Padraig Lysandrou, KC9UUS, is Amateur Radio Newsline’s 2013 Young Ham of the Year
A 16-year-old QST Cover Plaque Award winner from Bloomington, Indiana, is this year’s Amateur Radio Newsline “Young Ham of the Year.” Readers gave the thumbs up to Padraig Lysandrou, KC9UUS, for his article “A Crazy Idea: DXpedition to Cyprus,” which appeared in the May 2013 issue of QST.
“I’m not sure what to think. I’m happy,” Lysandrou allowed, after hearing he’d been selected for the annual honor. As a young stamp collector, he got interested in ham radio through his mother, Carolyn, KC9URR, a serious shortwave listener. She would show him letters she’d received back from stations she’d heard. “I saw those, and…I got into shortwave. And, then the interest grew bigger, and it wasn’t just about stamps anymore. And so I got interested in ham radio.”
Lysandrou is among the protégés of Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, a Bloomington High School South chemistry teacher who, at age 5, once was the youngest ham in the US. Rapp invited the young man to join the school’s Amateur Radio club and introduced him to the hobby. Rapp and Dr Scott Wright, KØMD, nominated Lysandrou as Young Ham of the Year.
Soon Lysandrou had an Amateur Extra ticket and became president of his school’s Amateur Radio club. Participation in the ARRL School Club Roundup and a program on the Peter Island 3YØX DXpedition really sparked his interest in DX and led to his smaller DXpedition to Cyprus, where he has family, and his article in QST.
Equipped with a Yaesu FT-897 and a Buddipole antenna, he operated from various locations, trying to “talk as much as possible and meet new people,” seeking quality over quantity. As word of his DXpedition spread, Lysandrou found himself invited to be a presenter at the Dayton Hamvention® Youth Forum in May. “To meet other 16 year olds who are Extras and who read my article and are really excited to meet me is also really cool,” Lysandrou said. “I’m sort of a role model, and I would like to continue to be one.”
Indiana Section Manager Lou Everett, WA5LOU, picked Lysandrou as an assistant section manager for youth. His other interests include 4-H, electronics, music and robotics, and he even performed in Carnegie Hall last year, as part of the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic (he plays the cello).
“I’ve been designing circuits and messing around with a bunch of high-voltage circuits and transformer drivers and all sorts of stuff that fuel my interest between Amateur Radio, electronics and chemistry,” Lysandrou says. He will receive the Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award August 17 at the Huntsville (Alabama) Hamfest. The Young Ham of the Year Award was created by Amateur Radio Newsline with corporate sponsorship from Yaesu, CQ and Heil Sound. — Amateur Radio Newsline