Amateur Radio Hobby
"What does this have to do with motorcycles?" you might ask. Well, nothing and everything. You see back in 1977 or 78, I got involved with CB radio and had radios in our cars and in our house and a big antenna on the roof. I 'shot skip' (an illegal activity consisting of contacting other stations outside of the 10 mile or so range allowed by the FCC) and collected cofirmation cards from all over the US. Then one day a friend of mine asked me if I were interested in taking a HAM radio classs. I agreed to do so and after learning the Morse Code (at a very slow 5 words per minute) I studied electronics theory and passed the test. My first license was KA0ERA. I bought an old Heathkit transmitter and a receiver and made my first CW (Morse Code) contacts from Denver. My first QSO (conversation) was with Donna, KA9ETE, in Madison, WI on July 7, 1979. Anyway, as time went on, we moved to Gunnison, I finally upgraded my license to Technician so that I could use voice communitcations on VHF frequencies. Then again to General where I could add HF (high frequency) voice. In 198? I got rid of the old transmitter and receiver and bought a Kenwood TS130SE transceiver. It was state of the art but small and relatively inexpensive. (I still have it and it was my only HF radio until this spring when I purchased a used Icon 706 MK IIG.) "So, where do motorcycles fit in?" you are asking. Thanks for being patient, I'm getting there. When I purchased my first VHF walkie talkie, or handheld as commonly referred to by HAMS, I tried operating from my Suzuki 750 with moderate success though I had to be stopped. In July of 1989 I made my last HF contact, with Albert in Cordoba, Argentina, until April of 2010. Last spring I dug out my old radios and dusted them off. I strung up a 40 meter dipole antenna and a fellow at St. Victor Church gave me a VHF antenna. I was now on the air on HF and VHF. I also joined the Kendall Amateur Radio Society in Boerne. It was about this time that I discovered 'vanity calls.' For a fee of $13.00 or so, I changed my call from KD7CYK to K5FJR and obtained radio operator license plates for my Geo Tracker and, you guessed it, my FJR1300. So now I have successfully blended my motocycle obsession with my HAM radio hobby!