Ham Radio (from the perspective of KG6MTF)
What is it and why am I involved, you ask? For those of you in the know, you can skip to the why I am involved section. Ham Radio basically refers to the Amatuer Radio Service, which is regulated by the FCC (I just can't seem to get away from those guys). The FCC designates which entities get to use specified bandwidths and for what purpose (e.g., Family Radio Service, Commercial Television, Commercial Radio Broadcasts, Emergency Services, Amateur Radio Service). There are literally thousands of people worldwide who are licensed Ham operators, from the very young to the very old. In the US, there are currently 4 levels in which you can be licensed: Technician (that's what Kirk and I currently are), Technician with Morse Code, General and Amateur Extra. If you want to take a look at more information about Ham Radio, click here. A good friend of mine, who had the misfortune to photograph a HAM Radio Convention at which an apparently very strange series of events occurred, is solidly convinced that all Ham Operators are geeks or just plain crazy. Well, Rob, you already think I'm crazy, I guess now you have an additional piece of evidence to describe why!!
Why am I involved? Well, the reason is really simple, although I am sure many people won't really get it -- my husband wanted to do it, so we studied and got licensed together! First, he purchased a book called "Now You are Talking!", which contains not only the question pool for the Technician exam, but explanations for each of the concepts tested. There were times when I found the book quite cumbersome (it often used descriptions or theories that hadn't been discussed yet to explain other concepts). But that's where Kirk came in handy! He already knew quite a bit about the concepts, either from having read it before, being exposed to the concept through work, or facing it in one of his other hobbies. So, actually, the studying was fun...I got to have a lot more interaction with my husband as a result.