New Licensee Shares His Story and Fascination with Radio

By: Kent Petty, KL5T

We received the following from Darius Thompson of Rancho Santa Fe, California following his successful Technician Class examination the Anchorage ARC VEC administered remotely earlier today.  Darius is still waiting for his callsign, but it seems as though he has his sights on General Class soon.

From Darius:


I wanted to thank you and your team again for doing an outstanding job in facilitating a remote exam.  As I was thinking about it our local public schools could learn from how well you all have operationalized the process and with volunteers.

Also, to share my thanks I made a small donation and also wanted to share a story which is not probably so uncommon.

I’m 47 and have had a fascination with radio waves since I was a kid and have played with electronics off and on ever since.

When I was in the service 25 years ago I had an amazing experience related to this.   We were on a training operation (small 5-man team) and during our “comm window” our satellite communication device wouldn’t work and missing the window meant we might miss being extracted for a day or a few days.   I was not our radioman and we decided to sneak over to a wired fence and use it to make a field antenna to send our comms.  Wire and reflector. None of us assumed it would work as the distance was several hundred miles to an offshore ship.   We did the math, cut the antenna, aimed it best we could including a makeshift reflector, sent our comms… and we received a confirmation in return!  I had no idea if it would work but it did and that experience made all of this feel a bit like “magic”.

Sharing this story with my girls and showing them how this all works has sparked their interest as well and finding something I can do with them is always a great reward.

Much thanks and see you for my General exam 🙂