Hello all, my name is
Travis and my call is KB3LAZ. My friends say this suits me rather well. I
was born on May 22 1987. I live in Greenville Pennsylvanian (born and
raised, I still reside here). Itís about an hour north of Pittsburgh and an
hour south of Eire. Itís a small town where not much happens.
At the moment I no longer live in the USA. I do still have my residence in Greenville but at the moment my parents are living there. As of now and for the last year I have lived in Alicante Spain. (Quite an enlightening learning experience.)
My grandmother Rose sadly
departed in my late years of high school. I was about 16 years old. Overcome by
grief my grandfather and I decide to take a trip to help ease our minds. So we
did exactly that. We decided to visit friends of my grandfathers (KECK,
Frank). This was my introduction to amateur radio. I then peered
into a whole new world. I met an amazing array of people who would
forever change my life for the better. And for this, I am eternally
thankful. I learned more about radio in one day than most people could hope to
in a lifetime. Something else I learned was that even in these times the world
is still full of kindness. We were accepted for days at a time into peopleÔŅĹs
homes, people who had never met us before. With this gesture a spark of
curiosity arose in my mind. I now wanted to meet more people like this. So one
of these kind people handed me a technician manual and said here's a world of
knowledge for you to discover. This person was w4clm, Carol. Although she
made the biggest impact on me she was not the only one to contribute to my new
goal. There were many others so I'll just list the few that I spent the
most time with. They are as follows: k9kxq (Jim), n2kp (Richard), and
w5rlb (Lee). And that's the end of this story for now. It was a rather
memorable trip, and one that I will cherish forever.
I would like to add a few things to what I previously said.
1) Though I had learned a lot about radio that day with Carol there was much more on the horizon for me to learn. Little did I know it at the time. This hobby (any for that matter) is one that involves constant if not daily learning. Particularly if you are so inclined. No matter how much you know, there is more to learn, and there is always someone that knows more. This is a very good thing so take it with an open mind. When you find that someone knows something that you do not, learn from them.
2) Teaching is just as important if not more than learning. For one because it is both satisfying and simply proper to teach others when and if you can. Secondly, because from teaching, one learns. Not only from themselves but from the one they teach. Whether directly or indirectly by the information gathered to properly instruct another. This is something that I have learned over the years while helping others in what little way I could.
3) So far, into my journey of amateur radio I have met many a wonderful people that were kind, knowledgeable, and helpful. So, I guess the occurrences that happened on my trip were not a one time fluke. There are many great people in this world and many of them share this hobby as a common ground. Don't be shy or timid, contact them. More often than not you will find that they are willing to take the time to give you a helping hand in any way they can. If they can not help you, they will likely point you in the right direction. On top of that, on or off the air you are likely to have made a new friend with whom you can communicate with on a regular basis. Its likely that you have more in common than you know.
A new world emerges
Now that my trip was over
and I was back home I went back to school. Now life was back to the
"Norm" but not quite. Some things were lost but not forgotten,
and new memories were about to form as I stepped into a new world. This new
world was that of Amateur radio. With the encouragement of the "Hams"
I had just met and that of the ones I've known for years, I decided to study my
new book in study hall. But it didn't stop there. Before I knew it I was
hiding my book in between my schoolbooks and studying in class, also at the home
front and in the car. Then it was accomplished; I passed my Tech test in
April of 2004. My license was issued on April 26 2004. I then purchased
an Icom T-7H hand held then the fun began. After awhile I desired to do more
than talk locally, so I got a Yaesu FT-920 from my grandfather. But it
didn't stop there; I then got an Icom IC-7000, a Yaesu FT-100d, and a Yaesu
VX-7R. Now I was ready to broaden my horizons. Eagerly wishing to use my
new equipment I took my General test and "wow" I passed. My
license was issued March 5 2007. Now I was ready to journey into the world of
HF. Later that night I tuned the dial to 3.955.00 and talked to the men and
women responsible for my success as well as new found friends. Where I continue
to meet new people to this day.
Update: To this day I am still a general class operator
and plan to stay that way for a while. I don't feel as if I have obtained
enough knowledge to become an extra class op. Mostly because at that point I
would feel strange (guilty) about asking other hams questions, questions that
many of them may have known as a novice. A class that I wish still existed but
that is neither here nor now. I do feel confident about the knowledge that I
currently have and feel that it suits my operating privileges just fine. In
other words, my class and privileges reflect my knowledge.
Update 2: I have been reading a lot and have decided that when I return stateside, I will take my extra class exam and explore yet more aspects of the hobby. Particularly those of contesting and DXing. Also note that it has been a long time since I have made an update. The last time I posted I had recently graduated high school. Now, I done with university, married, and living in Spain. As they say, time stops for no one.
Today I strive to meet new
people and make new friends every day. Most of the time I'm successful. There's
always a CQ, contest, or a net going. I enjoy nets and contests as well as
DXing but nothing compares to ragchewing. Ragchewing, now there's something I
can do every night and usually do. I usually talk on 3.955.00 or on 3.950.00.
However I do not restrict myself to HF I also talk VHF and UHF (Mostly
SSB and even AM...yes, I am serious). All in all itís a fun and relaxing hobby
so pick up a book and enter the world of radio.
I don't really use VHF/UHF anymore. I still chat with a few local friends via
2m SSB and AM but I have not used FM or a repeater in almost a year. It is not
that I have a problem with FM or repeaters; it is just that I grew tired of
such activities. Today I am mostly on 10m ssb but I still hang on 75m every now
and again. I also drift around on 40 and 20m(listening to the slower cw QSO's
mostly). I have not been too avid about communicating as of late; I have been
more of an SWL. This is partially because of the lack of a tower. I have a
tower but it is down and I am running off of a temp setup but that is about to
change. Add that with propagation and the fact that it is summer time and well,
you get the picture. I will be more active when the school year starts back up
and I am at the desk a lot.
As previously noted I am not currently on the air due to living outside of my home country temporarily. However, once back stateside I do intend to get back on the air with new interests in mind.
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