I’m a mom and an Amateur Radio (also called Ham Radio) operator. You may be wondering why in the world a mom of small children and in her right mind would choose to tackle the physics, algebra, wires and cables that make up a Ham Radio license. Don’t we moms have enough going on just tackling homework, cooking, cleaning, and diapers? Well, here are four reasons why I did it and why you may want to consider getting a ham radio license yourself.
- It’s a social hobby. This is one you can do with your spouse or significant other. If he gets involved in ham radio, at least he’ll know what to get you for Christmas! Plus you’ll meet tons of other friendly folks at amateur radio club meetings and on the air. And what mom couldn’t use a little more adult conversation in her day?
- Communication in times of trouble. If you’re in your car in a remote area and need some help, your cell phone may not work, but chances are there is a radio tower or frequency that you can call for help on. In a large scale emergency, cell towers can be overloaded with folks trying to make calls. As a ham radio operator, you have the option to make contact with your ham radio.
- Be part of the solution, not part of the panic. In an emergency, ham radio operators are often asked to help with communications. It is a great service to others and if you’re able to transmit information from your location, you may be able to get help for those around you who need it. Ham radio operators are a valuable asset to any community during an emergency.
- Information. Battery powered radios still work when the power is out, so even if you’re not joining in on the emergency communications you can listen in and be privy to some information you may not otherwise get. And the more you know, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your family.
And don’t worry, algebra is only a small portion of the test and you don’t have to understand the whole radio world all at once. It will take some time to get used to it all if you haven’t had an electronics hobby in the past. Join up with your local amateur radio club and ask questions–there will be some experienced hams that will be willing to help you learn what you need to know to get on the air. And remember to enjoy the challenge!
73’s all. KF7JLZ
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- Test Practice Sites: Ham Study and Ham Exam
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- ARRL liscensing manual
- Ham Radio Go Bag by Max Cooper
- SETTING UP AN AMATEUR RADIO STATION: Help For The New General Class Radio Operator by Bob Patterson
- Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver
Guest post by Angela who blogs at Food Storage and Survival.