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Posts Tagged ‘ham radio in norfolk’

It’s Official: I’m Now a Ham! (Part VI)

November 28th, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

Lookie who got their “Tech” license last weekend!  :)

Wayne Ringer, thats who!  :)  Hes now a licensed ham, or he will be as soon as his call sign shows up on the FCC database! Oh, FCC, dont keep us waiting!

Why it's Wayne Ringer, that's who! :) He's now a licensed ham, or he will be as soon as his call sign shows up on the FCC database! Oh, FCC, don't keep us waiting! Before long, he'll be joining me on two meters!

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And hell have the incredible opportunity to be one of the only licensed Amateur Radio operators to enjoy the hobby in a pink room adorned with Hello Kitty lights!

And he'll be one of two licensed Amateur Radio operators in the country to enjoy the hobby in a pink room adorned with Hello Kitty lights!

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To read more about my experiences with Ham Radio, check out Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV of this series.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

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Who Are These Old Ham Radio Guys?

October 15th, 2012 Sears Homes 1 comment

While doing some research on Norfolk’s historic architecture, my friend Bill at the Sergeant Memorial Room (Norfolk Public Library) found this old booklet (dated 1951) for me, promoting Norfolk’s public schools. One of the pictures showed three boys working on what appears to be an old Ham Radio set.

It sure would be fun to figure out who these boys are, and if they remained interested in Ham Radio through the decades.

Do you recognize them?

Who

Who are these guys? This picture appeared in a 1951 promotional brochure for Norfolk Public Schools. No name or photo credit was given. I'm not even sure which high schools were in existence in Norfolk in 1951. If they were juniors or seniors in 1951, they'd be 79 or 80 years old today.

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This

Someone must know who this young fellow is!

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More

This is the cover of the brochure which featured the young men shown above.

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On a more modern note, Teddy the Wonder Dog examines the new Comet CHA-250Bx antenna that arrived Friday afternoon. Shes puzzled by the size of the resistor at the end of this 23 vertical antenna.

On a more modern note, Teddy the Wonder Dog examines the new Comet CHA-250Bx antenna that arrived Friday afternoon. She's puzzled by the size of the resistor at the end of this 23' vertical antenna.

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If those boys above could look into the future and see Ham Radio today, theyd be shocked to know that in 21st Century America, Japanese-made radio products are considered to be top notch.

If those boys above could look into the future and see Ham Radio today, they'd be shocked to know that in 21st Century America, Japanese-made radio products are considered to be top notch.

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To learn more about Ham Radio in Norfolk, click here.

Want to read more about the Sears Homes in Norfolk? Click here.

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Hams and Christmas

December 20th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

In 1983,  Hollywood released of the scariest movies ever created. The movie was Testament (starring Jane Alexander and William Devane).

Set in the fictitious town of Hamlin (near San Francisco), the movie starts out happy. The children are flopped around the 1980s “television as furniture” console, watching an afternoon show and waiting for Dad to get home so they can eat dinner. In the next moment, Mom and the kids perk up when they see an emergency message pop up on the TV, warning of an impending nuclear attack. There’s a flash of blinding light through the living room window, and then the electricity and phone go dead.

“Testament” is a remarkable movie because there are no fireballs and no mushroom clouds in Hamlin. Neither people nor houses are damaged by the blast. Terrified neighbors pour out of their stately homes and into the street, trying to figure out what has just happened. The people of Hamlin are cut off from the world, knowing nothing, except that a nuclear device has been detonated - somewhere far away.

Before the sun sets on that first awful, post-nuclear day, the real hero of the story emerges. It’s the old man down the street, Henry Abhart, who has both a Ham radio and a small generator. In the gloaming, neighbors in the upper-middle class burg gather at Henry’s house. As they walk up the steps to his magnificent bungalow, we hear Henry in the background.

“CQ, CQ, CQ,” he says with in a voice that’s steady but urgent. “This is Whiskey Six Delta November calling. No, there’s no damage here, except all our transformers are knocked out.”

After a little more time at his Ham radio, Henry walks into his commodious living room to give a full report to his anxious neighbors, who have gathered there.

Looking pensive, he reports, “Well, folks, so far I can’t raise Seattle, Portland, Sacramento or Southern California. San Francisco is silent. The entire Bay Area. North of us, now, they’re okay.”

“What about Chicago?” someone asks.

With great solemnity in his voice he replies, “So far, I can’t raise anything east of Keokuk, lowa.”

After a few more comments he adds, “We may be crippled, but we’re not cut off and we’re not dead.”

I’ve always remembered that scene. Thanks to an old man ensconced in a homemade Ham Shack in the corner of a California bungalow, people are not cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a powerful image.

The take-away message I gleaned from this powerful scene is this: Ham Radio Operators are the helpers. They’re the ones that have both the skills and the tools to keep us going when all the more modern and more complex (and more delicate) systems have failed. I believe that - in my lifetime - our country probably won’t suffer a nuclear event, but we may face natural disasters and severe storms and other communications-interrupting events. And when we do, the ability to communicate (which has the same root as the word “community”) will be an urgent need.

In February 2010, I sat for my “Technician’s” Ham Radio license, and to my delight (and incredulity), I passed the test, getting 33 out of 35 answers right.

It feels good to accomplish a long-cherished dream. It feels wonderful to learn a new skill. I look forward to learning how to “play” with a new-fangled, 21st Century Ham Radio. But it also feels mighty good to know that if there ever were an urgent need in my neck of the woods, I’m equipped and empowered to be “one of the helpers.”

Now, I just have to raise a little dough and give myself a Ham-flavored Christmas present!

To learn about Ham Radio in Hampton Roads, click here.

To learn more about Ham Radio, click here.

To learn about Sears Homes, click here.

The best of both worlds: Large antenna mounted on Sears Avondale in Litchfield, Illinois

The best of both worlds: Ham radio antenna mounted on Sears Avondale in Litchfield, Illinois. Nice house, too.

Catalog picture of the Sears Avondale

Catalog picture of the Sears Avondale

Apparently, Sears Homes and Ham Radio go together pretty well.

Apparently, Sears Homes and Ham Radio go together pretty well. Note the large Ham Radio antennae rising over the Osborn's roofline.

The Sears Osborn, as it appeared in the 1919 catalog.

The Sears Osborn, as it appeared in the 1919 catalog.

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