took my friend Dan and he told me what moves to make, and we beat that guy. He was pretty good and he complimented me on winning. So i confessed and told him i recruited the best player at my school. Pretty fun stuff. I was in high school, but there were a lot of adults who helped me get my license. The band teacher Mr. Marshall did my Morse code test on a Kenwood TS 520 and i had another friend Bill who used to take me to ham meetings where i met more hams who were also very helpful and took me on ARES field trips, told me about working telegraph on the railroads with bugs and so forth in the old days. It’s a good hobby. So if you ever want to get your ham license, it’s easier than you might think, and you can go as high as you want in licensing. Myself, i prefer Morse code to phone, or voice communications. I grew up around CB’s, and phone always sounds like CBers to me. But with 2 meter repeaters and so forth, we can use code, phone, data, sstv, all kinds of ways to communicate. The sky is the limit!