Hi, I’m Chris, also known as K5HRA, and I’m the guy behind Ham Radio Academy. I’m on QRZ, LotW, eQSL, and HRDLog.
When I was a kid, I’d hide under the covers and mess around with a little red transistor radio that my dad got for me. From my home in Wisconsin, I’d pull in distant AM radio stations from all over, Texas, Louisiana, Chicago, Boston, Florida, you name it.
In college I majored in Engineering Physics at the University of Tulsa, where I had classes in Electro-magnetics, Circuits, Solid State Physics, and all sorts of other stuff I was interested in. The truth is, I hated those classes at the time. They were hard. Little did I know that I’d come full circle and find myself later using many of those same concepts and tools I had learned about! And this time I understood it! And liked it!
Since that time I found myself working as a computer programmer, writing code for measurement and acquisition programs, and branching out onto the web.
In 2011, I was given a few “old” radios. You know, the really old kind, with those awesome looking (and sounding) vacuum tubes. I learned how to restore them electrically, replacing components and learning how these technologically simple devices were able to receive radio waves and turn them into sound.
I picked up a few more of these old radios, many of which were capable of receiving shortwave transmissions. Now, shortwave radio isn’t what it was when these radios were new, but there is still a lot out there to listen to. And my interest was piqued.
After that, I acquired a couple of newer, 1980’s vintage “general coverage” receivers, that were also capable of receiving the HF amateur radio bands. Also during this time, I bought a handheld radio scanner. Mainly for monitoring local police and fire activity, but they had the added benefit of letting me listen in on the local amateur radio VHF/UHF repeaters. I was listening to all sorts of transmissions, from across town and across the globe.
Well, the next logical course was of course to get my amateur radio license. With my physics background, my recent radio experience, and a little studying, I went from zero to General in one session. Recently, I finally found time to polish up on my material, and passed the Amateur Extra exam.
Now I spend most of my time on the air using digital modes like JT-65 from my station in Oklahoma.
And here we are!
So why Ham Radio Academy? Simple. There are a lot of “traditional” routes to learning about amateur radio. From books, to in-person classes, to scouring the web getting tidbits of information from here or there and trying to piece it together….
Plus, the exams themselves can be passed through rote memorization. You can pass them this way, but you’re really not going to learn a lot about amateur radio in the process.
I thought, what if there were a way to actually learn about amateur radio online. So the idea of Ham Radio Academy was born. I’m working on the Technician class, but there will be many more courses to come on other topics in radio. Some simple, some advanced, but all informative and fun.
Get on the Air with Ham Radio Academy!