It might seem strange, but after spending a good part of my day here at the broadcast facility talking on the radio, want to guess what I do to relax after the day? Surprisingly, I go home and talk on the radio. Amateur radio.

I have always had an interest in audio communication, obviously, but I never got wrapped up in the CB Radio craze that briefly swept the United States several decades ago. And, I flirted with Amateur Radio as a kid, but once I got the book that one had to study to get a license I said no thanks. To be honest, I probably could have been given better information at the time, but my mentors then guided me to handbook of the American Radio Relay League. It was thick and small print and had lots of numbers and weird pictures. Oh and bonus you also had to learn Morse Code. Yeah, I'll go play baseball if that's ok. By the way, I've since learned that those weird pictures are called schematics.

But as I got in to broadcast, I found that I had a mild interest in the technical side of the operation. I wouldn't dare to make the claim of being an engineer here, but how things operate does interest me, and I've pretty much been always happy to help the technical staff in any way I could, and that has included helping to work on transmitters and learning a little about antennas and some light equipment installation and maintenance.

When I first arrived here at the station, the Chief Engineer here was also a licensed amateur radio operator. While we were working on a project one evening, he said, “you should really get your amateur license.” Did I still have to learn Morse Code? Sorry, hard pass. A few years after that, the requirement to learn code was dropped and my friend was quick to let me know. Still it was a no go.

Then in 2017, my friend came to me and said they were having a free class to get people prepared to take the test for the entry level license. He finally wore me down, and I agreed to attend. That evening I told my wife of my plans to attend and asked if she wanted to come as it would give us a built in date night for the next six weeks. To my surprise, she agreed and we went off to class. We had fun, learned new things, and yes, we both were able to obtain our licenses.

We haven't regretted it at all. We get to associate with some really fun, although maybe slightly off center (we can be a bit nerdy) people who have welcomed us to the group. It has expanded our circle of friends and we look forward to meeting when we can. Plus, as you might guess I like talking on the radio. I actually upgraded my license to the next higher class which allows me to use frequencies that can talk around the world. One night I had a conversation with someone in Portugal. That was an endorphin release!

So, why spend the time writing this? Well, it's time for that free class again, and I would like you to give some thought in to joining our hobby. Classes begin on Thursday, March 6th and will be held for 5 weeks. Then the test for the license will be offered on Thursday, April 13th. The class and the materials are free. If you decide to take the test it is a $15 fee and if you pass, the FCC will require $35 to issue the license. And then, you would need a radio, but you can get an entry level radio for around $50. And yes with that radio you can talk through out Utah and the Intermountain West. You can find out more about the class and our club at I hope you'll think about it. By the way to talk on amateur radio you don't have to get out of bed before the break of day. Hmmm...I might have to think about a swap.

Amateur Radio Winter Field Day

So what do you do when you're a bunch of crazy amateur radio operators on a cold day in the middle of winter? Well you go outside and set up radio facilities and sit outside or in un-heated communication trailers and talk on the radio, of course! That's what members of the Rainbow Canyon Amateur Radio Club did during the annual Winter Field Day the last weekend on January. It is, ostensibly, an exercise on how we can set up and be able to provide emergency communication in less than ideal conditions. But it is also a fun, albeit chilly activity to engage with amateur radio operators around the world. One of our operators during this field day may contact with someone in France. We had a lot of fun, shared some food and stories and just enjoyed learning from each other. And we chilled...literally. But we're not always crazy, we do this in summer, too.

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