Born and raised near Asheville, North Carolina, my interest in amateur radio first came at about 10 years old when I purchased my first shortwave receiver. I was mesmerized at the ability to receive radio broadcasts from other states, and even other countries. Naturally, this interest expanded into amateur radio. Unfortunately, without much guidance and motivation, I allowed the license exam to become a major roadblock.
Fast forward to 2014; my senior year in high school. My casual interest in weather leads me to the Skywarn program. Skywarn was created by the National Weather Service to create a network of trained weather spotters that provide “ground truth” by reporting observations of severe weather. Many Skywarn spotters use amateur radio to communicate and submit reports. This helped re-ignite my interest in amateur radio. Being older, and (somewhat) wiser; the license exam, for the first time, felt in reach.
As I began to look into licensing, a friend of mine; Jonathan Kayne, also became interested. We would go on to study together for our technician license. I would earn my technician license on May 19th, 2014 as KM4BLG. Jonathan went on to earn his general license on June 16th, 2014 as KM4CFT. We would both eventually move up and earn our Amateur Extra licenses and become avid CW operators.
Today, I am very active in the amateur radio community. My specific interests are very broad in nature, and I like to dabble a little bit in almost every aspect of amateur radio. Some of these areas include:
- Long Distance Communications (DXing)
- Rag Chewing
- Digital Communications
- Portable Operating (Summits on the Air, Parks on the Air, etc)
- Homebrewing Equipment and Antennas
In addition to making amateur radio my main hobby, I have taken the skills I have learned and have applied them to become an active member of AUXCOMM; an effort of the Department of Homeland Security to create a universal set of auxiliary communications resources for use in effective incident management communications.
In 2018, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Today, I work for local Fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider Skyrunner Internet. This job allows me to combine my passions of Computer Science and radio technology for a very rewarding career.
I’ve created this website and blog to serve as a public platform to share my ideas and thoughts regarding various aspects of the amateur radio hobby and other similar topics. Feel free to have a look around and check back often for all the latest updates!
Zach Thompson – KM4BLG