May 25, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Man Stands Outside with a Strange Antenna and Repeats This Phrase – Minutes Later He Gets a Call Nobody Expected (Arizona)

Ham radio enthusiasts, some say, are a different breed.

Whereas many people spend their free time reading or watching TV or surfing the internet, ham radio operators get a kick out of talking on their radios to strangers across the nation — or even across the globe.

Some have even managed to traverse the final frontier by calling the International Space Station.

One such “ham,” as the operators are affectionately called, posted a video of himself to YouTube over the summer making the ultimate long-distance call.

He gave only his first name, Doug, on his bio, but his YouTube channel uses his ham radio call sign: KB8M — which is pronounced according to the military-style phonetic alphabet: “Kilo-Bravo-Eight-Mike.”

With a large antenna in one hand and a radio in the other, Doug looked up at the sky and repeated the same phrase, over and over.

“NA1SS, NA1SS, Kilo Bravo Eight Mike.

“NA1SS, NA1SS, Kilo Bravo Eight Mike.”

His neighbors must have wondered what in the world he was up to.

Except that Doug wasn’t contacting someone in the world. He was trying to talk to someone above it.

He rotated the antenna in his hand and tried again: “NA1SS, NA1SS, Kilo Bravo Eight Mike.”

Finally, a voice responded over the radio. “Kilo Bravo Eight Mike, NA1SS —  [static] you loud and clear aboard the space station. Welcome aboard.”

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