I’ve been a radio amateur since 1970 when I was 14 year old.  Before becoming a ham, I loved to tune across the AM broadcast band with my inexpensive RCA receiver.  I would listen to low-powered radio stations in small towns nearby.  It was especially challenging to receive the stations, since many would “go off the air” at sunset.


A ham neighbor up the street loaned me an old copy of the “Radio Amateur’s Handbook”.  It was a big, thick book.  It was far too complicated for me to read and understand the technical jargon and electronic schematic diagrams.  But that fact made the book all the more alluring and challenging for me!  Soon thereafter, my best friend, Bill and I enrolled in a ham radio class sponsored by our local radio club.  We passed our Novice exams and received our first licenses.  Bill and I could actually talk back and forth on the air in Morse code!  It was a very exciting experience.


Growing up, I kept my radio “shack” in my bedroom.  When I was supposed to be asleep, I would sneak on the air every chance I could get.  One morning, several hours before I had to get up for school, I fired up the radio and called “CQ”.  A station with a “6” in his call sign answered.  I was excited to think that a station in California could hear me with my poor antenna and low power.  However, I was wrong about his “QTH”.  Imagine my amazement, when KW6GN/6 informed me that he was -in fact-located on Wake Island in the Pacific!  This ham was located on the other side of the International Date Line; that meant it was “tomorrow” where he was.


In college, I operated a lot of ham radio at the club station, W9YB.  We called it “W9 Yogi Bear”.  While studying electrical engineering at the University, I met a special girl.  Ariel and I fell in love and got married.  She, too, became interested in ham radio and passed her ham test and received a license.


Ariel and I like to help people during emergencies by using our radios.  In 1980, the town of Lynn, Massachusetts burned down and the National Guard needed communications help.  A lot of hams– including Ariel and I– responded to the call.  Another time, the telephone company in Marshfield was destroyed.  Ariel, I and other ham operators responded by driving to the town with our radio equipment to help people in need.


Ariel and I have met a lot of friendly and interesting people through ham radio.  Ham radio helped me in choosing a career in electronics and computers.  And, ham radio has allowed me to  make many good friends, and to understand and appreciate people who live in other countries.


©Natasha Bochkov, M.C.S., Martin Bayes, Ph.D., and Donna LaRoche, M.Ed                                          

Phil Temples at 6 years old!

Our class friend, Mr. Phil Temples, K9HI, is the

Assistant Director for New England for the ARRL. He really enjoys helping others and is a wonderful amateur radio leader!    http://ema.arrl.org


Mr. Phil Temples, K9HI