Toothbrushes and amateur radio

So, after successfully fixing my TS-440S did I enjoy operating it? Not a lot – I’ll write about this later – but today very much so.

I had to come home early because our water supply was cut-off for maintenance on Sunday and it hadn’t been restored on Monday morning. Well, it had in the mean time, so I did a day’s worth of dishes and turned on the radio afterwards to relax a bit. Found some guys talking on 20 meters, so I listened in. It was a VK4 station with a V63 station talking about antenna’s for the school station. The conversation turned to how John – the V63 operator – was teaching the kids, how he brought over toothbrushes and taught the kids how to brush and how ham radio opened their world.

Now I am not really a fanatic ham and I had no idea where V63 is. So when a chance came up I called in and John – V63JB, his home call is KH6DLK – came back. I told him we had the same profession and asked him about his location, which he told me is Federai Island, Ulithi Atoll in the Western Caroline Islands, never activated on the amateur bands before. Wow, impressive. But I was really touched when he put one of his students on air to chat with an operator-friend from Hawaii a little later. This is amateur radio at its best: opening up the world and connecting people with each other.

Later a PY station called in and I believe there was also a States-side station present in the group (signal strengths weren’t great and readability difficult at times), so it was quite a diverse group from half across the globe meeting on 20 meters this afternoon. I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to John, but I hope we’ll meet again and I hope he gets his station over there in Ulithi Atoll well established for his students to enjoy. In the mean time I’m contemplating sending him some toothpaste.

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “Toothbrushes and amateur radio”

  • KG8MTG:

    Looking to hear more about operating your Kenwood 440TS. I too own one and all of a sudden, I can’t seem to keep an SWR match after using the automatic tuner?

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