July 13, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Indiana

Ham radio operator reflects on 40-year hobby (Indiana)

Peru resident Bill McAlpin said he vividly remembers being a kid and someone giving his father a shortwave radio receiver.

Shortly after acquiring it, McAlpin’s family strung an antenna up between his house and his grandparents’ house next door, and he’d sit there for hours listening to communication from all over the world.

And McAlpin’s been hooked on amateur (ham) radio ever since.

The Tribune caught up with McAlpin recently at the Howard County Emergency Management Agency, where he’s helping teach a class on the technology as a member of the Kokomo Amateur Radio Club.

“My call sign (personal identification) is WD9GIU … gee I’m ugly,” he said laughing, a half-dozen handheld radios resting beside him on a table. “I had a cousin and an uncle that were hams (ham radio operators), and I just thought it was a neat hobby. … And quite honestly, I never could understand how, when I was a kid in school, that somebody didn’t see that interest and help me out. It wasn’t until I was out of college and working that I actually had a chance to take a class.”