Editor, The Times:
What is it? In its simplest terms it is a hobby that involves radios. In broader terms, there are aspects that can appeal to almost anyone of any age.
Why be interested? Do you enjoy learning new things? Looking for a hobby that you can enjoy from your home, from your motorhome or boat, or even from your remote campsite?
I personally use amateur radio to speak directly to others in countries around the world. I use our local repeater system to keep in touch when I am out exploring. I use my skills and equipment to support search and rescue teams. During the fires that plagued the valley a few years ago, amateur radio was an integral link between communities when the power failed and phones were down.
“Don’t tell my boss that I have even used my handheld radio at work to speak to Susan Helms on the space shuttle,” someone said. The International Space Station has a fully operational amateur station on board and the crew members often make contacts as they orbit the world.
To become an amateur radio operator one needs to have a basic understanding of the regulations and theory of radios. A course is available that is followed by a multiple choice exam.
It is nowhere near as complex as one might think. People from all walks of life take the course and the exam, and then enjoy a lifetime hobby for a one-time licence fee.
Are you interested?
Would you like to participate in a local class?
Check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio and then … feel free to contact me at 250-678- 5305.
Kevin Deckert, VE7WHK
Wells Gray Country amateur radio emergency coordinator.