Youth@HamRadio.Fun: A Young DXer
By Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM
ARRL Youth Editor
April 27, 2010
Twelve-year-old Jonas Carden, KD0DJH, submitted this write-up concerning his first experiences with Amateur Radio and the wonderful world of DX. The excitement of hearing signals from around the world is one alive and well with all generations.
Hi, I am Jonas Carden, KD0DJH, and I have been hooked on DXing ever since I read a book called the The Complete DXer by Bob Locher, W9KNI. It was given to me by my mentor, Al Hammond, K0HWE. I had been learning a lot from my friend Roger Titone, KD0CUQ, and my grandfather, Larry Crill, KA0TLW, and had been studying endlessly ever since I earned my ticket. I was getting very restless to get on the air. One day my other grandfather, Don Price, KC0MTF, took me to a hamfest, and that was when I finally got on the air.
I had been waiting through what seemed like a dreadfully long summer, and I was very thrilled to get started on DXing. Just as I thought I was ready, I ran into yet another problem. Whenever I listened or called CQ, I couldn’t get even one DX station to answer. I was told by Dale Holloway, K4EQ, that the problem was propagation! This was something that I had never paid attention to, and thought was so unimportant, and yet it was what was standing between me and the world.
After learning more about it, I was ready to give DXing another go. Two long weeks went by and propagation was starting to improve. I was planning on skimming over the bands for DX. I got everything running and had just gone a few kilohertz down 40 meters and all of a sudden a CQ was sent right out of nowhere. He quit calling, and I was trying to make sense of the call sign I heard. Then someone out of the blue came and answered. I listened for what seemed like two extremely, long minutes. I finally heard the call, “A VE3,” I noted to myself. I looked up the call then realized I was listening to a station from Canada. I suddenly heard the other station signing off and knew it was the chance I had been waiting for. As I called I was thinking over and over “Will he hear me?”, “Am I going to get through?”, “Will I finally make my first DX QSO?” I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I finished and listened in suspense. All of a sudden I was hearing what I had wanted to hear for quite a while: “KD0DJH DE VE3LR.” Was I dreaming? I checked again, I certainly was not. I was not listening very well at all and, I was almost in a state of shock. Then I came to reality and pulled myself together and shakily carried out the QSO.
I was very excited as I finally said 73 and left. After that I could not stop thinking about it, I was just going crazy over it. I just could not contain my excitement. Right then I knew my DXing career had just started and hoped to make many more DX QSOs. That’s the story of my first DX contact. I would like to mention two people who kept me going even when I was at the point of giving up, my parents: Mike Carden, KD0DJK, and Dina Carden.
Jonas was licensed in March 2008 and is currently a General class. When not chasing DX or studying the art of Amateur Radio, he enjoys fishing and hunting.
One Big Hammy Family
I apologize for the corny word play, but I received this bit in my inbox (check out the picture below):
Jonah Levenson, KJ0NAH, age 12, is pictured between his grandmother Naomi Goodkin, WB6OHW, and Norm Goodkin, K6YXH, after receiving his CSCE at a VE session in Agoura Hills, California. Jonah’s mother Mari, KA6PTV, is the daughter of Naomi and Norm; she is married to Seth, KC6DFX. They have two daughters: Elly, KG6GMQ, and Mikay, KG6WTB, making the Levensons an all-ham family. That brings the number of hams in the “Goodkin Hamily” to 37, with another planned to marry in later this year.
New Decade at the University of Kansas Amateur Radio Club
With the new decade comes new leadership at K0KU in Lawrence. Long time President Reid Crowe, N0RC, stepped aside upon his graduation, and the club elected Riley Dunn, KC0KTP, as the new club president. Reid is responsible for reviving the club and getting the station into phenomenal shape. In his time as president, he has transformed the station into one that caters to almost every aspect of Amateur Radio. He helped publicize the club and attract new members, and leaves Riley with much to continue forward with. Thanks for your hard work Reid, and good luck to Riley.
A Call to Action
As all HF operators have noticed, conditions have been outstanding recently. The frequencies above 14 MHz have been graced with DX and fabulous conditions. I would like to push that each and every one of you reading this column with HF capabilities to get on the air and make at least one contact a day. As the bands continue to improve, it’s more important than ever to ensure that there are stations on the air. We should also take these times of improving conditions to share our love of Amateur Radio with a younger generation. There is no better way to get a youngster interested in ham radio than having them contact a station in Africa. You can no longer use poor conditions as an excuse! Try and get someone in your life who is under 18 on the air and share the excitement.
Thanks for reading, and get on the air!
Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM