Few days ago, I had my first contact on ham radio.
I was listening to the N2ROW repeater located in downtown Brooklyn using my HT. I keyed up the microphone and started talking “KD2MBV … testing”. then I started listening. I heard someone come back at me saying “KD2MBV, your radio is working… This is KD2CBV”
I was really excited to make my first contact and have someone reply me back. What was more fun to me is how similar our call signs are.
Update (11/09/2016): My call sign was originally KD2MBV before I changed it to AL0Y.
I then started talking into the radio again and I said “Thanks a lot, I am a new ham who just received my license 2 days ago and you just happened to be my first contact. Name here is Aly. KD2MBV”
The reply was very welcoming. He congratulated me for passing the exam and having “a ticket”, which he explained later to be the slang for a ham license. His name is Todd. We had a conversation for about 15 or 20 minutes. He asked me about what radio I was using and where I am located.
I told Todd that I have a lot of questions about ham radio and asked if he could help me. He was very friendly and offered me his email address and said I can ask any question I may have in mind, which I did. A day later I received his reply back. This time he didn’t just answer my questions, he also offered me his personal phone number, and we became friends.
Todd later gave me what I believe to be the best advice regarding ham radio: Don’t believe everything you hear.
“A lot of times you will hear someone talking on radio about their rig and shack, they will swear by their setup and how great it is. However, not because it worked for someone means it will work for everyone. Everyone has a different situation and/or scenario, so use your brain before you decide to follow”, Todd said.
Todd suggested that when asking hams for help with radios that I should always ask “What is bad about it? What do they NOT like about it? what do they wish it did, or did not do? what it does do or doesn’t do?” and if anyone says there is nothing bad, their rig is perfect, then I should know they are not being entirely honest about it, as “there is NOTHING perfect in this world and no such thing as PERFECT RADIO.”, says Todd.
Another advice he gave me was: “What is more important than the equipment is the person on the other end. You can have a station that rivals the ***, but if there no decent person on the other side of the antenna, then what’s the point?”
This really made sense to me. Instead of just trying to jump into any conversation I hear and try to make contacts, I now listen first and decide if the conversation or the operators may be of interest to me. I believe that one of the great features of any radio is the frequency knob. If you don’t like what you hearing, move on to a different frequency. You will find more interesting.
As an appreciation to his help, I would like to give a shout out to Todd, KD2CBV. He is very active on most of the NYC repeaters. He is also the net control for the Big Apple NTS Traffic net every night at 8:00PM local time, on the NY4Z repeater (440.600 MHz)
73 de AL0Y