Become a Ham!

Amateur radio is everything from a life-saving tool to a way to explore science and technology or get started in an electronics career. It brings people from all over the world – and around town – together. If you want to become an FCC-licensed amateur radio operator, we are happy to help you on your journey. We also have a very active VE team (exam proctors) who can administer your test when you’re ready at either a special event test session or one of our regular monthly exams in downtown Bloomfield.

Want to Try It? Let us know!

If you’ve never been on the air before, let us know!  We can help you try some of the many modes used today in 21st Century Amateur Radio.

If you are licensed but don’t have a radio of your own, our friends at the Pioneer Valley Repeater Association are offering to loan handheld transceivers to hams who join their club, free of charge. The loaners are good for a few months and are meant to encourage new hams to try out different equipment, get to know other hams and learn on-the-air etiquette for a short-time until they can get their own radios. PVRA also offers educational demonstrations at their meetings and maintains a very sophisticated repeater network throughout Connecticut.

What some of our members have to say:

 

Dan, KB1WFF

Licensed since 1966.

Radio interests: Emergency Communications, Engineering

“I began my career in radio in 1966 right after high school.  I had taken the job to make money for college with an eye toward teaching speech, debate and doing some theater.  Got hooked and spent over 40 years in broadcasting.  Every broadcaster knows they should have two strong points.  I had been an audiophile since I was 9, built kits and took electronics in High school, so my other area was broadcast engineering.

In ’74 I got my first phone and still hold the grandfathered General class commercial license. From that point on I was Chief engineer and News Director for KCSJ, then KCCY, in 1997 I was hired as general manager/engineer for  KKPC owned by Pueblo Community College. I also handled video conferencing and was engineer for the television program overseeing 4 cable channels, automation and a 6 camera video truck plus two live studios.

During the late 70s I teamed up with my business partner Mike Baldauf and the Technology Department was born.  We both continued to work full time and handle broadcast, government and private clients audio and video needs.  We built KWRP AM and KIQN FM for two old friends and I got back on the air doing morning news with them both. We managed to go from last place and no place to #2 and #3 in the market in about a year and a half.  New money from investors saved the stations but the money came from an engineer type who was not part of our fan club so it was time to hang it up, I retired last year and moved to Ct where our son, daughter and grand kids live.  It was a very good decision!

I had not gotten into ham radio because I spent a lot of time on the air.  I did talk radio, talk television and had a weekly news show on the local PBS station and spend most weekends working on studios and transmitters.  At one point Mike and I had 10 stations spread out over 200 miles.
A very good friend Ed McCandless who was the radio engineer for emergency communications in Pueblo, and a ham, told me to consider getting licensed and I thought now is the time.  I took the technician and general tests in October of last year and started the learning curve.   The people I have met at the Vintage Radio museum, the BARENS, and the E.Granby ARES have been great to work with and willing to teach an old dog lots of new tricks.  My only regret is I did not become involved in amateur radio years ago.”

 

Dan, W1CNI

Dan, W1CNI (ex W9VXC)

Licensed since 1953 / Age 15.

Radio interests: Club Meetings, Emergency Communications/ARES/RACES, Field Day, Making New Friends, Mobile Or Portable Operating, Public Service Or Community Safety, Ragchewing/Casual Operating, Recruiting New Hams, Talking With Friends.

“[I got interested in ham radio] as a high school freshman at Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois. In study hall, I chatted with a junior near me. We were both given detention for talking. We continued our chatting in detention! He was a ham and showed me his ham radio gear at his home. I was hooked!

While in high school, built 40 meter CW transceiver (QST issue circa 1953, Suitcase Portable) and various Heathkit test equipment. In college, I used ham radio knowledge/experiences in math, physics and electrical engineering courses. [Ham radio was] also helpful in the US Navy, as an Electronics Materials Officer, Communications Officer, and Operations Officer.”

Skip, W1FTE

Licensed since 1955.

