Amateur Radio! Or “HAM Radio” in English. A subject that has been a source of fascination for me since I was a kid, but has remained very closed as long as I lived in France.
All my attempts to get licensed over there were met with frowns and grunts by people who were all about telling me that amateur radio was a very serious thing and that I did not have a clue what it was really about etc… In short, not very welcoming! I still remember my last attempt in Paris to learn more about the hobby in a local club, which resulted in a “yeah, you want to become a HAM, right… you know, it’s not Internet, you will probably not be interested once you realise what it is, young man, get yourself a pair of walkie talkies and have fun…” , after which I decided to call it a day.
Fast forward about two years: I moved to California, and was invited to the Bay Area Maker Faire in 2013 to show off some of my work. While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet members of a local amateur radio association: it was a “day vs. night” sort of experience. Open, friendly people, passionate about their hobby and who enthusiastically encouraged me to study for my license and join their ranks! So I spent some time to learn about regulations and refresh a bit on radio fundamentals, and finally took my Technician and General FCC licenses at the end of November 2013. Again, cool and friendly people at the exam, all good.
So stay tuned for new kinds of articles on this blog, as I get deeper into this new world!
73 de W6ELA