Amateur Radio

Find out about amateur radio station K6YBA.

QSL card

Here’s my QSL card

I have been a licensed amateur radio operator since 2012. I caught the radio bug back as a kid, when my dad would open up his shortwave radio console and we’d hear broadcasts from other countries.

In college, I was a DJ at KZSC 88.1 FM in Santa Cruz; I had a late night heavy metal show called Manic Metal which was very popular for the 2 years I hosted the show. Later on, I got into CB radio, and finally, bit the bullet and got an FCC license to operate on the amateur “ham” bands.

Why? When all else, fails, amateur radio comes to the rescue. Really! Ham radio has been a proven technology for over 100 years. And it was hams who had a major part in the development of both the internet and mobile phone technology. Amateur radio is perfect for keeping communications going when phones, internet, and cell towers are down due to natural disasters, black-outs, and war.

After obtaining my Technician Class license and working locally on the VHF and UHF bands with my Wouxun KG-UVD1P handie-talkie (HT), I decided to upgrade to the General Class license so that I could work the HF (High-Frequency) bands and talk to people all over the world. For that, I use an old ICOM 730 that I found on Craigslist for $125 along with an 80-to-6-meter off-center-fed dipole that I got from W8AMZ.

For S&G’s, I also run a packet radio station on 145.050 — it’s like the pre-internet days of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) minus the phone lines and calling charges. When the internet goes down, this is the way people will be passing data back and forth quickly and efficiently. What I most like about packet is that it’s a completely decentralized and autonomous way of sending and storing e-mail and text/instant-messages without the need for an ISP or phone/cable company!