Monday, 6 June 2016

Amateur Radio Operators

My grandmother's brother was a wireless operator on submarine chasers during WWI.  Looking for naval records and information, I came across Volume 27 of the Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada, 1916. Tucked in there is a list of Licensed Amateur Radio Stations in Canada for the year 1915.

That made me think of the winter of 2006 when my husband decided he wanted to get his Ham Radio License. At that time you still had to know Morse Code.  He bought Morse Code CD's and practiced. A lot!  With no headphones!

There is no morse code in the requirements now to get a basic certificate. He took a class with a group of people and some he is still friends with. Besides how to use the equipment you learn Operating Tips and net etiquette.  Then you learn a whole new lingo and abbreviations, called Hamspeak - when is a rubber duck not a rubber duck and when is wallpaper not wallpaper??  He studied hard and got his Certificate in April 2006.

Once you pass the exams you pick your Call Sign from those available on a list. This is your radio identity. Here the available call signs for BC were VA7 and he picked GAN, his initials. 

After getting all the equipment he needed, he had to make himself a station, or "hamshack",  to put it all in.  Preferably in a far corner of the basement. He also installed a ham radio on the boat. When sailing around the Island there were several "nets" you can tune in to.  Some were strictly for boaters to check in for information on docking space and island restaurants etc or looking for a boater that missed check in. We made a few new friends on the boating nets. There are also public nets you can tune in any time.

There are repeaters (send, receive, relay signals) all up and down the Island and my husband went by quad with his friend many times to check and repair the equipment on the mountain tops.

Did your ancestor operate a ham radio?

Relevant Links

Licensed Operators 1915 - Sessional Papers 

Canadian Amateur Certification

Search for Amateur Radio Operators and their Call Sign, Canada

FCC License search - USA

Amateur Radio Stations of the United States 1920-1923

Supplement No. 2 to the list of Radio Stations of the United States 1913

Radio Amateur Call Book Magazine 1933

Getting an Amateur License in the UK

Wireless World - publication of Radio Society of Great Britain 1922-1923

The Emmco Radio Handbook - amateur stations in Australia and New Zealand c1920's

1 comment:

  1. None that I know of. But this is very interesting. I never knew how ham radios operated.


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