A favorite new online tool for ham radio
At age eight, the B/W test pattern with the chief's picture was the first and last thing we saw on TV each day. Our Cub Scout troop visited a ham's radio shack. As a dozen little boys gathered in his shack,the young ham worked the dials. He worked SSB with a station in West Germany and when I was eight years old that was like talking to Mars!
Fast forward to 1989; a coworker mentioned that he had always wanted to investigate ham radio. That's all it took to rekindle the interest. I became a rag chewer and worked a fair amount of DX. I made a number of good friends through those early QSO's.
I became excited about helping missionaries with phone patches because it was a way I could practice my faith and support some really hard working people for whom those phone calls meant a lot. So for a few years in the early 90's I would point my KLM tribander to South America and "bypass the phone company".
One missionary told me his story during our first QSO. It was in an evening QSO on 8 FEB 1990, 20 meter side band. John, V31NB, had been a pilot flying charter runs all over Central and South America for years. He said there had been many close calls on these trips but on one particular night he was flying in a really bad storm and was in trouble. He believed this was his last flight.
John said a quick prayer with a promise "that if God would get him out of this one, he would work for Him from then on." John walked away from that jungle landing, his plane was destroyed! I don't think God "makes deals" but John upheld his part of the bargain and became a missionary to Belize where he served the poor, I believe until his death.
I didn't hear his call on the air for many years. But recently a group of vacationing hams were using V31NB to operate on a "ham-cation". I told them John's story. They had been told that the call had never before been issued. I told them that the call had not only been issued - but used very well.
I will QSL - If requesting DIRECT, an SASE is a
pprectiated - please use envelope large enough to accommodate my 4x6 inch cards. A #10 (DL in EU) envelope will work fine!
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