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Getting my 8 yr old and friends into ham radio during COVID

Jun 22nd 2020, 13:39


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I am not sure whether to post this here or in the classrooms forum (no activity there since April 2019).
My 8 yr old and a couple of his friends are possibly interested in learning about radio (ham and otherwise). I have buy-in from the parents who are eager for STEM activity and an alternative to endless iPad games. :) I am curious if anyone here has gone through a similar process. The COVID situation means lots of in-person meetups and projects is probably not a good idea, so there will have to be a virtual component.
I am thinking maybe 2-3 times a week we get together (the kids and I and their parents if they like) for a Facetime meetup where we can do various things radio related. Spending the whole time preparing for the test will likely not be a winner. I am thinking to start everyone could get an SDRplay or similar inexpensive radio, and use that as a basis for activities- We can tune in different stations on different bands, compare signal strength, and so forth. Perhaps one or two kids can get a CB radio (about $60 with antenna it seems) to whet the appetite, or maybe even build a legal LOWfer or MEDfer transmitter+antenna (we are within a few miles of each other) to let the kids try communicating without needing a license. (I guarantee they will be Facetiming each other while trying to communicate- an option I did not have when I was their age!) All of these activities could be used as a springboard to discussion of the dry stuff (the theory and regulations) to get a license.
Does anyone have any thought or past experiences related to this?
Thanks in advance,
Geof (AA3RQ)
Jun 22nd 2020, 13:54


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Kids like to learn Morse code. You can't tell how old someone else from the way they are sending.

Zak W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

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