I've noticed that a lot of 'new hams' have been hitting the airwaves in the Tri-Cities lately. I am most impressed with a young kid, maybe 12 years old, who took the time to study and recently got his ham license. I'm sure his dad was there to help him study, but the enthusiasm this young man has for the hobby is real. Young ham operators like that are proof that even if you didn't grow up with Smokey and The Bandit during the CB craze, interest in two-way radio communication still runs high. Maybe you're a fan of Last Man Standing where Tim Allen is a TV ham operator (and in real life too).

With ham radio, you can talk across town, across the country, and the world. I haven't experienced worldwide communication (not licensed for it yet), but I really enjoy chatting with hams from Spokane, Wenatchee, Yakima, Walla-Walla, Northeast Oregon, and all of Tri-Cities.

So why do they call it 'ham radio'? What does H.A.M. stand for? Ha...it doesn't stand for anything! The term was coined because most folks who like chatting across the airwaves truly are 'hams'. And there's one thing I can tell you about all hams...they are some of the nicest people you'll ever talk to. It's a long-standing tradition for experienced ham operators to mentor and help younger hams in any way they can. So once you get your license, don't be afraid to crack that mic. Someone will be out there with answers to all of your questions.

Wanna get licensed? It's quite easy, actually. There is a test, and testing is held periodically by members of the Tri-Cities Amature Radio Club. You can also get valuable information from The Spout Springs Repeater Association at WF7S.net. When you get your license, gimme a shout! My calls are KJ7NNE, and I'm generally on the 2-meter band.

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