Radio interests: Emergency Communications, Tour Guide at ARRL, Vintage Radio Museum of Connecticut, VP of Pioneer Valley Repeater Association.

“When I was 12 yrs old my uncle gave me a crystal set and ear phones.  I was consumed with listening to something that got voices right out of the air. I put antennas all over the top of the house, out to the garage and around the house.  My father purchased an old radio that had short wave and that hooked me.  I started studding for my novice license in 1954 and got it May of 1955.  I purchased a Heath Kit transmitter, AT-1, put it together with the help of another ham.

Back then after you passed your test it was two or three weeks before you got the license.  The ham helping me told me to practice my CW but connect a light bulb to the transmitter.  I did.  He called me a few days later wanting to know what I was doing as I was putting a signal on the air.  I told him I did as he told me to do with the light bulb.  Then I told him the light bulb was out on the garage with a long piece to TV feed line on the bulb!  Back then when you had a Novice license you had only ONE year to get the next class license or you were off the air.

I got General and the Heath Kit DX-100.  There was a Ham Radio store near the rail road station in Hartford.  I purchase a used Hammarlund receiver, HQ-180a.  I used them for a number of years and after having been married for six years I moved up to the Drake transceiver and used it mobile. You had to tell the FCC where you going on you mobile trip, when you would return home and what bands would be used.

When the tornado struck Windsor and Windsor Locks I was the first ham on the air with information from the center of the damage. Back then there were no cell phones so we hams walked around with the town officials as there was no power or phones. I do a lot of mobile contacts and have talked to a ham in Japan while driving through Hartford at 6:30pm, it was 6:30am at his location in Japan. I am a tour guide at the ARRL, a member of the Vintage Radio & Communications Museum of Connecticut.  I am VP of the PVRA club, largest in the state. I am on most of the bands in different modes.  Still having fun all these years.  I tell my wife its a great hobby, “it keeps me out of the bars and off the streets!”


Joshua Rozovsky, AC1NJosh, AC1N

Licensed since 1996 / Age 14.

Radio interests: Building stuff, antenna design, HF voice, emergency communications, VHF/UHF/SHF communications, satellite.

“Before I was ten, My Dad had suggested to me that I might be interested in ‘starting my own shortwave radio station.’ Neither of us knew anything about ham radio, and never talked about starting a ‘radio station’ until moving to Philadelphia and visiting the amazing station W3AA at the Franklin Institute. I learned that amateur radio was not the same as shortwave broadcast and it was much better. I was determined to get my technician ticket, and after about a year of study I successfully passed the test during a VE session at the science museum. Amateur radio gave me my career and my educational direction, inspiring me to study computers, and sparking my interest in emergency preparedness and emergency medicine. I have been fortunate to have developed many lasting friendships through amateur radio that have extended well beyond just having a mutual hobby.”

Bill, AB1LZ

Licensed since February 2010.

Radio interests: Public Service and Emergency Communications, DX.

“Since High School, the father of a friend of mine tried to get me to go for the code free technician license.  I never pursued that until another friend moved to Western New York, and suggested that we both get General Licences to keep in touch via HF radio.  I studied about 3 months and took the exam with the intent of getting directly on HF, and passed the first time.  Now I am out to learn as many aspects of radio as I possibly can before I choose specific areas of concentration.  So far, I have participated in Emergency Communications, Volunteer Examining, Public Service, Amateur Radio promotion, and some contesting. The best part of amateur radio is the general helpfulness of all those involved in the hobby.  Hams are always ready to lend a hand putting up an antenna, choose equipment, solve problems or provide general camaraderie. It has been fun, and I look forward to many interesting years to come.  Despite the Extra (Lite) license class, I still intend to learn and communicate in CW (morse code) at some point in the future.”

5 Responses to “Become a Ham!”

  1. W1CNI March 3, 2011 at 16:46 #

    What a handsome group!

    Dan W1CNI

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