Two-Way Radios has always been a hobby of mine. Ever since the first set of “Realistic” radios from Radio Shack, that I had when I was a kid. I have had many radios from old 2-way radios to CB radios. I remember listening to the Whittier, CA CB group when I was young on the CB in my room. I knew nothing about antennas or tuning at that time, and always wondered why no one responded back to me when I transmitted. My self-assigned CB “Handle” was The Blue Panther (In case anyone was wondering where that name came from, my favorite color was blue, and I always like the panthers for their cat-like reflexes, and smarts. I read up on amateur radios (AKA HAM radios) and really wanted to get my license, however, I didn’t have the drive to study and just kept putting it off. In 2003, I got into Commercial radios when I met a friend of mine who taught me a LOT about them, and that’s where my love for Motorola came into play. I learned about FM, CTCSS, DCS, ASTRO, UHF, VHF, PTT, and all those other confusing Letters out there 🙂
In 2007, I overheard a friend of mine talking about GMRS, and that there was no test for it, and it allowed a lot more coverage (and use) of the commercial radios I had. So in 2007, I got my GMRS (that General Mobile Radio Service for those who don’t know) license WQGQ650 yep I was licensed. GMRS was great, but it was only limited to 16 channels, and only 8 of them were repeater pairs. So I decided to go for my amateur license. I studied, I knew I was ready. I went and took the test in Torrance… Failed! What, ok, that does it, so this time I studied even harder and had them figured inside and out. Test day – SUCCESS!
On Nov. 7, 2008, I was a HAM (those who know me might say that’s nothing new… for other definitions of the word.) A couple of weeks later I got my callsign… KI6LOU… KI6LOU! That wouldn’t work, My name isn’t Lou!, so I decided to get a vanity callsign… well, on CB I was the Blue Panter, so, how about K6BLU, or K1BLU, or K(anything)BLU… I submitted my request, and a couple of weeks later I became K1BLU… Licensed HAM radio operator.
I was content with my technician license for quite some time… until I met and talked to people in different radio groups. With all the enthusiasm that they have, I convinced my self (Note: I convinced myself, they didn’t pressure me to do anything.) to not only go for my General, but also my Extra so that I could not only teach about amateur radio but also become a tester and get more amateurs licensed. On November 28, 2011, 3 years after passing my Technician exam, I passed the Extra.
Disaster Preparedness is one of those things that everyone knows about, but most are too busy to prepare for the “Just in case”. I have lived in southern California all of my life. Our biggest “Just in case” here are earthquakes. Most of them are not “Just in case”, they happen, when they want, where they want, and how big they want; We don’t have any notification (little lone control) over any of them. Our “Just in case” is for the “Big One” as most call it; an earthquake much larger than most, that knocks out power, gas, telephone, and all of our services that make our lives comfortable today. In Los Angeles, what would you do if you had no electricity, telephone lines (including cell phones) gas to heat water, or fresh water coming in? Would you be prepared? Don’t say go to the store, because that’s where EVERYONE ELSE AROUND YOU will be going, and without supplies coming in for a couple of weeks, the stores (Without electricity to take credit cards) will be able to charge whatever they want (called supply and demand, they have it, you need it). Disaster preparedness is all about being prepared (aka meeting your needs) during any disaster. For example, some of you don’t need water, you have a pool you can drain (do you have a way to clean it for drinking?) others may need pet supplies, and others may need special medication for survival.
To this day, I still volunteer as much as I can for Radio events, such as field day, and I’m usually found in at least 1 testing session per month. I’m currently trying out DMR Hotspots, Digital Modes, and AREDN. If you hear me out on the radio, don’t hesitate to say hello!
Until I hear from you, 73!