Nathan Gentry, the Kansas Nebraska Radio Club’s Press Relations Officer, shared his experience with amateur radio, also known as Ham Radio, as well as tips for getting started in the hobby.
Gentry was 14 years old when he got his first license for Ham radio. He shared that a good friend from church is the one who originally got him interested in the hobby. What appealed to him was how much you can do with Ham Radio. “For me, it was the use of computers to communicate over the airwaves versus dial-up internet at the time. I was also interested in Storm Spotting as we lived in the county just north of Simpson, Kansas.” To this day, he still storms spots for local ham’s and for the National Weather Service. He tries to stay up on the latest computer advances in the hobby.
For those interested in the hobby, he suggests asking lots of questions and attending events like Field Day. He also suggested attending local amateur radio club meetings. Most Hams like answering questions about the hobby and are more than happy to talk to those who are new. “When you do research on Ham Radio, try to find a section of the hobby and start there and expand,” he said. If you decide you want to take the Technician Class, then find a book or a group to study with.
Ham radio licenses allow people to communicate over long distances without the internet or cell towers; this is very helpful when it comes to disasters and emergencies. The community of Ham Radio offers something for everyone.