It all began in the fall of 1988 while I was a sophomore at Northwestern High School near Kokomo, Indiana. A friend of mine was already involved in amateur radio and peaked my interest telling stories of his amateur adventures on the HF bands.
Soon after I learned the Kokomo Amateur Radio Club would be sponsoring a Novice class and I quickly signed up. My friend Andrew Crum decided to join me and together we earned our Novice class license in the spring of 1989. My original call was KB9CSK and Andrew was KB9CUS.
The Kokomo hams embraced the young guys and were a great group of elmers to us. Roger Grady, K9OPO (SK) learned of an opportunity for schools to communicate with the space shuttle and applied. Northwestern High School was selected and the excitement was unexplainable. The gymnasium was full of students, staff, media and fellow hams as Roger, Andrew and I were unsuccessful in making our contact.
After high school and college I began my career and family and was not active in amateur radio for several years. I have since dusted off the equipment and have been building out several FM repeaters to give back to the amateur community that has given so much to me.
Copyright © 2015 Steve Jones - W9SMJ
The Kokomo Tribune and many other media outlets covered the big day at Northwestern High School in December, 1990. I will post better images once I find them.
A Little Bit About W9SMJ
Myself enjoying a conversation with Dale Schieman, WB9YCZ about the Indianapolis Carmel Experimenters D-Star Repeater during the 2014 Fort Wayne hamfest.
Amateur radio is about learning from others and sharing that with those around you.